Watch “Karate Nerd in Okinawa” (Free Web Series)


After 1 month in Okinawa, I’m finally home again.

Although I’ve been to the birthplace of Karate over a dozen times now, the island of Okinawa never ceases to amaze me.

There’s always new secrets to discover – both inside and outside the dojo.

Unfortunately, many passionate Karate Nerds around the world don’t have the ability, time, money or knowledge to visit Okinawa.


I brought a camera with me to film my trip!

The result is “Karate Nerd in Okinawa” – a free web series consisting of 8 episodes; exploring the history, culture, language, knowledge and traditions of Karate.

You can watch all episodes below:

Episode 1/8

Episode 2/8

Episode 3/8

Episode 4/8

Episode 5/8

Episode 6/8

Episode 7/8

Episode 8/8


  • Wow nice sensei thank s for this !
      • Jeff
        Awesome thanks for sharing!
  • Alex Morris
    This was awesome, looking forward to the other parts. It's brilliant that people, who can't go to okinawa or haven't yet been, get a great insight like this.
    • Thank you Alex-san! Makes me happy to hear that I can inspire likeminded individuals around the world.
  • Robert Miller Jr.
    Wow! It's always amazing to see Okinawa. A place that's on my bucket list. Love the video Jesse! Keep it up.
    • I hope you can visit one day! It's an unforgettable place. Thanks for supporting my work Robert-san! :-)
  • Roberto
    Almost speechless. Thank you very much for sharing. Must have been an amazing experience. Looking forward for more episodes and learn a little bit more. Again, thank you for sharing.
    • Thank you so much Roberto-san! Much more coming. Stay tuned! ;-)
  • Excelent adventure to the roots of Karate..;-) One day i'll do that...! OSS!
  • Akshat
    Amazing . Actually had goosebumps watching this
  • Gunner
    Awesome! Thank you!
  • Kevin Korpinen
    Very well done, Sensi! Look forward to watching each episode. Thank you for bringing Okinawa to us.
  • danilo san
    Awesome! Thank you! I am going there too in 3 weeks with a great group of people from WTKO !=) 6 days in japan and 3 in okinawa! Looking forward to it!
    • Have fun and eat a MOS burger from me! ;-)
  • John
    Hi Jesse Nice video. I liked the use of your hips in the kata that you did. My Sensei always says that he is a hips man.
    • Your hip is the primary mechanism through which you deliver force. So put your hip into it! :-)
  • Nga
    Hi sensei Jesse, I was so captivated with this first episode that I so lookward to continue watching your next adventures. Thank you for sharing.
    • Excellent! Keep watching, I'm dropping episodes every day.
  • Harish Aboobacker
    Awesome, thanks for this great video
  • Sarah Thomas
    Thank you so much Sensei for sharing your experiences in Okinawa. Cannot wait to see the next episode!
  • Katherine Rowland
    Awesome and so interesting...thanks for sharing! Okinawa is definitely on my bucket list.
    • Boom! Great to hear Katherine-san. Happy to inspire! :-)
  • Bruno Alvarez
    Lo felicito Sensei, excelente vídeo, excelente entrenamiento, Tiene buen diente para la comida jeje, es broma. El Karate do debe ser entrenado tradicionalmente fuerte como se entrena en Okinawa buscando la quinta esencia del mismo. Bruno Alvarez Goju Ryu Venezuela.
    Awesome! Thank you very much! Gracias!
  • James
    Excellent video. I visited Okinawa with the Navy in 2009, so I recognize a couple of locations in your video. Sadly, my visit was before embarking on my Karate journey. While I enjoyed Okinawa, I did not understand it's significance until long after I left.
    • It's never too late to go back, James-san! :-)
  • Josep
    Is that the Mos Burger besides Hokama Sensei's dojo? haha. I ate there!!! Btw, what kata are you showing in the video?!?! I don't know it but it looks really nice. A kind of Naihanchi? Thank you!
  • Steve Brigante
    I spent 8 1/2 years living and training on Okinawa. ( mostly under Kiyohide Shinjo Sensei as I am Uechi Ryu). I like that you are really getting out and about and showing a lot of the history and culture of Okinawa as this is I believe a very important aspect to one's training and understanding of true Karate Do. Good job!
  • Kevin Korpinen
    Excellent series!
  • Patrick
    I stopped karate for 10 years to train mma....but...since I have discover your website, videos and many articles...I have returned to my roots....Karate!!! Thank you Jesse-san! Oss!
    • Awesome Patrick-san! Makes me glad to hear. Keep it up!
