The Karate Kid Beat Sheet

Karate Kid Beat Sheet

The Karate Kid

Written by Robert Mark Kamen
Directed by John G. Avildsen
Running time: 123 minutes
Year: 1984


Karate Kid Basic Story Map

PROTAGONIST: Daniel LaRusso, high school senior
EXTERNAL GOAL: To learn karate | To win the tournament
INTERNAL GOAL: To find the confidence to date Ali (A) | To have a father (B)
THEMES: Underdog / Bullying / Racism / Class Distinctions / Balance
CENTRAL DRAMATIC QUESTION: Will Daniel win the tournament?
ENDING: Daniel defeats Johnny and wins the tournament.
ARC: Daniel goes from a wimpy underdog to a karate champion.


Karate Kid Story Engines


Daniel moves with his mother from New Jersey to California. At a beach party, he hits it off with a beautiful girl named Ali, but gets his ass kicked by her jealous ex-boyfriend, Johnny. With a desire to learn karate, he visits a dojo only to find that it’s the home of Johnny and the Cobras. Later that night, they run him down and send him tumbling town a hill on his bike. When his mother finds him, he tells her he must learn karate to defend himself. The next day, he finds that his bike has been fixed by the apartment maintenance man, Mr. Miyagi.


Daniel is viciously beaten by Johnny and the Cobras, but is saved when Miyagi jumps in and takes all five of them out by himself. Miyagi then takes Daniel to the Cobra Kai dojo to call a truce. There, Kreese, the Cobra Kai sensei, dismisses it. Miyagi then proposes that Daniel enter an upcoming tournament where he can compete on equal terms.


Miyagi has Daniel do seemingly meaningless chores instead of training. When Daniel finally has enough, he learns that the chores have helped him learn blocks through muscle memory. Later on, Daniel is heartbroken when he sees Johnny kiss Ali at a country club event. He then travels to Miyagi’s home and finds him drunk. He learns that Miyagi fought for the U.S. Army and was awarded the Medal of Honor. An old telegram reveals that Miyagi’s wife and child died in childbirth while he was at war. Daniel develops a new level of respect for Miyagi.


Daniel and Miyagi finish training. Daniel makes up with Ali after learning that she was not complicit with Johnny’s advances. At the tournament, Daniel makes the semi-finals. Kreese has Bobby perform an illegal kick to Daniel’s knee to secure Johnny’s victory, but Miyagi fixes Daniel’s knee and the two face off for first prize. After Johnny takes advantage of Daniel’s bad knee and ties up the score, Daniel performs Miyagi’s crane kick and wins the tournament.


Karate Kid Full Story Map


Sequence I: Daniel moves with his mother from New Jersey to California. Not terribly enthusiastic about the move, he spirits are lifted when he’s invited to a neighbor’s beach party.

1 – TITLES: Newark, New Jersey. September.

1-2 – OPENING IMAGES: DANIEL and his mother LUCILLE leave Newark.

2-4 – Daniel and Lucile make the cross country trip.

4-7 – They arrive at their new apartment in Reseda, California. Daniel meets Freddy, a resident of the same age. Freddy invites Daniel to a beach party.

8-9 – Lucile asks Daniel to talk with the maintenance man regarding their leaking kitchen faucet. In the maintenance shop, he finds MIYAGI attempting to catch a fly with chopsticks. Miyagi’s indifferent to the request. Intimidated, Daniel backs away, leaves without knowing whether or not the faucet will be fixed.


Sequence II: At the beach party, Daniel hits it off with a beautiful girl named Ali, but gets his ass kicked by her jealous ex-boyfriend, Johnny.

10 – Daniel runs circles around the others in a soccer game at Freddy’s beach party. He comes across an attractive blonde, ALI, and their eyes meet.

11 – Later that night, the guys notice Ali checking out Daniel. Freddy kicks the soccer ball towards Ali’s group. Her friends toss her ball and Daniel goes to get it.

12 – SOCCER BALL SETUP: Daniel shows Ali how he bounces the soccer ball on his knees.

