In John G. Avildsen's THE KARATE KID, Daniel (Ralph Macchio) and his mother (Randee Heller) move from New Jersey to Southern California, where he's not too keen about his new home--until he meets Ali (Elizabeth Shue), an attractive girl who seems to like him. But trouble looms when Ali's ex-boyfriend (William Zabka) and his gang of ruffians start tormenting Daniel. One day, as Daniel is suffering a beating at the hands of these louts, Mr. Miyagi (Noriyuki "Pat" Morita), an elderly Japanese handyman, comes to his rescue. To Daniel's amazement, Miyagi manages to take down the whole group all by himself using karate. Daniel begs to learn this ancient martial art, and soon Miyagi begins the boy's training, teaching Daniel that there is more to karate than fighting. Through a series of lessons, the wise mentor instills a sense of honor and nobility in his young pupil while preparing him for the ultimate karate showdown. However, as Daniel studies the discipline and art of karate, his enemies are learning a dirtier kind of fighting from Kreese (Martin Kove), a cold-blooded ex-marine. Ultimately, the boys will fight to the finish in the All Valley Karate Championship in a rousing and triumphant finale. Morita is a gem as the elderly father figure Miyagi, giving the character warmth, wisdom, and comic charm. Macchio's underdog character inspired an entire generation to run out and join the nearest karate school while chanting "wax on, wax off."