Is Cobra Kai Better Than Karate Kid?

The Karate Kid movie franchise is one of the most popular martial arts movie series that has been around since its debut in 1984. Cobra Kai is a continuation of this franchise and is the latest edition that has taken the world by storm. This new show focuses on the lives of the main characters – Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence – 34 years after their last meeting in the All Valley Karate Tournament. In this article, we will explore whether Cobra Kai is better than The Karate Kid and provide you with strong evidence for our conclusion.

Character Development

One of the most significant differences between Cobra Kai and Karate Kid is the character development. Karate Kid focuses on the protagonist Daniel LaRusso, and his coming of age story, while Cobra Kai provides depth and backstory to supporting characters. Johnny Lawrence, for example, was considered to be the antagonist in Karate Kid but is now the protagonist in Cobra Kai. His character development is given the time it deserves, and we get to see why and how he became the person he is today.

The same can be said of other supporting characters such as Cobra Kai sensei John Kreese and the young generation of karate students. The show does a brilliant job of building and developing each of these characters, and gives them their own storyline.


The Karate Kid, released in 1984, had a simple storyline: a young teenager named Daniel LaRusso moves to a new town and gets bullied by a bunch of karate students. He then learns karate from Mr. Miyagi, and finally wins the All Valley Karate Tournament. It’s a classic tale that has been retold in different forms, but it does not provide many twists and turns.

Cobra Kai, on the other hand, provides a more complex and realistic storyline. It dives deeper into the very same world, building on existing characters and plotlines, and introducing new ones. The relationship between Johnny Lawrence and his protégé Miguel is an excellent example of this. It’s a father-son relationship that develops and evolves throughout the series, with Miguel being influenced by Johnny’s karate lesson and real-life lessons. Moreover, there are far more plotlines that come to fruition as the series progresses.


One of the most significant differences between Cobra Kai and Karate Kid is the portrayal of villains in each story. In the original Karate Kid film, the villains were pretty straightforward. They were nasty, one-dimensional characters who enjoyed causing trouble, especially to the new kid in town.

In Cobra Kai, villainy takes on a different form. The show does a fantastic job of creating nuanced, complex characters who you sympathize with. The antagonists in the show are not outright evil. They are flawed individuals dealing with their trauma and pain. One of the characters, Kreese, is an extreme example of a coercive personality, which is not delved into in the original movie.

Is Cobra Kai Better Than Karate Kid?


When the Netflix original series „Cobra Kai“ was released in 2019, it generated a lot of buzz among fans of the original „Karate Kid“ movies. The new series serves as a continuation of the movies, with the original stars Ralph Macchio and William Zabka reprising their roles as Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence, respectively. The series has been praised by many for its fresh take on the classic story, but also criticized by some for its departure from the original movies. This blog post aims to address the most frequently asked questions about whether or not „Cobra Kai“ is better than „Karate Kid.“


1. Is „Cobra Kai“ better than „Karate Kid“?

This question is subjective and ultimately depends on personal preference. „Karate Kid“ is a classic movie from the 1980s and is beloved by many. „Cobra Kai“ is a newer series that revisits the characters and story from the movies, but with a fresh perspective. Some argue that „Cobra Kai“ is better because of its modernized take on the story, while others argue that the original movie is unbeatable.

2. Is „Cobra Kai“ true to the original „Karate Kid“ movies?

„Cobra Kai“ pays homage to the original „Karate Kid“ movies in many ways, but it is not a direct replica. The series takes place 30 years after the events of the first movie and explores the characters‘ lives and relationships in a new way. While there are nods to the original movies in „Cobra Kai,“ the series also introduces new characters and plotlines, which may not sit well with those who are attached to the original story.

3. Is it necessary to have seen the original „Karate Kid“ movies to enjoy „Cobra Kai“?

While it is not necessary to have seen the original movies to enjoy „Cobra Kai,“ it will undoubtedly enhance your viewing experience. Many of the characters and plotlines in the series are directly tied to events from the movies. Having a knowledge and appreciation for the original story will give you a deeper understanding of the characters and their motivations.

