Cobra Kai: William Zabka reveals what we suspected about fighting Ralph Macchio


The Karate Kid is one of the most definitive teen movies of the 1980s, an era filled with teen movies. Ralph Macchio played Daniel LaRusso, a new kid in town who learns karate from the wise Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita), which he uses to take down bullying members of the violent and shady Cobra Kai dojo. Leading the villains: Johnny Lawrence.

As portrayed by William Zabka, Johnny is the perfect example of an ’80s teen movie villain: rich, blonde, whiny, and pushing a weaker kid mostly for fun. Johnny gets what he deserves (via an expert crane kick from Daniel) at the All Valley Karate Tournament.

Cobra Kai has been teasing the latest rematch between Karate Kid rivals Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka). They had fights in the first three seasons, and the fourth is on the way. The actors say that the fight only gets harder. An interview with Zabka and Macchio was published on June 9. When asked about his training for Cobra Kai fights, William Zabka credited Macchio with hitting hard.

Macchio learned what he needed for the three Karate Kid movies. Cobra Kai started almost 30 years after The Karate Kid Part III, so Macchio again learned what he needed. Going into season 4, the actor touched on all three seasons of lessons. Getting older makes a difference especially when the interpreter was just over 20 years old when he starred in them, now he is 59.

“I knew it was coming, but I didn’t know at what level. It seems like they add more and more fights as we get older [laughs].”

“It takes a lot more stretching and preparation. We bruised our forearms and the next morning we were in makeup trailers asking to have our bruises covered.”

Cobra Kai’s fights include Season 2, when Daniel traps his (Mary Mouser) daughter at Johnny’s house with Robbie (Tanner Buchanan). They wrestled together in a garage at the beginning of Season 3.

“When I train with Ralph, I’m always amazed at how strong his blocks are,” Zabka said. “He has legitimate blocks. He feels like a baseball bat in my arms.”

While both the show and the movies were choreographed, the movies had a distinct advantage. William Zabka is in awe that Cobra Kai can pull off even bigger fights on TV.