Hilary Swank as Julie Pierce - The Next Karate Kid

Julie Pierce

(The Next Karate Kid)

Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

It’s ancient wisdom against teenage spunk. 1,000 years of karate tradition is about to get a kick in the pants.


The Next Karate Kid was one of the sequels of the 1984 hit, The Karate Kid. Pat Morita returns as the wise Mr. Miyagi, working with a new teenage student played by Hilary Swank.

This is a coming of age film about a young woman learning karate to defend herself from bullies.



  • Real Name: Julie Pierce.
  • Other Aliases: Julie-san.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Louisa Pierce (Grand Mother), Susan (Mother, deceased), Unnamed (Father, deceased).
  • Group Affiliation: Student of Mr. Miyagi.
  • Base of Operations: Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Height: 5’5″ Weight: 121 lbs.
  • Eyes: Dark brown Hair: Brown.

Powers & Abilities

Though Julie has trained in karate at a young age by her father, she was still a fledgling student. But by the time Mr. Miyagi entered her life she was already in good physical shape, with excellent physical flexibility.

Miyagi gave her confidence in her training, and taught her to focus. He continued to amaze her with the heights and depths of feats that may be achieved through karate.

Julie’s fighting style uses all of the techniques from sweeps to throws. She tries to use her opponent’s strength against him. She also uses an unusual amount of high kicks.

Miyagi also taught Julie the waltz.

She loves animals, and they instinctively trust her.



Enter Miyagi

In Boston, Miyagi attended a World War II service honoring the 442nd Regimental Combat Team . A citation was given by the President. Miyagi sat next to Mrs. Louisa Pierce whose husband had also been honored in the service. Mrs. Pierce’s husband held a special place in Miyagi’s heart. He’d saved Miyagi’s life in the war and in return Miyagi tried to teach him karate.

Later, at Mrs. Pierce’s home Miyagi met a troubled and angry teenager, Julie. Miyagi invited Louisa to stay at his home in California. In the meanwhile he would take care of things in Boston – including her granddaughter. Julie was less than thrilled.


At school, a group of football player/hall monitors called the Alpha-Elite ran the school. They used their position and size to terrorize the other students. ”Colonel” Dugan was the power behind the Alpha-Elite, running them as if they were a military unit. Julie became the target of their leader, Ned.

Julie had a secret. She was caring for a hawk that had been shot in the wing. Eric McGowen, a boy from her school, learned her secret by following her up a ladder to the roof. Julie began spending time with McGowen, and he promised not to reveal her secret about the hawk.

As chance would have it, a car nearly hit Julie. She reacted by going into a perfect tiger-position as if a bull was charging. Julie’s father had taught her karate every night after school. And he had learned karate from Miyagi.

Fly like an eagle to the sea

Miyagi began teaching Julie karate. In exchange she would complete her homework. She took a baby-sitting job to make shopping money. Julie ran into trouble with the Alpha-Elite and ended up going to jail. Julie was then expelled from school for two weeks.

Hilary Swank as Julie Pierce - The Next Karate Kid - With Miyagi and a raptor

Miyagi took the opportunity to move Julie to a monastery where they could train in karate in peace. However, Julie disrespected the monk’s rules, calling them stupid. The monks ignored her but she made amends by proving her respect of all life within the monastery.

Her birthday came and the monks gave her one wish and one gift. She wished the monks would visit her in Boston. The gift was a demonstration of Zen archery. Miyagi demonstrated catching an arrow in flight.

Prom and Final Fight

When Julie returned to school she and McGowen began a full relationship. McGowen fed and cared for the hawk while Julie was away. Miyagi touched the bird’s broken wing healing it; then the hawk flew away. Miyagi taught Julie the waltz so she would be prepared to dance at prom.

The monks made good on their promise and came to visit. While Julie went to prom with Eric, Miyagi took the monks bowling. Julie and Eric had a short confrontation with the Alpha-Elite, who couldn’t let it go. Ned challenged McGowen to come to the docks and fight. McGowen went, intent on finishing it.

Eric fought five on one and was beaten down. Julie arrived and challenged Ned, defeating him in single combat. Colonel Dugan couldn’t accept defeat, he ordered the other boys to fight Julie but they one by one refused him.

