High Kicks and Karate Flicks

Happy Labor Day! I’m sure most of you are out barbequeing or enjoying the last long weekend of Summer at the beach. I, on the other hand, spent the weekend in a rather unorthodox manner: watching martial arts movies.

Action movies are easily my favorite genre, but I think that the martial arts subgenre might be my favorite kind of action movie. Maybe it’s because I grew up watching the Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on TV, or maybe it’s that hand-to-hand combat is just more visceral than explosions. Whatever the reason, watching an old Jackie Chan or Bruce Lee film just feels great (especially when they have cheesy dubs like Drunken Master).

On the other hand, they also remind me that my biggest childhood regret is never learning any martial arts.

Like many kids, I was bullied in elementary school, and the karate-kicking action stars of my youth gave me hope. And who knew, maybe if I got good enough I could grow up to become the next Red Ranger (I later learned this was impossible). Maybe I would have hated all the practice and getting kicked in the head, but I always envious of my friends growing up who took Karate or Judo.

Even now, I long for this training. Unless I stumble upon my own personal Mr. Miyagi though, I guess I’ll have to content myself with just watching the old Karate Kid movies on Netflix.