12 – THE COBRA KAI — JOHNNY, BOBBY, TOMMY, DUTCH, and JIMMY — ride their motorcycles to a hilltop overlooking the beach. Tommy sees Daniel with Ali and brings it to Johnny’s attention. Angered, Johnny takes off and the rest of Cobras follow.

Karate Kid Beat Sheet Inciting Incident

13-14 – INCITING INCIDENT: The Cobras pull up on the beach. Johnny and Ali begin arguing. Daniel steps in and Johnny shoves him. Daniel retaliates and Johnny kicks his ass.

15 – Freddy and the rest of the guys leave Daniel in pain on the beach. Ali comes to help, but Daniel’s humiliated, tells her to leave him alone.


Sequence III: Daniel lies to his mother about his black eye. At school, he’s bullied by the Cobras, but hits it off with Ali.

16 – The next morning, Daniel walks into the kitchen wearing sunglasses. Lucille demands he take them off and discovers a black eye. Daniel lies, telling her it was a bike accident.

18 – The first day of school, Daniel is insulted by Freddy and his friends on the soccer field.

18 – SOCCER BALL PAYOFF: Ali finds Daniel and is taken aback with his black eye. She expresses sympathy and thanks him for defending her. She then bounces a soccer ball on her knees a few times before she’s called away. As she leaves, they get each other’s names.

19-20 – During soccer tryouts, Bobby trips Daniel. Daniel tackles and punches him before they’re separated, and the coach kicks him out of the tryouts.


Sequence IV: With a desire to learn karate, Daniel visits a dojo and finds that it’s the home of Johnny and the Cobras. They run him down on his way home and send him tumbling town a hill on his bike. When his mother finds him, he tells her he must learn karate to defend himself.

21 – Daniel practices karate as Miyagi enters to fix the faucet. When asked about his eye, Daniel lies again, but Miyagi’s subtext reveals he knows it’s bullshit.

22 – STRONG MOVEMENT FORWARD (Internal A): Daniel and Ali eat lunch together. She reveals that Johnny is her ex-boyfriend.

Karate Kid Beat Sheet Strong Movement Forward

23 – STRONG MOVEMENT FORWARD (External / Internal B): Daniel checks out the Cobra Kai dojo. KREESE, the dojo’s sensei, trains the class like a drill instructor. When Kreese commands a student to warm up the class, Johnny steps up and sees Daniel. Daniel leaves the dojo disappointed.

24-26 – Lucille lifts Daniel’s spirits over dinner. She asks about Ali and it’s clear that he’s smitten with her. Unbeknownst to Daniel, the Cobras see them through the restaurant window.

Karate Kid Beat Sheet End of Act One Turn (External)

26 – END OF ACT ONE TURN (External): On the way home, the Cobras run down Daniel. He tries to flee on his bike, but it’s no match for their motorcycles. They force him over the edge of a hill and he takes a hard fall down the hillside.

27-28 – DECISION (External): Outside of the maintenance shop, Lucille finds Daniel, beat-up and emotional, throwing away his bike. When she demands to know what’s going on, he tells her he has to learn karate. As they leave for their apartment, Miyagi peers out of his shop — he’s heard everything.


Sequence V: Daniel finds his bike has been fixed by the apartment maintenance man, Mr. Miyagi. He thanks him and they share time trimming bonsai trees.

29-30 – END OF ACT ONE TURN (Internal A): After school, Ali invites Daniel to the arcade, but when he sees Johnny, he changes his mind, and disappoints her.

Karate Kid Beat Sheet End of Act One

30 – END OF ACT ONE TURN (Internal B): Daniel comes home from school and discovers his bike has been fixed.

30-33 – DECISION (Internal B): Daniel walks down to the maintenance shop and finds Miyagi trimming a bonsai tree. He thanks Miyagi for fixing his bike. Miyagi invites him inside, gives him a bonsai tree to trim.


You go to school for this?


No. Father teach.


He was gardner?



33-34 – Lucille enters, thanks Miyagi for fixing Daniel’s bike. Miyagi offers her a bonsai tree, which she accepts.


Karate Kid Beat Sheet Act II-A

Sequence I: After a Halloween dance at school, Daniel is beaten viciously by Johnny and the Cobras, but is saved when Miyagi jumps in and takes all five of them out by himself.

