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Characters / The Karate Kid

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For characters from the 2010 remake, go here. For tropes pertaining to their appearances in Cobra Kai, go here.

Original series

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Introduced in the first movie:

    Daniel LaRusso

Played by: Ralph Macchio (1984-89)

A teen who starts a rivalry with karate champion Johnny Lawrence due to going after the latter's ex-girlfriend, Ali Mills. He ends up being trained in karate by Mr. Miyagi.

  • Ass Kicking Pose: The Crane Technique.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: After some time, he is able to point out the flaws in others techniques and improve upon them.
  • Brick Break: The ice-breaking scene in Part II
  • Combat Pragmatist: Not in tournaments, but outside those he was taught by Miyagi to neutralize his opponents by any means necessary.
  • Determinator: Even if put through punishment that would put another teenager in the hospital, he won't stay down.
  • Finishing Move: The Crane Technique, the Drum Technique.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Daniel suffers greatly from this trope in Part III, almost to Too Dumb to Live's levels at moments.
  • Heroic BSoD: During the tournament final in Part III, when Barnes has him so intimidated that he's ready to forfeit the match.
  • I Have the High Ground: Daniel stands on elevated structures while practicing his Finishing Move in both of the first two movies.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: With Mr. Miyagi, of course.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Right before giving Chozen a punch in the nuts in Part II.
  • Joisey: An Italian-American originally from New Jersey.
  • Kung-Fu Kid: Probably the Trope Codifier. He's a young kid who finds inner balance through karate.
  • Martial Arts Headband: Given to him by Mr. Miyagi in Karate Kid.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Has one of these realizations in the Darkest Hour of Part III.
  • Put on a Bus: Doesn't appear in The Next Karate Kid.
  • Reluctant Warrior: He even says that he's training "so [he] won't have to fight."
  • The So-Called Coward: Chozen and his goons repeatedly call Daniel a coward throughout Part II because of his reluctance to fight them. But when a typhoon hits the village, Daniel and Miyagi risk their lives to rescue Sato when he is trapped inside his dojo, and Daniel further tempts fate by going back into the storm to rescue more villagers. Chozen, on the other hand, cowers in the shelter and refuses to help, even when ordered by Sato to do so. Sato is so impressed with Daniel that he offers to oblige Daniel any request, and he is so disgusted by Chozen's cowardice that Sato disowns him in front of everyone.
  • Sword over Head: At the climax of Part II, when he has Chozen at his mercy and asks him, "Live or die, man."
  • Took a Level in Badass: Goes from a kid often jumped by gym rats for no reason while walking home to someone decently trained in martial arts to be able to hold his own and even win against traditionally trained martial artists in a duel.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Daniel, while having his share of flaws, was still likable enough. Which is why it is baffling to see how the first and second act of the third movie take away every quality that made the audience want to cheer for him. Thankfully he comes to his senses during the final portion of the movie.
  • Training from Hell: Especially what Terry Silver puts him through in Part III, which is more like torture disguised as training.
  • "World of Cardboard" Speech: He gives one of these to Mr. Miyagi in Karate Kid after having his knee taken out by Bobby, which convinces Mr. Miyagi to use the pressure point healing technique on him to get him back in the tournament.

    Nariyoshi Miyagi
"It's okay to lose to opponent, must not lose to fear!"
Played by: Pat Morita (1984-1994)
Dubbed by: Roger Carel (European French, 1984, 1986 and 1994), Gérard Hernandez (European French, 1989)

"Lesson not just karate only. Lesson for whole life. Whole life have a balance. Everything be better. Understand?"

A Japanese-American karate master born in Okinawa who becomes the mentor of Daniel LaRusso.

