Wax On, Wax Off: 35+ Best ‘The Karate Kid’ Quotes From Mr. Miyagi

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Wax On, Wax Off: 35+ Best ‘The Karate Kid’ Quotes From Mr. Miyagi

Mr. Miyagi is undoubtedly one of the greatest and most iconic mentors in cinema history. Whether you are a fan of the original The Karate Kid movies or the new spin-off series Cobra Kai, you must feel inspired by the lessons Mr. Miyagi has taught the titular karate kid, Daniel Larusso. So let us explore some of the most inspiring Mr Miyagi quotes.

Mr. Miyagi: An Okinawan karate master

Best Mr Miyagi quotes
Wax On, Wax Off: 35+ Best ‘The Karate Kid’ Quotes From Mr. Miyagi

Nariyoshi Kesuke Miyagi, played by the late actor Pat Morita, first appeared in the film ‘The Karate Kid’, released in 1984. Since the release of the first movie, he has been an iconic character for decades. Mr. Miyagi has not only mentored and trained the titular character, he has inspired millions of individuals across the world over the years. With the ever-growing popularity of the series Cobra Kai, Mr. Miyagi continues to inspire millennials even to this day. 

A martial artist from Okinawa, located in the southern part of Japan, Mr. Miyagi has profound philosophical knowledge not only about Karate but also about love and life. No wonder, Mr. Miyagi’s quotes have a strong impact on us. A member of the distinguished Japanese-American 442nd Regiment, he has been bestowed a Medal of Honor for his services. But after losing his wife and son in childbirth, he became heartbroken. However, he found a new purpose in life after meeting “Daniel-San” and both of them taught each other important life lessons that strengthened their bond over the years.

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It’s safe to say that the character of Nariyoshi Miyagi is the life of The Karate Kid movies, not only in the first one, but also in the sequels The Karate Kid Part II, The Karate Kid Part III, The Next Karate Kid, and even the spin-off show Cobra Kai. The movies are pregnant with little nuggets of wisdom and philosophies that are presented through the conversations between Miyagi and Daniel. These lessons about love and life empower Daniel to build a balanced mindset that helps him to stand tall against his bullies, win the karate tournament and be successful in life.

We can also learn a lot from Miyagi’s teachings and bring some much-needed balance into our lives. So let’s dig into some of the best Mr. Miyagi quotes.

Best Mr. Miyagi Quotes

Most Mr. Miyagi’s quotes are inspiring, enlightening, and witty at the same time. While making his student ‘Daniel-san’ go through increasingly difficult training, challenges, and tests, he shares some of the most encouraging lessons that make us mentally and emotionally stronger. He inspires us to pursue self-improvement, attain growth and maturity and let go of negative emotions. There is no doubt that we can learn a lot from this legendary fictional character and his innovative martial arts training.

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Whether you practice karate or not, famous Karate Kid quotes from Mr. Miyagi can help you find meaning and purpose in life. So here are the 3 best Mr. Miyagi quotes that you must learn from –

1. “Wax on, wax off”

We just have to start with the most iconic and legendary quote of all time from The Karate Kid movies –

“Wax on, right hand. Wax off left hand. Wax on, wax off. Breathe in through nose, out the mouth. Wax on, wax off. Don’t forget to breathe. Very important. Wax on, wax off. Wax on, wax off.” – Nariyoshi Miyagi 

Confused? What does waxing have to do with life? Don’t worry, Daniel Larusso was confused at first too. While this quote may not make a whole lot of sense at first, this is one of the most popular karate kid quotes that hold a lot of meaning. Before we delve into the deeper meaning of one of the most famous Mr. Miyagi quotes, let us understand the setting first.

After being bullied by Johnny Lawrence and his gang, Daniel approaches Mr. Miyagi, who is a bit reluctant to teach him karate at first. As Mr. Miyagi makes him perform repetitive and boring chores, like asking him to wax the cars using the mantra “wax on, wax off”, Daniel is confused. But he later realizes that these chores were meant to teach him the basics of karate, like punches, strikes, and blocks.

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This quote shows that in life it takes a lot of effort to get what we want. And while most of that effort may seem futile and useless initially, every step adds value to achieving our goals. So whether you are trying to build a business or trying to lose weight, keep your focus on doing the most menial and mundane tasks properly. Master the monotonous. It also shows that we should trust our teachers and have faith in the process without using it.

