If you have been a keen fan of my writing then you will realise that I have trained a few times with the Keysi Fighting Method. In particular under the guidance of Rob Lock who in my opinion is a truly world class instructor.
Now I have written about KFM, not because I know a great deal about the art as I assure you I certainly don't. However I have tried to convey an honest opinion about the system that has seen so much publicity over the past few years. I would hope that the message I have delivered has been a positive one and it will allow others who may be sitting on the fence to take a further look. It was actually articles in Martial Arts Illustrated that convinced me in 2007 to seek out the Keysi Fighting Method. So if these articles help you to do the same then they have served their purpose.
Now as I have stated I merely have a basic grasp of the Keysi Fighting Method, however I strongly believe it is as close to the real study of self defence as you can get. I am considered an expert in self defence based on my knowledge and experience and as such I tend to know when something has substance and is worth doing. Each and every time I have trained in KFM I come away having learned something new, and actually feeling a strange sensation. It is almost like the world of self defence finally has a home. A place that martial artists and self defence 'geeks' can call home, a system that gets what we are trying to say and allows us to be a part of something cool.
If you are a self defence student or instructor then you will understand what I mean. The state of self defence is so splintered with numerous organisations, systems and styles it is a soup of information. Now most systems and instructors are very good in how they teach and the processes they use. Yet it has always been a struggle. The average person has little understanding of self defence, they simply don't get it. They have flashes of the images we hate, church halls full of people doing wrist grab escapes!
With the growth of Keysi they achieved something that I felt many would never do. Bring a product to the self defence community that not only works but provides a real sense of belonging. You cant help but get a buzz and feel proud to have taken part in a session. And whilst I wouldn't call myself a regular student of keysi I feel I am like a second cousin to their family. At this moment I just pop in occasionally, say hello, hang about with the family and then go back to where I came from. Yet like a cousin I will defend the family if required and be honoured to have been a part of them no matter how distant or brief. This feeling is something I feel with the British Combat Association and now I feel the same with Keysi. I suppose it is an instant connection of sorts
Now I must point out that I earn no money for saying this, contrary to what some may think I have never received a free invite to a course, a free T shirt, a free video or anything else. I have no links to them other than just my plain old opinion.
Now that we have that out of the way I thought I would discuss the recent seminar I attended at Rob Locks amazing academy. The seminar was hosted by Rob Lock and was taken by Keysi Co Founder Andy Norman.
Firstly the Venue- Rob Locks Martial Arts Academy located in Stourbridge
I have never been to Robs school before yet when I went inside I immediately felt the words 'wow' and 'I want this place' spring to mind. This is the perfect martial arts school with a massive training area, pads, punch bags, a reception and shop. The academy is the height of professionalism and reminds me of those purpose built American Dojo's we see. This is what I call professional martial arts and everything is set up to provide a venue where training can be delivered to its maximum potential, parents can watch their kids and feel proud and every student can truly understand martial arts. It is what I call a no excuses gym. The gyms where there are great instructors, a choice of different systems and a great facility. If you don't become a martial artist here its because you give up! You have everything here to begin your path to an exciting life through martial arts.
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OK for me I felt that meeting Andy Norman was like how Dan Innosanto must have felt meeting Bruce Lee. This was one of those moments when a person who isn't actually the most physically large person in the world can walk into a building and have what I refer to as 'massive' presence. The walk, the motion, the talk and the stature reveal a man who cannot only handle himself, he is someone who knows he doesn't have to. To some of you this may seem a strange and unusual concept but unless you have met people like this then you will not understand. It goes beyond celebrity but is actually the presence of a man who can change and effect the environment around him. No not through Chi focus or anything daft or spooky, but a combination of body language, ability, self belief, confidence and life experience. A combination that if yielded correctly can change the world!
I have been taught by and trained with World Champions, National Champions and Olympians in numerous sports/ arts. I have been inside the dressing rooms of World Champion Boxers and Andy falls among this group easily. His teaching methods ranged throughout the 2 hours from verbal instruction, physical demonstration and even tactical presentations. Simply brilliant and varied!
I paid just £10 for the 2 hours and if you were to break down the skills used by Andy during the seminar you would realise they add up into the thousands of pounds. He effortlessly went from breaking down techniques to going to the white board and explaining key tactics with such ease that I found myself understanding his points with ease and nodding my head.
I wont actually go into much detail on the content of the course, needless to say I found it highly enjoyable and I pushed myself in areas that found me asking questions about my own training. I was tired afterwards but not to the point of exhaustion, not injured and my mind was 'buzzing'. Thoughts and possibilities went through my mind at the speed of a bolt of lightening.
Now for those of you who missed this chance to train with Andy Norman make sure if it comes about again, you grab it with both hands! I also must say to you, go and try the Keysi Fighting Method. Even if you do it just once, you can decide for yourself if my hype is worth it. I love a lot of martial arts but my relationship with the Keysi Fighting Method is long from finished.
Many Thanks to Andy Norman for a great session, and once again Rob Locks academy is a venue that I highly rate. If you are local then I suggest you go and take a look! Keysi Fighting Method has yet again set my mind alive!