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Why Karate DOESN’T WORK — Jesse Enkamp

Why Karate DOESN’T WORK — Jesse Enkamp


– If you think Karate doesn’t work, then you’re right. But you’re also wrong. Because not all Karate is created equal. See, there are three main
different kinds of Karate, and I’m not talking about Karate styles. I’m talking about specific types of Karate developed through the
history of its evolution. And if you try to compare
them to each other, you’re gonna find out
that Karate doesn’t work. But if you understand the
difference between them, Karate always works. And in this video I’m gonna
explain exactly what I mean. Keep watching. Let’s take it from the beginning. Oh, and by the way, if you’re new here, my name’s Jesse from karatebyjesse.com, a.k.a “The Karate Nerd”. And the first thing you need to know is that when Karate was developed, the whole purpose behind
it was self-defense, to defend yourself against other civilians trying to attack you.
Not on the battlefield, not against Samurai
warriors, and not in a cage. But “mano a mano” on the
street, at your home, or wherever violence
happens in society, okay? And of course, this whole development of original Karate
happened on a tiny island south of Japan called Okinawa. And if you’ve watched a
lot of my previous videos, you know I’ve been to Okinawa many times, I even used to live and study there. Meaning, the first kind of Karate that you need to know about is original, traditional
self-defense based Karate, where there are no real rules, you can elbow somebody in the face, you can knee them in the groin, you can bite their face. And these moves can
still be found in Karate if you look back in time and try to uncover the layers of kata. These traditional movement
patterns that we do that actually consist completely of these types of practical
self-defense techniques. And when you apply those moves, we call it “bunkai” in Japanese. Of course, in today’s day and age, many people just practice kata as a physical form of exercise, and that’s fine. But if you look beneath the surface, you actually find these practical and functional self-defense techniques that original Karate consisted of. Moving on, what happened if you look at the history of Karate? Well, it was modernized. Which means that the next kind
of Karate is modern Karate, which is based on the type of Karate that developed on mainland Japan, and not the island of Okinawa. Because at this point in time, there was not a real
need for self-protection. But, more about self-perfection. Karate started to be used as a vehicle for character development and to cultivate the mind and nurture the
spirit and condition the body, rather than actually learning
how to defend against somebody in a real life fight. Meaning, Karate became more
of a proper “martial art” where you look at the holistic picture, instead of just learning
brutal self-defense techniques. As part of this process, the Japanese Martial Arts Society actually had these rules that
Karate had to conform to. So, we started adopting the Karate gi. We started using the belt and rank system, and different titles for instructors, and we standardized a lot of techniques and you know, in this whole process, a lot of the “practicality” of Karate was stripped away. Meaning, this second kind of Karate has a completely different purpose compared to the first kind of Karate. And already here, if you start comparing them, you’re gonna run into trouble. Because the techniques
devloped for the dojo, for the martial art, were not meant to be used on
the street against a thug! The third kind of Karate is what happened after the modernization of
Karate in mainland Japan. You see, a competitive aspect started developing as Karate spread throughout the universities of Japan, because, why? Because young people love to compete. And so do westerners. Especially when we beat the Japanese, because of our natural big physical size and strength advantage. Which is why the third kind of Karate, is as a combat sport. And now, there are different types of organizations and
leagues and rules of course. I’m not saying that all
sports Karate is the same. But this is the third kind of Karate where you have a limited
set based upon rules. You have the referee,
you have a time limit, and a safe environment
to try your techniques against an equally sized opponent. Which of course, is
completely different to the original purpose of Karate. And to top it off, Karate is even now an Olympic sport. And of course, this is not
the first kind of Karate, and not the second kind of Karate, but this third kind of Karate. Which brings me to my ultimate point: There are different kinds of Karate, in general, these three big groups. The original self-defense based traditional Karate from Okinawa. The modern Japanese style martial arts Karate for character development. And the third and last sports type Karate, which is even an Olympic sport. And you will always run into trouble if you think that these three are equal. Although, they might
come from the same tree, they are different fruits, right? And they might all taste delicious, especially for a Karate Nerd like me. But, please don’t compare them, because they are not the same. That doesn’t mean that you can’t learn from them all. But you should be aware that the context is different. The goals and the outcomes of these three types of Karate is not equal. In other words, Karate doesn’t work. If you try to force a square
peg into a round hole, of course it’s not going to work. But also, Karate always works if you compare it to what it was supposed to be compared to – itself. The most important thing is not what kind of Karate you practice. But that you know what kind you practice. Because none of them is better. They’re all just different. And what brings us together is far more important than
what sets us apart. Because we’re all on
that journey to mastery, and as we all know, the journey never ends. Don’t you agree? Leave a comment and let me know. Do you think Karate works or doesn’t work? I’m curious to hear what you think, now that you know what I think.

