12 Miyagi-Verse Scenes to Review Before Cobra Kai Season 6.1

The wait is almost over. COBRA KAI season 6, part 1 drops on Netflix on July 18, 2024. Sure, you could spend your time trying to hate-shop for spoilers on Reddit, but why not be badass? Have patience, young grasshopper, and wait. It's less than a month away. Focus, center, breathe. While you wait, digest upon these canonical scenes that will pay off in big and small ways in season 6. The more you know the material, the better you will enjoy the goodness of the best show around. If you want to read the scenes to review before season 5 to see how this works, go here. And remember, just because a character is on this list doesn't mean they will show up in the show. Sometimes character callbacks happen on the screen, other times they just appear in spirit or in conversation. 

A teen stands in front of a video game at an arcade
Ralph Macchio as DANIEL in THE KARATE KID

“Hey, I give up. Don’t shoot!” (THE KARATE KID)

You have to hand it to Daniel – he always had a flair for the dramatic. In the first Karate Kid, Daniel wants to make amends with Ali. He assumed the worst when he saw her talking to Johnny at the country club and made some pretty unfair accusations. He attempts to use his signature LaRusso riz combo of humor and self-degradation, throwing himself in front of the Shoot Away arcade game and begging for mercy. Ali doesn’t go for his lame attempts at humor but eventually the two make up in the parking lot of Golf N Stuff.
A class of karate students greet two visitors
Billy Zabka as JOHNNY, Martin Kove as KREESE, Pat Morita as MR. MIYAGI, Ralph Macchio as DANIEL in THE KARATE KID

“Class, we have a visitor.” (THE KARATE KID)

I will never forget the iconic moment we first meet Kreese face-to-face. Daniel and Mr. Miyagi visit the Cobra Kai dojo, trying to confront the root of the problem. Kreese treats the encounter as an act of war, asking the class to “fall in” as if they are a militia of soldiers. Of course, to Kreese, war is life. Regardless, it’s an unforgettable entrance and a heck of a speech, one that anyone would love to copy.

A man talks to another man
Danny Kamekona as SATO

“Is that same wood we find together on beach that time?” (Karate Kid II)

In Karate Kid II, Mr. Miyagi returns to Okinawa to be with his father at his deathbed. Sato, his former best friend, still wants to fight Miyagi to the death, even though it has been years. He decides to give Miyagi three days to mourn. Miyagi visits him at his home and finds him striking a suspended board. Sato has built up a lifetime of anger and channels all his rage into hitting the piece of wood repeatedly. They always say that aggression can be therapeutic. Not sure it’s true in Sato’s case, but it’s an iconic scene in the Miyagi-verse. And the show writers love an iconic scene. 

Two teams of teens face each other in the woods
Billy Zabka as JOHNNY teaches a lesson in COBRA KAI

“The goal is to capture as many headbands as possible.” (COBRA KAI, season 2, episode 7)

The Coyote Creek training exercise is one of the most fun drills that John Kreese came up with. You divide into the red team and the black team, signified by what color of headband you are wearing. As signified in the quote, you win by collecting headbands and lose when someone steals yours. This moment sends alarm bells to Johnny that Kreese’s teachings may be turning sweet Miguel into a angry young man. But it’s certainly an effective way to discover who has progressed in both offense and defense techniques. I wonder how may Cobra Kais have gone through this training?
A white man teaches a Black teen a karate lesson
Thomas Ian Griffith as TERRY SILVER in COBRA KAI

“I spent a lot of my life listening to others, but it was only after I listened to my own instincts that I reached my full potential.” (COBRA KAI season 5, episode 7)

In my Miyago-Do vs. Cobra Kai theory article, I’ve already talked about how Cobra Kais love to entrap people with a narcissistic abuse cycle. They talk them up, inflate their egos, and make them feel important. Then, after loyalty is assured, they heel-toe their way towards devaluation and discard. Silver has a heart to heart with Kenny and encourages him to stop taking advice and listen to his own instincts. Kenny seems to soak up people’s advice like a sponge. He would be a good cult member.

A man leans over a car to talk to a teen boy
Ralph Macchio as DANIEL, Pat Morita as MR. MIYAGI

“Lesson not just karate only. Lesson for whole life.” (THE KARATE KID)

This Miyagi-ism first entered public consciousness in the first Karate Kid movie. After graciously gifting Daniel with a 1947 Ford Super Deluxe Convertible as a graduation present, he encourages him to find balance in his whole life. Every lesson has a real-life application. Although Mr. Miyagi coined the phrase first, it seems to be a belief that every sensei has.

