The Karate Kid Movie Trivia

The Karate Kid Trivia

The Karate Kid Picture
The now famous "crane" technique.

Totally Trivia

Film facts for the 1984 Martial Arts movie starring Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Elisabeth Shue More Cast

We believe the following trivia is all legit. If it's bogus or you have additional info, please update us.

Thanks to Arjun
The referee (Pat E. Johnson) in the final of the tournament is the Choreographer of the Karate Kid films. He is also in Enter the Dragon where he plays a gangster in John Saxon's flashback scene where he gets his ass whooped.
Thanks to James Ivie
Pat Morita could also be seen in the 70's hit sitcom "Sanford and Son" as Lamont's friend, Ah-Chew.
Rewind Archive
Karate Kid shared the same director as "Rocky" -- John G. Avildsen.
Rewind Archive
One of modern Karate's founding fathers was actually called Sensei Miyagi.
Thanks to Lisa Venezia
Pat Morita, who plays Mr Miyagi, was diagnosed with spinal tuberculosis and was told as a young child that he would never walk. He found the irony in that Karate Kid was called a great Cinderella story and that was his own Cinderella story. He also doesn't really have that Okinawan accent and personally, I think you can hear a bit of Arnold (Happy Days) when Daniel asks where the cars came from and Miyagi yells out "Detroit!".
Elisabeth Shue, who played Daniel's girlfriend, also starred as Marty McFly's girlfriend, Jennifer, in the second and third Back to the Future movies.
Thanks to Lisa Venezia
Daniel's age can never be figured out. In the first movie, he gets his license, something that happens at age 16 in California, but he also graduates high school in the same year, something that I don't think happens anywhere near age 16. He goes to Okinawa for the summer and comes back in time to make part III and enter the same under 18 tournament. So we're supposed to believe that Daniel (who skips the first semester of college) is still 16? He wouldn't have had a birthday yet, since his birthday is right before the tournament in December. The only thing I can think of is that since he started out in New Jersey, where you have to be 17 to get your driver's license, he waited until his 17th birthday in California to get it... but then he'd be 18 and too old to fight in the under 18 tournament a second time in part 3.
Thanks to Brendan Beach
Martin Kove (Sensei John Kreese) played a small role in "Rambo II" as one of Rambo's military 'friends' back at the base.
Thanks to Eric Griffin
The Karate style Miyagi teaches was originally called simply "Te," and seems to have been brought to Okinawa from China ca. 400 years ago.

Each city had its own variation, so this was called Naha-te.

When the Okinawan dojos went to join the Japan Karate Association, they were required to adopt the white gi, the grading belt system and a distinctive name.

So far as I know, "crane technique" and the "drum technique" are fictional. I have never in my goju training ever encountered them. One is just a jumping front-kick; the other is just a series of roundhouse "tzuki" or punches. The statements that "best defence is not be there" and "don't know, never been attacked by tree" are exactly right.

I was always taught that real Karate is about NOT fighting, nor is it a sport. This is why there is no board-breaking, free sparring or fighting tournaments in Okinawan goju.

And, just as there was a split in the movie between Miyagi and his father's senior student, Sato, there was a real split between Miyagi Sensei's two senior students; Yagi sensei was awarded Miyagi's gi and belt; the other student went on to develop "shurikan" goju.
Thanks to Robert Baum
Among the students of sensei John Kreese, "Dutch" ("points or no points, you're dead meat!") was portrayed by the son of the late Steve McQueen, Chad. Father and son at one time were students of a martial artist whom the elder McQueen suggested to try acting. The teacher was Chuck Norris.

Prior to that, Steve McQueen was an original student of the late, great Bruce Lee at his Oakland University Kwoon of Jeet Kune Do about the same time as fellow actor James Coburn and former LA Laker Kareem Abdul Jabbar.

