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Looking for Mr. Miyagi (2014)

A middle aged man tries to earn his black belt in karate before turning fifty.




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Credited cast:
Joseph Cardillo
Amal Easton
Nick Edwards
Hannah Fergesen
Bruce Green
Kris Haight
David Jones
David Liban
Forrest E. Morgan
Teruyuki Okazaki
Lance Patskin
Inigo San Millan
Angela Stavropoulos
Gary Swain
Kris Wilder


Inspiring documentary proving it's NEVER too late for radical change. Think "Super-Size Me" meets Martial Arts. David is having a mid-life crisis. His weight is up, his energy is down. At 46 he takes up karate. His mission: become a Black Belt by age 50. Written by David Liban

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It is never too late to get that black belt... have family... job...


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14 February 2014 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

'If you liked "Super-Size Me" and are "into" karate, then this is a must-see movie.'
11 April 2014 | by See all my reviews

Despite a successful career and a loving family, at 46, David Liban was depressed. He had few, if any, interests outside of his family and work, and with the big five-o fast approaching, he felt almost trapped in his own skin.

So, what does any self respecting adult do when they see a mid-life crisis approaching? Do they buy themselves a Porsche? Nope. Do they find a young lover? Nope! A change of career? Not a chance! They take up Karate, of course!

David shares his very personal story of his journey towards the coveted black belt, through the eyes of a Husband, Father and Karateka. We pick up his story mid-way through the kyu grades and watch as he struggles with his fitness in the dojo.

We see the number of hours and his dedication to his art, represented by pebbles in a jar – each stone representing an hour's training.

In this movie we see the guilt of creating a 'karate-widow' of his wife and the impact on his family life, balanced delicately against the personal benefits enjoyed from regular training.

We see Liban-San putting in those extra hours, training in his basement. We see him seeking advice from his Sensei (Gary Swain, no less) and we see him struggle to break a board with a punch (and failing).


This all builds up our investment in David as a character, and the movie makes us want him to succeed! Like most of us, David starts to make a few new friends through the dojo, and these often become (well, they did for me) life-long friendships stronger even than the relationships we have with some of our 'real' relatives!

He wants to drop a few pounds to improve his performance and stamina in the dojo, and he turns to professionals to get help – we see his progress from a 'fly on the wall' perspective in both his gym work and the medical supervision he receives.

We get to travel around Colorado with David as his kyu and dan gradings are shared with the audience, and all this is interspersed with interviews with, and comments from, a very impressive cast of karateka, including Gary Swain, Chris Wilder, David Jones, and many other 'famous names' from Shotokan Karate including ISKF Chief Instructor and 10th Dan, Sensei Teruyuki Okazaki.

I loved this movie. I loved this movie. It could easily have been my story, and if I hadn't already returned to karate after a long (23 years) break, this movie would, I am sure, have been the kick in the ass I needed to get me back to a dojo. Sensei Gary Swain puts a perspective on what karate is in the movie when he says:

"If I thought that all I was doing was teaching people to kick and punch, I'd quit tomorrow. That's teaching violence; I don't want to teach violence. Karate is a method of honing the body and the mind so you can use it to protect yourself." - Gary Swain, ISKF 7th Dan.

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