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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Bruce Lee would've loved Cobra Kai

  • "The Karate Kid’s initial success in the '80s can easily be linked to the international phenomenon of martial arts popularized by its most energetic promoter and biggest star, Bruce Lee," the basketball great writes. "Without him, we’d have had The Uppercut Kid and Jason Statham packing heat instead of a spinning whip kick. Bruce was my teacher and friend, and he often spoke about his mission for martial arts to become not just action movie fodder, but a spiritual guide for living a richer life. He knew for that to happen, the world must first enjoy the entertainment and athletic aspect of the practice before embracing its spiritual side. Cobra Kai attempts to balance the combat with the conscience. Mostly it succeeds. Bruce would have been greatly delighted by the parts where it does and mildly disappointed in the parts where it doesn’t...Bruce would have loved this reimagining because he saw martial arts not just as a way to defend against enemies, but as a way to defend against one’s own self-destructive impulses. Martial arts heals because it helps one identify their problems and adapt to solving them. Johnny’s character arc over the three seasons is of someone who believes the brutal teachings of his evil sensei, John Kreese (Martin Kove) — 'strike first, strike hard, no mercy' — over a more evolved Bruce Lee philosophy of toughness with compassion. It’s important to win, but more important to be fighting for something worthwhile."

    TOPICS: Cobra Kai, Netflix, Bruce Lee, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar