Friday Showdown: Iron Fist vs. The Karate Kid

Danny "Iron Fist" Rand vs. Daniel-san, the Karate Kid

A cold morning in May, I buried Miyagi in Okinawa. That night, the Hand came. 

Julie had flown out from Boston. No sooner had she dropped a blossom over his grave than she was back on a plane to Nevada. Some new project having to do with condors. I think that's like a vulture or something. I never knew a whole lot about birds. Me, all I know is trees. Bonsai. Me and Miyagi, we ran a little shop in Reseda. Did good. Going on fourteen years I spent half my time stateside with Miyagi, and the rest in Hong Kong keeping the streets safe at night. It's a long story. They call me a vigilante. I just go by "The Crane." I've been married three, maybe five times over the years. They all leave. One became a record producer. Another one trains horses. Then there's Francine. She was walking along and a piano fell on her head. Even she left me. She does sculptures out in Idaho. I'm still All Valley Karate Champion though. 

Like I said, it wasn't long before the Hand showed up. Dozens of them. Maybe hundreds. Listen, I'm no mathematician. I just make little trees. Anyway, they start knocking over old ladies and breaking down doors. At first, I think maybe they're Cobra Kai. But I took those guys down years ago instead of going to college. Miyagi always wanted me to go to school. Was real hard on Julie. Got her to go in for bird medicine. As the Hand enters the village, I'm over at Miyagi's grave promising I'll start taking some night classes. Car mechanics maybe. That's when I hear the first window break. I'm up and I'm running. I ditch my sneaks. I'm tying my Miyagi-Do sash over by head. It's hammer time. 

They're all decked out in black. I've heard about these guys. In Miyagi's journal. "Very old, Daniel-san. Very not nice." The Hand. One of them's running sideways along the fronts of the little houses. I've never seen that kind of thing before. I stop and assume the stance. Crane kick. He runs past me. These guys aren't fighting by tourney rules. And they're not so interested in me. Five, six, ten of 'em are headed back up the road to the cemetery. They're rushing past me like black water. All I hear is whispers. Miyagi's bones. Miyagi's bones. 

That's when I see the guy in green and yellow tumble out of a hole in the sky. He's wearing bedroom slippers and a doo-rag. Guy's drenched in sweat, smoke drifting off his body. Then he's up and running. And I see the ink on his exposed chest. Some kind of serpent or something. 

Cobra Kai? 

Danny Rand vs. Daniel-San

Who wins? 

Show your work!


  1. Iron fist.

  2. Are you kidding me?

    Iron Fist could probably take on Chuck Norris. Pretty boy gets the pooped kicked out of his face in two seconds.

  3. This depends entirely on whether or not Daniel is allowed a training montage just before the big fight.

    And to all the haters, please remember that Daniel kicked the crap out of some of Cobra Kai’s finest. Kids who have been training in martial arts since they were 4 and 5 years old. They, who devoted tens of thousands of hours to mastery of these ancient arts, buckets of blood, sweat and tears (not to mention closed-fist-pushups) were all embarressingly felled by the semi-clumsy jump-front-kick (or Crane Kick if you want to get all high-fallutin’ about it) of Mr. Laruso.

    I’m telling you, give that kid some inspiring synth-rock and quick cuts, and he’s freaking unstoppable.

  4. Why is this about the lame movie Karate Kid?

    The Karate Kid from the Legion of Super-Heroes came first, by, like, almost twenty years.

  5. Iron Fist.

  6. Paul, I sincerely hope that your karate kid movie binge was done just for the purpose of writing this article.  Excellent.

    And, are you kidding?  The Fist has superpowers.  He kicks Daniel-San’s ass.  But then they team up.

  7. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I watched the films for enjoyment and enrichment. Honestly. 

  8. Mostly unrelated, but I assume you’ve seen this, Paul?

    As for who wins… man, everyone wants to say Iron Fist, but I’m telling ya, if someone can just start using that litttle drum toy thingie from KK2 so that Daniel-san can hear it…? Fist will never land a super-powered punch, man.

  9. This article is absolute genius. When I get back home later tonight, I’m writing how this ends.

  10. I totally thought that this was going to be the DC Karate Kid.  Since it’s not (and honestly, even if it were) Danny Rand for the win.

  11. Not even Iron Fist can stop the Crane Kick.

    Daniel LaRusso is gonna fight!

  12. “He came at me with a high kick, but pulled his foot at the last second. Good thing, too because if his martial arts were as loud as his clothes, I might have broken a sweat.

    As he passed over my head, je whispered tersely: Things guy have been following me since He’ll kitchen. Murdock in charge now. Take the left, I’ll handle the goober on the right. Loser waxes the car.”

    I nod he lands and we charge. After this is over, I have a feeling we’ll be headed back to New York. Murdock goes a little crazy sometimes, but usually a good ass kicking is all it takes. Miyagi always told me that every martial artist exists in the same universe. Master s Murdock’s Master during  a ballet class the both took a while back..

    As the third guy on my left tried to a kidney shot that looked like something out of Kill Bill, I  hollered

    The Hand’ a New York problem. Why  the hell aren’t the shelheads   taking care of it?

    Just as hand delivering a HA-DO-KEN to a guy’s gut, (Ryu had taught him that at the last  mixer r in Japan, he replied,.

    They’re off chasing Leonardo who having another existential crisis. Guy reads way too much Sartre. He’s  wondering how he can possibly continue training because he has to weigh each action not for himself, but for all mankind”

    F laughed, tossing a a guy aside with a high kick. “He did always think too much.

    Just then I felt a sharp stick poke me in the base of the spine. “Do not make fun of my sons, Daniel. 

    I turned to see Splinter who smiled and took a defensive stance beside me. “Your stealth skills need improving. Pat taught you better.”

    I chortled and watched as Splinter finished off the last three guys, spinning his walking stick like a bolo. He also called Miyagi” Pat”. I don’t know why.

    Splinter and Miyagi never trained together. But they did belong ro they recorded a Tea podcast together and were regulars on the International Tea conventions. “I came to pay my respects, and ran into Rand on my way here over here. He suggested we go to New York, stage an invention for Matthew. Afterwards we can hit the clubs.”

    The bodies of several thousand Hand solders lay uncurious in front of three of us.

    Rand chuckled. “When the Turtles are away, Splinter will play.” Your boys have no idea what you do when they’re gone do they?

    Splinter shrugged. They believe only what they wish. Besides I have to cut my Rolling like a Rodent track, so with Vanilla Ice later. Let’s go.

    As we walked in the direction of New York, Splinter mused.” I wonder why the Hand and Foot Never work together. They we be like the Hand and Foot. Look, I made a-

    “ We know you made a funny”

  13. Please Iron Fist has so much power in his chi that he would demolish the karate kid, now Bruce Lee on the other hand, that would be a much more interesting fight Iron Fist vs. Bruce Lee!

  14. Daniel LaRusso’s the best around. No one’s gonna ever get him down.

    I believe that includes Iron Fist.

  15. @spidertitan: IF is based off Bruce Lee. So is Shang Chi. Personally this should be a match between IF and SC.

  16. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I suspect some of you might not have seen The Karate Kid saga. 

  17. Thanks, Conor. Now I’ve got that song stuck in my head again, as it was from 1984 to 1992.

    (What? It’s catchy.)

  18. Wax in, wax out. And a Peter Cetera’s original soundtrack. It’s too much for the poor Daniel Rand. (Hey guys, can we get a ‘follow’ here, or a better integration with Facebook perhaps. I am not asking much, am I?)

  19. The question is who would win, but just how badly is the Karate Kid going to have his ass beat. The movies were crap anyway, and Iron Fist earned the ability to turn his Chi into a destructive blast by KILLING A DRAGON AND TAKING IT’S HEART. 

    Now, if it was Karate Kid from the Legion, that would be more interesting.  

  20. Daniel LaRusso is gonna fight?


  21. Iron Fist needs to fight Mr Miyagi instead!

  22. How about Daniel LaRusso fights Matt Murdock?

  23. Unfortuntely for Daniel, nothing on him is Like Unto A Thing Of Iron. So unless he’s gonna somehow recruit the Karate Kid from the Legion he’s going down.

  24. I fuck with the Karate Kid.

    If the crane kick is the kick he uses in the end of the first movie that is one of the greatest impacts in all of movie history.

    But no one can stop it?

    Didn’t homey from the second movie not only stop it but knock Ralph on his ass?

    Iron Fist. Without a doubt.

  25. So where does Jaden Smith fit into continuity?

  26. this whole idea is an insult to Iron Fist, you should be ashamed of yourself.  I dont’ think there’d be a fight, Iron Fist would just walk away trying not to laugh himself to death

  27. and who says Iron Fist doesn’t know the Crane Kick, he had that huge book of Kun’Lun’s secret Iron Fist Kung Fu, and he’s probably seen the movie, twice perhaps.  

     That kick is weak anyway,  

  28. Some literal mf’ers up in here.

  29. In Okinawa, all Miyagi know two things: fish and karate.

  30. I think it should have been “the karate kid” versus karate kid. Karate kid would have totally cleaned up!

  31. Hello? Think, McFly: If some random kid can learn enough karate to beat an army of late-eighties thugs just by washing a car, putting on his jacket and pleasuring a tiny Japanese man, think how much natural talent is balled up inside that pre-pubescent chest! Dude could beat Iron Fist without a single lesson! And Batman! Hell, Darkseid better watch his back… this kid can use CHOPSTICKS!


    Man, that movie’s not great, is it?

  32. @CaseyJustice: It is a great movie.

  33. I took my kids to see the new Karate Kid, and, I have to say, despite all my prejudices toward it, I thought it was a pretty good movie.

    So who would be the perfect actor to play Iron Fist in a movie? 

  34. Daniel Laruso. Obviously.

  35. why aren’t their emoticons on this board????  😉   

    with emoticons, Karate Kid wins, without, Iron Fist, as they are his hidden weakness. . .    



  36. @connor:

    The greatest musical montage ever:

  37. @muddi900: Indeed. DAMN THOSE KOBRA KAI!

    (My favorite is the big Kobra Kai whose only move seems to be "lumbering".)

  38. I see this joker’s hands start to glow as he takes out these Hand dudes with moves that I didn’t even think Bruce Lee could do. Moves that were way beyond the "Wax On, Wax Off" variety. If I was Wax On Wax Off, this guy was an entire automated car wash, Simonizing included.

    As he was rattling the last of the ninja’s brains, it all hit me. The expert martial art skills, the Cobra Kai tattoo, the blond hair seeping out of his hood. The man behind the banana yellow mask was no longer a mystery to me. Johnny is back.

    Sure, he had a hard falling out with Sensei Kreese and the dojo, but I knew his intese rage and cruelty could never be truly sedated. And now he’s back, and is backed by some strange mystical powers. I don’t care that he’s taking out this Hand trash, since I know the true evil that lies behind his eyes. After all, the guy did bully me in high school.

    I approach him after he’s finished whooping the Hand’s butt, and he’s talking on a cell phone. I overhear most of the conversation. Sounds like he’s plotting something with a dude named Cage. Shifty sounding name. Must be evil. Before he can continue his evil plotting, I run up to him and use Paint The Fence to knock the tiny phone out of his hand. Ah, Paint The Fence. Trusty technique. Useful when painting Miyagi’s long ass perimeter fence and taking out those drug pushers in Kowloon City.

