What Style of Karate Does Cobra Kai Use?

If you’re a fan of martial arts, there’s a high chance that you’ve watched Cobra Kai. The wildly popular Netflix series is a continuation of the Karate Kid franchise, picking up decades after the original 1984 movie left off. It’s a treat for fans of the franchise, as well as newcomers looking for some exhilarating action-driven entertainment.

One question on the minds of many viewers is what kind of karate is practiced in the show, especially with each dojo having its own unique style. Let’s dive in and uncover the answer.

The Dojos in Cobra Kai

Cobra Kai has two main dojos: the titular Cobra Kai dojo and the Miyagi-Do dojo. Each of these dojos has their own distinctive style of karate, and they’re rooted in the philosophies of the teachers who lead them.

Cobra Kai Dojo

The Cobra Kai dojo, led by Sensei John Kreese and later by Johnny Lawrence, follows a style of karate known as Okinawan Karate. This style is also known as Goju-Ryu, which was founded by Miyagi Chojun in the early 1900s.

Goju-Ryu means „hard-soft style,“ and this refers to the combination of linear and circular movements. Goju-Ryu karate practitioners believe in the concept of „hard and soft.“ In other words, they use both forceful and flowing techniques in their fighting style. With this combination, a Goju-Ryu karateka can quickly switch between defensive and offensive tactics.

The Cobra Kai dojo makes use of many steep punches, high knee strikes, and kicks to the legs. Footwork plays a crucial role, and karatekas are taught to respond quickly and instinctually in any situation. The philosophy of the Cobra Kai dojo emphasizes aggression as a necessary component of fighting.

Miyagi-Do Dojo

The Miyagi-Do dojo, led by Daniel LaRusso, practices a style of karate known as Shotokan. This style was founded by Gichin Funakoshi in Okinawa, Japan, in the early 20th century.

Shotokan karate is characterized by its long, deep stances, and powerful movements. It emphasizes developing perfect form and precision in all movements. The style’s offensive techniques primarily include long-range kicks and strikes. Defense is handled mostly by evading, blocking, and countering.

One of the hallmarks of Miyagi-Do karate is the focus on balance and relaxation. This approach incorporates breathing, meditation, and developing a deep mind-body connection. Miyagi-Do students are encouraged to be honorable and compassionate in their dealings, and the philosophy of the dojo stresses the importance of mental and spiritual growth.

What Style is Best for You?

It’s important to remember that every style of karate has its own unique strengths and weaknesses. The Cobra Kai’s Okinawan Karate is perfect for someone looking for an aggressive style that emphasizes offense. On the other hand, Shotokan karate, as practiced in Miyagi-Do, is perfect for those looking for a defensive style that emphasizes precision and form.

Ultimately, the best karate style for you will depend on your goals, body type, and fitness level. Taking the time to research and understand the various styles will help you make an informed decision about what works best for you.

The Style of Karate Used in Cobra Kai: Frequently Asked Questions

Cobra Kai is a popular American martial arts comedy-drama series that premiered in 2018. It’s a sequel to the original Karate Kid movies, which were released in the 1980s. The show follows the story of Johnny Lawrence, the main antagonist from the first movie, who reopens the Cobra Kai dojo after decades to train a new generation of karate students. As the show gained popularity, many people have been asking what style of karate does Cobra Kai use. In this blog post, we’re going to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the karate style used in Cobra Kai.

What Style of Karate is Featured in Cobra Kai?

The style of karate featured in Cobra Kai is a fictional hybrid form of Okinawan karate created specifically for the show. According to the show’s creators, the karate style was designed to be a mix of various disciplines that Johnny learned during his younger days studying under Sensei Kreese. The karate used in the show borrows elements from Kyokushin karate, Tang Soo Do, and Shotokan karate. The show’s creators wanted to create a unique and original martial arts style that could fit the show’s narrative.

Is the Karate Used in Cobra Kai Real?

While the karate style used in Cobra Kai is fictional and created solely for the show, it does combine real-world martial arts techniques and moves. The show’s creators hired professional martial arts choreographers who have experience in various disciplines to create the fight scenes. The actors themselves also underwent intensive martial arts training to be able to perform the fight scenes realistically. So, while the karate used in Cobra Kai is not a real-world karate style, the moves and techniques used are based on real martial arts styles.

Who Teaches the Karate on the Show?

