No offense to Ralph Macchio, but he ain't the Karate Kid. - Barney, How I Met Your Mother, the Bro Mitzvah, S8 E22
Now I try to avoid situations from the past that may threaten me. How do you do that? I go through life like a Karate Kid. - Britney Spears, MTV's Britney: for the record. 2008
Jun 25, 2016
Whole life have balance, everything be better." "Miyagi’s house was an absolute gem to find," says location manager Richard Davis Jr.
The block in Canoga Park where Mr. Miyagi's Asian-inspired home was located. At the time of shooting, there were hardly any other houses surrounding it. Today, the same street is fully developed and there is no trace of Miyagi's house, which then stood out from the monotony of Valley architecture.
This driveway was the entrance into the junkyard near Miyagi’s house. "The [original] concept," says Davis, "was to find the junkyard and build the house." However, after finding this "gem" of a structure, train tracks, a junkyard and a garden were created around the house for filming. The house was torn down sometime after filming the first sequel and it was re-created on the Warner Bros. Ranch for part three.
"The house was picked, pretty much, because it had sort of a tacky, pretentious look," says Davis of the Encino hills house where Shue’s character, Ali, lived.
Shue recalls the actress who showed up at the house to play her mom came to the set in her own Rolls Royce, and the car then was used in the scene.
Macchio says, "I remember the brick that I [accidentally] kick off [the wall] in Encino ... at Ali’s house. We just noticed that during rehearsal and then we put that into the film." There’s the reality Avildsen was going for.
Jun 24, 2016
Daniel and Ali at Golf N' Stuff in Norwalk.
Although the blue signage is different — the sign in the film is red — the actual curved frame is the same. The production shot at Golf N' Stuff, located at 10555 E. Firestone Blvd. in Norwalk, for three days, doing interior and exterior scenes.
Some of the original signs seen in the film, like this one from the arcade, are still up at Golf N' Stuff.
Jun 23, 2016
Balance good, karate good, everything good. Balance bad? Better pack up and go home." Miyagi and Daniel at the Chatsworth Nature Preserve.
Off limits to the public, the Chatsworth Nature Preserve — originally the Chatsworth Reservoir — was used for training scenes in The Karate Kid. In this pond on the north side of the preserve, Miyagi fishes and Daniel practices his balance on the bow of Miyagi’s boat.
Jun 22, 2016
The Grand Plaza Ballroom at the Hyatt Westlake Plaza hotel in Thousand Oaks was the location of the Encino Oaks Country Club ballroom in The Karate Kid.
While laughing about the slap he got from Shue at this location, Zabka says, "The way it looks [in the film] is I’m laughing at [Daniel] with spaghetti on him. What my laugh is really saying is, 'She hit me again. I can’t believe she really hit me again.'"
Daniel waits for Ali at the main entrance of the Encino Oaks Country Club — really the Hyatt Westlake Plaza Hotel in Thousand Oaks.
The main entrance of the Hyatt Westlake Plaza Hotel, where Daniel waits for Ali.
Jun 21, 2016
Miyagi and Daniel check in for the All Valley Karate Championship in the corridor outside the Matadome at Cal State Northridge.
The Matadome at Cal State Northridge has been substantially upgraded since the production shot there. However, the west side entrance looks virtually unchanged.
The All Valley Karate Championship was filmed in the Matadome at Cal State Northridge.
Zabka attended Cal State Northridge as a film major before getting cast in The Karate Kid.
Macchio says that many angles, along with slow motion, were shot for the final kick, but in the end one simple shot worked best: low and wide. "To credit Billy Zabka [who] took an amazing hit, the kick is great, but the hit was even better," says Macchio.
"Hey, Mr. Miyagi, we did it!" Avildsen says The Karate Kid originally was supposed to end in the parking lot after the tournament. (This is where the 1986 sequel picks up.) However, after the crowd carries Daniel off, Avildsen knew there couldn’t be a better ending. "Well, how can I top this? I don’t need the scene in the parking lot," Avildsen remembers thinking at the time. "How can the audience feel better than at that moment? And I feel that's when you always turn on the lights."