As fans of the Karate Kid franchise are aware, Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) beat Johnny Lawrence (William “Billy” Zabka) during the final round at the All Valley Karate Tournament in 1984. In Cobra Kai, Johnny’s student Miguel Diaz (Xolo Maridueña) took home the title of All Valley champion in 2018.
The tournament was almost banned following the violent events of the Season 2 finale, which left Miguel injured. However, in Season 3 Episode 8, titled “The Good, the Bad, and the Bada**,” the Eagle Fang student and Daniel’s daughter, Samantha (Mary Mouser), convince the Northridge City Council to continue with the championship.
“We’re the ones getting hurt, we’re the ones fighting. Our voices should matter the most, and we want a place where we can compete, fairly and safely,” asserted Sam.
During the Season 3 finale, Daniel and Johnny bring their dojos together in preparation to defeat Cobra Kai, owned by John Kreese (Martin Kove), in the next All Valley Karate Tournament.
With the tournament being a pivotal plot point in the Karate Kid franchise, fans may be curious if there is a karate championship in the San Fernando Valley.
The All Valley Tournament Is Fictional
While the All Valley Tournament is fictional, there was a So Cal National Karate Championship, established in 2016. The annual event was previously held in Huntington Beach, California, and allowed participants of all ages, genders, and skill levels. However, it appears that the last So Cal National Karate Championship was in November 2019.
That being said, fans can visit where the All Valley Tournament was shot in both The Karate Kid and Cobra Kai. Atlas of Wonders reported the filming location of the 1984 tournament was the Matadome Gymnasium, which can be found at California State University, Northridge, in Los Angeles, California. The publication also noted that in Cobra Kai, the tournament “was filmed at the Gymnasium of the Kennesaw State University in Marietta (GA).”
Even though the All Valley Championship does not exist in real life, the Karate Kid franchise has caused an uptick in interest in the martial arts, according to Cobra Kai star William Zabka. During a March 2019 interview with Screen Rant, the actor disclosed that the films have “helped kind of generate the martial arts schools in America.”
“And then looking back I was like, you know, it was really the kind of a window. And the door to a whole new type of martial arts, kind of booming in our country,” explained the actor.
Zabka Has Encouraged Young People To Practice Karate
Zabka has also encouraged young people to start practicing the martial arts if they have been experiencing bullying. When speaking to CineMovie during the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con, he explained why he believes karate can be beneficial.
“Martial arts is great…. I’ve met so many kids that were bullied at a certain age… This girl was bullied, and now she’s a black belt, and I talked to her, and she’s strong and respectful,” said the 55-year-old. “And she’s, you know, not she’s not intimidating at all. She could just handle herself. It gives you this sense of — it gets you in touch with your inner self, you know, gives you a confidence, and you walk different, and so martial arts is, you know, it’s not a theory there’s something to it.”