4 Things That Make Mr. Miyagi a Great Advisor


Hello (young, and young-at-heart) grasshoppers, today we’re taking a look at Mr. Miyagi the Advisor who [spoiler alert] helped Daniel-san overcome the most egregious of moves in the All-Valley Karate Championships, face his bullies, and be the best (around).

What made Mr. Miyagi such a great Advisor? Let’s take a look.

1. He Takes His Time (to Make the Lessons Stick)

Even if you haven’t seen The Karate Kid, chances are you know the famous quote: “Wax on. Wax off.”

Once Mr. Miyagi agreed to help Daniel learn karate to face off against a group of bullies, rather than launch directly into learning moves, Mr. Miyagi gave Daniel a seemingly never-ending list of menial chores as part of his training—including waxing a car and painting a fence, among others. Daniel soon became frustrated, questioning whether Mr. Miyagi wanted to even train him, or if he was simply getting Daniel to do his chores. (We would too, to be honest.) Mr. Miyagi explained that he was teaching Daniel the basic moves and committing them to his muscle memory so that everything that comes after would have a solid base.

(…like catching flies with his chopstick. Obviously.) 

We think you already know where we’re headed with this in real-world terms but humor us. Your Advisor is there to help you define your purpose and achieve success. In order to do this, they need to make sure you have a solid foundation, before they can help you start down your path.

Sure, if your Advisor is asking you to paint fences, or wax their car, we strongly encourage you to get an idea of the purpose of the action before you start out on it—but having unorthodox training methods that help build your foundational base isn’t a bad thing, and it definitely helped Daniel build some serious skills in his life.

2. He’s in Daniel’s Corner

Daniel is bullied by a bunch of jerks who train at the Cobra Kai dojo, where they practiced a very aggressive form of karate. Since this was the ‘80s, he was expected to deal with it, and got no help from basically anyone…except from Mr. Miyagi. (For those of you who came of age a bit later than the ‘80s, and this seems like a ‘no duh’ type of situation, please understand that getting help from an adult to face bullies was such a novel concept then that they literally made an entire movie about it…called the Karate Kid. Mind blown, right?)

Mr. Miyagi made a deal with the Cobra Kai dojo master that his pupils would leave Daniel alone until the All-Valley Karate Championships, where they would face off in the ring, because that’s how all conflict was solved back then. (Keep in mind, this is still the ‘80s, so clearly, they have to fight it out. Ahhh, the good old days.) 

Not knowing any karate, Mr. Miyagi took it upon himself to help Daniel win, and stop the bullies once and for all.

Look—it was a different time then. We feathered our hair and physically fought basically everyone. So, in 2018, clearly Mr. Miyagi would be trying to help Daniel come up with some creative approaches that would diffuse the situation, without resorting to violence, but this movie wasn’t made in 2018, so we’re going to focus on Mr. Miyagi’s resourcefulness and loyalty.

He found Daniel, realized that he was getting beat up, and came up with a creative solution to stop the violence (for now) and help Daniel as best he could.

That’s all you want in an Advisor (in the ‘80s)—someone to help you, guide you, and show you some pretty sweet ninja moves on the beach. Right?

3. He Helps Daniel Win on His Own Terms

Spoilers—Daniel wins the tournament, but not before the Cobra Kai do him dirty. First, they use an illegal move on him in the tournament, injuring him—then, in the final fight, Daniel’s Cobra Kai opponent is instructed to…wait. We can’t simply type that out. We have to show it to you.

Yup, that’s right. The dojo master instructed his pupil to take a cheap shot on Daniel’s injured leg, to win the tournament. Which he does—and Daniel seems out for the count. It all seems over, when Daniel is able to finish the Cobra Kai off with the “Crane” move—one that he observed Mr. Miyagi do.

4. He Leads by Example

This is actually the coolest part of Mr. Miyagi as an Advisor. He was so influential for Daniel that Daniel learned from him simply by observing him. Mr. Miyagi embodied the qualities Daniel most wanted, and as a result, Daniel mimicked him without having to be told to. That’s the true sign of a good Advisor—that emulation helps the Advisee accomplish their goals.

Ok, luckily, it’s 2018 and we don’t really need Advisors to help us learn how to physically fight bullies, now. That said, Mr. Miyagi was clearly a fantastic and effective Advisor for Daniel, because he won the championship (and the respect of his bullies) by simply asking himself: “What would Mr. Miyagi do?”

That’s the sign of a good Advisor. For that reason, we’re going to award Mr. Miyagi the first-place trophy from the All-Valley Karate Flerish Championships. Well done!