- Cobra Kai emphasizes character development and personal growth, but its action scenes are a major draw that instills nostalgia.
- The show uses fight sequences as a narrative device, paralleling Johnny and Daniel’s fights from Karate Kid to highlight their evolution.
- Cobra Kai features some of the strongest and most impressive karate moves in television history, showcasing the skills of its fighters.
In their slam-bang action scenes and uplifting training arcs, both Cobra Kai and Karate Kid feature some incredibly memorable karate moves – here is a breakdown of 10 of the strongest moves from the movies and the TV show. Cobra Kai emphasizes character development over everything else, exploring the struggles, redemption, and personal growth of legacy and new-generation characters. However, despite its focus on its character beats, Cobra Kai‘s primary appeal arguably comes from its action scenes.The series ingeniously uses its fight sequences as a narrative device to not only portray the transformations, conflicts, and inner battles of its main characters but also to instill nostalgia. For instance, every time Johnny and Daniel fight in Cobra Kai, the show parallelly features exciting callbacks to their Karate Kid fights, highlighting how their fighting skills have evolved, but their styles are still the same. Apart from that, Cobra Kai also ups the ante of Karate Kid‘s action by featuring some of the strongest and most impressive karate moves that have been seen in television history. Out of all the moves the Karate Kid franchise features, here is a rundown of some of the best ones.
10 Miguel’s Backflip Takedown
Kyler Park initially overpowers Miguel during Cobra Kai season 3’s climactic showdown. However, as Kyler Park aggressively punches Miguel’s ribs, Miguel gets an anime-esque flashback of everything he went through after his season 2 injury. With these flashbacks as fuel, Miguel starts fighting back against Kyler, only to get kicked to the ground again. But just when Kyler believes he has the upper hand in the fight and attempts to attack Miguel, Miguel kicks him in the face and takes him down with a backflip and punch combo. Miguel’s ability to perform the move despite having a back injury proves he is one of the best fighters on Cobra Kai‘s roster.
9 Hawk’s Leg Sweep
Drawing inspiration from Hawk’s transformation, Demetri joins the Cobra Kai dojo in season 2. However, when Kreese hits him on his first day of training, Demetri realizes that learning Cobra Kai karate may not have been a good idea. As a result, he joins Miyagi Do and drops a negative review for Cobra Kai on Yelp. When Hawk catches wind of his actions, he surrounds Demetri at a comic book store with his other Cobra Kai buddies. Demetri still tries to stand up to his bullies by boasting that he knows Miyagi Do karate. Unfortunately, he fails to defend himself when Hawk effortlessly takes him down with a kick to the chest followed by a smooth leg sweep.
8 Johnny Lawrence & Sam’s Flying Tornado Kick
After training in Miyagi Do almost throughout her Cobra Kai arc, Sam gives Johnny Lawrence’s methods a shot. While training under sensei Johnny, she hones her offense, soon realizing that Johnny’s Eagle Fang karate is a better fit for her. Putting her newfound skills on full display, she does the flying tornado kick against Tory during her All Valley final in season 4, while Johnny proudly tells Daniel that he taught her the move. In Cobra Kai season 5, Johnny, too, does the flying tornado kick during his showdown against Miguel’s father’s men, proving the move’s effectiveness.
7 Robby’s Wall Kick
In Cobra Kai season 5, Johnny takes it upon himself to end Miguel and Robby’s bad blood for good. Hoping that an all-out fight would finally help them channel their anger toward each other and bury their beef, Johnny asks them to duke it out. Although Robby initially holds himself back, recalling the outcome of his previous school showdown with Miguel, he steps on the pedal when Miguel kicks him in the face. With what follows, Robby throws a combination of punches before using a wall to drive the downward momentum for a hard kick to Miguel’s face. He ultimately loses his fight against Miguel but perfectly lands the wall kick, making it one of the strongest moves in Cobra Kai.
6 Mr. Miyagi’s Beer Bottle Chop
After returning from a beach training session in the first Karate Kid movie, Daniel and Mr. Miyagi find a group of men drinking beers, with their bottles set on Mr. Miyagi’s car. At first, Mr. Miyagi kindly asks them to take their bottles and leave. However, when they try ridiculing him, he karate-chops the tops off the beer bottles to show them what he is made of. Although Mr. Miyagi’s karate chop in the scene is a simple move, the speed and accuracy with which Mr. Miyagi breaks those bottles show his karate prowess, establishing that he is miles ahead of all other Karate Kid characters when it comes to karate mastery.
5 Miguel’s 540 Kick
While attempting the tornado kick during his semi-final All Valley bout against Hawk in Cobra Kai season 4, Miguel ends up hurting his back again. However, before he falls to the ground and decides to walk out of the tournament, he pulls off an impressive 540 kick against one of his previous opponents. Miguel’s ability to execute the complex kick in Cobra Kai season 4 shows how if it wasn’t for his injury, he might have made it to the tournament finals and even won it all over again.
4 Mr. Miyagi & Robby’s Double-Leg Handstand Kick
Although Daniel merely describes Mr. Miyagi’s double-leg handstand kick to Robby, Robby manages to execute it perfectly during his final All-Valley fight against Miguel in Cobra Kai season 1. Like Danny learns Mr. Miyagi’s crane kick purely through observation and practice, Robby shows his natural karate talent by adopting another complex Mr. Miyagi move. This proves that Robby has a lot in common with Daniel LaRusso and rightfully deserves to be called Cobra Kai‘s true “karate kid.“
3 Chozen’s Pressure Points Technique
When Chozen initially shows up in Cobra Kai season 3, he seems resentful toward Daniel and even remarks that he is surprised by how much Mr. Miyagi taught him. However, moments later, he catches Daniel off-guard by using a little-known Miyagi Do move to numb Daniel’s limbs. When Daniel asks him how he did it, he teaches him the pressure points technique. The technique comes in handy for Daniel towards the end of Cobra Kai season 3, where he uses it to disable Kreese and defeat him.
2 Terry’s Silver Bullet
Terry Silver’s “Silver Bullet” move is so deadly that it leaves an opponent gasping for air. While its ethicality in a professional brawl can be debatable, the move targets the solar plexus region of the body, which has a dense network of nerves. As seen in Cobra Kai season 5, one punch from Kenny to Hawk’s solar plexus is all it takes to send the All-Valley champion to the ground. The brutality of this move shows that although Terry Silver is a terrible coach and has no respect for karate rules, he can be a dangerous opponent in a street fight.
1 Daniel LaRusso’s Crane Kick
While Daniel LaRusso’s crane kick, which he learns from Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid, may not be as dangerous as some other karate moves in Cobra Kai, it ranks above others because of how iconic it has become. Not only did Daniel use it to land his first All-Valley win against Johnny Lawrence but also executed it again in Cobra Kai to overpower Terry Silver in season 5. In both Cobra Kai and Karate Kid, the crane kick serves as a symbol of Daniel’s transformation. While it represents his catharsis from an angry and self-destructive man to a self-composed Mr. Miyagi disciple in Cobra Kai, it shows how Daniel went from being an outsider to a champion fighter in Karate Kid.