Throughout its run, Cobra Kai has held deep themes and provided fans with many lessons to learn from its characters. These lessons can be applied to everyday life, or help us get through a certain problem. Here are 10 lessons that one can draw from watching the first two seasons of Cobra Kai, now streaming on Netflix.
#1- People have the opportunity to change, and can change.Cobra Kai GIF by NETFLIXGiphy
Don't let the mistakes of your past determine your future. Cobra Kai serves as Johnny's redemption story and gives him the opportunity to change himself from the character that we saw him in the original trilogy. Given the opportunity to turn his life around by mentoring Miguel and starting up the dojo again, he changes his mindset and goes forth with his plan. Two seasons into the show, and Johnny has already changed for the better, not letting his past get in the way of his future success. Even when Kreese returns, we see Johnny's constant will to not be like the old Cobra Kai and that his students must show mercy. It shows us how his character has grown through all the years, and how he wants to be better than Kreese. We must learn from our mistakes, and use those mistakes as an opportunity to be a better person and change for the better. Although our past will always be a part of who we are, we must never let it define us.
#2- Those who we think are villains, are dealing with their own demons. We just have to try to understand them better.
Just as Johnny was seen as the main villain in the original Karate Kid, to which fans could not stand him, we now realize why he acted the way he did. There's always something deeper, that isn't always seen to everyone. This shows us that even in life people who we see that are acting as villains are most definitely dealing with issues on their own and fighting their way to live life under harsh circumstances. In Johnny's case, we see how his relationship with his mother and step-father affected him mentally, as well as his origins of being the shy kid who didn't have many friends and would get bullied. These scars stayed with Johnny through high school and later onto life in the big world. We have to learn to understand people better and feel empathy sometimes for those who in reality need it most.
#3- Never act upon assumptions.Youtube Netflix GIF by Cobra KaiGiphy
Although one might assume something, they must never act upon it until they are fully sure. This means we can in a careful way ask or inquire, rather than make decisions we might regret. When Miguel goes over to the Laruso's house and sees Robby having dinner with the family, he quickly assumes that Sam is having a secret relationship with him. This later causes him to go at a fight with Robby, which makes Sam turn away from him. Daniel also assumes that when Miyagi-Do is raided, that Johnny had something to do with it, even though it was all orchestrated by Kreese. Before we make careless actions based on our own assumptions, we must seek the truth first and talk things out to understand.
#4- Nobody is perfect and we all have our flaws.
As seen through the show, every character has flaws of their own and is far from perfect. With all of this, we still grow to love the characters for who they are and even learn to accept their mistakes. As much as Daniel has grown up, it sometimes seems he still has some growing up to do with reckless decisions he makes regarding Johnny and Cobra Kai. We can definitely help people we care about grow into better people, but we must also learn to love them for who they are and accept them fully, even if it means putting up with their flaws and mistakes at times.
#5- Confidence can go a long way.
A positive mindset and the way we approach situations is key to achieving great things in life. After his first day at Cobra Kai where he could have quit and never gone again, Hawk came back the next day with a new mindset and a new confidence that instantly changed his entire character dynamic. This teaches us that when something isn't going our way, we need to shift to a positive mentality and find a way to gain some confidence in ourselves as it can truly get us to great places. Those who set their minds to something can achieve it.
#6- Some unlikely relationships in life can immensely impact the two involved.Wax Off Youtube GIF by NETFLIXGiphy
Just as we saw the relationship between Daniel and Mr. Miyagi form in the original trilogy, we see new dynamics with Johnny and Miguel, who both need one another. We see how greatly they impacted one another. Miguel gained confidence and fighting skills with the help of Johnny. For Johnny, training and mentoring Miguel made him improve as a person, as he was pushed harder to be a greater role model and make up for not being there for his son, Robby. Even with Robby and Daniel, we see the two come together in an unlikely way and Robby gets a father figure and home out of Daniel and the Larusos, who become somewhat of a family to him throughout the second season. Daniel also gets to train someone in Karate, something he prides on and makes him happy. We learn that even though a relationship we are getting into might seem odd at first, we must examine at it and see what great things might arise from it before fearing judgment from others. If Daniel would have felt embarrassed with his relationship with Mr. Miyagi, then there would be no Karate Kid, and no stories for generations to come.
#7- It's never too late to fix things with someone.
As we see in episodes throughout the series, it's never too late for Daniel and Johnny to try and fix things and leave the past behind. Even if Johnny had been a bad father to Robby since the day he was born, it was still never late enough for him to try and make amends with his son and repair his fatherhood and their relationship. It was also never late for Sam and Miguel to fix their friendship and be on good terms again. We can't fear of failing to fix relationships, or nothing will ever be fixed in our life, and the past will define how we live out our lives in the present. It's important to forgive, move on, and repair relationships for the better good of the two people.
#8- Our life has to be balanced.
As Daniel focuses too much on Miyagi-Do Karate, he begins to weaken his relationship with his wife, Amanda. This can happen to us with many things in life. Whenever we focus too much on something, we lose sight of the other. This also works with relationships. We must balance out our life, to make way for everything and everyone important to us, and ensure the things we love and need most are not excluded. We also can't put all our eggs in one basket. If Daniel would have focused only on Karate training, he would have lost his wife, and business. Too much focus on Laruso Auto would also weaken his family life. Balance is everything. In the end, Daniel realizes he lacked balance and is able to restore his relationship with Amanda and work life. It's great to see Daniel learned his life-long lessons from Mr. Miyagi, who once said: "Lesson not just Karate only. Lesson for whole life. Whole life have a balance. Everything be better."
#9- We have to be the better person instead of rivalries getting the best of us.Cobra Kai GIF by NETFLIXGiphy
As we see the decades-long rivalry get the best of both Johnny and Daniel, it's important to realize we must sometimes be the better person, and mature, as hard as that may be. Daniel's bid to try and close Cobra Kai might have gone to some extremes, but in the end, he chooses to be the better person. When Cobra Kai students raid Miyagi-Do and destroy property, Daniel has a word with Sensei Lawrence, but decides not to go an eye for an eye. With this mentality, the whole world would be left without eyes and teeth, so yes, sometimes as hard as it is to swallow, we must be the better person and end an argument rivalry, or whatever it may be, for the common good.
#10- Not everything is as black and white as it seems.
There's always two sides to a story. Cobra Kai does a great job at showing this through the different perspectives of Daniel and Johnny. While Daniel sees the re-opening of Cobra Kai as a resurrection of evil and bullying, we really see that through Johnny's side, its his redemption story. He wants to make Miguel and other students lives better and teach them how to defend themselves and grow confidence in who they are, rather than create bullies as Daniel sees. We must open our eyes a bit and try to see the other side to better understand the situation and realize the truth. This goes with everything in life and relationships with people. Always try to understand the "why" rather than assume the worst.