November 10

KFM- Continues without Andy Norman


Its amazing that having only published my article on KFM and the departure of Andy Norman a few hours ago, that I have had not 1 but 2 emails from KFM instructors across the globe. Yes and I  do mean different continents not just countries!

They wanted me to clear a few things up (as best as they can).

So the story seems to be that although Andy Norman has left KFM, it is still a business and there are a team of UK instructors out there still teaching. There is a new keysi website at however this is just a front page with photos of Justo at the moment but you can see that it will be similar to the other site they used to use.

So what caused the split, I still don’t know. How will Keysi as a business develop? I have no idea. However what is clear is that Keysi in the UK will continue. How it will change and develop still remains uncertain and who is in camp Andy and who is in camp Justo still has yet to fully emerge.

It is an interesting situation of which I wish both Justo, Andy and their systems Keysi and Defence Lab all the best.





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  1. in truth im not surprised by the split, In ireland KFM has little or no credibility its just looked at as a money making martial arts living off the back of the batman movies.In the alex reid tv show Justo was asked what was his back ground in martial arts his answer was (life). In JKD we give respect to the the source of the concept/teacher we learned from. and by giving this reply justo is saying that hes invented this martial and that before him there was nothing. Thats like dunlop saying it invented the My opinion KFM does not respect or reconation to the arts that developed into KFM or to the instructors who guided them on that path

    1. Thanks Joe for the comment. Although I have to disagree with it. My understanding is that Justo has a rich history in a lot of arts however what really inspired him to create Keysi was his own experiences in fighting. JKD is a totally different story and whilst there are aspects of JKD that I think are great few JKD systems really stick to the original Bruce Lee methods of training and they have gone on their ‘own’ paths. There is nothing wrong with this at all but we receive influences from all aspects of life and the arts when designing training programmes or systems. I think it is a little harsh to expect a person to pay tribute to all their previous teachers.

      My main background is in boxing where this is not even a consideration. We just accept that a coach is a coach and whilst we may talk about how good a previous coach is, it is not the be all and end all.

      No matter what we think about JKD, Bruce, Justo and Andy they got off their butts and created new systems for other people to love and enjoy and if there was not one particular person they feel deserves to be acknowledged then that’s their choice. I guess it comes down to if other people really deserved to be acknowledged? I mean, how much help did Andy Norman and Justo receive when they started setting up the Keysi method?

      My personal belief just comes down to the methods I use in every day life. If a person deserves to be given some credit I will give it to them. I wont just do it based on some ‘martial arts code’. So I guess it comes down to the question “Did people help Justo and Andy Norman on the way up and they weren’t acknowledged? ” or is it the case that they did it all on their own and THEY deserve ALL the credit

      If you know the answer then please feel free to share your views and comments on here.

      once again thanks for the comment. Its an interesting one which will surely get the Keysi People on here to give some feedback



      1. Joe, KFM has a right good mix of various styles of MAs as you may be aware, so, giving credit to various instructors / styles is going to be rather tricky…

        For example:
        Ju-jutsu stuff for fending off some one trying to mount you on the floor (I asked my instructor a what if question and got shown how to do it ju-jutsu style);

        Another Example from last nights class is:
        Probably elements of some aikido with the way I was shown how to grab flesh on attackers forearm and pull them down and towards me, headlock them around temple level (pressing with knuckle or my inner-forearm if it didn’t go right for knuckle), knee (thai/kick-boxing) them and then use elbow from pensador to throw them away and move onto next attacker.

        Nevertheless, I recall watching various footage online and that either Justo or Andy or someone close to them from picking them for Batman Begins saying that KFM uses the best of different ways of fighting and combines them together (over the last 20 years) in a way rounded-off efficiently by KFM – therefore, they haven’t really been dismissive of the influence of various other MA styles – they deserves full credit of how they evolved and mixed things up to make MMA for real life fighting / self-defence…

        They just need some world class marketing guru to help them launch their brands of KFM really well and without any further delays to be honest.

