Following on from his recent foray into Muay Thai, karate instructor Jesse Enkamp is continuing to expand his knowledge of different fighting disciplines in a new video on his YouTube channel. This time, he’s taking on mixed martial arts. Specifically, he’s throwing himself into a month of training with his brother, Oliver Enkamp, in order to learn as much as he can about different techniques and tactics, before testing his skills in the cage after 30 days with a professional MMA fighter.
The first week is all about mastering the basics, including the three main lines of takedown defense: keeping a distance, being able to identify when your opponent is moving in for a takedown, and how to scramble out of a takedown before the opponent can solidify their position.
In the second week, Enkamp trains in striking, grappling, and wall work drills. Wall work is not found in other martial arts, Oliver explains, and this is one of the things which makes MMA such a unique sport. Week three is then when Enkamp begins to “pressure test” everything he’s learned in sparring sessions. “Everything goes so much faster when it’s a real fight compared to training,” says Oliver. “Even if you train hard your reaction time needs to be 100 percent on point.”
Finally, Enkamp spends “fight week” focusing on active recovery to get his body into peak performance, primed for his match.
Almost immediately in the fight, Enkamp is forced to switch up his stance as his karate stance left him far too wide open for sweeping leg kicks. He also admits, while reviewing the footage, that he was rapidly exhausted by the unfamiliar mechanics of the fight.
“I’m not used to this isometric tension of the grappling, so my arms were so gassed,” says Enkamp. “I’m used to striking a lot, but not this isometric tension, which is that wrestling strength.”
“I enjoyed it, I learned a lot,” he continues. “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.”
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