Keysi Fighting Method/Defence Lab

Discussion in 'Western Martial Arts - General' started by Serpent Raptor, Jul 3, 2016.

  1. Serpent Raptor

    Serpent Raptor White Belt

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    I think DL (formerly KFM) is pretty awesome. But what do you all think of the system, and how would you say it measures up against other arts? Is anybody else here a DL student?
     
  2. Paul_D

    Paul_D Master Black Belt

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    I experienced it for an hour at a seminar, I didn’t see anything in particular that caught my interest, certainly not for the prices they wanted to charge. £15 per hour if memory serves in an area where most classes are £5 at most for 1.5 hours. I got the impression it was stuff you can find in other system put into packaging and sold at an inflated price.

    As for measuring up to other arts, in what respect? What criteria are you using to judge?
     
  3. Serpent Raptor

    Serpent Raptor White Belt

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    Only £5 an hour roughly.

    And any criteria that you want.

    I find it cool that all the instructors have to train with the founder Andy Norman. Means you don't get watered down interpretations of the system at any class.
     
  4. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    unless of course they are taught watered down techniques........
     
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  5. Serpent Raptor

    Serpent Raptor White Belt

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    Why would they be? Andy Norman has nothing to gain by doing that.

    What do you think of the style anyway? And what art do you do?
     
  6. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    I'm not saying he does teach a watered down system but the fact that instructors have to train with the 'founder' of a system isn't a guarantee that the system is sound. It actually means little other than perhaps he can charge them more, again not saying he does. I would look at other reasons to validate a system.

    I train Wado Ryu, TSD and MMA. We had a Keysi team come and fight on one of our MMA fight nights, I'm afraid they weren't very good. It could have been just them but they were a bad advert for the style, all their kit had 'Keysi' written on it so not mistaking what they trained. Sadly they put up poor fights.
     
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  7. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    Having the instructors train with the founder or head instructor isn't a guarantee of anything other than they spent time in his company. What does that time consist of? Are they one of dozens -- or is it weeks of one-on-one training? Is the head instructor actually monitoring and correcting them, or are they merely present?

    And, even putting all of that into the most favorable light, it doesn't guarantee that the instructor is a skilled instructor, or doesn't change and water things down themselves...
     
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  8. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    I'm assuming you're either a relatively new recruit to the system, and are enamoured with what you've found, or you're an instructor looking to create positive buzz and love for your art in a form of free advertising… if the former, okay, but bear in mind that such rose-coloured glasses don't work for others… if the latter, not the greatest idea you could have…

    As far as your questions, I am rather underwhelmed by the system itself. We'll get to why as we go…

    Okay… let's look at credibility. There isn't any.

    Look, Andy and Justo (creators of Keysi) talked a big game about "growing up on tough streets", and being incredibly good street fighters and martial artists… but with no actual backup to their claims at all. In reality, all that is certain about them is that they were a couple of stunt guys who came up with an approach that was stylistically differentiated enough from other systems that they could sell it to Hollywood films when they wanted something "unique"… that lead to work in film choreography and stunt work, most notably in the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy (the advent of Keysi pretty much is the advent of the Batman films… the first came out in 2005, with Keysi making it's first public appearance in "making of" footage and it's own website in 2004…), Mission Impossible 3, and Jack Reacher. By about 2012, Justo and Andy had parted ways, with Justo continuing to promote a form of Keysi, and Andy coming up with his "Defence Lab" and "DNA" approaches.

    His entire selling point, and marketing, is based in incredibly vague comments about his background (no site or source I've found even claim a single system or rank that he, or Justo, have ever held or trained… yet, for some bizarre reason, fans of his describe him as "a person who has an incredible heritage in the martial arts world"… uh, really? Not that I've ever come across… ), and the list of Hollywood stars that he's worked with. His promotional videos follow that pattern, either vague and ambiguous, with no real substance, or it's Liam Neeson, with little to no credibility himself in this regard, espousing the benefits of training in Andy's system.