35 – Daniel avoids Ali at school.

36 – Miyagi suggests Daniel go to the Halloween dance. Laughing at the thought, Daniel says he could only go if he were invisible.

Karate Kid Beat Sheet First Trial

36-38 – FIRST TRIAL (Internal A): Daniel shows up covered in a shower costume. Believing it may be Daniel, Ali approaches. They pull the shower curtain closed, talk, and slow dance. She talks him into opening the shower curtain.

38 – A man in a chicken costume smashes eggs over random dancers’ heads. When he gets to Ali and Daniel, Daniel’s the one who gets yolk in his hair.

38-39 – FIRST TRIAL (External): As Daniel washes the yolk out of his hair in the bathroom, he sees Johnny pop up in stall, mention to Bobby he’ll be another minute. Daniel grabs a water hose after Bobby leaves. He sneaks over to a stall and places it over Johnny’s head as Johnny rolls a joint. He then turns on the faucet and bolts. Johnny, soaking wet, is furious.

Karate Kid Beat Sheet Combat

40-42 – COMBAT (External): Daniel flees the dance with the Cobras hot on his trail. They eventually catch him trying to scale a fence outside his apartment complex. Johnny then beats him until he can’t stand, but Miyagi jumps in from the shadows, takes out all five of the Cobras, and saves Daniel from further harm.

DANIEL’S POV: through blurred vision, he watches Johnny’s lethal side kick unfolding in SLOW MOTION, aimed for his head. Too weak to move, he waits for the inevitable impact, when out of nowhere a figure leaps the fence, pushing Daniel to the ground. Johnny’s foot hits the fence a second later with such force a slat cracks where Daniel’s head was.

DANIEL’S POV FROM THE GROUND: A small, lithe figure, obscured by shadows, poised opposite the Cobras in a low cat stance. The first three Cobras attack. In a moment, they are on the floor, writhing in pain, as the anonymous defender lashes out with punches and kicks. Johnny, the last one left standing, charges madly. The mystery figure somersaults toward him, shooting his leg up into Johnny’s exposed groin. Johnny stops dead, choking, and crumbles. Daniel’s vision fades to black.

42 – Miyagi carries Daniel to the maintenance shop.


Sequence II: Daniel discovers that Miyagi saved him from the Cobras. He asks Miyagi to teach him karate, but instead, Miyagi takes Daniel to the Cobra Kai dojo to call a truce. There, Kreese, the Cobra Kai sensei, dismisses it. Miyagi then proposes that Daniel enter an upcoming tournament where he can compete on equal terms. He makes Kreese agree to cease the bullying while Daniel trains.

43-47 – Miyagi tends to Daniel’s wounds, tells Daniel he’s the one who saved him. Daniel learns Miyagi’s father taught Miyagi karate. He asks Miyagi to teach him karate to exact revenge upon the Cobras, but Miyagi believes it’s for defense only. Miyagi suggests Daniel go talk with Kreese. Daniel asks Miyagi to go with him. Though reluctant, Miyagi agrees.

Karate Kid Beat Sheet Midpoint

48-53 – MIDPOINT (External): Daniel and Miyagi step in to the Cobra Kai dojo. Miyagi asks Kreese to have the Cobras back off Daniel, but Kreese insists they fight to solve the problem. They settle on the All Valley Under 18 Karate Championships Tournament.


Want student left alone to train.



Pushy little bastard, ain’t ya?


What the hell? No one here lays a hand on the prima donna until the tournament.

Kreese’s joviality vanishes. He reduces the distance between himself and Miyagi to inches.


But you don’t show, it’s open season. On him.


And you.

Miyagi meets Kreese’s hard glare directly. He bows courteously, moves around the bigger man and exits, Daniel following on his heels.


Karate Kid Beat Sheet Act II-B

Sequence I: Miyagi takes Daniel to his home to begin training, but has Daniel wash and wax all of his cars instead. Daniel goes on a date with Ali, but the date ends on a sour note because of Daniel’s attitude toward their class distinctions.

54 – Miyagi and Daniel arrive at Miyagi’s home; a ramshackle house outside of an abandoned oil rig area. A number of old cars are parked out front. Miyagi tells Daniel they will begin the training here.