  2. I was going to make a more substantial reply, however I think both Jen and Anoop have expressed exactly how I feel about KFM and Defence Labs.

    Being based in the UK I (along with some of my peers) felt little to no support from anyone other than Andy Norman and I think that says a lot.

    Furthermore, I personally felt that there were systemic issues with how KFM– as it was back then –was being taught, issues which thankfully are being addressed in Defence Labs.

    1. Thanks for the comment Tu. It difficult to tell what Defence Lab is all about. Aside form the recent MAI article there isnt much out there, couldn’t you provide any details for our readers about the differences between defence lab and old style keysi?



      1. Hi Andrew,

        I completely agree, it is quite hard right now for those who do not practice it to appreciate what its all about. The website isn’t properly live yet and I’ve not seen any press releases which leaves me to suspect that that is something Andy and the team are still working on.

        As such, I’m quite mindful as to not make statements on their behalf just in case I get it wrong or ruin any parts of their release plans. I will however, make a short list of the areas I PERSONALLY feel have improved compared to the former KFM system. (Note that I have not experienced Gustos new Keysi incarnation and things may have well changed for them too.)

        Areas that I feel have improved by Defence Labs are:

        1. Less emphasis on getting the techniques perfect the first time around and more focus on developing your fight instinct. Theres really no wrong way of doing something in the “drills” providing your focus is on learning the technique at hand and make it through alive.

        2. More drills – finally! KFM often shied away from drills and strike-based pad work which I personally felt left it exposed to certain weaknesses as a method. Thankfully Andy and the team have listened and apparently feel the same. Learning to hit back properly is now a large part of the exercises.

        3. More intense exercises – As a result, the classes can be a lot more intense now and you leave at the end feeling like you’ve had a good physical workout, learnt something new and got to hit some pads. While these experiences were available in KFM, they were not consistent in their delivery and at the end of the day, it is important that paying members know what they are getting and get what they want.

        4. Better class/course structure & support – There has been a lot of talk from the Defence Lab instructors regarding how much better the support is that they are receiving. While this is certainly something that affects them as instructors more; we the members are also already starting to reap the rewards. By this I specifically mean:

        The classes themselves are structured better and students get a more consistent experience.

        Information and transmission is greatly simplified, so less “brain farts” and no more leaving the sessions with that feeling of frustration, then forgetting what you just tried to learn.

        Instructors seem to have a better sense of direction and purpose and this reflects in the class experience. Special kudos to Andy Norman for this as I know it is something he is passionate about.

        Hope that helps!


        1. “…no more leaving the sessions with that feeling of frustration, then forgetting what you just tried to learn…”

          Tu, you hit the nail right on the head with the above – stuff I had learnt in a few classes Oct/Nov last year I more or less forgot very quickly after not training for a bit except for the pensador.

          I’ve resumed KFM training now but its only once a week which, is frustrating but even our trainer / instructor, Sam M. at BeatBox Gym in Woking, said to us last night he should (hopefully) have some more info for us on Def Leb next week – so that goes to show in my opinion that, Andy and the Def Lab team are still tieing up many last min things before apparently the main launch in Feb.

  3. Having done a few KFM classes here in the UK at the BeatBox Gym in Woking towards the end of 2012 and returning there for more ‘traditional’ KFM tomorrow, I’d like to add:

    1. “One too many cooks spoil the broth” – if you’re familiar with that saying then basically, Andy and Justo going there own ways was simply a matter of time;

    Why do I say the above? Its all over the web how for some considerable time Justo comes across very passionately about breaking KFM into the USA market – after all why not when considering the USA probably has the most market-driven environment for any type of MA / SD inc MMA in the western world.

    2. Andy reportedly has the Hollywood connection(s) / networking etc., to a very high level and also the backing of some action director for his newly evolved version of KFM i.e. Defence Lab – if so then this can only be a good thing 2nd time round.