    "I’m disappointed in you, Johnny!" I yell while he’s glaring back at me confused. "My entire adult life, I’ve been treking the globe to eliminate the scum and villany that you represented back in high school…but I woulod have NEVER thought that you’d be stupid enough to become an avatar for the secret evil powers of Cobra Kai!" The green and yellow joker tried to play stupid by looking confused. Started rambling some nonesense about an "Avengers" mission. Saying that some daredevil is gaining too much power and must be stopped. "Whatever, Johnny! I didn’t clean up the street of Hong Kong by believing such made up crap! I thought putting an end to you at the All-Valley Karate Championship was enough…but it looks like I’ll have to put an end to you PERMANENTLY! Miyagi would have wanted it that…"

    "MIYAGI?! You speak the name of Miyagi?!" asked Johnny, still putting up some sort of bizarre facade. "Miyagi was a great and powerful ally to the people of K’un L’un! He would join forces with us whenever the city appeared on the mortal plain and would help us disspell the evil forces! He is my hero and inspiration, and I will NOT have you descecrate his name!! Never in several eons would he have associated himself with a snot-nosed and whiney brat such as yourself! I was going to leave you to your delusions, but for you to speak the name of Miyagi is a crime punishable by death! We fight now! FOR MIYAGI!!!" 

    Man, did I piss Johnny off. He stated screaming like crazy, became tense and had energy lighting up around him like crazy. It was like a scene out of that cartoon where the guys had the blone spikey hair that stood 10 feet high and would spend weeks powering up while fighting each other. I don’t even recall what happened next. All I remember was seeing Johnny as a blur while he hit me with the hardest blows that I have ever felt. The power of Cobra Kai has enhanced Johnny to levels beyond which I have ever seen. He was faster than that white slavery kingpin in Hong Kong, and was more powerful than Commander Skullfist. This was looking to be my toughest fight yet, so I decided to stop being a punching bag.

    Johnny tried to sweep the leg. Nice try Johnny, I wasn’t going to fall for that again. I jumped his leg and shuffled in with a Paint The House. That knocked his head around in a circle, but he quickly recouped with a spinning kick that knocked me on my ass. He then tried caving my skull in with those glowing fists, but I quickly crawled away, dodging his brutal attacks. When the time was right, I hit my most feared move, Sand The Floor, while his fist was buried in the dirt. This should have ended the bout, but to my surprise, it didn’t phase him at all! He just grabbed my wrist and flung me through the air. How did that fail?? Sand The Floor was a move that made German Bob crap his pants. However, it became perfectly clear why my moves did not cause him to be striken with fear.

    Fear does not exist in his dojo. Pain does not exist in his dojo. Defeat does not exist in his dojo.

    I regain my composure and get to my feet, but in a flash, I see Johnny dash towards me with superhuman speed. Both fists were clenched and glowing, both poised to rip through my body. All of his energy was being put into this attack. Out of instinct, I muster all of my strength and put my hands up to catch these fists of death. I stop Johnny’s killing blow, but he’s still pushing against my defense. He’s putting all his energy to push through my hands. I’m putting all my strength to keep them off of me. Classic standoff. Like that fight with Monsignor Whoopass, but with the tables turned. My life is flashing before my eyes. Carfree days in New Jersey. Hanging out with my family at the Edison mall by the Chick-Fil-A (God, I miss their chicken sandwiches). Skeeball at Asbury Park. That brutal cross-country road trip with my mom. Miyagi. I remember Miyagi most of all. I failed him. My biggest fear was about to be made real.

    Sparks and energy was flying like fireworks where Johnny and I were struggling. Soon, our energies became so great, that they were starting to combine. Soon, the energies formed a cross-dimensional matrix, and time went wacky for me. Brilliant colors and shapes were whizzing past me, and before I knew it, I was in a dark void. With Mr. Miyagi standing in front of me.

