Daniel and his mother move from New Jersy to California. She has a wonderful new job but Daniel discovers that a dark haired Italian boy with a Jersey accent doesn't fit into the blond surfer crowd, especially when he tries to date one of their girl friends. Daniel manages to talk his way out of some fights but is finally cornered by several who belong to the same karate school. As Daniel is passing out from the beating he sees Miyagi, the elderly gardner leap into the fray and save him by outfighting a half dozen teenagers. Miyagi and Daniel find the real motivator behind the boys' violent attitude is the their karate teacher. Miyagi promises to teach Daniel to fight and arranges a fight at a karate contest some months off. When his training begins, Daniel can't understand what he is being shown. Miyagi seems more interested in having Daniel paint fences and wax cars than teaching him Karate.