The Karate Kid franchise has its fair share of villains. In each of the first three films, Daniel LaRusso, portrayed by Ralph Macchio, somehow manages to make a new rival. Here are all the villains of The Karate Kid, The Karate Kids Part II, and The Karate Kid Part III.
In Cobra Kai, Johnny Lawrence, played by William Zabka, has a redemption arc. However, in the first installment of the film franchise, the Cobra Kai team member bullies Daniel because he is romantically interested in his ex-girlfriend Ali Mills (Elisabeth Shue).
He becomes particularly violent during the Halloween dance, when Johnny beats Daniel up to the point of almost being unconscious in retaliation for pouring water on him. However, the New Jersey-native is saved by his sensei Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita).
Johnny, however, does show good sportsmanship after he loses the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament. He hands Daniel the trophy while saying, “You’re alright LaRusso.”
Like Johnny Lawrence, John Kreese (Martin Kove) is given more depth in Cobra Kai. His merciless teachings are explained during flashbacks that showed him serving in the Vietnam War.
However, his motivations for cruelty are not examined in the films. In the first movie, the Cobra Kai sensei encourages his students to injure Daniel during the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament. At the start of The Karate Kid Part II, he physically assaults Johnny for coming in second place. The plot of The Karate Kid Part III revolves around the veteran and his friend Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith) planning ways to ensure that Daniel loses the 1985 All Valley tournament.
In The Karate Kid Part II, the audience is introduced to Sato Toguchi (Danny Kamekona). The Okinawan-based businessman was once Mr. Miyagi’s close friend and fellow karate student, but their relationship dissolved. Essentially, Miyagi expressed romantic interest in Yukie (Nobu McCarthy), who was betrothed to Sato. In response, Sato ordered his former friend to engage in physical combat until one of them perishes.
Mr. Miyagi declined the challenge and instead, immigrated to the United States. Upon his return to visit his dying father, Sato insists on going through with the fight. However, the Sato’s Karate owner changes his mind after Miyagi and Daniel save him during a typhoon.
Like Johnny Lawrence, Chozen Toguchi (Yuji Okumoto) is presented in a more sympathetic light in Cobra Kai. That being said, Sato’s nephew is violent throughout The Karate Kid Part II. He initially dislikes Daniel because of his friendship with Miyagi. However, his distaste for him intensifies when Daniel wins a bet at a bar and later uncovers that he was scamming farmers.
At the end of the movie, Chozen starts a fight with Daniel at the O-ban festival, intending to kill him. However, the New Jersey native wins the battle and asks him if he wants to “live or die, man.”
Chozen picks the latter, but Daniel ignores his request.
In The Karate Kid Part III, Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith) assists his friend John Kreese with his dojo Cobra Kai. It is revealed that following the 1984 All Valley Tournament, interest in the karate studio had taken a sharp decline, and he does not have any clients. While Kreese is vacationing in Tahiti, Silver offers martial artist Mike Barnes a lucrative business opportunity if he becomes the 1985 All Valley champion.
In the meantime, Silver tricks the teenager into believing that Kreese is dead. The businessman then manipulates him to adopt vicious martial art techniques, which proves to be detrimental to his skills and personal relationships.
Throughout The Karate Kid Part III, Mike Barnes (Sean Kanan) is aggressive towards Daniel and resorts to violence to get him to sign up for the All Valley tournament. However, the New Jersey native is named that year’s champion, despite being injured by Barnes.
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