Karate Sensei tried to win an MMA fight after training for just a month

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 claims Hollywood action hero Steven Seagal as a former training partner, accelerated his MMA development with the help of his brother, Bellator welterweight Oliver Enkamp.

In his first week of practice, Jesse took a crash course in the three main elements of takedown defense: managing distance, defending against takedown attempts, and exiting a takedown before your opponent solidifies his position.

In week two, Enkamp focused on mixing striking with grappling drills and wall work before testing his new skills with combat in week three.

“Everything goes so much faster when it’s a real fight compared to training,” Oliver explained. “Even if you train hard, your reaction time has to be 100% accurate.”

Finally, Jesse was ready for “fight week,” where he focused on active recovery to prepare 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 got a chance to show off his defensive skills, even attempting a guillotine choke. But with his arms already exhausted from grappling, Enkamp admitted he lacked the strength to pull off the upset submission.

“I’m not used to that isometric tension of grappling, so my arms were so gassed up,” Jesse said.

Left: Jesse Enkamp. Right: Olivier Enkamp.

Enkamp was taken down early in the second round, but to his credit suffered little damage and quickly got back to his feet. In that moment, Jesse said he felt the tension that only a lifetime of struggle can prepare you for.

“My cardio was good, I wasn’t too exhausted,” Jesse said. “But I mostly remember the lactic acid in my arms. I’m used to punching a lot, but not that 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 gave his opponent a problem.

“That’s why you have to set them up with your hands,” Oliver explained. “Make him think of the hands, then follow up with the kick.”

Enkamp was taken down again, but finished the fight on his feet. Although he lost the decision, Jesse still did remarkably well and said it was a positive experience.

“I liked it, I learned a lot,” Jesse said. “I love challenging myself…I was glad he won, because that’s his thing. I’m not supposed to win at this, I’m just this karate nerd going into it… He deserved to win, and I still had fun.

You can see Jesse’s full MMA adventure below!

Kristen T. Prall