- Bobby from The Karate Kid may be the underdog in a rematch with Daniel in Cobra Kai season 6 due to his lack of active training.
- Johnny and Daniel’s fights in Cobra Kai have resulted in ties, indicating that neither character has overtaken the other in terms of skill.
- Chozen, a skilled fighter who defeated Daniel in Cobra Kai season 3, is unlikely to be surpassed by Daniel in a potential rematch in season 6.
Several matchups in The Karate Kid trilogy could turn out quite differently if they were to happen in Cobra Kai season 6. Given how many years have passed, it’s not surprising that a number of the key characters associated with the original franchise aren’t the same fighters they were 30 years ago. For better or worse, they’ve all changed.
Not only that, but the differences extend far beyond the massive time gap between the three movies and the start of Cobra Kai. After all, it shouldn’t be forgotten that many Karate Kid characters have gone through changes during the show’s lifetime. It’s not just the kids who have been learning new things and growing from their experiences, as the adults have progressed as well. For that reason, Karate Kid rematches that already occurred in Cobra Kai could still have different outcomes if they take place in the show’s remaining episodes. Here’s how six classic matchups from the original movies might end if they happened now.
5 Daniel vs. Bobby
Save for Dutch, Cobra Kai impressively brought back each member of Johnny’s gang from the first Karate Kid movie. Their one-night outing and barroom brawl in season 2 proved that they can still fight effectively. However, they’re no longer actively training. Bobby appears to have settled into the quiet life of a pastor and likely has little time for training, hence why he’d be the underdog if he ever sparred with Daniel again. In The Karate Kid, it was Bobby that famously faced Daniel in the quarterfinals and injured him on Kreese’s orders before ultimately losing. Bobby lost faith in Kreese after that and left Cobra Kai, but had he stayed on this path, a rematch might have been feasible.
4 Johnny vs. Daniel
Johnny has already had multiple chances to avenge his loss in The Karate Kid, but has come up short each time. However, that’s not to say he’s been beaten. To the contrary, Johnny has proved himself to be Daniel’s equal now. Taking place in Cobra Kai season 4, their last fight was declared a tie, much to the chagrin of both characters. Daniel arguably improved greatly in season 5, as evidenced by the character losing to Terry Silver and then beating him in the finale. But since Johnny experienced a similar upgrade when he took down Silver’s highly trained senseis, there’s a good chance that neither character has overtaken the other.
As things stand, there’s no reason for Johnny and Daniel to come to blows. They’ve moved past their rivalry and have had their interests aligned for quite some time now. That said, Johnny and Daniel’s dynamic has always been at the center of Cobra Kai’s story. With that in mind, another rematch between them – whether it be a friendly sparring match or something else entirely – shouldn’t be ruled out altogether. But it delivering a different result than Cobra Kai season 4 is difficult to imagine.
3 Johnny vs. Kreese
In The Karate Kid Part II, a teenage Johnny got into a scuffle with Kreese, who naturally overpowered him with ease and almost killed him. Understandably, Johnny was helpless against Kreese until Mr. Miyagi intervened. As Cobra Kai demonstrated in season 2, Johnny is now capable of holding his own against his former mentor – and more. The two were nearly evenly matched during their fights, with Johnny having the slight edge in both their season 2 and season 3 fights. Johnny would have won in season 3, but only lost because of Robby’s interference.
Considering how close their fights were, it’s likely that Kreese is the better fighter, but his advancing age holds him back too much for him to win. Normally, this wouldn’t bode well for Kreese’s chances if they fight in season 6, but it’s important to note that Kreese still had Johnny’s interests at heart when they fought earlier, as he had hoped to bring Johnny back into Cobra Kai. But season 5 is hinting that Kreese has overcome his perceived “weakness” for Johnny, meaning he may be more ruthless than ever. If so, Kreese could be the winner of their next fight if and when he comes looking for revenge.
2 Daniel vs. Chozen
Daniel defeated Chozen in The Karate Kid Part II, but as Cobra Kai season 3 confirmed, Chozen has come quite far since their first meeting in the 1980s. Whereas Daniel took a prolonged break from training, Chozen devoted his life to martial arts, bettering himself as a fighter and staying in shape throughout the years. Because of that, Chozen was able to dispatch Daniel with relative ease in season 3. Due to everything he’s been through and the training he’s endured as of late, Daniel’s skills have seen some degree of improvement. Even so, it’s unlikely that he’s surpassed Chozen, a fighter so skilled that he took down Silver while drunk.
1 Daniel vs. Mike Barnes
During the second All-Valley Karate Tournament in The Karate Kid Part III, it was evident that Daniel’s opponent – Mike Barnes – was the better fighter. He was stronger, faster, and arguably more skilled. As “the Bad Boy of Karate,” Barnes was a karate prodigy and a national champion, so it made sense that Daniel was inferior. In any case, Daniel still won – but only because Mike Barnes followed a flawed strategy given to him by Terry Silver. Based on the gains Daniel has made since those days, it’d be easy to assume that Daniel could win by his own merits in the present day. But, Mike Barnes’ return to the franchise in Cobra Kai season 5 cast doubt on that.
In his first onscreen fight since the 1989 movie, Mike Barnes went toe-to-toe with Chozen, matching the Karate Kid Part II villain blow for blow. The fight didn’t last long enough for a winner to be determined, but just the notion that it was close at all is a testament to Mike Barnes’ capabilities. Clearly, he’s still every bit the martial arts expert was in the third movie. Being able to fight evenly with Chozen says a lot about his prowess, especially since Daniel went down much easier in season 3. All things considered, if anything were to prompt a rematch between the two former enemies in Cobra Kai season 6, Mike Barnes may very well rectify his loss in the All-Valley all those years ago.