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Did ‘Cobra Kai’ Star Mary Mouser Practice Karate Before Playing Sam?


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Mary Mouser poses at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con.

On the acclaimed “Karate Kid” spin-off series “Cobra Kai,” Daniel LaRusso’s (Ralph Macchio) daughter Samantha (Mary Mouser) inherited her father’s gift for martial arts. For this reason, some viewers may be curious if Mouser practiced karate before playing the Miyagi-Do student. 


Mary Mouser Revealed if She Was a Martial Arts Prior To Portraying Sam in 2019

During a 2019 interview on the “Zach Sang Show,” Mary Mouser revealed that she was not familiar with martial arts prior to being cast as Sam. 

“I had no experience in this at all. Like I literally skipped PE. I hate working out. I’d never — I tried the treadmill about three times in my life and that was it,” explained the actress. 

She then referenced that Sam does not practice karate during most of the show’s first season, as the teenager is trying to assimilate with popular students at West Valley High School. As fans are aware, the character eventually joins her father’s dojo in “Cobra Kai” season 2.

“In season 1, I was like, ‘Oh this is so cool. Maybe I’ll get to like do some karate’ and then when season 2 came around I was like, ‘Please, please, please, can I do karate’ and [the show’s creators Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg] were like, ‘Oh just you wait.’ And they were like, ‘We’re going to put you in training,’” said the 25-year-old. 

The actress revealed that before the production of “Cobra Kai” season 2, she took “kickboxing and Muay Thai” classes. 

“It was a complete lifestyle shift. It was a lot of work. But I think for not knowing any of it before, I fell completely in love with it and I learned as much as I possibly could in like a two-month span but that’s about all I had, you know,” said the actress. 


Mary Mouser Discussed Why She Enjoyed Being a ‘Cobra Kai’ Cast Member

While speaking to Entertainment Weekly in August 2021, Mary Mouser shared that she is thankful to be a “Cobra Kai” cast member.

“My experience working on ‘Cobra Kai’ has just been absolutely amazing. I am so eternally grateful to be working on this show. I feel like it’s, for me, the exact kind of show that I really would have loved to watch in my adolescence, you know, and now,” explained Mouser with a laugh.

She noted that she appreciated how the show has handled the theme of bullying throughout its three seasons, which are available to watch on Netflix. She explained that unlike “The Karate Kid,” the show offers different viewpoints from numerous characters, meaning no one is necessarily a villain or hero.

“I think that it’s cool that it’s showing a kind of new perspective on that same story of how does someone become a bully and then hopefully we can all look at that and say, ‘Okay I could do that so I’m going to avoid that from happening’ but it’s also the honest take of we all have good and bad in us,” explained Mouser. “And it’s not so black and white to say that some people are good and some people are bad. And it’s not so clear cut and I like kind of the blurry lines of figuring that all out within ourselves. I think again that’s something really I would have identified with and connected with as a teenager and something that I still kind of need a reality check on and can connect with now.”

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