Facing the Bully: A New Karate Kid

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Poke fun all you want, but I am totally cool with their being a new Karate Kid movie (coming in June).   I’ve no doubt that Jackie Chan can pull off the Mentor role first played by Pat Morita (Mr. Miyagi).  He’s made an entire career playing Fools and Warriors with a lesson to teach (Teacher) so this role should fit like a glove.   From the trailer it appears that Jaden Smith is going to do well playing the scrappy  young Warrior-in-training as Ralph Macchio did in 1984.

The Child/Victim taking down the Bully is one of our perennial archetypal stories.  It’s the David and Goliath story all over again but this time in a 21st century context.   I  enjoy being entertained and reminded that we all have a deep well of strength within us which can many times only be found through adversity.

The Child, in order to go up against the Bully needs to learn how to find the strength to do so.  The Mentor provides discipline and guidance to be come a true Warrior.

Contrary to much of our modern myths and movies, the core motivation of a Warrior  is to protect boundaries – not seek vengeance or violence.   The Warrior needs to be ready and have enough confidence to perform when he or she is called to duty.  He or she might have been called to become a Warrior because they were beaten down by a Bully (become a Victim) but the most inspiring part of the story is the journey of learning not only how to build their strength but to learn respect and flexibility.  Without respect and flexibility it’s far too easy to become a Bully and use strength for harm which continues the cycle of violence. The original Karate Kid did an excellent job of this and it looks like this new one will too.

The Warrior is about duty, protection, honor and respect but above all the wisdom to know when to fight and when to hold the line.  Summer is coming and I am looking forward to some entertaining, inspiring and yes even big Hollywood cheesy movies.

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