    Andy claims that DL (and DNA) are "scientifically based… reality based… based in experience and testing, not theories…" except, of course, that it's not reality based, it's largely not realistic in many ways (the new version of the Pensador, a double forearm/elbow cover to the head which is the trademark of Keysi, is used in a rather ineffective, ill-advised, and inefficient manner, constantly wrapping the hands around the practitioners head, taking time when it's not really there to be used, and more), and is entirely based in theories… mainly, it seems, on how to stand out stylistically rather than actually provide somewhat beneficial combative methods.

    If you want, I can take apart the mechanical methods… or the business model… or anything else. But I feel this is enough. Really, what DL is good at is getting it's students to buy it's merchandise, and create the same type of "feel good" emotions that come from fast food… it's okay for a short moment, but not really nutritious…

    No, it doesn't mean anything of the kind… in fact, depending on how you get certified, it could mean exactly that. If the certification is based on a weekend workshop, for instance, that's still training "with the founder"… but hardly what many would consider anything particularly impressive. However, looking at their website, there's no mention of needing to train with Andy at all… nor, in fact, of any particular training required. They do seem to be targeting existing martial artists and instructors, and have a lot of highly impressive sounding, but completely meaningless rhetoric on the site about "becoming an instructor"… and a portal for you to apply. But no mention of what is actually involved… and, call me old fashioned, but I'd like to know that an instructor in a martial system has at least had a number of years training, and has been chosen from existing students, rather than "hey, you're in this area, and you teach TKD… do you want to add this to your resume?"

    He has plenty to gain from it… and there are any number of reasons for it… one is pure ego gratification (and bluntly, any advertising rhetoric that has to so constantly remind me that "there are no egos" tells me that there are some pretty serious egos involved… Andy at the core of it. He comes across as someone who wanted to be the action star, not the stunt guy, and is looking for a way to be the centre of attention…). Another is, simply, lining his coffers… as mentioned, the big thing that DL seems to excel at is ensuring that it's members buy it's merchandise. By adding instructors, it adds more to Andy's wallet… not uncommon. And by "watering down" the content, it makes it easier to certify more people faster… leading to more money and "fame" for Andy.

    Honestly, this is just scratching the surface, but the point is that, no, it is not true that "Andy has nothing to gain by doing that".

    I think it is a deeply flawed, style over substance, flashily marketed, baseless, unrealistic, inefficient, "look at me!", made-for-Hollywood, sad parody of actual martial arts, self defence systems, RBSD, and everything else it's pretending to be.

    Look to my signature for some of my systems.
     
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  9. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    I think you need to stop beating around the bush and say what you really mean! :D:D
     
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  10. Andy anorman

    Andy anorman White Belt

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    Hey Chris .., thank you for your enlightening judgment of my life ... remind me again when we last met and trained ??? ..., you seem to be exactly what the arts are NOT about ... pre-judging aperson or thei way of life ..... that infact you know nothing about ...
    sad really ... I'm sure you'll get over yourself one day .. oh yeah and remind how many global brands you've built from scratch, how man police divisions you train, how many A list movi stats you train, was you an instructor under Dan Inosanto .. bob Breen .. started training BJJ before Europe even cottoned on to it in the early 90's ... trained with the Olympic judo squad? I could go on .. but you clearly know more about me and my life than me ... wow ... take care. chris ..
     
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  11. Dylan9d

    Dylan9d Guest

    I'm not judging your system or style but I don't see why you need to brag as much as you do in this post :).

    What does we Europeans have to do with the post of Chris? You do know he is from Australia right? Also we did the same with Silat, in Europe....in Holland to be precise ;)
     
  12. Whit

    Whit White Belt

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    I hardly think he is bragging when someone just ripped apart his entire system and life based on very little evidence and hearsay.

    When he is talking about Europe i think he means that he was training BJJ before it became big in Europe no referring to that other guy.