4. Is „Cobra Kai“ appropriate for kids?

„Cobra Kai“ is rated TV-14 and is intended for a teenage and adult audience. The show depicts violence and contains mature themes and language that may not be suitable for young children. Parents should use their discretion when deciding whether or not to allow their children to watch the show.

5. Is „Cobra Kai“ better than the „Karate Kid“ remake?

Again, this question is subjective and depends on personal preference. The 2010 „Karate Kid“ movie starring Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan received mixed reviews from both fans and critics. Some argue that the remake failed to capture the spirit of the original movie, while others appreciated the updated take on the story. However, it is worth noting that „Cobra Kai“ is a continuation of the original story, while the 2010 movie is a standalone remake.

How to decide whether Cobra Kai is better than Karate Kid

Ever since the premiere of Cobra Kai in 2018, fans of the original Karate Kid movie have been debating whether the new series is better than its predecessor. With both having captured the hearts of millions, it’s important to distinguish the strengths and weaknesses of each. Here’s how to decide whether Cobra Kai is better than Karate Kid.

Step 1: Watch both Cobra Kai and Karate Kid

The first step in deciding whether Cobra Kai is better than Karate Kid is to watch both. While Karate Kid came out in 1984 and may be hard to find, it’s important to watch both in order to make a fair comparison. Make sure to watch Karate Kid and Cobra Kai from start to finish to really get a complete understanding of each franchise.

Step 2: Identify the Characters

After watching both, identify the characters that appear in the respective franchises. Is it easier to follow their stories and relate to them? Here’s a list of the main characters from each franchise to help:

  • Karate Kid
  • Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio)
  • Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita)
  • Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka)
  • Ali Mills (Elisabeth Shue)
  • Cobra Kai
  • Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka)
  • Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio)
  • Miguel Diaz (Xolo Maridueña)
  • Robbie Keene (Tanner Buchanan)

Take note of how the characters develop throughout each franchise and decide for yourself which are better developed and more relatable.

Step 3: Evaluate the plot

The plot is the story that connects each character and event of the franchise. Evaluating the plot is key when it comes to deciding which is better. Here’s a brief summary of the plot from each franchise

  • Karate Kid
  • After moving to a new town, Daniel LaRusso gets bullied by students from the local karate dojo. With the help of his martial arts mentor Mr. Miyagi, he learns karate and stands up for himself in a tournament against his opponents.
  • Cobra Kai
  • 30 years after the All-Valley Tournament, Johnny Lawrence attempts to resurrect the Cobra Kai dojo, leading to a rivalry with his former rival Daniel LaRusso.

It’s important to compare both franchise’s plot and decide which story is more engaging, impactful, and entertaining.

Step 4: Evaluate the music

Music plays an important part in any movie or series. Comparing the music of both franchises can help you decide which is better. Here are some of the most memorable tracks from each:

  • Karate Kid
  • „You’re the Best“ – Joe Esposito
  • „Cruel Summer“ – Bananarama
  • Cobra Kai
  • „No Shelter“ – Broken Edge
  • „Heart of the Valley“ – Leo Birenberg and Zach Robinson

Listen to both franchise’s music and decide which one establishes a better connection to its story and audience.

Step 5: Make a decision

After watching both Karate Kid and Cobra Kai, evaluating the characters, plot, and music, it is time to make a decision. Which franchise is better? While some may favor Karate Kid for being a classic, others may argue that Cobra Kai is a refreshing take on the franchise with new storylines and characters.


Answering the question of whether Cobra Kai is better than Karate Kid is not as simple as it may seem. A fair comparison needs to be made by watching both franchises, evaluating characters, plot, and music, and then making a decision. Regardless of which franchise you choose, both Karate Kid and Cobra Kai have been successful in capturing hearts and providing entertainment to their audiences.

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