Cobra Kai season 5, premiering September 9 on Netflix, will once more see loyalties shift as the karate kids switch dojos and senseis in the wake of the All Valley Tournament. Even as the protagonists have to go through their personal problems and relationship crises, they must also push through it all and become the best martial artists they can. While some characters are trying to overcome their losses—or rejoice over their wins—from the tournament, others are dealing with the question of entering the world of the dojo at all.
Kenny (Dallas Dupree Young) chose to stay with Cobra Kai despite the events of season 4, and is well on his way to becoming one of Terry Silver’s star students. Devon (Oona O’Brien) went from being Johnny’s prodigy at Eagle Fang to joining Silver at Cobra Kai, meaning there could be a team-up in the near future. Hopefully not a team-up against poor Anthony (Griffin Santopietro), however, who only just now is beginning to train under his father Daniel’s tutelage.
Screen Rant spoke to Young, O’Brien, and Santopietro about where they each find themselves at the start of Cobra Kai season 5, who their dream fight would be against, and which star is their real-life sensei.
Screen Rant: Dallas, I’m gonna start with you. Has Kenny taken it too far at this point? What is he struggling with this season?
Dallas Dupree Young: Okay, we’re getting right in there! I’m gonna say, yeah, maybe he has taken a little too far. He did end up getting Griffin in season 4, so I think he’s taken it a little too far just by hurting him a little bit more. You don’t need to do all that.
I think the rivalry is starting to die down a little bit. I think he needs to chill out.
Are you having fun going toe to toe with Griffin a little bit, though?
Dallas Dupree Young: I’m having so much fun, though. I do not want to change that. That has been great with my character.
Griffin, a lot of people have been asking: is there any chance of Anthony joining a dojo and training? Do you think that’s something that’s in his future?
Griffin Santopietro: I think now—especially because of Kenny and what happened last season in the locker room—that it’s kind of a necessity at this point. Unless Anthony wants to keep getting his butt kicked by Kenny, he’s gonna have to learn something.
Oona, how do you describe Devon and Tory’s relationship this season? Because we’ve seen some photos of them together. It seems like they’re going to be a little paired up. What’s going on?
Oona O’Brien: Yeah, Devon finds out she has a lot in common with Tory. She becomes a mentor toward Devon and kind of guides her in the right direction.
We have a lot of senseis in this show. Who has been your onset sensei? Who is the one that you can go to for advice?
Dallas Dupree Young: For me, personally, the answer that would come to mind would definitely be Terry Silver— Thomas Ian Griffith. He is pretty much like our sensei in real life and on camera.
Anytime we’re slipping up on a certain technique and or a certain move, he’ll adjust it and let us know what we can do. Pretty much, if I’m throwing a punch, and I’m not turning my hips—I remember this happened early in the season—he just was like, “Hey, Dallas. If you just turn your hip a little bit more, you’ll have a little more power.” And it really came to life; I did that. We had a conversation about different techniques; how to keep growing and keep learning in karate.
Oona O’Brien: For me, it’s Johnny Lawrence—[William] Zabka. He always gives great advice, whether it’s acting or karate. These guys have been doing it for a while, and they’re pretty good at karate now too. So, they’re always there to help you out.
Griffin Santopietro: I guess we’re all doing our actual senseis, but mine’s definitely got to be Ralph [Macchio]. Just getting to work with him for the last five years has been—mostly from an acting standpoint; I can’t speak too much to the karate yet. But from the professional standpoint, he’s been really helpful in teaching me things; I’m just getting to watch him and learn. He’s like my TV dad, and I feel like I can come to him with any problem.
Is there anyone that you haven’t had the chance to fight, or really have a lot of scenes with, that you would love the chance to go toe-to-toe with in a future season?
Dallas Dupree Young: I would love to have a battle against Miguel. I think that’d be really cool; something different. And he is pretty much like the Karate Kid of the story, so I think just to have a battle with him would be awesome.
Griffin Santopietro: I think it’s only a matter of time ’till we get the Anthony-Kreese fight. That could be the great climax. We’re both going to have swords, Anthony and Kreese, and then we’re going to take each other down. I think that’s going to be a good ending.
Oona O’Brien: That makes perfect sense. I’d love to take down Kenny and Anthony. I think she could fight them at the same time and take them both down. [Laughs]
Cobra Kai Season 5 Synopsis
Cobra Kai takes place over 30 years after the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament with the continuation of the inescapable conflict between Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka).
Following the shocking results of the All Valley Tournament, Season 5 finds Terry Silver expanding the Cobra Kai empire and trying to make his “No Mercy” style of karate the only game in town. With Kreese behind bars and Johnny Lawrence setting karate aside to focus on repairing the damage he’s caused, Daniel LaRusso must call on an old friend for help.
Check out our other interviews with Cobra Kai stars:
All episodes of Cobra Kai season 5 will be available to stream September 9 on Netflix.