Training with an Injury
Our Student of the Month of March 2021 is Gracyn!
Graycn attends class 1 day a week in our Sparks Program. He is always focused and ready to work, with a eagerness to improve. Graycn has experience not only in Hapkido but has also been a member of his community's youth wrestling program.
Graycn is loving the training at Alpha Omega Martial Arts and hopes to earn his Black Belt!
Criteria for selection:
Who will be our next Student of the Month??
Our Student of the Month of February 2021 is Francis Gerrish!
Francis is a transfer student from Wahoo Martial Arts and is doing a great job of learning our curriculum. He attends class 2 days a week and has an awesome attitude. He comes to every class eager to learn is full of energy.
From his parents: Francis is part of a great family of martial artists here at the school. With 2 older brothers and a older sister. Francis is a positive boy. He is good at what he does.
Criteria for selection:
Who will be our next Student of the Month??
Our Student of the Month of January 2021 is Phoenix Pickinpaugh!
Phoenix attends class 2 days a week and has a great work ethic and an awesome attitude. He comes to every class eager to learn and with a smile on his face. He works hard in class and puts our corrections into action right away.
From his parents: Phoenix is a very positive, kind and caring boy. He is good at what he does. He tries 110% of his ability to learn even things that he doesn’t know. Phoenix loves making new friends where ever he goes. Classmates comment on his friendliness and admire his generosity. Phoenix is loving the training at Alpha Omega Martial Arts and hopes to earn his Black Belt!
Criteria for selection:
Who will be our next Student of the Month??
When Cobra Kai first was announced I was concerned. Like many of my friends I’m very sentimental about certain shows, movies, and books. I didn’t want to see the wonderful Karate Kid characters that were created by Robert Kamen treated as poorly as I was seeing other great characters (Disney I'm looking at you). I didn’t want Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence to suffer the same fate. I also admit I had conceived of a story or two of my own about how Daniel and Johnny had turned out myself, being that I started martial arts hard core back in the 80s and had become an instructor myself along the way.
To my great relief, the YouTube Red -turned- Netflix series is an interesting exploration of the characters. Cobra Kai didn’t take long to find its footing and managed to introduce almost a dozen characters that were unique and engaging.
That all being said, I thought it would be fun to recap some of my biggest questions and takeaways after having watched the show. Be warned – this is spoiler heavy. If you aren’t done with the show, consider binging it and then coming back.
I’ve broken the article up into two major sections:
- Show Thougts - My reflections on the story
- Martial Meditation - My thoughts and takeaways on how the martial arts are represented in the show.
One caveat before you continue – this is just a TV show, a story, and an entertaining one to be sure. It truly does not need as much thought and analysis as I’ve done in this article. Please disregard the whole thing at your convenience.
Show Thoughts – Reflections on the Storytelling
80’s movie bad guys were generally pretty one dimensional. In the original movies, Johnny was a fun to watch, but his character arc was pretty simple and straightforward. He was a rich kid who joined a karate school, had a crew of buds hanging around him, and made life hell for the new kid. In However, in Cobra Kai William Zabka breathes so much more into the life of this character, allowing us to look at him then and now from a different perspective.
I think that one of the more interesting qualities that is displayed about Johnny is his persistent conflict. He seems to be at odds with himself at all times as he clings to what made him special in high school, occasionally recognizing that it is those same things that have led him to ruin. This conflict is played out in many subtle ways every time he is on camera. For example:
- Johnny is cold and removed to protect himself from reality, but eventually decides to step in when he sees a young boy in trouble. Even if he originally only did so because his own car was in harms way.
- Johnny is an absent father, who is conflicted by his own lack of adequacy and fear about messing things up. Yet, eventually feels compelled to accept Miguel into his life.
- He is a alcoholic, but persistently tries to pull himself out by doing menial labor jobs.
- He’s appears racist, xenophobic, and has no problem shaming others, but it appears to be from ignorance and self loathing rather than than true hatred.
- He wants to help the young people who have come to him, but only has access to the lessons of his own instructor (John Kreese), so inadvertently he ends up steering his students in the wrong direction from time to time.
Sensei John Kreese was just a great vintage vintage bad guy. Back in the 1980s he just was rotten to the core in the Karate Kid movies. He is fun and just so easy to hate. But, just like Johnny, Cobra Kai has managed to give him more nuances and much greater depth than I originally anticipated.