  • Jason
    Jesse, you are a wonderful practitioner. I have trained in a southern Kung fu style for 10 years or so and started recently over the last year and a half in karate. Question on body mechanics and particularly in regard to the first video. Do the hips and torso( hips to shoulder) move exactly together as a unit or is it more like a wave; hips coming forward and secondly the torso moving forward, but at the time the torso moves forward the hips snap back to help snap the upper torso in place? It seems like all karate is not the same?
    • All Karate is not the same, neither is Kung fu. ;-) That's what makes it so fun!
  • Paulo Lippi
    Really great videos, it must have been an incredible experience. I might try and repeat your steps someday. greetings from a fellow black belt from Brazil.
  • Varga András
    Jesse-san, I very appreciate your approach to Okinawa and Karate. Thank you for that videos! Let me have a question: why do you use a white belt? Eating to 80%: just red a book ("Ikigai") about Okinawan people's secret of long living. That's a pretty simple rule but hard to keep it (believe me, I try) :-) András
    • I wear a white belt because I'm not a black belt in the dojos I visit. It's a way of showing that I'm there with an open mind, ready to learn. I explained this in episode 1. Cheers! :-)
      • Varga András
        Clear now. I started with episode 2. :-) Tonight I will be in time
  • Sandino
    Hope I will be able to visit Okinawa next year. These videos motivates me. Thanks Jesse-san.
  • Leif
    I'm really enjoying these videos. Okinawa sounds like a great place. The karate training there looks incredible. Thanks for sharing your experiences.
    • Thanks for chiming in Leif-san! I'm glad you like it.
  • Sudarshan
    Surely hoping to learn from you in the very future. Following the Okinawa-advice-Eating until 80% full, Ariagatogojaimasu
      • Sudarshan*
        Haaai sensei I'm from Assam India, close to Japan ?
  • David Gimberline
    Fantastic video, Jesse! Your presentation is excellent. Thank you for putting these out there.
    • Thank you sensei David! Much appreciated. Keep up the good work yourself.
  • Akshat
    Yes , it is inspirational indeed. Your videos simply prove that Karate is a lifestyle of these okinawans. Yes in episode three 6:39
  • James
    I watched episode 2 after eating a very large meal. I wish I would have watched it before eating, so I could have put the 80% theory into practice. I'll keep that in mind as I eat from now on. I'm very interested to learn more about the "secret" dojos. I'm curious if they're hidden simply to avoid tourists and military personnel, or if there's some sort of esoteric teaching.
  • Thank you for sharing, reminds me of the opening of the budokan in 1997. Have to go back some day.
  • Sebastian
    Hey, I'm in Okinawa right now to train in Kyokushin Karate until January 29, 2017. Pretty interesting your videos!
  • Alex
    Jesse-sensei, what's up with the protective gear in the video? Is that for sparring with weapons or just normal sparring? (Also am I the only one who's seeing that pink belt?)
    • András
      Maybe the pink is a 100.000times used red (?) :-)
      • Alex
        Ahh, was wondering. Out of interest, do you/have you ever seen sparring in kobudo? Either with padded weapons and/or escrima-style armour?
        • Yes, I've done it in Okinawa many times. I teach it in my own dojo too.
          • Alex
            Am I allowed to request some videos on youtube of this? It sounds awesome to watch and do!
  • Pierre-Alain
    Very good video quality! I truly enjoy this web serie. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. ;)
  • gunner
    That was awesome! Got some new insight and training ideas!
  • Rodolfo Arce
    awesome videos! im kinda new in this way of life called ti ( bc you just don't train traditional karate, you must live it everyday :) ) and we are planning to go to okinawa this year so this is really useful thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us, greetings from chile! ( sorry about my english btw)
  • James
    I just watched episode 4. Watching this series has become a nightly post-training ritual for me. Is that a 3-section staff above the Tonfas? I did not realize it was used in Okinawan Kobudo. Another Chinese influence? It's all very fascinating. Thank you for making this series of videos.
    • Yes! It's called "sansetsukon" (three section staff). Cheers!