    3. The overall marketing of KFM in-and-around Greater London (the capital) and North Surrey in the UK was totally pants to be honest! How on earth the old partnership of Justo and Andy did NOT make a massive impact on Greater London – they / God only knows – in the words of my kid brother, ‘Epic Fail’;

    Also, it turns out that I have been driving past what was a KFM permanent venue everyday without realising it was a place dedicated to teaching KFM – how on earth so? Because the branding of the signs etc were so bland and not noticeable (gray font on black background – seriously?!) on the A308 in Sunbury – its a mega busy main road with loads of traffic so you’d think it’d get noticed etc – NO – only after it closed down did I notice (the closed down white A4 notice on the front door from my car) it unfortunately, otherwise, I would have signed up there ages ago!

    To sum up, it feels that Justo was heavily focused on USA and for good reasons too but that commercially other countries and in-particular the UK was basically neglected very badly in a way that has basically made the whole KFM movement in the UK, simply a very tiny thing – I don’t want to cause any offence, I’m just being honest, seriously, I love what KFM teaches, however, as a commercial venture it simply didn’t work very well with the masses here in the UK – online searches show a very minor quantity of FT instructors, compare that with other MA’s and or SD’s and KFM failed to achieve its potential commercially here in the UK.

    Hopefully, Andy and Justo have much better luck in making the 2 new brands of KFM a hell of a lot more successful around the globe than last time round, and most importantly without neglecting any countries to avoid the ‘epic fail’ and other bad vibes from full-time KFM clubs / instructors being neglected in the UK.

    Happy New Year to you all otherwise.

    1. Hi and wow thanks for a such a detailed and honest reply.

      You raise some great points of view here. In relation to Paul Jennings the action director, he was always part of KFM since the Batman Begins film, so yes he can help get Defence Lab out there and in films. When you actually break it down though this is really a ‘tired’ trick. I think what made this system special was the fact it was so ‘street ready’. KFM was really a great product and whilst the Batman, Mission Impossible and other films should have been a vehicle to launching it for further growth. It never really accelerated enough.

      When pricing up course and systems some go too cheap others too expensive and it is a very fine line, but you are spot on.I do feel that their growth and marketing was very slow in the UK, probably due to a focus on the lucrative USA market. Has their marketing changed? Not really, yes the core logos etc are done however their websites are still not ready/finished with Defence Lab not even up yet.This has meant a slow launch unless you ring a phone number for more info.

      We shall see what the future holds for both.



      1. Hi Andy, thanks for the reply.

        I just wish the new KFM brands weren’t relying on a very vague landing / cover page right now, and that the new prices for the new launch of Defence Lab was available to those of us that are serious about learning KFM fully and properly.

        Has anyone tried emailing [email protected] and had a decent reply with detailed info on what, where, when and how much etc?

        After all the past and current issues I’m so put off from even bothering to email them because even now it seems lessons may not have been learnt from the past, perhaps…?

        Plus, why on earth have they ONLY done what is basically ONE press release via Martial Arts Illustrated (I don’t want to waste time buying a magazine in this day and age of the internet!) and NOT flooded the internet with PRs like every other new brand that launches?!

  4. I would like to respond to two things. There has never been an option to do the old KFM program and Defence lab both unless this is something Andy is now doing on his side of things. That said it will take time for those running schools to switch over to one or the other and make all the needed changes, but to continue teaching KFM for as long as you want under the old program is not an option. KFM Instructors had to make a choice so I dont know how that came to be or how it would even work since the program has evolved and changed on both sides. Who is overseeing and authorizing the original KFM format as it was taught before the split?

    Also in reply to Jen, our experience has been nothing like yours. My school stayed with Justo and we have been treated great. We have recieved everything we needed unlike in the past when everything was handled by other people. Myself and other Keysi instructors spent a week recently training with him at the U.S. training conference and my students also trained with him for a full weekend. He came here himself to oversee everything and will continue to do so. Nothing but proffesional all the way.

