Is this Movie too Violent for Young Children ?
There has been a fair bit of controversy surrounding the Karate Kid Movie 2010. Despite the debate as to whether this film is suitable for children to view, many youngsters will see it. You have to decide for yourself whether your child is mature enough to deal with the violence in it. As a kids karate sensei, I would like to make suggestions on how to view this movie, and how to discuss it with your child.
First off, violence sells in Hollywood. MMA is so popular because people want to see real fighting action, maybe even someone getting hurt. Sometimes more violence than necessary is shown to make a movie dramatic and sell tickets. The consequences of such violence are not shown either. Missing teeth, broken bones and other serious injuries are not portrayed accurately by Hollywood because it is too gory. The pain and trauma is also not shown because it is too confronting to viewers.
Look for Other Solutions to Conflict
Realize that fighting is not the way to solve our problems. There are many better ways of resolving conflict other than violence, and the first is communication—talking it over. Could the differences between the characters in this movie have been resolved in a better way?
The bullies in this movie, like the original Karate Kid Movie, trained in dojos that taught glorification of violence. This is extremely rare in the martial arts world, but it makes the movie more dramatic, because there has to be a bad guy in this story to make it interesting. The vast majority of martial arts instructors teach respect and avoidance of violence.
The tournament in this movie, just like the first, is not even close to what an actual martial arts tournament is like. Realise there are rules in tournaments and they are designed to prevent injury. There is also mandatory protective equipment worn in tournaments. If tournaments were run like this no one would ever attend them.
Try to Find Good Lessons in this Movie
Look for good in this movie. Try to find lessons to be learned about life in the story. Try to put yourself in the different actors’ positions in this movie and see where they are coming from. Is there peer pressure amongst the bullies? Was the bully brainwashed by his instructor? Was he racist? Who taught him to be racist?
Try to see how another culture lives from day to day. Remember, different is not always better or worse—it is just different, and that differences in language, food, and customs is what makes life interesting. How interesting would the world be if we were all the same? Look for common threads as well, as there are many western influences in China today. Is the western way of life always the best? Look for the beauty in the scenic sense, and also in the people and how they live. Remember, the martial arts originated in this part of the world.
What lessons did you learn from this movie? I am very interested to hear from you. If you reveal too much about the outcome, I might have to edit your comment, so we don’t ruin the movie for other people who may want to see it. Please keep this in mind.
Note: Since I wrote this post Sue over at My Journey to Black Belt has reviewed the movie in a different light. Although I disagree with her on many aspects of the movie, we agree on others. It is well worth your reading, for a well-balanced view. While there, check out her blog–it is an excellent martial arts site.
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