It's hard to overstate the impact of "The Karate Kid" on the western martial arts landscape. Between Bruce Lee and Mr. Miyagi, very few figures have more strongly shaped popular conceptions of what martial arts look like.

Of all the memorable scenes in "The Karate Kid", the crane kick stands out as one of the most lasting. In fact, it is often seen on movie covers and posters:

karate kid cover crane kick

Something about the aesthetic beauty and exotic power of this technique has stuck in people's minds. Yet, many are left to wonder – is the crane kick real? Is it truly a part of karate, or borrowed from kung fu? Most of all…when Mr. Miyagi states "if do right, no can defense", is it possible that the crane kick is an unstoppably advanced technique?

This kind of question was submitted to me, and in response I have created this video exploring the nature of the crane in Okinawan karate, demonstrating some crane technique, and exploring whether or not there is any truth behind Mr. Miyagi's bold claims.


I hope that helps add some perspective on the matter of crane techniques in the world of karate!

If you have any trouble with the video, click here to watch.