A lot of fans might love the Netflix series Cobra Kai for its heavy dose of Karate Kid nostalgia. Others are enjoying watching the new storylines play out. One thing both groups of fans have in common, however, is enjoying those epic fight scenes the series has to offer.
The series has become known for its wild fight scenes. Whether that’s an all-out brawl in school hallways, or at an amusement center, or that’s a one-on-one match-up between two rivals struggling to play by the rules, Cobra Kai has a different fight scene for everyone. While some of the scenes seem chaotic, others are carefully controlled, but they all do a big part in serving the story, not just providing the audience with spectacle.
Updated on September 22nd, 2022 by Amanda Bruce: Each season of Cobra Kai adds in more spectacular fighters with new skills to up the show’s game. That’s certainly true in Season 5 as classic Karate Kid characters like Chozen and Mike Barnes join the mix. As the fight skills of the teens improve in each season, their fights also become all the more intricate, which means Season 5 brought some pretty epic battles to the show.
Warning: The following contains spoilers for Season 5 of Cobra Kai on Netflix.
Chozen Vs the Prospective Sensei
The big conflict of Season 5 is that Terry Silver plans to spread Cobra Kai’s violent philosophy all over the world by opening up more dojos as fast as he can. To do that, he needs sensei who will follow his particular style of karate with harsh punishments and superior fighting skills.
Silver decides to audition them all against one another, but when he discovers that Chozen is actually Daniel’s ally, he pits all of his potential sensei against Chozen instead. Much to his surprise, Chozen is able to take on all of them despite them all having very different styles, and come out the victor. It’s an impressive display of skill as Chozen proves that he is absolutely one of, if not the best, fighter in the series.
Daniel Vs Johnny At Miyagi-Do
The legendary Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence have their share of fights over decades of history. One of the more fun ones, however, is for the right to teach their combined sets of students in Season 4. With Miguel and Sam acting as judges, Daniel and Johnny fight behind the Miyagi-Do dojo with classic tournament rules.
Both parties use a lot of the same moves fans have seen from them over the years, but it really only showcases how evenly matched the two are despite their very different styles. They even land a final kick at the exact same time, tying the match, much to their students’ frustration as well as their own.
The Cobra Kai Bar Fight
Because the series relies heavily on nostalgia, there are a lot of characters from the movies who make appearances – most of them former members of the Cobra Kai dojo. Johnny gets to reunite with three of his former teammates in one emotional episode.
When the Cobras get together, it’s because one of them has a terminal illness and the others want to give him one last hurrah. They ride motorcycles, go camping, and spend time at a bar. It’s in that bar that the four reveal they aren’t that far removed from the hotheads they were in the 1980s. They get into a fight with several of the bar regulars, using their karate skills and various objects in their path to get the upper hand. It’s a brawl right out of an ’80s flick that fans can enjoy.
Robby Vs Miguel At The Apartments
Robby and Miguel have come to blows a few times in the series, but every time, they’ve had to retreat (or been injured), and the conflict between them just keeps building. In Season 5, Johnny decides enough is enough, and tells the two to fight out their problems at the apartment complex where they live.
What results is almost a recreation of their battle in the high school halls, except this time, with the two actually talking about their feelings while they trade blows. Johnny might get worried that they’re genuinely going to hurt one another at one point, but the audience can see how cathartic the fight is for them – and it shows how evenly matched they really are.
The Garage Fight
Over the course of three seasons, the series builds to Johnny and Daniel having no choice but to team up against a common enemy, but they do it long before they bring their dojos together. At the beginning of season 3, the two reluctantly join forces to search for Robby.
While on their search, their methods are clearly at odds, and that’s very evident when they get into a fight with the guys working in a chop shop. Johnny and Daniel employ completely different styles and argue with one another just as much as they back each other up during the fight, making it one of the most entertaining.
Sam Vs Tory At The All-Valley Tournament
Sam and Tory have a lot of conflict after Tory joins the show. Tory gets unjustly judged by Sam when they meet, and Sam ends up carrying around a lot of trauma for the things Tory does to her. While Tory starts trying to let certain things go in season 4, Sam can’t, and it’s inevitable that the two compete for the top women’s spot at the All Valley Tournament.
What’s great about the fight isn’t necessarily the skills they showcase as the audience has seen most of them. Instead, it’s how clean the fight is. Tory promised herself and Amanda LaRusso to follow the rules and to make sure Sam doesn’t get seriously injured, and she holds herself to that. It means the fight is less chaotic than some of the ones in the past, but it shows how much Tory has grown.
The Dojo Break-In
When the Miyagi-do and Eagle Fang kids decide that it’s finally time to take down Cobra Kai once and for all, they do it with Tory’s help as she gives them access to the Cobra Kai dojo in Season 5. The break-in, of course, is discovered, and the Cobra Kai students show up to get them to leave.
By this point in the show, the groups of teens on either side have doubled in number since that first brawl, so there are so many different fights to watch that the audience might want to replay the sequence again and again. It’s also gratifying to see the kids team up to “protect the egg” of Anthony and the laptop, a skill they learned at the start of the season, and for Devon and Tory to team up against the Cobra Kai sensei that has been torturing them all season.
