What Style of Karate is Cobra Kai?

Cobra Kai is a popular American martial arts comedy-drama streaming television series. It has caught the attention of millions of people globally and has become a sensation since it was released in May 2018. The show’s title „Cobra Kai“ has been derived from the name of the fictional karate studio that is headed by the show’s antagonist character, Johnny Lawrence. The show is a nostalgic throwback to the 1980s with its focus on karate training and competition.

One of the most asked questions by people who watch the show is what style of karate is Cobra Kai? Many people are curious about the martial art form that the fictional characters train and compete in. In this blog post, we will explore the answer to that question and provide some background information on the style of karate that is shown in Cobra Kai.

The Style of Karate in Cobra Kai

Cobra Kai’s style of karate is a fictional style that was created by the creators of the show. The style has been inspired by the martial arts used in the original Karate Kid movies, but it is not specifically based on any traditional martial art form. The show’s creators have stated that the style is a fusion of various martial arts, including Karate, Kung Fu, and other styles.

The show’s fight choreographer, Hiro Koda, has stated that the fight scenes in Cobra Kai are a blend of many different styles of martial arts, including Karate, Kung Fu, and American Kenpo. American Kenpo is a modern street-fighting style that was founded by Ed Parker in the 1950s. The style emphasizes fast strikes, powerful kicks, and fluid movement.

The Karate Kid Connection

Cobra Kai is a sequel to the original Karate Kid movies that were released in the 1980s. The show’s creators have tried their best to tie the show to the movies in every possible way. The original movies featured traditional Okinawan karate known as Goju-Ryu. However, Cobra Kai’s showrunners have stated that the style in the show has been updated to fit the current times.

As the show takes place 34 years after the original Karate Kid movie, the producers needed to update the style to reflect today’s modern martial arts. In the show, the lead character Johnny Lawrence is shown teaching his students how to fight with a more aggressive and brutal style that is not based on any traditional martial art form.

The Influence of MMA

Cobra Kai has been influenced by Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and its growing popularity worldwide. MMA is a combat sport that combines various martial art disciplines to create a unique style of fighting. The popularity of MMA has influenced many martial art styles worldwide, and Cobra Kai is not an exception.

The creators of the show have stated that they wanted to make the choreography for the fights in the show more realistic and less theatrical, just like what is seen in MMA. Therefore, they put a lot of effort into making the fight scenes look believable by adding grappling, takedowns, and other techniques that are commonly used in MMA.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, Cobra Kai is not based on any specific traditional style of karate. It is a fictional style that has been created specifically for the show that is a fusion of various martial arts. The show’s creators have tried their best to make the fight scenes as realistic as possible while still keeping with the Karate Kid legacy. The style shown in Cobra Kai has been updated and influenced by modern combat sports like MMA to fit the current times.


With the release of the hit series „Cobra Kai“ on Netflix, the martial art of karate has once again become a topic of interest. One of the most frequently asked questions by viewers of the series is, „What style of karate is used in Cobra Kai?“ In this blog post, we will explore the answer to this question and provide a detailed explanation of the style of karate used by the characters in the show.

What is Cobra Kai?

Cobra Kai is a television series that picks up 30 years after the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament that was featured in the classic film, The Karate Kid. The show follows the life of Johnny Lawrence, a former high school bully, who reopens the Cobra Kai karate dojo and begins training a new generation of students.

What style of karate is used in Cobra Kai?

The style of karate used in Cobra Kai is a fictional style that was created specifically for the show. It is known as „Cobra Kai karate,“ and it is a blend of various martial arts styles, including traditional Shotokan karate, Okinawan karate, Chinese martial arts, and kickboxing.

How is Cobra Kai karate different from other styles of karate?

Cobra Kai karate is a unique hybrid style that incorporates elements of various martial arts forms. One of the key differences between Cobra Kai karate and traditional styles of karate is the emphasis on aggressive and offensive techniques. In traditional karate, the emphasis is on self-defense, with a focus on defense and counter-attacks. However, in Cobra Kai karate, the focus is on offense, with the goal of overpowering and defeating the opponent.

Is Cobra Kai karate a real style of karate?

No, Cobra Kai karate is not a real style of karate. It was created specifically for the show as a way to pay homage to the classic Karate Kid film while at the same time creating a new, unique style of martial arts for the characters in the show to practice and demonstrate.

What elements from traditional karate are incorporated into Cobra Kai karate?

While Cobra Kai karate is a unique style of martial arts created for the show, it does incorporate elements from traditional karate. Some of these elements include traditional techniques such as punches, kicks, and blocks, as well as training methods such as katas (forms) and sparring. However, Cobra Kai karate places a greater emphasis on striking techniques and aggressive, offensive moves compared to traditional karate.

What is Cobra Kai?

Cobra Kai is a martial arts web television series that has been popular since it premiered on YouTube Red in May 2018. It is a continuation of the iconic Karate Kid movie franchise that began in 1984. The series follows the story of the protagonist, Johnny Lawrence, who reopens the Cobra Kai dojo and starts training a new generation of students. The show has gained a lot of attention for its compelling storylines and realistic portrayal of karate.

What style of karate is used in Cobra Kai?

Cobra Kai primarily focuses on the style of martial arts known as Tang Soo Do. This style of karate was founded in Korea in the 1940s by Grandmaster Hwang Kee. It is known for its powerful kicks and strikes, as well as its emphasis on mental and physical discipline. Tang Soo Do has also been incorporated into other martial arts styles, such as Taekwondo and Hapkido.

In addition to Tang Soo Do, Cobra Kai also features elements of Shotokan karate. This is a traditional Japanese style of karate that was founded by Master Gichin Funakoshi in the early 20th century. Shotokan karate places a strong emphasis on kata, which are pre-arranged forms that help students develop technique and discipline.

How does Tang Soo Do differ from other styles of karate?

Tang Soo Do is unique in its approach to teaching martial arts. Unlike other styles of karate that place a strong emphasis on competition and winning, Tang Soo Do focuses on personal development and self-improvement. Students are taught to cultivate an unbreakable spirit, which helps them overcome challenges both inside and outside of the dojo.

In terms of techniques, Tang Soo Do is characterized by its powerful kicks and strikes. It also places a strong emphasis on self-defense, which is why it is often used in law enforcement and military training. Additionally, Tang Soo Do incorporates elements of both hard and soft styles of martial arts, making it a diverse and effective fighting system.

How does Cobra Kai incorporate Tang Soo Do into its fight scenes?

Cobra Kai’s fight scenes are known for their realism and intensity. The choreography is designed to showcase the power and precision of Tang Soo Do, as well as its effectiveness as a self-defense style. The show’s creators consulted with martial arts experts and stunt coordinators to ensure that the fight scenes were accurate and visually engaging.

In addition to showcasing Tang Soo Do techniques, Cobra Kai also incorporates elements of other martial arts styles into its fight scenes. For example, Johnny Lawrence’s character utilizes a more aggressive and forceful style of fighting that is inspired by his training in the Cobra Kai dojo. Meanwhile, the protagonist, Daniel LaRusso, incorporates elements of Okinawan karate into his fighting style.


Cobra Kai’s use of Tang Soo Do in its fight scenes has helped to popularize this style of karate among a new generation of viewers. By showcasing the power and significance of Tang Soo Do, Cobra Kai has helped to renew interest in this unique and effective style of martial arts. Whether you are a lifelong martial arts enthusiast or a newcomer to the world of karate, you are sure to enjoy the action and drama of Cobra Kai.

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