54 – ’48 FORD SETUP: As Daniel waits, Miyagi sees him pine over the yellow ’48 Ford convertible.

55-56 – Daniel and Miyagi make a pact: Miyagi promises to teach Daniel karate as long as Daniel promises to do what he says and not ask any questions. Daniel agrees.

56 – WAX ON / WAX OFF SETUP: Miyagi hands Daniel a sponge and bucket full of water. He tells Daniel to wash and wax all the cars, giving specific instructions on how to wax with each hand.

Daniel goes to shake hands. Miyagi unceremoniously slaps the soapy sponge into it.


First wash. Then wax. Like this. Wax on right. Breathe in. Out.

Miyagi makes small circles, clockwise, on the fender with his right hand.


Wax off left. Breathe in. Out.

He repeats the motion with his left hand, counter-clockwise.


Very important, breathe in, out.

Miyagi turns and re-enters the house. Daniel watches him go and then turns glumly to the task at hand.

57 – Later that night, Miyagi checks in on Daniel, corrects his waxing technique.

57 – Daniel finishes, heads inside to find Miyagi. There, he finds Miyagi meditating, decides to leave him alone.

59-60 – Ali approaches Daniel at school, discovers the damage the Cobras did to his face. She immediately runs to confront Johnny, but Daniel beats her to it. He toys with the Cobras, knowing full well they can’t touch him. Later, he asks Ali on a date, which she accepts.

61-63 – With Lucille driving, Daniel shows up at Ali’s upscale home to pick her up, a far cry from their humble dwellings in Reseda. As he approaches the front door, Ali’s parents pull up. Their meeting is a bit awkward. As they leave, the car won’t start. Daniel and Lucille have to push start the car, embarrassing Daniel.

64-66 – MIDPOINT (Internal A): Daniel and Ali have a great date at the Golf n’ Stuff. As the date ends, one of Ali’s male friends pull up in a corvette. Shortly after, Johnny pulls up in a sports car with a some girls and a couple of the Cobras. Both try to pull Ali away, but she declines. Daniel can’t hide his embarrassment when his mother pulls up in her beat up station wagon and the date ends on a sour note.


Sequence II: Miyagi has Daniel do more seemingly meaningless chores around his home. When Daniel finally has enough, he learns that the chores have helped him learn blocks through muscle memory.

67-68 – SAND THE FLOOR SETUP: Daniel enters Miyagi’s backyard and finds a Japanese garden. Miyagi asks him to sand the large wooden deck he’s just put in. Miyagi stresses that he use two hand sanders in a circular motion. Daniel begins without question.

69 – Daniel finishes late that night. Miyagi asks him to come back at 6am the following morning.

70 – The next morning, Daniel finds Miyagi attempting to catch a fly with a pair of chopsticks. Daniel gives it a shot and catches one within seconds. Miyagi dismisses it as beginner’s luck.

71 – PAINT THE FENCE SETUP: Miyagi has Daniel paint his fence. He stresses breathing and the importance of an up/down motion with the wrists.

73 – Daniel finishes the fence late at night. As Miyagi heads out for the evening, he tells Daniel to show up early the following morning.

74 – PAINT THE HOUSE SETUP: Daniel finds a note on Miyagi’s front door instructing him to paint the house, move the brush side to side. Daniel’s angry, but works anyway.

75-76 – DR. MIYAGI SETUP: Late at night, Miyagi arrives after a day of fishing. Daniel complains, criticizing him for not living up to his end of their deal. Miyagi dismisses it, insists Daniel has learned plenty. He asks Daniel to show him the sand the floor movement, but Daniel complains that his shoulder hurts. Clasping his hands together in an overly dramatic fashion, Miyagi applies pressure to Daniel’s shoulder, which relieves the pain.

Karate Kid Beat Sheet Assumption of Power

76-78 – ASSUMPTION OF POWER (External / Internal B) & SAND THE FLOOR / WAX ON/WAX OFF / PAINT THE FENCE / PAINT THE HOUSE PAYOFF: Miyagi goes through each technique and then begins hurling punches and kicks at Daniel. Daniel is able to defend each attack because of the technique, muscle memory he developed with each chore.

