Cobra Kai is an American martial art comedy-drama television series. It is a sequel to the original The Karate Kid films by Robert Mark Kamen. Two of the main stars of the Karate Kid franchise, Ralph Macchio and William Zabka returned to the show. Cobra Kai is an amazing show, but are there any other karate shows like Cobra Kai?
Let’s talk about Cobra Kai for a moment first. It is set 34 years later after the original The Karate Kid premiered in 1984. This time, the show re-examines the Miyagi-Verse narrative from Johnny’s point of view and his decision to reopen the Cobra Kai dojo. Zabka portrays again Johnny Lawrence, as he rekindles his old rivalry with Daniel LaRusso, played by Macchio.
The series has high viewership on both YouTube and Netflix. Met with critical acclaim, the show received a nomination for Outstanding Comedy Series during the 73rd Primetime Emmy Award Ceremony.
The show aired its first two seasons on YouTube, but then YouTube decided to stop producing scripted original programming. Luckily, Netflix picked it up for the third and fourth seasons.
Netflix renewed the show for the fifth Cobra Kai season in August 2021.
The fun part about the show is that this time, Johnny’s dojo attracts a group of bullied social outcasts who find camaraderie and self-confidence in his dojo. Under his tutelage, the kids improve their lives and develop a bond with him. The bond between Johnny and his students has a great resemblance to the original bond between Daniel and Mr. Miyagi.
With that in mind, let’s talk about other karate and fighting shows like Cobra Kai.
If you love martial arts, Warrior is the show to watch. You will have a hard time finding a better show than this HBO masterpiece.
It is an action drama set in 1870s San Francisco. Warrior follows Chinese immigrant Andrew Koji who works as a muscle for gangs in the infamous Tong Wars.
But this is where the similarities end between Cobra Kai and Warrior. Unlike Cobra Kai, Warrior is extremely violent, bloody, and serious. And it is pretty adult as well.
But if love watching martial arts, this serious show might be the one.
At first glance, there is nothing similar between the Witcher and Cobra Kai. One is a fun karate show, and the other is a fantasy drama. But it is all about the relationship between the characters.
The Witcher was released as a Netflix Original series and it is now renewed for a third season. You get a bit of fighting, but different than the one in Cobra Kai.
If you are into supernatural series, check out WU Assassins. John Wirth and Tony Krantz created this show for Netflix and it premiered in August 2019.
Starring Iko Uwais, Lewis Tan, Lawrence Kao, Celia Au, Li Jun Li, and many more stars. Critics praise the fight choreography. And that is understandable when you have Iko Uwais in the main role. The plot is not as great.
In February 2021, the WU Assassins Fistful of Vengeance movie was announced.
The show itself follows Kai Jin, a young Chinatown chef in present-day San Francisco. He becomes entangled with the Chinese Triad mafia and their pursuit of deadly ancient powers known as the Wu Xing.
Kai encounters a mystical spirit and becomes the WU Assassin, imbued with the skill and power of 1,000 monks who have died to place their collective essence into an amulet. Kai absorbs the amulet and uses his martial arts to recover supernatural powers. He is the last in the line of Wu Assassins.
Jim O’Doherty created the American comedy television series. It aired on Disney XD from June 2011 to March 2015. It stars Leo Howard, Dylan Riley Snyder, Mateo Arias, Olivia Holt, Jason Earles, and Alex Christian Jones in the main roles. It launched as the highest-rated series premiere on Disney XD history.
The show is set in a strip mall, where the Bobby Wasabi Martial Arts Academy is known as the worst dojo in the underperforming Bobby Wasabi chain. To improve the image of the dojo, the group of underdogs enlists Jack to join and help teach them about life and karate.
The premise of the show also focuses on the Wasabi code. All members have to follow it all the time, which is, “We swear by the light of the dragon’s eye to be loyal and honest and never say die. Wasabi”.
Saved By The Bell
If you are craving the sweet nostalgia of Cobra Kai, then try this show. This TV show will take you back to the 1980s and 1990s. Similar to Cobra Kai, the series follows the characters from the original series years later. In this case, Zack is the governor of California.