2. “Balance is key”

Balance is one of the most crucial aspects of karate. It helps a practitioner to deliver knockout punches and kicks and allows them to keep mental balance when in a fight or Kumite. However, balance is also a vital component for living a healthy and happy life. We need to find a balance between our work, family, and hobbies. In fact, balance is important for every aspect of life, mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual. So it makes sense that one of the best Mr. Miyagi quotes is about balance.

Miyagi shares this wisdom with Daniel while training him on a rocking boat as Daniel complains about how hard it is to practice punches while trying to balance in a moving boat, and his wise mentor tells him –

“Better learn balance. Balance is key. Balance good, karate good. Everything good. Balance badly, better pack up, go home. Understand?” 

We need balance not just to find stability in different areas of our lives, but we also need balance when we have to stand back up after getting knocked down. Perhaps this is why Miyagi reminds Daniel about the lesson when he feels frightened and anxious –

“You remember the lesson about balance? Lesson, not just karate only. Lesson for whole life. Whole life have a balance. Everything be better.”

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This goes on to show that the lessons we can learn from all the hard work we put into learning a new skill can also help us learn new lessons for life. Mr. Miyagi stresses the fact that balance is necessary for everything in life. When we are out of balance, whether psychologically, physically, or emotionally, everything else can feel off balance. It is only by learning to balance our thoughts, emotions, and actions that we can make the most out of our lives. 

This quote can be especially helpful when we are going through rough tides to make us realize that life is balanced by both good and bad days. What matters is that we live with balance and purpose. This is why it is one of Mr. Miyagi’s best quotes on life.

3. “Must not lose to fear”

Wax On, Wax Off: 35+ Best ‘The Karate Kid’ Quotes From Mr. Miyagi
Wax On, Wax Off: 35+ Best ‘The Karate Kid’ Quotes From Mr. Miyagi

Without a shadow of a doubt, this is my personal favorite and one of the absolute best Mr Miyagi quotes from The Karate Kid. The gem was spoken by Miyagi during the final tournament and the climax of the film when Daniel is injured and frightened while fighting against his opponents from the Cobra Kai dojo. As Daniel writhes in pain and wants to give up after being engulfed by fear of losing and getting hurt, Miyagi tries to calm him down and keep him focused by saying –

“It’s okay to lose to opponent! Must not lose to fear!”

Fear keeps us from pursuing our dreams and prevents us from reaching our true potential. Our fear of the unknown can force us to hide and run away from what we want the most. But the truth is there is nothing to fear but fear itself. When Mr. Miyagi realized that Daniel-san was engulfed in fear, Miyagi told him to rise up to his fears and face them instead of running away. Because while we can still live with the truth that we have lost the battle, we can never live with the fact that we have lost to our own distorted thoughts of fear. The fight was never about Daniel beating Johnny, it was always about Daniel overcoming his self-doubt and insecurities.

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We all lose some or most of the battles life throws at us. But we should not become too obsessed with winning or losing as long as we are fighting to the best of our abilities in the dojo of life. The moment we conquer our anxieties, doubts, insecurities and fears, we have already won the battle, regardless of the outcome. Courage is the key to success.  Thanks to such inspirational quotes for wisdom from Miyagi, Daniel not only managed to overcome his fear but also beat his bullies at the tournament to become the All Valley Karate Champion.

So no matter what battle you are fighting or how stacked the odds are against you, don’t listen to your negative thoughts and never succumb to fear. Never lose to yourself, even if that means losing to someone else. You conquer yourself, you conquer life. So whenever you doubt yourself, just remember one of the best karate kid quotes and fight your fears.

Looking for more Mr. Miyagi quotes? We have got you covered.

Related: 10 Sources Of Wisdom

35 Best quotes of wisdom by Mr. Miyagi 

There are many more inspiring gems from Miyagi that he shares in The Karate Kid movies. Here is a hand-picked selection of the best quotes from the Karate Kid in Mr. Miyagi’s own words that will help you live a better life –

1. “Never put passion in front of principle. Even if you win, you’ll lose.”

2. “First learn stand, then learn fly. Nature rule Daniel son, not mine.

3. “For a man with no forgiveness in heart, life worse punishment than death.

4. “Ambition without knowledge is like a boat on dry land.”

Quotes From Mr Miyagi Ambition without knowledge
Wax On, Wax Off: 35+ Best ‘The Karate Kid’ Quotes From Mr. Miyagi

5. “The answer is only important if you ask the right question.

