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The Karate Kid

  • Kreese assaults Johnny by catching him in what is essentially a stranglehold, even going so far as to stop his other students from trying to come to Johnny's aid, and showing no signs that he will let Johnny go. If not for Miyagi's intervening, Johnny would have been seriously injured, or worse. How was Kreese going to explain that to Johnny's parents?
    • Losing is Kreese's Berserk Button as we see when he seriously injures himself twice fighting Mister Miyagi. He probably should have gone to jail for both assaults as he's a dangerous, unstable man who orders the injury of teenagers.
  • Really? More people have a problem with whether Johnny's "the bad guy" than whether or not you can defend yourself against a formidable and experienced opponent after four days of chores? I don't know anything about karate, and this is one of my favorite movies, but I've always felt that I'm suspending quite a bit of disbelief to believe that Daniel can deflect all of Miyagi's volley of blows after house-painting day, even if Miyagi is in Training Mode.
    • The film happens over a series of weeks, not days. The first few days of Daniel's training is chores but once that's done Miyagi does start earnestly training him in martial arts.
      • It takes place over the course of several months, although the timeframe of the chore part specifically is unclear. It really would take only a few days, though, for him to unknowingly get so much into the habit of performing those moves that they've become utterly second nature to him, which is the entire point of the scenes.
      • It takes place over at most two months. The All-Valley Under 18 Karate Championship took place in mid-December, and the confrontation at the Cobra Kai dojo took place after Halloween.
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    • Daniel actually won because of three reasons: 1. The fact all the house work bulked him up a bit as taught him technique. 2. The Cobra Kai Dojo's dishonorable tactics disqualified their second best guy and locked their best guy in a tactic that made him vulnerable to the Crane Kick. 3. Kreese over-focused on raw brutality versus technique, which isn't very good for a tournament or a disciplined martial artist in general. Daniel may have only started his training but Miyagi got him practicing every move with great repetition. Even so, had the Cobra Kai dojo fought fairly, Daniel probably wouldn't have made it past the semi-finals (he might have beaten Bobby or he might not have but Lawrence would have won without the Crane Kick "trick") but wouldn't have had the problems he had in the first place.
  • In the original, why is it that a rich man like Miyagi works as a maintenance man at a crappy apartment complex, I mean, aside from giving him the ability to meet young men?
    • I wondered that, too, especially after he seems to never return to the apartment complex after he lures Daniel to his home.
    • Because he enjoys the work? Miyagi's home and car collection is proof that he likes building and fixing things, working for the apartment means he gets paid to do something he likes. Also He hardly qualifies as "rich." True he has a nice Japanese-style house and car collection, but he built the house entirely by himself and the cars were probably junkers he got for next to nothing and then restored. The sale of the cars probably helps finance his various projects. As for not returning to the apartment to work after agreeing to train Daniel, maybe he just took some vacation time in anticipation of having to train Daniel in Karate.
    • I think it's implied that he has enough money to be comfortable. He has the nice house and all those cars and oil wells on his property.
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    • It's also possible that he bought the cars new, or when they were just used cars.
    • How about this explanation: He owns the complex. He's doing maintenance on it because, as noted, he likes working with his hands and it means he doesn't have to pay someone else to do it. Plus it's not that crappy.
    • It still doesn't explain why he would have to sell a car to invest on the "little tree" business in the third movie. Especially after the fourth movie gives a good idea on how rich he is.
  • In the original, isn't it pointed out in the final tournament that it's against the rules to kick someone in the face? Then, Daniel uses a crane kick to kick Johnny in the face, which causes him to win the tournament rather than be disqualified.
    • You have it backwards. Ali explains the rules to Daniel before the tournament: "Everything above your waist is a point. You can hit the head, sternum, kidneys, ribs." Furthermore, throughout the tournament, several Cobra Kai members win points by kicking their opponents' faces; in fact, Johnny wins a point in this way. Thus, the crane kick was perfectly legal in the final match.
  • If Miyagi only knew about karate techniques that were applicable to life-and-death combat, and knew nothing about competition rules, why didn't Daniel foul out of the tournament early on? Miyagi's father would presumably have taught him the sort of potentially-crippling moves that would disqualify someone from an athletic event, not the safe ones of sport karate.
    • Mister Miyagi wasn't teaching Daniel how to be a killer or at least at that stage of their training. He was teaching Daniel how to defend himself and also strengthen his mind as well as well. The big difference between Mister Miyagi and Kreese is the former has a great deal of discipline as well as lethality while the latter has no discipline (which actually makes him less lethal).
    • Miyagi also probably had faith that Daniel wouldn't try anything crippling or illegal because of his own good nature.
  • Daniel asks Mr Miyagi why he didn't kill Kreese and Miyagi replied that making Kreese live with his shame was a worse punishment. Really? Why didn't Miyagi say something like "Whoa psycho! You don't go killing someone just because they started a fight with you in a parking lot. I maimed Kreese's hands in that fight and I actually feel pretty bad about that now that I think about it. But after that he wasn't a threat and me killing him would have been murder. You don't murder people. Didn't I teach you that Karate is for defense? Have you learned nothing?"
    • It may be worth noting that this line isn't in the novelization.
    • It may be a bit of a stretch to say that Mr. Miyagi "maimed" Kreese's hands in the fight. If this troper remembers correctly, Kreese maimed his own hands by punching out two car windows.
    • Teenagers say stupid stuff but in Daniel's case, it was more the fact he wanted to know why Mister Miyagi showed mercy when Kreese was constantly showing it to be a philosophy he rejected.
  • So Mr. Miyagi has lived in the US for about forty years, served in the army, and doesn't live in a Japanese-only community. So why is his English so God awful? It seems impossible that a man as brilliant as him wouldn't speak fluent English by now.
    • Getting rid of an accent is pretty hard. If Mr. Miyagi was born is Japan, spent his childhood there and moved to the US as an adult, it is very reasonable for him to have an accent. Also don't forget that Japanese is COMPLETELY different from English. They even use a different alphabet. For a Japanese to learn English would probably be harder than say, a Spanish speaker to learn English.
      • Actually, Japanese doesn't even have an alphabet.
      • I suspect Mister Miyagi isn't so much bad at speaking English as is a man of few words. He doesn't speak English like a native because he doesn't care to. He keeps his sentences short and to the point.
  • It's been a while since I saw the original movie, but... I swear, every time I see the final duel between Daniel and Johnny, it looks like Johnny hits Daniel enough times to win before the climax, like there's a blow that ends a round but doesn't get counted. Is there something I'm misinterpreting here?
    • All the strikes he makes wouldn't be considered scoring moves. Ali explains before his first match that only contact above the waist counts and neither do punches to the face. Johnny punched him in the face and kept attacking his legs.
  • It's clear from Miyagi's first conversation with Kreese the day after Daniel gets beaten up by Johnny and his gang that they were trying to organize a fight between Johnny (the defending tournament champion) and Daniel, so why did Kreese and Miyagi agree to the tournament? If you think about it, the entire possibility of a tournament fight between Johnny and Daniel was all contingent upon them both making it to the final. Obviously given Johnny's status as defending champion it would be reasonable to assume HE would make it to the final, but how did Kreese and Miyagi know that Daniel was gonna make it too? In fact, given the general arrogance of the Cobra Kai, they could very well have assumed that Daniel was gonna go out after his first match, so what then? Wasn't the whole point of Daniel entering the tournament being a one-on-one with Johnny? Kreese literally pointed out during his first confrontation with Miyagi that he intended to have Daniel fight Johnny one-on-one, yet not only did he ignore the fact that Daniel was very likely not gonna make it to the final, he actively tried to AVOID having Daniel enter the finals by having Bobby break his leg in the semi, that doesn't make sense at all, why try to set up a 1 v 1 fight if you're gonna take active measures to avoid the fight being fought? And even ignoring Kreese's orders to Bobby, what would've happened if Daniel DID get knocked out in the early stages of the tournament, there would be no Johnny v Daniel fight as originally organized. What then?