Saved by the Bell also follows a completely new generation of high school students who realize the older characters cannot stop living in the past.
The series pokes fun at the original by pointing out some of the things that haven’t stood the test of time.
Into the Badlands
Are you a karate fan? And you want to see more karate and less “the kid”? Then this action-adventure series is the one for you. It ran for three seasons on AMC.
Into the Badlands follows a warrior played by Daniel Wu. His name is Sunny. Alongside a young boy, M.K., played by Aramis Knight, they go on a journey to seek true enlightenment.
The show is heavy on martial arts and formulas from that genre. During their journey, the two friends battle many foes along the way.
The added elements of warlords, mystics, and magic make the show quite more mature and darker than Cobra Kai. The cinema-level fight choreography is the strength of the show.
Teenage Bounty Hunters
Speaking about shows like Cobra Kai, let’s check a dramedy about a pair of high schoolers. They become teenage bounty hunters.
The two main characters are played by Maddie Phillips and Anjelica Bette Fellini. Their characters, Sterling and Blair are normal teenage twins on the outside.
But then they land a job to earn money. They have to manage the balance between their crazy adventures and standard coming-of-age challenges like school and dating. The show remains lovable throughout the whole time.
The show was created for the streaming service Netflix. Even though it aired on Netflix, it was set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Iron Fist shares continuity with the films of the franchise and was the fourth show in a series that led to The Defenders.
Marvel Television produced the show in association with ABC Studios. Finn Jones portrayed the titular character, Danny Rand. He is a martial arts expert with the ability to call upon a mystical power known as the Iron Fist.
Netflix canceled the show after two seasons.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
If you want to watch something old, this is the show. It is a nostalgic series about a group of super-powered teenagers that use their powers to fight evil. Full of fight scenes and teen drama, the show is quite decent.
Cobra Kai fans can thoroughly enjoy the show.
Highlander The Series
This show ran for six seasons in the 1990s. It had a science-fiction element to it, but there is still enough fighting for fans of Cobra Kai.
Similar to the Karate Kid and Cobra Kai, Highlander is all about the battle between good and evil. It follows the immortal Duncan MacLeod. He can only be killed by decapitation. In the show, Duncan risks his life to save and defend good people. Yes, he has seen how terrible humanity can be during his hundreds of years on Earth, but still chooses to help people.
This epic saga is about a woman coming into her newfound powers and unleashing them onto both heaven and hell. It is based on the comic book character Warrior Nun Areala.
The Netflix original fantasy series follows the 19-years-old Ava, played by Alba Baptista. She is given new life and resurrected in a morgue when a mysterious and ancient halo is placed on her back.
Ava is recruited into the Order of the Cruciform Sword. The order have a mission to protect the halo in her back and send demons back to hell.
This gritty drama focuses on the world of mixed martial arts. Frank Grillo plays the main character Alvey Kulina. He is a retired MMA fighter who runs his own training gym.
Similar to Cobra Kai and Johnny, Kulina is a troubled character who must deal with his own troubles in life while helping his students achieve success.
Filed with MMA action, the show also has a decent amount of melodrama. Singer Nick Jonas plays one of the sons of the main character.
The show aired on CW and it matches Cobra Kai’s passion in battles. Similar to Cobra Kai, the underdogs thrive in Kung Fu.
Olivia Lang portrays the main character, Nicky Sten. She is a star college student who leaves school and travels to China where she joins a monastery and trains for three years in martial arts philosophy.
After returning to San Francisco, she finds that her family and the neighborhood have been plagued by ruthless gangs and murderous crooks. So, Nicky takes matters into her own hands.
Nicky defends and protects her family all while trying to hunt down a deadly assassin who killed her mentor in China.
The original series by the Discovery Channel, Fight Quest is a travel documentary with MMA fighters Jimmy Smith and Doug Anderson. They travel the world and interact with local martial arts masters.
After a week of training with local MMA masters, Jimmy and Doug show what they have learned while taking on the students. This is a reality show with a dramatic flair.