  • Adaptation Name Change: His full name was revealed in Part II in Japanese characters roughly translated to mean "Nariyoshi", but his name was changed to Keisuke Miyagi in The Next Karate Kid. It was changed back to Nariyoshi in Cobra Kai.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: Subverted. The beginning of Part II sees him about to mercilessly strike down a helpless Kreese during a confrontation between the two while reminding him of Cobra Kai's mantra, but stops midway and comically tweaks his nose instead.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Saves Daniel multiple times throughout the series.
    • From the first movie, he quickly dispatches of Johnny and his friends. He also saves Johnny from being choked by Kreese.
    • In Part II, he chases off Chozen and his friends, who were also vandalizing the property of the Miyagi family.
    • In Part III, he stops Barnes' assault.
    • He also saves Eric from being beaten up by Dugan in The Next Karate Kid after the former shows up late for Alpha Elite training.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Despite approaching sixty in Karate Kid 2, he's fully capable of chopping a tree in half with his bare hand.
  • Combat Pragmatist: As far he's concerned, if you find yourself in a fight without rules you should do everything necessary to get your attacker to back off, such as dodging in such a way they horribly cut up their arms, hit them in a "primary target", or using the Drum Technique, and teaches Daniel to do the same. He also follows up with inflicting only the necessary damage, nothing more (and calls the Drum Technique as for emergencies only as it could kill someone), and leaving as soon as possible.
  • Cool Old Guy: One of the defining ones of the 1980s.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: He can easily fend off multiple opponents alone, without letting any of them land a direct hit on him.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Back in Okinawa, he was in a Love Triangle with his best friend and a young girl he loved, which he dealt with by leaving for America, causing the girl (who loved him) to remain a spinster for the rest of his life and his best friend to harbour a murderous grudge against him for most of his life. To make matters worse, he had moved to America shortly before the outbreak of World War 2, so he and his new- and pregnant- Japanese-American wife were thrown in an interment camp. As the Japanese were invading Okinawa Miyagi volunteered for the United States Army and won both the Purple Heart and Medal of Honor, but the experience of fighting and killing people traumatised him and to make matters worse, he learnt that his wife and child died during complications in childbirth, and medical help that may have saved her never came because of the anti-Japanese racism in the camp. Oh, and his father back in Okinawa died lonely and miserable because Miyagi never visited enough and stayed away, while his former best friend devolved into a Corrupt Corporate Executive who is bullying the local population.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He doesn't speak often, but when he does it's usually this.
    Daniel: You think you could break a log like that?
    Miyagi: Don't know. Never been attacked by tree.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Although he's long dead by the time of Cobra Kai, his last letter to Yukie reveals that he lived out his golden years as a much loved and honorary member of the LaRusso family, and he was truly happy and at peace towards the end.
  • Eccentric Mentor: A fan of rebuilding old cars who acts as a maintenance man on his property yet is apparently quite wealthy.
  • Elective Broken Language: He usually speaks with a stereotypical Asian accent and refers to himself in the third person, but he drops his speech mannerisms while arguing with Sato, making clear that his way of speaking is an affectation.
  • Fight Magnet: For a guy who doesn't want to fight, Mr. Miyagi beats up a lot of people.
  • Fish out of Water: In The Next Karate Kid, he proves to be a little out of his element dealing with Julie. For example, he accidentally walks in on her once, freaking her out. He immediately apologizes, citing that he and Daniel used to enter each other's rooms all the time and it was no big deal. He also has some trouble trying to buy her a prom dress, since he has no idea what she would like and can't ask her because he wants it to be a surprise. All of that said, he gets a handle on things fairly quickly.
  • Genius Bruiser: Very much into the philosophy and ideas behind karate plus a man of many other talents.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: He encourages a devastated Daniel to continue his fight against Barnes during the finals of the 1985 All-Valley Tournament in Part III.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: If Mr. Miyagi has any flaws, it's probably the fact he tends to underestimate the gravity of situations he's involved in across the movies. The fact Kreese has taught his students to be bullies capable of beating Daniel half to death while also being potentially dangerous to them himself clearly shocks the man. He's also genuinely heartbroken to discover Sato not only is still angry but fully intends to kill him.
  • Heartbroken Badass: While Mr. Miyagi was serving with distinction for the United States in World War II, his wife and son died due to complications during childbirth in the Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp. Decades later, Mr. Miyagi is still haunted by the loss.
  • Humble Hero: Karate Kid II shows through the character of Sato that Miyagi could have used his martial arts skills to make himself a fortune through various means. However, he refutes such a life in favor for one as a simple handyman. Miyagi also tries to persuade Daniel from not entering the tournament circuit and using his skills for fame and glory, suggesting "Early Retirement." He even rejects displaying the Medal of Honor he won in World War II, stating that all the medal showed was that he was lucky, not that he was brave.
  • Martial Pacifist: Mister Miyagi teaches Daniel how to defend himself but constantly discourages him from using karate for sports or to hurt people. As he explains to Daniel knowing martial arts isn't enough, because sooner or later you'll face someone who knows more. For that reason Miyagi always hated fighting growing up.
  • My Greatest Failure: It turns that he has a few in the first sequel: he left the girl of his dreams behind to go join the war, he didn't visit his father enough before he died, and he left his best friend on bad terms. Also serves as a Nicejob Breaking It Hero as he realizes the depth of his screw up.
  • Nice Guy: Mr. Miyagi is an unambiguously good person. He is kind, forgiving, thoughtful, and he only uses violence as an absolute last resort.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Tried to do the right thing by announcing his love for Yukie publicly but that incited his best friend to want to kill him in a Duel to the Death, so he left Okinawa instead. What happened in the meantime was Yukie preferred to become a spinster rather than get married to another man, Sato fumed over the insult for decades, and his father was left broken hearted. Miyagi's The Stoic demeanor breaks a couple of times as he realizes the depth of his screw up. Even Daniel points out they probably should have just eloped.
    Miyagi: Nobody perfect.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Nariyoshi Miyagi was heavily based upon Chojun Miyagi, creator of the goju-ryu style that is taught in the movie.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Generally acts like a somewhat doddering old man when he's actually a Genius Bruiser.
  • Old Master: Not actually all that old at the beginning but reaching the end of his middle years.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: The only time Miyagi drops his Asian Speekee Engrish act and referring to himself in third person is when he tries to reason with Sato.
  • Papa Wolf: Snaps into action whenever Daniel is outmatched in a fight.
  • Parental Substitute: As time goes on, Mr. Miyagi becomes more and more of a father figure to Daniel.
  • Retired Badass: A martial artist and a World War II veteran (who was even awarded the Medal of Honor).
  • So Proud of You: He nods and smiles at Daniel after his student wins the All-Valley Tournament.
  • Too Clever by Half: He is less arrogant than most examples of this trope. However, he still seems unable to resist opportunities to be clever, even when it goes counter to his goals. His Wax On, Wax Off teaching regimen in the first movie (or rather, his refusal to explain it) almost drives his student away. His impromptu bet at the bar in the second movie may have paid for Daniel's college, but also humiliated the man he was trying to talk out of a duel to the death with him. His "sweep" joke in the third movie drove Daniel straight into the arms of the Evil Mentor when he needed support.
  • Trickster Mentor: Enjoys playing games with Daniel that usually end up teaching him what he needs to know.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Particularly in Karate Kid II. Men like Kreese and Sato seem to have no idea just how powerful of an opponent Miyagi actually is.
  • Veteran Instructor: Miyagi is a master martial artist who served in the U.S. Army during World War II (he even earned the Medal of Honor, the highest military decoration a serviceman can receive).
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Subverted. For all the flak Mr. Miyagi's accent has taken over the years, it is an extremely accurate Okinawan accent. Pat Morita learned it from his stunt double, who was a recent immigrant from Okinawa.