It was well established in the movies that Kreese was a Vietnam vet who carried a lot of emotional baggage around with him. In Karate Kid III we learn that he saved fellow veteran Terry Silver on multiple occasions, resulting in a perceived life debt that Silver shows up to honor.
Kreese’s backstory is brushed only briefly touched upon in the movies. But in Cobra Kai we actually get to meet Kreese’s mentor, an elite captain who has experience in Korean Tang Soo Do. The captain also happens to have very black-and-white beliefs regarding friends, enemies, life, and death. it’s from this source that Kreese not only gains his martial ability but also his ‘no mercy” mindset.
In the end Kreese is forced to fight his mentor. Even making a decision to drop his would-be mentor into a big pile of snakes, which is likely where he sourced the name of his dojo. Thanks to these small flashbacks we see where Kreese’s mental outlook comes from and are even, on some levels, able to empathize with his struggle.
So much that got packed into the story, while so many other characters in the show are running around having dramas!
The journey of Johnny reintegrating into society was a really nice narrative tool. Because of his emotional trauma and drunken haze throughout his 20’s and 30’s, Johnny is just now reemerging into society almost as if was in suspended animation. He struggles with modern times because he is so out of touch. He bounces humorously off of things like vegan food and asthma. On one hand, we laugh at Johnny for not understanding how far we’ve come in understanding technology, medicine, and societal acceptance. On the other hand we laugh with Johnny as he observes oddball modern trends set in front of a superficial L.A. backdrop.
That’s the good part. Unfortunately, Cobra Kai loses control of that tight storytelling in a lot of other ways as we see a smattering of callous, cartoonish representations of cultural extremes.
Throughout the show our main characters are constantly barraged with soft, ineffective Los Angeles snowflakes (to quote Kreese) who can’t seem to do their jobs. Teachers are obsessed with safe spaces, micro-aggressions, and other zeitgeisty buzz words that are stale. The teachers also cower at the first sign of trouble and have no ability to lead or control their student populace. Police are lethargic and incompetent, citing impotent protocols while desperately hoping the problem goes away on its own.
The local government council session in season 3 manages to pack multiple embarrassing moments into a few precious minutes. The council board, which seems to be a commentary on diversity in its own right, is led by a woman who is incredibly easy to sway and manipulate, I mean a simple plea from two youth, who were involved in the violence problem to begin with. Really they only want a waiver? Kreese ingratiates himself by insisting she be referred to as “councilperson”, because…you know…gender pro/nouns. In the same scene we see a gritty old man complaining that “there is an ordinance to change the name of manholes to maintenance covers. Do you know what we called manhole covers back in my day? Manholes!” lol lol lol. Gender pro/nouns, so topical so funny.
This feels like the show is playing to the basest of audience members. The kind of people who spend most of their time sharing political memes on Facebook and yelling about the youth. Why do that? The show already has a vehicle for clever social commentary in Johnny and a way to juxtapose him off of an extremist like Kreese. I think the show could rise above this easy low self nonsense.
Cobra Kai Seems to Exist in a Time Bubble
There’s a widely accepted assumption that the modern attention span lasts about a nanosecond before we flitter away to the next thing. Certainly there are some compelling examples of this (Facebook, Instagram, etcetera). Unfortunately content creators often ignore the flipside: our desire for long-term engaging experiences is still running strong.
Consider the following:
- Quibi recently shut down after about 6 months of operating time. The main assumption that Quibi made was that people wanted 5-6 minute TV shows that would fit their modern attention span. Turns out, not so much.
- The Joe Rogan Experience is one of the most popular podcasts in the world and is still growing fast. The run time for the podcast is usually 2-3 hours of slow, casual conversation.
- Two of the largest grossing franchises in recent history were Lord of the Rings and Avengers. Avengers Endgame had a runtime of 3 hours.
- Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, The Witcher, The Crown. One hour run times and are often binged for 3-4 hours in a row.
- You are reading this massive article about Cobra Kai (thanks btw!)
- You get the idea. I won’t deny that we have a societal issue with multiple screens and addiction to dopamine reward mechanisms like Facebook, but the desire for engaging long form content is still extremely high. The modern audience is patient if and when you tell a good story.
Cobra Kai rushes some things. Miguel goes from a hapless nerd to successfully defeating 4-5 older bullies in the course of 5 episodes. He doesn’t just survive, he turns into John Wick and is embarrassing them as he beats their collective butts. Don’t confuse this for what happened with Daniel in the movies. In Karate Kid I Daniel never beats up the whole Cobra Kai dojo. Mr. Miyagi buys him some time and then manages to teach Daniel just enough to narrowly win at the All Valley Tournament (some might even say illegally). Daniel never goes John Wick, and certainly not after the first 1-2 months of training.
