9 Best Fighters In The Karate Kid & Cobra Kai, Ranked

The Karate Kid movies and Netflix’s Cobra Kai series have produced a number of extremely talented martial artists of varying levels of skill. The many fights that have taken place across both the show and the films have done much shed to light on which characters stand above all the rest. That being said, some people never fighting, contradicting results, and improvements made by certain characters have caused debates over who’s stronger to continue for years.

Both generations featured in The Karate Kid franchise boast characters with impressive fighting abilities. But of course, some are clearly better at karate than others. Several of the teenage characters, such as Demetri, Kenny, and Tory, have come far in their training, but haven’t progressed enough to be included in the highest tier of Cobra Kai’s fighters just yet. Only a little more than a handful truly deserve to be called the best of the bunch. Based on how numerous fights have played out, there is enough evidence to establish a ranking of the Miyagiverse’s most skilled characters. Here’s who the franchise’s nine best fighters are ahead of Cobra Kai’s final season.

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8 Robby

Robby fighting Daniel in Cobra Kai

When it comes to the younger generation of fighters in Cobra Kai, Tanner Buchanan’s Robby Keene stands out as one of the show’s best. Thanks to his natural talent and excellent grasp of Miyagi-do principles, Robby quickly became a formidable martial artist in the series. Cobra Kai season 4 drew to attention to the gap between him and the other students by having characters like Kreese and Silver acknowledge him as the dojo’s best chance at winning the All-Valley. As evidenced by his abilities to fight all of Cobra Kai’s fighters (Tory included) in season 4, Robby is indeed a martial arts prodigy and is well on his way to becoming a successor to Daniel and Johnny when he grows older.

7 Miguel

Miguel and robby rematch fight in Cobra Kai season 5

For a long time, there’s been a great deal of uncertainty regarding which Cobra Kai character is the show’s best teenage fighter. What stopped Miguel from being the clear favorite was his inability to beat Robby fairly in season 1 and his struggles against him during their season 4 fight. However, the series finally settled this argument in season 5 by giving them a rematch that ended in an undisputed victory for Miguel. By beating Robby, Miguel proved that he’s the dojo’s best shot at winning the Sekai Taikai in Cobra Kai season 6.

6 Mike Barnes

Johnny Mike Barnes Chozen Cobra Kai Season 5

In spite of only being in two Cobra Kai episodes, Mikes Barnes has already solidified his status as one of the franchise’s most formidable characters. In The Karate Kid Part III, Barnes was arguably better than Daniel, regardless of the fact that he lost the All-Valley. After all, Silver’s impractical fighting strategy contributed more to Barnes’ defeat than anything else.

Judging by what happened in Cobra Kai season 5, Barnes’ martial arts skill hasn’t deteriorated in the slightest. Surprisingly, he held his own against Chozen and fought well against Silver’s karate instructors. But because of how short his time in the series is, it would be premature to suggest that he’s a superior fighter to Johnny, Daniel, and Chozen at this time.

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5 Kreese

Kreese Cobra Kai

Age has slowed Kreese down, but Martin Kove’s character remains a force to be reckoned with. For all of Daniel and Johnny’s critiques about his teachings, there’s no denying the merits of Kreese’s approach to martial arts. Combined with with his tactical mind, his ruthlessness makes him a challenge for almost any character in the franchise, regardless of his age. That being said, his loss to Daniel, how he fared against Johnny, and his defeats at the hands of Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid movies go to show that he’s far from unbeatable.

4 Terry Silver

Terry Silver vs. Chozen in Cobra Kai

After making a strong case for himself as Cobra Kai’s top martial artist, Terry Silver turned in a disappointing performance in two of his three season 5 fights. The character beating Johnny and Daniel indicated thar his skills were above both characters, but later developments proved otherwise. He technically did beat Chozen, but only because the latter was distracted. Not only that, but Silver actually held the advantage due to Chozen being drunk and unarmed at the start of the fight.

To add insult to injury, Cobra Kai delivered another loss for the villain by seeing a focused Daniel take him down him as well. His loss naturally calls the result of his fight with Johnny into question and raises the possibility that Silver only won because he had the element of surprise on his side. By all indications, there are at least four characters in the franchisewho are better fighters than Silver now.

3 Daniel & Johnny

Daniel and Johnny training in Cobra Kai

Even when Daniel triumphed over Johnny at the end of The Karate Kid, one character wasn’t obviously better than the other. But at least in the 1980s, it was reasonable to give the edge to Daniel since he did have the win in the tournament, but Cobra Kai has since complicated matters by refraining from allowing a clear winner to emerge in their repeated fights. In season 4, Cobra Kai made its position on the Johnny vs. Daniel debate known by letting their match end in a tie. With that in mind, it’s only fair to call Johnny and Daniel equals, as there’s nothing that’s happened since then to indicate otherwise.

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2 Chozen

Chozen wearing his gi, in a fighting stance in a scene from Cobra Kai

Chozen, a character Daniel seemingly surpassed in The Karate Kid Part II, got a surprising win over Daniel in Cobra Kai season 3. It would seem that unlike Johnny and Daniel, Chozen never lost interest in martial arts and has been training vigorously for decades. By keeping up with his training and devoting much of his life to karate, Chozen has been able to win one-on-one fights with both Daniel and Terry Silver. So far, his fighting prowess appears to be unmatched. Until someone in Cobra Kai manages to defeat him, it’s fair to count the former villain as Cobra Kai’s top fighter.

1 Mr. Miyagi

Miyagi attempting to catch a fly in Karate Kid Cropped

Chozen may be the best martial artist that Cobra Kai has to offer, but there’s still one character in The Karate Kid universe that outclasses him. Played by Pat Morita, Mr. Miyagi has yet to be outdone by anyone. It was apparent as early as the first movie that he was a master martial artist, but it’s actually the third movie that continues to separate him from the rest of the competition. In one scene, the aging karate expert single-handedly dispatched Terry Silver, Kreese, and Mike Barnes with ease. Silver and Kreese were both in their prime, and Barnes was fresh off of his victory in a national karate tournament. As good as Johnny, Chozen, and Daniel have become, it’s hard to imagine any of them pulling off such an amazing feat.

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