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12 Awesome Shows like Cobra Kai For Fans Of Martial Arts

shows like cobra kai

Many grew up watching the Karate Kid films and they had a big impact on kids forming a love for martial arts. Recently the incredible series Cobra Kai has reignited the buzz for us all. So, if you’re looking for similar series, we have curated a list of 12 awesome shows like Cobra Kai that we think you’ll enjoy. When Cobra Kai first came out, everyone had their reservations. Soulless reboots and nostalgia bait of once-great franchises have become the Hollywood default these days, and the fear Cobra Kai would just be more of the same content was being inundated in an age where it seems original ideas are dying out.

However, when Youtube dropped the first 2 episodes of season 1, it turned around everyone’s doubts. The love and respect the writers, directors, and actors all have for the original Karate Kid movies shine through clearly in each episode. Cobra Kai manages to pay homage to all that was good in Karate Kid (including the late Pat Morita, who played Mr Miyagi) while also evolving so that this series has something unique to offer a new generation of viewers.

List of TV Shows Like Cobra Kai

1. The Karate Kid Anime Series (1989)

The Karate Kid is a beloved franchise that has captured the hearts of audiences for over three decades. In 2018, the series was revived thanks to a hit series like Cobra Kai.The series follows the story of teenager Ryo, who moves to Okinawa with his mother and discovers the world of karate. Along the way, he meets new friends, battles enemies, and learns important life lessons.

The show is filled with action-packed fight scenes and heartfelt moments, fans of Cobra Kai should it a chance. While Cobra Kai focuses on the adult characters from the original films, this anime series takes a new approach by following the journey of a teenager discovering the world of karate. This is a great choice if you’re looking for shows like Cobra Kai.

2. The Book of Boba Fett (2021)

The Book of Boba Fett is a series set in the Star Wars universe, which will follow the adventures of the fan-favorite bounty hunter, Boba Fett. The show is set after the events of The Mandalorian season 2, where Boba Fett made a triumphant return, and we saw his takeover of the criminal underworld on Tatooine.

If you are a fan of a series like Cobra Kai, then The Book of Boba Fett should definitely be on your watchlist since both shows share a common theme of redemption, with Boba Fett seeking to reclaim his position in the galaxy after being left for dead in the Sarlacc pit, and the characters of Cobra Kai striving to redeem themselves from past mistakes and traumas. There’s a strong focus on martial arts and action similar to shows like Cobra Kai, with Boba Fett being a skilled warrior.

3. Glow  (2017)

Glow follows a fictional group of women who audition and train for the wrestling promotion, all while navigating their personal lives and relationships. The show is based on the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, a women’s professional wrestling promotion that ran from 1986 to 1990.

Glow explores the underdog narrative and the importance of finding one’s identity. The show also features a diverse cast and strong female characters, similar to a series like Cobra Kai. The series also explores important themes such as feminism, race, and LGBTQ+ representation. If you’re a fan of well-written, character-driven shows like Cobra Kai, then Glow is a perfect addition to your watchlist.

4. Doctor Who (2005)

Doctor Who is a British sci-fi TV series that first aired in 1963 and is still going strong today. The show follows the adventures of a Time Lord called the Doctor who travels through time and space in his TARDIS, a machine that looks like a British police box. If you’ve already seen this brilliant show, then check out our list of shows like Doctor Who.

Cobra Kai fans should watch Doctor Who because both shows have a focus on characters facing challenges and personal growth. The Doctor and the characters in Cobra Kai both have to learn from their mistakes and grow as individuals. Additionally similar to shows like Cobra Kai, Doctor Who also has a mix of action and humor. Watching Doctor Who can introduce Cobra Kai fans to a new world of sci-fi adventure, and possibly inspire them to check out other shows in the genre.

5. Warrior (2019)

Warrior is a gritty and action-packed series that takes place in 19th century San Francisco. The show follows Ah Sahm, a Chinese martial artist who immigrates to America and finds himself caught up in the Tong Wars, a brutal turf war between rival Chinese gangs. As Ah Sahm navigates the dangerous underworld of Chinatown, he must also navigate the complex and racially charged politics of the time.

