And being part of such an iconic film is incredibly rewarding for Esposito as well. For example, there's a moment where Daniel finds a drunken Mr. Miyagi wearing a soldier's uniform while singing a mournful song. But when someone remembers what I've done from a movie...it makes me feel pretty good.". Fortunately for film fans everywhere, director John G. Avildsen loved the song and incorporated it into his film—even though lines like "history repeats itself, try and you'll succeed" probably would've fit better in Stallone's film. This blood-pumping anthem plays during the montage sequence of The Karate Kid's tournament scene as Daniel LaRusso hits and kicks his way toward the big showdown with Johnny Lawrence. Ralph Macchio and William Zabka have become so synonymous with The Karate Kid. That way, when Kove met the rest of the crew, they would view him as a real martial artist and treat him more like an actual sensei. He also made sure to train them in a very relaxed atmosphere, similar to Mr. Miyagi's style. But now, fortunately, I know what to expect at least a little bit. RELATED: ‘The Karate Kid’ Series Once Dropped a Planned Romance Because of Ralph Macchio’s Age. But while The Karate Kid is pretty much a perfect movie, there's far more to this film than sanding floors, painting fences, and beating up bad guys. Ultimately, Zabka worked his way up to second-degree green belt. RELATED: Disney Channel To Cobra Kai: 10 Fun Facts About Peyton List (In an interesting twist, Survivor would also contribute a song to The Karate Kid. While Johnny Lawrence is the bad guy we all love to hate, John Kreese is the real villain of The Karate Kid. Then during a run-of-the-mill meeting with Weintraub, Avildsen pulled a fast one, putting on the tape and surprising Weintraub with the audition. The story even endures today, as proven by Netflix hit Cobra Kai. Coming off the heels of the Cobra Kai release on Netflix, Karate Kid actors including Ralph Macchio and William Zabka, Happy Days stars like Henry Winkler and Marion Ross, and other celebrities including Tommy Chong, Larry Miller and Esai Morales tell their personal stories about Morita — the man known to millions as “Mr. We barely touched each other. For example, he taught Macchio and Morita together so, as he put it, "they would share their aches and pains like two little old men, and they built camaraderie through the training." When Ralph Macchio and company signed up for The Karate Kid, none of them knew much about martial arts. As for the actor who played Kreese, Johnson explained on a DVD special feature called "Beyond the Form" that he wanted William Zabka and the rest of the kids to view Martin Kove as an experienced black belt. On the first movie, Macchio had only a couple of weeks to get up to speed. Kreese is a Vietnam vet who believes in striking first, striking hard, and showing no mercy. Jump back to May, and theaters were playing movies such as Sixteen Candles, The Natural, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Once the prospect of coming back to the franchise decades later emerged, their bond became even stronger. In other words, Johnson's combat skills were as legit as they come, and when he was hired as Karate Kid's fight choreographer, he got pretty creative when it came to instructing the actors. As the singer once explained to Popdose, "I'm thrilled to have been a part of it—it gives me a little something back for all the years I put in. Ralph gave a very touching eulogy during Pat Morita’s funeral. “When we did this back in the day, we practiced it all day. He's the kind of guy who assaults his own students, and he comes off as the quintessential martial arts monster thanks to a menacing performance from Martin Kove. Since The Karate Kid premiered in 1984, Ralph Macchio seems to have embraced being associated with the iconic film franchise. When The Karate Kid kicked its way into theaters on June 22, 1984, the Ralph Macchio movie was an immediate smash. As a boy, he suffered from spinal tuberculosis, and as a result, he was forced to wear a full body cast for years. Directed by John G. Avildsen. Weintraub was immediately inspired, and soon enough, Columbia Pictures hired Robert Mark Kamen (pictured above) to write a screenplay. Morita is perfect in the role, and his performance earned him an Oscar nod for Best Supporting Actor. However, back in the day, Morita wasn't such an obvious choice for the part of a martial arts master. For his part, Zabka had no karate training whatsoever before playing Johnny Lawrence. Crazier still, he even helped Bruce Lee learn how to use nunchaku (aka nunchucks). He didn't want a funnyman. However, Johnson took a very different approach with the Cobra Kai. After all, the two characters have been so closely identified by The Karate Kid. Suddenly a star, Demura was a regular on the cover of Black Belt Magazine, and he performed in places like Las Vegas and Paris. But it also carries into the stories of Miguel (Xolo Maridueña), Sam (Mary Mouser), and Robby (Tanner Buchanan).