World KFM expert brings masterclass from Hollywood to East Lancashire

KNEES UP Reporter Kate takes on Paul Strauther

KNEES UP Reporter Kate takes on Paul Strauther

First published in Hyndburn Blackburn Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A WORLD expert in street-style self-defence who trained Hollywood stars has shared his secrets at a masterclass in East Lancashire.

Andy Norman, co-founder of the Keysi Fighting Method (KFM), which is famed for being used in the hit Batman Dark Knight trilogy as well as Mission Impossible III, ran a two-hour workshop for keen fans.

Fresh from training Christian Bale in Batman and Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible, Andy said he was hoping to work closely with the newly opened Fight or Flight Martial Arts and Wellbeing Centre at the Primet Business Centre in Colne. The centre provides training for people in East Lancashire interested in KFM and keeping fit.

During the session he showed students how to perform self-defence as well as talking about the history of the sport.

KFM is based on the study and cultivation of natural instincts that was developed in Spain in the 1990s.

It uses several short close-range strikes that make use of the elbows and knees.

Roger Hines, owner of the centre and former bodyguard protecting stars including Cheryl Cole and Kylie Minogue, said: “It’s such a privilege that Andy, a world expert, wants to come to the centre to work with us.

“He is travelling around the world working with new KFM clubs to help develop the sport.

“I have met him a few times before and when I told his wife that I was going to set up a KFM centre she suggested that Andy ran a workshop for us.

“Because we are a centre for KFM not just a club Andy says that he is hoping to work quite closely with us.

Andy co-founded KFM with Justo Dieguez Serrano in the 90s but the sport was only brought into the public eye in 2005 after the release of Batman Begins. Since then the style has been used in a host of action films including Mission Impossible III and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.

Andy said: “When I was younger I got into this one fight against five guys and thought that nothing I had learnt was actually applicable to a real life situation.

“Christian Bale was amazing to train, he really got into it. We only had to tell him what to do once and he could do it straight away. Through KFM I have met some fantastic people.”

Lancashire Telegraph reporter Kate Jackson tried out some of the moves of Keysi Fighting Method

 

It has been at least 10 years since I last took part in any martial arts, and even though I got my green belt in karate I felt nervous being thrown into a workshop full of burly men, including a bodyguard and world expert.

Andy put us at ease taking us through a brief introduction about KFM and how we need to use our whole body as a weapon. And then we were straight into training.

He ran through basic techniques of how to get our partner into a headlock and then it was our turn to practice.

When done swiftly the techniques look extremely impressive but when broken down are surprisingly simple and effective.

Unlike other self defence methods KFM uses a lot of elbow moves to attack the opponent and even incorporates head butts and other quite vicious techniques. We were even show how to put an opponent into a ‘sleeper hold’.

The moves are all short and sharp and are based on what is meant to come to us naturally through our defence instinct.

The idea is that it is more applicable to the types of fights people get into modern society and from what I have seen it certainly looked more effective than karate and other forms of self defence.

KFM is not for the faint-hearted but it looks fantastic and is easy to pick up. 

After the two-hour session I came out feeling empowered and like I had actually learnt a lot.

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