Robby Keene (Tanner Buchanan) and Miguel Diaz (Xolo Maridueña) are two of the new generation of karate practitioners in ‘Cobra Kai.’ Robby is Johnny’s estranged son. He stops going to school after encountering problems because of drugs in the first season. He initially doesn’t have any karate training. But he starts working at Daniel LaRusso’s car dealership and comes to admire the man. Later, he becomes his student. Meanwhile, Miguel is an easy-going and nerdy young man with low self-esteem. Johnny saves him from a group of bullies and later agrees to teach him karate.
The show’s narrative has developed in such a way that Robby and Miguel are almost always pitted against each other. They have a very antagonistic relationship and are depicted as each other’s biggest competition as karate practitioners. If you are wondering whether Buchanan and Maridueña know karate in real life, we got you covered.
Does Tanner Buchanan Know Karate in Real Life?
Buchanan started as a dancer before becoming an actor. Besides ‘Cobra Kai,’ he has also appeared in ‘Modern Family,’ ‘The Goldbergs,’ and ‘Fuller House.’ He has also worked in ‘She’s All That’s gender-swapped remake ‘He’s All That.’ In a December 2020 interview, Buchanan revealed that he received training in taekwondo, adding “just as it seems most kids around the age of 10-12 do.”
However, his busy schedule kept him from achieving the lucrative black belt. “I got a couple belts away from black and then quit because I was too busy,” he stated. He also received some training when he was part of the cast of ‘Designated Survivor’ as Leo Kirkman. “… before I booked ‘Cobra Kai’ I had been training Muay Thai for around eight months in Toronto, Canada,’” he said. And like the rest of the cast of ‘Cobra Kai,’ he has undergone martial arts and choreography training before every season.
Does Xolo Maridueña Know Karate in Real Life?
Maridueña described himself as the cast member with the least amount of training in the same interview before admitting that he received some karate training when he was a child. “To be quite honest, I had minimal experience when it came to karate,” he stated. “I had taken a year or so of karate when I was very young. I never really got into it until booking the first season of ‘Cobra Kai.’”
Maridueña admitted that it was easier for him to do the stunts and boxing during practice sessions for the show than traditional karate. “Now that we’ve filmed almost two seasons, I have more karate experience, but the majority of what we practice is stunts and boxing,” he explained. “I can say confidently that I am more comfortable doing those than traditional karate.” The young actor made a name for himself with the NBC series ’Parenthood,’ portraying Victor Graham. He is set to play Jaime Reyes/Blue Beetle in the upcoming comic book film ‘Blue Beetle.’