The acclaimed series “Cobra Kai,” which is the continuation of the “Karate Kid” film franchise, has intense fight scenes in almost every episode. For this reason, the cast has to vigorously train to convincingly play martial artists.
The Show’s Former Stunt Coordinators Spoke About Working With Its Stars
In a recent interview with IndieWire, the show’s former stunt coordinators, Hiro Koda and Jahnel Curfman, who are married, talked about cast members who have improved their karate skills. The publication noted that many of the stars of “Cobra Kai” had limited “martial arts experience” before joining the cast. Curfman singled out Xolo Maridueña, Mary Mouser, and Peyton List as being dedicated cast members, in terms of bettering their martial arts skills. The stuntwoman told the publication:
I definitely think Xolo made huge progress throughout Season 1 from when we first see him until the final tournament [in season 1, episode 10]. Mary Mouser, who came in not really having any training at the beginning of Season 2, worked really hard and just kicked butt by that high school fight at the end. Then Season 3, Peyton List improved so much from the beginning of the season to the end.
Curfman also referenced that in season 3, episode 10, Samantha LaRusso (Mary Mouser) uses a bo staff to defend herself from her nemesis Tory (Peyton List) and her nunchucks. The stunt coordinator explained that Mouser and List focused on familiarizing themselves with their character’s weaponry while on set.
“As soon as they both found out what their weapon of choice was going to be, they had their respective training weapons with them all the time. They would cut a scene of dialogue and then come back to grab their bo staff or the nunchucks and have them in their hand and run through some of the practice drills that we had given them,” stated Curfman.
She went on to say that both actresses “did a great job with their training with the weapons.”
Curfman Is Peyton List’s Stunt Double
Along with being one of the show’s stunt coordinators for three seasons, Curfman is also List’s stunt double. In an exclusive interview with Heavy, the 42-year-old spoke about working with the former Disney Channel star. She noted that the actress had “no martial arts training” prior to working on “Cobra Kai.”
“But she had worked really hard. In Season 3, we saw a huge improvement in her martial arts. She just physically was really strong. She was training a lot and just working out on her own, and having that base of strength is really important when you get in there and start doing your fights,” said the stuntwoman.
Curfman went on to say that the training List did between season 2 and season 3 enabled the 23-year-old “to do so much more of her own choreography.”
“I was able to really cater to her with some of the choreography and things at the point that we knew she could do really, really well. She has gorgeous kicks,” said Curfman.
To see more of Maridueña, Mouser, and List, check out “Cobra Kai,” available to stream on Netflix.