The karate on the show is taught by a number of different characters, including Johnny Lawrence, who is the main karate instructor at the Cobra Kai dojo. Other characters who teach karate on the show include Daniel LaRusso, the protagonist from the original Karate Kid movies, and his daughter Samantha. The show also features other karate instructors who teach at rival dojos, including Kreese’s Cobra Kai and Miyagi-Do, which was founded by Daniel LaRusso.

Is Cobra Kai Karate Effective in Real-Life Self-Defense Situations?

While the karate style used in Cobra Kai is fictional, the real martial arts techniques and moves used in the show are effective in real-life self-defense situations. The show’s fight choreographers and actors put a lot of time and effort into making the fight scenes look realistic, and the moves used are based on real-world martial arts. However, it’s important to note that the karate used in the show is just one aspect of self-defense. Other factors, such as situational awareness and physical fitness, are equally important when it comes to self-defense.

What Are Some of the Key Techniques Taught in Cobra Kai Karate?

The karate used in Cobra Kai features a mix of techniques from various styles, including Kyokushin karate, Tang Soo Do, and Shotokan karate. Some of the key techniques taught in Cobra Kai karate include kicks, punches, strikes, blocks, and throws. One of the signature moves of Cobra Kai karate is the „cobra strike,“ which involves a quick and powerful punch aimed at the opponent’s head or chest. Other techniques, such as kicks to the legs or arm, are also emphasized in the show.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the karate used in Cobra Kai is a fictional hybrid form of Okinawan karate that was created specifically for the show. The show’s fight scenes are choreographed by professional martial arts choreographers, and the actors themselves undergo intensive martial arts training to perform the scenes realistically. While the karate used in the show is not a real-world karate style, the moves and techniques used are based on real martial arts styles and are effective in real-life self-defense situations.

How to Identify the Style of Karate Used in Cobra Kai

If you’re a fan of martial arts, you’ve probably already binge-watched Cobra Kai on Netflix. The series features various martial arts techniques, but have you ever wondered what style of karate the characters are practicing? In this guide, we’ll explore the style of karate used in Cobra Kai and how you can identify it.

Step 1: Understand the Background of Cobra Kai

Cobra Kai is a sequel to the iconic 1980s movie ‚The Karate Kid‘. The series rejoins the original characters after thirty-four years, following the reopening of the Cobra Kai dojo. Throughout the show, multiple styles of martial arts are featured, but the primary style is that of the Cobra Kai dojo.

Step 2: Analyze the Fighting Techniques in Cobra Kai

The show features a combination of differents styles of karate, but the techniques used predominantly in Cobra Kai are those of Tang Soo Do and Kyokushin Karate. Both of these styles emphasize power and striking techniques, with Tang Soo Do focusing on kicks, while Kyokushin Karate emphasizes full-contact sparring.

Step 3: Look for Key Distinctions Between Styles

The Karate used in Cobra Kai has a distinct style, and it’s essential to understand its key features. Here are some things to look out for when trying to identify the style used in the show.


The distinctive stance used in Cobra Kai is influenced by the famous crane kick from ‚The Karate Kid.‘ The crane kick, while not explicitly part of any style, is a martial arts staple popularized by the movie. The Cobra Kai dojo adopted the crane kick into their techniques and incorporated it into their stance. The stance features a narrow stance with a high guard, perfect for delivering kicks and punches.


Cobra Kai karate features a lot of linear and straightforward movements between techniques, which is a standard hallmark of Kyokushin karate. The show also features several leg sweeps, roundhouse kicks, and punches that look like they come from Tang Soo Do.


The Cobra Kai style heavily focuses on strikes and power, with their moves focusing on hitting vulnerable areas of the body. Similar to Kyokushin Karate, the attacks are full-contact, meaning they’re designed to cause significant damage on impact. The show also uses the traditional belt color system with black belt being the highest level.

Step 4: Learn from the Experts

A great way to understand martial arts and its different styles is to study under a martial arts master. If you want to improve your knowledge of Cobra Kai karate, consider attending a Tang Soo Do or Kyokushin Karate school near you. These experts can show you the techniques featured in the show and teach you the skills you need to perform them effectively.

Final Thoughts

With these steps, you can now identify the style of karate used in the popular television show Cobra Kai. Remember that this is just a guide, and there could be other styles featured in the show. Nonetheless, Tang Soo Do and Kyokushin Karate are the primary martial arts featured in Cobra Kai, and with practice, you can learn and incorporate them into your own martial arts routine. With time and dedication, you can master the Cobra Kai style and become the ultimate martial artist!

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