That's right, another great one gone...Pat Morita aka Mr. Miyagi who was responsible for making karate cool again (again? was it ever before?), passed away of natural causes.
As a kid, I was so inspired by Morita's depiction of Miyagi and how he took Daniel Laruso under his wing that, shortly after seeing Karate Kid for the 12th time, I began teaching myself karate. I trained myself on a tree out in the front yard of our house on 13th street. I punched the trunk of that tree until my knuckles nearly bled--letting out blurts of "hi-yah!" and "eye!" and finishing each sequence with a bow to the mighty tree. I earned my freakin black belt. That's right.
That was until my smart ass brother had to blow my spot.
I was out in my yard training in my traditional gear--a Hobie t-shirt, Bugle Boy denim shorts, Reeboks and my black belt tied around my waste so everyone in the neighborhood knew that I was not to be toyed with. I was a killer. No mercy. No mercy.
Bethany Ann, who lived next door asked, "j3, what are you doing?"
I replied, "I'm training for a tournament." I continued punching and kicking the tree.
My brother walks up, laughs and asks, "Dad's been looking for the belt to his bathrobe, Jeff."
Thanks, Todd. People were finally starting to take me seriously.
Anyhow, Miyagi, on behalf of myself and Ralph Machio (unquestionable the most gangsta last name in Hollywood), "We'll miss you and the bottle trick. Keep it gully."