    Ali Mills 
Played by: Elisabeth Shue (1984)

  • Beware the Nice Ones: Normally rather friendly, but she has no hesitation to punch when sufficiently pissed off as Johnny finds out the hard way when he forces a kiss on her in front of Daniel.
  • Derailing Love Interests: In the first movie she was a Nice Girl who was willing to stand up for herself. In the second movie, she crashes his car, doesn't offer to pay damages, and leaves him for a football player all in one scene. Daniel had every right to be furious at her. Ultimately subverted in Cobra Kai where it's revealed Ali "leaving him" for the football player was actually actually a misunderstanding Daniel overreacted to and the car damages were actually Daniel's fault.
  • Disposable Love Interest: Daniel tells Mr. Miyagi at the beginning of Part II that she left him for a football player from UCLA. It's also implied it was during prom she told Daniel this.
  • Dude Magnet: First was Johnny, then Daniel, then the aforementioned football player. Cobra Kai adds Tommy (who was going to ask her out before Johnny "struck first") and a guy with the surname Schwarber whom she married.
  • Plucky Girl: Friendly and pleasant to Daniel even when things are at their worse.
  • Satellite Love Interest: She's nice, pretty, the ex-girlfriend of Johnny, and lives with upper-class parents in a Big Fancy House...and that's all that's really known about her before she's easily written out of the sequel. She's fleshed out a little more in Cobra Kai, as by that point she no longer had to fulfill a "love interest" role.

Introduced in the first movie/Cobra Kai:

    Johnny Lawrence 
Played by: William Zabka (1984-86)

  • The Ace: Seems to be Daniel's superior in nearly every way, but courage.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Like Bobby, far less so than their teacher.
  • Beauty Is Bad: A more conventionally handsome kid than Daniel-san.
  • Breakout Character: No doubt the most popular of the Cobra Kai students. Enough to even star in a series that is a distant sequel to the movie.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Though he doesn't appear again after he gets berated by Kreese for losing at the beginning of Part II.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: It's hinted in the first film (and outright confirmed in Cobra Kai) that while Johnny is aggressive and competitive, he doesn't like using dirty tactics in tournament fights and prefers fighting fair. When Kreese orders Johnny to target Daniel's wounded knee by performing a leg sweep, Johnny appears shocked that he's being ordered to do something so dishonorable (even though leg sweeping is a perfectly legal move in competitive Karate). Presumably, this is due to the fact he's taking advantage of an injury which Kreese, himself, ordered inflicted.
  • Graceful Loser: After losing to Daniel in the tournament, he accepts his loss fairly calmly and willingly hands him the trophy.
    Johnny: You're alright, LaRusso. Good match!
  • The Heavy: While he's the one who antagonizes and bullies Daniel, it's mostly because of Kreese and Cobra Kai's influence. As Mr. Miyagi explains, the teacher's guidance is ultimately responsible for the student's actions and the later films make it clear Kreese is the true Big Bad.
  • Hidden Depths: In his very first scene, he turns down Tommy's offer of a beer because he wants to be ready for the first day of school the next morning.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Johnny takes his loss against Daniel in the tournament with dignity and even presents him with the trophy while telling him it was a good match. Also earlier, when ordered by Kreese to use cheap shots and dirty tactics to defeat Daniel, Johnny is genuinely appalled.
  • Jerkass: He's an arrogant bully who enjoys lording his toughness over other people.
  • Jerk Jock: A much more popular, better looking, and tougher kid than Daniel-san.
  • Worthy Opponent: Proves to be a far better person than his Evil Mentor.
  • Would Harm a Senior: He doesn't hesitate to attack Miyagi after he steps in to defend Daniel. Miyagi, however, makes short work of Johnny and his friends.