Daniel’s eyes lock into Miyagi’s.


Wax on.

Miyagi fires a chest punch. Daniel deflects it easily.


Wax off.

Again, the block is there.


Paint up.

Miyagi fires hard for the head. Daniel’s snapping block is there to meet the attack.



Daniel’s palm heel crashes into Miyagi’s fist.



He punches. Daniel blocks.



Daniel’s block snaps into place.



Daniel sweeps two kicks out of the way.


On. Off.

The punches come fast. The blocks are right there. Suddenly, at the height of the exercise, Miyagi stops. Daniel, breathing hard, elated, waits for more. Miyagi picks up his fish.


Come tomorrow.

He turns abruptly and enters the house, slamming the door behind him before Daniel can say another word.


Sequence III: While training at the beach, Daniel watches Miyagi perform crane kicks on a wooden piling.

79 – Miyagi takes Daniel to the beach. He instructs Daniel to stand up against the ocean waves to develop balance.

Karate Kid Beat Sheet Crane Kick

80 – CRANE KICK SETUP: Daniel spots Miyagi on a wooden piling performing crane kicks.

With that, the old man turns and walks down the beach toward a line of wooden pilings jutting out into the sea. DANIEL stands again bracing himself against the onslaught of the ocean. He begins to throw front kicks into the waves to his own cadence. A wave hits hard. Daniel weaves unsteadily until the undertow pulls him down. He struggles to regain his footing, finally succeeding and resumes kicking until another wave wipes him out. When he stands again, he looks down the beach to where MIYAGI is left standing on the last piling calmly balanced on his left leg. A wave looms toward him but just as it breaks, the old man leaps over it. He fires a kick with his left leg and lands perfectly balanced on the piling in the same position as when he started.

81-82 – On the way back to the truck, Daniel asks Miyagi about the crane kick. Miyagi states that his father taught him and when done right, there is no defense. They arrive at the truck and find two racist drunks, both of whom insult Miyagi. Miyagi asks them to remove their beer bottles from the hood. When they decline, he throws an explosive chop, slicing the necks off the bottles. The drunks promptly remove the bottles. Daniel is amazed yet again.


Sequence IV: Daniel is heartbroken when he sees Johnny kiss Ali at a country club event. From there, he goes to Miyagi’s home and finds him drunk. He learns that Miyagi fought for the U.S. Army and was awarded the Medal of Honor. An old telegram reveals that his wife and child died in childbirth while he was at war.

82 – On the soccer field, Daniel bumps into Ali, asks her out on another date. She tells him she can go later in the evening, after an event at the country club with her parents.

83-85 – Miyagi trains Daniel while fishing. Daniel stands on the bow of the boat and practices his blocks, develops his balance. He learns that Miyagi never trained to fight, but for the confidence that comes with knowing how to fight.

86 – Ali dances with her father at the country club. The moment he says he doesn’t approve of her dating Daniel, Ali’s mother drops Johnny off to finish the dance. Reluctantly, Ali dances with him.

87-88 – END OF ACT TWO TURN (Internal A): Tired of waiting, Daniel enters the club through the kitchen and spots Johnny dancing with Ali. Johnny notices him and makes a move on Ali. Ali forces him off the moment Daniel accidentally crashes into a waiter, spilling spaghetti all over them. The entire club laughs and Daniel runs away. Angered to no ends, Ali throws a right punch that connects with Johnny’s jaw.

Karate Kid Beat Sheet End of Act Two

88-94 – END OF ACT TWO TURN (External & Internal B): Daniel heads to Miyagi’s house and finds him drunk, wearing his military uniform. After they share a drink, Miyagi passes out and Daniel puts him in bed. He learns that Miyagi fought for the United States Army. While at war, his pregnant wife was interred at the Manzanar Japanese internment camp and later, both she and the child died in childbirth. Daniel finds a box with Miyagi’s dog-tags and the Medal of Honor. Daniel blows out the candle, bows to his master, and leaves.

Daniel finds a new respect for his master.

