The Karate Kid
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A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for The Karate Kid can be found here.

High school senior Daniel Larusso (Ralph Macchio) and his widowed mother Lucille (Randee Heller) move from New Jersey to Reseda, California (near Los Angeles) for her new job, but Daniel finds it hard to fit in with the West Coast crowd, thanks particularly to three uberbullies -- Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) and his flunkies, Tommy (Rob Garrison) and Bobby (Ron Thomas), who all belong to the same local dojo (karate school) run by ex-Special Forces Vietnam Veteran John Kreese (Martin Kove). When Daniel has to get the apartment maintenance man, Kesuki Miyagi (Pat Morita), to repair a broken faucet, he discovers that the elderly Mr Miyagi is actually a martial arts master and that he's willing to train Daniel in self defense. However, Mr Miyagi's training seems more like he's really trying to get free labor, asking Daniel to do things like sand the floor, paint the fence, and wax the car.

The Karate Kid was taken from a script by screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen. It is the first in a series of four Karate Kid movies, followed by The Karate Kid, Part II (1986), The Karate Kid, Part III (1989), and The Next Karate Kid (1994). The Karate Kid movies have no relation to the DC Comics superhero also known as "Karate Kid". A remake, The Karate Kid, was released in 2010.

Ali (Elisabeth Shue) knew that Johnny and his goons were coming by the sounds of their bikes, so she kicked the ball away, hoping that Daniel would go after it, thus keeping him from getting beat up. Unfortunately, it didn't work too well.

Mr Miyagi considers himself to be Japanese. In the film, Miyagi tells Daniel that he is from Okinawa, a chain of islands south of Japan, and mentions to Daniel that he was part of the 442nd Infantry, which was an all Japanese-American Unit from World War II, one of the units most highly decorated for valor (so explaining why Miyagi has an Army Congressional Medal of Honor amongst his possessions). It was also indicated that his wife and unborn child were held in the Manzanar relocation camp in California while he was deployed. In the film, Miyagi does mention to Daniel that he learned karate from his father, an Okinawan fisherman. Morita was actually an American citizen, born in California of Japanese parents. To play the role of Mr Miyagi, Morita had to adopt a Japanese accent, since he spoke perfect English.

Manzanar was a camp established shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which brought the United States into World War II. The camp held immigrant Japanese and American-born Japanese citizens during the war by. The foundation of the camp remains one of the most controversial subjects of the USA's involvement in World War II chiefly because of the forced relocation of American citizens of Japanese descent by executive order from then-president Franklin Roosevelt. Though the character's history is slightly vague, Miyagi was likely sent there with his wife and unborn child when the executive order was issued. Miyagi then volunteered to fight in Europe with the 442nd Infantry and was in Europe when his wife and child died during birth.

In the Japanese language, -san is a polite title that is used after a person's name, the equivalent of Mr., Mrs., or Miss. Daniel could just as easily refer to Mr Miyagi as "Miyagi-san".

How does the movie end?

Daniel and Johnny face each other in the final match of the All Valley Karate championship, Johnny having won his semifinal match, and Daniel's opponent having been disqualified for an illegal kick that injured Daniel's knee. Daniel scores one point against Johnny with a blow to the chest and a second point with a scissor leg followed by a blow to the back of the head, giving Johnny a nose bleed. When the match pauses for Johnny to be looked at, Kreese orders him to sweep Daniel's injured leg. At first, Johnny balks, but Kreese reminds him of the Cobra Kai dojo's motto...'No Mercy.' The match continues with Johnny scoring two points against Daniel. At 2-2, the next to score a point wins the match. Daniel goes to high kick Johnny with his injured leg, but Johnny sweeps it (grabs the leg and delivers an illegal blow to the back of Daniel's injured knee). Despite the pain, Daniel returns to the ring, assuming the crane stance and waiting for Johnny to make his move. When he does, Daniel leaps into the air and high kicks Johnny in the chin. For that, Daniel gains a third point and wins the championship. In the final scene, Johnny takes the trophy from the Master of Ceremonies, hands it Daniel, and congratulates him. 'We did it, Mr Miyagi!' Daniel whoops, as Miyagi smiles admirably.

Page last updated by bj_kuehl, 5 months ago
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