Sandra CashProfessor BuerkeFebruary 9, 20111,383 Words The Original Karate Kid “Wax on, wax off.” Where in the world does that come from? This is from the originalKarate Kid, which is entertaining and well-made. In this modern age, it is hard to find a cleanmovie that is also enticing to the audience. The Karate Kid is about a boy named Daniel who isbullied by some boys who know karate. After seeing Daniel beaten up a few times, Mr. Miyagi,who is the handyman at Daniel’s apartment complex, and is a martial arts master, starts toteach Daniel karate. This movie won the 1985 Best Family Motion Picture, according to TheInternet Movie Database. It is rated PG, mostly because of the fighting. After all, this movie isabout karate, so there is a lot of fighting. Although the element of karate may seem to onlytailor to a male’s interest, everyone, male or female, young or old, will enjoy The Karate Kid,because this movie has family-appropriate humor, it showcases important life lessons, andcontains a very interesting relationship which develops between a young man and an old man. Learning karate would not seem to be funny, but this movie makes it humorous. Forexample, in one scene, Daniel walks into a room and sees Mr. Miyagi trying to kill a fly withchopsticks. Daniel asks Mr. Miyagi, “Wouldnt a fly swatter be easier?” Mr. Miyagi replies “Manwho catch fly with chopstick accomplish anything.” Daniel then asks Mr. Miyagi if he has ever
caught a fly this way, but Mr. Miyagi says no. Daniel then asks if he can try. Mr. Miyagi offershim a pair of chopsticks. After a couple of tries, Daniel catches the fly. Daniel then says, “I guessthis means I can accomplish anything right Mr. Miyagi?” Mr. Miyagi says that it is justbeginner’s luck and leaves the room. It is very ironic that Daniel, who has never tried to catch afly with chopsticks, caught it; when Mr. Miyagi, who has tried plenty of times to catch a fly withchopsticks, did not catch it. Another funny part of the movie is when Daniel is learning about balance. Mr. Miyagi takeshim to a lake, and they go out on a boat. Mr. Miyagi tells Daniel to stand on the end of the boatand says, “Make block, Left, right. Up, down. Side, side. Breathe in, breathe out. And no scare fish.” Fora while, Daniel keeps trying to do this while maintaining his balance. Then Daniel asks Mr. Miyagi,“When do I learn how to punch?” Mr. Miyagi answers, “Learn how punch, after you learn howkeep dry!” Then Mr. Miyagi rocks the boat, throwing Daniel into the water. This practical joke is veryfunny due to the fact it is obvious that Daniel is really concentrating on his balance, and yet Mr. Miyagiplays this trick on him. While most people would find it extremely hard to believe that learning karatecould be funny, these examples prove that it can be very funny. Not only is this movie clean with funny parts, it also has lessons about trust, persistence andthat there is more to solving a problem than fighting. Once Daniel finds out that Mr. Miyagiknows karate, he asks him to teach him. Mr. Miyagi asks Daniel why he wants to learn karate,and Daniel answers that it is for revenge. Mr. Miyagi says, “Daniel-san, you look revenge thatway start by digging two grave.” He goes on to say that, “Fighting always last answer toproblem, karate for defense only. Even before Mr. Miyagi starts to teach Daniel about karate,he teaches him that fighting is not the answer to solve a problem. Mr. Miyagi keeps up at
teaching Daniel this lesson until Daniel finally understands. This is just one of the lessonsthroughout this movie. Other lessons that Daniel learns are trust and persistence. Daniel makes a promise that hewill learn from Mr. Miyagi, and will do what he says without asking any questions. Daniel keepshis promise as best as he can, but also trusts Mr. Miyagi to teach him karate, even though itseems like Mr. Miyagi is only using him to do chores. Daniel has washed and waxed cars,painted a fence and Mr. Miyagi’s house, and sanded Mr. Miyagi’s deck. Even though thesethings do not seem to have anything to do with karate, Daniel keeps coming to Mr. Miyagi.After a while, Daniel has had enough of doing chores, and tells Mr. Miyagi he is done. Mr.Miyagi then tells Daniel to do the sand the deck motion that he had Daniel do when he wassanding the deck, Daniel does this motion. Then Mr. Miyagi shows him that he has beenteaching him defense while having him do these chores. Because Daniel trusted, and waspersistent, he did learn karate without knowing it. Amidst all of this, Daniel also learns to respect Mr. Miyagi, even though at the beginningDaniel thinks Mr. Miyagi is weird. During one scene Mr. Miyagi is drunk and singing. Danielasks what they are celebrating, and Mr. Miyagi tells him they are celebrating his anniversary.Mr. Miyagi tells Daniel about his wife, and how the last time he saw her he was in Hawaii.Daniel then asks Mr. Miyagi where his wife is now, and Mr. Miyagi kind of ignores the question.Instead he shows Daniel a picture of his pregnant wife. Then Mr. Miyagi goes on to act outhow, when he was in the war, someone told him that his wife and unborn child died while inchildbirth. Mr. Miyagi then cries, and is mourning once again for his wife and unborn child he
never got to meet. Daniel helps Mr. Miyagi get into bed and tucks him in, because Mr. Miyagi istoo drunk to do it himself. This is when it hits Daniel that Mr. Miyagi is a real person, andDaniel comes to respect Mr. Miyagi even more than he did before. These are just some of themany life lessons in this movie to note. There are lessons on respecting your elders, patience,courage, balance, and so much more. This movie is deeper than just a story about a kid whogets beat up and learns karate. It is very fascinating to see this relationship grow between Daniel and Mr. Miyagi. Here isDaniel coming from a completely different culture, and with a very different perspective fromMr. Miyagi, and yet they become very close friends. Daniel finds out about Mr. Miyagi’s wife,and Mr. Miyagi will celebrate Daniel’s birthday with him. Over time Mr. Miyagi become afather figure to Daniel. Now, some people will say this movie is not that clean because Daniel swears. It is true thatDaniel does swear a few times in the movie, but the swearing is included in the movie to showthat he comes from a bad neighborhood, and also that he is very frustrated. Daniel is veryfrustrated due to the fact that he is the new kid in town, his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend is alwaysbelittling him in front of her, and that no one wants to be his friend, due to the perception thathe is not cool, and does not fit in. Even though Daniel swears a few times, this movie is still agood clean movie. Some people may argue that this movie is extremely predictable. This istrue, but it does not take away from the movie. It seems that Americans love movies in whichthe underdog wins. After all, America was the underdog who won the revolutionary war. Itseems to be a part of the American culture. Even though this movie is predictable, it does not
make the movie boring. The original Karate Kid is a wonderfully made, clean movie ,that also contains valuable life lessons.These include trust, respect for elders, patience, courage, and pacifism. It may be a bit predictable, butit is still wonderful. It did not win the 1985 Best Family Motion Picture for no reason. This movienever gets old; it is definitely one of those movies that can be watched over and over.Works CitedThe Internet Movie Database. 2011. 1 February 2011 <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087538/>.The Karate Kid. Dir. John G. Avildsen. Perf. Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita. 1984.