Saturday, February 17, 2018

2/17/2018 10:06:00 PM
It's been 34 years since the original Karate Kid came out in 1984, followed by two sequels. I don't have some inspiring story about how it spurred me into martial arts and changed my life, blah, blah, blah. However, it is a film that has always stuck with me into adulthood.

It's a quintessential underdog story, pitting a seemingly normal gangling teenage Daniel LaRusso against the brutal Cobra Kai trained popular kid Johnny Lawrence and his bully friends. While the overall story could be considered pretty cheesy by today's standards, there are valuable messages in the undercurrent.

I think one of the reasons it remains so memorable is that a lot of us know the feeling of moving to a new place, and how difficult it is to navigate the difficulties of starting at a new school.

We've all had to deal with bullies and in our own heads had fantasies about getting revenge or at least some kind of vindication. Karate Kid has come to be a frame of reference for bullying in popular culture. Even the movie "The Social Network" uses the scene where Daniel is being chased by Johnny and his friends wearing skeleton costumes as a metaphor for how the Winklevoss could be perceived as bullying Mark Zuckerberg.

The movie also promotes the idea that in order to succeed, you need dedication and discipline. It also sends the message that violence should only be an option when you have no other choice.

Okay, now I want to go back and watch it again.

In case you were wondering what Daniel and Johnny are up to more than three decades later, you're in luck. YouTube Red is kicking off a new series called "Cobra Kai" and both Ralph Macchio and William Zabka will be reprising their roles in the new show. Sadly Pat Morita passed in 2005, so we won't get to see Mr. Miyagi in the new show.

The first trailer for the show has been released and I have to say I'm pretty excited to see what they do with the show. In my head I'm just repeating "please don't suck" over and over again in my head. I'm sure Ralph and William need the work, it's not like they've been in much since... but I really hope that they wouldn't agree to do the show if it wasn't going to do the original the justice it deserves.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see.


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