I just finished watching The Karate Kid (2010) and just like the previous Karate Kid movies I’ve watched — from The Karate Kid 1 to The Next Karate Kid — I felt really light, happy and full of hope. Yes! Those are the effects that these movies have had on me. Some people may find it funny, even weird that I would feel that way but I really can’t deny that fact! And with good reason, rather reasons, which I will enumerate in a bit.
“You have taught me very important lesson, Xiao Dre. Life will knock us down, but we can choose whether or not to stand back up.” ~ Mr. Han (Jackie Chan)
Yes, the story is predictable. Anybody will know from the beginning of the movie that the kid will win but only after being hurt — “broken” (I notice they like using this term in all the movie versions) physically, specifically the leg — but I guess that’s where the moral of the story really stems. That even if you’re scared, hurt emotionally and physically and you just feel like giving up, the important thing is that you go on and fight (be it for something or someone you love) because at the end of the day, the only thing that would matter is that you gave it your all. And that even if you lose, at least you didn’t quit. And with that kind of attitude, you can still say that you’re a winner.
Dre Parker: Do you think I could’ve won?
Mr. Han: Win or lose doesn’t matter, Xiao Dre.
Dre Parker: You know that’s not what I mean.
Mr. Han: Yes. I think you had a good chance.
Dre Parker: So let’s do the fiery cup thing.
Mr. Han: You don’t need to fight anymore. You have proven everything you need to prove.
Dre Parker: What, that I can get beat up easy and then quit? That’s not balance, that’s not real kung fu. You said that when life knocks you down, you could choose whether or not to get back up. Well, I’m trying to get back up, and why won’t you help me?
Mr. Han: Because I cannot watch you get hurt anymore.
Dre Parker: Please, Mr. Han, please.
Mr. Han: Just tell me, Xiao Dre, why? Why do you need to go back out there so badly?
Dre Parker: Because I’m still scared. And no matter what happens, tonight, when I leave, I don’t want to be scared anymore.
Everyone in this world, yes, nobody is “excused”, experiences the harsh realities of life. Although it comes in different degrees but still it is something that we have to face day in and day out. Some may even “break” us to the point of giving up, but I still believe that we should never lose hope. And just like the Karate Kid, never quit. We owe it to ourselves to at least try. I know sometimes it may be hard but if something or someone is truly important, then the risks shouldn’t be a hindrance in trying to make the best out of any situation. Because after all has been said and done, only 2 things may happen. You “win” and actually get what you want (and of course deserve since you fought for it!) or “lose” and consider it a “lesson learned” so that you may not do the same mistake and/or you’ll know what to do the next time the same thing happens (and eventually win!). Whatever the outcome may be, whether you’re a “wax on/ wax off” baby or the modern “put on/pick up your jacket”, I do believe that it actually is a win-win situation, don’t you think?
Other lessons I picked up from the movie: There is a time to act and a time to step away. It is not enough just to know the moves and beat an enemy, we must know that it is not a matter of winning or losing, it is living respectfully, controlling oneself and not others, and treating others with the honor and decency you would expect back from them. And of course these things which we all have learned since preschool but sadly often neglect due to one reason or another: honoring your parents, loving your neighbor and yourself, respecting those in authority and yourself, keeping your integrity intact, being a true friend, and keeping promises.
By the way, I love the fact that they cast Jackie Chan as the teacher this time. He’s so perfect for the role. His philisophies in life and who he really is fit the storyline to a T. I’ve loved him since Drunken Master, I love him until now. Will and Jada Smith’s adorable son, Jaden (a mini Will in terms of looks and mannerisms) is turning out to be quite a good actor. I watched a movie of him with his dad and let’s just say that very good “acting genes” are truly running in his veins.