One of the more interesting character arcs of Cobra Kai‘s first season belongs to Robby Keene, juvenile delinquent and estranged son of Johnny Lawrence. Robby is a thief and con artist, pulling small but clever jobs with his comrades, Trey and Cruz. Robby gets a job at LaRusso Auto in order to case the joint for a heist, with the added bonus of annoying his father, LaRusso’s karate rival. But when Robby is unexpectedly welcomed into Daniel LaRusso’s life as his martial arts pupil, he has a change of heart and decides not to go through with the crime.
In “All Valley,” Robby confronts his accomplices outside the La Russo Auto garage, where instead of letting them inside as planned, he tells them the deal is off. When Trey throws a punch, Robby blocks, and Robby is shocked by his own reflexes. This is the first time that he’s had to apply his karate training in practice, and even he’s surprised when it works.
What follows is a fast-paced and exciting sequence that highlights Robby’s new skills while conveying a real sense of danger. Robby holds his own, demonstrating the defensive techniques of Miyagi-Do, but he’s also a bit overwhelmed. Once he’s lost a chance of winning, he finds another way to end the fight by luring his attackers into the view of the security cameras.
This scene is a pivotal moment for Robby, and our first glimpse of Miyagi-Do karate in action.