The Philosophy Behind Cobra Kai / Seasons 1, 2 & 3

The Philosophy Behind Cobra Kai / Seasons 1, 2 & 3

Spoiler alert: There will be spoilers for Season 1, 2 and 3. So if you haven't seen them yet, bookmark this link and come back after watching it.

This is a work in progress, I'll keep adding more to this post as the show keeps going. I haven't yet update

The Story Has Just Began

Cobra Kai as a show takes advantage of nostalgia, and the legacy of a great story. 30 years after the original Karate Kid, we see not only our hero Daniel San once again, but we also learn what happens to Johnny Lawrence.

For those who grew up with Karate Kid it must feel amazing to have more on the amazing story. I even dare to relate it to the excitement people must have felt when Star Wars decided to continue after decades.

What The Show Stands For

At first it's expected to feel doubt about this shows ability to honor to the classic films. The show does many things well. Cobra Kai captures the philosophy behind Miyagi's karate extremely well, and takes it to a new level, making these teaching available to the next generation.

The Other Side Of The Story

As the name reveals, this time we get to see the story from the other side. Life isn't all black and white, we often are caught in a gray area. We have to use our brains to make decisions, that's a lesson we learn from Johnny Lawrence later on the show.

In Cobra Kai, we not only understand Johnny's side of the story, but we root for him to do the right thing from now on.

Life Lessons From The Show

In this section I'll capture my favorite teachings from the show.

On Balance

Bad things happen in life, we need to focus and bring back the good, we must do this in order to bring balance to our lives. It's not easy, but it's possible.

β€” Daniel to Robby in the forest (Season 1).

Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power." β€” Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

On Mistakes

"We've all made mistakes, what matters is what we do next." β€” Amanda (Daniel's wife) tells this to Robby, after saving him from being kicked out of the hotel because of his past crimes (Season 2)

On Patience

The fish will come to you if you are patient enough. This helps Daniel understand he doesn't need to market and promote his dojo, he just need to wait for those who need him to come to him.

β€” A fisher man at the beach. Daniel San approaches him thinking it's his old sensei Miyagi. (Season 2)

On "No Mercy"

There's a difference between no mercy and no honor. β€” Johnny (season 2)

Hate Is Not The Answer

Hate leads to more hate, anger and rivalry never comes to an end, you rise above it by being the better man by not giving into anger. β€” Miguel's mom to Johnny (season 2)

Self-Defense vs No Mercy

There are two opposing philosophies:

  1. Karate is for self-defense only
  2. Strike first, strike hard, no mercy

These opposing teaching create rivalry between the two dojos Is this rivalry a part of the a certain balance that needs to exist?

Keep Moving Forward

If you don't keep moving forward you get stuck. Cement needs to keep moving otherwise it dries and gets stuck. keep moving forward. β€” Johnny (season 2)

On Overcoming Fear

Sometimes the scars that you don’t see are the ones that hurt the most β€” Sam (Season 3)

Sam throughout season 3 has been paralyzed by her fear of Tory. The traumatic experience at the fight in the school traumatized Sam. She feels guilty for Miguel's near dead experience.

Why we hate our enemies

Ali helped Daniel and Johnny realized they are more similar thank they think. This awesome scene taught us that we hate people that remind us of what we dislike in ourselves.

If you can't beat them, join them

The end of season 3 teaches us about surrendering our ego for the same of something ore important than ourselves. Daniel and Johnny finally join forces to the epic sound of Phil Collins singing "In The Air Tonight". This scene got me fanboying over this show one last time anxious for the next season.