Daniel’s POV – the headlines:


These are things that Daniel knows nothing about. His mind ingests the information. Daniel picks up his scotch glass, looks at the picture of the young Miyagi and his pregnant bride and drains the glass. Miyagi snores loudly. His GLASS falls and BREAKS. The sound snaps Daniel’s thoughts. He goes over to the old man and removes his cap, and gently lays him down, until a box of medals falls off the bed.

Daniel bends momentarily to retrieve it. As he does he notices two things. First, Miyagi’s dog-tags. CLOSEUP: Dog-tags. And second, the thing that stops him cold: the Congressional Medal of Honor. Miyagi snores and mumbles. Daniel rises. His confusion mounting by the moment He pries the telegram from Miyagi’s fingers. Curious, he reads it:


“Department of War. We regret to inform you that on November 2nd, 1944 at the Manzinar Relocation Center, your wife and newborn son died due to complications arising from childbirth. Our sincerest condolences and sympathies.”

Daniel looks down at the small crumpled figure snorting peacefully on the futon. His heart breaks for the old man. He reaches down and pulls the cover over Miyagi, lovingly removing a thread from his uniform, smoothing his hair. Daniel blows out the lantern, throwing the room into darkness and exits.


Karate Kid Beat Sheet Act III

Sequence I: Daniel and Miyagi finish training. For Daniel’s birthday, Miyagi gives him a car. Daniel then finds Ali, learns that she was not complicit with Johnny’s advances. She offers to stand by his side at the tournament.

94-95 – At the beach, Daniel practices the crane kick on the same wooden pillars as Miyagi did. Alone, he stands on the bow of the boat, gains control of his balance.

95-96 – Miyagi teaches Daniel how to punch.

Karate Kid Beat Sheet '48 Ford Birthday

97-101 – ’48 FORD PAYOFF: Miyagi and Daniel celebrate Daniel’s birthday. Miyagi gives him a karate jacket with a stencil of a bonsai tree sewn by his deceased wife. Outside, Miyagi offers him any one of the cars he owns. Daniel chooses the yellow 1948 Ford Super DeLuxe Club convertible. Miyagi’s dog-tags are the keychain.

DANIEL is about to turn the car on when a mood comes over him.


I’m scared.


Understand. Should be. Remember lesson of balance, yes.




Not just lesson for karate. Lesson for whole life. Whole life balance everything you do be better. Karate too.

MIYAGI produces the pictures of DANIEL and ALI and hands them to DANIEL. DANIEL breaks into a smile.




Thanks for everything, Mr. Miyagi. You are the best friend I ever knew.

102-104 – Daniel finds Ali at the arcade and she gives him the cold shoulder. He confronts and criticizes her, believing she used him to make Johnny jealous. She storms off. Her friend then tells him that Ali punched Johnny after the incident at the country club.

104-106 – CLIMAX (Internal A): Outside, Ali accepts Daniel’s apology. She tells him she’ll be at his side during the tournament. They kiss. He shows her his new car and lets her drive it.


Sequence II: Daniel fights his way through the initial rounds of the tournament and makes the semi-finals.

106 – Miyagi checks Daniel into the tournament. Upon learning Daniel needs to be above a brown belt to compete, Miyagi lies and says Daniel is a black belt. He then helps Ali steal a black belt from the official.

107 – The Cobras come into the locker room in an attempt to intimidate Daniel. The referee breaks them up.

108-109 – Daniel, Miyagi, and Ali walk out onto the tournament floor. Daniel panics when he discovers Miyagi doesn’t know the rules, as he’s never competed before. Fortunately, Ali is there to explain.

109-110 – Daniel wins his first match. Ali screams, “you’re the best!”

110-113 – “You’re the Best” Montage: The Cobras are juxtaposed against Daniel fighting their way up the ranks in the tournament. Daniel beats Tommy and the Cobras take notice. Next, he goes up against Dutch and wins.

113 – Miyagi bandages Daniel’s bruised ribs. Ali alerts them both, saying the finals are now beginning. Daniel has made it to the final four; the semi-finals.


Sequence III: Kreese has Bobby perform an illegal kick to Daniel’s knee to secure Johnny’s victory, but Miyagi fixes Daniel’s leg and the two face off for first prize. After Johnny takes advantage of Daniel’s bad knee and ties up the score, Daniel performs Miyagi’s crane kick and wins the tournament.

