Cobra Kai's Peyton List Discusses Getting Fighting Tips From Karate Kid Veterans Ralph Macchio, William Zabka and Martin Kove

Tory in Cobra Kai
(Image credit: Netflix)

Cobra Kai Season 5 is imminent, and after a bunch of teases and reveals, we’ll get to see the teens of the Valley kicking ass, taking names, and waging a war that first started decades ago with The Karate Kid. Cobra Kai is nothing without its talented young cast, who perform a bulk of the action sequences in the franchise. Peyton List shoulders a lot of those scenes as Tory Nichols and recently revealed she does occasionally hit up the veteran actors for fighting tips on set. 

Peyton List spoke to Variety about Tory’s journey in Cobra Kai, and interacting with the older cast versus her peers. List was asked if she shares fighting tips with guys like Ralph Macchio and William Zabka, and the actress explained she would never: 

I feel like I wouldn’t dare give a tip to any of the older guys. After The Karate Kid, a lot of them started training in martial arts, so they’re all martial artists and their kids are martial artists. Ralph [Macchio] is very self-deprecating. He loves to pretend, ‘Oh, I’m the old guy. I can’t do this anymore.’ Billy [Zabka] is definitely not that way, he will never be self-deprecating with his fighting. When I first came in, I was the one that needed some tips and Marty [Kove] was giving me so much shit. He was like, ‘We wondered why you were cast as Tory when we saw your first fight scene.’

As A Cobra Kai fan and longtime fan of The Karate Kid, nothing gives me greater joy than learning about Martin Kove ribbing Peyton List as she got started in the Netflix series. It’s one of those classic villain moves that just feels so true to his character on the show, though in truth, his character might’ve been a lot meaner in critiquing her performance. John Kreese also choked out Johnny Lawrence when he was a teen though, so it’s not like we’d want Kove getting completely into character on set. 

Cobra Kai Season 5 should be a big one for Tory, as she was the female winner of the latest All-Valley tournament. Granted, Tory witnessed her coach Terry Silver paying off the judge after what was a very close match between her and Samantha LaRusso, so I’m sure she’ll have a chip on her shoulder and want to ensure that she truly earned that title. Personally, I thought she had it won regardless of whether the match was fixed or not, but it was a very close and intense match between them.

She’ll definitely have a chance to sharpen her skills thanks to the new instructor Cobra Kai gets in Season 5, Kim Da-Eun. Peyton List teased that Kim will push Tory to be better and increase her self-confidence. In short, I’m not sure Sam stands a chance against Tory this season, but I guess we’ll all just have to tune in with our Netflix subscriptions and see. 

Cobra Kai Season 5 arrives on Netflix on Friday, September 9. It’s up to Daniel, Johnny, and others to attempt and stop Terry Silver’s master plan to spread Cobra Kai throughout the nation, but given all the extra help and former friends that Silver’s enlisted, I’m truly eager to see whether or not that will be possible. Wasn’t this franchise so much simpler when the day could be saved with nothing more than a simple crane kick? 

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.