What is Unified Fighting Systems?

The easiest answer is that it is Andy Gibney’s version of Jeet Kune Do.

It includes Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do, Doce Pares Eskrima, Kali-Eskrima from a number of sources, grappling systems, Western Boxing and different kickboxing systems. As importantly it also involves philosophy and psychology. The key to UFS is that it is a self protection system. Competition is an add on; attribute development is an add on. If you can’t protect yourself what’s the point of doing martial arts? With that in mind, the early months of training are to teach you how to protect yourself. The later training is about getting good and achieving mastery.

So, a quick review would be:

Jeet Kune Do

Doce Pares Eskrima


Kickboxing – Muay Thai, Savate and Karate

Trapping – JKD, wing Chun and Panantukan

Grappling – elements of Shoot-fighting, Brazilian Ju-jitsu and Dumog

Philosophy – the thoughts of Bruce Lee and other blended belief systems

Psychology – pre-fight, post-fight, adrenal control, body language, language patterns, understanding your own physiology.

The first UFS class was held on 26th April 1987 at the USF Club in Meadow Lane, Kettering. In that time we have had many homes – at one time there were three branches in Kettering, Corby and Rushden. With the opening of AG’s Martial Arts Centre in September 1998 UFS had found it’s home.


Why is it called ‘Unified Fighting Systems’?

Like most things, finding a good name is one of the most difficult things to do. At the time that the club started Andy wasn’t authorised to teach JKD, but he wanted a name which conveyed what he was trying to teach. After much deliberation he came up with the name one morning whilst walking to work, just before the club’s inaugural session. He is now a recognised JKD instructor under Richard Bustillo.


What is taught at UFS?

The format follows the philosophy of the IMB Academy in Torrance, California i.e. arts that fit together, that can be sparred and work in a self-defence environment.

One of the tools that Andy uses, which is not in the regular JKD system, is a belt grading system. In the early days of teaching he found that he was losing students because there was a lack of structure to what he was teaching. When he went into teaching full-time he sat down and wrote out a syllabus that would lead students through basic self-defence, kickboxing, close quarter trapping, weaponry and grappling. The belt system goes through 8 grades: White, Yellow, Red, Orange, Green, Blue, Purple and Brown and 5 Black Belt grades up to 6th Grade.

The main arts promoted are as follows

Involves training methods and techniques from Western Boxing, Karate, Muay Thai, Savate and held together with the art of Jun Fan Kickboxing.
This takes ideas, concepts and techniques from Wing Chun (traditional and Jun Fan methods), Eskrima (Panantukan and empty hand application of weapons drills and techniques), Muay Thai, Boxing and Pentjak Silat.
Most of the system that we use comes from the Doce Pares system. However, there are also elements of the Bustillo/Inosanto methods, Serrada and Hawakan Kali (Tonfa methods).
Methods taking ideas and techniques from CombatSombo, Brazillian ju-jitsu, Pentjak Silat and Catch-As-Catch-Can wrestling.

What can UFS offer you?

At UFS we are interested in seeing that you learn to defend yourself in the short term. In the long term we hope that we can add to your general health, both in terms of physical and mental health. This will happen through strengthening of the body through exercise, improved flexibility and better co-ordination and technical skill. In turn this will lead to more self-confidence and will help to reduce stress, helping to improve your emotional well being.

Since it’s inception these are the seminars we have hosted:

JKD/Kali – Ralph Jones & Terry Barnett – 3 seminars between 1988 and 1989

JKD – IMB Academy – Richard Bustillo:

Andy has been Richard’s main UK representative since 1997 and has hosted his seminar every year since then. In addition Richard has been one of the main instructors at the UK IMB Conference in 2003, the Doce Pares Conference held in 1999 and the Jun Fan Jeet Kune do Conference in 2000.

Doce Pares (Eskrima-Eskrido-Pangamot) – Grandmaster Cacoy Canete

Andy has represented Grandmaster Cacoy Canete in the UK since 1998. GM Cacoy taught in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002. Andy also accompanied GM Cacoy to Berlin on two occasions and Poland once.


Doce Pares Eskrima – Danny Guba

Andy was Danny’s seminar partner from 1997 until 2002. During that time they developed a network of Doce Pares clubs around the country, many of whom still teach to this day. Danny taught at AG’s on many occasions from 1997 up until the IMB Conference of October 2003.

1st European Doce Pares Conference – GM Cacoy Canete, GM Richard Bustillo, Master Danny Guba
& Andy Gibney April 1999

Vale Tudo – Marco Ruas April 1999

CombatSombo – Ollie Batts 4 seminars between 1997 & 1998

JKD grappling – Dave Green November 1999

Street Self Defence – Geoff Thompson March 1994

Judo – Neil Adams MBE – February 2001.

JKD/Pentjak Silat/Eskrima – Dave Carnell & Andy Gibney: June 1999