I’m not going to lie… I’m stoked for the continuation of this Netflix series! When YouTube first released Cobra kai, a continuation series based on 1984’s the Karate Kid, ill admit that I was a bit sceptical. I was even more irked by the fact that if they were going to release a series picking up 30-odd years after the fact, that they’d focus on Johnny Lawrence as opposed to Daniel Larusso. Those fears were quickly put to rest with the inclusion of both characters.
Cobrai Kai focuses on showing how during the original film, Johnny was at the top of his game, winning trophies, being an alpha dog while Daniel was a down-on-his-luck new kid who unfortunately crossed paths with Johnny and paid a physical price. This is where Mr. Miyagi comes in and trains Daniel in the way of karate so that he can go on to the All Valley tournament and win against Johnny, albeit with an illegal kick to the face that even i didn’t agree with. but it’s all in good-natured 80’s fun, so it works.
Some three decades later, Johnny is seen as single, having fathered one estranged son, living within limited means and down on his luck, while Daniel is the owner of a multi-location car dealership franchise, appears to be wealthy and is happy in a successful marriage with a teenage daughter and young son. The first couple of seasons focus on Johnny reopening the Cobra Kai dojo and beginning to teach students, which prompts Daniel to do the same.
The end of Season 2 shows both dojos coming to a head as their students square off against one another in school and a non-literal bloodbath ensues, with one of the main protagonist characters becoming severely injured. Season sees both dojos come together against a common enemy from the past (I’m trying not to provide TOO many spoilers) and combining their students into a singular class. The upcoming Season promises the return of a key character from The Karate Kid III, which although not universally well-received, I thought stood well on it’s own merit.
The Karate Kid III saw Daniel continue his karate training with Mr. Miyagi while facing a new opponent who forces him to defend his title in the All Valley tournament. It shows the return of John Kreese as Johnny Lawrence’s disgraced Sensei and a new character, Terry Silver, as the antagonist of the entire ordeal. It’s an inspirational movie that sits well with me, from a martial artist’s standpoint. Season 4 of Cobrai Kai will apparently see the return of Terry Silver.
I know that I usually try to focus my posts on informational content, but the nerdy boy in me can’t help but write about this. I grew up on the Karate kid movies (as well as the ill-fated and ill-received Karate kid Animated series, which only ran for 13 episodes after The Karate Kid III) and absolutely love how Cobra Kai allows me to dip my toe in the waters of nostalgia. It also provides that minty hint of inspiration to continue working hard at my own martial arts training, especially since one of the main characters, played by Mary Mouser is Type-1 Diabetic and uses an insulin pump. If you haven’t watched it yet, I highly recommend it. ☯