This impatience also manifests itself in weird ways with the action on the show. These kids are fighting each other on a weekly basis and yet their wounds heal almost instantly. Even Miguel after his disastrous spinal injury seemed to go from “might never walk” to “karate fighting” in a few months. I believe the show made an assumption that the audience needed to see big fights almost every episode and that we would get bored and impatient if it didn’t happen. This resulted in a lot of logical and realistic leaps in order to hypothetically satisfy a meandering audience.
Martial Meditation – My thoughts and takeaways on how the martial arts were portrayed
- Characters do bits and pieces of kata
- Chozen introduces the idea of pressure point striking, which is rooted in karate concepts
- Characters do basic blocking that are often taught to karate beginners
Here’s the kicker – we see students from all three dojo(s) performing techniques that are largely based on a variety of martial arts, including some light grappling. It looks fun on film, and we’ve all grown accustomed to this kind of on-screen action. But it’s a far cry from the source karate material.
Miyagi-Do is Not a Particular Karate Style
Individuals in the karate world were thrilled when a picture of Chojun Miyagi kept showing up in the TV series. But Miyagi-do isn’t really a karate style at all. It’s not Goju-Ryu, although there are some influences (like bits of kata, and techniques) which serve as an homage to writer Robert Kamen’s personal experience in the art. Miyagi-do is not Shito-Ryu either, despite Fumio Demura’s personal impact on the movies.
In Karate Kid II we see a smattering of karate portraits borrowed from various styles. They are described as ancestors to Mr. Miyagi. The photo below is described as Miyagi Shimpo, the founder of Miyagi-do karate (but it’s usually assigned to Aragaki Seisho in real life).
This is all fine as long as we don’t attempt to assign a particular style of karate to Miyagi-do. Like the portraits on the wall and the techniques used, it’s just a collection of stuff used to make a show.
Karate Kid II featured a few kobudo implements (weapons) as Daniel took on his new rival Chozen. The nunti was featured prominently, I was very happy to see this as an old school Okinawa Kobudo student since this weapon is somewhat niche. Cobra Kai decided to ramp up the stakes by integrating kobudo into season 3.
Yuji Okumoto (Chozen) and Pat Morita showed good competency with the weapon in Karate Kid II. They kept the techniques basic and usage to a minimum. Anyone who has handled a nunti will tell you, you don’t do a lot of tricks and gimmicks with this weapon. Outside of Miyagi breaking the weapon over his knee, the whole thing feels believable.
The young cast of Cobra Kai were asked to recreate the kind of action we might see in a Bruce Lee movie. In fact, the nunchaku used by Tory are of the style Bruce Lee made popular (black handles with a chain attachment). Unfortunately, the nunchaku used in most karate/kobudo dojo do not look like that. The traditional construction is plain wood with a rope connector, which might seem like a small detail but if the show went through the trouble of showing off Chojun Miyagi pictures why not continue that attention to detail in something so prominent as a climactic fight scene? If they needed the metal+black version for visual interest perhaps Tory could have brought them from her Cobra Kai dojo instead of picking them up inside the Miyagi dojo.
The kobudo element was problematic from the start. When Daniel is coaching Sam on the bo it feels like both had barely touched the weapon before beginning filming. I believe taking the time to really become acquainted with kobudo implements would have gone a long way in making this part of the arc worthwhile.
I’ve heard that a lot of parents are enjoying this show alongside their kids. It makes sense, the parents can revisit the original characters while kids can enjoy the story with the younger cast members. The problem is that the real heart of the original movies is only paid lip service, brushed quickly aside to make room for more fights or romantic intrigue.
When you watch Cobra Kai as an adult you get some enjoyment from the nods to the original movies. Daniel loosely quotes Miyagi’s lessons and starts off every student’s training with karate-centric chores. The problem is that none of those lessons are ever lingered upon because the show is constantly keeping a fast moving pace. They don’t want anyone to lose interest and they need to cover ground for a myriad of major characters. This leaves those original lessons as little more than nostalgic footnotes. Individuals who aren’t familiar with the source material would barely notice.