A man stands above another man, ready to strike
Yuji Okumoto as CHOZEN, Ralph Macchio as DANIEL

“The Miyagi ancestors fought Japanese invaders. The only way to survive was to kill.” (Cobra Kai, season 3, episode 5)

When Daniel travels to Japan on business, he decides to take a side trip to Okinawa. There he finds Kumiko and a grumpy-looking Chozen, looking for all the world like Sato. He reveals some information to Daniel-san about secret techniques that the Miyagi ancestors used against ruthless invaders. Miyagi-Do always protects, so sometimes defense means disabling your opponent. Even though Miyagi always told Daniel that karate was for defense only, it turns out that he held back some lessons. This information is all dropped as narration during a pretty exciting fight scene between Chozen and Daniel, so don’t feel bad if you forgot this piece of drunken history by Chozen. Every dojo has stories that shaped their philosophy. 

Bo Mitchell as BRUCKS, Jacob Bertrand as BRUCKS

“He’s mine.” (COBRA KAI season 3, episode 6)

Hawk gets a chance to face his demons when Kreese goes on a recruiting spree for new students. Kyler and Brucks get a chance at a spot in Cobra Kai with 1:1 matches. After years of being tormented by these two for his lip scar, it’s not surprising that Hawk feels less than enthusiastic about training with his former bullies. However, Kyler and Brucks dare to enter the dojo with an air of disrespect and privilege, acting as if they own the place without doing any work. They continue to make fun of his scar with taunts. Let’s say Hawk goes a little too far with the exercise. But one thing we have learned about Kyler and Brucks is that they don’t really know the meaning of the word humility.
A man with curly blonde hair talks to another teen with his friends behind him.

“Well, well, fellows. Look who we have here – our little friend Danielle.” (THE KARATE KID) 

Amongst Johnny’s friends, Dutch would have been voted most likely to slit your throat in an alley. Future pastor Bobby always tried to get Johnny to keep his calm, while Tommy was the group comedian. Dutch has a glint of Batman's Joker in him. So Cobra Kai fans have always wondered if the male equivalent of Goldilocks would ever show up again. He did, in a sense, in "Take a Right," episode 2.6, when the original Cobras whisk away Tommy on a last road trip. Dutch was absent, and we learned that he was in prison. But we all went to school with a Dutch probably, and he’s the kind of person who always comes up at high school reunions.
Two groups face each other in a park
Billy Zabka as JOHNNY, Martin Kove as KREESE in COBRA KAI

“Take all that anger inside of you and use it.” (Cobra Kai)

Every sensei has their favorite phrases or lessons that come up again and again. Daniel loves to talk about balance, Johnny wants his students to aspire to be badass. For John Kreese, life is war, and you have to use all of your resources to win the war. He often tells his students to bring their anger onto the mat. When he sees rage, he sees a future champion.

A man yells and points wearing a karate gi

“Your karate is a joke. I own you.” (Karate Kid III)

Daniel has faced alpha male Johnny Lawrence and trickster Chozen Toguchi. But in Karate Kid III, we meet his most psychologically abusive enemy yet. Mike Barnes doesn’t just love to beat on Daniel. He does it with an endless supply of abusive wisecracks, often joined with racial slurs and insults towards Mr. Miyagi. In the final moments of Karate Kid III, Barnes makes the worst mistake of his karate career – he dares to diss Mr. Miyagi’s karate lessons in front of Daniel. These lessons have become the cornerstone of Daniel’s existence. Daniel rises up like the bonsai tree. All of that trimming and grooming has primed him to exhibit Mr. Miyagi’s karate just fine for all the world to see. Daniel absorbed the lessons. He’s a slow learner, but he does eventually get it.
Two teens face each other on the beach
Billy Zabka as JOHNNY, Ralph Macchio as DANIEL

The sucker punch that started it all (The Karate Kid)

How did the feud start between Daniel and Johnny? Memory is subjective. Those who witnessed their conflict on the beach might say it started because of a girl or because of a radio. In episode 1.8, Johnny tells Miguel that Daniel “sucker punched him out of nowhere” and butted in when Johnny was trying to have a civilized conversation with Ali. He conveniently leaves out the part about him pushing Daniel down into the sand. Hey, we can all watch the movie and see what happened for ourselves. For Johnny, that moment was Daniel’s fault. These two live these moments inside of their head whenever they have a conflict. I still remember in episode 2.10 of Cobra Kai when Daniel busts in Johnny’s apartment looking for Sam. The two fight, and we get cuts between their tournament fight and the present fight, edited with precision.

The way Cobra Kai writers demonstrate they know how to find the right balance with callbacks is always impressive. The first part of Cobra Kai season 6 will arrive on July 18 on Netflix

To find all of my Cobra Kai content, go here.