I just finished writing a post some days ago about different styles of karate and how I often regret that my own style, Uechi-Ryu, doesn’t get more attention when the original Okinawan styles are listed. In fact, if you look at most “family trees” of karate, Uechi-Ryu is rarely included, despite being Goju-Ryu’s sister-style and comparable to Shotokan and a few others.
That’s when I came across this YouTube video posted by Jesse Enkamp. Enkamp is a reasonably well-known practitioner of karate who has studied in Okinawa and in Sweden under the tutelage of his parents, who are karate instructors. As quoted from his website, Enkamp is “a best-selling author, entrepreneur, traveller, athlete, educator, carrot cake connoisseur and founder of Seishin International,” which is a fantastic line of martial arts apparel featuring karate gis.
He also has a YouTube Channel that I recently subscribed to, and he has some really great perspectives on karate and martial arts in general. We different on some of the perspectives, but as the old saying goes, “variety is the spice of life.” It’s unclear as to what style Enkamp actually Studies. This is because he claims he studies karate and not so much any specific style. I can’t say I entirely agree with his way of thinking, but he has pretty good reasoning behind this concept.
Regardless, he recently posted a YouTube video entitled, “The Best KARATE Style For Self-Defense,” where he talks about a traditional style of Okinawan karate that winds up being Uechi-Ryu. I had a pretty good idea that this was where he was headed (since the kanji symbols for Uechi-Ryu were in the title), but it was nice to have someone outside my system actually show some love for one of the best circular systems of Okinawan karate ever founded.
I don’t usually share or link YouTube videos as I consider someone’s video submissions to be theirs and theirs alone. But like I said, this one hit close to home and got me excited that someone was ACTUALLY talking about Uechi-ryu. This just goes to show a style is never really dead, so long as there are people willing to talk about it.
And Jesse, if you’re reading this, I hope you’ll like and follow my blog as I follow your YouTube channel. We karate practitioners need to stick together. ☯