On one hand I enjoy the struggle of both Johnny and Daniel as they attempt to guide their students. They try to communicate lessons about having mercy and using karate for defense only but their actions immediately undermine those words as they both routinely resort to violence and petty behavior. Even in season 3 after Daniel supposedly navigates through his uncertainty arc, he still thinks booting up his dojo and meeting fire with fire is the best choice. Having moral ambiguity in these characters is cool and interesting but at some point the viewer should be able to discern the real karate path of ethical action from the missteps taken by our major characters and I don’t believe that has been executed clearly enough. The problem here is the general public's perception. As an instructor of almost 35 years I know the pains both Johnny and Daniel are going through. They are essentially new Instructors despite their years of life experiences they are unsure where to guide their students. Mr. Miyagi did have some experiences in teaching the skills and philosophy he developed before meeting Daniel.
In the original movies we see Mr. Miyagi make difficult choices that lead away from violence and confrontation even at the cost of his pride. He only resorts to action when cornered or when needing to protect others. Cobra Kai gives these moments a brief nod (like when Daniel walks into the Cobra Kai dojo for a confrontation and walks away without fighting) but almost always undermines it shortly after for the sake of storytelling sizzle.
The truth is, in the world of Cobra Kai, the best bet for all of the kids in the show would be to get out of karate entirely. They would stop getting into gang fights and could actually learn other forms of conflict resolution. Staying in the karate cults, or switching between them, only serves to increase their personal confusion and dig them deeper into moral and ethical pits. I have to predict that we’ll see a turn toward cooperation and resolution in the coming 1-2 seasons, but since they’ve spent three seasons setting a basis for what motivates the characters into certain actions a change of heart will seem too sudden and unconvincing. The real lessons are already imprinted in the viewer’s mind.
I have used the original Karate Kid as a source of inspiration even when the real martial arts world doesn’t live up to that hopeful movie standard. I’m not confident Cobra Kai is setting itself up as the same kind of guidepost for Gen Z, although I do believe with some work it can still come to fruition.
"The core of what it means to be Mandalorian. A sacred law giving us direction and purpose. Education and armor, self-defense, our tribe, our language, our leader—all help us survive. We must educate our children as Mandalorians, obey the commands of the Mandalore, speak Mando'a and defend our clans."
Ibic te Manda
What the heck is going on?
“He LOVED Martial Arts before Christmas!”
“She just wants to try new sports now.”
"He wants to spend time with his friends."
“They cry every time I say to get ready for Karate!”
I’ll give you some insight into the mind of a child to tackle this tough problem, but first, something really important that you need to know:
You’re. Not. Alone.
I went through it too, with my youngest. He’s grown up in the dojo, but he’s lost his drive. It has literally been a part of his life since he was born, but now, it’s a struggle just to get him to practice outside of class. I come work at the school. He wants to do Theater now.
And what’d I do? The owner of the Dojo? The headmaster of classes?
I told him okay. I said he could pull back from his martial arts, and pursue other adventures. I encouraged him to take up Theater.
But I didn’t give him the option to quit.
Let’s go back further for a moment with a personal story. When I was about 8, I played baseball and was a catcher. During warm-ups I lost the baseball in the sun and was struck in the mouth. It was painful, there was blood, and yes I had had a lot of work done by the dentist to get things fixed up.
That week, I started to hate Baseball. I told my mom I wanted to quit. She dragged me to the front door, kicking and screaming. I didn’t want to be there; I was done with this.
So she kicked me out of the car, saying, “I’m paid for this. You’re doing it.”
So, with tears in my eyes and a scowl on my face, I stomped off to the ballfields, prepared to let everyone know how I felt. Yet, the moment my coach saw me, he pulled me aside and discussed with me why I felt that way. He told me how often those that met pain and injury in sports often wanted to quit.
So, let’s get back to your kid (or maybe yourself), and let’s analyze what in the world is going through their minds…
In the beginning, your child was excited to start Martial Arts classes. They would put their shoes on every Mon/Wed or Tue/Thu and wait by the door. Or, they’d ask you, “Is tonight a Karate night?” constantly. But then, after a few month, there’s a break. Either Summer Vacation or Christmas Break comes along, and we give the kids a break from the routine. The kids build a new routine that involves Video Games or Outside Playtime. They schedule every evening as “Basketball in the Driveway” or “Football in the Backyard.” They create new habits, and those don’t involve Karate.
You prepare them to go back to school by pulling their bedtime back, making them wake up earlier, and cutting back on their video game time. You remind them that school is coming back up, and they whine or cry or complain, but you know the value of school (for them, and for your own sanity). So you ‘force’ them to prepare for school. That Monday rolls around, and you drag them, pouting, to school.
