Learn English with Cobra Kai

Watching Cobra Kai to improve your English? Use this information to help you while watching this Netflix series. Learn vocabulary and the history behind the series. Improve your English by following our strategies for learning with TV shows. Enjoy!


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Cobra Kai is a great series for learning English because there are a lot of cultural references throughout the show. It is a sequel to the 1980s film series The Karate Kid, which can provide you with more background information.


There is also not too much technical language so you can learn a lot of everyday vocabulary, without too much vulgar language like in other Netflix shows. Additionally, there are many idioms used throughout the series. Another great advantage is that the episodes are not too long, so it is easier to manage and add into your learning routine. Overall, I highly recommend using this series for language learning.


two young men doing karate in the street, like in Cobra Kai

Pertinent Vocabulary

Here are some helpful vocabulary words to learn in order to discuss the popular Netflix series, Cobra Kai.


tournament - a series of matches to determine a winner

e.g., Let’s win this tournament!

attack - strike, begin a fight

e.g., He will attack first.

no mercy - unrelenting, not stopping harm

e.g., Don’t give in. Show them no mercy.

rivalry - competition in the same field or goal

e.g., There is a long-lived rivalry between them.

dork - nerd, loser

e.g., They think I’m a dork.

reminiscing - remembering the past in a positive way

e.g., I was reminiscing about my childhood.

recruit - a person newly joining

e.g., We just got 5 new recruits for the club.

deadbeat - bum, good-for-nothing person

e.g., He’s a deadbeat. He doesn’t have a job or do anything for his family.

humiliated - made fun of, embarrassed

e.g., I was humiliated in front of my whole class.

payback - revenge

e.g., He wants to get payback for what they did to his family.

disqualify - make someone ineligible/unable to participate

e.g., He was disqualified because he broke the rules.


Practice writing your own sentences with these words. When you hear one of these words in the show, repeat the sentence aloud and write it down to help you remember it.


water under the bridge, a literal depiction of the English idiom

Idiomatic Expressions

There are quite a few idiomatic expressions used in this series.


Season 1

● “knocked my socks off” - wowed me, surprised me in a good way

● “cut someone some slack” - give someone a little forgiveness

● “water under the bridge” - old problems we don’t need to worry about now

● “busting your chops” - messing with you

● “If you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” - if you do me a favor, I’ll do you a favor

● “hit the books” - start studying


street view of Riverside CA where Cobra Kai takes place

Cultural Research

Dive deeper into the cultural background and history of this Netflix series. Have you ever been to California?



Additional Learning Methods


Improve your English at beginner, intermediate or advanced level by following the suggestions in our blog post:


8 Strategies to Improve Language Learning with T.V. Shows (languagetvclub.com)


We typically host English TV Clubs twice per year, but this may become more frequent. Check out the schedule or see if a club is ready to book now on our booking page. Hope to see you soon!

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