my first Karate Kid article, I basically say that this training is completely useless, as the movements it employs are much too different from the actual motions the “Karate Kid”, Dre performs.
WAX ON, WAX OFF
Now, pretty much everybody knows or at least has heard of “wax on, wax off”, Mr. Miyagi famous line from the original Karate Kid. It’s the technique that “jacket on, jacket off” was ultimately derived from, but is it equally as ineffective?
My personal feelings on cinema aside, the answer to the question I posed above is no. Before reviewing the original film, I’d have said “yes”, without any hesitation, but there’s actually more to “wax on, wax off” than meets the eye.
In the 2010 version, all Dre does at the beginning of his training cycle is pick up his jacket off the ground, wear it, take it off, hang it up, drop it to the floor, and repeat for what seemed liked several weeks in a row, even in the falling rain.
Unlike Dre, Daniel didn’t do the exact same thing in day 2 and the days that followed. Day 2 was sanding floors, which is almost the same motion as wax on, wax off, but with a slight twist. Daniel performed wax on, wax off with a circular clockwise motion with his right hand, and a counter clockwise motion with his left hand. The motions were reversed in sanding the floors, with the right hand going in a counter clockwise motion and the left hand going in a clockwise motion.
Day 3 was even more different than the last. This time, it was painting the fence, which Daniel had to do in a very specific upward and downward fashion. Day 4 was painting the house, which was performed in very specific left to right brushstrokes.
Everyone knows where this is all going, though. In day 5, Daniel suddenly knows the basics of Karate blocking, which doesn’t happen in real life. But, then, why do I say that “wax on, wax off” and its counterparts are more effective than “jacket on, jacket off”. Simple: conditioning.
As anyone who’s ever done house chores and errands for an entire day knows, it’s hard work and taxing on the entire body. This is actually how people of old developed strong bodies day to day, by doing all sorts of manual labor. Think about it. How often have you seen laborers who have very well developed bodies as you pass by on the street. Sure, there are some of them with grossly large beer bellies, but I find that there are even more with well developed muscles and firm bodies.
DO IT YOURSELF!
So, what am I saying, that we should all work as manual laborers instead so we can all get buff the same way? No, of course not, but it does inspire one to rid the mind of laziness, get up and get some work done. Clean your room. Walk to the store and buy the needed groceries. Replace any burnt out light bulbs and broken pipes around the house. Mop the floors when they get grimy. Do it all yourself and don’t be lazy about it. Think it’s a waste of time and that you could be doing something of greater importance? Like what? Lying around and playing video games?
Believe it or not, these chores actually improve one’s quality of living, especially if done on a regular basis. By keeping your room clean, you prevent filth from accumulating; By fixing any holes in the roof, you prevent leaks during the rainy season; By walking to the store inside of driving or commuting, you’re getting some much needed exercise and saving some cash at the same time. These are all good things that will benefit you tremendously if you do them on a regular basis.
MORE TO COME …
That’s not the end, though. As I was typing down my thoughts on the Karate Kid, I realized that I took in a bit too much. Yes, that means there’s more. Also, I didn’t really fully answer the question posed to me yet. “Wax on, wax off” and the first four days of Daniel’s training was only part of what Mr. Miyagi’s training regimen. Daniel did train for two months to prepare for the tournament, after all, so what did I think of the rest of the training sessions? Tune in tomorrow for the follow up article!