It’s absolutely impossible for me to read the words Karate Kid without “You’re The Best Around” by Joe Esposito boom boxing into my brain in true ’80s fashion. But this life-affirming song isn’t the only about the kick-ass movie.
Below is a round up of Mr. Miyagi’s wisest and most philosophical words that have a wealth of relevance even outside the field of karate. Whether you need someone to counsel you through a difficult spot at your job or romantic woes, the mustachioed martial arts expert probably has some advice for you.
1. “Wax On, Wax Off” – Karate Kid
To the uninitiated, this quote might look quite mundane, but to Mr. Miyagi’s disciples it’s message is profound. The quote urges us to seek the merit in seemingly mundane tasks, and by extension, realize we can be learning every moment of our waking lives. Yep, even that mountain of laundry can teach you something, whether it’s about discipline or mindfulness.
2. “It’s Okay To Lose To Opponent. It’s Never Okay To Lose To Fear” – The Karate Kid, Part III
While the opponent in this circumstance is clearly a karate rival, the significance of this Mr. Miyagi pearl of wisdom can be spread far and wide in your life. Didn’t get that job? No problem, the courage to go to the interview in the first place is more important anyway. If you don’t push your limits and do things that make you uncomfortable, more often than not your life will remain static. It’s time to face those fears.
3. “You Trust The Quality Of What You Know, Not Quantity” – TheKarate Kid
This wisdom contained in this iconic line delivered at Daniel’s birthday party is far more valuable than any cake. There will always be someone who knows more than you about pretty much everything, but if you are confident in you skills and trust your judgement, your calm self-assurance will probably be enough to get by.
4. “You Remember The Lesson About Balance? Lesson Is Not Just Karate Only. Lesson Is For Whole Life” – The Karate Kid
Sure, Mr. Miyagi began by teaching Daniel lessons about physical balance to allow him to slay in the karate tournament, but balance is essential in your whole life as well. If you work 18 hours a day as a stockbroker and earn piles of money, you still probably won’t be happy because you have no time to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
5. “Never Put Passion In Front Of Principle, Even If You Win, You Lose” –
If you get swept up in your emotions and do something that goes against what you truly believe, any victory will be hollow because you have betrayed yourself.
6. “Because, Daniel-San, For Person With No Forgiveness In Heart, Living Even Worse Punishment Than Death” – The Karate Kid, Part II
Mr. Miyagi might know how to decapitate a clutch of bottles in one fell swoop, but that doesn’t mean he is in any way a violent person. The Japanese trainer and spiritual advisor understands that living with hatred in your heart will end up corroding your happiness while your adversary remains relatively unscathed.
7. “Walk On Road, Hmmm? Walk Left Side, Safe. Walk Right Side, Safe. Walk Middle, Sooner Or Later… Get Squish Just Like Grape” – The Karate Kid
If you don’t know what you stand for and always take the middle road while trying to please everyone, life will eventually end up more difficult for you, even though you are actively trying to avoid confrontation.
8. “Daniel-San, Lie Become Truth Only If Person Wanna Believe It” – The Karate Kid, Part II
Mr. Miyagi educates us on a valuable truth about character here. After rumors spread about him in his home town in Japan, he reminds Daniel that the lie only matters if people believe it. If you are a good person with an honorable character, people will be unlikely to believe vicious smears against you and the lie becomes powerless.
If you want an entirely different reading on The Karate Kid that turns the movie on its head,
Which of Mr. Miyagi’s pearls of wisdom do you find most meaningful?