Are you a fan of “Cobra Kai”? Did you binge all four seasons of the Netflix spin-off series “Karate Kid”? Think you know everything about the show? Here are some filming anecdotes that might surprise you…
The world of Karate Kid has never been so present, nor aroused such enthusiasm around the world, since the broadcast of Cobra Kai on Netflix. A true phenomenon, the show continues the story of the cult film and tells the adult life of Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) and Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio), and has fascinated subscribers around the world for four seasons.
While the fifth burst of episodes is already filmed, here are 17 anecdotes, films and series combined, that every fan should know about the franchise. Discover in particular how Xolo Maridueña, Tanner Buchanan, Mary Mouser and Peyton List prepared for one of the most emblematic scenes of the series: the general fight at school, shot in sequence please! Dodging perilous blows, creating sets, (re)appearances, coincidences, realism and nostalgia: it’s all there.
In an interview with SensaCine México, William Zabka stated that Cobra-Kai was not the original title of the series. It then had a title that alluded more to the temperament and life of Johnny Lawrence and not to the dojo itself: bad-sensei. The actor also clarified that he was first told about the series project during a meeting at a Mexican restaurant when waiters kept bringing all kinds of snacks. Long live Mexico?
Ralph Macchio and William Zabka confirmed that even though they played characters with a strong rivalry, they considered each other great friends ever since. Karate Kid. A friendship that was strengthened after the death of Pat Morita, to whom they were both very close. A sad experience that brought them closer.
In Cobra-KaiJohnny (William Zabka) lives in an apartment in the popular neighborhood of Reseda. The compound in which he resides, Reseda Heights, and its location were both designed to resemble the old compound where Daniel moved in (Ralph Macchio) in Karate Kid… which was also located in Reseda! A reverse situation since it is now Daniel who lives in a beautiful villa in Encino, like Johnny in the original film. This change can be seen as a life lesson given to Johnny who, in his youth, had harassed Daniel because he did not live in a luxurious area of Los Angeles like him.
Mr. Miyagi’s car
Daniel LaRusso’s classic car (Ralph Macchio) unveiled in season 2 of the show is the same one used during the filming of Karate Kid and which then belonged to the legendary Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita). The same goes for the headband that Daniel wears in Cobra-Kai.
Mr. Miyagi’s Patio
During the filming of season 2 of Cobra-Kaiwhereas Ralph Macchio was walking around the reconstructed house of Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita), the actor did not expect to see Tanner Buchanan repeat the scene where Robby paints the fence with a brush. A strong and moving moment for the interpreter of Daniel LaRusso who brought him back to 1984, when he was the young apprentice.
The Cobra Stance
Remember the financial problems that Johnny (William Zabka) meets while he is still the sensei of Cobra-KaiProblems that make him accept some additional partnerships. He indeed sublets his dojo to a yoga group and curiously, the first pose that the group adopts as soon as they enter the premises is… the posture of the cobra!
Ralph Macchio was 56 when the first season of Cobra-Kai came out on YouTube, which is four years older than Pat Morita at the time of the release of Karate Kid. The paths of the sensei and his apprentice therefore seem to be definitely linked. Similarly, Ralph Macchio was 22 when he played a 17-year-old boy in the film: a surprising coincidence, Mary Mouser She was also 22 when filming began for the series, playing Samantha LaRusso, Daniel’s daughter, a 17-year-old teenager!
Ralph Macchio’s Daughter
In Cobra-Kai, the family plays a major role. And it is even behind the scenes that the family spirit played a role, since the own daughter of Ralph Macchio made a memorable appearance in the fourth season. Not in the role of Samantha, Daniel’s daughter, but in that of Vanessa… her cousin! A role for a single episode but nevertheless memorable because of the strong character of the young woman. The 30-year-old Julia Macchio had previously only appeared in a handful of independent feature films, including Imogene and Stella’s Last Weekend.
William Zabka’s mother
During the filming of the All Valley tournament of the Karate Kid original, the late director John G. Avildsen filmed several hours of additional material, including footage that was never used in the final cut. These tapes were recovered by the production of Cobra-Kaiand among several of these plans, we can now see the real mother of William Zabka in the stands, supporting his son.
The main actors of Cobra-Kai all have experience in martial arts. In an interview granted to SensaCine México, Jacob Bertrand thus explained that the majority of the cast of Cobra Kai now has a minimum of experience in the practice of karate: if some are even real black belts, others are dancers of an advanced level, a discipline that also allows you to recreate impressive kicks. The interpreter of Hawk has taken courses for several years in a dojo located in the heart of a shopping center and is even a blue belt. An experience reflected in the series, making him one of the best fighters on the show.
A scene like the school battle requires a lot of preparation and stunts. Being moreover a sequence shot, the actors had to exchange places with their doubles in the middle of the shot. Peyton List even revealed that she hid under stairs and wherever she could before getting back into the action!
During the epic high school hallway fight at the end of season 2 of Cobra-Kai, Mary Mouser admitted that she forgot part of the choreography, which almost resulted in her being badly hit in the head by a roundhouse kick from Peyton List. Luckily, his natural reflexes prevented the bad move… The understudy of Tanner Buchanan was not so lucky: the stuntman lost two false teeth during the last shots: Xolo Mariduena admitted to having knocked down the stuntman, who then fell on his face and saw two of his teeth fly off!
During the ninth episode of the first season of Cobra-Kaitension rises between Daniel (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny (William Zabka) in the dojo that Daniel built in his house. Lawrence indeed pushes his former rival, smashing a trophy board. This scene was shot so many times that Macchio had to wear football shin guards on his thighs because of the pain caused by so many beatings, even ending up with bruises all over his leg the next morning!
A toxic relationship?
It often happens that certain actors end up playing similar roles in different productions. And this is the case of William Zabka and Diora Baird (Shannon Keene), who played a married couple in the comedy The Time Machine, and who, in Cobra-Kaiembody a separated couple, with a child.
Ralph Macchio still appreciates Mr. Miyagi’s philosophy (Pat Morita) so that he even used certain phrases and teachings of Karate Kid with his own children… pointing out that if something doesn’t turn out as planned, it’s Miyagi’s fault!