82 The Karate Kid: recovering Warrior, King & Sage for our men



A healthy masculine journey progesses through the stages of Warrior, King and Sage … or so our great myths tell us! Yet, all three expressions are in crisis in the West, and the consequences are far reaching. Join Daniel-san and Mr Miyagi, re-learning the key stages of masculine initiation.  

Excerpt of episode

“… In many ways, the most important lesson that a boy learns during his initiation is that his strength is for the service of others, rather than himself. To the extent a man still uses his energy to dominate others and inflate his own ego, is to degree the man is still uninitiated, still a boy. This is why it is possible to have CEOs and presidents who appear to all the world are kings, but are still boys inside masquerading as kings. At the slightest provocation, these same men show up to be cowardly and without any grit to fight, or defend anything.

You will recall that in Karate Kid, one of the greatest lessons that Miyagi repeats to Daniel is that Karate is not primarily about offence and domination, but about defence and self-knowledge. The movie is littered with memorable quotes like: “Karate is not just about fighting. It’s about the knowledge of self and life.’ and “The best way to block a punch is not to be there” no such things bad student, only bad teacher, “and then when Daniel seemed obsessed with finding out what colour karate belt Miyagi has, Miyagi says “Karate is here” (points to head), “Karate is here” (points to heart), “Karate never here” (points to belt). In other words, what he was teaching Daniel was that karate was not about building up one’s ego, but about slowly eroding it away, so that he could at last be vulnerable and teachable.

These are the lessons that can only be learned in the wilderness, but as Daniel began to master them, he began to master his true strength, and offer it to those around him. He relationship with his mother improves, his relationship with Ally flourishes, his school is cleared of bullies, his love for Miyagi deepens, and of course, by the end of the movie, he earns to respect of Johny and his dojo buddies. The warrior, had become the king…”

Recommended Reading

Healing the Masculine Soul – Gordon Dalbey
Wild at Heart – John Eldredge
Adam’s Return – Richard Rohr