Friday, March 12, 2010

Kikaida, Kung Fu Theater and Bruce Lee

Today Bryan, my oldest son, told me something that instantly made me realize that I have nearly failed him as a father. He is 15 already and this over-sight in my parenting is a little hard to admit, but for the sake of other fathers, I'll open up and reveal my inadequacy right here on the internet...

My sons have not yet seen a Bruce Lee movie.

Shocking I know. My apologies to those who may find that disturbing. I should have warned you first. Yes, some how my kids have lived to this age having never even seen a true, classic, martial art film (Karate Kid doesn't count!)

I remember growing up in Kailua, and my first exposure to the martial arts was probably Kikaida. (Is that even considered martial arts?) All the kids on my street watched Kikaida! I was enthralled! It also taught me my first "Japanese" words. I didn't understand them, but I can STILL sing the Kikaida opening theme!

After that, it was Kung Fu Theater on Friday night (very late). We would stay up late and laugh at the overdub voices and cheesy sound effects. Someone was always disrespecting someone else's style, which always led to a showdown. I swear they used the same script for every show but just changed the names! I didn't care, I loved it!

When we got hold of those early video cameras (long time ago, remember?), we were creating our own home grown kung fu videos. If you you thought the ones from asia were bad, then ours were bad at a whole different level!

Of course, Bruce Lee was the king of the genre! He was lean and cut, intense, and the buggah was fast! Wicked fast! When I watched Bruce Lee fight on film, I believed it. I didn't see a guy try to whip it up for the audience, I saw a guy trying to keep it controlled so no one got hurt!

Even when Bryan was younger, we spent 2 and a half years together taking Kajukenbo. Even during those years we never watched a martial arts flick!

Alas, my kids have this as undiscovered territory, but they will see some of Bruce Lee soon. It's not too late yet. I think I will ease them into it by actually watching "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story" first, so they can understand the history behind his legend. I thought Jason Scott Lee did an excellent job in this movie. Soon after that it will soon be on to the real thing. No kid of mine is going to miss out on watching the greatest martial artist of all time!

Peace, Love and ... "HeeYAH!" (ala Miss Piggy)


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