Those of you who have been actively following this site are probably already aware that we have had a few posts recently in regards to the Keysi Fighting Method, also known as KFM.
The Keysi began to get more public exposure when it was chosen as the fighting style to be used in some of the recent Batman movies. It’s a very distinct looking style, different than anything else you might have seen. It’s very fast, and very much focuses on closing the distance and fighting in closer quarters than where most fighting style are really effective.
My own interest in the style came when a reader wrote in asking about anyone teaching the style here in Utah. Although I have not been able to find anyone in Utah who knows much about the style, I have traded emails with an instructor in the style from out of state. I also recently got a chance to watch a 60 minute video on Keysi made by its creators that instructs a person on the basics of Keysi and its “Pensador”, or “Thinking Man” stance which is the foundation of the style.
Although I have not seen anyone truly fight with Keysi, and am going on just a few videos, articles, and emails, I want to give my own opinion on Keysi and how it might function in Self Defense or in an MMA situation.
Keysi and Self Defense:
Most people on the streets throw hay-makers, upper cuts, and then go to the ground. In my opinion Keysi would function very well in such a situation. Keysi quickly closes the gap to disable hay-makers, and protects well until the gap is closed. Once inside the elbow strikes of Keysi should be an ugly scene for a typical brawler. Also, since most street fights concentrate on head strikes the Pensador user should be able to stand fairly upright and resist being pulled to the ground. Against a good grappler, even just an ex-high school wrestler however, I think Keysi will need to inflict a lot of damage and end things quickly, as KFM is not a ground style.
Keysi and MMA:
Again, the Keysi style may well be able to close the gap well and inflict damage. I think where it may face trouble is when the distance is closed and the opponent begins to use a Muay Thai clinch. Although Keysi is able to defend such strikes it relies on leaning down to block. In emails I was assured that the KFM fighter doesn’t lean low enough to really be at risk of being pulled down due to dropping their head, but in watching the videos I have to draw my own conclusion.
I believe that the method of protecting the head with the Pensador, which is similar in many ways to the defensive style we have seen employed by such fighters as Tito Ortiz against head punches would work well. I think that leg and body kicks will be a huge problem for a KFM fighter if they are unable to close as quickly as they desire. Once inside I think a KFM fighter will do well against someone who wants to stand with them, but could be in trouble if the opponents prefers the ground game.
Summary: Pretty neat for self defense. Good defensively. Can help with elbow striking skills and make for a good close range game. Weak against kicks, and easily pulled to the ground (especially by a Muay Thai clincher, a kicker, or someone good with uppercuts.)
I may be proven wrong, and would love to watch it in the cage, but that’s my 2 cents worth.