Manly Movies – The Karate Kid
The Karate Kid (1984)
Director: John G. Avildsen
Writer: Robert Mark Kamen
Stars: Ralph Macchio, Noriyuki ‘Pat’ Morita, Elisabeth Shue
Teenage boy moves from New Jersey to California and learns karate to defend himself against a group of karate students bullying him. While it’s an accurate summary, that really sounds lame. I’ve always liked this movie, even before I started taking, much less teaching, martial arts. It’s iconic in so many ways. And one thing I love about the original, the fight scenes are not edited to hell.
At the heart of this movie is the mentor/student relationship between Miyagi and Daniel. Those outside of traditional martial arts may see their relationship as teacher/student, and even as Miyagi becoming a father figure to Daniel. And, he is. This is an excellent representation of how traditional martial art sensei/student relationships are, as opposed to the more militaristic mass training martial arts you commonly see in the west.
It’s a film with heart, good action, and oh so many quotable lines that’s there’s virtually no chance you haven’t heard at least a few.