While Cobra Kai is focused on karate, Warrior explores the world of Chinese martial arts, giving viewers a fresh take on the genre. Warrior features intricate fight scenes that keep viewers on the edge of their seats. Just like Cobra Kai has revitalized the Karate Kid franchise, Warrior has breathed new life into Bruce Lee’s vision for a martial arts series. Hence, its a great series similar to shows like Cobra Kai for you.

6. Kung Fu (2021)

Kung Fu is a martial arts comedy-drama series that revolves around a young boy named Wai-ting, who is obsessed with kung fu and dreams of becoming a martial arts master. He comes from a poor family and struggles to afford the fees of a renowned kung fu school. However, fate intervenes when he meets a former kung fu master who takes him under his wing and teaches him the art of kung fu. 

The show is set in 1960s Hong Kong, and it captures the essence of the time beautifully. The series showcases the culture and history of kung fu in a lighthearted and entertaining way, making it a perfect binge-watch for kung fu enthusiasts. The show has a great cast, with a perfect blend of drama and comedy, and the chemistry between the characters is fantastic. Kung Fu is a great fit for shows similar to Cobra Kai.

7. Hanna (2019)

In this action series, A teenage girl named Hanna has been raised in isolation by her father in a remote forest in Poland. Her father is an ex-CIA operative who has trained her to become a highly skilled assassin. Hanna longs for a normal life outside the forest, but her father’s past catches up to them, forcing them to flee for their lives. Along the way, Hanna discovers shocking truths about her past

The series is a riveting exploration of identity, family, and the consequences of genetic engineering. Fans of series like Cobra Kai will appreciate the complex and nuanced portrayal of characters in Hanna, especially the titular character, who is portrayed with depth and authenticity by Esme Creed-Miles.

8. Stranger Things (2019)

Stranger Things is a sci-fi/horror series set in the 1980s that follows a group of kids in a small town as they search for their missing friend, uncovering government conspiracies, supernatural forces, and a parallel dimension in the process. Stranger Things has a nostalgic atmosphere, strong performances, and clever references to 80s pop culture, including nods to Steven Spielberg, Stephen King, and John Carpenter.

While this show is very different in tone and genre to Cobra Kai, it shares a similar sense of nostalgia for the 80s and a focus on coming-of-age stories. Stranger Things also features a talented ensemble cast of young actors who deliver both humor and heart, similar to series like Cobra Kai.

9. Saved By The Bell (1989)

Saved By The Bell is a beloved American sitcom that revolves around a group of high school students attending Bayside High in California and follows their everyday lives, including their academic struggles, friendships, romances, and misadventures. The show’s lighthearted, feel-good tone and relatable characters quickly made it a fan favorite, and it remains a pop culture icon to this day.

Though the show has nothing to do with martial arts, it brings the struggles of teenagers and their relationships with their peers and teachers. Saved By The Bell is lovable with iconic and memorable characters similar to a series like Cobra Kai.

10. Fight World (2018)

Fight World is a Netflix original documentary series that explores the world of martial arts and combat sports in different countries around the world. The show follows the host and executive producer, Frank Grillo, as he travels to various countries, including Mexico, Thailand, Senegal, Israel, and Myanmar, to learn about the unique fighting styles and cultures of each place. Grillo not only observes the fighters in action but also trains with them and immerses himself in their local customs and traditions.

As Frank Grillo himself explained in a podcast, this is a docu-series about PEOPLE. Similar to shows like Cobra Kai It is about determination. Bonds that can’t be broken. Tradition and faith. The reason why to fight. The series showcases the raw power and discipline required to become a skilled fighter, and while the tone and pacing of the 2 shows may differ, Fight World is worth watching.

11. Warrior Mum (2020)

Warrior Mum is a heartwarming and inspiring series that follows the journey of a mother, Kellie, who is determined to give her son, Max, the best life possible despite his cerebral palsy. Kellie, a former athlete herself, refuses to let Max’s disability hold him back from living a fulfilling life. Throughout the series, Kellie pushes Max to try new things and challenges him to overcome his physical limitations.

Similar to a series like Cobra Kai, the show is about pushing oneself to be the best they can be despite the obstacles in their way. Kellie’s unwavering determination to give Max the best life possible is reminiscent of Johnny’s determination to train his students to be the best martial artists they can be. Warrior Mum’s overcoming adversity and the importance of perseverance make it a must-watch.

