Bourne Fighting Art/s:

There is so much controversy surrounding this subject, but it’s about to be put to rest. Ladies & gentlemen, Bourne’s fighting arts are a
combination of: Kali & Jeet Kune Do Concepts. This has been stated officially by the lead fight sequence choreographer “Jeff Imada” who worked on the fight scenes in the Bourne Supremacy & Ultimatum (Identity had another). Both arts are extremely dangerous and effective in the street.

I’ve been studying both of these arts for the past 4 years and will share with you EXACTLY what they are and how they work as well as how you too can learn them if you wish. Believe me when I say these arts are incredible and you really can perform many of the things Bourne did and even more if you know what to do. 

Breaking Down The Arts:

1. Kali:

Kali was the PRIMARY art used in the Bourne movies. This is an art which originated in the Philippines. It is weapons based and is made up of many sub arts. There are many islands in the Philippines and for each, a style of kali exists within them. This is because there are different tribes of people who take the art and add their own flavor to it. 

Though there are 100s, some of the most popular are: Arnis, Silat, Eskrima, Sayok (Used in The Hunted with Tommy Lee Jones & Benicio Del Toro), Lacoste, Lacoste Inosanto. Though this answer varies on who you ask.

Which kali art/s were used in the Bourne movies?

The Lacoste Inosanto style. This method blends together 26 different styles of kali into one. It was developed by Sifu Lacoste & Dan Inosanto, best friend and protege of the late Bruce Lee himself. 

Very few places teach this art. I was lucky enough to find one in my area (New York City) called Andersons Martial Arts. The only other places that teach that are the Inosano Academy which are spread across the U.S, but most notably California. 

How it works:

The art is weapons based. You can use ANYTHING as a weapon here: Keys, sticks, knives, umbrella, bottles, magazines, pens, and ANYTHING
you can pick up and wield. 

  • Remember how Bourne used a pen to fight off an assassin in Identity?
  • Or how about how he used a magazine to fight a knife wielding enemy in Surpremacy?
  • And finally remember how he used a book, then a towel in the Bourne Ultimatum to kill Desh the assassin?

Well all of that is kali in action. And whats so great about it is it’s all realistic and practical. How safe would you feel being able to wield any prop in you as a weapon if you needed to protect yourself? Pretty damn safe if you ask me. 

Empty hand Kali: 

A lot of scenes in the Bourne trilogy involved empty hand combat and it was in those scenes that Bourne used the empty hand style of Kali which is called “Panantukan” which is designed to destroy your opponent using some VERY dirty tactics as well as how to stop people with weapons attacking you.

Panantukan borrows a lot of it’s fundamentals from boxing. But instead of having regular jabs, cross and hooks, Panantukan add a dirty flavor the mix. It uses techniques such as nerve destruction and breaking weak parts of a persons body as well as employing elbows knees, headbutts and wrenches (arm bars). 

How Kali is taught:

Depending on where you learn from, Kali is taught in a different order. I will use my school’s as the example here. I am taught Kali through 2 2 classes: Panantukan & Weapons. Both classes employ the Lacoste Inosanto style.

In my boxing class, 60% of the curriculum is basic western boxing, while other times we are taught the dirty elements (Panantukan). It is imperative to learn basic boxing before getting into Panantukan because it sets the fundamental tones: Stand up, basic defense & offense and through that you can move into the dirty elements.

In our weapons class we learn 2 primary weapons: The stick & knife. It is from these weapons that all others (pen, magazine, ect…) are automatically learned. The reason being is that in Kali, you learn angles of attack and then certain sets of exercises where you perform “Dance” type routines with your weapons and/or partner. These moves can then be used with ANY prop you pick up.

You can do things like knife/stick drills with a friend which involve basic attacks into counters and then more counters. As you get better and better, the drill gets faster and faster. This is where you stop thinking and muscle memory begins to take over.

These exercises make your reflexes SKYROCKET. I’m not even kidding people. It’s absolutely insane how quickly Kali can accelerate your reaction time and precision as well.

If you remember in the movies, whatever Bourne did, he did it FAST. There’s exactly how Kali works. By the time your opponent tries something, you can end up hitting them 5 times. That’s how fast it is.

Want to learn Kali? Click here for a free weekly tutorial you can learn at home!


