Kung Fu Panda Messages

Kung Fu Panda came out ten years ago. This well-made movie has artistic animation, and whimsical lines and action. It has wise messages that still ring true in karate.


Toward the end of the movie a great fight scene takes place. Kung Fu Panda fights the bad guy, Tai Lung, trying to keep a sacred scroll from him. The heart of this movie’s message happens here, after Tai Lung says, “Finally, the power of the Dragon Scroll is mine.” He’s perplexed when he opens the scroll to see a shiny surface with nothing on it.

The panda kindly explains, “There is no secret ingredient. It’s just you.”

This enrages Tai Lung. Probably because he has a bad heart. That’s shown by his evil deeds while trying to gain power. If he’s the secret ingredient, that ingredient is bad news for him.

Yet the secret being oneself is enlightening for Kung Fu Panda. Because he has only tried his best while keeping a helpful, respectful attitude. He has developed perseverance and learned a lot. He can use the secret ingredient of himself, and all that he has learned, to make the world a better place. Kung Fu Panda Secret Ingredient


Kung Fu Panda’s dad, just before that scene, helped him understand the value of things. He told him that what makes something special is the belief that the thing is special. Things are only valuable when they are useful or when they are believed in. That is true for just about anything. When you invest your time, effort, and energy into something, that adds to its value and importance. That makes it special.


What does all this have to do with karate? You are the secret ingredient in your training and in your dojo. You are the power in your training and you have the power to use what you learn in karate to change the world for the better.

The unique individuals who participate in each class make a dojo more special and important. Nobody else can bring to your dojo the gifts and energy that you bring. If you recognize the power of the training, which you can use for yourself and others, you can make your training special. If you appreciate the unique blend of talents that make up your dojo, and you freely contribute your own, you make it even more special and powerful.

Jenifer Tull-Gauger

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