    "MR. MIYAGI!" I cried, with tears streaming down my cheeks. "I failed you, I’m so sorry! Johnny was just too great with the power of Cobra Kai, and I…" "DANIEL-SAN, SHUT UP!" yelled Miyagi, who them started to rub his hands in a vigorous manner. Miyagi’s healing touch. Not since the first torney have I felt it. As he started to heal my bruises and injuries, I remember how much I missed this technique. It was truly the best way of healing in the world. All of the magic potions and Senzu Beans that I have eaten through the years haven’t come anywhere close to reinvigorating me the way that Miyagi’s technique has. Mr. Miyagi then leans over my shoulder and says "Daniel-San, must listen. Foe you’re fighting, not biker punk from high school. Very powerful and mystical warrior. Will kill you."

    "Well geez, Mr. Miyagi, thanks for the vote of confidence! These are YOUR techniques I’m using after all! How am I supposed to beat this guy if all your teachings are proving worthless?!" Mr. Miyagi, not at all phased by my disrespectful outburst, retorts "Hai, you not use ALL teachings. You forget most important teaching of all." He then raises a finger and points to my headband, my most sacred possession. I haven’t even taken it off since Mr. Miyagi passed away. "Unlock power of headband, Daniel-San…" he said as he started to fade away. I tried to ask Mr. Miyagi more, but before I knew it, I was back in the graveyard in a standoff with this green and yellow ninja dude.

    Unlock the headband’s power? How the hell do I do that? I’m a bonsai tree merchant and vigilante, not a magician. It then hits me: those glowing fists that I’m trying to keep from plowing through my body. Could that power be the key? Carefully, I position the fists to touch the headband without giving this guy too much leeway. When they finally touch, a little of the power from the guy’s fists drain off into my beloved bandana, and the colors on it become inversed. A massive energy feedback occurs, knocking my foe into a mausoleum. Lightning falls from the skies, and several bolts strike Mr. Miyagi’s grave. Dirt and stone flies everywhere, and when the dust settles, I see his spirit floating in front of me. "Mr. Miyagi…" I manage to say through my shock. In no time, the ghost leaps towards me and merges himself with my headband.

    After an intense energy storm, I hear a voice in my head. "Daniel-San! You avenged my memory. My spirit now resides in headband. When you wear, we are merged. You no longer Daniel-San. You now…DANIYAGI-SAN!"   

    The power was incredible. Not only did I have a newfound skill, but I was also reuinted with my best friend and mentor. The reunion would have to wait, however, as the dude in yellow slippers was emerging from the rubble that I knocked him into.


    "Daniyagi-San, quick! Foe regaining consciousness! Must stop! Use Super Quadruple Crane Kick!" "Yes Mr. Miyagi." I respond, as I did the preparations for a move that, up to this moment, I had no idea how to do, but now know every little intricacy. The yellow and green dude soon gets to his feet, and sees me in my trademark Crane stance with sparks of energy shooting out of me. He lets his guard down, as the fire in his eyes dies down. "Miyagi…it’s you…" is the only thing he is able to say before I launch my attack.

    Crane kick connects, propelling him through the air! As I land on my foot, I use it to leap into the air to catch him with a second crane kick! Dude goes flying through the air even further up, as I once again land on a foot which I use to propell me through the air up to him again, and I hit him with a third crane kick! I land on both my feet this time, and yell out "BALANCE OF A CRANE!", and transform into a giant monsterous crane, whose feathers are made of fire. As my foe falls into position, I use my hanging leg to connect with a thunderous kick! My foe turns into a ragdoll, as he flies through the air in a whirlwind of tattered clothes, blood and energy.

    I transform back into my human state, and notice that the man I have just defeated is nowhere to be found. "Mr. Miyagi, where did he go?" I ask. I then hear "You can find him. Use new abilities." Somehow, I knew exactly what to do. "Perception of a hawk!" I cry out, and my eyesight becomes better than ever before. I notice the dude battered and broken, laying in a crater about a mile away. "Looks like we took out the trash, eh Mr. Miyagi?" "Daniyagi-San, must help him. He is good guy. Super hero. Could be great ally." I know better than to question Mr. Miyagi’s judgement. Even though he was totally wrong when he didn’t let me sign up for that tornament when those punks destroyed my bonsai store, Mr. Miyagi is nearly infallable. "Speed of a cheetah!" I cry, and dash over to help the dude.

