When Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) takes Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) as a pupil in The Karate Kid, they both fill an important role that has been missing in each other’s lives. Daniel finds the father figure that he lost when his dad passed away. Mr. Miyagi finds a son to guide and pass his wisdom down to.
Mr. Miyagi’s passing not only left a huge hole in Daniel’s life but also in Ralph Macchio’s himself. Macchio says that filming without Pat Morita has “been tough,” he admitted in an interview with The Guardian. “There’s a montage scene in series two in which I’m teaching a younger kid, just as Miyagi taught LaRusso, and that brought a real rush of emotion for me.”
In Cobra Kai, he leaves Daniel without his personal compass, the person he would go to with all of his questions. He also leaves him without a sensei. Daniel’s trip to Okinawa in season 3 reveals that, while he would still go to Mr. Miyagi for advice, he believed Mr. Miyagi had taught him everything he knew in regards to Karate. Chozen’s (Yuji Okumoto) cameo from the clip below proves there are some things that Mr. Miyagi did not teach Daniel.
There Is Another Side to Miyagi-Do That Daniel Doesn’t Know About
Up until his trip to Okinawa, Daniel has strictly followed the “first rule” of Miyagi-Do karate, that karate is for self-defense only. Chozen reveals to Daniel, however, that Miyagi-Do has a darker history than he thought. He tells Daniel that their ancestors once needed to defend Okinawa from invaders, so Miyagi-Do karate can be used to kill.
During a scenic Okinawa training montage Chozen instructs Daniel on the technique that Mr. Miyagi had never taught him. The technique is based on attacking secret pressure points that can disable enemies’ limbs and render them helpless. Chozen gifts Daniel the scroll when he is leaving for America, and we later see Daniel use the technique in the final fight of season 3 to disable Kreese.
Where Will the Technique Go From Here?
While Daniel does use the technique to take down Kreese at the end of season 3, throughout the show Daniel has maintained that Miyagi-Do karate is strictly about self-defense. After Robby injured Miguel at the end of season 2 the Miyagi-Do name, and karate as a whole, was dragged through the mud as being aggressive and dangerous. Daniel remains insistent that “Karate is not the problem,” but rather how it is being used.
Daniel’s personal beliefs, which strongly reflect Mr. Miyagi’s, will likely dictate whether or not he teaches his students the new technique. There is a reason that Mr. Miyagi chose to never teach Daniel about it, which may strongly play into his decision. The need for peace in the valley and the importance of winning the tournament, meanwhile, could influence his decision in the other direction.
The focus of Cobra Kai itself has ultimately been about self-defense. It starts with Johnny opening his version of Cobra Kai to help Miguel defend himself from bullies. Daniel opens Miyagi-Do to help other kids stand up to the Cobra Kai’s, who had become the bullies. Now that Johnny and Daniel have merged dojo’s, it will be interesting to see how their philosophies blend together, and whether or not Daniel is willing to share some Miyagi-Do techniques with him.
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