The first man to raise a fist is the man who's run out of ideas. H.G. WELLS
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. FEYNMAN If this is monkey pee, you're on your own.SCULLY
Its played for entertainment and does not have a lot of depth, you could as easily attempt to see some deep seated meaning in Big Trouble In Little China, the TV series Kung Fu has more philosophy or culture of a meaningful kind in it because Bruce Lee wanted to import eastern cutlure through the medium and gain it some respect, even at that he was not allowed to appear in the led role and no other oriental actors were either.
The breaking bottles thing in the first movie, followed by breaking ice and blocks in the second movie is pure martial arts contests feats of strength and prowess stunts.
The final film has some spiritual overtones (they visit a monastry) but again its a western superficial portrayal of Zen, which has as much to do with stateside gurus and pop culture as the eastern reality.
The narrative in the first film, to a certain extent each of them, of the fatherless youths who are guided towards self discipline and finally stand up to the bullies could as easily have been set in the wild west with John Wayne as Mr Mayagi but the mythologising of foreign esoteric martial techniques was still strong at that time and adds everything to the movie.
There are some amazing "super karate" books available from before that time which if you contrast with modern day books are a barrel of unintended laughs, with a serious tone they dispense pretty ludicrous ideas about physical and mental feats, single strike immobilising blows, that kind of thing, with little or no attention to health and safety, liability or authentication as being from cultures or contexts which confer them with any legitimacy or tradition.
You could as easily say that Quantum Leap was The Tao as the Karate Kid.
Its a great movie though, loved it growing up and loved all that esoteric eastern faddism.
Youre wrong. Of course you cant help it, being a Western conservative Christian with Si.
You have a completely Si and completely Christian interpretation of the film.