The ten episode long series will be available on YouTube Red and premieres May 2nd 2018. We ask Ralph how it all went down when they decided to go with this project. “The three creators of the show met me in New York and pitched the idea. They were passionate, thorough and had an angle in to the story that was fresh and relevant. That coupled with the timing and TV platforms that exist today, made me feel this is the time after passing on every other reboot idea for 30 years. I said let's do it!

Cobra Kai (2018)

Karate Kid fans all over the world were of course very excited when the news came out about the series, which Ralph noticed. “The reactions have been spectacular! A groundswell of interest from almost every demographic. I am not surprised being the film franchise is so beloved, however it is flattering to see and never ceases to amaze. The show definitely has nostalgic moments peppered throughout. The Karate Kid purists have a lot to be excited about. Lots of call-backs and hat-tipping.”
Photo: Youtube - Official Cobra Kai Trailer

Long time has passed since 22-year-old Ralph Macchio portrayed the main character, Daniel LaRusso. Ralph explains how they approached the new series and how Daniel has changed after so many years. “We treated Cobra Kai as its own entity, even though it is a continuation of The Karate Kid. I approached Daniel the same as I did the first time - a version of myself with some heightened elements that make him LaRusso. The biggest difference is his wisdom now, having experienced life and the success of his own close-knit family and business. There is however a void for him since Miyagi passed away and boy does that Johnny Lawrence get under his skin!”

Pat Morita, who played Mr. Miyagi, sadly passed away in 2005 at the age of 73. He became a legend and remembered for his many words of wisdom in the movies, as well as the famous scene in which he tries to catch a fly with chopsticks. “I had stayed connected on and off with Pat up until he passed away - he is a big part of my legacy on film and Mr. Miyagi is a part of all of us. What a brilliant performance and a good friend on and off screen. He is missed.”
Cobra Kai (2018)

Many of today’s active fighters who were young in the 80s were inspired to go and visit the closest martial arts gym thanks to the Karate Kid. We discuss with Ralph what the key ingredients were that made the film so successful, and how he has been affected by it. “Relatable characters with a soulful-like magic. Daniel LaRusso had no business winning anything - he was the every-kid next door. So we believed he could be us and that wish-fulfillment became a big part of the success. That, and a great story beautifully told with spot-on casting and of course Mr. Miyagi! Everything came together - the right story at the right time with the right people. Magic!”

Photo: Youtube - Official Cobra Kai Trailer

“Not many days pass without someone making a Karate Kid reference. The more time that goes by the more I embrace it. Generations have been inspired by the film and the character. I think it's a great thing that so many have been influenced to pursue martial arts training. The mental and spiritual philosophy is as important as the physical elements. I was just the guy who got the part in the movie so I find it quite rewarding that folks would feel that I inspired them to take on martial arts. I am proud of that. Especially with the young generation of today.”

By the end of the conversation we ask how it was to take up the karate training again after so long time. “I have dusted of the old gi and I’m back in business! A little tougher to do in my mid-50's as opposed to my early 20's, that's for sure. But I'm hanging in there!”
Photo: Youtube - Official Cobra Kai Trailer

We thank Mr. Ralph Macchio for his time and for bringing all our nostalgic Karate Kid feelings back to life!

Text: Pelle Axelsson