    John Kreese 
Played by: Martin Kove (1984-89)

A Vietnam veteran who operates as the Sensei of the Cobra Kai dojo.

  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Combines with Serious Business that he orders a teenager injured so he can have his dojo win.
  • Big Bad: One of the worst people in the franchise and the reason the Cobra Kai Dojo has become such a band of bullies.
  • Breakout Villain: The only villain to appear in all three movies.
  • The Bully: He's a violent bully and fiercely proud of it.
  • Cruel Mercy: Miyagi spares Kreese in their fight in Part II, saying that living would be a worse punishment for Kreese than death since he cannot forgive. Mind you, Kreese learns nothing from the experience.
  • Chronic Villainy: In the beginning of Part III, Kreese seems to be fully resigned to close the Cobra Kai for good and start over, and even try to talk Terry Silver out of planning a revenge in his name. In the end, however, his villainous tendencies got the best of him.
  • Demoted to Extra: Due to Kove dealing with scheduling conflicts at the time of filming Part III, Kreese plays a lesser role in the film.
  • Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat: His attempts to injure the competition and having his students Ordered to Cheat arguably costs him the tournament as both Bobby as well as Lawrence are probably capable of beating Daniel fairly. The fact they aren't allowed is part of the reason they lose.
  • Dirty Coward: For all his talk of toughness, he only picks fights with those who cannot fight back and uses underhanded methods to win. When faced with someone like Miyagi, he is visibly scared.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: He's a Vietnam veteran who demands military precision from his students. Lose your focus for one second, and it's sixty push-ups on your knuckles.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Miyagi. Both of them are United States military veterans who have become Karate senseis.
  • Evil Mentor: He teaches his students to view anyone who opposes them as an enemy and that enemies deserve no mercy. Not surprisingly, this turns most of them into jerks. The Cobra Kai spin-off comic even reveals that the reason Johnny plants the kiss on Ali at the country club is because Kreese advised him to assert his dominance over her.
  • Hate Sink: He's a violent asshole who frequently brutalizes his students and generally likes to torment those who are weaker than him, even non-combatants. Is it any wonder why all of his students end up becoming almost as bad as him?
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Him being a brutal asshole toward his own students for failing lead them to abandon him, leaving him the impoverished wreck we see in the third movie.
  • It's Personal: He makes it known to both Daniel and Miyagi that he'll personally bring pain upon both of them if Daniel fails to show up for the All Valley Tournament.
  • Jerkass: He's really just a bully who gets off on hurting weaker opponents.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: A Downplayed Trope action but still directly there in that his appalling behavior during the tournament and subsequent humiliation (where Miyagi does a Literal Metaphor about Kreese's actions only hurting himself) destroy any respect his students have for him as well as cost him his livelihood.
  • Miles Gloriosus: He's a very tough guy when picking on teenagers and people who can't fight back. But put him in a fight with Mr. Miyagi and he goes down easily.
  • Ordered to Cheat: He instructs Bobby to take out Daniel's knee, even though doing so will result in Bobby's disqualification. Then Johnny also uses Loophole Abuse moves that target the injured knee. Was originally the Trope Namer.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Called Miyagi a "slope". He was a Vietnam vet.
  • Second Place Is for Losers: "Defeat does not exist in this dojo!"
  • Sensei for Scoundrels: He runs Cobra Kai as a Thug Dojo and twists all of his students into violent bullies.
  • Serious Business: He takes the karate tournament far too seriously or, honestly, not seriously enough. Specifically, he doesn't see any value in it as an actual display of athletics or prowess—he's only interested in winning.
  • Sore Loser: He berates Johnny over his defeat, and angrily destroys his second place trophy. If that wasn't enough, he chokes Johnny over his failure.
  • Would Harm a Senior: He doesn't hesitate to attack the elderly Miyagi for defending Johnny and Daniel in two separate instances. Miyagi, however, makes short work of him both times.

    Bobby Brown 
Played by: Ron Thomas (1984-86)

