June 8, 2010

The Sound of One Hand Clapping


I keep seeing the trailer and ad for the new The Karate Kid movie.  I’m completely torn by it.  I don’t want to like it because it’s not MY Karate Kid movie.  You know, the one with Mr. Miyagi and Daniel-San.  Wax on. Wax off.  That one.  The one where Daniel-san does the Crane kick at the end.  I’m old school!

But this newest Karate Kid movie looks really good.  BabyGirl has seen the trailer and she liked it.  She liked Jaden Smith because he’s a boy that seems kinda scared to move to China and she would be too.  I think I’d be scared too, but more like his mom in the movie I’d probably be very excited as well.

I’m drawn to the new version though because of the lessons.  It’s the same reason I was drawn to the original Karate Kid.  Well that, and I was the typical teenage girl infatuated with Ralph Macchio.  He was the rebel from The Outsiders, and now he was learning obedience from Mr. Miyagi.  And even though it was karate and I had no clue about it or for that matter really even cared about it, I was so taken by this movie.

I think it was the fact that my grandparents had traveled to China that same year the movie came out that it was more relevant to me.  For me it was all about the message.  The Wax On, Wax Off.  The zenish way that Mr. Miyagi went about teaching Daniel-San to respect himself, others and the world around him.  Ok, I also like that Mr. Miyagi could totally whip those other boys faster than I can say Crane kick.

So now it’s got me thinking, what’s the point of the mind control stuff we see in these movies.  Not the bad kind of mind control, like that of an abusive boyfriend.  But the personal mind control.  Our inner ability to channel our thoughts to do something we never believed possible.  Why does Daniel-san have to wax the car a certain way?  Why does the new kid, Dre, have to take off his jacket and put it on so many times?  It’s all part of the mental toughness.  The focus.  The ability to hear one hand clapping.

I think I’ll like it because it’s seems to be a lot like the original, except that I suspect the martial arts will be a bazillion times better what with Jackie Chan and progress in movie making.  I also think I’ll like it because I work toward the intense focus with BabyGirl.  Sure she’s only 7 but she play violin (Suzuki violin) and a lot of it is about focus and concentration.  And regardless of how smart I think she is, she’s still just a 7 year old and is easy distracted by her own thoughts. Seeing what focus can bring will be key.

For me it’s all the teaching moments.  All those little tidbits and zenish sayings.  They appeal to me as I try to lead my life focused on the positive.  But more than that, they appeal to me because I can see that with focus and determination I can perform the mental Crane kick (so as not to hurt myself physically).  And if I would just heed my own advice and  focus maybe I could hear the sound of one hand clapping. I could take on the world.

Do you think you’ll go see The Karate Kid when it comes out Friday, 6/11? Do you think you’ll walk away having really learned something?



Starving Student Survivor June 8, 2010 at 6:51 am

I’m, uh, embarrassed to admit it, but I never saw the original. I know. My husband is appalled, too.

Sara June 8, 2010 at 11:18 am

Don’t worry! A lot of people haven’t seen the original Karate Kid. It’s kinda like the Rocky movies, we all recognize it and certain scenes but so many have never seen it (but feel they have since people talk about it a lot). Maybe you’ll like this new one.

Kate @ Songs Kate Sang June 8, 2010 at 8:56 am

I think I’ll like it! I have a feeling my 7 year old will be asking for Karate lessons on June 12th 🙂

Sara June 8, 2010 at 11:21 am

Hi Kate!

Thanks for stopping by. I’m wondering if my daughter will want to learn more after seeing it. It’s been a long time since I’ve looked forward to a movie, but I’m actually excited this is coming out. The scenery is so beautiful, it will be like a little escape. And maybe I’ll learn how to do that crane kick once and for all.


Valerie D June 8, 2010 at 12:17 pm

Daughter saw the screening of the movie last week and said she liked it. Husband said it was good, but not as good as the original (I didn’t get to go, only one guest allowed at the screening for reviewers.) He said he was disappointed since the kid was so much younger than the original movie.

I think the whole idea of wax on, wax off was zen-like in one respect, and repetitious in another. That way when he said, “Wax on,” Daniel knew to move his hands in a certain way. I saw it as more of a training of the mind-just like creating a memory and habit and then it comes naturally to you rather than having to think about it. That is a great skill to learn-creating a habit. Exercise comes to mind….I’m gonna work on that.

Nicole June 8, 2010 at 2:17 pm

I do want to see it, but I think I’ll likely wait until it comes out on DVD. I definitely could use a lesson in focusing, which is not my strong suit. Thankfully, I have enough determination to compensate!

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