BUT, mmafighterx wrote in to say that James Coburn, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and Steve McQueen studied with Bruce Lee at his house in southern California. When Bruce Lee lived in Oakland, he lived with James Yimm Lee, at this point Bruce was not involved with any movie actors or acting.

Can anyone confirm?
Thanks to John Edward Kilduff
In 2006, the American Film Institute did a list called "100 Years...100 Cheers". It was a salute to the 100 most inspirational movies of all time. "The Karate Kid" came in at number 98. Ralph Macchio was interviewed for the show, talking about this movie as well as several others, most notably "Field Of Dreams".
Thanks to Janene_machine
William Zabka, who plays Johnny, leader of the Cobra Kai, had no previous martial arts training. He was, however, a skilled wrestler.
Rewind Archive
The top rental video of 1985.
Rewind Archive
The 500th picture to be recorded in Dolby Stereo.
Thanks to C.T. Warren
Back in the 70's, Pat Morita had a recurring role on the sitcom M*A*S*H as Sam Pak, a South Korean surgeon who was friends with Hawkeye and Trapper. In the late 90's, he gave voice to the Emperor of China in Disney's animated hit "Mulan".
Thanks to Larry
Elizabeth Shue, (Ali), also plays a hooker with a heart of gold opposite Nick Cage in "Leaving Las Vegas".
Thanks to Larry
William Zabka, a.k.a. Johnny, also plays Chas, the elites fraternity scumbag from "Back to School"... "Melon, Buddy."
Thanks to Joćo Ferreira
The martial art in this movie is Goju-Ryu.
Thanks to James Kennedy
The scene where Miyagi gets drunk while thinking of his dead wife and baby doesn't at all match Miyagi's background story in Karate Kid II. The scene is sadly ironic because Pat Morita struggled with alcoholism for virtually his entire life. It eventually contributed to his death.
Thanks to James Kennedy
Tony O'Dell plays Jimmy, one of the Cobra Kai bullies. O'Dell was later a regular on the TV sitcom 'Head of the Class' where he played Alan, an up-tight gifted student.
Thanks to lorri g.
Ron Thomas aka Bobby Brown had more experience in the martial arts field than he let on. He admitted in an interview that he held back a lot at the karate tournament.
Editor Nick
According to director John Avildsen, Ali's costume at the Halloween party was supposed to be Princess Leia from Star Wars!
Editor Nick
During production, the studio (Columbia Pictures) was actually owned by Coca-Cola, who insisted that it's products appeared on screen. Minute Maid at the breakfast table and Sprite in Miyagi's workshop, for example.

Ralph Macchio objected to this, especially after having to actually say "Minute Maid" in the breakfast scene and so, did his best to spoil the Sprite product placement by deliberately covering the logo with his hand... So they made him redo the scene. This time, Ralph showed the Sprite logo for the smallest time he could get away with.

If you watch the scene knowing this, its really obvious.
Editor Nick
Ralph Macchio bought the canary yellow ford convertible after production finished and still owns it to this day.
Rewind Archive
In 2002 in Southern California, people started seeing many posters and pictures, posted all over the freeway overpasses and streets, of Ralph in Karate Kid. Everyone was wondering what this was all about... Was it a new fad or initiation of some sort? Ranging from San Bernardino County to Orange county and L.A.

Someone who worked with him on a show even questioned him about this "tagging", but he had no idea why this is being done either...

We can now exclusively reveal that it was the work of four guys as a tribute to Ralph. 'Jason Macchio' wrote in to say that:

"We have been doing it since 2001 as a way to make something out of nothing. There is no real reason we do it, but we have acheived a lot of recognitition from doing this. We had a website and even have a band dedicated to the man, Ralph Macchio."

Bogus Trivia

There's often fake stuff floating round, y'know? -Like the 'ghost boy' that can allegedly be seen in "Three Men And A Baby".

But, nothing bogus that we know yet for "The Karate Kid".
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1984 Columbia Pictures
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