Karate practitioner and YouTube personality Jesse Enkamp recently entered a jiu-jitsu tournament and humorously documented the experience on his channel in order to make an argument that jiu-jitsu, in his words, “only works if you play along.”
In the preamble of his video, Enkamp argues that while 90% of “real life” fights may end on the ground, 100% of them start standing up — which is why he advocates for keeping physical altercations on the feet instead of engaging on the ground, BJJ-style. Enkamp decides to experiment with a good old “just stand up” strategy in a jiu-jitsu sparring session with several colored belts — which, unsurprisingly, doesn’t work out as intended.
However, not to be deterred, Enkamp decides to train with his brother Oliver, an MMA fighter, to see if together, the pair can troubleshoot Jesse’s shortcomings. Oliver, being a more seasoned grappler, provides Enkamp with a crash course in jiu-jitsu principles for how to, in fact, effectively stand up when pinned to the ground. Cue training montage!
Enkamp then enters a sport jiu-jitsu tournament, where he uses his newfound skills in an attempt to prove his point — by repeatedly disengaging with his opponent’s guard pulls. The referee threatens to disqualify Enkamp, who finally makes a genuine attempt to pass the guard, lands in mount, and wins by ezekiel choke.
Enkamp then argues, “If [my opponent] had just stood up, that would never have happened.” He levels an overarching criticism at the sport of jiu-jitsu, comparing it to sport karate, and claiming that turning both martial arts into competitive sports has destroyed their original so-called martial “essence.”
“There are no second places on the street,” Enkamp tells the camera, before playfully walking away, white belt gold medal in hand.
The video currently has over 2 million views, and quite the spirited comments section. Check it out here.