11 Must-Watch Shows Like ‘Cobra Kai’, from ‘Kickin’ It’ to ‘Kung Fu’

Cobra Kai has come a long way since it premiered on YouTube Red in 2018. Over the years, the series blossomed into a phenomenon that caters to Karate Kid fans and newcomers alike—thanks to the perfect blend of teen angst, humor, nostalgia and action. So, it comes as no surprise that the martial arts comedy is still going strong after five seasons.

Although the Netflix series is one-of-a-kind, we’re searching for shows like Cobra Kai to fill the void. And something tells us we’re not the only ones. Whether you’re team Miyagi-Do or team Eagle Fang, keep scrolling for 11 compelling shows to watch while you wait for season six.

1. Kung Fu 

  • Cast: Olivia Liang, Kheng Hua Tan, Eddie Liu, Shannon Dang
  • Seasons: 3

Kung Fu may not involve any rival dojos or martial arts competitions. But like the members of Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang, Nicky Shen finds purpose through martial arts, and she’s determined to protect her community from dangerous threats. After spending three years at an isolated monastery in China, Nicky returns to America and becomes a vigilante.

2. The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers

  • Cast: Lauren Graham, Brady Noon, Maxwell Simkins
  • Seasons: 2

If you’re drawn to the nostalgic, cross-generational aspect of Cobra Kai, then allow us to introduce The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers. It’s not about karate, but it’s a great continuation of the classic film because it features old favorites (like Gordon Bombay) and equally amazing newcomers (like Lauren Graham’s Alex Morrow). Follow the Mighty Ducks junior team as they go up against a group of underdogs in this family-friendly spin-off.

3. Wayne

  • Cast: Mark McKenna, Ciara Bravo, Joshua J. Williams
  • Seasons: 1

Wayne follows a socially awkward teenager who goes on a road trip to Florida with his new pal, Del. Together, they set out to find his late father's stolen car, but they find themselves in several bizarre situations along the way. Although it’s edgier than Cobra Kai, you’ll appreciate the balance between intense action and heartwarming themes.

4. Friday Night Lights

  • Cast: Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Gaius Charles, Zach Gilford
  • Seasons: 5

“Strike first, strike hard, no mercy” may be your favorite slogan now. But after you fly through this timeless gem, you’ll find yourself chanting, “Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can’t lose.” The drama series follows the everyday lives of a popular high school football team and their new coach, Eric, in a fictional Texas town. The show deals with themes like racism, alcoholism and toxic masculinity.

5. Kickin' It

  • Cast: Leo Howard, Dylan Riley Snyder, Mateo Arias, Olivia Holt
  • Seasons: 4

Think of Kickin’ It as Cobra Kai’s tamer, more wholesome baby brother. The Disney series follows a group of young misfits who train at a rundown dojo that’s on the verge of closing its doors. Things start to look up when Jack, a skilled martial artist, agrees to help the team revamp their dojo and win the tournament against their rivals, the Black Dragons.

6. Iron Fist

  • Cast: Finn Jones, Jessica Henwick, Tom Pelphrey, Jessica Stroup 
  • Seasons: 2

Calling all Marvel fans! This action-packed superhero series follows Danny Rand, a billionaire and skilled martial artist who holds the power of the Iron Fist. After being presumed dead for over 15 years, Danny returns to reclaim his company. But when a dangerous new threat arises, Danny must choose between honoring his family’s legacy and fulfilling his destiny as the Iron Fist.

7. The Defenders 

  • Cast: Charlie Cox, Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter, Finn Jones
  • Seasons: 1

The Marvel series is reminiscent of Cobra Kai, thanks to its humor and epic fight scenes. Set just a month after first season of Iron Fist, The Defenders follows Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist as they join forces to defeat a formidable opponent in New York City. Seeing these heroes work together will totally remind you of Myagi-Do and Eagle Fang teaming up against Cobra Kai.

8. Alex Rider

  • Cast: Otto Farrant, Stephen Dillane, Vicky McClure, Andrew Buchan
  • Seasons: 2

The British spy thriller tells the story of Alex, a teenager who is recruited by the Department of Special Operations—a subdivision of the Secret Intelligence Service—to work as a spy. His task? To infiltrate an elite boarding school to determine what it’s hiding.

9. Freaks & Geeks

  • Cast: Linda Cardellini, James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel
  • Seasons: 1

We can all agree that Cobra Kai does an amazing job of depicting the highs and lows of adolescent life, from high school crushes to peer pressure. The same can be said for Freaks & Geeks, which follows Lindsay Weir and her peers as they navigate high school in Detroit, Michigan.

10. Teen Wolf

  • Cast: Tyler Posey, Dylan O'Brien, Tyler Hoechlin, Holland Roden
  • Seasons: 6

Meet Scott McCall, a high school boy whose life changes drastically after getting bitten by a werewolf. While dealing with the everyday challenges of being a teen, Scott also comes to grips with his new identity and uses his newfound abilities to protect the town from emerging threats. The inner turmoil that Scott feels may remind you of Miguel, whose loyalty is tested when Sam becomes part of a rival dojo.

11. Seis Manos

  • Cast: Aislinn Derbez, Mike Colter, Jonny Cruz
  • Seasons: 1

We’ll admit, the animated series is a bit more mature, but like Cobra Kai, it revolves around a group of martial arts students who are on a mission. Set in the ’70s, Seis Manos (which translates to Six Hands) follows three orphans who are trained in Chinese martial arts. When their mentor is murdered, they set out to find the killers and avenge his death.

nakeisha campbell bio

Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Nakeisha has been interviewing celebrities and covering all things entertainment for over 8 years, but she has also written on a wide range of topics, like career...