The Karate Kid is a 1984 American martial arts drama film written by Robert Mark Kamen and directed by John G. Avildsen. It is the first installment in The Karate Kid franchise, and stars Ralph Macchio, Noriyuki “Pat” Morita, and Elisabeth Shue. The Karate Kid follows Daniel LaRusso (Macchio), a teenager taught karate by Mr. Miyagi (Morita) to help defend himself and compete in a tournament against his bullies.
1. Lessons from “Wax On, Wax Off”
The first clip, “Wax on, Wax off” - starts off with an important line by Mr. Miyagi - “Walk on road. Walk right side, safe. Walk left side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later, you get squished just like grape”. He says that the same thing applies to Karate, either you do karate or you don”t, in both situations you know what you want to do. But if you approach karate (any learning endeavor for that matter) with a confused mindset then whatever learning you gain will not bear you any fruit.
2. Lessons from “Sand the Floor” & “Paint the Fence”
The other two clips, “Sand the Floor” and “Paint the Fence” are quite comical and quite intuitive. Here Mr. Miyagi asks Daniel to sand the wooden floor and paint the fence in a particular way – “Left the circle, Right the circle” and “Up And Down” respectively. Daniel initially has doubts about it but he follows his master”s orders and does the job without any questions. Both jobs are hard for him and it”s difficult to see how doing these jobs will help him in learning karate, but being a good student he does them nonetheless.
3. “Paint the House” and Conclusion
In the last clip, “Paint the House”, Daniel is asked to paint Mr.Miyagi”s house which he does but after awhile loses his cool on seeing Mr. Miyagi go fishing while he paints his house. Seeing his student angry and losing control, Mr. Miyagi shows Daniel how these tasks like Waxing the car, Sanding the floor, Painting the fence and the house were all part of his training. They were all ways to teach Daniel how to defend himself when attacked and by doing these tasks repeatedly they had became part of his muscle memory.
The Movie teaches us a very important lesson,
You got to have trust and faith in your teacher.
4. Learning to Learn, Relearn and Unlearn
Sometimes, while training or learning something new, you might feel that some of the things that your are being told to do by your teacher doesn’t make sense or you may not see any immediate results. In such a situation you must never loose faith and must continue doing what your teacher says. Seeking advice, asking for help and following orders are important key characteristics of a good student.
Remember ‘Persistence and Hard work are key for learning anything in life’