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‘Cobra Kai’ Season 4 Storyline Brings Back 1 Vital Theme of the Original ‘Karate Kid’

'Cobra Kai' creators Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg tell Showbiz Cheat Sheet about 1 season 4 storyline that brings things back to the original 'Karate Kid.' Anthony LaRusso (Griffin Santopietro) is involved in a high school bullying story, but not the way you think.

By Cobra Kai Season 4, fans are as invested in the new characters as the classic Karate Kid characters. Cobra Kai Season 4 picks up as Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) join Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang to beat Cobra Kai at the All Valley Karate Tournament. But, the All Valley Karate Tournament isn’t the only element back from the original movie. 

[Spoiler alert: This article contains a preview of storylines from Cobra Kai Season 4.]

'Cobra Kai' Season 4 stars Ralph Macchio and William Zabka practice kata in front of their students
L-R: Ralph Macchio and William Zabka | Netflix

Creators Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg and Josh Heald spoke with Showbiz Cheat Sheet by Zoom on Dec. 2. Schlossberg and Hurwitz specifically addressed the Cobra Kai Season 4 storyline that brings back an important theme from the original Karate Kid

‘Cobra Kai’ Season 4 needed new characters to get back to ‘The Karate Kid’

By Cobra Kai Season 4, the high schoolers aren’t new kids anymore. They’ve been studying Karate for three seasons, which has been two school years in the story. So, Cobra Kai Season 4 introduces a new kid at school who’s being bullied.

“We only have 10 episodes each season,” Schlossberg said. “So we have to really pick and choose where our stories are. I think going into season 4 we really wanted to go back to the roots of what Karate Kid is all about, which is bullying. With a lot of our main kids on the show, they’re all very well versed at Karate at this point. There are still rivalries to explore there but it’s not like anybody is a complete novice to learning Karate. We wanted to add that element back into the story. So we wanted there to be fresh perspectives and somebody that’s new to Karate.”

‘The Karate Kid’ story happens all over again in ‘Cobra Kai’ Season 4

Kenny comes to town and attends the same school as the Cobra Kai characters. This is the same school where the epic season 2 fight broke out in high school. Even in junior high, Kenny runs into some bullies when he gets there. 

“[Kenny is] sort of an innocent, who is just a good kid who is transferring into a new school with a positive attitude,” Hurwitz said. “Couple ‘wrong moves’ for the new kids make him sort of the target of unexpected bullying for him and throws him off balance. For him to end up finding his way to Cobra Kai and to find his way to Robby we thought was interesting.”


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Will Cobra Kai corrupt Kenny?

Kenny wouldn’t be the first bullied teenager to turn to Cobra Kai. Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) checked it out and discovered his bully, Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) was a student there. Miguel (Xolo Maridueña), Aisha (Nichole Brown), Hawk (Jacob Bertrand) and Tory (Peyton List) turned to Cobra Kai under Johnny. Robby wants to do right by Kenny, but he’s already working with John Kreese (Martin Kove) and Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Nicholas).

Not only to take that character Robby who we’ve seen go through his own journeys and we find him in season 4 at a part in his progression where we’re concerned about him under the tutelage of sensei Kreese. Now he’s paying it forward to a kid who we all fall in love with in his opening scenes. That whole first episode with Kenny I think, I know it breaks my heart watching it. The few people we’ve watched the show with it’s caused similar reactions. So you want the best for that kid and you want the best for Robby and you hope that that combination is going to lead to good things for both of them but we’ll see how it plays out.

Jon Hurwitz, interview with Showbiz Cheat Sheet, 12/2/21