2. Jeet Kune Do:

JKD is not really a fighting art, but a philosophy of fighting which in essence comes down to every person having his/her own style of fighting
and flow. This art was created by Bruce Lee himself which he passed onto very few trusted followers, one of which was Dan Inosanto (Lacoste Insanto creator).

Originally JKD employed the following arts: Boxing, kickboxing, wing chun & judo into it’s curriculum. But it was never meant to end there and when Bruce Lee died, the art further enhanced and other things were added into it, including Kali.

Though you don’t see it often in the Bourne movies, there are basic kicks, punches and throws. Some of it is not Kali, but just basic things which when COMBINED with Kali can make you very dangerous.

How JKD is taught:

My school teaches JKD through 5 arts: Boxing (Panantukan), Kali, Kickboxing, Wing Chun & Grappling. The goal of JKD is to have a figher who can handle any situation whether it be on the ground, against a weapons attack, against mulitple attackers, ect… and that is why when learning JKD, a true master will teach you multiple arts to create a COMPLETE fighter.

It is only AFTER you learn the arts which are in the JKD curriculum that you can begin to create your own flow and moves from it. JKD is in the end an individual art which at the beginning teaches you what works, then you pick what works FOR YOU and develop it further. A lot of people misunderstand JKD and think it’s just a combination of arts. It isn’t. It’s a hell of a lot more than that.

Get a weekly tutorial & learn to fight like Bourne for free!

Putting them together: 

In the end in order to fight like Bourne, you need to understand that it’s a combination of arts, not just 1. There are MANY situations one can find themselves in where a certain art will not help them. Kali provides A LOT of versatility because it teaches you weapons and dirty fighting. It can prove very effective in the street. JKD is also an art which helps you become a complete fighter. 

Can you fight like Bourne? It’s very possible, but remember choreography and real life are 2 different things. However what you saw in the Bourne movies was a refection of what is possible (and perhaps even more) of what Kali & JKD can be in the hands of a skilled individual.

Different situations require different arts to deal with. But if such a situation should happen, always remember, not fighting and even running is your best bet. Forget your pride and forget your ego. Your life is more important. 

Do you have any questions/comments? Feel free to post them below and I will be more than happy to respond within 24 hours (usually faster).




29 thoughts on “Bourne Fighting Art/s:

  1. mark' anthony par-wise

    i would like to have tutorials for the kali section, i read your article about kali and went on the bottom to click to learn but it wasnt there so thats whhy im sending you this

    1. Vitaliy

      Hey Mark, I checked the newsletter and you are indeed signed up. Not sure what’s up but I’ll manually send you the first newsletter. Let me know if you have any more issues 🙂

  2. Bob

    Vitaliy, I am very interested in what you teach and would like to learn, for a number of reasons. One being,self confidence and so I do not have to. This is important to me and I could use your help.

    1. Vitaliy

      Bob, you need to find a school in your area if possible. At the very least sign up to the newsletter as it will help give you the right information on doing this as well as lessons to get started on your own.

  3. Bob

    Say I join a school, how long does it take before someone becomes good enough to use and not get the worst end of a

    1. Vitaliy

      That depends on several factors:

      How you train: Everyone is different. Some learn quickly. Some take longer than others.

      The school you train at: This also is a major factor. Not every school is good or has good trainers.

      What I recommend (if you haven’t already done so) is to sign up for the newsletter and get the street fighting tips booklet. It will give you tools you can learn within a minute and use if it ever becomes necessary.

  4. Bob

    You have sold me! I am the kind of person who needs to attend a class to get going. you have my email address I want to get in touch and discuss the options.This is important tome for slot of reasons,and I am serious,by the way I’m the same Bob you have sending instructions lets get our heads together and get this started.

  5. Bob Reed

    I am very serious about the schools you have and attending them.I am 58 and live in Twin falls. My occupation has been a contractor over seas for the Military. I can take the time to learn this at your school and I am Interested in Panantukan. I am willing to take the time to learn this. To learn this, I am willing to go the full length to do so 22 classes or what ever. I am the type that has to devote 100% effort and concentrate one thing, call it simple minded if you like I can afford to do this,but I your help. Please email me and get a something going or tell were I can. thanks Bob Reed

  6. Ed

    I LOVE the Bourne films (first 3) and I love martial arts. When I was younger I studied Wah Lum Kung-Fu. After seeing the Bourne films and taken (another great film) I decided to rekindle my interest in self defence realising how enjoyable and useful it can be to know how to handle a situation. I tried Krav Maga but realised it wasn’t the best club it seemed to come over as a quick fix. They taught little power generation techniques or stance work (fundamentals). I went in the end for goju Ryu karate. The original and possibly most brutal karate form. Now 9 months in I’m loving it, in the end many of the same principles from martial arts overlap. If you are inspired by e.g., Jason Bourne great go find a great martial arts club near you. Doesn’t need to be kali. Important thing is: it is not sport fighting – sport fighting isn’t great for self defence/real world; the instructors are good and you are able to attend at least 1-2 times a week.

