entertainment

Because I'm somewhat familiar with the Black Belt Mag demographic, I can safely say there's a good chance you're a lot like me. You probably grew up in the martial arts, and when The Karate Kid came out in 1984, you loved every minute of it.


You likely watched The Karate Kid Part II when it was released in 1986 and fantasized about jetting to Okinawa to learn karate (and perhaps to fall in love with a local lad or lass).

You might have been somewhat less enthusiastic about The Karate Kid Part III (1989, with Terry Silver: "A man can't stand, he can't fight!") and The Next Karate Kid (1994, with Hilary Swank assuming the role of the student in need of Mr. Miyagi's morality), but still you watched — and in all likelihood reminisced about your formative years in the arts.

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Then came the black hole, the period when seemingly no martial arts movie could capture the philosophical side of our passion — you know, the reason we all train for life. Fortunately, that black hole collapsed in on itself when YouTube announced in 2018 that it was resurrecting the Karate Kid storyline in the form of a series called Cobra Kai.

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It’s long been a complaint of serious martial artists that the film industry presents a distorted view of the arts. By capitalizing on flamboyant aspects and then pushing them to the bizarre, moviemakers give the public little chance to learn what the arts are really about. In most cases, the true purpose of budo is either glossed over or simply absent. A welcome change came in 1984 with the release of The Karate Kid. Not only was the movie a box-office smash, but it also was a big hit among the proponents of budo. In addition to doing much to educate the public, it was directly responsible for many people signing up for martial arts lessons.

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Fans of Dr. Laura Schlessinger know she often advises callers to sign up for martial arts lessons. In this exclusive interview, the hapkido and taekwondo stylist reveals why she's such an advocate.

Dr. Laura Schlessinger, known to her millions of fans as simply “Dr. Laura," is a radio and Internet problem-solver who doles out practical, no-holds-barred advice for extinguishing life's emergencies. In between her probing questions and cut-to-the-chase admonishments are almost daily recommendations to sign up for martial arts lessons.

In this exclusive interview, the Southern California-based author and black belt recalls her experiences in the arts and her reasons for recommending them to her legions of listeners.

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