  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Averted and it makes him the odd man out in the dojo.
  • Always Second Best: Zigzagged. Many supplementary material have shown that while he remained Johnny's inferior for most of his time in Cobra Kai under Kreese, Bobby was still possibly stronger and there was a chance that he could have surpassed his fellow student.
  • Innocent Beta Bitch: A bastard version. While he did terrorize Daniel with the other Cobra Kai students, he did had limits. He tried to dissuade Johnny from continuing his beating on Daniel at the Halloween party. He was also against attacking Daniel's leg and desperately apologized when he did it.
  • Kid Has a Point: Bobby says he can beat Daniel in a fair fight at the tournament without breaking the rules and probably could have. He's bigger, stronger, and has more experience with karate. Kreese, instead, orders him to cheat so Lawrence can fight Daniel in the finale for an easy victory. Despite the fact if Bobby won, his dojo would win either way.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: When Johnny first gets jealous of Daniel with Ali, Bobby tells him to forget it. The third time Johnny beats up Daniel, Bobby tells him to leave Daniel alone, despite Johnny's insistence that an enemy deserves no mercy. During a sparring session he hesitates to hit Robertson while he's down. And when Kreese tells him to injure Daniel in the tournament, he does not want to at first, and frantically apologizes to Daniel when he does.
  • Only Sane Man: Tells Johnny to get over Ali when they see her with Daniel at the beginning of the film, doesn't want to beat Daniel to death, doesn't want to injure his friend Robertson during a sparring session, and doesn't want to injure Daniel in the tournament when ordered to by Kreese... Bobby repeatedly comes across as this amongst his friends.
  • Peer-Pressured Bully: The least vicious member of the Cobra Kai clan.
  • Spell My Name with an "S" - The DVD subtitles call him "Bobby Butterman."
  • Token Good Teammate: Bobby's the only Cobra Kai member who shows any kind of moral restraint and calls out Johnny whenever he goes too far. Cobra Kai later reaffirms this by showing he became a preacher as an adult.

Played by: Chad McQueen (1984-86)

  • The Berserker: Out of all the Cobra Kai students, he's the most aggressive and ready to get violent. Cobra Kai even later reveals he's been in and out of prison for most of his life, due to McQueen's declining to reprise the role.
  • The Sociopath: Unlike the others, he's okay with Kreese's orders to injure Daniel. Also he makes no attempt whatsoever to help Johnny when Kreese is choking him, unlike the rest of the Cobras who all either call out Kreese on his cruelty or try to stop him.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Dutch's violent nature enables Johnny's anger and aggressiveness when the group is beating up Daniel after the Halloween dance. It's also subtly implied by Cobra Kai that this influence also went out to haunt Johnny for a long time in his life.

Played by: Rob Garrison (1984-86)

  • Even Evil Has Standards: As much as he wants his friends to win, he's shocked when Kreese orders Bobby to injure Daniel.
  • No Indoor Voice: He's by far the loudest when cheering on Johnny during the tournament final.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Along with Bobby, he gets assaulted by Kreese when he tries to stop him from choking Johnny after losing the tournament.

Played by: Tony O'Dell (1984-86)
Unlike his friends, he's only a brown belt.
  • The Generic Guy: He doesn't really say or do anything noteworthy and has no real characterization.
  • The Quiet One: Out of everyone in the gang, he has the fewest lines.


In the second movie/Okinawa:

    Sato Toguchi 
Played by: Danny Kamekona (1986)

  • Anti-Villain: Lampshaded by Miyagi after Sato gives him time to mourn his father before demanding that they fight.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Even more than Chozen and clearly where he got it from.
  • Big Bad: Of the second movie as his desire to fight Miyagi to the death for dishonoring him drive him to antagonize not only Daniel and Miyagi but also Tomi Village as a whole. After his Heel–Face Turn, Chozen takes this spot from him.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: John Kreese was a mostly disconnected antagonist who let his students do all the job of directly antagonizing Daniel and Miyagi, he also shows no honor whatsoever and is shown to be very racist towards foreigners. Sato is a far more active antagonist, directly and outwardly antagonizing not only Daniel through Chozen, but also antagonizing Miyagi directly and personally, as well as Yukie and the other Tomi Village villagers. Unlike Kreese, he sees the errors of his ways and reforms and would eventually help Chozen reform as well.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: He's a wealthy industrialist whose supertrawlers have greatly depleted the local fish population, forcing the former fishing village to scrape by via small farming. He also owns all the land in the village and forces its residents to rent from him. He drops this aspect after his Heel–Face Turn with Cobra Kai outright stating that when Tomi Village fell on hard times, Sato took it upon himself to help them all avoid falling into poverty by modernizing Tomi Village and giving the people stable jobs, money and livelihoods.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Pulls a Heel–Face Turn after Miyagi saves his life, with Chozen taking over as the villain.
  • Duel to the Death: Tries to force Miyagi into one of these, intending on getting back at his former friend for disgracing him
  • Easily Forgiven: Miyagi holds no grudge against him despite the fact he actively planned to murder him and severely antagonized him, though the fact that Miyagi lived through World War II and took a path of peace and forgiveness might have been the cause of it, as is the fact that Sato outright cooperates with the people of Tomi Village after the storm.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Despite being a real bastard at first, it's shown that Sato does possess a sense of honor by giving Miyagi time to mourn his father's death before their Duel to the Death and honoring the bet that Daniel could break more ice blocks than Chozen. He proves that his Heel–Face Turn after Miyagi saves his life is real by saving an unconscious Daniel who had just saved Yuna, a little bell-ringer girl, from dying in the storm.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Miyagi. He's a tournament and flash loving Corrupt Corporate Executive who is also mildly racist towards outsiders. After his Heel–Face Turn he instead begins taking more on Miyagi's positive qualities instead and even helps Chozen redeem himself and become a better person by the time of Cobra Kai.
  • Guttural Growler: A very strong one that emphasizes his antagonistic status. He loses most of it after his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Heel–Face Turn: After Miyagi saves his life while proving that Sato was never his equal in skill which humbles him down from his previous actions and prompts him to help the villagers rebuild Tomi Village.
  • Honor Before Reason: Fumes for 30 years against Miyagi's insult to him.
    • Subverted because despite his hatred for Miyagi, he honors the ice blocks bet and was genuinely impressed when watching Daniel prepare to break the board. Also, he's willing to let go of his hatred after seeing Miyagi save his life and outright risks himself to save Daniel's life.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: His plan with Mister Miyagi when they were teenagers. Miyagi left Japan instead, only to find Yukie still didn't want to marry him.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Cobra Kai reveals that Sato saved his nephew from crossing the Despair Event Horizon following his defeat by Daniel in Part II, and helped set Chozen on the path to becoming a good and honorable man. He also kept training Chozen to the point where his nephew proves to be completely out of Daniel's league by the time of their rematch, even in a friendly sparring session
  • Old Master: Is the head of Okinawa's largest karate dojo and was personally trained by Mr. Miyagi's own father making him one of the most skilled fighters in the franchise. He's still no match for Miyagi at all, however.
  • Pet the Dog: After Mr. Miyagi's father dies, he gives him three days to mourn before their big fight. Another is that even though he felt embarrassed by Chozen losing the bet with the ice blocks, he nonetheless honors the bet and tells him off for embarrassing him.
  • Rival Turned Evil: How Sato is set up to be. It turns out it's not so much evil as Honor Before Reason and he only became rivals with Miyagi due to both harboring feelings for Yukie. After his Heel–Face Turn, he drops both aspects.

