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"If an enemy insists on war... then you take away their ability to wage it. Yeah?"
―Chozen Toguchi to Daniel LaRusso[src]

Chozen Toguchi is the main antagonist of The Karate Kid Part II and later a supporting character in Season 3 of Cobra Kai. He was the top student of Sato's Dojo and eventually becomes the sensei of Miyagi-Do Karate in Okinawa.

Biography

The Karate Kid Part II

Chozen is the nephew of Sato Toguchi, whose disdain for Mr. Miyagi is inherited from his uncle and is evident almost immediately, referring to him as a "coward". Chozen also shows immediate disdain to Daniel LaRusso both due to being a foreigner and a student of Miyagi's.

He is a bully and rival to Daniel, constantly tormenting and attacking him. Chozen is far more adept at hand-to-hand combat and is referred to several times as Sato's star pupil.

In a rough bar adjacent to Sato's dojo where men break slabs of ice for amusement, Chozen goads Daniel into breaking all six slabs under the taunt "Broken ice, or a broken neck!". Mr. Miyagi bets a large amount of money that Daniel can do it, causing Chozen to protest that he cannot afford the bet. The bet is covered by Sato, who just entered the bar. After Daniel wins, Chozen whines that cowards do not deserve to win, but Sato pays up, snarling at Chozen to never engage in actions that would dishonor their family again.

Chozen also is a grocery store middleman, where the dirt farmers of Tomi Village bring their crops for him to purchase. Daniel reveals that Chozen has been using rigged weights, causing the farmers to become outraged and demand honest scales. This incident turns to extreme hatred as Chozen feels Daniel dishonored him, despite Chozen himself engaging in the dishonorable activity of cheating suppliers. The full extent of Chozen's hatred for Daniel is not revealed until, despite Sato's insistence, a prideful Chozen outright refuses to help Daniel rescue a child from a typhoon. This deliberate act of defiance prompts an angry Sato to disown him, causing Chozen to run off into the storm humiliated.

Chozen challenging Daniel

In a misguided attempt to regain his honor, an erroneous Chozen invades the O-bon festival, holds Kumiko hostage at knifepoint and forces Daniel into a fight to the death. Chozen proves to be a formidable foe, even countering Daniel's crane kick, and manages to gain the upper hand as the fight progresses. In the end, however, he is defeated by Daniel, who uses his "drum technique" to block Chozen's attacks and follow up with a series of counter-attacks. When given the chance to live or die, Chozen chooses to die. However, instead of giving him his wish, Daniel, in a similar fashion of what Miyagi did to Kreese at the beginning of the film, honks his nose instead of delivering the fatal blow, sparing Chozen's life.

Pre-Cobra Kai

"After our fight, I felt great shame. I... I wanted to die. But my Uncle saved me. He gave me a chance to prove myself. I spent my life trying to do just that. But... regret is sometimes difficult to overcome."
―Chozen Toguchi to Daniel LaRusso

Following his defeat, Chozen, who feels great shame, attempts to commit suicide. However, his uncle Sato saves him and gives him a chance to become a better person. Chozen accepts and begins to change his ways. Prior to Sato's death, Chozen learns the pressure points technique, which gives the ability to numb your opponent's limbs, and Sato himself gives him all of Miyagi's artifacts. He becomes the sensei of Miyagi-Do Karate at some point, possibly after Sato's death and the closure of Sato's dojo.

Cobra Kai

Season 2

Daniel remembers breaking a block of ice his youth, and Chozen is seen watching Daniel breaking the block. Chozen is both shocked and dismayed over the event.

