Cobra Kai never dies.

Cobra Kai Never Dies
By Dennis DuBay

Growing up in a timeline that was much different than the current timeline we inhabit, entertainment felt … a lot more special in scope. We couldn’t just plunk down on the couch, grab the remote and turn on Netflix, Hulu or whatever other movie streaming site there is this week. We had to all pile into the car, drive into town, pick out the movies, etc.

It was just as much an experience as it was entertainment.

Two movies from my youth are still constants in my life - “Rad” and “The Karate Kid”. I’ve watched both movies roughly one billion times. I own four dvd copies of Rad, because I couldn’t find it for the longest time, so when I finally did, I bought as many copies as I could afford at the time.

Karate Kid is a lot easier to find. I watch it at least three times a month. I don’t know why I love the movie as much as I do, but I do in fact, love it.

It has everything a boy could want: Elizabeth Shue, fighting, a great music soundtrack, a father/son storyline that resonates, the ultimate bad guys and the story of hope and perseverance. Oh, and Elizabeth Shue.

The story of Daniel LaRusso fits just as well (if not better) today, then it did when it was released in 1984. LaRusso is an east coast dude moving to the west coast where all the girls are blonde, all the cars are fast and everyone is into karate. He finds Elisabeth Shue’s character, Ally, on the beach during an end of the summer romp that would change the lives of all involved, forever.

The typical bully scenario kicks in - one that has been looked at from all directions including the idea that LaRusso was the actual bully. Regardless, the story is told perfectly. So perfectly that not only does the original movie hold up after all these years, but a streaming series sequel debuted in 2018 to record reception.

The problem with falling in love with fictional characters on the big screen is that eventually, the real life alter ego’s of the character age, move on, pass away.

This past Friday, one of Johnny Lawrence’s henchmen, Rob Garrison, passed away at the age of 59. Garrison and fellow Cobra Kai members returned for an episode of Cobra Kai in 2018 - Garrison playing a cancer patient who ultimately dies by the end of the episode.

It’s a reminder that even at our physical peaks, eventually we all lose to Father Time - regardless of Mr. Miyagi’s magic clap and rub massage. So you might as well go after that girl on the beach on the last day of summer. Sure, you might get the shit beat out of you … but you might end up playing bumper cars with Ally. We take too many things for granted in this life. The chances we think will never lead us anywhere. The chance’s we’re terrified will lead us to happiness we never thought possible.

Miyagi wasn’t teaching wax on, wax off. He was teaching live free, live with purpose - never surrender. The same thing John Kreese was teaching - only for a more selfish purpose. Live fast, live free.

Cobra Kai never dies.

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