100 thoughts on “Why Karate DOESN’T WORK — Jesse Enkamp”

  1. Thanks for your awesome comments! 🤩 Happy to hear that people are finding what works for them. After all, it’s not WHAT you do it’s HOW you do it. 💪 Check out my website to learn more about Karate: http://www.karatebyjesse.com 🥋🔥👍

  2. Look stop going on about shit, I gave my life to Martialarts and teaching, It is not sports, and cant be controld by any one, it is war, not play, but we do teach how to play to people in the west…in MMA, the mind set of a martial man that only knows war combet can not fight for sports, he have to distroy some thing , that is the my set and the way…

  3. It all depends on which move you'll use in a fight,and how fast you are.One advice though: It's better to wait for your opponent to attack first.Cause if you trained martial art:karate,taekwondo..you can block him and easily knock him out.After all karate teaches us self-defense.

  4. No matter what , incorporate jiu jitsu into your training. Everyone must develop a ground game . Submission grappling is forever evolving human chess game

  5. Good overview. Jesse Karate is great exercise and better than nothing..but about 10 times at leastl. Less effective than boxing, wrestling , judo jiu jitsu….the training largely uses stances, prearranged sequences and routines that bear zero relationship or near enough to the dynamic environment of a fight…sure you can get the odd good Karate fighter…but often that’s just a by product….training in muay thai and grappling arts are the real world

  6. It's individual skill. The longer a fight lasts the worst it can be especially against a stronger, bigger opponent. You cannot screw around on the street-use a simple but deadly effect technique to at least buy you tie t get away. Having lots of stamina is probably your best defense. Out run your opponent when ever possible. You cannot play around as you do not know your opponents intentions but one thing is true-they are not there for a social call. What if your opponent has a knife or gun? You gonna' try and duke it out? While you cannot outrun a bullet what if you have a gun yourself? No one wants a gun fight no matter what anyone says. It just doesn't happen. Even when you are outnumbered 3-1 and there is a video specifically about that on youtube caught on cam …Granpa shoots at muggers and there was none of this Hollywood baloney trading gun fire. The bad guys took off like scared rabbits. So when ever you can run !
    And under the law generally once your opponent is no longer a threat you cannot finish him off..karate champion or not…you knock your enemy out you cannot crush his throat or stomp his skull…they don't allow that even in the UFC..your opponent is down well that's it. But be sure you let the cops know. Or you will wind up getting arrested with charges…better have witnesses too!

  7. Well narrated sir. Also all martial arts falls into these categories. The 4th one will be Macdojos. Lol…

  8. I have studied martial arts since 18yrs of age, Wing Chun, TKD and now at 66 Shotokan. My View on Kata is not just Bunkai, repeating blocks and punches in low stances teaches how to put bodyweight, hip movement etc into techniques and strengthens your body, but you would not defend yourself in these exaggerated stances, it would be all shortened and faster but the basic principles of punching hard or blocking successfully become a part of you through repetition. Also in many ways, it's the student and not the individual art, put the work in, take it seriously and any legit system will work for you! By the way, Jessie, I love your attitude to martial arts and as we never stop learning I often find new things to consider watching your lessons.

  9. Good explanation.
    Liked your assertive tone in this one. Looks like someone who is tired of explaining this subject and want to get it all cleared.

  10. I started training in a sport karate dojo that taught Shotokan & Goju Ryu right after I turned 17. Everything was no contact with only an emphasis on winning tournaments. Around the time I earned my green belt my philosophy changed from a sport Karate guy to trying to really understand what was going on in Kata. The school didn't teach Bunkai at all. After looking at how my body was moving & how it made my opponent move I created my own Bunkai. I went from a mediocre sport Karate fighter to an extreemly sucessful fighter in the ring & the street using what kata taught me. When I was 18 I recieved 3rd place in the AAU Junior Olympics using those techniques. I know first hand they work in that style of competition.

  11. I like karate. Some things I do not like is the kata and uniforms.
    But my striking style is heavily karate influenced

  12. You have some karate organizations that encompasses all the aspects that you have mentioned. Example Kyokushin karate known as Mas Oyamas Katate.

  13. If westerners can beat the Japanees in karate, then why can't the westerners beat the Muay Thai fighters? They are smaller.

  14. Perhaps does, depend what you want from it. But watching youtube videos I'm still to be convinced that a skilled karate expert can properly come up against a seasoned boxer or mma fighter.

