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  • - Yeah, yeah, you don't want that, Huey?

  • You want me to come across

  • with a nice roundhouse on the floor?

  • It takes me me six hours to warm up.

  • [crash]

  • [punches]

  • - Dad, stop!

  • - Hi, I'm Ralph Macchio,

  • and I'm here to explain everything you need to know

  • for the next season of Cobra Kai.

  • Daniel LaRusso is the protagonist

  • from the original Karate Kid films.

  • He and his mom moved from Newark, New Jersey

  • out to Reseda, California.

  • He'd befriended a maintenance man

  • by the name of Mr. Miyagi,

  • who taught him martial arts.

  • He needed that because he was being bullied

  • by his nemesis, Johnny Lawrence.

  • Johnny Lawrence was the ultimate bully

  • in the Karate Kid film.

  • He would pummel Daniel LaRusso any chance he got.

  • He struck first, struck hard, with no mercy.

  • - [Group] Strike first, strike hard, no mercy sir.

  • - I can't hear you.

  • - [Group] Strike first, strike hard, no mercy sir.

  • - And he and Daniel LaRusso met

  • at the All Valley Under-18 karate tournament,

  • for the ultimate showdown martial art battle,

  • which I won, Daniel LaRusso.

  • The Cobra Kai series really kicks off

  • when Johnny saves a Miguel Diaz from a group of bullies,

  • and it's kind of ironic in our story,

  • because Johnny being the ultimate bully,

  • back in the day, is now kind of flipping the script on that.

  • So for the past 30 years,

  • Johnny Lawrence has been going further and further downhill.

  • Ironically, the crane kick to the face

  • that happened in 1984 was probably the best thing

  • that happened to Johnny in the last 30 years,

  • that's how tough it's been for him

  • as he's tried to find his way through his adult life,

  • and he has spiraled further and further down,

  • and now he's at a low point

  • in which this kid Miguel Diaz comes into his life

  • and actually is the spark that motivates him

  • to get his crap together.

  • Miguel Diaz is what we call our millennial Daniel LaRusso

  • in the Cobra Kai series.

  • He is a fatherless kid with a single mom,

  • trying to fit in, not necessarily well liked in school.

  • Miguel winds up being somewhat of a thorn in Johnny's side.

  • Johnny wants to be left alone, to just have his life,

  • and wallow in his own misery,

  • and this kid, this nagging, questioning kid in Miguel Diaz,

  • keeps coming along, looking for answers,

  • and Lawrence can't help but take action.

  • Johnny does become a bit of a mentor to Miguel.

  • The difference is, he is unorthodox

  • in all his ways of teaching.

  • He is politically incorrect.

  • One of my favorite beats is when Miguel asks

  • how should he clean the windows at the dojo,

  • - No, I don't give a [beep].

  • - and that's the exact opposite

  • of the way Daniel LaRusso was taught.

  • - Wax on, right hand make circle.

  • Wax off, left hand circle.

  • - There's always that spin,

  • the teachings in Miyagi-Do,

  • versus the Cobra Kai line of thinking,

  • which is what Johnny Lawrence has grown up with.

  • Johnny Lawrence.

  • - Hey man.

  • - Well, you still got those golden locks, hey?

  • So the first time Johnny and Daniel see each other

  • after 34 years time is at Daniel's auto dealership,

  • when Johnny is coming to get his car

  • which was just in an accident.

  • - Oh, this is the guy whose ass you kicked.

  • - Listen, it was a really close match,

  • but if you want to get technical, I kicked his face.

  • [laughter]

  • I'm just busting your chops.

  • Daniel's all successful, happily ever after,

  • Johnny is down and out on his luck.

  • Johnny has a totally different perspective of LaRusso,

  • who's been haunting him

  • on auto dealership billboards and commercials.

  • For LaRusso, this is just a blast from the past,

  • even though this guy beat the crap out of him

  • like 10 times when he was 17 years old.

  • So this scene is one of my favorites,

  • because of all the perspectives,

  • and how different they are at that moment.

  • You know, there's such a chemistry

  • between Billy Zabka and myself

  • that I always felt was there,

  • but never to the level after having 34 years

  • of life lived as the actors,

  • and also as these characters.

  • Stepping in those shoes, with all that time gone,

  • it was like yesterday times 10.

  • All the energy, and what was underneath,

  • because we both lived and walked

  • in the shoes of these characters through the films,

  • and in life and pop culture,

  • that we had so much going in,

  • that it just amped up that sort of level

  • of chemistry and rivalry from the get-go.

  • This guy really had it in for me.

  • - Yeah, well you did move in on my girl.

  • - Well, she actually wasn't

  • really your girl anymore, was she?

  • In the early part of Cobra Kai season one,

  • Daniel is sort of the antagonist for Johnny Lawrence,

  • because we are entering the world

  • through Johnny's eyes, and LaRusso, in his defense,

  • when Johnny comes in for the car,

  • he offers to take care of it, he offers to pay for it,

  • he is doing good, but he can't help himself

  • with his sort of cocky East coast-ness,

  • but I think that adds to the longevity

  • and the depth of the Cobra Kai series.

  • That ignites something in Johnny Lawrence's brain,

  • and he goes back to Miguel, and Miguel says,

  • "Are you gonna be my karate teacher?"

