The Halloween skeleton fight scene was one of the most problematic scenes to shoot in the movie. To top off the challenges this scene created, the most damaging was the final spinning kick that sent Daniel LaRusso to his knees.
In actuality, this spinning kick actually did connect with Ralph Macchio’s face. Ralph was in such dire pain that the shooting had to be suspended for almost two days to allow him to recover and the swelling to subside!
William Zabka’s Method Acting Goes Too Far
Poor William Zabka. His channeling of his inner bully Johnny Lawrence was incredibly effective. So effective that the extras in the movie started to blur the line between the real person William and the character Johnny.
In between takes during the final tournament scene, the extras would continue jeering at and booing William. It’s reported that his mother who was on set would berate the extras!
Producer Jerry Weintraub wanted to market every bit of the karate and Asian theme as much as possible when the film was to be released.
Even though Pat Morita was a well-established and easily recognized actor, Weintraub suggested that his Japanese name be used in the credits for the film. Pat agreed and was then credited as Noriyuki “Pat” Morita.
It’s a Flower, Not a Sun, Dummy
'The Karate Kid' headband is iconic. Officially known as a Tenugui, the white cloth with the blue pattern had many an ‘80s kids tying handtowels and ties around their heads in imitation. And yet it was not even supposed to be featured in the film.
Pat Morita happened to have a handkerchief on him and adlibbed the headband by tying the handkerchief around Ralph Macchio’s head. In addition, many thought the pattern on the Tenugui was the sun when in fact it was a flower.
Mr. Miyagi Trains Sweden
A liberal Swedish political party, Folkpartiet (The People’s Party), drew on 'The Karate Kid' for some marketing slogan inspiration. The elections were a chance for the party to recruit young politicians to take part in a mentoring program by the party.
The slogan read “Utan Mr. Miyagi, ingen Daniel-san”. Translated into English, it reads: Without a Mr. Miyagi, there is no Daniel-san.”