Fight Like Batman: The Keysi Fighting MethodBy Adam Sinicki
The new Batman 'The Dark Knight' has been lauded for being perhaps the most realistic superhero film to grace our screens. 'Realist superhero film' sounds almost like a contradiction in terms (unless like me you believe you secretly have superpowers) but what is really meant by that claim is that most of what Batman does could actually be done in real life. You'd have to be extremely talented, lucky and weird, but it could conceivably be done and the film makers have gone to great lengths to ensure that this is the case.
This is especially true of the fight scenes, where the choreographers decided to pick a little-known yet highly effective fighting style (not a martial art according to the official website) for Batman to use when taking on the Joker and his cronies; the Keysi Fighting Method or KFM.
Also featured in Batman Begins which brought it Media Attention for the first time, the style is mostly unheard of as it was only recently developed. It has its routes however in Bruce Lee's well established Jeet Kune Do; a style that both founders, Justo Di�guez and Andy Norman, were already experts in.
The relation is evident in the way that both styles put emphasis on different combat ranges. The fact that the style was only recently developed means that it caters for the modern era and so practitioners should be able to fight in close quarters (such as in a pub or night club) and use their environment and any weapon that comes to hand. It also boasts a '360 degree' approach to taking on multiple opponents and defending oneself from any position be it standing, kneeling or lying down.
KFM's trademark is the 'thinking man', or Pensador, and the thinking man attack. This involves getting in close to the opponent and using a tight defensive shape to protect the head and body. Now the fighter is too close and too well defended to take any damaging blows and from here they can break open the opponent's guard using multiple powerful strikes from the knees, elbows, head, forearms and fists ala Muay Thai.
The style also uses close range locks and holds similar to Kali/Escrima and other styles. Again like Jeet Kune Do, KFM has no rigid structure and is constantly evolving to bring in new techniques and ideas that hold practical functionality.
Although KFM claims not to be a martial art, similarly to other martial arts it places further importance on self discovery ('Keysi' actually means 'from the heart') and uses a similar grading system using coloured belts. Regardless of what it is though, Keysi is a visually stunning choice for the Batman series and a truly effective fighting style for the real world. Just leave the vigilante stuff to the proffessionals.
See it in action here:
Check out the official site here.
Or for a different take on the evolution of Bruce Lee's ideas check out Project Superman.