Other than being well-known because of his famous father, Will Smith, Jaden Smith is typically known for his early, starring role in The Karate Kid remake in 2010. One of the movie’s posters features a picture of Jaden Smith doing the standing splits. This left many of Jaden Smith’s fans wondering if Jaden could actually do the splits.
The picture of Jaden doing the splits is real, he can actually do it. Before filming The Karate Kid, Jaden received extensive Kung Fu training in preparation. This made him both skilled in Kung Fu and flexible enough to do the splits.
Continue reading to find out more about the splits and how Jaden learned how to do it.
What Is A Split?
A split or the splits is when a person extends both legs in opposite directions, parallel to the floor. It is a position commonly used in activities like dance, gymnastics, yoga, and notably martial arts.
There are various types of splits, including a side split, a front split, and a standing split.
A side split is done, as the name suggests, to the side. The person must extend their legs to their left and right respectively. This type of split may also be called straddle splits in yoga, but in martial arts, it is referred to as Chinese splits or middle splits.
A front split is done by extending one leg in front of the body and one leg behind. Which leg is extended to the front does not matter. In yoga, this split is called Hanumanasana.
The standing split, also known as the vertical split, is done standing up. It is the same movement as a front split, but one leg is held up.
The standing split is typically used in dance, figure skating, and martial arts. This is the type of split that Jaden Smith is doing in the film’s poster.
Doing any type of split is physically demanding and requires a lot of flexibility. To prepare for the splits, you should first focus on strengthening your hips, glutes, hamstrings, and groin muscles.
Evident by all the muscle groups you need to do a split, it can be hard for first-timers. It is recommended to start out slowly.
Start by learning how to do a runner’s stretch, also known as a half split, with only one leg extended. This will help you prepare to do a full split as your legs will get used to the position.
Don’t push yourself too hard! Despite being young, Jaden received months of training before he was able to do the splits himself.
The Karate Kid Training
When Jaden was cast as the character Dre Parker in The Karate Kid, he was only 11 years old. Due to his age, the film’s producers thought they would have to use a stunt double for Jaden’s action scenes.
Jaden’s father, Will Smith, did not want the film to use a stunt double though. This meant that Jaden had to actually learn Kung Fu.
Jaden Smith was able to train and learn Kung Fu well enough that even Jackie Chan said that Jaden was better at Kung Fu than even his own son. This is a high compliment coming from Jackie Chan who is known for being a master at various types of martial arts.
Jaden’s training consisted of learning traditional Kung Fu. This made him flexible, allowing him to be able to perform the splits, both standing and seated.
The standing splits are a traditional martial art exercise used for balance, so it is no surprise that Jaden learned how to do it. He has since shown off his splits skills during interviews on shows like The Ellen Degeneres Show.