    If that it your local Kali club fantastic, if it’s your local karate or judo club also fantastic.

    Big love,

    1. Vitaliy

      Good point Ed! I always make it clear that even if there is no Kali school in your area, it’s better to take SOMETHING than nothing. Boxing or MMA schools will do just fine for starters and you can always improve upon it as time goes on.

  7. Matt

    You’re doing such a great Job! I’m studying your newsletters right here in Germany for some time now. – Unfortunately there ain’t no JCD or FMA school around. Still I can improve my skills! Thinking of joining a boxing/kickboxing/mma school.. Keep up the good work!

    1. Vitaliy

      I appreciate the feedback Matt! It’s always great to hear how the newsletters are helping out 🙂 I will certainly continue to provide the best possible information! I’m glad you’re looking for a school to train in. It will greatly help supplement your training and path to becoming a great martial artist!

      1. Stephanie Evans

        Hello @Vitaliy, I don’t know why I am unable to subscribe to your newsletter. I have entered my email correctly but did not receive any email. 🙁

        1. Vitaliy

          I’ve manually added you Stephanie. If there’s any more issues, let me know right here. Sorry for the delayed response.

  8. ali

    Hello my name is Ali from Algeria , I’m Thai kick boxer I recently discovered Jkd And how people Jkd studying different arts including Muay Thai through my friend in Facebook I’ve sparked my interest and I wanted to discover this art that I have not heard of them before as well as kali But unfortunately I can not find these arts teachers where I live ,”oh God” I am very disappointed, I did a lot of research on Jkd in the Internet , There are a lot of different interpretations about Jkd, I was hit by confusion , And I felt missing in understand the fact Jkd, Since I can not find a good Jkd coach , I wanted to write this letter to you So give me some important instructions concerning the methodology and training plan, I am a Muay Thai practitioner, Can I use Muay Thai as a base for starting to learn the other effective arts to achieve the goal of Jkd From where to be good in all ranges of fighting? What the arts that you recommend to blend Based on the my base in Muay Thai? My goal is to be well-rounded in all ranges of fighting for self-defense in all cases. and Finally, I want you some guidance with respect to Strength and conditioning training. My respect for you Thank you

    1. Vitaliy

      Muay thai has A LOT of similarities to kali with elbow attacks, knee strikes and can be used very effectively in the street. As for which arts you should learn to be complete, honestly arts like boxing, kali, BJJ are all components I feel a complete fighter needs to have. Having muay thai on your side is already a strong start.

  9. Cogan

    Hello Vitaliy, I have enjoyed your site and weekly messages very much. I’ve just been looking around into different martial arts, and I am wondering what you opinion was of Krav Maga?

  10. Vincent Farris

    I am 60 year old Firefighter that would like to get and stay fit. I have always been interested in some form of arts. But never settled on the one till know. I am in the Chicago area.

    1. Vitaliy

      It’s great that you’re looking to get into the arts Vincent! I know a few people who are in their 60’s or older who are in better shape than many 20 and 30 year olds because they practice martial arts! I would recommend checking out a boxing gym and seeing how you do their. If you work on flexbility, you can try to find a muay thai or MMA school. Obviously if a kali school is in your area, I would also recommend that because of it’s street fighting practicality.

  11. Ali

    Hi Vitaliy,

    Is Pencak Silat good to learn? There is a school near where I live (Netherlands) that teaches this martial art.

    1. Vitaliy

      I like a lot of it’s techniques and it can work. You can watch an episode on YouTube called Fight quest. They do an episode on exactly that art. It’ll give you some insight.

  12. Scott

    Very informative and inspiring thankyou for taking the time to explain

  13. Robby

    I just want to be sure, the lessons are still updated right

    1. Vitaliy

      Yes, anytime you get a lesson with a video that is not updated or isn’t showing, email me and I’ll send you an updated link.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *