The Karate Kid is an all-time classic movie which received both commercial success as well as accolades from critics. The 1984 romantic drama is based around the life of a young boy who learns that martial arts prove to be much more than simply fighting it out.
As the protagonist, Daniel moves into a new city with his single mother, he soon gets bullied by the local kids at the karate school. Daniel then meets an immigrant, Keisuke, who trains him in martial arts in a very eccentric fashion.
Throughout the course of the movie, Daniel acquires more and more skills by learning that the secret behind being successful always lay in the heart and in the mind. Using his passion and his new learning, Daniel goes on to battle the high school bully, Johnny as part of a challenge. In a very brutal and emotional contest, Daniel emerges the victor of the fight.
While the movie proves to be great as an emotional thriller and is a successful ‘coming of age’ movie, it also demonstrates a lot of the dedication and discipline that is required in order to be successful at anything. There is a lot of insight offered in the movie, demonstrating a loving bond between an old man and a young child.
Taking a look at the training methods of both Johnny and Daniel, it can be seen that brute force and extreme training by itself cannot guarantee victory. While Johnny was part of the feared Cobra Kai gang and was trained by a martial arts expert using brutal training techniques and grappling dummies (like the ones you can find at GrapplingDummyInsider), Daniel was only trained by a lone old man. Johnny had been taught to use all means possible in order to win a fight and would often make use of the most violent and cold blooded moves to win against opponents. Johnny was the biggest bully around and this can entirely be attributed to the violent teachings and the hate that was planted in his mind by his trainer.
Daniel, on the other hand, was asked to attend to daily chores and menial tasks by his trainer. While Daniel was baffled with what was going on, he didn’t give up hope and soon learned that his everyday actions were helping his muscles develop. At this point, Daniel realized the presence of a special bond between him and his master and throughout the course of his training he learned that personal balance between the body and the mind in addition to the defensive art of karate.
The movie is incredibly well-made, as expected from the makers of the hit movie, Rocky. A very important aspect of the movie is that it helped remove the phobia of the Americans towards the Asians which had become quite prominent, thanks to the Vietnam War. The movie is deep, insightful, engaging and still proves to be a treat to watch, even 3 decades after it was released.
If you have not yet watched The Karate Kid, make sure to do so whenever you get the chance. While it may be an old movie, it is definitely worthy of being called a classic.