But then, at the end of that first day, you pick them up and tell them it’s time for Karate.
They weren’t prepared for that! They were going to play video games when they got home! They have “Basketball in the Driveway” scheduled! Their friends are coming over!
So you let it slide tonight. We’ll try again Wednesday.
Wednesday comes around; same thing happens. Tears, pouting, “I don’t wanna go!”. It’s time to throw in the towel. It’s time to call and cancel.
Hold on a second! Your martial arts instructor is a part of your TEAM! Together, we’ve built your child’s confidence, focus, and respect. We’ve inspired them to achieve amazing things, and built a love for exercise and cultivated friendships they didn’t have before!
I’ve never had a person tell me, “I’m so mad that my mom and dad pushed me to get my Black Belt,”
but I’ve had many tell me, “I really wish I’d stayed long enough to earn that Black Belt.”
Black Belt is a goal that makes all other goals pale in comparison. When your child spends 3 or more years achieving something they’ve worked for, they learn the value of putting in the time and effort necessary to accomplish their dreams. They learn that the best things in life come after struggle and hard work. And they carry those lessons throughout the rest of their life.
Black Belts statistically earn better grades, have more friends, and attend college at higher rates than those with no training.
“Okay, okay, okay! Martial Arts is great for my child! I know this. So what do I do about the fits?”
-A frustrated parent like you
Easy. Let us be on your team.
You know martial arts is great for you child; just like school, bedtimes, and limiting tablet times.
Tell us at the first sign of trouble. Don’t wait for it to escalate. Don’t wait until you want to quit. The first time they say, “I don’t want to go!”, talk to them about how it would feel to be a Black Belt, how they get to see their friends, and how good they feel after class.
Get them excited to come in, and then tell their instructor.
We won’t be able to help if we don’t know!
Set the routine.
Clear your child’s schedule the week before a break ends. Set aside their normal Karate times as “practice times” that week. Hold the pads for them; put training videos on the computer or TV for them to practice with; show them pictures from their last graduation with all of their friends. Prime them to be excited to come back to class.
Let them do other activities.
You may still be wondering what I did with my son, the one that wants to do Theater now. I said I didn’t let him quit, he still trains maybe at different times and days but he trains still.
See, Martial Arts goes hand-in-hand with every other activity for kids.
Theater takes Confidence, voice projection, discipline, and practice.
Band takes Focus, practice, and ability to follow directions.
Football takes Practice, communication, and a bit of fearlessness.
Soccer takes foot-eye coordination, determination, and great cardio.
Basketball takes hand-eye coordination, agility, and teamwork.
Wrestling takes balance, fortitude, and indomitable spirit.
Dance takes balance, coordination, and poise.
I haven’t seen a single thing in here that isn’t magnified by practice in the Martial Arts.
I let my son pull back to 2 days a week (he was doing 4 or 5, because yes, I’m that parent). But I’ll never let him pull out completely, because it’s too good for him. It made a MASSIVE difference in my life; most of who I am today was because I achieved, and continued past, Black Belt.
Who am I to let my child’s ego get in the way of her success?
So, let your child pull back to one or two days instead of 3 or 4 per week. Let them try other activities. Let them ‘take a break.’
But prime them for the day they come back and take ahold of that Black Belt.
Remind them every day that they have what it takes on the inside to be a Black Belt, but they still have to earn the right to wear it on the outside.
And maybe, just maybe, they’ll look at you one day and say,
Mom & Dad, I’m so glad you didn’t let me quit anything as a child.
There are set specifics in this godai with characteristics of each element (basic info can be found here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_elements_(Japanese_philosophy). I'm aware of these, but as I am an imaginative creature I have allowed it to take hold and change them how I see fit. Maybe there's more than one way to see them. What is written below is my pure unedited thoughts on the subject
Earth is simple and foundational, it's the physical world which we touch and feel and interact with. It is the stones and rocks and solid ground, it is also the trees and plants, and it is also the animals and humans. Lessons are immediate and effective: we touch, we feel, we know. It's cause and effect and the basic world all of us operate on together.
When I think of Earth I think Taekwondo. I see that we punch and kick and block and move. We use our bodies to learn simple techniques and patterns (kisul & hyung). It is simple empty handed techniques based on practicality. Danger comes, we neutralize and conquer or evade.