Robby Vs Eli At The All-Valley Tournament
When he loses his mohawk, Eli loses his confidence, and he struggles to figure out just who he is when “Hawk” is no longer Cobra Kai. Despite that, he rallies for Eagle Fang and ends up in the finals at the All Valley Tournament, going up against Robby. It’s fitting since he’s one of the few people in the series to know all three styles of karate spotlighted.
Robby is widely considered by the characters to be the best fighter, but Eli is committed, and the two find themselves so evenly matched that points and out-of-bounds moments don’t matter. They run out the clock for their final fight, and it proves that Eli really is one of the strongest fighters in the series – as good as, if not better than, Robby.
The Golf N Stuff Matchup
Golf N Stuff is the amusement center to end all amusement centers. It’s also where Sam decides to lead her teammates to take on members of the Cobra Kai dojo, intent on putting on a show of force to stop Cobra Kai from coming after them.
Sam’s plan doesn’t work, which is part of what makes this fight so brilliant. Cobra Kai clearly has the upper hand as Sam’s PTSD is back in full force when Tory comes after her. It’s also the beginning of the end of Hawk. There are a few moments in the fight where he’s overwhelmed by what’s happening, but gives in – and breaks Demetri’s arm. It’s one of the most brutal altercations in the show to that point, but it’s also a pivotal fight for Sam, Eli, and Demetri’s arcs going forward.
Mike, Johnny, And Chozen Vs Silver And His Sensei
While the students are busy having their own all out brawl at the Cobra Kai dojo in Season 5, some of their teachers are also busy with a fight of their own. Chozen, Johnny, and Mike decide (without Daniel’s help) that they need to put an end to Silver’s reign of terror, and head to his home to teach him a lesson. Unfortunately, the three get more than they bargained for since most of the Cobra Kai sensei are also there.
Mike ends up out for most of the fight because of a blow to the head, but Chozen gets to battle Silver in a pretty epic matchup that leaves the audience worried for Chozen’s life. Johnny also finds an inner strength he didn’t know he had to take on multiple assailants. The audience already knows that Johnny can take a beating, but he’s on the verge of passing out completely when he gets a second wind and stands up to the other fighters for his family.
Johnny And Daniel Vs Kreese And Robby
Compared to many of the other group fight scenes in the series, this particular one is much shorter overall. It’s a big moment for the characters involved, however, as Robby finds himself wronged by his father (in his mind, again) and the man who’s been filling the father-figure void in his life.
When Johnny finds Kreese training Robby, he wants to put an end to it and completely cuts ties from Cobra Kai. Robby, still angry at the world, tries to fight Johnny, but Johnny refuses and continually blocks rather than engages. Of course, when Daniel arrives, he uses some of the new moves he’s learned from Chozen against Kreese as a way to prove his point. It ends with the former rivals realizing teaming up is a necessity.
The School Hallway Brawl
The school fight that comes near the end of Season 2 is the most memorable in the entire series. Though the students of Cobra Kai and Miyagi-Do continue to have conflict after this, it’s at this point that all of the rivalries really come to a head.
The entire fight is fueled by Tory’s anger at Sam, but when Tory goes after Sam, and Miguel and Robby try to intervene, the defending of their friends spreads throughout the members of both dojos. Former friends engage in an all-out brawl and the stakes for the series are raised as the kids are put in real danger by one another. The entire sequence looks like pure chaos as Hawk attacks Demetri, Robby knocks Miguel off the stairwell, and Tory leaves Sam with serious scars. It’s brutal.
Daniel Vs Chozen
This fight isn’t one of the most impressive in the series, but when Daniel and Chozen decide to spar in Japan, it definitely allows the audience of the original movies some closure.
Chozen, the violent villain ready to kill Daniel in the ’80s, has changed for the better. His moves are careful and controlled, and he matches Daniel in a fair fight, revealing previously unknown techniques taught to him by Mr. Miyagi. It’s a great full-circle moment for the character as he’s truly let go of the hate that used to drive him. With Chozen returning for Season 5, fans will be sure to see more of his style.
Daniel Vs Silver
When it was announced that Terry Silver would be the main antagonist for Season 5, the audience had to know that Daniel and Silver would come to blows at some point. While Kreese has been positioned as the show’s villain in the previous seasons, Silver really showed himself as a sinister planner in the fifth season.
A lot of the trauma that the show highlights concerning Daniel’s relationship with Cobra Kai can be traced back to Terry Silver. For the first time in the show, even Daniel’s wife Amanda encourages him to fight. She knows that Daniel needs to find a way to physically battle his trauma. It’s cathartic for Daniel, but also for the audience after all of the buildup to the show down.
Miyagi-Do And Eagle Fang VS Cobra Kai
Like Golf N Stuff and the high school, the LaRusso residence becomes the site of an all-out brawl at the end of Season 3. Cobra Kai decides to retaliate when they learn of the possibility of the two other dojos joining forces. This really continues the rivalries the audience has already seen up, like Tory and Sam going head to head, but it also emphasizes Hawk’s character return to Eli.
One of the best moments of the fight actually comes from Hawk witnessing his Cobra Kai teammates ready to break Demetri’s arm again, and he doesn’t let it happen. Instead, he defends the friend he’s spent months tormenting and teams up with him to help stop Cobra Kai. It’s another massive fight that signals character growth.