The Reckoner!

If the antagonists from the first two Karate Kid movies fought, who would win?

As you may recall, after three months of karate lessons disguised as yard work, awkward Jersey boy Daniel LaRusso somehow emerged a superior fighter to the top students at major dojos in California and Japan; young men who had presumably studied and excelled in the art since childhood.

And he got a sweet vintage convertible out of the deal too.  The universe just likes some people better. 

But what of the crumpled, battered bodies he left in his wake as he crane-kicked and drum-punched his way to the lush bonsai forest of '80s action glory?  

I'm talking about ex-All Valley Champion Johnny Lawrence, bathroom stall joint-roller extraordinaire and deep down maybe not such a bad guy, and Chozen Toguchi, noted cheater of greenmarket vendors and the owner of the most powerful handshake in Okinawa Prefecture.  

The superior strength, agility, and experience of these seasoned warriors never stood a chance against Danny's boyish good looks and secret karate moves he had never done before.  

When the Fresno Firecracker honked Chozen's nose at the end of Part II, I began thinking objectively about Danny's skills vs. Chozen's skills.  Then about Danny's skills vs. Johnny's skills.  Then a new question began to burn in my mind.  And it burned and burned for years.  

The Reckoner is the quenching rain I have awaited since fourth grade.  

Friends, help me unearth the missing chapter in the Gospel According To John G. Avildsen: 

If the losers fought each other, would Johnny sweep the leg like never before, or would Chozen regain his honor and the respect of Uncle Sato?

Three points (or a fatal blow) wins.  Fight!

Reckoning Results!
Johnny Lawrence
Chozen Toguchi
Get him a body bag! Yeah!
Death before dishonor
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Reckoning Comments!

Unless the Cobra Kai started investing in steroids while Daniel was in Japan, Johnny doesn't stand a chance.  

Johnny couldn't beat a less experienced Daniel whose leg was hurt.  Chozen at least lost to a more experienced Daniel at full strength.  (And he would have won too if it weren't for those darn drums!)

I'm generally more predisposed to hate California jocks than random Japanese kids, and -- ah -- I haven't actually seen The Karate Kid Part II -- so I went with what I know.  And what I know is that all Johnny really needs is some advice to not lead with his face when Daniel-san does his karate-master crane kick.  

You'd think that this would seem to be an intuitive conclusion, but Rocky led with his face for six movies and the conclusion that was drawn was "ain't so bad".

"and -- ah -- I haven't actually seen The Karate Kid Part II"

Dan, can you add an emoticon menu to the comment box?  One that has the "utter contempt" emoticon?

I lean towards this one


It says -- I'm judging you in my coonskin cap.

You know, it just occurred to me that John G. Avildsen is the one-and-the-same as the one who directed Rocky.  Which explains why legs are so easily swept and faces so easily kicked.

Oh, the Apollo Creed vs. Mike Barnes Reckoning is coming...

The "WINNER!" tag is especially appropriate here since at the end of every All-Valley match the referee raises his hand at the victor and says "WINNER!"

Another rhetorical reckoning, this one... Johnny would be lucky to escape with his life. 

The Reckoner!