Karate instructor and YouTuber Jesse Enkamp has taken on a pro MMA fighter after just 30 days of training.
The self-styled “Karate Nerd,” who boasts Hollywood action hero Steven Seagal as a former training partner, fast-tracked his MMA development with the help of his brother, Bellator welterweight Oliver Enkamp.
In his first week of training, Jesse took a crash course on the three main elements of takedown defense: distance management, fending off takedown attempts, and scrambling out of a takedown before your opponent solidifies their position.
Week two saw Enkamp focus on mixing striking with grappling and wall-work drills before he pressure-tested his new skills with sparring in week three.
“Everything goes so much faster when it’s a real fight compared to training,” instructed Oliver. “Even if you train hard your reaction time needs to be 100 percent on point.”
Finally, Jesse was ready for “fight week,” in which he focused on active recovery to prime him for his bout with a 13-fight MMA pro. Starting the fight in a karate stance, Enkamp was soon forced to switch stances after leaving himself open to calf kicks.
Shortly after, his opponent went for a takedown and Jesse had a chance to show his defensive skills, even attempting a guillotine choke. But with his arms already exhausted by the grappling, Enkamp admitted he didn’t have the strength to pull off the upset submission.
“I’m not used to this isometric tension of the grappling, so my arms were so gassed,” said Jesse.
Enkamp was taken down early in round two, but to his credit, sustained little damage and soon scrambled back to his feet. By then, Jesse said he was feeling the strain that only a lifetime of wrestling can prepare you for.
“My cardio was ok, I was not too exhausted,” said Jesse. “But I remember the lactic acid in my arms especially. I’m used to striking a lot, but not this isometric tension, which is that wrestling strength.”
Round three saw Jesse attempt a few kicks, but admitted they were so clearly telegraphed that they never posed a problem for his opponent.
“That’s why you need to set them up with the hands,” instructed Oliver. “Make him think of the hands and then follow up with the kick.”
Enkamp was taken down yet again, but finished the fight on his feet. While he lost the decision, Jesse still did remarkably well and said that it was a positive experience.
“I enjoyed it, I learned a lot,” said Jesse. “I love to challenge myself… I was happy for him to win, because this is his thing. I’m not supposed to win at this, I’m just this karate nerd who goes in there… He deserved to win, and I had fun anyway.”
You can view Jesse’s full MMA adventure below!