I have clearly failed!
I actually have some Black Belt students in the Teen/Adult classes who have NOT seen what I would consider to be “required viewing” for any serious martial artist. Especially in this day and age when you can pretty much watch whatever you want whenever you want.
And I’m not talking about some obscure art house martial arts film where people snap instead of clap for applause. I’m talking about Martial Arts Movies:101 here. I’m talking about movies that I really never even thought to ask “have you seen…”.
So yes, I have failed as a teacher. Apparently I have to list what some of these movies are? Apparently some people need to have their hands held to achieve basic martial arts culture. So, here I am!
And I’m not saying these are the All-Time Best martial arts movies, so relax.
There are plenty of amazing martial arts movies that many people haven’t seen. And there are even subcategories to these movies. You could make a Samurai section alone and be happy just watching “Musashi”, “The Seven Samurai”, and “Yojimbo”.
Then there are the countless Kung-Fu movies with endless classics. And, do you count Boxing movies as martial arts movies?? I do, but many don’t. But that could be a subsection all on its own too.
Lots of people even consider the “Matrix” to be a martial arts movie. Hmmm, I’m not so sure about that one?
However, there are certain martial arts movies that, up until now, I didn’t know of any Black Belt who hasn’t seen them, memorized them, imitated them, and quoted them daily. So, I am now making it my duty to re-educate this new generation of Black Belts and get them up to speed on what they really need to watch!
(And believe me, it pains me to have to do this!)
I’ll start with THE most obvious:
#1: The Karate Kid
There are actually students, and I’m not talking about 6 year olds, who have NOT seen the Karate Kid yet. I don’t even know what to say? Is it the best movie of all time? Of course not, but if you don’t know who Daniel-son, Mr Miyagi, Johnny, or Ali is (especially Ali!!), then you really have no business entering ANY dojo, especially a Karate dojo.
Speaking of entering…
#2: Enter The Dragon
Of all Bruce Lee’s amazing work in his short lifetime, this movie is probably what he is best known for. There are awesome fight scenes, villains, and philosophy (the art of fighting without fighting) on full display in this film. I think many even put this as their top martial arts movie of all time. It’s not my personal #1, but I always watch it when it is on, that’s for sure!
And finally, please do not get too serious in your martial arts endeavors without watching
Now, there is plenty wrong with this movie if you want to be critical about it. Many might even say that it’s a piece of crap? However, every martial artist I know has done their best Jean Claude Van Damne impression of him doing a full split and uppercutting someone in the nuts. It’s like a martial arts right-of-passage. Plus, being surrounded by an unruly crowd as you fight with them chanting “Kumite” is sure to get your blood flowing.
Start with these 3 at least, I beg you! And, if you skip them and get into an argument, and then a fight, and then you lose the fight over this someday…well, let’s just say that I will have no pity on you whatsoever!
Your task is clear. I have given you the roadmap.
Follow it wisely.