Friday, February 13, 2015

The Karate Kid

 It was 1984, I had been teaching youth for 5 years at the Scranton Boys Club.
Down the street from my home lived Fred Meurty a local judo competitor and  Judo instructor. He stopped by my home and told me about this new movie “The Karate Kid” that was coming out. Knowing I taught youth  (as well as holding youth karate tournaments) he told me about an idea he had. He found sponsorship and was inviting all of the youth martial arts programs in Lackawanna County to a free showing of the movie in Downtown Sceranton. Not knowing what the movie was about I said sure and then invited my class to attend the showing with me.
Watching the movie that first time with the kids from my class, well  I was knocked out.  That movie “ The Karate Kid” and it’s first sequel “The Karate Kid II” IMO are probably the two best movies that have ever been made about karate. No, not from the technical aspect, the execution was cheesy to say the least, but from the explanation about what karate was designed to be on Okinawa.
 I have seen to many martial arts films. At times entertaining but none of what I have seen really gets to what karate is to me. I don’t watch movies for technical excellence, rather for content. This movie shows a why one studies karate, and gives an Okinawan perspective about what karate could be.
 At that showing you could have heard a pin drop. All of the kids there were astonished, including the young men and women who trained with me. The applause at the end of the show was thunderous. I still recall leaving the theater that Saturday afternoon, entering the bright sunlight, and feeling incredulous after seeing that show.
In a small way, life would never be the same.

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