Like deer and foxes in the woods, we wake up, eat, live, die. We must survive. This is earth.
Water is higher in intelligence. We utilize earth to survive and operate in the world because this is necessary. But water is a better way to engage the world, a smarter way. We see water's effortless movement, its purity, its patience and its immortality. We also see it overcome the solid earth. Water is cultivation and refinement. We are the stones that become polished by utilizing water.
I think of Hapkido. By using softness, fluidity, and intelligent anatomical alignments, the muscles are not needed and one can overcome the stronger and faster. It's learning to breath through our movements and overcome somebody without using force generated by excess effort.
Fire is fierce and consuming. It doesn't reason or pity, it just burns, and burns everything it can as long as possible. It is the harsh lessons of life that burn us with no regard for our safety. It is that which will overcome us if we do not protect ourselves against it. Even attempting to protect our self against it we can be defeated. It cares nothing for feelings or abstract justice, it is chaos bent on nothing more than consumption.
I think of blades, like swords and knives. Think of this because of the intent to kill. One does not use a blade unless it's life and death, not unless the intent is to kill. Lessons learned by the sword are sharp and bloody.
It is the real world, with real violence whether we like it or not.
Wind is ... difficult ... I think it is high technique, metaphysical even. High, way high above the realms of humans and trees and animals and mountains is the world of the highways of the wind. It is an ever changing powerful world of wind, and to navigate it requires utilizing all of the phenomenon around at once. Wind is not simply one thing moving pushing through the air, but an ever changing world of displacement. The wind blows in a multitude of directions at different times. For birds, they do not simply flap their wings and fly, but soar and glide and dive. Motionless in the sky, hawks utilize a multitude of different kind of feathers each that react differently to the subtle changes of the wind. At the moment that hawk wants to dive, he but makes small changes and enters the flow of the winds to fall at lightning speed.
I think of marksmanship. We utilize tools to achieve goals normally unattainable by humans: shooting something from a distance. It requires intelligence of design and physics. It's utilization requires a fine balance of using our bodies to stabilize and manipulate the equipment while also getting our minds out of the way as much as possible to let the machine move on its own. In marksmanship, we must use our muscles intelligently, in a genius way, to fire a weapon at its full capacity.
Void is nothing, and yet it is responsible for everything. It comes after all of the other elements as the most advanced stage, and yet it was there before all of them existed. All of the others were able to exist because of the void's existence, or non-existence. From this void comes the potential of our world. Then all of the phenomenon changes eternally, and within the seeds of that change is the void, allowing for that change to come to pass. It is the beginning, the end, and the transitions. Because we talk about it, it is. But really, it's nothing at all.
I think of crisis communications. It is us interacting with the world, reacting to different phenomenon before the use of thought. Once thought emerges and is utilized, it is a child of the void. The void is us reacting to someone attacking us or stealing something from us. It is what we experience after un-learning a technique. It is responsible for what we do, and then it is the space afterward allowing for reflection and change.
I want to thank Master Dan McCarthy of Zanshin Martial Arts for helping me come to appreciate the Godai a bit more in my thinking.
May the Force be with you!
Naturally, I’m re-watching a Star Wars: The Clone Wars which opens with the John Williams’ Star Wars Theme and a short quote that serves as the episode’s motif.
I enjoyed the show most of it is not terrible; after Season 1 the episodes become pretty enjoyable and there’s some good humor and drama interspersed throughout. Not required viewing for Star Wars fans but certainly an easy way to burn a weekend or four. Since I’m devoid of other commitments presently I figured that if I’m watching the series again anyways, I decided to Chronicle them here.
[Season #]x[Episode #] – [Episode Name]: [Opening Quote] format:
01×01 – Ambush: Great leaders inspire greatness in others.
01×02 – Rising Malevolence: Belief is not a matter of choice, but of conviction.
01×03 – Shadow of Malevolence: Easy is the path to wisdom for those not blinded by ego.
01×04 – Destroy Malevolence: A plan is only as good as those who see it through.
01×05 – Rookies: The best confidence builder is experience.
01×06 – Downfall of a Droid: Trust in your friends, and they’ll have reason to trust in you.
01×07 – Duel of the Droids: You hold onto friends by keeping your heart a little softer than your head.
01×08 – Bombad Jedi: Heroes are made by the times.
01×09 – Cloak of Darkness: Ignore your instincts at your peril.
01×10 – Lair of Grievous: Most powerful is he who controls his own power.