Quotes From Mr Miyagi the answer is
Wax On, Wax Off: 35+ Best ‘The Karate Kid’ Quotes From Mr. Miyagi

6. “If come from inside you, always right one.”

Quotes From Mr Miyagi If come from inside you always right one
Wax On, Wax Off: 35+ Best ‘The Karate Kid’ Quotes From Mr. Miyagi

7. “If root’s strong, tree survive.”

Quotes From Mr Miyagi root strong
Wax On, Wax Off: 35+ Best ‘The Karate Kid’ Quotes From Mr. Miyagi

8. “You trust the quality of what you know, not the quantity.”

9. “Fighting is always the last answer to the problem.”

10. “No such thing as bad student, only bad teacher. Teacher says, student, do.”

11. “Daniel-san, lie become truth only if person wanna believe it.”

12. “Just remember, license never replaces eye, ear, and brain.”

13. “If karate used defend honor, defend life, karate mean something. If karate used defend plastic metal trophy, karate no means nothing.”

14. “Never keep lady waiting.”

15. “When your temper rises, lower your fists. When your fists rise, lower your temper.” 

Related: 25+ Power Packed Bruce Lee Quotes

Wax On, Wax Off: 35+ Best ‘The Karate Kid’ Quotes From Mr. Miyagi
Wax On, Wax Off: 35+ Best ‘The Karate Kid’ Quotes From Mr. Miyagi

Want more the karate kid quotes? Here are some of the best Mr Miyagi quotes that will lift your spirits –

16. “Remember, best block no be there.”

17. “Secret of punch is to make whole power of body fit into one inch.”

18. “Not everything is as looks, you know.” 

19. “Because sometimes, what heart know, head forget.”

20. “You stay focused! Daniel-san your best karate is still inside. Now time let out!”

21. “Never trust spiritual leader who cannot dance.”

22. “The sun is warm, the grass is green. If today Julie-san get angry, just you repeat those words.”

23. “Not matter who’s stronger. Matter who’s smarter.”

24. “Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later get squish just like grape.”

25. “Daniel-San, you look revenge that way; you start by digging two grave.”

26. “Sometimes what heart know, the head forgets.”

27. “Win, lose no matter, you make a good fight, earn respect, then nobody bothers.”

28. “Daniel-san, Karate here (taps his head). Karate here (taps his heart). Karate never here  (taps his belt). Understand?”

29. “Use head for something other than target.”

30. “Why break boards? What boards do to you? That kind stuff not teach you how to conquer anger.”

31. “Attitude teacher rest in fist. Stupid, but fact of life. You show good fight, win lose no matter, you get respect. No more bother.”

32. “It’s stupid when neighborhood gangs kill each other with no reason. It’s stupid when countries fight wars. Not stupid to respect all living things.”

33. “Inside you have strong root. No need nothing except what inside you to grow.”

34. “Fighting is not good. But if you must fight – win.”

Quotes From Mr Miyagi fighting not good
Wax On, Wax Off: 35+ Best ‘The Karate Kid’ Quotes From Mr. Miyagi

35. “Don’t forget to breathe, very important.” 

Related: How Ancient Wisdom is Still Relevant Today

Fight to win

Wax On, Wax Off: 35+ Best ‘The Karate Kid’ Quotes From Mr. Miyagi
Wax On, Wax Off: 35+ Best ‘The Karate Kid’ Quotes From Mr. Miyagi

In the tournament of life, we are all fighting constantly. While some days we win, other days we lose. As long as we have “balance” in our lives, we will always be able to conquer ourselves – our thoughts, emotions, behaviors and actions. Although the Cobra Kai dojo is all about “Strike first, strike hard, no mercy,”, Miyagi-Do Karate is about building inner strength & character, controlling our emotions and discovering spiritual freedom.

For Mr. Miyagi, karate is not just a tool for self-defense, but a vehicle for gaining philosophical knowledge and understanding life. Just like Daniel-san, we can also learn a lot from the best Mr Miyagi quotes and become the person we are meant to be.

So put on your karate headband and fight life. Hiya!

Related: Mono No Aware: The Japanese Awareness Of The Impermanence of Things


The Karate Kid Quotes From Mr Miyagi pin
Wax On, Wax Off: 35+ Best ‘The Karate Kid’ Quotes From Mr. Miyagi
mr miyagi quotes pin
Wax On, Wax Off: 35+ Best ‘The Karate Kid’ Quotes From Mr. Miyagi
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