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Cobrai Kai Fans Point Out The Worst Thing Mr. Miyagi Ever Did

The story of 1984's The Karate Kid is steeped in life lessons about morality, selflessness, and doing the right thing no matter what the outcome may be. Daniel LaRusso's (Ralph Macchio) journey from a hot-headed, impulsive teenage kid to a thoughtful, humble young man is the core of what makes the original series so resonant, even as it approaches 40 years since its release. The catalyst for his character development was his introduction to Mr. Nariyoshi Miyagi (Pat Morita), who taught him inner peace and humility, in addition to expert martial arts techniques.

Inspired by the real-life Chojun Miyagi, Mr. Miyagi is framed as the moral compass of the Karate Kid universe, thanks to the sage wisdom he imparted on his pupil. In fact, he's considered by many one of the wisest mentor figures in all of pop culture, leaving his methods and actions largely free of question. At the end of the day, however, Miyagi was just a human, meaning his status as a truly good and just person isn't exactly ironclad. As evidenced by a conscious choice he made in the first Karate Kid movie, he wasn't totally above bending the rules in his favor, with not so much as a second thought. 

Looking back, this arguably the worst thing Miyagi ever did during his Karate Kid tenure.

Mr. Miyagi blatantly stole a black belt

During the first Karate Kid movie, Miyagi signs Daniel up to compete in the highly prestigious, and, now infamous, 1984 All-Valley Karate Championship tournament. The only issue in doing so is that Daniel has to be at least a brown belt or above to take part and compete against Cobra Kai. Miyagi lies to the event organizer and covertly "borrows" a black belt for his inexperienced protégé just so he can compete. User Alex-Higgins recently posted a meme on Reddit referencing the scene, and the Cobra Kai faithful had a lot to say about it.

Naturally, many took exception to Miyagi's out-of-character choice, and they certainly didn't give him a free pass just because of his reputation. User Kungfudude_75 made it very clear where they stand, saying "Theft is theft" and that "Miyagi and Daniel should've done their research to know that and be ready." Their comment also alluded to the importance of the black belt and the dedication required to earn it, speaking from experience that "black belts are expensive and take time to earn."

Obviously, putting so much time and effort into such an important status symbol of karate culture only to lose it must be frustrating. User kinyutaka, however, had to ask, "I mean, how hard is it to buy a black belt from a martial arts supplier?" Kungfudude_75 provided the answer, putting everything into perspective. "You can't replace the sentimental value of something you worked for 4-5 years to earn, especially not when it's something you continue to train with. There's an inherent value there that can't be replaced," they said, adding an extra layer to Miyagi's well-intentioned but still morally questionable move.

To some, it might just look like a black piece of cloth, but for those who have worked so hard to earn one, a black belt is an irreplaceable trophy that embodies one's proficiency in martial arts. Perhaps Miyagi, touting himself as a man of honor, should've realized the repercussions of his actions and found another way to get Daniel into the tournament. Nevertheless, that was a long time ago, and, at this point, there's no use crying over spilled milk. Still, this scene will endure as a black mark on Mr. Miyagi's record as the upstanding, kind-hearted human being as which everyone recognizes him.