    Chozen Toguchi 
Played by: Yuji Okumoto

  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Thinks Daniel is kind of ridiculous challenging him with Bonzai karate in the town where karate was invented.
  • Big Bad: While he was already the Dragon-in-Chief, after Sato pulls a Heel–Face Turn and disowns him Chozen becomes the lead villain, outright trying to murder Daniel in a fight to the death.
  • Break the Haughty: Nothing went well for him once Daniel arrived in Okinawa. His uncle shut him up at every turn, Daniel caught him cheating the villagers with false weights, Kumiko falls for Daniel, Daniel bested him at breaking ice blocks (earning him a huge wager that Uncle Sato forced him to honor), Miyagi curbstomped him when he and his friends attacked Daniel, then he got exposed as a coward when the storm hit, and Sato disowned him. That was just the prelude to the big showdown at the end, which he lost.
  • The Bully: Pretty much uses his position as Sato's heir to bully the village.
  • Cruel Mercy: When defeated by Daniel. Daniel offers Chozen the choice "Live or die?" Chozen chooses death, but Daniel instead tweaks his nose and drops him to the ground, shaming him in front of the entire village.
  • Death Seeker: Becomes one after Sato disowns him.
  • Dirty Coward: On only one occasion does he face Daniel unaided, and even then he has Daniel cut off any help. Also, he refuses to go help Daniel rescue the bellringer girl, even when his uncle orders him to do it.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: He bullies Daniel throughout the movie, mirroring the rivalry between Sato and Miyagi. He also is disowned by Sato after his Heel–Face Turn for refusing to save the bell-ringer girl during the typhoon, which leads to him being the Final Boss in the story.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Daniel.
  • Evil Is Petty: Despite being the surrogate son of a fantastically wealthy businessman, he still cheats the dirt poor villagers.
  • Failed a Spot Check: He insists that forcing Daniel into a fight to the death by threatening Kumiko will restore his honor in the eyes of the village. His blinkered Revenge Myopia keeps him from noticing how everyone watching this unfold is clearly horrified by Chozen's behavior.
  • Faux Affably Evil: His first scene.
  • Generation Xerox: Like his uncle, he holds a vendetta against his romantic interests suitor.
  • Honor-Related Abuse: He holds a warped outlook on honor, to the point that he threatens to end Daniel's life if he insults it.
  • Hypocrite: For all his talk of honor, he never fights Daniel fairly, either having backup or having Daniel cut himself off from help, and Would Hit a Girl.
  • Mr. Fanservice: He rips open his shirt to reveal his chiseled pecs and washboard abs. And his tight shirts reval his huge biceps too.
  • Never My Fault: Chozen blames Daniel for dishonoring him. Daniel 1) accidentally revealed that he was cheating the villagers 2) fairly won a bet that Chozen forced him into and 3) helped save some of the villagers from the typhoon while Chozen was cowering in the shelter.
  • Redemption Rejection: Sato pleads with him to let go of his grudge and forgive Daniel, but Chozen throws it back his face:
    Sato: Chozen! I was wrong... hate is wrong. Don't do this!
    Chozen: I cannot hear you, uncle. I am dead to you, remember?
  • Throwing Down the Gauntlet: He takes Kumiko hostage and threatens to cut her throat unless Daniel fights him.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He strikes Kumiko across the face and knocks her unconscious when she tries to help Daniel in the fight against him.

