Ralph Maccio spoke with ESPN this week. He told them his “dance sensei” Karina Smirnoff is just as good as teaching the jive as Mr. Miyagi was jump kicks in The Karate Kid. More below and at the link.
“Fear does not exist in this dance studio — that’s what Karina keeps telling me,” Macchio said. “[But] if you’re the Mr. Miyagi to me, then how come you can’t run your hands together and make my knees feel better?”
1984’s “Karate Kid” thrust Macchio into the spotlight faster than a Stephen Strasburg four-seamer, but its enduring effect on pop culture is what amazes the Long Island-native. Consider it crane kitsch. Even Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jonny Gomes was recently singing the ’80’s anthem “You’re the Best”, which Macchio says was actually intended for “Rocky”.
“‘Sweep the leg’, ‘Put him in a body bag’, catching flies with chopsticks, the film is loaded with images and catch phrases,” Macchio said. “‘Wax on, wax off’ could almost be in the dictionary now and that’s pretty cool. But how do you know that’s gonna happen? You can’t make that happen.”
Macchio is enjoying his return to center stage, but this time around, don’t expect any karate birds.
“‘Dancing with the Stars’ asked me like 20 times to do the crane kick,” he said. “If you give me the mirror ball trophy, then we’ll talk about it.”