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Paul Herbert 5th Dan
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The world of Twitter is a wondrous one, where you can meet and ‘tweet’ all kinds of people from all kinds of places and walks of life. It was through my exploration of the Twittersphere that I first came across KaratebyJesse.com

It was Jesse that broke the news to me regarding the recent shake up of the kata rules for WKF competition. Now those of you that know me or have trained with me know of my personal hatred for Kanku Dai. If I ever had a nemesis, then Kanku Dai was it. It has never sat well with me and so the fact that it has been a Shitei Kata in WKF competition for preliminary rounds had proved problematic during my brief WKF competition days. To discover that these Shitei Kata have now been removed, and it is now Tokui kata (any traditional kata excluding weapons kata) was huge news for me, albeit ten years too late for my WKF competitive career! This just goes to show that Karate by Jesse is up to date and provides news and updates that are relevant and impact on the karate community at large.

Although Jesse’s Twitter feed can provide some excellent reading, it is really his website that needs to be explored in great depth. Describing the website, Jesse Enkamp says KaratebyJesse.com is ‘Exploring the Art, Science, Knowledge and Culture of Karate Online‘. That’s a pretty apt description to be fair. Rammed with articles ranging from interviews with prominent WKF competitors to discussing the use (or should I say overuse) of Oss/Osu, there is no shortage of food for thought. But don’t mistake this for a one dimensional ‘competition’ website. The articles and interviews are far ranging, from traditionalists, to MMA practitioners, to interviews with Matt Page (if you’ve seen any of the Enter the Dojo stuff, you don’t need to ask who he is – if you haven’t, read the interview!). There are literally hundreds of articles and interviews spanning the whole breadth and depth of the karate world. There are also links to buy Jesse’s ever popular books and a new section, a ‘Seven Day Karate Nerd Guide.’ Jesse is bringing the cool back to nerdism and spreading the idea of being a KarateNerd worldwide. 

Articles I would particularly recommend would be Where are the Women in Karate?, Is your Karate Sensei always right? and Karate Analytics. These are simply three articles that stuck in my mind when I was exploring KaratebyJesse the first time around, and there are new articles every week. There are even articles on the quest for Olympic recognition that will no doubt divide opinion, as the whole journey to the Olympics is a divisive one. The articles are written in Jesse’s unmistakably original manner and he manages to discuss even some of the most divisive issues with a sense of humour, making it easier to engage with even the most irritating of issues!

I will warn you though, once you start reading, prepare to give a whole day/week/month of your time, because for any karate aficionado, the lure of funny, well written and informative articles will prove too much to ignore and you will find yourselves dropping in more and more often.

And then the inevitable will happen, you will follow Jesse on Twitter (@karatebyjesse) and like me, you’ll be retweeting everything because it’s made you laugh, or made you think, or indeed made you feel you’ve finally got one over on Kanku Dai…

A highly recommended website that is getting more and more popular, and for good reason.



Emma Robins