Played by: Tamlyn Tomita (1986)

  • Mighty Whitey and Mellow Yellow: She's surrounded by Asian men she doesn't show the slightest bit of interest in, but as soon as Daniel shows up at the front door... Then again, the other suitor with a chance was Chozen of all people.
    • Justified as Chozen undoubtedly scared off any other potential suitors given his treatment of Daniel-san.
  • Neutral Female: Subverted. She tries to pull Chozen away from Daniel during their last fight. It doesn't work, but the effort is appreciated.
  • Nice Girl: She's never less than friendly and welcoming to Daniel and Miyagi; indeed, she gets on well with anyone who's not Chozen.
  • Plucky Girl: She gets points for trying to help Daniel against Chozen, despite knowing how dangerous it is.
  • Put on a Bus: Daniel mentions in Part III that she chose to take a job with a dance company in Tokyo instead of coming back to the United States with him. He seems less bitter about it than Ali though, possibly because he knew how much she wanted to be a traditional dancer as opposed to just dumping him for another guy, therefore he knows she's following her dream.
  • Unkempt Beauty: Try as she might, she can't quite keep her hair out of her face.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Emphasized by her wearing a kimono and performing the Japanese tea ceremony.

Played by: Nobu McCarthy (1986)

In the third movie:

    Terry Silver 
Played by: Thomas Ian Griffith (1989)

  • Affably Evil: Appears to be this before the facade slips and we see he's more psychotic than Kreese ever was.
  • Badass Boast: He gloats about opening a branch of Cobra Kai dojos in the Valley while also bringing up the prospect of offering free lessons. Unfortunately for him, it doesn't come to pass after Daniel defeats Barnes in the 1985 All-Valley Tournament.
  • Big Bad: Tries to ruin Daniel's life in the third movie for humiliating Kreese. The two are technically working together, but Silver as Daniel's Evil Mentor has more screen time.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Pretended to be a poor, humble, sensei trying to help Daniel, while torturing him with very painful techniques, wrecking his bansai business, and turning him into a brute.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: He's made millions of dollars as a professional toxic waste dumper.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Miyagi. He's a karate master who is also a Corrupt Corporate Executive and clearly relishes every bit of pain he cuases.
  • Evil Is Petty: Destroying a teenager's life because he caused some distress for your war buddy. Also doubles as Disproportionate Retribution.
  • Evil Plan: Of the Vengeance Is Mine! variety, targeting Daniel and Mr. Miyagi for what they did to Kreese in the first movie.
  • Evil Virtues: As much of a bastard as he is, he is a loyal friend to Kreese and goes out of his way to help him.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Zigzagged. Silver was the one who gave his old war buddy Kreese the resources to open up a Cobra Kai dojo in the San Fernando Valley in the first place, before later convincing Kreese to continue his vendetta against Miyagi and Daniel (just when his friend was starting to have second thoughts and display some fleeting humility), with ambitions to further expand Cobra Kai into a chain of Thug Dojos (arguably making him surpass Kreese's wickedness). However, the novelization of The Karate Kid Part III indicates that Kreese was the one who originally inducted him into Cobra Kai rather than vice-versa, playing a role in setting Silver on the path toward being the Corrupt Corporate Executive he became (and their dialogue in the film suggests that Kreese was initially like a mentor/protector to Silver as well). If anything, this implies that Silver and Kreese are more like a Big Bad Duumvirate rather than the former necessarily being the Big Bad of the franchise (with Captain Turner as a Predecessor Villain as seen in Cobra Kai and Kim Sun-Yung being a possible unseen Orcus on His Throne).
  • Honor Among Thieves: John Kreese saved Terry's life in the Vietnam War during their military time together. Terry never forgot that debt, and pretty much puts running his billion-dollar company on hold just to help his friend back on his feet. Terry's plan to ruin Daniel's life pretty much came solely due to him wanting to restore the reputation of Kreese's doujo (although he certain finds his own enjoyment tormenting Daniel). The genuine loyalty and frienship between the two is almost bizarre in how much it contrasts with their otherwise sociopathic behavior.
  • Large Ham: Oh so very much.
  • Laughably Evil: During his fight with Miyagi, he starts making Funny Bruce Lee Noises.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Is a much more twisted villain than Kreese who was just The Bully. He goes out of his way to befriend Daniel and encourage him to become famous, only to cause him to injure himself before revealing it was all just head games. This leaves Daniel close to a Heroic BSoD.
  • Motive Decay: Claims to be doing everything he does against Daniel and Miyagi for the sake of avenging Kreese's defeat at the All-Valley but pretty much abandons his old friend for the sheer thrill of screwing with Daniel and Miyagi's life. In the end, Silver is just a sadistic jerkass.
  • Smug Snake: At the end of the movie. He proves unable to have done anything to sever Daniel and Miyagi's bond nor break Daniel's spirit.
  • Sore Loser: Is disgusted with Barnes' loss in the All Valley Karate Tournament finals.
  • Villainous Breakdown: It doesn't strictly affect his actions for the rest of the movie, but when Miyagi privately humiliates him in his own dojo, he snaps and starts screaming at him.
  • Villainous Friendship: With Kreese, which is what motivates him into trying to destroy Daniel and Miyagi.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: A surprisingly large amount for a man who runs a toxic waste disposery.
  • Younger Than They Look: Played With. The actor was 25 in the third movie, but he only comes across as older because A. He is friends with Kreese and B. Ralph Macchio looked so young.

