‘Cobra Kai’: Will Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence Team-Up in Season 3?

Now that the first two seasons of Cobra Kai are available on Netflix, Karate Kid enthusiasts everywhere have already binged the follow-up series. The series takes place over three decades after the original film. The first two seasons, once again, pit Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) up against Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka). This time around, they’re the senseis, training students to approach karate from vastly different perspectives. 

Cobra Kai
Ralph Macchio (L) and William Zabka ‘Cobra Kai’ | Taylor Hill/FilmMagic for YouTube

Based on the fallout of events — as well as the character growth that occurs in the first two seasons — a team-up between Johnny Lawrence and Daniel LaRusso seems possible, if not inevitable (even if both members are initially a bit reluctant). 

[‘Cobra Kai’ season 2 spoilers ahead] 

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Diving into the first two seasons of ‘Cobra Kai’ 

At the start of Cobra Kai, Johnny Lawrence is a down-on-his-luck middle-aged man who can’t seem to break from his past — to separate from the turmoil that he carries from adolescence. His character starkly contrasts the successful Daniel LaRusso who owns multiple car dealerships and rides on the slogan “we kick the competition.” 

Johnny Lawrence reluctantly takes in a student after he sees him get beat up in a parking lot. He begins to teach the kid the ways of Cobra Kai — his old dojo. The only problem: the “no mercy’ aspect inherent to the dogma teaches kids to be ruthless, vengeful, unfair, and immoral. In time, he comes to see that this method of instruction is deeply flawed — creating cowards with combat ability, as opposed to men and women with integrity and an ability to defend themselves. 

Before Lawrence can fully begin to teach his students the “right way,” his old sensei, John Kreese, returns. Lawrence has a soft spot for the man and lets him assist. Yet, through Kreese’s series of calculated events and a few unpredictable circumstances, the students begin to respect him more. And, Kreese takes over the dojo behind Lawrence’s back, leaving the original sensei without students. All the while, LaRusso has been training kids how he learned karate under Mr. Miyagi.

Lawrence may have nowhere else to turn come season 3 of ‘Cobra Kai’ 

Johnny Lawrence and Daniel LaRusso no longer have competing dojos: Lawrence is out of a dojo, and Kreese is in charge. If Lawrence cares about these kids, as he seems to, and doesn’t want Kreese indoctrinating them with false concepts of courage and bravery, he will do all in his power to put an end to the dojo. 

Lawrence may turn to LaRusso, explaining what has happened, and the two may work on establishing a unified dojo as a countermeasure. They could confront parents as a unit to explain why their kids should not learn under Kreese — why the man is dangerous.

Those who respect Lawrence will listen, and those who love and respect LaRusso will too, hopefully resulting in the end of Kreese’s reign of terror. All remains to be seen, but with Lawrence’s son enmeshed in a recent attack and turning to LaRusso as a father figure, multiple reasons for these two to align continue to surface.