‘The Karate Kid’ remake (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1155076/) may be bugging some traditionalists
in the martial arts community. The newest martial arts film starring
Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith features a similar story line to the classic made
in 1984, bullied kid wants to fight back and finds a martial arts teacher that gives
him life lessons through the practice of martial arts.
Kung Fu, a Chinese system and Karate, which originates in
Japan look nothing alike as far as their movements are concerned. They teach fighting, forms and weapons
completely different, but they have similar messages in their lessons. Smith’s character (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087538/) moves to China with his
mom, a place where I would expect far more culture shock than the San Fernando
Valley. Unlike Danny Larusso
(played by Ralph Macchio) , Dre (played by Smith) is younger and clearly more
talented. Regardless, the original
karate kid did teach karate, not kung fu.
The film was a true coming of age story and impacted many kids I knew at
thetime. It confirmed one of my
personal mottos, Stand up for yourself!
This mantra impacted me tremendously and offered great motivation for me
to stay in karate my original style and the martial arts for my entire life.
Despite the styles being intermingled, I believe these
types of stories are valuable for each young generation. It can stimulate
interest in the martial arts for all the right reasons. Whether is it Miyagi (played by Pat
Mortia) or Mr. Han (played by JackieChan), young people need to learn the same
lessons I did when I was 9 and first began studying martial arts.
For what it is worth, as a black belt in Karate and Kung
Fu, I am not bothered by the lack of clarity drawn between these two
drastically different styles of martial arts. I am happy to see martial arts positively presented and used
to inspire its practice.
Interesting article discusses some of these points.