"No such thing as bad student, only bad teacher' - Mr Miyagi
Where do you get your moral compass? Religion, family, school, the law? I got most of mine from the 1984 blockbuster The Karate Kid. Mr Miyagi managed to cut through where teachers and parents couldn't. Take this piece of advice, for example.
'"Daniel-san, walk right side, safe. Walk left side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later, [makes squish gesture] get squished, just like grape."'.
To me, it meant, make a choice and give it a hundy. If Mr Miyagi was a New Zealander, he might have said 'if you're going to do something, Dan, don't be half-baked about it'. Hard to argue with that. When my sons learn to drive, I look forward to sharing this Miyagi gem with them 'Licence never replace eye, ear and brain'.
The teachings of Mr Miyagi are flooding back into mass consciousness because Cobra Kai is the number one show in the world right now. I agree 100 per cent with Karl Puschmann's assessment that Cobra Kai is 'unfathomably great' and 'on Netflix'.
The show has however shaken my faith in Mr Miyagi a little.
December 19, 1984, the All Valley Under 18 Karate Tournament.
An injured Daniel LaRusso of the Miyagi-Do Karate v Cobra Kai's Johnny Lawrence. A brutal battle decided with a weird LaRusso crane kick to Johnny's throat.
The bad guy from the evil dojo got what he deserved and learnt his lesson. With balance restored to Reseda and the wider San Fernando Valley, everyone lived happily ever after.
Good triumphed over evil - or did it?
Was Daniel LaRusso really the good guy? Not from the loser's perspective. Cobra Kai shows the other side. If you're Johnny, this is how it all went down. You are a shy kid picked on by an unloving stepdad.
You find karate and gain confidence from the aggressive teachings of Cobra Kai; you get a girlfriend.
One day, out of the blue, a kid moves in on your girl at a beach party.
Months later, the same kid, who you haven't seen since, hoses you down in a cubicle at the Halloween Dance.
You chase him and get your head kicked in by his adult friend. Then the guy uses an illegal kick to beat you at the only thing that gives your life meaning - karate.
'Cobra Kai Will Never Die' - Sensei Lawrence
The show picks up Johnny's story 34 years after the events of the original movie with William Zabka reprising his role.
He's a drunk, lonely loser who hates everything the modern world has to offer.
Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) on the other hand, has leveraged his win into business success.
He has a lovely wife, house and two kids. Billboards for his luxury car dealerships pollute the valley - a constant reminder to Johnny of his failures.
Cobra Kai, as Puschmann points out, deals with the 'lifelong impact one's role models can have on a young mind'. This impact includes LaRosso, Lawrence and anyone who was a kid in the 80s with The Karate Kid on VHS.
Cobra Kai forces us to ask some hard questions. Is Mr Miyagi a false profit? Is Daniel a dick? Were all these teachings a load of jumbled up faux eastern thought? Take, for example, Miyagi's left, right never the middle lesson. Isn't the middle a good place to be? It often is in politics.
The far-right and left are where the crazy people operate. In another lesson, he seems to contradict that message with '"whole life have a balance. Everything be better'. That sounds a lot like the middle to me Miyagi.
At one point, he says '"Daniel-San, lie become truth only if person wanna believe it." then admits he thought of that "10 seconds" ago. Maybe that's the message. He was making it up as he went along.
Daniel and Mr Miyagi had no way of knowing where their actions would leave Johnny.
We can forgive them in the same way we can forgive Johnny for his actions.
As Mr Miyagi said 'man with no forgiveness in heart, life worse punishment than death'.
Maybe that's the lesson here or is it '"Man who catch fly with chopstick accomplish anything".
Perhaps it's "don't spend your entire childhood watching 80s movies looking for meaning".
Maybe my parents were right when they yelled "turn it off and go outside you lazy little so and so".
Most likely, the lesson from the whole Karate Kid saga is something straightforward.
Something like - 'Cobra Kai is an incredibly enjoyable TV show you should watch it if you get the chance'.