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Monday, December 10, 2018

There is a sick Karate Kid mural in Encino on Ventura Blvd


I happened to be driving down Ventura Blvd. in Encino Thursday and spotted this brilliant Karate Kid mural on the side of a Floyd’s 99 barbershop. It was so striking I of course had to stop and take a picture of it and share it here. Why? Because if you like and read LBS, there’s no way you don’t also like “The Karate Kid.” Check that: if you’re a living, breathing human being, there’s no way you don’t like The Karate Kid.

The original Karate Kid actually takes place in “The Valley,” which is what people call the San Fernando Valley part of Los Angeles, which is where I grew up. In the movie, Daniel LaRusso moved from New Jersey to Reseda, which is a city in the Valley. His girlfriend in the movie, Ali Mills, lives in Encino, which is described as a wealthier area in the Valley where some snobs live. I grew up in Encino and am definitely a huge snob, so the stereotype is still accurate. And the karate tournament where Daniel-San beats Johnny by doing the crane stance? That was the All Valley Karate Tournament, which is depicted in the mural.

After doing a little digging around, this story I found in the Argonaut Online provides the best background for the mural. The owner of Floyd’s happened to meet a graffiti artist named Jonas Never at a bar and saw his work. He then commissioned Never to create murals on the sides of various barbershops around the city. Never tries to make the mural fit in with the location of the shop as much as possible, which is how the Encino location got the Karate Kid treatment. There’s also a “Point Break” themed mural at the Hermosa Beach location, an “Outsiders” mural at the Sherman Oaks location, and Never has created many other murals around the Venice area, including one of Arnold.

These are some beautiful works of art that really help bring out the community feel. How can you not love them?

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