The Hero Cycle in "The Karate Kid"

By Isabella Martino

The Ordinary World

Daniel LaRusso and his mother recently moved to Reseda, California from New Jersey. It doesn't take much time for Daniel to realize that he does not belong, and is picked on by other kids.

The Call to Adventure

While at a party, Daniel gets to know Ali, a girl from school. Johnny Lawrence, Ali's ex-boyfriend, and his friends crash the party and humiliate Daniel. Daniel attempts to protect Ali from the attack, but soon realizes that he cannot compete with Johnny an his friends, who all have superior karate skills.

Refusal of the Call

Daniel knows that he is not ready to fight Johnny, a skilled martial artist. He decides to avoid him instead and ignores Ali's offers for help, which backfires.

Meeting with the Mentor

Daniel befriends Mr. Miyagi, who guides him throughout his adventure in the story. Mr. Miyagi is the maintenance worker at Daniel's apartment building, and is an experienced martial artist from Okinawa, Japan.

The Belly of the Whale

Daniel once again encounters Johnny and his gang near his apartment building after attending his school Halloween dance. They assault him, but Mr. Miyagi is able to fight the boys off and rescue Daniel.

Crossing the First Threshold

Mr. Miyagi takes Daniel to the Cobra Kai dojo of johnny and his friends to speak with their sensei. They try to create peace among the boys,  and decide they will not bother each other until the All-Valley Karate Tournament , where they will be able to fight one-on-one in a controlled environment.

The Road of Trials

Mr. Miyagi begins Daniel's karate training with several activities that seem like household chores, such as painting his home, the fence, sanding his deck, and waxing his cars. Daniel first feels as if he is Miyagi's slave, but soon realizes his approach to training is actually effective. As a reward, Mr. Miyagi gives him one of his favorite cars.

Woman As Temptress

At a party, Daniel witnesses Ali kiss Johnny. As a result he decides to distance himself from her to focus on defeating Johnny at the karate tournament.

The Supreme Ordeal

At the karate tournament , the Cobra Kai sensei tells one of his students to injure Daniel's leg using an illegal move so that he will not be one hundred percent when he fights Johnny.

Master of Two Worlds

Daniel is able to use the  "crane kick" that Mr. Miyagi taught him to defeat Johnny in their final battle. He is now the master of karate and becomes one of Johnny's equals at school. He wins Ali as his girlfriend.

Reward and the Journey Home

Daniel now has the girl, the championship karate title, and a car given to him by Mr. Miyagi. He has earned respect from his peers and is able to fit in at school.

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