01×11 – Dooku Captured: The winding path to peace is always a worthy one, regardless of how many turns it takes.
01×12 – The Gungan General: Fail with honor rather than succeed by fraud.
01×13 – Jedi Crash: Greed and fear of loss are the roots that lead to the tree of evil.
01×14 – Defenders of Peace: When surrounded by war, one must eventually choose a side.
01×15 – Trespass: Arrogance diminishes wisdom.
01×16 – The Hidden Enemy: Truth enlightens the mind, but won’t always bring happiness to your heart.
01×17 – Blue Shadow Virus: Fear is a disease; hope is its only cure.
01×18 – Mystery of the Thousand Moons: A single chance is a galaxy of hope.
01×19 – Storm over Ryloth: It is a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness.
01×20 – Innocents of Ryloth: The costs of war can never be truly accounted for.
01×21 – Liberty on Ryloth: Compromise is a virtue to be cultivated, not a weakness to be despised.
01×22 – Hostage Crisis: A secret shared is a trust formed.
02×01 – Holocron Heist: A lesson learned is a lesson earned.
02×02 – Cargo of Doom: Overconfidence is the most dangerous form of carelessness.
02×03 – Children of the Force: The first step to correcting a mistake is patience.
02×04 – Senate Spy: A true heart should never be doubted.
02×05 – Landing at Point Rain: Believe in yourself or no one else will.
02×06 – Weapons Factory: No gift is more precious than trust.
02×07 – Legacy of Terror: Sometimes, accepting help is harder than offering it.
02×08 – Brain Invaders: Attachment is not compassion.
02×09 – Grievous Intrigue: For everything you gain, you lose something else.
02×10 – The Deserter: It is the quest for honor that makes one honorable.
02×11 – Lightsaber Lost: Easy isn’t always simple.
02×12 – The Mandalore Plot: If you ignore the past, you jeopardize the future.
02×13 – Voyage of Temptation: Fear not for the future, weep not for the past.
02×14 – Duchess of Mandalore: In war, truth is the first casualty.
02×15 – Senate Murders: Searching for the truth is easy. Accepting the truth is hard.
02×16 – Cat and Mouse: A wise leader knows when to follow.
02×17 – Bounty Hunters: Courage makes heroes, but trust builds friendships.
02×18 – The Zillo Beast: Choose what is right, not what is easy.
02×19 – The Zillo Beast Strikes Back: The most dangerous beast is the beast within.
02×20 – Death Trap: Who my father was matters less than my memory of him.
02×21 – R2 Come Home: Adversity is a friendship’s truest test.
02×22 – Lethal Trackdown: Revenge is a confession of pain.
03×01 – Clone Cadets: Brothers in arms are brothers for life.
03×02 – ARC Troopers: Fighting a war tests a soldier’s skills, defending his home tests a soldier’s heart.
03×03 – Supply Lines: Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
03×04 – Sphere of Influence: A child stolen is a hope lost.
03×05 – Corruption: The challenge of hope is to overcome corruption.
03×06 – The Academy: Those who enforce the law must obey the law.
03×07 – Assassin: The future has many paths – choose wisely.
03×08 – Evil Plans: A failure in planning is a plan for failure.
03×09 – Hunt for Ziro: Love comes in all shapes and sizes.
03×10 – Heroes on Both Sides: Fear is a great motivator.
03×11 – Pursuit of Peace: Truth can strike down the spectre of fear.
03×12 – Nightsisters: The swiftest path to destruction is through vengeance.
03×13 – Monster: Evil is not born, it is taught.
03×14 – Witches of the Mist: The path to evil may bring great power, but not loyalty.
03×15 – Overlords: Balance is found in the one who faces his guilt.
03×16 – Altar of Mortis: He who surrenders hope, surrenders life.
03×17 – Ghosts of Mortis: He who seeks to control fate shall never find peace.
03×18 – The Citadel: Adaptation is the key to survival.
03×19 – Counterattack: Anything that can go wrong will.
03×20 – Citadel Rescue: Without honor, victory is hollow.
03×21 – Padawan Lost: Without humility, courage is a dangerous game.
03×22 – Wookie Hunt: A great student is what the teacher hopes to be.
04×01 – Water War: When destiny calls, the chosen have no choice.
04×02 – Gungan Attack: Only through fire is a strong sword forged.
04×03 – Prisoners: Crowns are inherited, kingdoms are earned.
04×04 – Shadow Warrior: Who a person truly is cannot be seen with the eye.