    Congrats on the Silat btw it's something i've always wanted to try.
     
  13. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Hi Andy,

    I don't know anything thing about your system, would be interested in knowing more. I've never heard of it, actually. I don't know much about movie stars, I guess you've gotta hang out in Southern California if you want to rub shoulders with them.
     
  14. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes Senior Master

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    I'm not going to make any comment on the quality of the Keysi Fighting Method or Defence Lab, since I've never experienced them in person. I've seen some promotional videos on YouTube. Based on those, it looks better than some things I've encountered, worse than others. However there can be a real difference between video and actual training, so I will reserve judgment until such time as I actually get a chance to work with an advanced practitioner of the art.

    I would be interested in hearing about your training background and how you applied it to the art you created. I don't really care about which movie stars you trained - not sure about how that is relevant to the quality of a martial art. Likewise, the "building a global brand" seems like it has more to do with your business and promotional savvy than your martial arts skills. I'm more interested in your training background.

    Being an instructor under Dan Inosanto is certainly an accomplishment to be proud of. How long did you train JKD? You mention BJJ and Judo. Do you hold any ranks in those systems? Not to fixate on rank, but it can provide an indication of who (other than movie stars) will credibly vouch for your knowledge and skills. Have you trained in other systems as well?
     
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  15. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Nothing to do with how effective a system is.

    Nothing to do with how effective a system is.

    Nothing to do with how effective a system is. In fact, Movie-Fu is pretty much the polar opposite of effective.

    Was (sic) you? You have some documentation to support this?

    What about him?

    As Chris pointed out, vague claims won't carry much weight. Trained with whom? To what rank?

    Vague and meaningless. I've trained with Bob Bondurant, Skip Barber, and Frank Hawley. Got certificates (and an NHRA license), even. But that doesn't make me John Force or Doug Kallita or Antonio Garcia. I've trained at the Olympic Training Center, too, but that doesn't make me KIM Tae-Hun.

    Responding to Chris' complaint about vague, non-specific training claims with more vague, non-specific claims isn't really going to do you much good.

    Note that I know nothing of your system, so I have no opinion about its effectiveness. I'm merely pointing out that nothing you've said here is going to go very far towards convincing anyone that you're an expert at anything other than self-promotion.
     
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  16. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes Senior Master

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    This page on the Inosanto Academy website would seem to indicate that Mr. Norman was an instructor in the Inosanto International Martial Art Instructors Association. I think there are different levels of instructor certification in Guro Dan's system, but I don't know which level Mr. Norman reached.

    I believe Mr. Breen was Mr. Norman's instructor in JKD.
     
  17. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    Tuff crowd, tuff crowd. Lol. I actually find it funny and refreshing to chat with the caliber of martial artists here. It's humorous to me to see people pop in and expect the members here to automatically bow down and give respect and admiration. Respect on this sight needs to be earned, and BS will be called and flushed out every time.
    Never trained in Keysi or DL myself. But would be interested in digging into it here on MT but I doubt Andy would be interested in doing that. For myself I would be very interested in what the MT community would think about my system, just in terms if how to make it better or how my marketing is working or not.
    Honest conversations need to start with honesty and a humble look at the subject. when something is lacking people tend to inflate themselves to fill the gaps. Difficult to have constructive conversations with that as a starting point.
     
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  18. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes Senior Master

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    Is Kerboros combatives your system? If so, I'd be happy to provide any feedback I can. Do you have any info other than what's on the website and FB page?
     
  19. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    That commentary was as much about Mr Normans apparent poor grasp of English sentence structure and how it is used to convey information as anything.

    I can't really tell anything by that page, except that eight years ago a web admin posted what seems likely to be nothing more than a press release. Which leaves it entirely in the 'vague and unhelpful claims' category. And that's ignoring how far removed from an effective MA system Movie-Fu in general, including the silliness in Batman, really is.
     
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  20. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Not the Lego Batman though, that looks to be absolutely ace!
     
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