‘Cobra Kai’ Stars Discuss Celebrity Viewers, Using Karate Skills In Real Life

Cobra Kai teenage cast

Getty The young stars of "Cobra Kai" in 2019.

The young stars of Netflix’s hit series “Cobra Kai” have skyrocketed into the public eye with the unexpected success of the “Karate Kid” spinoff show. Although the older actors from the original 1984 movie have been widely recognizable for decades, most the younger stars may still be adjusting to their newfound fame.

Although virtually all of the young cast have been acting for years, only Peyton List, who plays antagonist Tory Nichols, had achieved significant stardom before her appearance on the show. On Wednesday, she and her co-stars Mary Mouser (Samantha LaRusso), Tanner Buchanan (Robby Keene), Jacob Bertrand (Eli “Hawk” Moskowitz), Xolo Maridueña (Miguel Diaz) and Gianni DeCenzo (Demetri) sat down for an interview with Jake’s Takes on YouTube and opened up about what fan encounters have been like as a result of the show, and what it was like hearing about celebrities who enjoy watching them.

Here’s what you need to know:

Cast of ‘Cobra Kai’ Reveal If They Use Their Fighting Skills In Real Life

Tory Nichols and Sam LaRusso fight in Cobra Kai

YouTubeTory Nichols (Peyton List) and Sam LaRusso (Mary Mouser) fight in season 3 of “Cobra Kai.”

When asked in the interview by Paul Walter Houser, who plays “Stingray” on “Cobra Kai,” if they felt like the fighting techniques they learned on the show could help them in a real world “physical altercation,” Mouser revealed that, despite her rather small physique, she has used the techniques she learned. She explained that she used the skills she learned on the show in order to protect herself, likening it to the “Miyagi Do,” ethos of using karate only as a form of defense. She did not go into details, but said that “it was [at] a concert,” and that “somebody got a little too excited, a little too comfortable.”

She went on to say that this was really the only instance she has had to use her martial arts skills in real life, but that if it really came down to it, “I think that I could defend myself at this point.” She explained that she would probably know the most basic moves, but that she “would have to get scrappy with it. I feel like it wouldn’t come out clean and precise and very organized, [but] I could cause some pain if I had to.”

List then chimed in, saying that the choreography they knew was mostly aesthetic, and likely wouldn’t help them in real life. “The idea [behind our training] is to not hurt the other person, and to stop the punch right before it gets to their face,” List explained. “I don’t know how the power would be behind it, but the moves would look great!”

Buchanan said that he never had to worry about using his fighting skills for real because he is rarely called out in public.

“I don’t get recognized,” Buchanan said. “First off, I dont really go out. Second, when I do go out, I usually have my glasses on, and I have my hat…I’m usually bundled up, I just kind of lay low.” He explained that the few times he has been recognized, they are just “extremely excited” fans who tell him they love the show, adding that he was grateful he has never been misconstrued for Robby.

The ‘Cobra Kai’ Cast Is Excited About Their Celebrity Fanbase

Andrew Yang

GettyAndrew Yang during his mayoral run in 2021.

When asked about the most impactful fan encounter they ever had as a result of their newfound fame, Maridueña responded by saying it was “kind of cool,” to learn that Elon Musk was into the show, to which Bertrand and DeCenzo enthusiastically agreed. Musk, a business magnate who is the CEO of Tesla, Inc. and co-founder and CEO of SpaceX, has tweeted multiple times about “Cobra Kai,” including on Christmas last year when he said, “The writing on Cobra Kai is sick👌”

Bertrand was also delighted to learn from Maridueña that businessman and newfound politician Andrew Yang also enjoys the show, as evinced at the beginning of 2021 when season 3 was released, when Yang simply tweeted out “Cobra Kai.”

On what it was like to receive these kinds of celebrity “endorsements,” Maridueña explained, “[It’s] kind of like, you forget that those people are real people and also watch television and do normal people things.”

On seeing Elon Musk’s tweets about the show, Mardiueña said, “I was like, ‘Oh, wait a second, he’s not just trying to take over the world, he also likes “Cobra Kai”, nice’!”

Be sure to catch season 4 of “Cobra Kai” when it is released on Netflix December 31.

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