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The Karate Kid

  • Since I first saw this film, I always got the conclusion that the whole plot could have been easily avoided had Daniel told his mother about Johnny and his gang in the first place. Indeed, Daniel could have told Lucille about the bullying right after Johnny and his friends caused him to crash his bicycle. I understand that Johnny and his friends could have bullied Daniel worse if he informed anyone about their actions, but even in that case, Daniel and Lucille could have go to the police and request them to do something with Johnny and his gang, as their bullying went to a point it could easily be considered assault. If I had been in Daniel's shoes, that's exactly what I would have done...
  • 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.
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    • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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?
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    • 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.
    • Possibly it is an immediate liquidity problem, rather than a lack of wealth per se. If his money is tied up in investments and other non immediately accessible savings, then selling a truck might be easier than cracking open the piggy bank. He could always have restructured afterwards.
  • 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.
    • It is in the third movie that attacks to the head are specifically mentioned as being off limits. Perhaps someone on the All Valley Karate tournament committee was disturbed by the apparent graphicness of the crane kick in the first movie. Of course by the time "Cobra Kai" rolls around they are legal again, but that can be put down to Daniel being on the committee at that point.
    • And it should be noted attacks to the legs aren't illegal, they just offer no points. Several times the combatants strike at the legs to set their opponent up for a strike which will earn a point. Bobby is disqualified not for attacking Daniel's leg, but doing so in way blatantly aimed at injuring him in such a way that he can no longer compete effectively. "Sweep the leg" isn't an order to cheat per se. . . Johnny is only warned after the sweep when he again strikes Daniel's injured leg (after catching Daniel's kick and elbowing the injured knee). The sweep itself may be considered a cheap shot (since Johnny knows Daniel is injured there), but not an illegal or completely unsportsmanlike one.
  • 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.
    • He also probably simply didn't teach Daniel the more advanced (and thus dangerous) strikes before the tournament. Simple and effective blows would be enough to see him through, and once Daniel has gotten the Cobra Kai bullies off his back (and decides he wants to keep learning from Miyagi) then Miyagi knows Daniel can be trusted with the more advanced techniques.
  • 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.
    • Mr. Miyagi is also a quiet man who keeps to himself. He doesn't interact with native English speakers routinely, so doesn't have much opportunity to practice his conversational English. Most of the conversational English he does know is from his time in the military, which would probably be inappropriate on a few different levels to use day-to-day.
    • Notice how he becomes perfectly intelligible when he's arguing with Sato? Possibly it's (at least in part) Obfuscating Stupidity.
  • Why none of the students trying for soccer tell the coach that Daniel was tripped by one of the members of Johnny's gang? And why Daniel didn't think on telling the coach or some teacher that he had been provoked? They could have allowed him to try again and end his ban if he had told the truth of what really happened during the tryouts.
    • He did tell the coach that "he hooked me!" when first thrown out, but the coach isn't having it. This is understandable. . . if Daniel's reaction to another player pulling a dirty trick on him is to try and beat the tar out of him, he's not the kind of player you probably want on your team. Granted, the coach didn't know that this wasn't Daniel's first run-in with these guys, but from his perspective, he's just ditching a potential problem player before he becomes a problem.
  • During the school Halloween party, why Daniel, rather than using a hose to prank Johnny, didn't report a teacher about that Johnny and his friends were smoking in the bathroom? Daniel doesn't look like a tattletale, but he could have done so to ensure Johnny and his friends to get into trouble, as they are smoking while being underage. By doing so, Johnny and his friends would have been expelled and Daniel could have gotten rid of them at least in school...
    • If he can walk into school after having obviously been assaulted and no one but his mom and his potential girlfriend cares, then he probably doesn't think the school officials would care about some smoking, even if they took Daniel's word over Johnny's (assuming Johnny is bright enough to ditch the evidence quick). And Daniel wanted some personal payback against Johnny, not letting the system solve his problem for him. Not a wise decision, but Daniel is a teenager. . .
  • 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.
  • During the fight on the beach, why Daniel didn't think on grabbing sand and throw it to Johnny's face after punching him? By doing so, that could have given him advantage as Johnny would have been temporarily blinded by the sand, allowing Daniel to beat him up!
    • Because Daniel is the kind of Nice Guy who doesn't go for dirty pool.