12. How I Met Your Mother (2005)

Though this show doesn’t exactly fit in the genre of Cobra kai , there’s a very specific reason why it’s in the list, and that is Barney Stinson. For all who haven’t seen this show, How I Met Your Mother follows Ted Mosby, as he recounts to his children the events that led to him meeting their mother. You should also take a look at our list of recommendations for shows like How I Met Your Mother.

Ted’s journey in New York City to find his soulmate is intertwined with the lives of his best friends, Marshall Erikson, Lily, Robin Sherbatksy, and Ladies Man- Barney Stinson. An iconic season 4 episode 15 reveals that Barney’s favourite growing up was The Karate Kid and his hero was not Ralph Macchio but William Zabka! While this show isn’t the primary reason for making shows like Cobra Kai possible, it did serve as a great reminder of the potential by reprising the role of Johnny Lawrence multiple times, long before our beloved Cobra Kai was made. 

Honourable Mentions

Here are a few shows like Cobra Kai that didn’t make the list, but you can check them out nonetheless: 

  1. The Defendants
  2. IP Man
  3. Iron Fist
  4. Kickin’it

When Lost aired over a decade ago, its successful narrative created a pop culture impact and changed the landscape of television. If you are a fan and want to watch shows like Lost then you can have a look at this list we made just for you.


The hugely successful television series Lost aired in 2004. The premise, as we know, deals with a group of people surviving a commercial passenger plane crash on a remote island. The show masterfully explores supernatural and sci-fi elements on this mysterious south Pacific island.

The use of cliffhangers at the end of each episode of Lost kept the viewers on the edge of their seats, desperately craving for the next episode to come. Even though it's a large ensemble cast, most of the characters receive a justifiable personal arch. Lost was inspired by the movie Castaway and became one of the most expensive pilots to be shot at the time! Lost continues to be appreciated for its originality in storytelling and dynamic character arcs. 

List of TV Shows Like Lost

  1. The Leftovers
  2. Manifest
  3. Lost Room
  4. Twin Peaks
  5. The Prisoners
  6. Battlestar Galactica
  7. The New People
  8. Flight 29 Down
  9. Fringe
  10. Alcatraz
  11. Under the Dome
  12. Dark

1. The Leftovers (2014)

IMDB ratings: 8.3/10

Cast: Carrie Coon, Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman and Margaret Qualley

Creator: Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta

The director of Lost, Damon Lindel also created a supernatural drama series called The Leftovers. The show begins 3 years after an unexplainable global event called ‘Sudden Departure’  where almost 2 per cent of the population, nearly 140 million people, disappear. The Leftovers isn't about WHY people are gone, it's about how the ones who remain dealt with their loss, people often try to comfort themselves with dreams, angels, gods, or even death.

The Leftovers will leave you with so many questions but beyond words, you have to feel it and savour its unanswered questions to find peace. The Leftovers is an incredible television series that starts incredibly well but loses its way by the series's end. I have to say though, Carrie Coon has brilliant moments in the end. The Leftovers is so weird, fragmented and nonsensical at times that it reminds me of Lost. If you are looking for shows like Lost, I recommend that you give The Leftovers a try.

2. Manifest  (2018) 

IMDB ratings: 7.1/10

Cast: Melissa Roxburgh, Josh Dallas and J.R. Ramirez 

Creator: Jeff Rake

The Manifest is a supernatural drama show about a bunch of people who discover that they lost 5 years of their lives when they landed in New York after their aeroplane faced severe turbulence. All the people on the plane were presumed to be dead. Now, these people have to find a way to adjust themselves to a new life around their loved ones. Mild spoiler! They learn their loved ones and the rest of society is not as they left it.

I found that the show’s premise was very intriguing and the actors give a very convincing performance. The narrative details of the show, however, in my opinion, are a bit sloppy and inconsistent. The writers surely have room for improvement but their concept is incredibly thrilling. Every episode of Manifest keeps you on your toes. Manifest has completed 3 seasons up until now and continues to be on air. Manifest is a pretty good choice if you want to watch TV shows like Lost.

