Did Daniel San Get it Right? Karate Question.

The Karate Kid…loved the movie, loved the message…still holds up today, IMHO (as of last night!) Mr. M’s teaching methods blow the mind; however, was what Daniel learned actually Karate? I assume so, otherwise they would’ve kicked him out of the “torn-a-ment.” Could someone really learn Karate ala Miyagi Do?

In the first movie he learned very little karate, but what he learned he learned well, this is a lesson worth teaching. I can only assume the hundreds of hours of practice occured somewhere off screen.
Nothing really way out there, even the stupid crane kick could work once if the other guy had never really seen it before.

“Karate” is a fairly loose word-- There are many different styles of karate, which use different moves. If you’ve got a reasonably effective unarmed fighting style, and want to call it “karate”, nobody’s going to complain. If you’ve got an ineffective unarmed fighting style, and call it “karate”, well, people might laugh at you, but they’re still not going to disqualify you from tournaments.

The third movie was really absurd, with Daniel - completely out of shape, pudgy, and acting like a whiny little bitch, on top of all that - defeating Karate’s Bad Boy, Mike Barnes, who was obviously in peak physical condition, and was skilled enough in technique that he had a whole feature article written about him in a karate magazine.

In the movie when Mr. M and D went to the beach to practice and you saw M on a post doing the crane kick. The guy who actually performed that stunt was one Fumiyo Demura, the shihan (sort of a district manager for dojos) of the style I took, Shito-Ryu (under soke Teruo Hayashi). The crane style we were taught was vastly different and more of a strong stance than a single kick. We were expressly forbidden to perform any of the style’s katas in public (such as tournaments – which we were discouraged to participate in any case).

By painting the fence, washing the car, etc, M was teaching D “muscle memory” WRT blocking. A vital part of any karate style.

I agree that the hundreds of hours of practice occurred off-screen, however M was taught by a pure karetka (with a pure style taught one-on-one, handed down through generations), while the bad boy was taught by American schools (which focus on making money and going to tournaments), which (IMHO) are far inferior to the real thing in Okinawa.

So, yes, I think (suspension of disbelief aside) that it could actually work.

The Japanese bad boy in #2 should have wiped the floor with Daniel’s ass and reveled in the lamenting of his woman.

Bolding mine.

May I ask why?

Ancient Chinese Secret?

The style I took was specifically designed by soke Hayashi-san (I’m being respectful because he’s dead. Smoked like a feind. Go figure) for self-defense, and not tournament point-based fighting, as is the case with most Americanized styles.

It was billed as a “Traditional Okinawan” style, and he didn’t want “his baby” bastardized and stolen by competing dojos, both here and in Okinawa.

We were taught extensively on Bushido (warrior’s code) and the now-iconic “Karate is to be used for defense only”. Americanized Karate tournaments go against this philosophy. We had plenty of in-house tournaments, and you literally got the crap beat out of you (we still wore pads, but it was 1/2 contact) if you were off your game.

And, as a style designed to end a harm-causing street fight in the quickest way possible, it was not suited whatsoever for tournament “tag, you’re it”, matches.

Ancient Chinese secret?? Oh, I get it now. Okinawa is CLOSE to China.

Previous threads:

So. “The Karate Kid.” Is the karate all bullshit or what?

Karate Kid: What is the name of that posture

I trained in Krav Maga for a year, and one of the things I liked about it was the standardization in teaching across the U.S. You have to be franchised by the headquarters in L.A. to open a Krav school (though that isn’t necessarily true elsewhere in the world). It seems like with karate (and taekwondo) that any schlub with a blackbelt can start his own “karate school” and teach you any damn thing he wants.

Ew. I can see why you weren’t supposed to perform those moves in public.

Apropos of not very much, said bad boy owns a Japanese/Hawaiian restaurant half a block from my house, and is a friendly fellow.

From what I remember of the first movie - either the dubbed version or the book to the movie - is that Daniel had already taken some Karate lessons before moving to the new location, so there was a basis there, but the guys at the beach were better. There’s also a scene, after that encounter at the beach, when Daniel is looking for a Karate school to continue and improve his Karate … and ends up at the Dojo of the bullies.

Similarly, the girl Julie in the 4th movie had also previously learned basic Karate, and Miyagi continued her training.

Related question: I was appalled at the teaching style and philosophy of the Kobra Kai Dojos in the Karate Kid movies - is this the norm for American Karate and similar Martial Arts, both the tournament-orientation and the horrible philosophy of strength? Or is it an aberration, and most American dojos focus on Miyagis philosophy?

I don’t know if there’s a standard american method but in the classes i took there was no philosophy taught. Even if my experience is an aberration i doubt that the philosophy shown in the movie would be very realistic. It seemed like hollywood bad-guy type of overly simplistic writing.

No Philosophy? Only the martial arts moves themselves? Yikes! But by stripping away the peaceful, only-defense, discipline-of-the-mind, the meditation techniques at the start and the end of each lesson, the humbleness, the value of life … martial arts is already reduced to a “stronger is better” fighting style, nothing more. By not telling explicitly the important part, they are implicitly agreeing with the Kobra Kai blunt message, I would think. The whole non-mention and stress on the physical aspects only of trainig (that some of the Dopers who do martial arts have also described) is what’s so different to me from my own Budo sports teaching here.

There’s a great Robot Chicken bit with the actual Pat Morita voicing it, where he’s dealing with someone else and Daniel-san walks in.

“Ah, Daniel-san. I thought I smelled failure.”

If I remember correctly (and I only watched it once and felt disgusted with myself afterwards), Barnes beat the holy hell out of Daniel during the tournament, but he kept losing points for (purposely) using illegal hits. He’d hit Daniel with like 5 legit shots, then 5 illegal shots. So it was like a 0-0 tie, they went into overtime, and Daniel landed a lucky hit and won the match.

But I could be completely misremembering it, and I refuse to go back and watch it to find out.