Guest Writer: Bill Coffin
Hurwitz & Schlossberg Productions
Sony Pictures Television
The Karate Kid was one of those immortal movies of the 80s that featured Ralph Macchio as Danny LaRusso, a kid who runs afoul of a gang of local karate punks, led by the sneering and skillful Johnny Lawrence—the top student at the local Cobra Kai dojo, led by sensei John Kreese, a walking transgression against everything the martial arts is supposed to teach you. Bullied mercilessly, Danny is rescued by the elderly Mr. Miyagi , who agrees to teach Danny karate…at first to defend himself, and later, to discover who he really is.
We all know how the Karate Kid goes. It’s more than a movie, it’s a defining moment of the 80s that launched things like “wax on, wax off” and “sweep the leg” into the pop culture vernacular to such a degree that any martial arts student who enthuses about his or her hobby publicly simply cannot do so without hearing Mr. Miyagi quoted back at him.
Despite its sequels, the only moment that really works out of any of them is very early in the second movie, moments after the triumph that ends the first, when Miyagi personally defeats Kreese, and we see what will become inevitable, the guy’s entire dojo will collapse. After all, there isn’t much business to be had in teaching your students to be merciless bruisers when your entire class gets taken out at tournament by some scrawny kid who learned by painting fences.
But what happened to the students? Sure, Kreese was a creep but the kids he taught were cut loose by their failed teacher. Many of them probably forgot about karate, and walked varying paths afterward. But Johnny stands out. The kid was a villainous prodigy. Surely he couldn’t let go of his humiliation, right? Well, now we find out in this trailer for Cobra Kai, in which he re-opens his old dojo and draws our Danny once more. This time, as adults, their rivalry will continue. And this time, there will be no grown-ups to get in their way. Hajime!