This video, by YouTube user J. Matthew Turner, argues much of the same thing. In his view, Daniel (Ralph Macchio) is "a violent sociopath who moves to a California town and begins tormenting a local boy and his friends." Meanwhile, Johnny (William Zabka) is a reformed ex-degenerate who's trying to get his act together.
Sure, Johnny is a flawed hero, but he doesn't instigate their beach fight, nor play a prank on him at school, nor cause a multi-car collision, nor engage in a sport of which he doesn't know the rules.
It's a brilliant bit of revisionist history, but the idea was already floating around thanks to Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris). He considered "Karate Kid" the tale of "a hopeful young karate enthusiast whose dreams and moxie take him all the way to the All-Valley Karate Championship. Of course, sadly, he loses in the final round to that nerd kid. But he learns an important lesson about gracefully accepting defeat."
Barney's hero-worship of Johnny was so legen ... wait for it ... dary, that Ralph Macchio and William Zabka appeared as themselves in the final season episode, "Bro Mitzvah."
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Daniel (Ralph Macchio) moves to Southern California with his mother, Lucille (Randee Heller), but quickly finds himself the target of a group of bullies who study karate at the Cobra Kai dojo. Fortunately, Daniel befriends Mr. Miyagi (Noriyuki "Pat" Morita), an unassuming repairman who just happens to be a martial arts master himself. Miyagi takes Daniel under his wing, training him in a more compassionate form of karate and preparing him to compete against the brutal Cobra Kai. Read More