114-115 – Johnny battles his opponent and wins.

115 – Before the match, Kreese orders Bobby to take Daniel out of commission.

ANGLE ON KREESE: in a corner of the ring. Johnny just behind him. As Bobby is about to climb into the ring, Kreese speaks to him low.


I want him out of commission.

Kreese touches Bobby’s knee joint.


I can beat him, sensei.


I don’t want him beaten.



I’ll be disqualified.

Kreese trains his iron eyes on Bobby. The boy cannot endure their searing heat. His head drops, as Kreese bends him to his will. Bobby sullenly enters the ring.

Karate Kid Beat Sheet Injured Knee

116 – Bobby jumps in the air and comes down on Daniel’s knee with a vicious kick. The crowd gasps as Daniel screams in pain. Miyagi rushes to his side. As Miyagi consoles Daniel, he stares a Kreese, knowing full well he’s responsible for the action.

117 – Daniel is carried off. The announcer lets everyone know that Daniel has just 15 minutes to return to the ring or Johnny will be named champion by default.

117 – After examining Daniel’s knee, the doctor leaves to inform the judges that Daniel will not return to fight. Lucille and Ali express their sympathy. Defeated, Daniel asks to be alone.

118-119 – DR. MIYAGI PAYOFF: Daniel asks Miyagi to fix his knee. Miyagi empathizes, has Daniel to close his eyes. He then clasps his hands, begins rubbing them together…

119 – POINT OF NO RETURN (External): Moments before the announcer awards Johnny the trophy, Ali interrupts, saying Daniel will fight. Everyone is shocked as Daniel, though limping, enters the ring.

120 – Daniel scores the first two points, bloodying Johnny’s nose on the last. Johnny is sent to Kreese to tend to his nose. Kreese instructs him to “sweep the leg.” Johnny is taken aback, but acknowledges that he will follow through with the order.



Sweep the leg.

Johnny hesitates.


You have a problem.


No, sensei.


No mercy.

121 – Johnny exposes Daniel’s weaknesses and ties the score.

122 – Johnny grabs Daniel’s leg and drives his elbow into the back of Daniel’s bad knee. Daniel screams, rolls on the mat in pain. He gets up, now with a more pronounced limp. Johnny is given a warning for illegal contact to the knee.

Karate Kid Beat Sheet Crane Kick

123 – CRANE KICK PAYOFF: Daniel faces off against Johnny for the final point. Kreese screams “finish him” as Daniel stands in a crane stance. The referee signals the fight. Johnny charges as Daniel releases the crane kick and connects with Johnny’s face. Johnny hits the canvas.

Johnny sets in low, menacing, ready for the footsweep, again. Daniel takes his eyes off Miyagi and raises one leg, his bad leg, up in the air. He puts his hands out in front of him, setting in a perfect crane stance. His eyes lock with Miyagi’s. The old man’s mouth creases in the smallest of smiles. Daniel’s eyes turn to Johnny. The stance has confused him and the Referee as well, who hesitates for a moment. Daniel remains immobile.



But Johnny stalls, perplexed, until Kreese’s voice shakes him out of his confusion.


Finish him.

Johnny takes a deep breath and lunges. IN SLOW MOTION, Daniel leaps straight up with all his strength, his leg tucked in. His kick catches Johnny in the jaw. Johnny goes down. Daniel lands on his bad leg and collapses as well. The crowd erupts, having never seen such technique.

123 – CLIMAX (External): Daniel wins the tournament. Ali rushes into his arms, followed by Lucille and others. As the Announcer proclaims Daniel the victor, Johnny hands him the trophy, says “you’re alright, LaRusso.”

Karate Kid Beat Sheet Closing Image

123 – CLOSING IMAGE & CLIMAX (Internal B): Miyagi. He smiles as Daniel screams “we did it!”

123 – THE END.

Learn More About The Karate Kid (1984)

William Robert Rich
William Robert Rich

William Robert Rich is a story analyst, screenwriter, and co-author of Story Maps: The Films of Christopher Nolan. He's currently based in Austin, Texas.

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