Who Played Cobra Kai Sensei in Karate Kid?

The Karate Kid is a classic 1984 movie that tells the story of a young boy named Daniel LaRusso who had moved from New Jersey to California and had to face bullies from the Cobra Kai dojo. One of the most memorable villains from the movie was the Cobra Kai sensei, John Kreese. But who played this iconic role that has stayed with us for so many years? In this blog post, we will dive deeper into the answer to this question.

Who is John Kreese?

John Kreese was the sensei of the Cobra Kai dojo, where the bullies who harassed Daniel trained. He was portrayed as a ruthless character who taught his students to use any means necessary to win, including dirty tactics like leg-sweeps and elbow punches. He was a Vietnam War veteran who had instilled a sense of aggression and violence in his students.

Who played John Kreese in the movie?

John Kreese was played by actor Martin Kove. Kove was born on March 6, 1946, in Brooklyn, New York. He had an interest in acting from a young age and pursued it as a career after graduating from college. He started his career in the 1970s in low-budget action movies and TV shows, but his breakout role came in the Karate Kid in 1984.

Kove’s portrayal of John Kreese was so convincing that many people hated him in real life. He was quoted as saying, „I have been cursed out in supermarkets, hallways, and parking lots. I’ve had people chase me in cars. Sleazy guys come up and say, ‚I don’t like you, but my kid loves you.‘ I wouldn’t say I’m feared, but I am respected.“

What happened to Martin Kove after the Karate Kid?

After his iconic role as John Kreese, Kove continued to work as an actor, appearing in several TV shows and movies. He reprised his role as John Kreese in the sequels to the original Karate Kid movie. He also played other memorable roles like Victor Isbecki on the TV show „Cagney & Lacey“ and Ericson in „Rambo: First Blood Part II.“

Kove continues to act to this day, with recent appearances in shows like „Cobra Kai,“ the spin-off series of the Karate Kid, where he reprises his role as Kreese. He has also appeared in movies like „Once Upon a Time in Hollywood“ and „Ava.“

Who Played Cobra Kai Sensei in Karate Kid?


The Karate Kid is a well-loved movie from the 80s that has become a classic in the martial arts genre. The movie features the story of a young boy named Daniel LaRusso, who learns the art of karate from his mentor, Mr. Miyagi, and subsequently faces off against his bully, Johnny Lawrence. The antagonist of the movie was played by the actor who portrayed the Cobra Kai sensei. In this blog post, we will answer the most frequently asked question about The Karate Kid – Who played Cobra Kai sensei?

Who Was Cobra Kai Sensei?

The character of the Cobra Kai sensei appeared in both the original Karate Kid movie and the recent web television series, Cobra Kai. In the original movie, the Cobra Kai sensei was a ruthless karate instructor who encouraged his students to use their martial arts skills to bully and intimidate others. The actor who played this character in the original movie was Martin Kove.

Who Is Martin Kove?

Martin Kove is an American actor who was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1946. He has appeared in numerous movies and television series, including Rambo: First Blood Part II, Cagney & Lacey, and The A-Team. However, he is best known for his role as John Kreese, the Cobra Kai sensei in The Karate Kid.

What Did Martin Kove Bring to the Role of Cobra Kai Sensei?

Martin Kove’s portrayal of the Cobra Kai sensei was both intense and intimidating. His character was a stark contrast to Mr. Miyagi’s patient and peaceful nature, making their interactions in the movie more impactful. Kove’s performance in The Karate Kid was so convincing that it earned him a nomination for the Best Supporting Actor at the Saturn Awards in 1985.

Did Martin Kove Reprise His Role in Cobra Kai?

Yes, Martin Kove reprised his role as John Kreese in Cobra Kai, the web television series that picks up the story 34 years after the events of the original movie. In the series, Kreese is revealed to be alive and is still consumed with his desire for Cobra Kai to win at any cost.

How to Find Out Who Played Cobra Kai Sensei in Karate Kid

If you are a fan of Karate Kid, then you know how important the role of Cobra Kai sensei is in the movie. But do you know who played Cobra Kai sensei in the movie? If not, don’t worry – this guide will help you find out who played this iconic character in the movie.

Step 1: Understand the Role of Cobra Kai Sensei in the Movie

To find out who played Cobra Kai sensei, it is important to first understand the role this character played in the movie. Cobra Kai sensei played an antagonist in the movie, representing the evil side of the martial art. He was known for his tough and ruthless training methods and his rivalry with Mr. Miyagi’s student, Daniel LaRusso.

Step 2: Watch the Movie Carefully

To identify who played Cobra Kai sensei, you can start by watching the movie carefully. Watch out for any credits or names mentioned in the movie that might indicate the actor or actress playing the character. Pay attention to the cast list at the beginning or end of the movie.

Step 3: Do Some Online Research

If you are unable to find any information from watching the movie, you can do some online research. A quick Google search can help you find who played Cobra Kai sensei in the movie. You can also visit reputable movie databases such as IMDb to find the information you need. IMDb is a popular movie database that provides information about movies, actors, and directors.

Step 4: Look for Interviews and Behind the Scenes Footage

Another way to find out who played Cobra Kai sensei is to look for interviews and behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the movie. The actors or actresses involved in the movie might have shared information about their roles on social media or in interviews. You can also look for documentaries or other media content about the making of the movie that might contain information about the actors involved.

Step 5: Visit Fan Forums and Communities

Visiting fan forums and communities can be an effective way to find out who played Cobra Kai sensei. Fans of the movie might have shared information and discussed the role of the character. You can also post in these forums and ask fellow fans about the actor or actress who played Cobra Kai sensei.


Identifying the actor or actress who played Cobra Kai sensei in the movie is not a difficult task. With careful attention to detail and research, you can easily find the answer you seek. Remember to watch the movie carefully, do some online research, look for interviews and behind-the-scenes footage, and visit fan forums and communities to discover the answer.

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