Daniel, a fatherless teenager, arrives in Los Angeles from the East Coast and faces the difficult task of making new friends. He becomes the object of bullying by a menacing gang of karate students, the Cobras, when he strikes up a relationship with the leader’s ex-girlfriend, Ali. Daniel’s handyman, Miyagi, a master of martial arts, teaches him karate and that fighting is always a last answer to a problem. Daniel learns that karate is a mastery over the self, mind and body, and develops physical skills as well as faith and self confidence.
John G. Avildsen