demetri in cobra kai season 3

It’s sometimes hard to get back in the swing of things after a long break. Even when it comes to something as innate as riding a bike, there’s always a moment of uncertainty before your feet remember and muscle memory kicks in. The same was true for Cobra Kai's Gianni DeCenzo, who stars as Demetri on Netflix's popular Karate Kid spinoff series. And no, it wasn't the fight scenes that had DeCenzo feeling nervous.

As Cobra Kai Season 4 is coming together at Netflix, Gianni DeCenzo recently sat down with TV Insider to discuss coming back to the show in the midst of COVID-19 to film more of the martial arts drama. Here’s what he had to say:

After getting to be back on set after about a year, it was amazing. I was nervous. Did I know how to play Demetri anymore? Eventually, it was like riding a bike. It was a little bit more difficult with COVID regulations where you have to wear masks all the time. We actually wore our masks throughout training, but it was awesome to see everyone again. We needed to be able to get back into the swing of things. It was a relief.

Totally valid to be nervous - after all, practice makes perfect whether you're an actor or an archer. However, if the Cobra Kai training schedule is anything to go by, Gianni DeCenzo got back into shit-kicking shape with no problem. Here's how he explained it:

Before each season we have a solid two weeks of just training. We have a little bungalow where we train and work out. The stunt people kick the shit out of us for a solid two weeks to make sure we can kick the shit out of each other, which is a beautiful thing. I definitely think that compared to Season 1, I’ve grown. If you look back then to now, I look like I could kill past me. It’s awesome.

Gianni DeCenzo’s blossoming confidence mirrors his character Demetri’s journey throughout the first three seasons of Cobra Kai. When we first met the nerdy high schooler, he was reluctant to go anywhere near the world of martial arts. Remember the kid that quit on his first day at Cobra Kai? Fast forward to the second season, where Demetri publicly roasted Hawk at a party and then late sent Hawk flying into a trophy display case with a single well-placed kick. Not so nerdy anymore, huh? Still, for an actor who might not dig hard into martial arts during off-time, getting back into that mode can probably be pretty intimidating at first.

The relationship between Demetri and Hawk will presumably be explored more in the upcoming fourth season of Cobra Kai, set to be released later this year. The third season marked a shift for the pair, who eventually reconciled even after Hawk broke Demetri’s arm in a fight. How will the show navigate such rocky terrain? It’s one thing to apologize, but actions speak louder than words (especially actions like karate kicks and punches). Hawk chose to leave Cobra Kai, but will he be accepted by the other students?

Gianni DeCenzo has previously voiced his hopes for future episodes, but only time will tell what Season 4 has in store for Demetri and Hawk. Maybe it's the latter who should have been the most nervous going into the next season.

In the meantime, you can catch up on Cobra Kai's nostalgia-fueled martial arts shenanigans on Netflix while waiting for the 2021 Summer TV season to get here

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