Longtime fans will recall that The Karate Kid Part II, released in 1986, took the series’ heroes back to Mr. Miyagi’s hometown in Okinawa. The thing is, as alluded to by Macchio, the main cast never made it quite that far into the Pacific Ocean, with the film’s producers opting instead to reconstruct portions of Okinawa on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.
What’s not currently known is what Daniel LaRusso hopes to find in Japan. Some theories point to a spiritual journey, which would make sense — in his EW interview, Macchio states that Daniel is “at his lowest point” at the start of Cobra Kai‘s third season, and a symbolic reconnection with his old mentor would be in keeping with the character we’ve gotten to know across three movies, a streaming show, and a decidedly weird Saturday morning cartoon. More far-out fan ideas have Daniel going to retrieve the mysterious, mystical healing goop employed by his former mentor in the Karate Kid sequel.
Of course, on-location shooting isn’t the only new ground that Cobra Kai breaks this year. It also, according to Macchio, pioneers a brave new world of the actor feeling sore. “Once you push past that 50 mark and you’re getting closer to the 60 mark, the more rehearsals for the fight stuff, the better,” the 59-year-old actor says. “Everything just takes a lot longer. It’s a lot of stretching, a lot of Advil.”