    I reach the crater that he’s lying in, and proceed to rub my hands in a vigorous manner. Miyagi’s healing technique. Now I possess this power. I can’t even begin to think of the many lives I can save with this. I heal every fracture in this dude’s body, as everything is more or less broken. I step away to allow him to wake up and get back to his feet. When he does, he looks at me in a very endearing manner.

    "I…see the spirit of Miyagi in you. It’s no mistake, you weren’t lying. You are really a student of Miyagi!" "Told ya", I say. The dude then takes off his mask, showing me his very un-Johnny face. "My name is Danny Rand. I go by the name of Iron Fist. There aren’t many souls who I see as my superior in the world of martial arts, but you…you are one that is so great, that the great Miyagi deemed you worthy to make you his avatar." This Iron Fist guy then gets onto his knees and starts bowing to me. "After reading of Miyagi’s skill in The Book of Iron Fist, I have vowed to be in the service of Miyagi whenever the oppertunity presented itself. You are aware of how you are depected in this book, are you not?" I start itching my head and say "Well…not that one. I did read a book on karate when Miyagi was fixing my sink, however. Could that be the same one?" "It doesn’t matter." says Iron Fist. "I am now in your service. Call me whenever you feel necessary. It’s easy to find me. Just look for the building with the huge letters that say RAND on it." I nod in approval. "Good to know. You may have to assist one of my agents. My girlfriend, Kumiko, is trying to break up a drug ring in various dance schools across the world, and could certainly use your help."

    Iron Fist then shakes my hand firmly. "You got it, man." he says. "I’ll even bring my buddy Luke. He’s always very helpful." Iron Fist and I then part ways, and even though I watch him walk into the moonlight horizon, I am happy that we were able to form an alliance for the forces of good.


    Right then, my wrist video communicator starts buzzing. I activate the screen, and I see Ali calling me from HQ. Oh, that Ali. Falling in love with me all over again after I revealed that the UCLA football player she dumped me for was really The Bacon Burglar in disguise. She’s never gonna win the heart of The Crane ever again, but I did allow her to start working for me to repay the dept. "Daniel, can you hear me? The Kreese Krew and Commander Skullfist have teamed up! They’re attempting to rob the M&M World in New York City! You must stop them!" "That’s DANIYAGI, now." I reply. "Daniel-San has evolved. I am now Daniyagi-San!" I turn off the communicator.

    "Well Mr. Miyagi, looks like we’re entering another chapter of our tale! Ready to go on some new adventure?" "Hai, Daniyagi-San. Remember though, karate only used in self-defense. Fighting never answer." Whatever, I think. Why, in that case, was fighting the answer  at the end of our three adventures? "I HEAR YOU, DANIYAGI-SAN! I hear your thoughts now!" "Sorry, Mr. Miyagi. Let’s go bust up some crime! Flight of an albatross!"


    As I grow wings and head to fly over to New York, I am still in disbelief in what an incredible night tonight was. Not only am I reunited with my best friend and teacher, but I can now fight the forces of evil to a greater extent with these new powers and abilities.

    To get rid of crime, heavy lifting is required. The world will need The Crane to lift it. 

  39. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Chris gets it. 

  40. Daniel-san wins with a Crane kick! After the match Rand bloodies his "Iron Fist" putting it through a car window. At that point Luke Cage tells Danny Rand he is dead to him.

  41. Daniel-san tries a Crane Kick….Iron Fist punches him in the bottom of the foot, thus shattering every bone from his foot to his hip. Daniel dies due to internal injuries. Iron Fist, feels bad.

  42. Whatever happens, at some point Steel Serpent is going to be the jerk yelling, "Get him a body bag!  Yeaaaaaaaah!"

  43. Danny Rand sweeps the leg and it’s over.

  44. comicbookchris has alot of free time. good on you.