The actors of Netflix’s acclaimed series “Cobra Kai” have been praised for their stunt work and excellent fighting choreography. The latest battle-heavy season, featuring fights between Hawk and Robby, Sam and Tory, and even adult sensei Daniel and Johnny, is no exception. In order to master these fights, the actors are heavily trained and well-rehearsed to perfect their scenes, although sometimes mistakes are made behind-the-scenes.
Recently, actor Jacob Bertrand, who portrays Eli “Hawk” Moskowitz, revealed that he accidentally punched a co-star during rehearsal for a fight scene. Here’s what you need to know:
Bertrand Says He Accidentally Punched Tanner Buchanan in the Forehead
In an interview with TVLine on Saturday, Bertrand spoke about what it was like as an actor learning intensely choreographed fight scenes. “The training has always been rigorous,” he explained. “A lot of it is conditioning, making sure we can fight for a long time, stretching a bunch and then working choreography a ton. We do a lot of boxing.”
The 21-year-old actor also revealed that the show’s production even brought in a chiropractor, named “Dr. Dave,” in order to help them keep their bodies relaxed and ready to fight. “He was constantly resetting us,” Bertrand said, “tugging our necks and cracking them like crazy. We were doing that all the time, and it was so needed.”
Bertrand also revealed that the amount of time actors have to rehearse fighting can vary. Sometimes it can be upward of a week, or as short as a few days, meaning that actors may have to rush their training. In one rehearsal scene for season 4, Bertrand revealed that he and Tanner Buchanan, who plays Cobra Kai student Robby Keene, had to fight after practicing for only two days. This was likely a practice session for their characters’ dramatic and intense All Valley Karate Tournament match.
During the fight, Bertrand said that he accidentally punched Buchanan in the forehead. As he explained:
I punched him in the forehead one time. I was supposed to hit him in the face, and he was supposed to do a little up block. He did a down block instead, so my fist totally drove into his forehead, and he was like “Ugh, I didn’t block that!”
Fighting Mishaps Are Not Uncommon in the ‘Karate Kid’ World
Bertrand’s experience punching Buchanan in the face is certainly not unique, however. Many actors from both “The Karate Kid” and “Cobra Kai” have spoken about injuries that have taken place on the set.
Most notably, Ralph Macchio and William Zabka revealed in a 2018 Men’s Journal interview that the latter kicked the former in the face during filming for “The Karate Kid.” Zabka explained that, though the scene was well-rehearsed, “They decided to move the camera at some point, so the blocking was a little different, but I didn’t adjust my planted foot. I didn’t realize until too late, and coming through the kick, it didn’t stop until it connected.”
Actress Mary Mouser, who plays Sam LaRusso, also revealed in a 2019 video that she sustained serious injuries to her ankle and hand after landing a stunt improperly while rehearsing a fight scene. She said she had a “stress sprain on my ankle” when she got out of bed. However, she didn’t want to notify anyone because she “didn’t want them to think it [was] a big deal.”
She added that she has had “a couple of injuries,” and that she was “often covered in bruises while filming.”
All four seasons of “Cobra Kai” are currently available to stream on Netflix. Season 5 will likely be released in late 2022 or 2023.