1980’s Karate Kid grows up to 2020’s Cobra Kai


Maya Apau

If you liked the 1980’s ‘Karate Kid’, you will LOVE the reboot ‘Cobra Kai’ featured on Netflix.

by Leila Gibril, Reporter

Does Cobra Kai, the remake of the 1980’s Karate Kid depict karate in an accurate light? 


I took karate lessons from age 6 – 13, completing my Black Belt in 2017.  While the karate is exaggerated, it’s still a blast to watch the show. I know that karate is about self-defense and technique, rather than grudge matches and tough guys.

Unlike the show, I didn’t have a group of karate-enthusiastic friends.  There were no cliques or promises to show “no mercy” or “strike first.”  In karate, there are no “enemies.”

Also, unlike Miguel, my sensei was not my BFF. We never saw each other outside of the dojo. In fact, I don’t even talk about karate–it’s not about bragging, or demonstrating how to break a board, or high kicking.  Really, that’s kind of silly.  Karate is an art–not a game.

Despite the exaggerated plot… yes, I still like watching Cobra Kai.

Season One ended with the giant All Valley Tournament. The end of the last episode on Season Two has a cliffhanger that leaves everybody speechless.

In Season Two, Daniel becomes a less admirable character, putting money before people.

I liked the drama–everything is not about karate.

I love Johnny. His character is developing from a “Look at that hot chick” to “I’m trying to be a better father” kind of guy. His corrupted mind from years ago is still ticking to the thought of “Strike first. Strike hard. No mercy.”

Miguel, a sweet boy at first, slowly is transitioning to a younger Johnny, but still with a conscience. He realizes that his actions are wrong when he accidentally hits his then girlfriend, Sam (Mary Mouser). What angers him most is that to save the day, was his sensei’s son, Robby. 

Robby is a troubled teen whose life turns around when he is taken under the wing of non other than Johnny’s worse enemy, Daniel Larusso. Guess he had the thought of, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” I thought this was going to be a very messy show. And it was. 

Anytime Robby and Johnny interact it is short and sharp. It ultimately is Johnny trying to get Robby to forgive him while Robby rejects him. Everybody who watches the show knows that Johnny wishes he could take it all back  and raise him like the perfect father.

Except he does not know how to. Every man of authority in his life failed him. Kreese was a manipulator and a bully, and when Johnny would go home, he would go home to his trash of a father. He was rich, though, very rich.

I thoroughly enjoyed the show, I did cringe at the excessive and over dramatic fighting, I mean, it was just a bad review Hawk.  Freshman Temilade Daramola said, “I liked Hawk initially when I first started watching. But as his aggressiveness dramatized, so did my opposition for him.”

Eli (Hawk) Moskowitz easily became a ‘love to hate’ kind of a character, as did Tory Nichols (Peyton List). Oh wow, Tory is a psycho with good hair and fashion sense. She picks a fight with Sam Larusso, Daniel’s daughter, after Sam betrays her then boyfriend Robby. Sam kisses Miguel her old boyfriend. Trouble is, Miguel was dating Tory at the time. Big, huge, ginormous mistake. Sam signed a death warrant after locking lips with Miguel.

What really gives the show an “umph” is that it is not just the kids that are fighting. The adults are, too.

Daniel and Johnny never got over what happened 30 years ago, and they do not plan to either. These ideas are ingrained in their children’s minds. It’s not a good idea to carry your old drama into the family.

What I alone love about the show is that it gives people a sense of hope. Yes, you can defeat your bullies and overcome your demons. That is what Aisha did, and I bet she felt great after she stood up to Yasmine, a terrible girl who uses social media to bully Aisha. Violence almost never the answer, but in this case, it is.

Season Two goes out with a bang of cliffhanger and we are left wondering what will happen to Miguel and how Robby is handling the situation?, Will Tory finally let everything go? All answers will be found in Season Three that is out now on Netflix.

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