The first film “Karate Kid” introduced us to the slogan of Cobra Kai “strike first strike hard no mercy“. There is depth in this slogan, which seems excessive. Recently I watched the third season of Cobra Kai. We both loved it and we can’t wait for the fourth season! This show is very entertaining and appeals to those who grew up in the 1980s. Nice to see this slogan again at Johnny Lawrence’s dojo.
Let’s start with strike First:
Remember the famous quote by Gichin Funakoshi, the founder of modern karate: “There is no first attack in karate.” I believe the two quotes are related. From a self-defense point of view, you should never attack first but should attack first. The moment a robber attacks you, you must avoid this attack and strike first. If you dodge the attack and let the attacker strike first, you are in trouble.
About a month ago, I announced that I had expanded the list of Bamboo Spirit concepts. One of the concepts is essentially a “Strike First” extension in my native language. Specifically, Concept # 4 says: “Never defend passively. Attack the intruder. “It’s one thing to sit at a computer and appreciate it rationally. But it is quite another matter to understand this after sparring, be it karate, Thai boxing, or Filipino martial arts.
Strike hard! This should be self-evident, especially in a self-defense situation. Fast forward to 2:05 of this video to see a girl strike hard! Ooh boy! She almost drove me into the office behind me.
Striking hard increases the likelihood that a self-defense situation will end quickly. If a hard blow with the palm of the hand to the face sends an assailant to the ground, great! On the other hand, a weak strike can only enrage an attacker. The more you screw up in self-defense, the more likely it will end badly for you. Read more about Jotaro Kujo.
The Cobra Kai version of this is acting in a cruel and ruthless manner. Sensei John Kreese is the epithet of “No Mercy”. Remember, however, that this is entirely in the context of tournament fighting and the philosophy of life. “No mercy” in the context of self-defense means something else entirely. In defending yourself, you must do so cruelly and with all your emotional energy until you have created an opening for an exit or escape.
However, “strike first strike hard no mercy “is NOT an endorsement of going from self-defense to attacking and beating. Moreover, it does not mean the use of force inappropriate for the situation. Your self-defense methods should not be underestimated. You must fully commit yourself to the cause until you succeed and remove yourself from the situation.
Not everyone is thrilled with the return of Cobra Kai. Daniel knows that Cobra Kai’s teaching encourages students to act devious and ruthless. In response, Daniel opens the Miyagi dojo to teach students how to defend themselves, as Mr. Miyagi taught him.
Moreover, Daniel teaches his disciples how to control their anger and self-doubt and how to rise above their adversity. The wisdom of Mr. Miyagi’s wax-and-wax teaching is that daily humble tasks that require discipline and care add up to prepare people for greater challenges.