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Just How Much Karate Do ‘Cobra Kai’ Stars Actually Know?

(This story initially revealed on April 24, 2019, and has been republished forward of the “Cobra Kai” Season three premiere Jan. 1 on Netflix. The collection initially streamed on YouTube’s paid platform.)

Much like Daniel LaRusso in “The Karate Kid,” the kids in YouTube’s sequel collection “Cobra Kai” bought fairly rattling good at karate fairly rattling shortly. But simply how a lot martial arts do the actors know in real-life? We requested 5 of the important thing kickers within the generation-spanning franchise that precise query.

Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso
Macchio instructed us that his martial arts expertise is extra one as a servant to the martial arts. In different phrases, whereas he by no means entered karate’s formal belt system, he’s its best dwelling ambassador (our declaration, not his).

“In the second film, in ‘Karate Kid: Part II,’ I had more time to train, so I got better at it,” he stated. “In the first one, I had a couple of weeks.”

“When we did this back in the day, we practiced it all day,” Macchio recalled. “It was a ballet. We barely touched each other.”

“I had a little bit of dance training as a kid, and these fight scenes are choreography, so I was decent at learning the choreography,” he instructed us. “And I had long, lanky limbs, so I had that sort of crane-pose kind of look … so I used that to my advantage.”

“As far as a technical fighter, I had a long way to go then and I have a long way to go now,” Macchio summed it up.

William Zabka as Johnny Lawrence
Zabka instructed us didn’t know any karate earlier than the unique “Karate Kid” film. Pat Johnson, the coach on the 1984 movie, rectified that actual fast.

Unlike Macchio, Zabka caught with the martial artwork type and made all of it the best way to a second-degree inexperienced belt (about halfway to black belt). Zabka’s coaching continued past the dojo, as Zabka ended up getting typecast a bit into different karate movies.

Zabka revealed he stored coaching and sparring on-and-off between then and now, although his renewed curiosity in karate truly extends past “Cobra Kai”; very like his onscreen son Robby, Zabka’s real-life youngsters are into martial arts.

Jacob Bertrand as Eli aka Hawk
Bertrand has extra expertise (each year on Earth, a minimum of) than his older co-stars. Having began karate at eight years previous, Bertrand superior to purple belt earlier than shifting on to different pursuits. That doesn’t imply he gave up fight sports activities — he switched as much as grappling coaching, which he did for 2 years. And then he found skateboarding.

Fortunately, “Cobra Kai” producers introduced him again to martial arts. Two months earlier than filming, producers set the youngsters up with non-public karate classes.

“We learned so much,” he stated. “We did so much training for the show.”

These days Bertrand is generally sustaining his stretch sport, although he desires to placed on a bunch of muscle for a possible third season.

Tanner Buchanan as Robby Keene
Before “Cobra Kai,” Buchanan discovered taekwondo “just as it seems most kids around the age of 10-12 do,” he instructed TheWrap. Not us, bro.

“I got a couple belts away from black and then quit because I was too busy,” Buchanan stated. “Then, before I booked ‘Cobra Kai’ I had been training Muay Thai for around eight months in Toronto, Canada, while I was filming ‘Designated Survivor.’”

As most teenagers do.

Xolo Maridueña as Miguel Diaz
Though Maridueña is the star of the present and the reigning All-Valley Karate Champion, he has just about the least karate expertise of any of them.

“To be quite honest, I had minimal experience when it came to karate,” he admitted. “I had taken a year or so of karate when I was very young. I never really got into it until booking the first season of ‘Cobra Kai.’”

“Now that we’ve filmed almost two seasons, I have more karate experience, but the majority of what we practice is stunts and boxing,” he stated. “I can say confidently that I’m extra snug doing these than conventional…

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