  15. Te, the forerunner to mordern day KaraTE-do, was taught to the Okinowan peasants, so they could stand up to the armed and most times armoured Samurai who oversaw the peasants in Okinowa. Based on bunkai from kata I have theorized that Te, was never a hand to hand martial art, rather a hand to weapon martial art. The weaponless peasants were never supposed to fight back against the armed Samurai. They were supposed to stand there and be struck down by their "lords." Such was the right of the Samurai over the peasants.

  16. i fully agree with u jesse.. sports karate doesn't work on streets… it is best as combat sport or points sparring in competition…

  17. So right you are Jesse. People seem to forget this. Originally all the styles were done for fighting and killing, but like everything in life people start to water styles down to make them more acceptable at the expense of effectiveness. Hence why many styles today are not as effective because they lost they're true meaning. It is up to us all who are serious about our styles to try and restore them back to they're original purpose as best we can. Keep up the good work.

  18. Jesse, good explanation. But you have missed one thing. Karate has its origin in China, Tang Soo Do. It is hard to swallow though a fact. The Okinawa ppl are now talking about independent from Japan. History is going back to its starting point.

    But anyway, like to watch your vid. Thumb up!

  19. Yeah, there's just one problem with the way they train in Okinawa. Sure, they may have very useful techniques. But being shown those techniques and being able to apply them in a real fight where all sorts of factors come into play, like stress, psychological pressure, fear,. are two completely different things. Parallel things actually. And this is where the problem with the Okinawan method of training appears. They don't do sparring. And the thing, the reality, THE FACT is that if you don't practice ACTUAL FIGHTING against real opponents in free combat, you'll never learn how to fight. And this is where the Japanese are better. This is why the Japanese way of training is better, actually infinitely better than the Okinawan way. In Okinawa you learn techniques, but not how to apply them in a fight. In Japan, you learn both. Plus, I like Shotokan and Shito-Ryu better than the Okinawan styles, like Goju-Ryu and Uechi-Ryu. They teach mobile fighting as opposed to static fighting (like Goju-Ryu and Uechi-Ryu teach). So this is another plus for the Japanese mainland developed styles. But the bottom line is, in order to learn how to fight YOU HAVE TO FIGHT. To practice actual fighting Just practicing those techniques against compliant opponents where there's no psychological pressure in two-men sets is not gonna teach you how to fight. Also, this notion that in Japan they don't teach techniques that can be used on the street is VERY FLAWED, it's a huge preconception in fact. I train in Shito-Ryu at a school that's part of the World Karate Federation. And I'll tell you that they teach tonnes of techniques but more important concepts and principles, like the ones related to distance and timing that are VERY useful on the street. Or any type of fight. From my personal experience, it's exactly the other way around. In Okinawa they make you strong and fast but in Japan, in addition to that, they actually teach you how to fight. That's why I prefer Japan mainland over Okinawa.

  20. I feel as tho a bad wrestler who know like 3 takedowns and how to throw a punch could beat a karate brown belt

  21. Martial arts is awesome and useful I have used it to my brother and other Male family members they were injured badly.

  22. Jessie.
    I don't do karate but ninjitsu both traditional and nimpo..
    There are eliments of both judo and karate in this.
    Any form of martial arts traing will help in most situations. As most thugs are untrained bullies and try to win by intimidation of the weak. They are cowherds really.
    If you've had some martial arts training this will help defend against most situations. But always assume they are armed. At close quarters they lose their advantage generally.
    Hope this helps

  23. My karate place teaches all 3 it seems. We do tournaments and are taught the rules, we cover traditional forms and do the character building stuff, but inbetween all that, we are taught how to snap arms from people grabbing us, how to throw people where its hard to recover or get back up from, elbow people, knee the groin, eye shots etc. They also teach a bit of other martial/combat forms, but mainly karate.

  24. So, Jesse, I found out when I was little that my japanese blood came from Okinawa. Being a stupid little kid, i went around saying that proudly. However, my great aunt, who is the most prolific keeper of our family history, was upset with me for not knowing what was wrong with that. She told me that Okinawans were actually Indifferent from other japanese people, and that the two didn’t get along. Therefore she told me to be careful saying such things, because she wanted to protect me from other high nosed japanese people. OKINAWANS! Represent!!

  25. ANY art that isnt pressure tested successfully against other styles or philosophies of fighting CONSISTENTLY, isnt worth a damn.

    Katas are a dramatically ignorant waste of time.

  26. Karate simply does not work, proof; simply look at the basic punch (tsuki) and then compare that with basic boxing punch. There is not much hop for either type of karate.

  27. I think it depends on the person. Not everyone can use the techniques as trained you have to get a combat feeling. When you know how to fight than Karate will be very useful. I am doing Seibukan Shorin-Ryu Karate here it is important to do the techniques. Fighting isnt that important.

