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Just Like Grape

posted Sep 3, 2011, 4:47 PM by Eric Banks

Either do not attempt at all, or go through with it.

- Ovid



In mid August, after a Saturday class, we are going to see the new Karate Kid movie.  I’ve heard good things about it and we are all looking forward to the excursion, but I gotta admit, when it comes to “The Karate Kid”, I’m kind of old school. 


I don’t know how many times I’ve seen the original, I’ve simply lost count.  I do remember seeing it for the first time in the theater back in 1984.  I believe that night was the church youth group’s lock-in extravaganza welcoming the new 7th graders, and the first of way too many lock-in events that I would subsequently participate in.  We had a blast and, somehow, actually watched and loved the flick.  I mean, what’s not to love about that movie: iconic quotations, cool ‘80’s music, karate, outstanding chemistry (and animosity) between the actors, karate, oh, and did I mention the most excellent ‘80’s tunes?


One of the many great, memorable scenes involves Mr. Miyagi speaking with his newest pupil just prior to the start of training*.


Miyagi: Now, ready? 
Daniel: Yeah, I guess so. 
Miyagi: [sighs] Daniel-san, must talk. 
[They both kneel] 
Miyagi: Walk on road, hm? Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later 
[makes squish gesture and sound] get squish just like grape. Here, karate, same thing. Either you karate do "yes" or karate do "no." You karate do "guess so," [makes squish gesture and sound] just like grape. Understand? 
Daniel: Yeah, I understand. 
Miyagi: Now, ready? 
Daniel: Yeah, I'm ready.


Now that says so much about so many things in life!  You can’t walk down the middle of the road, and live a “guess so” life for too long, because sooner or later, that lack of commitment will get ya squished.  One way or another, being half-hearted will only result in full-hearted heartache, and in the end, a life that was only half-lived.  A certain Carpenter gave a similar, but graver warning several centuries ago about living that lukewarm life and how the result is far worse than being hot or cold…


Total, absolute commitment is, of course, imperative to our training, and self-defense, as well.  If you only half-heartedly defend yourself from a fully-committed attacker, you’ll immediately know how bad an idea that was.  Imagine that…someone comes at you to do you harm, but instead of running away (at full speed) or fully engaging them, you only give half or less of what you’ve got.  Not smart, and everyone knows it; how much more unwise is it then, to live your entire life lukewarm, half-committed, half-hearted?


Sure, being committed takes, well, you know, commitment, but being fully engaged will always yield rewards that can never ever be reaped by those who live their lives on the fence never really committing.


So where are you today?  Are you about to get the squish, or are you fully committed to whatever you do, to whoever you are, and to whatever you could become?


If you haven’t seen the new movie, you are welcome to join us.  And, if for some strange reason you’ve never seen the original, rest assured, we’ll be watchin’ it at the dojo again very soon.


Train, and live, with your whole being.






*Note: I don’t know all the rules about citing movies or sources on the net, in a blog, so here goes…   Borrowed from Columbia Pictures Corporation, “The Karate Kid” (1984), Jerry Weintraub Productions, written by Robert Mark Kamen, directed by John G. Avildsen, starring Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Elisabeth Shue. 

That should do it, I think. 

Please don’t sue me.