    • Actually the arrangement was for Daniel to enter the tournament. It was assumed Daniel would make it to the finals. Miyagi knew he could get Daniel to the point where he could survive to the finals.
    • It's pretty clear from the way Dutch and by extension the rest of the Cobra Kai gang treated Daniel in the locker room before the tournament started that they thought he wasn't going to get anywhere near the finals. And that still doesn't explain why Kreese told Bobby to deliberately injure Daniel in the semis, which was something that was intentionally meant to STOP Johnny and Daniel from having a fight (which is what Kreese and Miyagi agreed upon in the first place)
    • Kreese viewed Daniel as a coward and a weakling, who deserved to be bullied, and was all about proving it. Can't fight back against five opponents? Let's have him fight Johnny one-on-one. Want a different place, because of home territory advantage? Okay, you'll get that too (and he'll get his ass kicked there). Kreese was half-expecting Daniel to wuss out and not come at all, which in his eyes would prove he was right. If Daniel did come and go out early, well, there was always an option of going outside the building and have Daniel fight Johnny (and probably Dutch and every other Cobra Kai, who wanted a piece) there. The arrangement was for the fight to happen at the tournament, not that it had to be on the judo mat. When Daniel actually made it to the finals, Kreese was pissed off that he was proven wrong (not to mention there was a chance of the prize trophy actually being won by someone he viewed as completely unworthy of it) and wanted to punish the boy for it.