04×05 – Mercy Mission: Understanding is honoring the truth beneath the surface.
04×06 – Nomad Droids: Who’s the more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him?
04×07 – Darkness on Umbara: The first step towards loyalty is trust.
04×08 – The General: The path of ignorance is guided by fear.
04×09 – Plan of Dissent: The wise man leads, the strong man follows.
04×10 – Carnage of Krell: Our actions define our legacy.
04×11 – Kidnapped: Where we are going always reflects where we came from.
04×12 – Slaves of the Republic: Those who enslave others, inevitably become slaves themselves.
04×13 – Escape from Kadavo: Great hope can come from small sacrifices.
04×14 – A Friend in Need: Friendship shows us who we really are.
04×15 – Deception: All warfare is based on deception.
04×16 – Friends and Enemies: Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer.
04×17 – The Box: The strong survive, the noble overcome.
04×18 – Crisis on Naboo: Trust is the greatest of gifts, but it must be earned.
04×19 – Massacre: One must let go of the past to hold on to the future.
04×20 – Bounty: Who we are never changes, who we think we are does.
04×21 – Brothers: A fallen enemy may rise again, but the reconciled one is truly vanquished.
04×22 – Revenge: The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
05×01 – Revival: Strength of character can defeat strength in numbers.
05×02 – A War on Two Fronts: Fear is a malleable weapon.
05×03 – Front Runners: To seek something is to believe in its possibility.
05×04 – The Soft War: Struggles often begin and end with the truth.
05×05 – Tipping Points: Disobedience is a demand for change.
05×06 – The Gathering: He who faces himself, finds himself.
05×07 – A Test of Strength: The young are often underestimated.
05×08 – Bound for Rescue: When we rescue others, we rescue ourselves.
05×09 – A Necessary Bond: Choose your enemies wisely, as they may be your last hope.
05×10 – Secret Weapons: Humility is the only defense against humiliation.
05×11 – A Sunny Day in the Void: When all seems hopeless, a true hero gives hope.
05×12 – Missing in Action: A soldier’s most powerful weapon is courage.
05×13 – Point of No Return: You must trust in others or success is impossible.
05×14 – Eminence: One vision can have many interpretations.
05×15 – Shades of Reason: Alliances can stall true intentions.
05×16 – The Lawless: Morality separates heroes from villains.
05×17 – Sabotage: Sometimes even the smallest doubt can shake the greatest belief.
05×18 – The Jedi Who Knew Too Much: Courage begins by trusting oneself.
05×19 – To Catch a Jedi: Never become desperate enough to trust the untrustworthy.
05×20 – The Wrong Jedi: Never give up hope, no matter how dark things seem.
06×01 – The Unknown: The truth about yourself is always the hardest to accept.
06×02 – Conspiracy: The wise benefit from a second opinion.
06×03 – Fugitive: When in doubt, go to the source.
06×04 – Orders: The popular belief isn’t always the correct one.
06×05 – An Old Friend: To love, is to trust. To trust is to believe.
06×06 – The Rise of Clovis: Jealousy is the path to chaos.
06×07 – Crisis at the Heart: Deceit is the weapon of greed.
06×08 – The Disappeared Pt. 1: Without darkness there cannot be light.
06×09 – The Disappeared Pt. 2: Wisdom is born in fools as well as wise men.
06×10 – The Lost One: What is lost is often found.
06×11 – Voices: Madness can sometimes be the path to truth.
06×12 – Destiny: Death is just the beginning.
06×13 – Sacrifice: Facing all that you fear will free you from yourself.
07×01 – The Bad Batch: Embrace others for their differences, for that makes you whole.
07×02 – A Distant Echo: The search for truth begins with belief.
07×03 – On the Wings of Keeradaks: Survival is one step on the path to living.
07×04 – Unfinished Business: Trust placed in another is trust earned.
07×05 – Gone with a Trace: If there is no path before you, create your own.
07×06 – Deal No Deal: Mistakes are valuable lessons often learned too late.
07×07 – Dangerous Debt: Who you were does not have to define who you are.
07×08 – Together Again: You can change who you are, but you cannot run from yourself.
07×09 – Old Friends Not Forgotten: No opening quote
07×10 – Phantom Apprentice: No opening quote
Michael Rowe is the Founder of Alpha Omega Martial Arts and has been dedicating his life to the study and teaching of self-defense. It is his goal to motivate, inspire, and transform the lives of all his students; young and old!