Miyagi challenged Colonel Dugan to fight him instead. After he was trounced by the much smaller Miyagi, Colonel Dugan lost the respect of all of his Alpha-Elite.


Julie is a fit teenage girl. She wears jeans and sneakers with sweaters, or layered shirts. Her hair is straight, extending to about the middle of her back.


Julie’s parents died in a car accident, making her resent her grandmother who she had to live with. Julie put up a wall and she wouldn’t let her grandmother in. She responded to almost everything from her with a look of disgust and anger.

Hilary Swank as Julie Pierce - The Next Karate Kid - Waltzing with Miyagi

At school she became a loner skipping classes or hiding out so she could be to herself. However, this put her at odds with the militant hall monitors the Alpha-Elite. Especially since Ned their leader was romantically interested in her. He noticed her absence, but she certainly did not respond to his uncouth advances.

Julie was still kind to an injured hawk, nursing it back to health. And she had made friends with Eric McGowen, who was attracted toward her regardless of how angry she was.

Mr. Miyagi proved capable of getting Julie out of her shell. He taught her to see things in a different light. He brought her back to her father’s teachings of karate. With his guidance, Julie began to enjoy herself again.

When she was expelled from school, Miyagi took this opportunity for her to train with some monks. They taught her to respect all life. The monks taught her the practicality of discipline.


Julie Pierce: “When do I learn how to break boards and stuff like that ?”
Miyagi: “Why break boards ? What boards do to you ? That kind stuff not teach you how to conquer anger, Julie-san. Understand ?”

Julie Pierce: “Don’t I get a belt or something ?”
Miyagi: “Buy belt more.”
Julie Pierce: “No, I mean a karate belt. Brown belt, black belt.”
Miyagi: “Why need belt ?”
Julie Pierce: “So everyone knows I’m good !”
Miyagi: “You know you good. That important thing.”
Julie Pierce: “Oh come on, even Elvis Presley got a black belt.”
Miyagi: “Borrow from Elvis next time see him.”

Miyagi: “Julie-san, fighting not good. But if must fight… win.”

“If I’m ever going to respect myself I have to do this.” (Fights Ned)

DC Universe History

Julie’s father might have been a student at the dojo that Richard Dragon and Ben Turner used to run during the 1970s. This means that Julie would have received even better childhood training, allowing Mr. Miyagi to make her a low-cinematic  fighter.

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Julie Pierce

Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 02 Motivation: Upholding the Good
Int: 03 Wil: 03 Min: 03 Occupation: High School Student
Inf: 02 Aur: 03 Spi: 03 Wealth: 000
Init: 012 HP: 005

Animal Handling: 02, Martial Artist (without EV): 03

Familiarity (Waltz dancing), Lightning Reflexes, Unpredictable Style Schtick (a reduced version; see Crane Kick section).

Mr. Miyagi (High).

Age (Young, 17), Minor Irrational Attraction toward Eric McGowen.

Crane Kick

Julie, like Daniel LaRusso before her, may only use the Unpredictable Style Schtick after she’s trained at a new technique such as the Crane Technique. For a single Phase, Julie can impose a -1CS Penalty to a melee opponent’s AV or OV. It may only be used once per adventure, so choose wisely!

Teen martial artist skills vs adult martial artist skills throughout the Karate Kid Franchise

The movies make a big distinction between adults and teen fighters. The adult karate fighter will be head and shoulders above the skill of any of the teen fighters. They can freely manhandle them.

Teen vs Teen. No teen karate fighter will have a Martial Artist skill over 04 APs. This could be applied as a genre rule.

Adult vs Teen. Either simply put a restriction on the teen fighters that they can’t use HPs against adults, or assign the Eclipsed drawback for each teen fighter when fighting against an adult. Or even both, it’s that clear a difference in their fighting levels.

The Kobra Kai’s or Alpha-Elite would all have 02 to 03 APs of Martial Artist, while the best teen fighters like Johnny Lawrence and Mike Barnes would have 04 APs.

John Kreese, Sato, Mr. Silver, and Colonel Dugan are all in the 5-6 Range representing some of the best Karate fighters in the setting.

By Ethan Roe.

Source of Character: The 1994 movie The Next Karate Kid; Character played by Hilary Swank.

Helper(s): IMDB.

Writeup completed on the 20th of September, 2017.