In her All Valley fight with Tory Nichols, Sam LaRusso created her own hybrid style of karate and she embodied the true theme of Season 4 of Cobra Kai.
Warning: SPOILER for Cobra Kai Season 4.
Samantha LaRusso (Mary Mouser) didn’t rely solely on Miyagi D0 karate in Cobra Kai Season four of the All Valley Championship final against Tory Nichols (Peyton List). The Cobra Kai season 4 All Valley tournament has been changed its format to create a boys and girls section, as well as preliminary rounds of skills. Sam surprised Tory by changing her fighting style, but it wasn’t enough to win the championship, despite the unwitting victim of Cobra Kai’s sensei Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith) cheating LaRusso and Nichols.
Sam could have been the last karate student of the late Miyagi-san (Noriyuki “Pat” Morita). Daniel LaRusso’s (Ralph Macchio) favorite child learned her first karate moves from Miyagi-san at the age of 8, but she stopped training until she became a teenager. In the second season of Cobra Kai, Sam joined Daniel’s newly launched Miyagi-Do-Dojo. Daniel’s daughter is a natural karate child, and Sam became one of Miyagi-Do’s top students, along with Robby Keene (Tanner Buchanan), who eventually left Miyagi-Do and defected to Cobra Kai. In Cobra Kai season 4, Robby taught Miyagi-Do’s to his Cobra Kai cohorts Defensive style that nullifies the advantage Sam and her friends had by learning both Miyagi-Do and the offensive-based Eagle Fang karate system from Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) after Daniel and Johnny agreed to combine their dojos .
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In her All Valley final against Tory, Sam combined the styles of Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang and created a hybrid combat mode that was one of a kind. Sam was aware that Tory knew Miyagi-Dos counter moves, so with the blessings of Daniel and Johnny, LaRusso finally fought the way she wanted to fight. When Sam combined Mr. Miyagi’s katas with Johnny’s “badass” offense, she scored her first point against Tory by unleashing the flying tornado kick that Sensei Lawrence had taught her without Daniel knowing it. but Sam’s archenemy Tory is a formidable fighter too, and she used her own mix of Miyagi-Dos blocks and Cobra Kai punches. What neither Sam nor Tory knew was that Terry Silver paid the umpire to score in Cobra Kai’s favor. Tory won the fight, but Samantha technically beat her by scoring a point that the corrupt official deemed inadmissible.
Sam’s merger of Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang, which is actually just Johnny’s version of Cobra Kai, into its own system brought about LaRusso’s Cobra Kai Season 4 Arc. After numerous arguments with Tory and Cobra Kai outside of the tournament, Samantha became frustrated and felt limited by it Miyagi-Dos principles of karate used only for self defense. As a hothead like her father, Sam was intrigued by Johnny’s sermons, “Strike like an eagle first,” and LaRusso correctly recognized that the best way as a student of karate was to learn both Daniel and Johnny’s styles.
Sam’s Journey is the real theme of season four of Cobra Kai, in which even Daniel and Johnny finally realized that their stubborn belief that their path was “the only way” wasn’t true. It was Samatha who fully understood that she didn’t need to cling to the stubborn views of her father or Johnny’s and that she had to go her own way. Taking both styles of karate and integrating them into “their way” is what every student at Cobra Kai must do in the future, not just Sam.
The heartbreak for young LaRusso is that despite her incredibly effective hybrid of Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang, Sam “did everything right” that All Valley still hasn’t won, despite not knowing that Terry Silver cheated on. It was a terrible humiliation for Sam and Daniel LaRusso not to win the All Valley that cost them the Miyagi-Do dojo. Still, it is the future how Cobra Kai’s students will learn their favorite martial art when Sam Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fangs combine karate into their own personal style. All karate kids who use hybrid karate Samantha and Tory tat will only do Cobra Kai The fights of season 5 are even more exciting.
Cobra Kai Season 4 is streamed on Netflix.
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About the author
(2037 articles published)
John Orquiola is a features writer who has been with Screen Rant for the past four years. He began as an assistant director on various independent films. A lover of film and film theory, John wrote humorous film reviews on his blog Back of the Head that caught his eye on Screen Rant. John happily became the Star Trek guy at Screen Rant, directing feature coverage of the various Star Trek series, but he also writes on a wide range of topics from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to Cobra Kai. His other big nerdy loves are British TV series like The Crown, Downton Abbey and Killing Eve. John can be found on Twitter @BackoftheHead for photos of his meal.