3. Lost Room (2006)

IMDB ratings: 8.1/10

Cast: Peter Krause, Julianna Margulies and Peter Jacobson

Creator: Christopher Leone, Laura Harkcom

This lesser-known show The Lost Room is an American Sci-fi television miniseries which only had 3 episodes of 90 mins each and no follow-up seasons. The show was based on a very unique idea where the room in question (known as the ‘Lost Room’) and the objects in the said room had supernatural powers. This strange room is set in a 1960s motel along the iconic U.S. Route 66.

One day the protagonist (Peter Krause) Joe Miller’s daughter disappears inside the room. Joe, with the help of objects present in the room, tries to find his daughter Anna (Elle Fanning). The story of Lost Room was intensely engaging. I found the direction and the actor’s performances to be absolutely brilliant. It baffles me that the creators did not return to make another short season within the same concept. If you have been searching for TV series like Lost then I can assure you that Lost Room will be worth a watch.

4. Twins Peaks (1990) 

IMDB ratings: 8.8/10

Cast: Kyle MacLachlan, Mädchen Amick, Sherilyn Fenn and David Lynch

Creator: David Lynch

David Lynch, the well-known director of weird and captivating films such as Eraserhead and Blue Velvet created an iconic show called Twin Peaks. It is a hauntingly eccentric show about the investigation of the mysterious murder of a small-town homecoming queen named Laura Palmer. Believe me, as odd as the show may seem at first, you will grow to love it, after all, it is considered to be one of the best mystery shows ever created.

With the mysteries, the supernatural elements and the list of bizarre characters, Twin Peaks has it all. In my opinion, the cinematography of the show was truly ahead of its time. Kyle’s Dale Cooper was especially entertaining. Twin Peaks’ experimental formula of the satirical soap opera is extremely unsettling yet rewarding to watch, I must warn you, it’s not for the faint-hearted!  If you are in search of TV shows like Lost then Twin Peaks won’t disappoint you.

The Prisoners (1967)

IMDB ratings: 8.5/10

Cast: Patrick McGoohan, Angelo Muscat and Geroge Markstien

Creator: Patrick McGoohan

The Prisoner centres around an unnamed British agent (Patrick McGoohan) who tries to flee his country after abruptly quitting his high-ranking government job. He is abducted and held captive in a strange ‘sea-side’ village that is isolated from the rest of the world. This village is a highly secure and monitored place filled with weird technology. There are only 17 episodes to this late 60s show but it manages to bring up such surreal surprises, it's sure to leave a great impact on the viewer.

The Prisoner’s unique concept influenced many popular shows including Lost. The creators of Lost even cited the show. I was very impressed by how ahead of its time The Prisoners proves to be. If you want to watch more shows similar to Lost the Prisoners should definitely be on your list.

6. Battlestar Galactica (2004)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Katee Sackhoff, Edward James Olmos and Tricia Helfer 

Creator: Glen A. Larson

The 2004 Battlestar Galactica is a reboot of the original 1978 miniseries of the same name. Do not be mistaken by the title, the show is not related to Star Trek.  Battlestar Galactica is set in the 7th millennium AD and follows Cylons, the robot enemy of humanity that resurfaces to destroy the 12 colonies of Mankind. Only a few survive and are able to escape on ships led by a powerful warship called Battlestar Galactica. Mankind struggles to fight the Cylons and work their own political agendas and disputes while finding their long-lost 13th colony Earth.

The show is a dark, intense and gritty socio-political commentary with EPIC cinematic value. The script is especially clever and as a huge fan of sci-fi shows, this show ticks the boxes in all the right categories. When the show was released, it blew the viewers and critics away. As far as an obsessive and gripping story goes, Battlestar Galactica is one of the most similar to shows like Lost. 

7. The New People (1969)

IMDB ratings: 7.3/10

Cast: David Moses, Zooey hall and Tiffany Boiling

Creator: Larry Gordon Aaron Spelling

The New People is an American Tv series that aired only for 1 season and is focused on a couple of college students who survive a plane crash. The incident takes place while they were returning from a trip to Southeast Asia, their plane crashes on an island in the south of the Pacific ocean. 

