Defence Lab vs Keysi vs Krav Maga For Self Defence?

Discussion in 'Self Defence' started by Talisker, Jun 28, 2021.

  1. Talisker

    Talisker New Member

    I was interested in starting self defence classes as the lockdown had ended, so like most people would do I googled "Best Self Defence martial art" expecting it to be a given that either Krav Maga or Sambo would win. But I was curious where Boxing, Jui Jitsu or Muay Thai would be on the list.

    I was surprised to see Krav Maga didn't win either of the lists I looked at and the winners were Defence Lab and Keysi on the two sites I looked at

    I had never heard of either. I cannot find a single topic on either on the forum too. On google searching it seems Keysi is a martial arts used in Christopher Nolans Batman films and DefenceLab is a martial art created by practitioners of JeetKuneDo

    Has anyone any experience with them for self defence? Which would be the better of the two. How do they compare to Krav Maga and Sambo for self defence?

    Does anyone know of any lessons for either in the North East of England if people think they are useful to learn?
  2. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Somebody running a clickbait website, would of written that article, defence lab and keysi are the same art, the founders of keysi fell out over franchise income, so the UK arm of keysi rebranded itself as defence lab. Both are routinely mocked as being cash grabs of the worst sort.

    Krav has had the same issues too, if you want SD neither are good options, learning a combat sport where you cover striking, clinching and groundwork is the bare minimum you need, add in some cardio and weight training, and the majority of your needs will be met.

    Sambo or Jujitsu is a great start for that.
    axelb likes this.
  3. axelb

    axelb Master of Office Chair Fu

    On the whole from what I've seen it those brands, they are krav maga style boxercise. Both brands, as @Dead_pool stated, come from the same source.

    Krav maga is one of those styles that has become inconsistent. Your best bet is to see what is available, and find out which of those you can visit in the current circumstances (going to be difficult given current restrictions).
  4. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    Although Krav was originally a mixed martial art made from wrestling and boxing, in my opinion, it has lost touch with its practical roots in many schools. I personally would go for specific practice in boxing and wrestling and or judo. boxing is very good for learning to avoid being hit and for learning what it is like to be hit in a safe controlled manner. The ground is a dangerous place in many non-consensual violent situations. In my opinion both judo and wrestling are better than Brazilian jujitsu for beginners self defence because they have an more even emphasis between standing fighting and ground fighting. In addition it is important to experience the practical differences for self defence between wrestling with and without grips on clothing.

    The north has a very good tradition of practical wrestling clubs. If i were there i would be training in one.
    Mitch and Talisker like this.
  5. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    My main issue with wrestling and judo for self defence is that they are so HARD. Doing something that hard undoubtedly leads to skills and toughness (although I'd argue that's because it weeds out the people who can't hack it) but can be very damaging to the body which is the opposite aim of doing something for self defence (there may be other reason that offset that though).
    I did Judo for a year or so in my 40's and gave it up because it felt like it wasn't so much "if" I got injured but "when".
    Stand up grappling with throws is the hardest facet of martial arts and prone to some of the worst injuries IMHO.

    When I think of "self defence" and "self protection" I think of things that average Joe's, Joanne's, OAP's or disabled people can implement in their lives. Not getting dragged round the mats for 2 hours.
    Mitch and aaradia like this.
  6. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    The best thing for self defence is to tackle self defence.
    Other activities and martial arts will take you partly on that journey but will still be circling the issue rather than getting right to it. Unfortunately there are many clubs saying they tackle self defence but only a small minority actually do the subject justice.
    Travess likes this.
  7. Talisker

    Talisker New Member

    Can I ask out of interest what martial art you replaced it with?

    I did Judo as a teenager and couldn't even do it back then, never mind now in my 40s. As forget throws causing injury, just the warm up was insane. We used to do forward shoulder rolls. Then after this a running full on in air somersault onto you back on the mat just as the warmup (not exaggerating too). I couldn't do that now. I would likely break my neck.
  8. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    They are hard, but in the context of which is better for self defense I agree with Tom they are better than BJJ.

    The vast majority of bjj clubs spend 90% of their time on the ground and in specific positions that are only really valid in the sporting context of bjj
    really valid in the sporting context of bjj.