Season 3

Years later, when Daniel travels to save his business with Doyona, Kumiko reunites with him and calls Chozen to come and meet them to inspire Daniel with some of Mr. Miyagi's teachings that he had not taught Daniel. Chozen initially appears to show hatred towards Daniel for the fight between them and is surprised by how much Mr. Miyagi taught Daniel. Chozen reveals that Mr. Miyagi did not teach Daniel about a deadlier aspect of Miyagi-Do. The two fight again, with Chozen getting the upper hand in almost every fight. In their last fight, Chozen numbs Daniel's limbs and brings him to his knees, much as his former adversary did during the fight at the O-Bon festival years ago. Chozen raises his hand, appearing to get his revenge for Daniel's defeat, which triggers the famous memory of "live or die, man". Chozen then honks Daniel's nose, laughingly remarking he has waited a long time for that. Daniel asks what he did to make his limbs numb, to which Chozen explains the pressure points technique. Daniel asks if he could teach him, which Chozen accepts.

Chozen trains Daniel in using pressure points to numb an opponents limbs and later explains that after their fight all those years ago, he felt such shame over his actions towards Daniel that he attempted to commit suicide, but was saved by Sato. It was during that time that he became a better person and he now runs Miyagi-Do in Okinawa, teaching all of Mr. Miyagi's lessons. Chozen calls Mr. Miyagi a man of great honor that Chozen can only hope he can emulate. Recognizing the change in Chozen, Daniel forgives him for their past, something that means a great deal to Chozen, who provides Daniel with a secret scroll on Miyagi-Do Karate.

Later, when Daniel is fighting Kreese, he remembers Chozen teaching him to numb an opponent's limbs, and uses those tactics to disable Kreese.

Fighting Style

Chozen fighting against Daniel

"He's not bad."
"He's Sato's number-one student."
"I can see why.
"
Daniel LaRusso and Kumiko[src]


Chozen is his uncle's finest student. A Miyagi-do stylist, he is primarily a counter fighter. He tends to block incoming attacks, catching the limb if he can, after which he follows up with vicious combos. He is strong, tough and athletic, and can strike with tremendous power, as seen when he kicked off part of a stone statue. He is able to easily block and counter most of Daniel's techniques, including the crane technique. Daniel is only able to defeat Chozen by waiting for him to initiate an attack, which he intercepts with the Miyagi drum technique.

As an adult, Chozen has adopted a more traditional version the Miyagi-Do style after being taught by his uncle Sato. His technique is more aggressive than Daniel's due to his training in the deadlier aspects of Miyagi-Do, but less aggressive and deadly than in the past due to Chozen's change for the better. He has also learned Miyagi-Do pressure point attacks that can temporarily paralyze limbs by numbing the nerves. He easily defeats Daniel when they spar in Miyagi-Do, which makes Chozen possibly the most skilled fighter in the modern day Karate Kid universe. It is likely that an adult Chozen could beat any character except for Miyagi.

Personality

"He has no idea what honor is."
Kumiko to Daniel LaRusso[src]

Chozen presents himself as a cruel, disrespectful, remorseless, and disgraceful fighter. While he seems to boast about it throughout the film, Chozen seems to have a twisted and misguided definition of honor. While he shows respect for his superiors such as his uncle, he is heartless and disrespectful against everyone else around him. By cheating the villagers of their money with rigged weights, mugging Daniel of the money he won against him in a bet Daniel won fairly, initially refusing to honor the bet he made when, he showed that he is a sore loser. He also demands for respect despite not earning it. This "Honor" is in fact his pride, ego, and narcissistic belief that he is a superior man, as he holds himself in very high regard despite his despicable actions, simply because he is a master of martial arts and wealthy powerful family he comes from. It is possible he only is honorable and respectful to people he deems worthy. The only instance of him being supposedly honorable is him allowing Daniel to attack him with his spear despite Chozen himself being unarmed, though Chozen likely did this because he knew Daniel wouldn't beat him. When Daniel attacked him with the spear, Chozen kicked it and then attacked him with the spear. Because of how he sees himself and his definition of honor, Chozen thinks he is a man above morals, and does not see the error of his ways. Possibly due to his upbringing by his uncle, Chozen believes that anyone who is not willing to fight regardless of the situation, whether it calls for conflict or not, is a coward and deserves death.

