Dr. Brady Chin has been involved with sports, fitness and martial arts for over 30 years.
*** Disclaimer*** Dr. Chin would like to clarify that Keysi Fighting Method (KFM) no longer exists as such. It was a copyrighted and trademarked name. The founder, Justo Dieguez and co-founder, Andy Norman, parted company last summer resulting in the formation of Keysi World, headed by Mr. Dieguez, and Defence Lab headed by Andy Norman. He had been teaching the KFM method for two years when the split occurred and has decided not to follow either company.
Brady, thank you for informing us about the disclaimer before we started. We appreciate your willingness to answer questions about what KFM was even though you have taken another path.
Brandon: What are some of the major differences between Keysi Fighting Method and other martial arts?
Brady: One of the core principles, and the one that inspired the “hands-on-head” fighting stance, is the likelihood of multiple attackers. That position, called “the pensador” or “thinking man”, is there to protect the most probable target, the head, from unseen attackers. The pensador is the ubiquitous posture of KFM and all movements start and finish in the pensador.
The training of KFM progresses as most other martial arts in terms of practicing a technique and then increasing the speed. The key training element that is different from all other martial arts I have trained in, is the multiple attacker scenario, called the “predator drill”. In it, the student is attacked by two or three opponents simultaneously. This results in a sparring session that looks and feels like a full-on street fight. KFM fighters become very accustomed to multiple attackers because of the predator drill. As a result, the fear that usually immobilizes most people when surrounded is replaced by confidence.
Brandon: What does it take to become a master at KFM?
Brady: I suppose it depends on what is meant by mastery. I doubt that anyone can truly master KFM any more than any other honest martial art simply because the practitioner needs to continually grow and evolve,. It would be fairer to ask “what does it take to master oneself?”
In terms of ranking, there are (or were) 7 colored grades, similar to the belt system. The ranks are white, yellow, orange, green, blue, brown and black. The first three American black grades were awarded during the KFM World Conference in Benidorm, Spain in October, 2011. Since then, there have been new black grades awarded by the post-KFM organizations.
Brandon: We read this system was developed on the streets of Spain? Why is this so significant? How much actual real life experience was encountered?
Brady: The short answer is that Justo Dieguez was born in Spain and it was developed based on his experience with violent encounters while growing up. This would establish it as a unique martial art without any precedent, a highly unlikely premise. My opinion is that there is no way that such a complex and evolved fighting system could have emerged fully complete on its own. Mr. Dieguez had extensive military training and was a certified Jeet Kune Do instructor and probably trained in other martial arts as well. Certainly he had gained methodological experience at some point in his training to create a curriculum based on his experience as a youth and it spawned what we see today. I do believe that he had many violent encounters and learned what worked and what didn’t through trial and error.
Brandon: KMA has been featured in a few movies like Batman and Jack Reacher. Are there other movies in the works with your fighting style?
Brady: I am not aware of any at this time.
Brandon: We also read you have experience in Southern Praying Mantis. What's the difference between Southern and Northern style?
Brandon: What is "White Eyebrow?" Why is this martial arts style beneficial? What make it unique?
Brady: White Eyebrow, or Bak Mei Kung Fu is similar to Southern Praying Mantis in that they both originate from the Hakka peoples of southern China. The Hakka, while racially Chinese, are a cultural minority in China and evolved a distinct culture. Like most minorities throughout history, the Hakka kept to themselves and were subject to bigotry by the Han Chinese so they developed their fighting arts to protect themselves from physical violence.
The Hakka systems all share a similar morphology: a high stance, close-drawn elbows and a rounded spine or the “turtle” back. Their postures are very stable and most of the attacks are short-range. These characteristics are especially useful for the shorter people of southern China.
Brandon: In addition, can you tell us a little about being an acupuncturist? From what we see on TV, how much is make-believe and how much is real science? Can you give some examples?
Brady: It’s unfortunate that acupuncture and the practice of Chinese medicine is portrayed as make-believe. Sadly, the media tends to notice only the bizarre or prurient aspects of my profession. Chinese medicine has a clinical history that pre-dates Chinese history. It is one of the oldest forms of medicine still in practice today (along with Ayurvedic) and the only one that is licensed in most of the United States.
In the teaching clinic where I work, we treat roughly 1000 patients per month. Other teaching clinics in Los Angeles see equally large numbers because of the medicine’s reputation for safety and efficacy. Simply put, if it didn’t work, people wouldn’t use it.
We see patients with a wide range of disorders ranging from infertility to back pain. We often address psycho-emotional disorders such as addiction, depression and trauma. People are drawn to Chinese medicine because we look at the entire person and their lifestyle when giving our evaluation. It gives us a more complete picture of the patient and their problems than any M.D. and the patients feel that they receive a higher level of care because of our holistic perspective.
Brandon: Is there anything else you would like to tell our readers?
Brady: I like to keep a few aphorisms on hand to keep an even keel. Too many people drift through life without a moral compass and end up making mistakes they later regret. So here goes:
- Keep an open mind in all areas of your life.
- Question yourself and your beliefs as much as you question the ideas and actions of others.
- Believe in yourself, but be careful not to let confidence turn into arrogance.
- Be polite and respectful to others, and, most of the time, it will be returned to you.