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 Replies to “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. I so agree! After training so long, I realized that I hated "sport" martial arts. The modernized I don’t like because people are to caught up in belt ranks. Seriously who cares! Unless you have ambitions of opening up a training facility, it doesn’t matter. You may get that coveted black belt, but still get whooped by one of your students. 🤷🏽‍♂️

  3. It depends on the practicioner. Modern Sports Karate usually doesn't get the credit it deserves. It man es you harder and of course it makes you fast. If you are strong and fast, that's kinda good in a fight.

  4. I have worked for 30 years with violent psych patients. All styles of martial Arts work and all styles of martial Arts don't work. What matters is the practioner and the technique that is being applied.

  5. I never took Karate, but I do practice songham Taekwondo. Karate and Taekwondo share a lot of moves. Most of the moves in Taekwondo came from karate

  6. Sensei Jesse, Thank you so much for sharing this. I have been practicing Karate for 40 years here in Costa Rica, and came to learn that more than physical, Karate is spiritual. Karate is not just for Sport, martial, or any other aplication in the physical way…. Karate is meant to gain balance between mind, body and spirit…

  7. It dos but it dos not I have been in multiple street fights when I was younger had to learn how to adapt to defend my self so if I have to I will us what ever is around me to defend my self so if I got to elbow someone I will and if I got to pick up something around me to defend my self I will

  8. I think in a self-defense situation against an in-skilled attacker, boxing, Judo, Karate, Aikido …. They all work. Against a trained fighter, you better know jiu jitsu.

  9. Karate can work just as Kung Fu can. As long as you condition your hands hitting bag that is hard common sense. As long as you have good technique also

  10. I believe karate would work much better with less focus on kata and more on kumite. Kata seems to produce very mechanical block pause punch fighters that has no application in self defense. We are what we train.

  11. Thank you so much for this Video. It explain exactly the kind of Karate. Most see only the second and third part. For me part 1 and 2 works together perfectly. Thanks a lot and i hope see a lot more videos from you. Maybe real on a Seminar☺💮🇯🇵

  12. I don't have much of information about traditional and controlled styles of karate such as shotokan or go ju ryu but one of the best decisions that I made in my life,was starting kyokushin karate as a teenager. it worked more than well for me.since then,on my off days of the week,I started to try and practice in other styles such as boxing,muay thai,jiujitsu as well but I'll never leave kyokushin.

  13. I lerned Karate in the Bronx so we fought in the street all the time. but i will say all aspects of karate are needed. example1 For self defense it works ,2 Character developmeng is needed for the karateka, 3 the port aspect gets you in great shape. If i thry self defence in poor fisical shape i can not defend well. If i have poor character then im just a bully. But if i go into a street situation thinking is a contest im up for rude awaikaning.

  14. Osu! Great points. Yes, I can do a pretty shiko dachi, but more to the point, I can adapt that shiko dachi if I need to drop my weight in a "street fight" scenario. In the ring I might stand in a shallow shiko dachi momentarily in order to draw an attack. It's good to know what you are doing, but it's even better if you know how to adapt what you are doing. Adapting fluidly to all three types of karate is a whole lot of fun 🙂

  15. studied wado-ryu for almost 23 years, got me through hard times due to severe bullying at school. helped me keep a calm rational mind whilst in tense situations. don't know where I would be without it. karate keeps me steady and true to myself. works well for me.

  16. greco-roman wrestling has existed for around 3000 years – no wonder its so succesful in mma, because it works. your stand up skill means "BEEP" when you are taken to the ground.

  17. Well explained.Works for the category you select.Your purpose of training.There is no superior martial arts,ONLY superior martial artists.

  18. Dear Sir. Correct me if I am wrong, but was not Shorinji Kempo a COMBAT style? Was not Kyukoshinkai karate (Mas Oyama) a COMBAT style? Were not Shorin-Ryu and Goju Ryu and Wado RYu, and SHOREI-Ryu all COMBAT styles? Where they all not tested in many street fights? I am NOT arguing with you, but based on what I have red, all of those (and there are other styles of Karate) are pretty legit fighting styles in their ORIGINAL form.

  19. Good explanations.Although I believe some will still not comprehend until they've had some experience in any of those forms.Traditional karate is ok but has to be applicable to use on the street.Most traditional karate that is taught in a dojo isn't very adaptable as a fighting art and its really not supposed to be.

  20. Dats a clean n clear, consice n precise talk…really nice jesse…self defense is def different from point contact though it does hone the reflexes…sparring is always the key…less talk n more action when training…u doin a gr8 job !!

  21. Very good explanation, clear.
    What style of Karate is at Olimpics?
    Thank you for the video and your channel, horsom.