  28. Perfect analysis, Jesse! Many don’t understand the concept of the evolution of karate and that trying to use the “wrong” kind of karate in a fight would get them hurt. Keep up the great work!

  29. All martial Arts work. Not all martial Arts works for all. You just have to have the desire to use the particular "style" you have been practicing.

  30. If you are wondering, Karate is part of Samurai. If you know what I mean, sure you are already going depth into Karate World. I never underestimate Karate and other Martial Arts. Every each of martial arts have their own unique. Please, don't judge like this and that martial arts is better than that and this martial arts.

  31. I dont think karate DOES work and i also dont think it DOSNT work. But i think it CAN work depending on your practice. Again thank you

  32. Great! I totally agree with you and this analysis can apply to all martial arts. Actually, the problem is the great confusion that afflicts students and instructors of martial arts.

  33. Karate is very useful when you understand the application and mechanics behind the techniques. A solid karate base will give you an advantage over the average person in a combat situation

  34. Either you practice or saw a incomplete type of karate because karate is one of the most famous martial arts and karate trains your mind and your body
    there are many more things i could say but i have no time

  35. I taught a "Useless karate techniques" class at a martial arts seminar with several instructors from different arts teaching during the day. 🙂
    I was told by several attendees, "you fight dirty", to which I just smiled. (Goju practitioner)

  36. Karate always works, not matter the current. Another it would be a bad physical fitness or a bad learning or teaching.
    For example, I try to teach monthly one day of self-defense, one day physical condition and another karate sport, the three ideas.

  37. In my life almost every time I heard someone say they knew karate 🥋 it was immediately followed by same person getting their ass kicked.

  38. Got hit with a gyaku zuki in practice one day. I couldn't breath. Don't mess with Karateka. I think there is a lot of wisdom and power in Karate .

  39. Very informative brother, you can't take something designed for a particular purpose and use it for something else and then label it as an ineffective tool when it don't work. I think karate will most likely work or be effective when applied in the right areas of its intended purposes which is going to be based on practitioners knowing which form of karate is needed for them and taking and applying it in their lives.

  40. Summed up rather nicely. I find there's a big misunderstanding of the purpose for many "classical" martial arts which in many cases are far more modern than people realise. When you scratch away at the surface you find their traditional combat roots which are not immediately obvious.

  41. Very good explanation-karate became a "do" art. It is suppose to be a killing art not a sport or a way to enlightenment

  42. Martial arts were created in a period when the world was a very dangerous place….these days they are just hobbies….if you take away the law….all martial arts work,….but in a lawful society you go to jail if you make Karate work.

  43. I believe Karate works, I’ve trained in Muay Thai Kickboxing for years. Muay Thai works. Now I’m training in Hapkido and in Judo which works as well. The fighting arts do work, but I want to always keep learning a new art.

  44. People also think tai chi chuan martial arts doesn't work. My answer, keep thinking that, we like to use misdirection 😉

    You need a good teacher, discipline and patience. But when you start learning the martial applications, it really pays off.

    There is a reason you won't see it in mma etc. If you use the applications as designed, you destroy bodies. Its not meant for scoring points or just knocking out people.

    And yes 90% will just use it for health benefits.

  45. I train with all the high kicks and large blocks and such alone, but then I perfect the more short swift moves and punches, low kicks, elbows, knees and lots of other fast strikes for a real life situation. Good video!

  46. I like your videos. I am a 4th dan in shito ryu. I was wondering why you spoke perfect English but had an accent, then I went to your website and it said you were Swedish. No wonder!!!!! The way you explain karate is excellent. Keep up the great work!!!!

  47. Great break down. I’d never thought of it like that. I was lucky enough to train with a sensei when I was a kid who combined all 3 of these without me even knowing it was combined. I don’t know if he thought of it like that either.

    When we started we did kata and learned the basics. As we progressed we started sparring and learning self defence. After we reached black belt he told us we have to start thinking of kata as a fight against multiple opponents, and how the moves would translate into defending yourself (bunkai). I was gutted when he retired.

    My sensei also made one very good point that all martial arts practitioners should think about. He said, when you reach your black belt you’ve mastered the basics, that’s when you really start to learn.

  48. Sensei Jesse, I'm a karate practicioner.
    Why karate? Because it's the last action to be taken against a person that has nothing to lose and is menacing your physical integrity.

  49. The original karate from Okinawa is the most powerful one if it still exists a dojo that practices it, and was developed from the White Crane Kung-fu system from China, you didn't mention that, why?

  50. Jesse, I hear what you're saying regarding different styles of karate being different but the same in effectiveness but I have to question that.

    For example, Kyokushin karate sparring does not allow punches to the head. Wouldn't someone training a different style that allows for punches to the head have a certain advantage?

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