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Keysi Fighting Techniques

By Alex Oppenheimer

The Keysi Fighting Method (KFM) is a form of self-defense heavily based on street fighting techniques and natural instincts. KFM was founded by Justo Diéguez Serrano with the assistance of Andy Norman in the 1950s in the streets of Spain. In this fighting method, a wide range of attacks are practiced with or without the use of weapons. It is an art form that relies on the study of pure survival in street-fighting situations.

The Thinking Man Defense

The "Thinking Man" defense, or "Pensador" defense, is the trademark move of KFM. In this technique, the fighter first uses a tight defensive formation where the forearms cover the most vital part of the body: the head. The fighter defends against punches with the elbows and moves into a position where his arms are higher than those of the attacker. This allows the fighter to gain control of the attacker's wrists to create an opening for a series of punches, including an uppercut to the shoulder joint or a downward hammer punch to the back of the neck. This is meant to be a quick strike that allows for an immediate escape from the attacker.

The 360-Degree Approach

In KFM, the fighter must account for more than one attacker at all times. One should never assume an attacker is alone. The "360-degree approach" begins in either a standing, kneeling, sitting or lying-down position. A fighter must be comfortable in all four positions and be able to execute a series of punches, kicks, knees strikes and elbow attacks. One of the most common errors in street fighting when one is confronted by multiple attackers is spending too much time focusing on one person. The fighter must evenly distribute his defensive efforts and escape from the situation as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Fighting on the Ground

In many street fights, it is common for a fighter to end up on the ground. When a fighter is forced onto his back or in a position where the attacker is on his back and has his legs wrapped around his waist, the key objective is to get back into a standing position. To accomplish this, a KFM fighter uses a defense similar to the Thinking Man technique and throws swift elbow strikes to loosen the attacker's grip and thwart his ability to throw his own attack.

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Predator and Prey

"Predator and Prey" is more than a technique of KFM. It is a mindset. When an individual is initially attacked, he is the prey. KFM teaches a fighter to immediately reverse the advantage and become the predator, using a combination of techniques that are commonly used in the fighting style. KFM strongly exudes the attitude that it is always the fighter's choice to either fight or flee despite the number of attackers or the immediate surroundings.

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