  22. There are many forms of Karate. Some are more like kickboxing except you use open hands, It has its sweeps it has its Hook kicks it has its reverse hook kicks that some call a roundhouse some styles call the hook kick a round house. We are no longer talking about the old Karate that we learned as kids back in the 1970's. We had time to take what is useful and leave what is not. We know today that we can not have a fixed routine and take it to the streets. A good martial Artist is not tense but ready! Relaxed but aware not "dreaming." "All types of knowledge, ultimately mean self knowledge.' Things have change because of one man? Bruce Lee? He did build the broken bridge of oneness of all source comes from a complete system that change to fit the terrain of their area. However, before Bruce lee we had a man that stood up to the western civilization that was killing that last of the Martial Arts of Japan: (Jigoro Kano) (Morihei Ueshiba) ( Bruce Lee, = Lee Fan) (Gene LeBell)

  23. MMA fighter used all judo karate taikwundo Muay Thai kick boxing professional boxing that's why hard to defeat them with karate

  24. my style is a breakaway style from Kyuokushin, basically everything is the same but we don't do full contact fighting, we compete in points fighting against sport Karate people, and we have competed against other people in continuous scoring fighting. The key for me is the understanding that the application of my modern Karate in a sports arena is very different to the application of my modern Karate in a self defense situation, the timing and range is different, the dangers are different, the rules are different. By understanding this and respecting the differences we prepare well for differing arenas of combat. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I have 3 modes of operation, Traditional Karate which I have used to effect in defending myself, Modern Karate, which would describe our everyday classes with our belts, gi's, titles etc, and finally my sport Karate, which I use to play fight with other karateka in good faith that we wish to test ourselves in a battle of wits and cunning, without the intention of causing each other any harm. The Key for me is understanding this, and getting my students to understand this.

  25. I’m a wrestler and have never done any other martial art and I got in a fight with a karateka who said he was a green belt and I shot a double leg take down. After that he was useless on the ground and I stop punching him because I started to feel bad. He was a real green belt and would always post pictures on Instagram. Karate is useless

  26. we need more people like Jesse who looks at the application for karate because like he said Kata has so many useful moves it's not even a joke anymore. If people started learning more about the applications of kata and karate they will be far better martial artists then they were before they started learning about such things. As an instructor myself I feel that people just end up doing kata for the sake of doing kata and because we the instructors tell them to do it. and they don't realise the truth about kata. it's kind of sad.

  27. It worked, tried and used it many times in different locations and when you got the guts, you’ll break nuts.

  28. If you think karate is bullshit, watch a full contact karate tournament. I practice Muay Thai and have for a long time. A lot of those hard core karate practitioners are pretty badass. Respect man.

  29. Now remember, things look bad and it looks like you're not gonna make it, then you gotta get mean. I mean plumb, mad-dog mean. 'Cause if you lose your head and you give up then you neither live nor win. That's just the way it is. Josie Wales

  30. I think they all work in there own specific application but I do think some are better at most better at doing there designated application. For example the master of the 2nd type would not do as well as the first in a street fight so #1 is better for this and Visa versa for the rest but he absolutely right when he say it always works asking as you use the right tool for the job.

    You wouldn't want to bring a paintbrush to a landscaping gig

  31. Great points. The whole idea of working and efficient martial arts doesn't make any sense nowadays in a world full of bad guys with weapons. Martial arts can be enjoyed as competitive sports, self perfection ( thanks, I love that concept) and self defense in some degree, depending of the situation.
    Few months ago I made this video regarding Aikido, and the absurdity to compare it with martial or combat sports, or even to accepting challenges from professional MMA guys to prove "how it works"

    https://youtu.be/xanchf5H-d0

  32. Karate does work and absolutely effective. However, kihon and katas are not functional training. High level MMA fighters or kickboxers drop the forms and focus entirely on functionl training. A proper jogging and dynamic stretch warm up, shadow boxing followed by padwork.

    I did Judo for 2 years and I thought I had the Japanese martial art culture down. One day of karate and it's really cult like with all the bowing and "osu", lining up from white belt to black belt and when you're late you have to kneel down and then "osu". In judo, you get up and you get going with your training, 3 sets of your seoi nage. If you're late, sensei: "go and do your ukemi to warm up then get right into it".

    I'm still gonna continue though.

  33. The more I get into you Youtube with my own videos Jesse, it helps me appreciate how much work you've put into developing an outstanding channel: hooks, teases, education and entertainment. Love it.

  34. 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…

  35. 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.

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

  37. 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

  38. 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!

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

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

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

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

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

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

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

  49. 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.

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