What Type of Karate Do They Do in Cobra Kai?

If you’re a fan of the hit TV series Cobra Kai, you may have been curious about what type of karate is practiced by the characters. Cobra Kai is a sequel to the classic 1980s movie The Karate Kid, and it follows the story of the original characters as adults. The show features a lot of karate, but what type of karate is it? In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look.

The History of Cobra Kai’s Karate Style

In The Karate Kid, the main character, Daniel LaRusso, learned a style of karate called „Miyagi-Do.“ This style was based on the teachings of Mr. Miyagi, Daniel’s mentor in the movie. However, in Cobra Kai, the karate style practiced by the Cobra Kai dojo is quite different.

The Cobra Kai dojo teaches a style of karate known as „Kyokushin.“ This style was founded by Masutatsu Oyama in the mid-20th century. Oyama was a skilled martial artist who trained in several styles of karate, including Shotokan and Goju-Ryu. He founded Kyokushin karate as an alternative to these styles, which he felt had lost their effectiveness in real-life combat situations.

Kyokushin karate is a full-contact style of karate that emphasizes physical toughness and endurance. Practitioners of Kyokushin karate frequently participate in competitions that involve full-contact sparring. In these competitions, strikes to the head and face are often allowed, and the bouts can be quite intense.

The Differences Between Kyokushin and Other Karate Styles

One of the main differences between Kyokushin and other styles of karate is the emphasis on full-contact fighting. While other karate styles focus on form and technique, Kyokushin places a greater emphasis on physical conditioning and endurance.

Kyokushin also has a unique form of sparring known as „kumite.“ In kumite, practitioners wear full-body padding and gloves, and strikes to the head and face are allowed. This type of sparring is meant to simulate real-life combat situations and can be quite challenging for participants.

Another difference between Kyokushin and other karate styles is the use of low kicks. Kyokushin practitioners frequently use low kicks to attack their opponents‘ legs and destabilize them. This is in contrast to other styles of karate, which often focus on high kicks and flashy techniques.

Cobra Kai’s Interpretation of Kyokushin

While the Cobra Kai dojo practices Kyokushin karate, it’s important to note that the show takes some liberties with the style. In real life, Kyokushin karate has a strong emphasis on discipline and sportsmanship. However, the Cobra Kai dojo in the TV show is often portrayed as being aggressive and bullying.

Some of the techniques used by the Cobra Kai students are also exaggerated for dramatic effect. For example, the „cobra strike“ used by some characters is not a traditional Kyokushin technique. Likewise, the dojo’s motto, „strike first, strike hard, no mercy,“ is not a part of Kyokushin’s philosophy.


If you’re a fan of Karate and Netflix’s original series Cobra Kai, you might be wondering what types of karate they practice in the show. Since its debut in 2018, Cobra Kai has been praised for its unique take on the classic Karate Kid franchise. The series follows the story of Johnny Lawrence, the former bully of Daniel LaRusso, who decides to reopen the Cobra Kai dojo and teach a new generation of students the same style of karate that he learned as a teenager. But, what type of Karate do they do in Cobra Kai? In this blog post, we will answer some of the most commonly asked questions related to this topic.

What Is The Style Of Karate Practiced In Cobra Kai?

The style practiced in Cobra Kai is called „American Kenpo“ or simply „Kenpo.“ Kenpo is a form of martial arts that was developed in the United States by Ed Parker in the mid-20th century. Ed Parker was a student of William Chow and modified the Chinese martial art of Kenpo, which means „law of the fist,“ to fit the American lifestyle.

How Is Kenpo Different From Other Styles Of Karate?

Kenpo emphasizes rapid strikes, kicks, and blocks, with a strong focus on self-defense techniques. It relies on a combination of both hard and soft techniques, making it a versatile martial art that can be adapted to different situations. One of the unique aspects of Kenpo is its use of „forms“ or „katas.“ These are choreographed routines that allow students to practice techniques in a specific order and focus on things like balance, timing, and precision. Kenpo also emphasizes the use of body mechanics and leverage to generate power, rather than relying solely on brute strength.

Is Cobra Kai’s Portrayal Of Kenpo Accurate?

Cobra Kai’s portrayal of Kenpo has been widely praised by fans and martial arts enthusiasts for its accuracy. The show’s martial arts choreographer, Hiro Koda, has a black belt in Kenpo himself and has worked on other martial arts themed shows like Daredevil and Into the Badlands. He has stated in interviews that he wanted to make sure the fights looked realistic and that he was determined to accurately portray the Kenpo style. Many fans have also noted that the show’s attention to detail when it comes to the techniques used by the characters makes it clear that the creators did their research.

Are The Techniques Used In Cobra Kai Realistic?

While some of the techniques used in Cobra Kai may seem flashy or exaggerated, they are based on real Kenpo techniques. Of course, as with any Hollywood production, there is an element of theatricality and storytelling that comes into play. That being said, the fight scenes in Cobra Kai are generally considered to be some of the most realistic and well-choreographed in any martial arts TV show or movie.


Cobra Kai is a popular martial arts TV show that has renewed interest in Karate. Karate is a traditional martial art that has been practiced for centuries in Japan. Different types of Karate have evolved over time, each with its unique philosophy, techniques, and rules. If you’re a Cobra Kai fan, you may wonder about the type of Karate they practice in the show. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what type of Karate is featured in Cobra Kai and provide a brief overview of its philosophy and techniques.

What Type of Karate is Practiced in Cobra Kai?

The type of Karate practiced in Cobra Kai is called “Miyagi-do Karate.” It is named after Mr. Miyagi, the character played by Pat Morita in the original Karate Kid movie. Miyagi-do Karate is a fictional style of Karate developed specifically for the show. The show’s creators developed the style by combining elements of different types of Karate, such as Goju-ryu and Shito-ryu.

The Philosophy of Miyagi-do Karate

Miyagi-do Karate is based on the philosophy of balance, both physically and mentally. The goal of Miyagi-do Karate is not to defeat an opponent but to prevent a fight altogether. This philosophy is embodied in the show by the character of Daniel LaRusso, who is portrayed as a peaceful person who only fights when he has no other choice.

The philosophy of Miyagi-do Karate is also reflected in the way the practitioners move. Miyagi-do Karate emphasizes fluid, circular movements that help practitioners maintain their balance and avoid being off-balance.

The Techniques of Miyagi-do Karate

Miyagi-do Karate focuses on using an opponent’s strength against them. This is achieved through techniques like blocks, strikes, and joint locks. The emphasis in Miyagi-do Karate is on using these techniques efficiently and effectively, rather than using brute force.

Miyagi-do Karate also includes traditional Karate techniques like kicks, punches, and stances. However, the show’s creators have adapted these techniques to make them more suitable for the modern-day setting of the show.


In conclusion, while Miyagi-do Karate is a fictional style of Karate, it is based on the principles and techniques of traditional Karate. The philosophy and techniques of Miyagi-do Karate emphasize balance, efficiency, and using an opponent’s strength against them. If you have been inspired to learn Karate by watching Cobra Kai, you may want to consider exploring the different types of Karate that exist in the real world. You might also want to consider finding a reputable Karate school in your area to learn the basics of the discipline.

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