More than 30 years after Daniel LaRusso, aka The Karate Kid, made audiences worldwide root for him against his rival Johnny, his story still unfolds in Netflix’s Cobra Kai. Fans of the former films would equally find pleasure, nostalgia, comedy, excitement, drama, martial arts, and action in this sequel to the films.
Cobra Kai is a karate kid spinoff based on The Karate Kid film series created by Robert Mark Karnen. Developed for television by Josh Heald, Hayden Schlossberg, and Joh Hurwitz, it is an American action comedy-drama.
The series first launched on YouTube Premium in 2018, reviving the beloved 80s movie. A second season followed in 2019. However, after the production of season three wrapped up, YouTube decided to go against the original plan.
In June 2020, Netflix stepped in, acquired the rights to stream the series, and released the third season on its streaming platform on January 1, 2021, garnering a massive audience. Cobra Kai had already been renewed for its fourth season and premiered in April.
Cobra Kai tells the story of a middle-aged and successful Daniel running a lucrative auto dealership, living in a beautiful house with a near-perfect family. On the flip side, his rival Johnny is portrayed as a loser struggling to make ends meet. The plot takes off 30 years after the events of the original movie in 1984. It continues from Johnny’s perspective about his choice to revive the karate dojo and renew his longstanding enmity with Daniel.
Starring Ralph Macchio and William Zabka, who both repeat their characters as Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence respectively from the 1984 movie, The Karate Kid. It also stars Xolo Mariduena, Courtney Henggeler, Tanner Buchanan, Mary Mouser, Jacob Bertrand, and Nichole Brown. Cobra Kai didn’t entirely take audiences back to Southern California, where The Karate Kid was born and forged.
Cobra Kai is set in Los Angeles but was primarily filmed in Atlanta, Georgia, and Los Angeles, California, USA. All scenes in seasons 1 and 2 were filmed in other cities throughout Georgia – Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Marietta, Conyers, and Union City. Atlanta Motor Superstore, Crossroads Shopping Center, and C.T. Martin Natatorium and Recreation Center were also among the filming locations. Other California filming locations besides Los Angeles are Encino, Tarzana, and Reseda.
Where was Cobra Kai Filmed?
Cobra Kai Dojo
This location certainly appears in a neighborhood in Los Angeles, but the strip mall housing Johnny’s business is located in the Crossroads Shopping Center, Atlanta (2779 Lakewood Avenue SW).
The shopping center stands in for the exterior scenes while the dojo’s interior scenes are shot on a soundstage at Gray Studios, Atlanta.
Well, the series is set in Los Angeles. So the LaRusso family home, beautiful and huge, is located in a Los Angeles suburb, right? It sure looks like it is somewhere in a wealthy part of the Encino valley in the show. But no, the house that audiences view is in Marietta, Georgia, at 130 Woodlawn Dr. NE.
The large mansion has a swimming pool, an indoor atrium, a one-acre space outside the home, and a greenhouse.
LaRusso Auto Group
In season one, scenes of this beloved dealership were filmed at the Atlanta Motors Superstore, 6470 Oakley Industrial Boulevard, Union City, Georgia. For the LaRusso North Hollywood branch in season two, the headquarters of the Butler Lexus of South Atlanta served as its filming location at 4025 Jonesboro Road, Union City.
West Valley High School
Not one but two locations served as filming grounds for West Valley High School.
The high school where Hawk, Miguel, and Samantha attend was filmed at C.T. Martin Natatorium and Recreation Center in Adamsville, Atlanta. The center boasts of aquatics, athletics, and afterschool programs.
Though Atlanta Technical College was the filming location of the brutal, cliff-hanger fight which ended season two.
Cobra Kai City Locations
Big Bear Lake, a bar where Johnny meets his old high school friends in episode 6, is filmed at the Ideal Sportsbar in Lakewood Heights, Atlanta.
The Cascade Family Skating in Adamsville is the location for the skating rink in episode 8, and Rio Bravo Cantina Restaurant in Sandy Springs, Georgia, serves as the double-date restaurant scenes in episode 9.
Johnny Lawrence’s Apartment
The apartment building housing Johnny and Miguel’s (Xoxo Mariduena) grimy one-bedroom flat is located in a low-income part of the San Fernando Valley, Reseda.
Scenes of the exterior of the flat were filmed at 18555 Burbank Blvd, Tarzana, California. The apartment is one of the few locations in the series which was filmed in California.
All Valley Sports Arena
Another location where the scenes were split and filmed between two sites in Los Angeles and Georgia.
Some scenes were filmed at The Matadone Gymnasium in the California State University, Northridge, Los Angeles.
Then during the Under-18 Karate Championship of the 50th Anniversary, the filming location moved to Atlanta at the gymnasium of the Kennesaw State University, Marietta.
The scenes in Karate Kid Part II were supposedly filmed in Okinawa but, in reality, were filmed in Hawaii.
For Cobra Kai’s season three, history will not be repeating itself. The creators are taking things further. In this season, Daniel actually travels to Japan to visit Tomi Village. A village located in Okinawa, Mr. Miyagi’s hometown. Okinawa has hundreds of islands and is ideal for touring, venturing out to the coral reefs, and basically basking in the beauty of nature.
The two skyscraper views of the Doyona International headquarters belong to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. However, the entrance hall is filmed in the High Museum of Art, Atlanta.
Tomi Village’s scenes are filmed in at least three locations.
For the scene of the viewpoint, the Mutabaru Observatory Ogimi Village Park was the filming location. Ogimi is purportedly filled with jungles and rocky cliffs.
Kenny’s Alley in Underground Atlanta had scenes filmed for the Tomi Village Green, and Obstaculos, the lake where audiences see Sam and Daniel in a boat in episode seven, is filmed at the scenic park of Sweetwater Creek State Park, Lithia Springs in downtown Atlanta.
The location of this zoo in episode nine is the Fernbank Science Center. It is located near Decatur and a natural history museum.
Northridge City Council
The chambers of Marietta City Hall, Georgia, was the filming location of the chambers of the Northridge City Council.
Other Cobra Kai Filming Locations:
- Scenes for the Golf ‘N’ Stuff were filmed in Atlanta at the Fun Spot America. The sign was the same one used in the film The Karate Kid.
- Johnny roaming around the town in his car was filmed at Ventura Blvd and Burbank Blvd.
- The scene of Johnny getting fired from his job is located at the Mulholland Scenic Overlook.
- The front of the old Cobra Kai dojo was filmed in an empty shop in the Crossroads Shopping Center. The dojo from the film was situated at 5223 Landershim Blvd, Los Angeles.