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avatarrules123
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 05 Aug 2020
Posts: 6


PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 2:31 am    Post subject: Karate Kid III (please no hate) Reply with quote

Ignoring anything you may dislike about the film for a moment, I have a serious question (please no hate for this): How good was Terry Silver/Thomas Ian Griffith at karate/taekwondo, really? Hie looks like he has good form but as I know nothing of karate, I would love some professional input. I know he has blackbelts in both Kenpo and Taekwondo (but some people tell me that blackbelts are actually easy to get).

Below are some Youtube links to several Karate Kid III scenes showing him training/doing katas/sparring. (I understand that this is a movie, the fights may not be real/choreographed, I'm just wondering if some talent/skill is able to bleed through enough that someone with more karate training could assess his skill level). Thank you. (He also has training in kickboxing/wrestling).

https://youtu.be/79o1umOyk3A (0:41-1:08 )

https://youtu.be/xEIzqwcHvd4 (beginning to 0:45)

https://youtu.be/hp95hjKmZUU (1:06-1:33)

Thank you very much for your input.
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Wado Heretic
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 23 May 2014
Posts: 478
Location: United Kingdom, England, Shropshire
Styles: Wado-Ryu , Kobayashi Shorin-Ryu (Kodokan), RyuKyu Kobojutsu

PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

During the sparring he looks surprisingly good in the distant shots showing the whole body-movement. It is very telling, however, that the choreography is very back and forth. He throws a bunch of attacks at a human punch bag, and they throw single telegraphed attacks, he covers up to absorb and then go back on the offense. This is very telling of a lack of experience in choreography, but with that said, he hits his targets and it looks convincing enough.

With regards to the “Form” I will be honest and admit his kicks are better than mine now with my ACL injury. They are a good standard for a Black Belt in Karate and Karate descended arts. I would only really critique the hip movement, or lack thereof, and the quality of his posture and stances. However, being a free form exercise he was putting on for the camera I would argue it is unlikely a representation of his actual ability at forms.

The final confrontation is a classic example of the actor has good form but does not know how to do choreography. It is hard to see because of excellent camera work (which has oddly disappeared from western fight films.) but Miyagi has already moved out of danger before Silver completes his movements, and Silver is aiming wide each time he throws a strike. Again, it is very back and forth: Silver throws a bunch of attacks, and Miyagi stays out of the way, and the final punch is a classic Hollywood/Pro-wrestling trick. Punch off the back leg while keeping your base wide so when you get grabbed you can basically throw yourself as your partner directs. It is really easy to teach even a very fresh stuntman/worker.

Overall, Thomas Ian Griffith was/is a legitimate martial artist who knows his way around Tae Kwon Do/Kempo. He shows the conditioning and the quality of technique you would expect of someone with a few years of training. However, he was obviously inexperienced in choreography work at the time, and this limited what they could ask him to do on screen.

Excessive Force is a much better representation of his abilities on screen, because he had more experience by then, and it was an action film. I cannot say I personally recommend it, it is a 90s action film so make of that what you will.

It is very easy to get a Black belt off of eBay Sensei. Not so easy if you study with someone that will make you earn it. You can expect to put in at least 4-7 years of your life to reach Shodan in most disciplines that employ the KyuDan system. Whether that will make you a competent martial artist or simply good at adhering to a syllabus is the philosophical question. Yet, if it were so easy, why do most people who enter a dojo fail to reach even Shodan?
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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
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Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1872

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is very difficult to accurately determine an actor’s true skill level even when it is a known fact that the actor has experience in martial arts. Everything shown on the screen is rehearsed and carefully choreographed. Nothing is spontaneous and special effects ensure that all the action happens exactly as the film director wants it. It’s made to look as good as possible and to make the actors look as intended.

With that said, it is even difficult for experienced martial artists to tell from a movie how skilled the actors might be. Actors always have to make changes and adapt to their part, especially when doing action scenes. Entertainment takes priority over how it would likely and realistically happen in real life. Actors with martial arts experience have to actually be taught how to adapt their techniques so they look good on screen.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15511
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He's 2 Black Belts: TKD and Kenpok

Check this link out...

http://thekaratekidblog.blogspot.com/2011/11/meet-karate-kids-worst-enemy.html

His MA training seems to not just be a passing notion in order to be in the movies.

How good is he?? No idea!! He looks effective, but only on the floor could I decide just how effective he is. After all, one wants to be effective, and not good.





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Last edited by sensei8 on Thu Aug 06, 2020 8:52 am; edited 1 time in total
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Patrick
KF Administrator

Joined: 01 May 2001
Posts: 28064
Location: Los Angeles, California

PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey avatarrules123. Welcome. No worries, you won't receive any "hate" here. Thanks for joining us.

Patrick
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