More than self defense taught in Ralph Macchio’s The Karate Kid. #Streamteam
22 Feb 2017
I remember how much of an impact “The Karate Kid” had on my life. Like Daniel, I was bullied, and not just by one kid… but a few. There was always one bully leader, with a crew of mindless followers. The frustration of always getting tripped or called names took it’s toll.
While there were similarities, there were differences. Ralph Macchio was 22 years old when he played Daniel Laruso in the Karate Kid. Daniel was supposed to be a high school student in the movie.
Ralph’s character “Daniel Laruso” was billed as a “wimp with a chip on his shoulder”. I didn’t have a chip on my shoulder. We both moved to new areas, and had to start off fresh.
Daniel moved across the country – from Newark, New Jersey to Reseda, California in the Los Angeles area.
Being bullied happened to me at a younger age, in grade school to be exact. I had just moved across town, and didn’t know anyone at my new school. A few of the larger boys thought it would be fun to mess with the new kid. I still remember the first time there was ice on the playground. One of the “cool kids” tripped me, and a bunch of them started kicking me while I was down.
It wasn’t until I learned Tae kwon do and was able to defend myself that I was finally left alone by bullies.
Didn’t make for a great end to my elementary school days.
Tae kwon do taught me not only to defend myself, but it taught me discipline, and helped with my confidence and self esteem. It’s one of the reasons I put my daughters in Tae kwon do a couple of years ago.
One of the best parts of this movie involves no fighting scenes, or action at all. It is the talk that Mr. Miyagi has with Daniel prior to training him.
Miyagi: Now, ready?
Daniel: Yeah, I guess so.
Miyagi: Daniel-san, must talk. Walk on road, hm? Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later *squish*, get squish just like grape. Here, karate, same thing. Either you karate do “yes” or karate do “no.” You karate do “guess so,” *squish* just like grape. Understand?
Daniel: Yeah, I understand.
Miyagi: Now, ready?
Daniel: Yeah, I’m ready.
This is great life lesson, which can be used in all aspects of life.
Remember deal! No questions!
Mr. Miyagi makes Daniel a deal that he will teach him karate, but that Daniel is not to question him.
“We make sacred pact. I promise teach karate to you, you promise learn. I say, you do, no questions.”
Mr. Miyagi has Daniel wax his cars, paint his fence, sand his deck, and paint his house, all using different hand techniques.
What spot? Hey, how come you didn’t tell me you were goin’ fishing?
Daniel cannot see how this is helping him to train in karate. When Mr. Miyagi returns from a day of fishing, and points out that Daniel missed a spot, Daniel explodes on him.
“So? So, you’re supposed to teach and I’m supposed to learn! For 4 days I’ve been bustin’ my ass, and haven’t learned a goddamn thing!”
Show me… sand the floor
After Daniel shows Mr. Miyagi how he was instructed to “sand the floor”, Mr. Miyagi shows Daniel how this can be used as a block. Then comes “wax on, wax off”, also used to block. Paint the fence (up down) and paint the house (side to side) are also used to block.
Daniel realizes he has been learning valuable skills for the past 4 days, and not just busting his ass doing manual labour.
Karate Kid was a box-office hit!
With an estimated budget of $8,000,000, it grossed an impressive $90,815,558 worldwide, making Karate Kid the highest-grossing film of 1984. It was also the top movie rental of 1985. For those young ones reading this… we used to rent movies on VHS tape, followed by DVD rentals. That was before Netflix saved us a trip to the movie rental store.
Karate Kid spawned 3 sequels: “Karate Kid II” in 1986, “Karate Kid III” in 1989, and “The Next Karate Kid” in 1994. The latter starred Hilary Swank, taking over the lead role from Ralph Macchio.
With “The Next Karate Kid”, it’s almost like they were trying to start the series again with a new actor, but it didn’t do as well as the first three movies. With an estimated budget of $12,000,000, it only grossed $15,826,984 worldwide.
The original was remade in 2010, starring Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan. This wasn’t intended to be a reboot, just a remake.
You’re alright Laruso!
Daniel ends up defeating Johnny Lawrence in the finals of the All-Valley Karate Championship Tournament.
It’s a feel good movie, with many points that many can relate to. For me, many points hit home.
In the end, Daniel earns Johnny’s respect, with Johnny handing him the championship trophy.
Wax on, right hand. Wax off, left hand.
Interesting tidbit: The yellow 1948 Ford Super De Luxe that Daniel polishes during the “wax on, wax off” scene was given to him by the producer. Ralph still owns it to this day.
“Wax on, wax off. Breathe in through nose, out the mouth. Wax on, wax off. Don’t forget to breathe, very important.”
There were so many movies that I grew up watching that were made in the 80s, and Netflix has a bunch of them ready to stream.
Get your 80s fix:
1. Back To The Future
2. First Blood
3. The Breakfast Club
4. Adventures In Babysitting
5. Romancing The Stone
6. Coming To America
7. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
8. Can’t By Me Love
9. License To Drive
Disclaimer: I am part of the Netflix Canada Stream Team. All opinions are my own.
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