15 Facts About Cobra Kai And Martial Arts
The new season of Cobra Kai is out. We’ve been thinking about the world of the show and The Karate Kid, as well as other martial arts icons, from Jackie Chan to Dolph Lundgreen to the Ninja Turtles. We’ve also been looking at the real world of martials arts, in which chimps battle, fighters protect politicians, and people torture themselves on purpose.
Here's a look back at the facts we learned this week. These short summaries are not meant to be appreciated by themselves—each one links to a full article we put out this past week with much more info, so click every one that interests you, or you'll be barred from all future competitions.
1. We got Cobra Kai thanks to Fuller House.
Sure, there have been plenty of other revivals in the last decade or so. But it was the giant Fuller House billboards that convinced the creators that “what’s old is new again.”
2. The martial art of iron crotch involves banging your own crotch to strengthen it.
Practitioners swing a steel-tipped 90-pound battering ram at their crotches till they feel no pain.
3. An underrated weapon to use in a fight? A ladder.
For proof, never mind martial arts movies. Just look at pro wrestling.
4. Hollywood planned a crossover between The Karate Kid and Rocky.
Rocky's son and Daniel's daughter were going to open a dojo together. Mr. Miyagi and Mickey would pop by as trainers.
5. We had some thoughts about how other characters might fare in the Cobra Kai universe.
6. The Karate Kid tried and failed to grab a fly out of the air for real.
One tactic involved refrigerating flies to slow them down. Somehow, this did not work.
7. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles once fought Dracula.
One might say that this show was not an entirely serious martial arts story after all.
8. Some maniac taught a chimp martial arts.
Charlie the chimp started doing roundhouse kicks, which you have to see to believe.
9. Police used to use nunchucks, and a few in California have started again.
Rather than the original combat function, they use the weapon to pinch the target’s wrist or leg, to pain them into submission.
10. Burglars fled a home when they realized it belonged to Dolph Lundgren.
11. Alibaba Group’s billionaire founder Jack Ma commissioned a short film in which he defeats famous martial artists.
He fights and beats Jet Li, Donnie Chen, Tony Jaa, and more. He claimed the goal of this project was to promote Chinese traditions.
12. Jackie Chan does not look back fondly on the Rush Hour movies.
They were too American and didn’t suit his sense of humor, he said, but he returned to the franchise when they offered him an “irresistible” sum of money.
13. Japan offered Margaret Thatcher 20 karate ladies.
She was visiting Tokyo for the 1979 G7 summit, and Britain turned down the offer of the expanded security detail.
14. The original Fast and Furious planned an elaborate martial arts fight between Paul Walker and another character.
They scrapped that for something much more grounded. The grounded approach to action did not become a series staple.
15. The Karate Kid director filmed a full-length rehearsal with a camcorder.
So there’s now a version of the film that’s pretty much the same as the original—same script, same cast—but looks like an ’80s home movie.