  • Sudarshan
    Sensei I am proud of the 5th episode. Even if I am not eligible to say this I will tell you that All the Okinawa Sensei are great and awesome, yeah it's a hard life for great people's but don't worry sensei people like you are there to, who help them by teaching our generation, you are fulfilling your's and their very dreams.. All of the great Okinawa Sensei and all of us are proud of you.. Aarigato sensei...
  • Es ist sehr klasse was ich dort sehe und ich entschuldige mich wenn ich auf Deutsch schreibe danke für die schönen Bilder im Video Oss Sensei
  • Christian Medina
    Oh Wow amazing experience!!! I learned a lot of Okinawa. Thank you so much for share to us!! Best regards, from Chile. Very good Karate Nerd in Okinawa.
  • Adam
    Jesse, these are awesome videos. I've always wanted to go to Okinawa and you are presenting us with such a wonderful life and training experience there. Thank you.
  • Alex
    Any way we can sneak a peak at your new kata as a whole? Maybe youtube? Or insider?
  • Matt
    A lot of the Sensei seem to be speaking Japanese only. Would a westerner cope OK without a translator and the Dojos?
    • You'd survive :-) Body language takes you far.
  • Darren Samuels
    Thank you very much Jesse san for bringing us along on your journey of the birthplace of Karate you Sir are a walking encyclopedia.Thank you..
  • Sudarshan
    You are absolutely right Darien San, he is #Great
  • Christian
    Jesse Thanks for sharing these wonderful experiences with these beautiful people and places You show real skill, respect and love. Keep on posting! Cheers
  • Akshat
    I envy u... Thx jesse for all of this . So grateful for finding about you . Keep up with the good work. Relooking the last parts and eagerly waiting for part 8 , so upset that it will be the last.
  • danilo san
    Thanks again Jesse sensei. Wonderful insight and inspiration for all of us. Getting more and more excited to be there. Btw we are going to train with Yusuke Onaga Sensei and Senaha Sensei two times. Having trained only in shotokan for the past 4 years this is very exciting. I have trained before in viet kun do and kick boxing and I more and more start to see connection and similarity with all styles....I totally agree with you ultimately there is no style but only karate or..I will rather say ultimately there is only martial arts =)
  • Sudarshan
    So today's the day for the last episode... Many many thanks in advance...
  • Great videos. Enjoyed this series immensely. I studied Uechi ryu way back in the day while in the service stationed in Germany. Was looking forward to video from Kiyohide Shinj? sensei. Was curious as to why there wasn't more training film in his dojo. I know there is quite a bit on FB. As a small critique from a video guy... think windscreen for the mic for those outdoor shots :-)
    • Thanks, will get me a windscreen for the mic! :-) I was not able to film my training in Shinjo sensei's dojo because my videographer was my training partner.
  • Darren Power
    Jessie, That was sensational mate ...well done ! I have never been and have always wondered what it would be like to see the traditional key styles of Karate in Okinawa. ..Thankyou for the insite and i picked up a few tips for my training also Rgds Darren
  • Sudarshan*
    Aarigato Sensei, from everything..... ?????????
    • Sudarshan*
      Aarigato sensei, for everything.....
  • Shinobster
    I practice Uechi-Ryu Karate (except we call it Pangainoon Karate), so it was really cool to see you practice in it in episode 7. This is a great video series, and I am thankful that you went through the trouble of recording your findings in Okinawa, it really helped me further my Karate knowledge. which I need since I have a tournament in march. Wish me luck!
  • Gustavo
    Excelent adventure to the roots of Karate and japanese culture! Thank you. Osu! Gustavo Rocha (Kenyu-Ryu - Belo Horizonte, Brazil).
  • Arjun Shetty
    Thanks a lot Jesse for this great piece of work. People like me who cannot afford to visit such places are really thankful to you. Also you published free videos which is more greater. You are my hero..
  • Cristian
    Jesse..thank you very much for share your expiriences and knowledge with us..I use to see all your videos for learn karate and improve my english (you speak so well and clear)..thanks again and regards from Argentina!

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