How The Original ‘Karate Kid’ Inspired Hiro Koda’s Emmy-Nominated Stunts In ‘Cobra Kai’

What is a ‘Karate Kid’ franchise without the epic martial arts?! Well, it wouldn’t be a ‘Karate Kid,’ then. ‘Cobra Kai’ stunt coordinator Hiro Koda reveals how he achieved the epic stunts in the new YouTube Red series.

YouTube Red’s Cobra Kai was a fan-favorite this year, and has already been renewed for a second season! Renowned stuntman and stunt coordinator Hiro Koda brought his knowledge of martial arts, and his love for the original Karate Kid to the set, which landed him an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Stunt Coordinator, Comedy Series. From the intense competition scenes, to the motion-by-motion training Miguel (Xolo Maridueña) receives, Hiro’s hard work and time was put into all of them. “It’s such an honor,” Hiro said of his nomination in an EXCLUSIVE interview with “There was so much hard work that was put into the show. Not just from me or my team, but the cast themselves. We all put in so much training.”

Ralph Macchio and William Zabka needed a little dusting off with their martial arts, as they picked up their belts again in Cobra Kai, 34 years after the original Karate Kid. “They were trained in the 80s, so their style of training is very different from what martial arts has evolved to today,” Hiro explained. “It was such a great thing for me to bring back that traditional style of karate and bring it to today’s world of martial arts. It was very interesting and a lot of fun to sort of make all the different fights, different from the past, but also combine the new and the old.” He added, “All the Cobra Kai characters evolve during the show and what those characters were feeling during the shoot is what has to play into our choreography and design of action. I really wanted to take what’s important to the script and what the writers wrote and how my meetings go with the director on what they come in visions so I can make their visions come to life on screen.”

Well, the action certainly came through in the first, super successful season of Cobra Kai! Tune in to the Emmy Awards on Sept. 17th, to see if Hiro Koda adds an Emmy next to his black belt!

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