Karate Kid 3

  • In Karate Kid 3, why is Daniel so scared when he was fighting Mike Barnes? He already fought Chozen before in Karate Kid 2, A BATTLE TO THE DEATH MIND YOU, and he was scared when some big mouthed idiot was scoring points and getting illegal blows on him that wouldn't kill him?
    • Terry Silver and his cronies spent a large part of the movie luring him to the dark side, then manipulated him into stepping over a line, hurting someone, such that at the time of the match, Daniel is a psychological wreck.
    • Daniel felt a lot of personal betrayal as well as confusion due to Terry's mind-games. He also felt like he'd betrayed Mister Miyagi, which he did, though his mentor forgave him.
  • What became of Kreese after the third movie?
    • Hopefully he realized his friend was every bit as much of a psycho he had been and took a good look at his life. He seemed on the verge of that before it became an Ignored Epiphany.
    • Since he appears in the season one finale of Cobra Kai, we may find out in season 2. Since Cobra Kai was banned from the All Valley Tournament as a result of the events of the third film, it's most likely that the dojo collapsed from its bad reputation.

The Karate Kid (2010)

  • In regards to the remake, who moves to China to get a better life?
    • Well, with China becoming the rising dragon of economic prosperity, perhaps there is good hopes for a new life. On another in movie note, several outside source materials depict this as a job transfer, so with their livelihood at stake, they had to move in order to keep and perhaps further develop their "better life".
      • China's economic power is a bubble caused by them intentionally inflating their currency to near-worthless levels in order to keep their populace poor and oppressed. Living conditions in China are sharply contrasted with that of the United States.
      • While China's economic power is indeed a bubble, its not messing with its currency to hurt its own people. Its messing with its currency to give itself an advantage economically, especially where investing and exports are concerned. Which is part of why its economic power is a bit of a bubble.
      • They were moving away from Detroit. Even Cleveland has joked their motto is "It could be worse, at least we're not Detroit."
      • Makes even more sense thanks to some recent Real Life Subtext with Detroit...
    • Also, they didn't move to China for a better life. Dre says that his mother got transferred to China for her job.
    • Actually if you're a foreigner who moves to China as part of a company deal, you can have an amazing life. The same amount of money that will keep you in a somewhat comfortable middle class lifestyle in America can make you modestly wealthy in China. Living in China mostly only sucks for common Chinese people.
    • It's clear that OP has never traveled to China. In the major metropolitan cities, like Beijing where Dre and his mom moved to, life is relatively comfortable for most educated, middle class people ever since the government embarked on its economic reforms in the 1980s. Furthermore, not all of China's social and economic problems are caused by governmental policies, but are rather problems faced by developing countries as a whole. Statements proclaiming that China's issues with poverty are a conspiracy by Chinese government deliberately keeps the populace poor and oppressed are absolutely xenophobic nonsense and not based on any economic reality.
  • In the tournament in the remake, when Cheng tried to attack his opponent and refused to let go of holds after winning, why didn't he get disqualified? I'm pretty sure that's against the rules of a normal kung fu tournament. Also, if Cheng was exempted from normal rules, why did his teammate get disqualified for the same thing? At least they could have been consistent and ignored what was going on flat out instead of being selective of who and who not to crack down on.
    • Cheng was overly aggressive and severely tested the limits of the rules, but the argument could be made that he didn't technically break any of them. His teammate clearly and deliberately used an illegal move with an intent to cripple Dre's leg.
  • In the remake, were the kids wearing sneakers in their Kung Fu Tournament? Why?
    • Kung fu tournaments (and I think sanshou ones as well) are fought with footwear on.

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