During the third season of “Cobra Kai,” Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) gets into his fair share of physical altercations. Toward the beginning of season 3, he and his rival Johnny Lawrence (William “Billy” Zabka) fight a few men at an auto repair shop. When the LaRusso Auto Group owner travels to Okinawa, Japan, he faces off against his other adversary Chozen (Yuji Don Okumoto). During the season finale, Daniel also gets into a brutal fight with ruthless sensei John Kreese (Martin Kove).
The Creators of ‘Cobra Kai’ Revealed Why Daniel Has Gotten Into More Fights
During a July 2021 interview on the “Cobra Kai Kompanion” Podcast, two of the show’s creators, Josh Heald and Jon Hurwitz, revealed why Daniel was beat up so much in season 3. Heald first joked about Ralph Macchio’s slight build.
“You know, he weighs like 95 pounds soaking wet so it’s, you know, it’s easy just to kind of, you know, just toss him to and fro,” said the executive producer.
Hurwitz interjected that “it makes it impressive when he takes these guys down.” Heald then explained that because Daniel is so successful in his personal life and career, the show’s writers needed to find reasons for the audience to still root for the character.
“I think you have to, you know, have to bat somebody around a little bit to continue to earn that underdog quality. You know, Daniel is such an overdog now,” said Heald.
He then noted that throughout the “Karate Kid” franchise, Daniel “has been the David versus Goliath so many times.”
“You are always looking for ways of challenging a character like that, you know, physically and mentally to be able to continue to put them in a place where they have as much, you know, rootability and as much of a mountain to climb as possible to make them overcoming that obstacle, you know, really really enjoyable,” explained Heald.
Ralph Macchio Has Discussed Daniel’s Fight Scenes
During a recent Variety interview, alongside his “Cobra Kai” co-stars, Ralph Macchio discussed Daniel’s violent interactions with Chozen in the show’s third season. He explained that he appreciated that he was able to “get [his] hands dirty … and have a little blood trickling down the side of his [face].”
“Well I had that before but this is some of — some of it was, you know, it just pushed it to another level,” said the 59-year-old.
While speaking to Deadline in June 2021 with his on-screen rival, William “Billy” Zabka, Macchio discussed having to do “more” stunt work for the show.
“I actually feel more ready for it finishing Season 4 than I did in Season 1 where I didn’t have to do much. I knew it was coming, but I didn’t know at what level. It seems they add more and more fighting as we’re getting older and older,” said the actor with a laugh. “It’s tougher, you move a little different, everything hurts a little bit more. It takes a lot more stretching and prep. We’re banging forearms together and the next morning we’re in the makeup trailers saying, ‘Hey, I got Macchio-ed, I got Zabka-ed,’ pointing out our bruises.”