A “Karate Kid” movie question….

So, as I am typing this post, I am watching The Karate Kid (the original one). The scene at the Dojo just finished and I just realized I have a question about it. It’s the scene where Mr. Miyagi suggests to the Dojo Man (Kreese) that Daniel compete against his boys in the All Valley Tournament. Kreese agrees reluctantly and states that if Daniel is a no-show at the event, it will be “open season” on him — meaning that his entire class of boys will be waiting to pounce on Daniel and beat the xxxx out of him. At Mr. Miyagi’s urging, Kreese tells his students not to touch Daniel until the tournament. “Is that understood?” Kreese commands. In unison, they shout, “Yes, Sensei.”

Now, beyond this entire exchange revealing that Kreese is a sadistic freak, it also shows that the boys under his guidance are crazy, themselves… because who on earth in their right mind would agree to an “open season” on a presumed (or worse yet, obvious) “weaker” kid? Certainly in a normal world, at least a few of the boys would have thought the “open season” comment from their instructor (20+ trained kids v. 1 untrained Daniel) was a little off-kilter.

All of that information is obvious, of course. It’s supposed to be obnoxious so that we root for Daniel.

BUT… HERE IS MY QUESTION (after having watched this movie at least 50 times over the years and never actually thinking upon this detail before):

What is up with the boys’ parents signing up their kids for a sadistic Karate class under the tutelage of such an openly power-hungry and cruel freak?

I mean… I’m pretty sure that, as a parent, I would’ve noticed the Sensei’s bad side during my child’s free preregistration observation class. And I really don’t think I’d sign my kid up to become any crazier than he/she already was. I refuse to believe there are that many unobservant, unconcerned Karate parents in that one neighborhood. I also find it hard to believe that so many of the Sensei’s boys found it necessary and normal to bully other kids. (I always picture California boys hanging out at the beach and surfing. Or doing tricks on their skateboards a la Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin'” video.) Oh, well.

It just doesn’t make any sense to me. (And, yes… I know it’s just a movie.)

[UPDATE, 7.30.14 — I am watching the movie again tonight. It’s AMC’s “Story Notes” version, with little snippets about the movie, actors, scenes, wardrobe, sets, music, etc. The Dojo confrontation scene just ended. While the story notes did not answer my question, they did mention that the trainer who prepared the boys for the scene was especially harsh with them. Supposedly this made them (the actors) form a tighter bond with one another. I also noticed this time that Kreese actually declared “open season” on Mr. Miyagi, too… not just Daniel. Sheesh! By the way, this is fun to watch.]

Oh! One more question:
When Mr. Miyagi asks Daniel to paint the entire fence around his garden (“both side”) and then Daniel looks around to see how huge the fence really is… do your hands and arms and shoulders start getting really achy at the mere thought of what it would be like if you were the one who had to paint that thing all day long?

Or is that just me….






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