Balance and Success

Inspired by the Karate Kid — We Learned the Importance of Balance in Life

I was 6 years old when I first saw the Karate Kid. I remember leaving the theater on a high. I wanted to sign up for karate the next day. I remember spending the next weeks doing the Krane kick off of everything. This movie taught me how excellence and greatness are created by mastering the principles of anything we do in life.

The Karate Kid

The Karate Kid is a great inspirational 80's movie. The story is of a bullied teenage boy (Daniel LaRusso) and how he managed to rise above his teenage problems, with the help of a karate master named Kesuke Miyagi (Mr. Miyagi).

Mr. Miyagi taught Daniel karate by drilling home basic principles. Mr. Miyagi taught him karate by waxing a car, painting a fence, and balancing on a row boat to name a few creative ways. He made sure that Daniel wasn't learning karate for the wrong reasons. Mr. Miyagi said this to Daniel, "Here are the 2 Rules of Miyagi-Ryu Karate. Rule Number 1: ‘Karate for defense only.’ Rule Number 2: ‘First learn rule number 1." Mr. Miyagi taught Daniel about the importance of balance in karate and life. 

The Foundation of Balance

Mr. Miyagi taught Daniel this about balance. He said, "Better learn balance. Balance is key. Balance good, karate good. Everything good. Balance bad, better pack up, go home. Understand?" To drill this home for Daniel. Mr. Miyagi had Daniel practice doing karate on an old row boat. Below is a link to the YouTube clip of Daniel practicing karate in the movie, Karate Kid.

View Balance Training Clip Here.

Better learn balance. Balance is key. Balance good, karate good. Everything good. Balance bad, better pack up, go home. Understand?
— Mr. Miyagi

Balance Like the Karate Kid

A week ago, I had to the opportunity to Canoe 28 miles on Yellowstone Lake with 14 youth between the ages of 16-18. This was our high adventure trip. Each year I take a youth group between the ages of 16-18 on an awesome wilderness adventure. We learn to plan, prepare, and do hard things.

Balance on Canoes

One evening, as the sun was about to set, I asked if any of them had seen the movie the Karate Kid. To my surprise most of them had seen it. I said, "Let's see if we can balance on the canoes and do karate moves like Daniel did in the Karate Kid." They were all game for it. 

We spent hours taking turns doing Karate moves on the front of our canoes. It was awesome. The lighting was about the same as it was in the movie. I pulled out my camera and took a few pictures. 


This is Cade Hollingsworth doing the Krane kick on the front of the canoe.


This is Aaron Probst practicing his punches and balance.


This is Landon Lowder showing up the Karate Kid.


This is me doing getting ready to do the Krane kick. 

Balance and Success

After Daniel had spent hours practicing balance on the row boat and truly knew the principle, Mr. Miyagi taught him this important life principle of balance. He said to Daniel, "Lesson not just karate only. Lesson for whole life. Whole life have a balance. Everything be better."

Lesson not just karate only. Lesson for whole life. Whole life have a balance. Everything be better.
— Mr. Miyagi

This principle is so true. I believe true success in life comes from living a balanced life of work, family, friends, recreation, belief system, passions, skill development, and honing your talents. Striking balance in life is the true measure of success. I believe Mr. Miyagi wanted Daniel to really understand the true balance principle—you need balance to stand up and not fall, but you need balance in your life areas, or else your life will become unstable.

For a few hours on Yellowstone lake we became real-life karate kids. It also helped each of us learn how balance in karate and life can help us find true success.

Thanks Mr. Miyagi and the Karate Kid for the inspiration!

What did I capture the pictures with?

Shot using the Canon 6D