Karate Kid 2

  • 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.
    • Also, as revealed in Cobra Kai, while Johnny's mother could have gotten mad at Kreese, Johnny's stepfather Sid would haven't likely cared for Kreese's actions at all, so he wouldn't have filled a lawsuit against Kreese if anything happened to Johnny.
  • Why no one complains about the car windows Kreese and Miyagi broke during their confrontation? Someone's gonna pay for them and Miyagi left the scene with Daniel. Also, why the car alarms of the two cars doesn't sound when Kreese breaks the windows?
    • The owners of the cars may not have left the stadium yet, and when they do they will just assume it was some rowdy members of the crowd. Windows being broken in cars in sports stadia parking lots are not unusual. Their insurance will cover it, that is what it is for. As for the alarms, well in the eighties lots of cars simply didn't have them. It wasn't until the nineties that car alarms truly became ubiquitous.
  • 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 while trying to beat Miyagi.
    • 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.
    • We should take into account that Kreese could have killed Johnny by strangling him. Daniel possibly thought that Kreese was really dangerous to be around them and if Mr. Miyagi killed him, it could have been seen in self-defense, as Kreese was willing to punch him despite being an older man.
    • It was more for confirmation. Daniel first asks "You could have killed him," and Miyagi agrees that yes, he could have. Daniel's been with Miyagi long enough to know the obvious answer isn't usually the right one with him, so Daniel asking why because he already knows Miyagi's answer isn't the obvious "because it's illegal and immoral to take a man's life unless you have no other option."
  • Why Mr. Miyagi let Daniel fight against Chozen if he was aware that Chozen wanted to fight Daniel to death? I understand that Kumiko's life was at stake and Daniel wanted to save her, but didn't Miyagi remember that Daniel's mother is back in the States and how she would react if he told her that some crazy karate guy of Japan killed her son for a girl?!?! Miyagi didn't care for Daniel's family?
    • Because if Daniel refused, Chozen would kill at least one person and probably several more before he could be subdued by numbers. He does take care to warn Daniel that this isn't like his fight against Johnny, and appears ready to back Daniel up if he refuses to risk his life. But Mr. Miyagi also respects Daniel, and if Daniel feels this is a fight worth fighting despite knowing the risks, Mr. Miyagi will accept that. Yes, it would be a very awkward talk with Mrs. LaRusso when he gets home, but still.
  • The bell-ringer is like five. Why would anyone make her the person to warn everyone about a typhoon in such a way that she'd be the last one to get to the shelter?
    • Small village. Everyone chips in to keep it running. She should have made the shelter before they closed the doors (it bothers me that Daniel and Miyagi are basically looking right at her as they apparently decide "well, that's everyone, let's button it up!") but her having a job in the first place is probably normal and expected here.

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?
    • In the series Cobra Kai, Cobra Kai was banned from the All Valley Tournament as a result of the events of the third film, with no other option Kreese attempted to reenlist in the military, only to be turned down after failing a psychological evaluation. A war buddy of his (possibly Terry Silver) offered him a job, but Kreese turned it down as he felt it was a handout. At some point he began living in and out of homeless shelters.

The Next Karate Kid

  • How come Julie's grandmother agrees to leave her underage teenage granddaughter under the care of a old man she just recently met? We know that Mr. Miyagi is not a bad person but she didn't, things could go horribly wrong in a different scenario.
    • She must have heard about him from her husband.
    • Still, trusting a teen girl to a man your husband met 60 years before, no matter how good he spoke about him, is kind of a stretch.

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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