Cobra Kai is one of the most successful and popular martial arts film of all time. In it, we can see traces of traditional karate styles. In fact, those who train in one of these styles—will immediately be able to notice some similarities in the film. So, what karate style is in Cobra Kai?
The karate style that’s in Cobra Kai is Tang Soo Do. Originating from Korea, it’s a martial art based on the art of karate. In the film, we can see traces of it. For instance, the choreographer of the film was one of Chuck Norris’ top students, who happens to be a Tang Soo Do master.
Another proof that Cobra Kai features the art of Tang Soo do—is the fact that it revolves around kicking rather than punching. Most karate styles, even the traditional ones—emphasize punching. However, because Tang Soo Do also resembles Taekwondo, it features kicking more frequently.
Throughout the series, some are able to witness traces from various karate styles and martial arts. Some of them include, Goju-Ryu, Shotokan, and Taekwondo.
Notwithstanding the fact that Tang Soo Do is featured, Goju-Ryu also plays a major role in the series. Some of the kata moves featured in the series directly resembles it. And still, TSD has the leading role.
This article will discuss various instances where we can spot the martial art featured in the series Cobra Kai. Additionally, we’ll discuss the specific fighting styles, what makes them unique, and whether you should learn them or not.
So, without further ado, let’s dive in.
What karate style does Cobra Kai use?
Karate trainees and martial artists will be able to spot traces of particular traditional karate styles throughout the movie Cobra Kai. That said, such traces are unseen to the naked eye, as most people aren’t familiar with the ins and outs of the history of martial arts.
So, what style does Cobra Kai use?
Cobra Kai uses a traditional fighting style, based out of karate, named Tang Soo Do. This martial art focuses primarily on kicking and punching in countless variations and combinations. Throughout the movie, we see traces of many other karate styles. However, TSD has the primary, leading role.
Now that we understand which style Cobra Kai does, let’s examine some of the techniques it teaches and whether they’re effective.
Tang Soo Do primarily utilizes kicking in many forms, including side and front kicks. These are highly effective and suitable for self-defense. Those who learn it—will be able to use it for their own protection on dangerous situations.
TSD originates in Korea. However, it’s correlated to karate, as it includes many of its characteristics. So, if you notice specific fighting techniques which you recognize, they’re likely taken out of karate or another martial art.
I bet you wouldn’t want that hitting you, would you?
In the movie, you can witness the true power and sheer force of Tang Soo Do. In fact, the movie’s choreographer is a master of TSD. As a result, he was able to capture an especially realistic version of the traditional karate style.
If you want to learn more about the use of karate in fighting competition, such as the UFC, I encourage you to read more about karate fighters in MMA by following the link to an article of mine.
What style of karate is Miyagi-Do
Throughout the Cobra Kai series, we see glimpses of many martial arts. True martial arts fans will notice that Miyagi-Do is a different type of karate style than Cobra Kai. So, which style is it, and what makes it unique?
Miyagi-Do is a karate style named Goju-Ryu. Throughout the series, hidden hints and more obvious fighting techniques—all lead to the same conclusion, it is Goju-Ryu. Primarily, it focuses on punching and kicking, while involving full-contact sparring, which is a highly effective way of practicing.
Because it includes full-contact sparring, which is the act of two trainees engaging in a full-force battle; of course, with some rules and limitations. And still, many karate styles don’t involve sparring, which is the closest trainees will get to a real fight inside their training.
Watch the following video to get a full perspective of the hidden signs that the martial art is Goju-Ryu. Afterwards, we’ll discuss some of them.
In the video, you can see various blocks which seem rather unique. These are taken rather realistically from the art, Goju-Ryu. That’s a single example of why many martial artist and enthusiasts believe it to be this art.
Similarly to Goju-Ryu, Miyagi-Do also comes from Okinawa. This is another hint to the fact that it’s most likely to be this fighting style. That said, many other karate styles originate from the island of Okinawa. So, it isn’t as convincing as the previous arguments.
Is Cobra Kai fighting realistic?
When watching the series, Cobra Kai, it seems as if everything is accurate. To the naked eye, you can learn martial arts by mimicking the fighting techniques. However, that’s far from the actual truth. Let’s examine whether Cobra Kai fighting is realistic.
Cobra Kai fighting is not realistic because while some moves are close to the real version, many are not. As a result, mimicking the fighting techniques in the series won’t teach you martial arts. Instead, some of these moves are a cinematic version of the real moves, which don’t look as well on camera.
That said, I want to emphasize my appreciation for martial arts movie. Although not as realistic to the point where you can learn to fight by mimicking their doings, they motivate and enrich the depth of knowledge.
The fact is, many people, including me, began their martial arts journey by first watching a movie. Mine was the revised version of Karate Kid.
In the movie, Karate Kid learns how to fight by doing every day chores. Such an act is unrealistic. However, to the traditional viewer, as I was, such an act is highly motivating. Therefore, I had no issues starting to train in my first martial art, which was boxing.
Nonetheless, some fighting techniques featured in Cobra Kai resemble the true nature of Goju-Ryu and Tang Soo Do. As a result, for these specific movements, you can learn them by watching. However, don’t make it a habit, since most of the fighting techniques presented—are a cinematic version; hence, unreal.
Many karate trainees have issues finding the suitable gear to train with at their homo or in their dojo. Hence, follow the link if you want to read about the best karate gloves for your money.
Fascinatingly enough, Cobra Kai highly resembles real life. Of course, many of the moves are incorrect and have been revised for the sake of cinematic purposes. Because of that, learning karate from watching it—isn’t as wise.
Martial arts movies, and Cobra Kai in particular, motivate many people to begin their martial arts journey. I myself, have been a victim to the high doses of motivation pumped by such platforms. As such, I can’t be more appreciative to these movies, even if I wanted to.
Cobra Kai features Tang Soo Do, which is a Korean martial art based on karate. As a result, martial artists will immediately identify some fighting techniques or katas presented in the movies. If you’re one of them, you’ll also notice how inaccurate the movie presents the techniques.
That said, because it’s all for cinematic purposes, we, the more knowledgeable viewers, shouldn’t criticize that. Instead, we must embrace the platform and the fact that it opens the eyes for the average person to martial arts. Thus, our community grows and betters.
If you enjoyed reading this article, I highly recommend reading about Karate’s belt order. I wrote this piece knowing this information is a must-know for every reader of mine.