KARATE NERD IN OKINAWA | Season 2 (Ep. 1) — Jesse Enkamp


– [Announcer] It’s time again. The Karate Nerd returns to Okinawa to explore the history, origins and secret techniques
of traditional karate. You’re watching Season 2 of Karate Nerd in Okinawa. Featuring your host Jesse Enkamp a.k.a “The Karate Nerd” himself. Get ready for another epic journey to discover the untold story of Okinawa the birthplace of karate. This is Karate Nerd IN Okinawa
Season 2, Episode 1. (birds chirping) – Yes! I can’t believe it but
we’re going to Okinawa for Season 2 of Karate Nerd in Okinawa where I take you with me to
the birthplace of karate. And I just checked in my
Bo cuz I will be competing at the Okinawan Kobudo championship. And I will be training with different 10th Dan grandmasters, like in Season 1. And, I will also be
teaching my first seminar in Okinawa. Let’s go. (playful music) So the plan for this trip is, the first leg of the
journey is a quick flight to Finland. In Finland, we change to the next flight which is a long flight to
Fukuoka in mainland Japan. In Fukuoka, we change to
the last leg of the trip which is to Okinawa and
Naha, which is the main city as you might remember from Season 1. And then, hopefully, if the
jet lag is not too terrible we can actually make it to
very first training session with the full-contact
karate champion of Okinawa at the night when we arrive. (playful music) Time to buy some “omiyage”, you know, gifts. Because a big custom in Japan is that you always bring some gift
from your home country or from wherever you’re coming from. So I’m gonna buy what I always buy Swedish chocolate. Let’s see, we’ve got blueberries. We’ve got coconut, strawberry. Maybe I should not give them one of these could be misinterpreted. Swedish delight. (playful music) Coffee number two and flight number one. (playful music) I arrived in Finland now. Next flight, to Japan.
Let’s see what gate we’re on. 15.
Boarding, oops. (fast music) I think we made it. I was literally the last person boarding. (loud plane engine noise) Japan next! But now for the grand
finale, before we take off I’ve gotta have my flying socks on. (snap) Landed in Japan. Now only one flight left to Okinawa. Got the landing permit. Theoretically, I could
stay here three months. Been there, done that. Now it’s just three weeks. (playful music) Flight number three. I hope I can get some
sleep on this flight. Otherwise, it’s gonna be
tough training this evening. We got the brand new karate plane which they made especially just for the trips to Okinawa, so nice. (playful music) Finally arrived at the
birthplace of karate. And all the bags came through. Fantastic! Fairly straight forward,
we’re just gonna go straight on this street
here, and Familymart. It’s funny, this hotel
is in the Tsuji District which is where all of
the old karate masters would go for entertainment. There’s a lot of stuff that the Okinawans don’t want people to know these days about the old karate masters. You could call them “inconvenient truths”. And, I’m gonna reveal a lot of them in the upcoming episodes for you. (playful music) Hello, checking in. Alright, let’s see what
the room looks like. I’m exhausted and excited. Allright it’s a pull door, not a push door. Obviously. Whew! Leave your shoes before
you enter a Japanese home just like in the dojo. Okay, the mandatory hotel bed test. You ready? (sonorous moan) It’s soft. Now, time for a shower and then eat. Cuz I am starving and
we need some traditional Okinawan food to start this
first episode off right. And then, finally, time
for some karate training with the full-contact,
undisputed karate champ of Okinawa. It’s gonna be so much fun. (playful music) The moment we’ve all been waiting for. Well, except the training of course. The Okinawan food. I’m at the top floor of
a huge department store. This is one of my secret spots. They always have a super healthy organic all-you-can-eat. It’s called “tabehoudai”. A long time ago I spoke Japanese. Tabehoudai means that you
can eat as much as you want. It’s like a buffet. And, we’ve got some tofu here. We’ve got some fish. I’ve got some kind of.. This is made of egg, actually, yeah. And then a salad. And then, all the leafy
greens and vegetables which they’re so famous for. You guys know that Okinawans live the longest in the world, right? And there is a reason. Whew. (speaking in Japanese) That means I’m full. Now I’m finally ready for training and I know that you guys have been waiting for this too. So, I’m gonna go to Asato Dojo which is a brand new dojo
right on the opposite side of The Dojo Bar, which you might remember from Season 1 for training with Sensei Mineo Toguchi. Okay now, before we enter the dojo I’ve got to tell you why
this dojo is so special. Because it was opened by my friend James and he wanted to create this space where foreigners and people
from different styles and countries could come
and train with local experts in a style-free and open
“Karate Nerd” environment. And that’s exactly what Asato Dojo is. Plus, it’s also a combined shop Because it’s the official
Seishin International store in Okinawa. So you can get the t-shirts. You can get the bags, the gi, the belts and all of that if you
visit Asato Dojo. Plus, the training of course. So it’s a beautiful
thing by my friend James. And I’m so excited to finally meet him and train with the Sensei Mineo Toguchi. (speaking in Japanese) – Welcome back. – Nice to meet you. I’m looking forward to training together. Is that carrot cake?
Don’t tempt me. – That is banana cream
cake, completely unhealthy. – Oh, okay. I’m gonna go change. (playful music) (needle scratching on record) Whew. Finally, the very first training session here in Okinawa is finished. I’m back at the hotel, time to hit the bed But I’ve gotta tell you,
did you see how soft he was when he did the blocking? Well that’s because it’s not blocking. You see, the Japanese word “uke” comes from “ukeru”, which means “to receive”. So, whenever an opponent is attacking you you should receive the attacks. And that requires relaxation. So you have Relative Power, as opposed to Absolute Power, which is what you use when you want to attack your opponent. Because you might only get one shot to attack back, right? And that’s exactly what we practiced. Unfortunately, like Sensei said, a lot of westerners love
to be strong and hard when they block because they have the natural physical capacity that a Japanese person
usually doesn’t have. So they want to use
that to their advantage. But that’s why their technique is not as good as the Japanese. Because good technique is fast. And speed comes from? Relaxation. Exactly. I hope you enjoyed that session just as much as I did. Now, I’ll see you guys tomorrow. (light traffic) Good morning, or “ohayou gozaimasu” as we say in Japanese. It’s time for breakfast. (restaurant clamor) One of my favorite things
about yesterdays training was the stance that we
had when we were fighting. Because when you do full contact you need to have your hips squared. But usually, in modern point-style karate we have, especially if
you’re competing right, you have a more sideways stance. And I remember Toguchi
Sensei said yesterday that that’s kinda like your
“hiding” behind your hip. And that’s great if you want mobility. If you want to move around and be fast which you need to score
in sports karate, right? But in old school full-contact
Okinawan karate fighting it’s not about scoring points,
it’s about hitting hard. So you need that range of motion to deflect, not block,
but parry the blows. And then, hit back with full force. And that’s why the
stance is very square-on and the hands are held high. And I thought that was
such a great distinction of understanding how to position yourself for power and effective striking. I hope you enjoyed that. (outro music)

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