Karate instructor and YouTuber Jesse Enkamp has traveled the world learning a wide variety of different fighting styles, from Muay Thai to MMA. In a recent video on his channel, he turns his attention to the Japanese martial art Taido, invented by the Okinawan sensei Seiken Shukumine.
Taido instructor Mikael Jansson describes the discipline as "three-dimensional," and Enkamp himself compares some of the fluid, dance-like modes of movement to the Brazilian fighting style Capoeira.
"Taido has lots of awkward, circular movements," says Enkamp. This, he learns, is a result of Shukumine's experiences in World War Two, when he was drafted to his country's naval forces and developed his own evasive manoeuvres for submarines. He later adapted this for combat.
Jansson gives Enkamp a crash course in the movements of Taido, teaching him everything he can in just a couple of hours, and then Enkamp decides to take everything that he has picked up and apply it in a real sparring situation. But he soon realises he hasn't learned enough.
"Every time I try a kick, my opponent sees it coming," he says. "I'm literally hurting the floor more than I am my opponent." Enkamp switches opponents, but it becomes apparent that Taido becomes even more difficult if you are going up against somebody who is shorter than you.
"It turns out, the secret of Taido is to combine several movements into a flow," he says. "Because if one technique doesn't work, maybe the next will... When I combine different movements, Taido starts to work. It's almost like magic; I become creative, effective, and fearless, because I know if a technique doesn't land, I'll get a second chance, and a third, and a fourth. Because a flowing river doesn't stop for anything."
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