A movie released in 1984, more properly named "The Karate Kid". Directed by John G. Avildsen. Written by Robert Mark Kamen. Players: Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Elisabeth Shue, Martin Kove, Randee Heller, William Zabka and more.
Only the 'Old One' could teach him the secrets of the masters
Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) is the new kid in town and he gets his butt kicked several times by the local bullies. To defend himself he decides to learn Karate by joining a local dojo. He soon learns this dojo happens to be the dojo of the local bullies. I don't remember how he met Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita), but Miyagi reluctantly becomes Daniel-san's teacher. At first Daniel has problems understanding and adjusting to Miyagi's way of teaching, and Miyagi has to learn to let somebody into his life again. In the end Miyagi teaches Daniel more than just fighting and the two become friends. Like most movies there is also a girl, Ali Mills (Elisabeth Shue), who holds the interest of our young hero.
I think anybody that lived in the US during the 80s had to see this movie. It is a part of American History now. It may seems a little cheesy to the modern viewer, but at the time it was huge. For a while there had been a sort of cult following of films that featured martial arts, but this movie really brought it to the mainstream. This movie played a major role in sparking an interest in martial arts among America's youth. (mr100percent informs me that he thinks "the whole world has seen it". If you haven't can you really afford not to see something EVERYBODY else has seen?)
It wasn't just an action movie it is about a friendship between Daniel-san and Miyagi. It has a love story between Daniel and Ali. It also has the undersized, underdog striving against the odds to win. Like someone said in the past "very much like a Rocky film."
This movie spawned several sequels: The Karate Kid, Part II, The Karate Kid III, and The Next Karate Kid. There was also a animated series in 1989.