What William Zabka really thinks of Martin Kove


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William Zabka speaks during a panel at Comic Con 2019 in San Diego.

In the 1984 film “The Karate Kid” and the acclaimed series “Cobra Kai”, sensei John Kreese (Martin Kove) causes quite a bit of trouble for Johnny Lawrence (William “Billy” Zabka). While Kove convincingly plays Zabka’s karate rival, some fans may be curious about what the actors think about each other in real life.


William Zabka and Ralph Macchio discussed Martin Kove in August 2021

In August 2021, William Zabka and Ralph Macchio, who plays Daniel LaRusso, were interviewed by Entertainment Weekly TV critic Kristen Baldwin for for the benefit of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation. Zabka shared that he enjoyed working alongside Kove.

“I love working with Marty. He’s just a teddy bear and he’s a lot of fun, ”said the 55-year-old.

He went on to clarify that although he thinks the 75-year-old actor is “a teddy bear”, Kove has “a lot of John Kreese in him”.

“It’s great, we flip the switch and he becomes Kreese and I become Johnny, the same with Daniel and Johnny and everyone. Something else happens, we just go into an alternate universe of a way and let’s live in it and come out of it. It’s awesome, so Marty is amazing, ”Zabka explained.

The 55-year-old went on to explain what it was like to have Kove as a stage partner during the fight sequences in “Cobra Kai”.

“I like working with him and fighting with him, even though he’s a bit slow in his movements. Here’s a really quick thing – we had a fight and he moved a little slower than me on my lead and my toe got stuck in his big old monster foot and completely stuck and nobody knew that. My stuntman is out there ready to take over if I don’t finish the fight and I was limping and literally stuck my toe out and I’m fine, I have to go a little slower on Marty, ”the actor shared .

Zabka also noted that despite Kove being around 70 years old, “he is very impatient [and] he is very determined “while doing stunts for the show.

“He wants to do his best, he’s really serious about fighting. He really wants to do karate and you know he’s a little older than us and he works, works hard, you know he’s in the gym every day, yeah, he works so hard, ”Zabka said.

Macchio shared similar comments about Kove.

“He puts a tremendous amount of time and work on the physical side because he wants to be like we all do, you know, you want to deliver. And sometimes the brain works faster than the body and vice versa, ”the“ My Cousin Vinny ”star explained.


William Zabka spoke about his injury during a panel in September 2021

During a panel in September 2021 at FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention, alongside Kove and Jacob Bertrand, who plays Eli “Hawk” Moskowitz, Zabka provided more details about the foot injury during a fight scene with Kove.

“I got my toe stuck in Marty’s foot in our Season 2 fight when he resumed the fight. We had rehearsed this a million times and we did it full speed and I was going too fast and he didn’t pull away in time and he has these giant feet that are like bricks… and my toe s’ is stuck and a a scream went up my leg like that like an electric shock and you know there’s a stunt guy waiting to step in and take over if I’m not gonna finish it or whatever but I didn’t tell anyone because I wanted to finish it so I hobbled to a corner and pulled it out, ”Zabka shared.

Kove then complimented Zabka’s martial arts skills.

“Billy is a really good martial artist, I mean you do fight scenes, I did a bunch of fight scenes with him and I still get my ass fucked even when I’m supposed to win.” You know, because he’s fast, he’s very fast, “the Last House on the Left actor said.

READ NEXT: WATCH: ‘Cobra Kai’ Season 4 trailer released



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