[Editor's note: This is not a paid review. The movie was purchased independently with no review expectation.]
If your read no further into this post, the quick takeaway is Empty Hand The Real Karate Kids is a very good movie for the casual fan and also a must-watch for any dedicated karate practitioner.
The movie is a documentary, filmed in 2009, following 4 martial artists and their families as they prepare for a world championship tournament in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. You are exposed to their backgrounds, training habits, motivations, and most importantly, their determination. For many people who’ve competed in tournaments, you know how much you have to practice leading up to the event. But for those who’ve never competed, this movie demonstrates the level if commitment and mental fortitude necessary to compete at one of the highest levels.
The tournament life isn’t for everyone and likely isn’t a primary reason people come to the martial arts, but for those who are thinking seriously about competition, this movie is great. To be the best isn’t easy, but if you want it bad enough, you can do amazing things. The kids in Empty Hand exemplify that.
One of the things that attracted our attention to the film, besides the subject matter, was how the movie wasn’t originally available for home watching. The producers used screenings as fund raisers for local dojos and tournaments. It has only recently been available for purchase. The producers’ dedication to helping the martial arts community grow, regardless of style or discipline, is very much respected.
I highly recommend watching the film and expect we’ll be loaning out our copy often. You can follow updates on this movie and their other documentaries on the Empty Hand the Movie Facebook page.