By now this show must already be sounding a lot like Lost to you, and it surely is. The remaining group of people discover an unusual truth about the island: there’s an above-ground unused nuclear test site filled with supplies for the survivors. If you want to see more plane survival stories like Lost then The New People should definitely be on your list.

8. Flight 29 Down (2005)

IMDB ratings: 7.2/10

Cast: Allen Alvarado, Halle Hirsh and Corbin Bleu

Creator:  Stan Rowgow D. J. MacHale

The show Flight 29 Down is a drama series about a group of pre-teens/teens who are stranded on a South Pacific island after their plane crashes in a tropical storm while they were flying from an eco-adventure camping trip in Palau. The show is in many ways a younger version of the Adult-centred show Lost but sans the supernatural elements. I’d say that the show draws inspiration from the show The New People.

Flight 29 Down uses the technique of a video diary as a plot device for the viewers to keep up with the story of these children. It was very engaging to watch young intelligent characters finding their way on the island. The first two seasons of the show are quite engaging but I seemed to lose interest in its 3rd and final season. Regardless, Flight 29 Down is a really good series to watch if you want to see TV shows like Lost.

9. Fringe (2008)

IMDB ratings: 8.4/10

Cast: Anna Torv, John Noble and Joshua Jackson

Creator: J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci

Fringe is a popular Sci-fi crime drama television series. It may seem like a standard procedural drama at first, but the show actually explores the parallel universe, alternate versions of people filled with crazy scientific experiments. I personally had a great time watching this show.

Fringe is actually inspired by shows like Lost, The X-files and The Twilight Zone. The 3 main characters of the show work with a special division called Fringe. There are so many brilliant twists and turns in Fringe that in my opinion, the show is at the top of its category. If you are searching for TV series like Lost, I strongly recommend you watch Fringe

10. Alcatraz (2012)

IMDB ratings: 6.9/10

Cast: Sarah Jones, George Garcia and Jonny Coyne 

Creator: Elizabeth Sarnoff, Steven Lilien, Bryan Wynbrandt

This American fiction show is based on the infamous Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary built on Alcatraz island in San Francisco Bay. The prison is now closed but once kept some of the most dangerous criminals of America. The show takes the liberty to make a show around the conspiracies of the place.

In the interesting premise we see that under unknown circumstances, 256 inmates and 46 guards of the prison disappear without a trace. Later the disappeared ones start to appear one by one without ageing a day and resume their criminal activities with no realisation of disappearance. A special government unit is dedicated to finding and putting those criminals back in prison. If you are looking for mystery shows similar to Lost, try watching Alcatraz. 

11. Under the Dome (2013)

IMDB ratings: 6.5/10

Cast: Alexander Koch and Rachelle Lefevre

Creator: Stephen King

Based on a novel written by the sci-fi legend Stephen King, Under the Dome tells the story of the residents of the fictional small town called Chester's Mill, when a huge, transparent and indestructible dome suddenly cuts them off from the rest of the world.

Now the trapped residents try to find a way to discover the truth, origin and purpose of these domes. This journey forces them into situations where they learn more about each other than they ever knew. Under the Dome may not be on the top of this list but it’s quite a decent watch if you’re looking for mystery shows similar to Lost

12. Dark (2017)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Louis Hofmann, Lisa Vicari and Gina Stiebitz

Creator: Baran bo Odar, Jantje Friese

The German-language Netflix series Dark is an interesting blend of Science fiction and Mystery. Truly a compelling and mind-bending story to watch. At the beginning of Dark, many children suspiciously start disappearing in the German town of Winden. The dark past of generational mysteries of 4 families living in the town namely, Kahnwald, Nielsen, Doppler, and Tiedemann is brought to light.

After the discovery of a wormhole, the lives of the families intertwine more than one can imagine. I believe every element of the show is top-notch, especially Dark’s cinematography, which is a TRUE masterpiece. If you are looking for TV series similar to Lost then the intense and gripping story of Dark is sure to keep you engrossed.

Honourable Mentions

Here are a few TV shows like Lost that didn’t make the list, but you can check them out nonetheless: 

  1. Carnivale
  2. Yellowjackets
  3. Game of Thrones
  4. Black Mirror
  5. Flashforward
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