From World No.1 e-Kata Champion to TikTok Stardom: How James De Los Santos Won Big at #GoLangNangGo Challenge

TikTok Stardom James De Los Santos
Learn about James De Los Santos’ journey from martial arts champion to viral TikTok Content Creator and his enduring passion for Karate. Photos from James De Los Santos.

James De Los Santos, celebrated Filipino e-Kata champion, has yet again made waves, this time in the realm of social media. The World No. 1 e-Kata Player and two-time ISKF Karate World Champion has transitioned smoothly from the tatami to TikTok, winning the Grand Prize at the Globe Telecom #GoLangNangGo brand mission on TikTok.

In a one-minute video posted on May 21, 2023, titled “How I became the world’s no. 1 virtual kata player,” De Los Santos showcased his journey from being a former member of the Philippine Karate Team to coping with the pandemic’s sports cancellations by joining e-Kata online competitions. The inspiring video swiftly climbed the #GoLangNangGo mission board, accruing a staggering 2.4 million views within just three days, and it currently boasts over 4 million views.

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On his Facebook post dated May 24, 2023, the martial artist wrote, “I was scrolling through TikTok a few days ago and joined my first branded ad mission campaign called #GoLangNangGo by Globe Telecom… To my surprise, my video hit over 2 million views (and still counting) and was deemed the Grand Winning Entry of the #GoLangNangGo branded mission. It will be featured by Globe Telecom as a TikTok advertisement. This is a milestone for me as a TikTok content creator.”

Since his first TikTok video in March 2021, De Los Santos has been sharing his love for karate with a growing audience. Notwithstanding his busy schedule as a virtual competitor and a karate instructor, he managed to balance his obligations as an official TikTok Content Creator under contract, attributing the bulk of his video production to his efforts. “That’s the beauty of TikTok; it’s unpredictable. You never know what’s going to happen,” De Los Santos shared, expressing his delight when his follower count doubled from 11k to 23k in just a day after the #GoLangNangGo video success.

In his Facebook post on May 24 when he reposted his winning TikTok video, James can be seen wearing his Gi karate uniform while telling his story of being a former member of the Philippine Karate Team and a Karate instructor who decided to cope with the COVID 19 cancellation of all sporting events by joining the e-Kata online competition. James says he was especially excited about the World Ranking for Virtual Karate.

Good News Pilipinas followed James’ story as he competed in the virtual tournaments by creating video entries of his routines for seven months from April to October 2020 and winning 15 gold medals in the weekly tournaments, as he won medal after medal and his rise in the e-Kata rankings until be became World No. 1, overtaking Portugal’s Eduardo Garcia for the top spot.

READ: TIMELINE: James De Los Santos’ gold haul to claim World’s No. 1 eKata rank

James De Los Santos’ reign in World e-Kata continued as he kept winning medals and breaking records. He was still competing in tournaments when he posted his first TikTok video in 2021, creating a channel that would allow him to share his passion for karate and virtually mentor athletes around the world.

The story of how James De Los Santos became an official TikTok content creator is told in his second video entry. James describes his channel: “My content is really all about karate. It mostly contains videos about tutorials, trivia, and a few clips of performing kata. I also make sure I interact with my audience.”


My 2nd entry for #GoLangNangGo My journey on how I grew as a TikTok content creator so far. I had doubts at first, but sige lang, Go Lang Nang Go! #karate #karatedo #sports #martialarts #motivation #chaseyourdreams #globe #globetelecom #contentcreator #tiktok #fyp #foryoupage

♬ original sound – James De Los Santos – James De Los Santos

The 2-time World Champion of the International Shotokan Karate Federation (ISKF) and 2-time Bronze Medalist at the SEA Games also found time after 14 years to finally finish his college education at the De La Salle University in Manila which he had to put off when he became a national athlete – and that deserves another retelling!

Good News Pilipinas interviewed the Filipino World No. 1 e-Kata Player and found out how James easily created his videos using just his phone camera, a stand, a chair, and the CapCut app. He says he is mostly a one-man production team although at times he gets a little help from some of the coaches in the gym he teaches in when needed. He also posts every day since he is under contract with TikTok and gets help from his TikTok talent agency, Cubepoint.

While De Los Santos confessed he’s currently focusing more on teaching karate and creating content, he hinted at the possibility of joining competitions again in the future, saying, “But I’ll leave the doors open.”

From karate championships to TikTok stardom, James De Los Santos proves that it’s not just about seizing opportunities but creating them too. His message to everyone: “If you have a dream that you’d love to achieve, Go Lang Nang Go!” As for his journey, it’s safe to say that James De Los Santos is just getting started.

WATCH the winning video here and SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to James De Los Santos, the World’s No. 1 e-Kata player, and TikTok Grand Prize winner!


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Angie is a self-confessed reformed news critic who vows she has finally found infinite value in delivering the good news. She teaches students of all ages how to make the important interesting for audiences across media platforms.