Chozen appears to suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder, a serious mental illness that causes emotional instability and drastic measures to avoid perceived abandonment by others. This is evidenced by his severe emotional mood swings and the fact that Chozen flew into a rage after he was "dishonored" by Daniel and deemed the only way to make it right was by killing Daniel. Chozen very likely has this disorder, as his behavior, self-image and relationships with others are hampered as a result of him also suffering from an Impulse Control Disorder. When he is "rejected" by people he deems important in his life, Chozen takes even more drastic measures to ensure he is "respected". This likely means that Chozen's twisted definition of honor has less to do with a strange and unusual moral code and more to do with an extremely unstable brain chemistry that twists the definition to whatever suits him best.

Being disowned by Sato causes Chozen to spiral out of control, as arguably the one person that Chozen truly respects wants nothing to do with him. Chozen's actions following Sato disowning him likely indicates that he truly values being respected by someone he himself respects. Chozen respected his uncle, and being disowned by him had a huge negative effect on him.

Similar to Johnny and Daniel's future nemesis Mike Barnes, he aggressively bullies and harasses Daniel. However, he's more similar to Mike, as both genuinely hate Daniel and want to cause him pain, as well as have no problems fighting dirty against Daniel, while Johnny's hate was a mix of jealousy over Daniel's friendship with his ex-girlfriend Ali Mills and some of Daniel's actions, and Johnny himself expressed shock and reluctance to fight dirty against Daniel.

When Chozen loses a fight, he wants to be killed by his opponent as he feels there is no honor in him living if he loses. Some examples include him being angry at Miyagi when the latter refuses to kill him after defeating him and asking Daniel to kill him after the latter defeats him.

Following his defeat, as revealed years later, Chozen was filled with great shame and desired to die before Sato saved him. Under his uncle's tutelage, Chozen became a much better person who came to respect Mr. Miyagi as a man of great honor that he could only hope to emulate. Chozen grew up to become a teacher of Miyagi-Do Karate, passing on the lessons that he had learned to others. He also appeared to reconcile with Kumiko who was aware of his change for the better and was on friendly terms with Chozen despite his previous threats to kill her.

When Daniel returned to Okinawa, Chozen greeted him with apparent anger and was surprised by how much Daniel had learned from Mr. Miyagi, especially as he considered Daniel to be a foreigner. However, much of this appeared to be an act by Chozen who was pretending to be his old self to fool Daniel. After defeating Daniel and getting his revenge for his earlier defeat, Chozen chose to emulate Daniel's humorous honking of his nose and burst into genuine laughter over finally being able to get Daniel back in such a manner. Afterwards, Chozen dropped his act and showed Daniel who he had truly become and was honored to train Daniel in the aspects of Miyagi-Do that he was unaware of. When Daniel forgave Chozen for their past rivalry, Chozen admitted that it meant a lot to him to have Daniel's forgiveness and he provided Daniel with a secret scroll about Miyagi-Do for his collection. Daniel and Chozen parted from each other with a genuine respect for the other and Daniel was pleased to have such a friendly ending to his rivalry with Chozen and felt that both men had learned something from the other as Kumiko had hoped.

Trivia

  • His name is presumably a pun on the word "chosen", but also the Japanese word "Zen", which means meditation, enlightenment and intuition.
  • Chozen is the only main antagonist to challenge Daniel LaRusso to a death match, which would make him the only Karate Kid villain to be willing to flat-out kill someone in a fight until Cobra Kai season 3, in which John Kreese attempts to kill Daniel.
  • Chozen is also the only main antagonist in Karate Kid movies who was offered repeated chances at changing his ways (like his uncle) yet he refused belligerently and dishonorably. However in Cobra Kai season 3, he is finally changed from his old ways, as he is able to reconcile with LaRusso and Kumiko, as well as his honor is eventually restored.
  • Chozen is the only character to successfully land a strike on Mr. Miyagi, although he actually wanted to hit Daniel and Mr. Miyagi was hit unintentionally. Miyagi also had his back turned and was busy attending to Daniel while Chozen struck him.
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