As far as I’m concerned, Mr. Miyagi was one of the greatest movie characters of all time. And while this character actually was based on a real-life master from Yokohama, Japan named Fumio Demura, I think Pat Morita did a brilliant job bringing this individual into my awareness, along with millions of others.Mr. Miyagi's strength, wisdom, and sense of humor made him likable - but it was his teachings that, if practiced, could not only elevate the consciousness of an individual, but can actually change the world. #mrmiyagi #cobrakai #miyagidoClick To Tweet
I have learned many things from this character, and I not only implement them in my own martial arts practice, but I do my best to practice them in my day to day life.
I will always remember the quiet intelligence of this man – so to honor him, I’m going to discuss some of the most valuable nuggets of wisdom I’ve learned from Mr. Miyagi.
3 Life Lessons I Learned from Mr. Miyagi
Lesson # 1 – Karate for defense only
I call this the “do no harm, but take no shit” approach to conflict and life itself – and I discussed it at length in my book, “Don’t Be a Jackass.”
It’s actually pretty simple – and it works like this:
It’s our responsibility to know the difference between force and violence.
Violence is when you initiate harm onto someone – therefore, violating them. This obviously means physical violence, however, violating people mentally, emotionally and psychologically also count.
Force is NOT the same as violence – insofar as – instead of initiating harm – force is the act of using whatever means is necessary to stop someone from the act of violence.
It’s our inherent right to protect ourselves and others from harm. When Mr. Miyagi advises Daniel to use Karate for defense only – he’s saying that while it’s important to be a warrior – he is to be a peaceful warrior and to use this art as a last resort ONLY.
Do no harm, but take no shit also applies when people are trying to manipulate, coerce or bully you into submitting to their will. Trying to control others can be viewed as a violation since it’s the act of theft of an individual’s free will. Doing no harm, but taking no shit means to allow others to live their life as they choose, however, you have every right to guard your own mental, emotional and physical well-being.
2 – Always remember balance
Balance in Martial Arts combines the mind, body and Spirit. They are to work together to blend strength, power, peace, flexibility, intuition and awareness.
In our day to day lives, it’s the healthy combination of work, rest, play and inner-solitude that creates a harmonious way of being. You can also see it as a way to blend the intellect and intuition and integrating them as a means of expressing complete intelligence.
Balance is also the act of seeing opposing perspectives and seeking commonalities and differences…and using them to not only see a bigger picture, but to blend what works and what doesn’t instead of fighting with one another over who’s “right.”
So, as you can see – balance is not only a way to combine the necessary elements to become whole, but to allow yourself to remain a seeker of knowledge instead of merely a hard-wired believer of facts and opinions.
3 – Wax on wax off (and all those other chores)
When we watched Daniel spend days involved in tedious and labor-intensive tasks that at first appeared to serve little purpose other than to work him to the bone instead of learning Karate, we saw that not only was he mistaken, but he actually learned more than he would have ever thought.
In this case, while it’s obvious that Daniel learned some pretty nifty blocking techniques that he was able to use immediately and on command, he also learned that sometimes, we learn our most valuable lessons in ways we would have never thought possible.
I can personally state that many times – during my boring day to day chores, I’ve received some of my deepest insights and ideas.When you engage in what you're doing and stay present, you have no idea what you'll learn in the process - and what higher levels of intelligence you'll have access to. #mindfulness #bepresent #lifelessons #MrMiyagiClick To Tweet
The nugget of wisdom here is that it’s great to actively seek knowledge. However, it’s those other times – usually when you’re either quiet or engaged in something seemingly meaningless that true wisdom SEEKS YOU INSTEAD!
Cobra Kai Series
If you enjoyed The Karate Kid back in the day and you haven’t yet watched the series Cobra Kai, you’re totally missing out. It is one of the BEST shows I’ve ever – and I have no doubt you’ll love it as much as I do.
It’s the continuation of the 1984 Karate Kid. Daniel Larusso and Johnny Lawrence are adults now, each with their inner-worlds filled with baggage from the past.
The creators of this show have done a brilliant job resurrecting these characters, bringing in new ones and taking this awesome movie from 34 years ago and bringing it back into our lives with new stories while respectfully paying homage to its predecessor.
Cobra Kai is interesting, light-hearted, intelligent, badass and funny. And yep – they’ve kept Mr. Miyagi’s Spirit alive and involved throughout the series.
Season 1 began last year in May. Season 2 starts next month (April 24th, 2019) on YouTube Red.
You can binge watch the entire series in one sitting…and I highly suggest you do so.
You’ll be in for a treat.
In the video below, I “drew” some of Mr. Miyagi’s photographs while talking about everything metioned here.
Until next time, take care.