    I personally feel the movie angle is getting old. We have all seen the youtube videos of both Justo and Andy working on films together. We all know that every movie has been marketed as the Keysi Fighting Method EVEN Jack Reacher was up until the split.( see Martial Arts Illustrated U.K. magazine, interview with Andy) The Dark Knight Rises special features disc explains they continued using Keysi for TDKR as they did in the first two films and so on. Its great KFM has been in so many movies and thats fun and all. However movies will not gain the respect of the martial arts world only a solid fighting method that proves itself will. So lets stop bickering over who taught Tom Cruise and focus on the real world of self defense. I hope everyone does well no matter what side instructors or students may have chosen but lets keep all the facts fair and accurate.
    with respect, KFM Winchester USA

  5. I am one of the few instructors in Australia. We have chosen to go through the defence lab as Andy Norman is the only one who has shown a commitment to us and sent a top team instructor for our instructor development training. Keysi, has shown no interest in ensuring we get any new material or training, this is necessary to keep the edge over other styles.
    What many people seem to forget is that over the last few years Andy, Ruben and grek put in the majority of the work into developing the new programs , Hollywood films etc. it was Andy who did the training with Tom cruise for jack reacher! I don’t think changing to the defence lab means unlearning kfm as its always evolving to adapt, and the kfm was always about a personal development and how techniques just helped to build our natural instincts for survival on the street. I feel the defence labs new material is amazing, and is being designed by 3 of the best from the old kfm corporation.

    1. Hi Jen,

      Do you know if there is a training instructor in Perth, Australia?



  6. Its a shame about the spilt having studied Keysi for 5 years and invested a lot of time in an amaizing system, hopefully our Academy in Lincoln (S2C8) will continue to teach the traditional system as well as new programs. Good luck to Andy and Justo on their new paths.

    1. It is a shame, in so many ways. Im not sure if and how people are teaching the new systems. I think we are all waiting to see and here about that one. There are a lot of kfm people who use this site and have commented below, Im sure they can hook you up with more information.

      thanks for the comment


  7. I’m a keysi fighting method instructer based in the u.k in Retford and Sheffield. At the moment i am still teaching, and will continue to teach K.F.M which after training for 14 years in various style’s is a fresh and an amazing system. I have spoken to Master Norman only the other day and will be starting on the new path with him at Defence Labs which i know will be an amazing and an indepth look into street fighting and the pack mentality that we often end up dealing with. But i will continue to teach keysi fighting method as well…. I don’t think i’ll be the only instructor doing this ?

    1. Hi, that an interesting comment. So you will be teaching the old KFM system? Even though Justo is creating a new version? I havent heard anyone else state this, Im wondering if the other Keysi UK guys and girls would like to comment.

      Thanks for taking the time to add this new information.

  8. Logan, You are in the sterling Va. area correct? There is a KFM school in Gaithersburg Md. and my school in Winchester Va. Both close to you . You are welcome anytime to visit our school and train with us to see the quality. Also justo will be at the Maryland school for a U.S. Instructors only conference followed by a 3day seminar for the public in 2 weeks. Contact Cima studios in Md if you are interested.

    1. Yes I know where you guys are, I have seen your facebook page. Thanks for the invite. Might get to drop in next year, I’m out of the US for a couple of months for some contract work. Are you guys all that’s left in the US that’s teaching?

      1. We are the closest so feel free to drop in anytime or contact us when your back in the states and we can set up some training if you want. Be safe in your travels and have a happy holiday.
        Keysi Winchester

  9. The KFM instructors around the world who did not go with Andy still continues to train under Justo and as long as we do it hasn’t changed for us. You are aware that there were kfm schools all over the world with qualified instructors who have been teaching and running schools for years right ? We will continue to go and train under the Keysi founder Justo Diequez and run our schools just as Andy and defense labs will run there program.

  10. It was my understanding that the majority of the top team guys went with Andy.. So it is a little Surprising to hear that there are people left that can teach.

  11. Again there are Keysi schools worldwide not just in the U.K. There are still schools in the U.S. and worldwide. Please express this with your readers as it may make people believe they can no longer train KFM or find a school outside of the U.K.
    Thanks again,
    KFM Winchester Studio ( U.S.A.)

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