  • And it pushes into a closeup,

  • and Johnny Lawrence says, "No, I'm gonna be your sensei."

  • And hence, this begins the passionate drive

  • of Johnny Lawrence to get his life together,

  • to carry forth the legacy of Cobra Kai

  • in the San Fernando Valley,

  • which is gonna be a problem.

  • [punches]

  • Amanda LaRusso, she is Daniel LaRusso's wife

  • and partner in their LaRusso auto dealership empire.

  • - What do you say we let Anthony play with his thing,

  • and you and I get a couple drinks.

  • - Dirty martinis?

  • - Yes, ice, ice cold.

  • - Perfect.

  • She is supportive, she is grounded,

  • she is the voice of reason

  • to Daniel LaRusso's knee jerk temper,

  • and they balance each other, if you will.

  • - Holy [beep] Sam, that was amazing.

  • - Sensei Sam.

  • - Who is Samantha LaRusso?

  • She is Daniel LaRusso's daughter, his pride and joy.

  • They have a great, great close relationship,

  • and she is going through her own struggles,

  • not unlike what her father went through back in 1984.

  • There's a connection to martial arts,

  • as Samantha trained when she was young,

  • but then abandoned it, and is now getting back into it.

  • It's a big part of our story.

  • This is actually the first scene I shot With William Zabka.

  • This is when Daniel goes to the dojo

  • to confront Johnny Lawrence after learning

  • that Tyler, Samantha's boyfriend,

  • receives injuries from Johnny Lawrence in the fight

  • outside the mini mart.

  • It's a great standoff scene.

  • It sort of sets up the rivalry, and where it's going,

  • and lays down the line in the sand

  • from LaRusso's perspective of you cannot put forth

  • this negative form of martial arts, and open this up.

  • I mean, it really is the kryptonite.

  • He cannot allow the contamination of Cobra Kai

  • in the San Fernando Valley.

  • The big pivotal turning point

  • in the middle of the first season

  • is a scene that takes place in the lunchroom,

  • when Kyler embarrasses Samantha, Miguel stands up for her,

  • and attacks him and his friends,

  • defeating them all in an impressive display,

  • and gaining Samantha's respect.

  • Kids record the fight and it goes viral,

  • and then it prompts all these kids

  • to then sign up for Cobra Kai,

  • and make it bigger, better, and more popular,

  • which turns out to be the worst case scenario

  • for Daniel LaRusso, but in any event,

  • you see Miguel take the teachings of Johnny Lawrence

  • and carry it forward into that generation.

  • - No need fight anymore.

  • You prove a point.

  • - What point, that I can take a beating?

  • I mean every time I see those guys again,

  • they're gonna know they got the best of me.

  • Miyagi was the grounding force.

  • Miyagi would always take LaRusso,

  • and bring him back to the center, you know?

  • He would always offer those simple teachings

  • that seemed so clear to a young student.

  • You know, I always say, just because you have knowledge

  • of a subject, doesn't necessarily mean you can teach it,

  • and Miyagi was a master at that,

  • and he knew where LaRusso was going,

  • even before LaRusso did.

  • So he is a big void in Daniel LaRusso's life

  • without Mr. Miyagi there for that guidance.

  • - Choose.

  • - Oh no, no.

  • - Ah, hey!

  • Hurt old man feelings.

  • - At a pivotal point in the middle of season one,

  • when Daniel LaRusso is completely off focus

  • and off the rails as far as his perspective,

  • he pays a visit to Mr. Miyagi's grave,

  • and there is a scene that sort of realigns his mind,

  • in finding his balance,

  • and he heads back to his house, and his home dojo,

  • and rebuilds it, and begins training again,

  • to not allow Cobra Kai

  • to contaminate the San Fernando Valley.

  • Putting the headband back on after 30-something years

  • was one of those special moments.

  • We made it like a religious moment for LaRusso,

  • and it felt powerful in its way,

  • because the headband was something

  • that became more and more famous and prevalent over time,

  • and for LaRusso it meant training,

  • and he hadn't done it in a while,

  • and to put that back on,

  • it was like a piece of youth back on his head.

  • Johnny's estranged son is Robbie Keene,

  • and he begins working at Daniel's auto dealership,

  • and then begins training in martial arts with LaRusso,

  • Unbeknownst to LaRusso that he is Johnny Lawrence's son,

  • so in essence, a piece of the dark side is in LaRusso's lap.

  • Even though he's taken this kid under his wing,

  • Cobra Kai does that so well.

  • We interlock characters in different directions,

  • from different prisms and perspectives,

  • and in this case it's one of the richest story points

  • in season one, that Johnny Lawrence's own kid

  • is training in Miyagi-Do's style with Daniel LaRusso.

  • The plot thickens.

  • So after Daniel and Johnny reconcile in episode nine,

  • what happens is they go back to LaRusso's house,

  • and they run into Robbie,

  • who as I mentioned is Johnny's estranged son.

  • Johnny had no idea that LaRusso was training Robby.

  • Daniel has no idea that Robbie is Johnny's son.

  • Fireworks.

  • What the hell is wrong with you?

  • - What the hell is wrong with you?

  • - I mean, it was just, what, what?

  • Their rivalry is