Since its premiere in 2018, “Cobra Kai” has been known for its impressive fight sequences. As most of the characters on the show are martial artists, the actors who portray them usually have to do some of their own stunt work. Ralph Macchio, who famously plays Daniel LaRusso, and William “Billy” Zabka, who portrays his on-screen rival Johnny Lawrence, are no exception.
William Zabka Revealed Ralph Macchio Has ‘Surprised’ Him During Fight Scenes
During a recent interview with Deadline, Macchio and Zabka discussed having to train to convincingly portray karate instructors who get into their fair share of fights. Macchio noted his character has been increasingly doing more martial arts as the series progresses.
“It seems they add more and more fighting as we’re getting older and older,” said Macchio with a laugh.
The actor then revealed that performing fight scenes have been “tougher” for him, compared to when he was younger. He noted that “everything hurts a little bit more” and he often gets bruised up.
“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,” said Macchio.
He went on to say that he and Zabka “work really hard at it” and are proud “to pull it off the best [they] can.”
Zabka then stated that he has been able to do fight scenes because “of the training” he received from martial artist Pat Johnson while filming “The Karate Kid” in 1983. He also noted during the film’s production, the cast “had three months to do the final fights.” He explained that is not the case for “Cobra Kai” due to time restrictions.
“On a show with this many fights and as much content and many characters and storylines, sometimes we’ll get one, two days, if that,” said the actor.
In the interview, Zabka also revealed that he has found Macchio’s techniques during fight scenes to be surprising.
“I’m always surprised when I spar with Ralph how strong his blocks are. He has legitimate blocks. It feels like a baseball bat to my arms. I’m like, ‘Dude, chill out on that.’ And he’s like, ‘Hey, I’m just trying to save my life,’” said the actor.
Macchio responded by joking that he is “always in defensive mode.”
William Zabka Accidentally Kicked Macchio While Filming “The Karate Kid”
While Macchio did not give an exact reason as to why he feels the need to protect himself during fight scenes, it may have something to do with the fact that Zabka accidentally injured him during the production of “The Karate Kid.” In a 2018 interview with Sports Illustrated, Macchio revealed that his co-star kicked him in the face while filming the scene where Johnny beats up Daniel during the night of the Halloween dance.
“It was like 4 in the morning. Billy was supposed to fake a front roundhouse… and he just nailed me right in the jaw. You’d have thought I would’ve gotten hurt more. I was thrown all over the place,” recalled the actor.
The fourth season of “Cobra Kai” will likely premiere on Netflix later this year.