    Mike Barnes 
Played by: Sean Kanan (1989)

  • The Heavy: Silver's champion for the 1985 All Valley Tournament.
  • It's Personal: He swears to make life hell for Daniel every day for the rest of his life if he refuses to participate in the 1985 All-Valley Tournament.
  • Psycho for Hire: An aggressive bully who Terry Silver hired to harass and demoralize Daniel, and then trained to to even more so during the competition.
  • Sore Loser: He throws a fit after losing to Daniel in the 1985 All Valley Tournament.
  • Threw My Bike on the Roof: He and his gang vandalize Miyagi's bonsai shop in retaliation to Daniel's repeated refusals to enter the 1985 All-Valley Tournament.
  • Would Harm a Senior: He doesn't hesitate to attack Miyagi every time he defends Daniel. Like with Kreese and Silver, it doesn't end well for Barnes.

    Jessica Andrews 
Played by: Robyn Lively (1989)

  • Disposable Love Interest: Exaggerated. The writers don't even wait for the sequel to dispose of her.
  • Girl Next Door: She's fairly cute, rather tomboyish, and works at a pottery store across the street from Miyagi and Daniel's bonsai store.
  • May–December Romance: Even though their characters were about the same age in the movie, actress Robyn Lively was 11 years younger than Ralph Macchio in real life, and it showed. Ralph has gone on the record saying he was unhappy with it himself.
  • Nice Girl: She is shown to being friendly and nice to Daniel. Even by forgiving Daniel after she got angry at him for breaking the nose of Terry's lackey that he sent to harrass them.
  • Put on a Bus: She goes back home to Ohio midway through the movie, and is never seen or mentioned again. Probably because the producers realized the aforementioned May–December Romance just wasn't working.

In the fourth movie:

    Julie Pierce 
Played by: Hilary Swank (1994)

  • Action Girl: Eventually. It takes training under Mister Miyagi to become one.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: She eventually drops her cold behavior and starts warming up to Miyagi.
  • Dude Magnet: She attracts Eric and Ned's attention. She reciprocates the former's feelings while she's more bothered by the latter's advances.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: She shares this with Miyagi who's old enough to be her grandfather.
  • Kindly Vet: One of the subplots of the movie has her nursing an injured hawk back to health.
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: It's suggested that the reason behind her bitterness is because of her parents' deaths, as well as her grandmother treating her as if she were the latter's daughter (who was Julie's now deceased mother) and being harassed at school by a jerk with power (Ned) of whom she has repeatedly rejected his advances.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: She starts out being unusually cold to Miyagi and her grandmother.

    Colonel Paul Dugan 
Played by: Michael Ironside (1994)

  • Bad Boss: As with John Kreese before him, he ultimately tries to force his recruits to commit actions that they are not comfortable with, and squanders whatever respect that they had for him in the process (in addition to his loss to Mr. Miyagi).
  • Big Bad Wannabe: While unquestionably the main threat of the film, Dugan isn't much compared to Kreese or Silver. Despite calling himself a Colonel he never served in the military, has no real sway outside of the school and his student security force (who were so brutal it's a miracle that no one has yet to simply call the cops on them), and doesn't have much menace unless he's beating up teenagers. His fight against Miyagi is, somehow, even more pathetic than Kreese and Silver's fights.
  • Dirty Cop: He uses his position as a school security consultant/rent-a-resource officer as cover to abuse students (including his Alpha Elite recruits), while providing those recruits the opportunity to blackmail others by planting false evidence (as Ned does to Julie).
  • Evil Mentor: He not only encourages the worst excesses of his Alpha Elite students as a school enforcement outfit (all but inviting them to abuse and take advantage of their authority over the other students on school grounds), but effectively turns them into an illegal youth paramilitary organization (willing to commit vandalism, blow up vehicles, and seemingly even attempt murder to settle scores with fellow students outside school grounds).
  • Knight of Cerebus: While he may not match up to the likes of Kreese and Silver in skill (and certainly does not match up to the likes of Sato and Chozen in this regard), he is an unhinged, authoritarian Knight Templar with a Hair-Trigger Temper who takes the unforgiving "No Mercy" philosophies of previous antagonists Up to Eleven by exacting Disproportionate Retribution against minors for perceived petty crimes or even just slights against authority (up to and including training his Alpha Elite recruits to blind vandals with spray paint and force-feed children candy wrappers as respective punishments for grafitti and littering).
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: He serves as one to John Kreese from the earlier films in the franchise, to the extent of Miyagi beating/humiliating them in almost the exact same way.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: His JROTC-like Alpha Elite program is embraced by the school district, the police and the local community in general, allowing himself and his followers to mete out abuse to students at will while covering their tracks with the local authorities. He is even given the last word on what student punishments should be.


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