    If someone was really worried about learning to defend themselves then they really have to do something that is hard and uncomfortable, which is full contact and to an extent dangerous, that is simply the reality of it.

    Plus you don't need to train 8 years in a competitive judo club to become good enough to use judo against a non trained attacker
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2021
  9. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Where in the north east?

  10. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    But the vast majority of SD clubs are either a cash grab, (see keysi etc), and full of wierd paranoid type characters, (see Lee Morrison).

    Getting physically fit and doing a sport with some crossover will help, a good SD club will be few a far between.
  11. Talisker

    Talisker New Member

    Ideally yes or North Tyneside (as in North Shields area)
    Dead_pool likes this.
  12. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award


    Peter Irving teaches In that area, I'd definitely give his classes a look, when everything is open again:


    Excellent articles:
    Peter Irving

    If your ever near South Shields Alex is tremendous too.


    That's everyone I know who is good in the area, but I don't know many people there, so there could very well be others.
    Talisker likes this.
  13. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    But I think you'll agree there is a whole load of stuff you need to think about, consider, accommodate and possibly implement before the physical side of self defence? Really important stuff? That a Judo or wrestling club won't even consider, let alone teach?
    If someone is really worried about self defence first thing I'd suggest is a "life-audit" to see if their worry is commensurate with the reality of their risk. And see what they are prepared to do to mitigate those risks.
    A middle aged person (well out of the high risk "night-time economy" phase of life) worried about an attacker jumping out of the bushes but still smoking 20 a day and is 2 stone overweight has got more pressing concerns than attack from strangers. They'd be better off doing a martial art for the physical activity and stopping the ciggies!
    While someone who works as a prison officer has a more legit reason to fear sudden attack and needs physical skills.

    I think often young men looking for "self defence" are really looking for "stuff I can do when I get into a fight on a night out". And those two aren't quite the same thing.
    Mitch likes this.
  14. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    A little context.

    the reason I recommended boxing and wrestling is because i assumed that the op was in there 20's ish. they are tough on the body but have a very steep initial learning curve. Traditional martial arts are ultimately just as effective but have a gentler learning curve. so if you what to defend against a boxer in 6 months time boxing / kickboxing is going to be of more immediate use than tie chi.

    it is true that martial / sport arts are not nessisarly the same as self defence. It also does not help that there is no widely agreed meaning of self defence.

    I teach what i call self defence as part and parcel of my traditional martial art from day 1, situational awareness, d-escalation, mental, emotional, physiological impact of non consensual confrontation etc etc. but there are many "self defence" classes that only teach physical application, and not very well at that.
    Talisker likes this.
  15. Talisker

    Talisker New Member

    I think that is true, but the important thing to note is. The people often interested in self defence for this reason often wont be the sort of person to ever start that fight.
    Dead_pool likes this.
  16. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Self defence for a twenty year old male, will be what can I learn, that if someone starts a fight with me whilst I'm out, will help me win that fight.

    It's not what 49 year olds with a bad back think of as self defense but it still counts.

    Of course not going to the kebab shop at 3am is the better answer, but sometimes it is 3am, and you really want a kebab.

    SD is much more then "just fighting", but it definitely includes the "just fighting" bit too.
    axelb likes this.
  17. axelb

    axelb Master of Office Chair Fu

    Haha I feel that is the reflection of half of MAP at the moment. Also partly why I'm doing BJJ instead of going back to Judo/wrestling

    This was a huge part of my journey. I spent a lot of time learning the hard way how to myself out of a fight, then realising I was spending too much time with the wrong people in the wrong places.

    I changed those people and places for going to a kungfu club, so as a tenuous link, that club was good for self defence :D
    Dead_pool likes this.
  18. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    How dare you.
    I'm only 48!
    Dead_pool likes this.
  19. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    If it helps I feel at least 59 most mornings!
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2021
  20. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Your completely right, I think having a decent past time, that includes meeting a wide range of people, and helps improve your heart health is pretty much ideal for the real "self defense," and if it's martial arts, then you get to pretend your daredevil/wonder woman/etc a few times a week whilst beating up newbies, and isn't that truly the real meaning of martial arts!
    axelb likes this.

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