Let's Talk - Cobra Kai

Interview - Darryl Vidal (The Karate Kid)

June 22, 2022 Just Curious Media Episode 109
Let's Talk - Cobra Kai
Interview - Darryl Vidal (The Karate Kid)
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Show Notes Transcript

Let's Talk - Cobra Kai
Episode 109: Interview - Darryl Vidal (The Karate Kid)

Jason Connell and Sal Rodriguez have Darryl Vidal from The Karate Kid on the show to discuss his 1981 All Valley Karate Championship, his loss to Johnny Lawrence in the 1984 semi-finals, and how he stood in for Pat Morita to perform the crane kick in the classic movie.

Original Episode: S04E21

Recorded: 05-11-22
Studio: Just Curious Media
https://www.JustCuriousMedia.com/

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Jason Connell:

Whoa, just curious. Welcome to Just curious media. This is let's talk Cobra Kai. And I'm Jason Connell on the show. Today I'm joined by a very special guest, Daryl Vidal. Daryl, it's a pleasure to have you on. Man, I cannot believe that you're on our podcast. So how did you discover that episode that we did? But by the way, Darrell, I was so proud of that episode. We did have you Darrell Vidal, all Valley cry champion 1981. And I think some of our listeners were like, oh, yeah, that's good. But I thought it was epic. Because no one's ever talking about the legend of a doll. So how did you come across that? And what were your thoughts?

Darryl Vidal:

Yeah, you know, it is a funny because I have been doing a lot of interviews, you know, with credit shedding Cobra Kai becoming so in the forefront now. You know, my character did all this started to pique people's interest, because I kind of stood out there, you know, 37 years ago. It's funny, because I do have a fan base, you know, people know that all and, you know, they contact me through Facebook and other social media. So, because I've been doing a lot of interviews, I was on YouTube, and done some searches to look at some of the different interviews that had, you know, that we done, and then I saw your guys's one. I don't know, these guys. Let me listen to their, their podcasts. And it was a lot of fun. And that tell you that I'm usually just that afterthought, you know, the Hey, did you know about this guy type of thing. But, you know, you guys did a whole segment on. It was like, Wow, it really played that. I'm always surprised that people, you know, not only recognize that I was a character from a bit in the past, but that you could spend a whole podcast talking about it is kind of kind of amazing. That's

Jason Connell:

awesome, man. And again, I'm not joined today by my co host, Sal Rodriguez sometimes logistically, it's tricky. I'm on East Coast, West Coast. I know you're on the west coast, but it's sometimes one on ones better. Two on one, it can get clunky, but it just didn't work out today. So it's you and me. And were honored to have you on there. Honestly,

Darryl Vidal:

the honor is mine. You know, I always say that these PV so I never thought of myself as a celebrity for years. Because after the movie came out, and you know, I've always been teaching training. So that kind of nothing really changed for me, right? But then, you know, a few years ago, after the 30 years, things started happening and then with Cobra Kai, you know, all of a sudden people are interested in but also Yeah, have a lot of fun.

Jason Connell:

That's awesome. Well, we're gonna go through some beats I like to get to know you better your background up into the Karate Kid and after that, but before we do before we jump in, I do have to give a shout out to our sponsor, and then we'll district things right up. So okay, here we go. Support for let's talk Cobra Kai is brought to you by manscaped, who is the best in men's below the waist grooming and offers precision engineered tools for your family jewels. Join over 4 million men worldwide who trust manscaped. And with this exclusive offer, you'll get 20% off and free worldwide shipping with the code. Cobra kai@manscaped.com Okay, that's out of the way. Let's jump in Darryl. And so how and when did you begin training in martial arts?

Darryl Vidal:

Okay, so as a young kid growing up in the 70s, I'm Filipino and my parents. My dad was in the Navy. And so his we came over and we're living in San San Diego. I was born in San Diego. And then you know, he got stationed around a few places. But when I was about like eight or nine, we came back to San Diego and my brother, I have two older brothers. My brother started doing some karate training with just a local guy who was teaching out of his garage and he would come home and then he would you know, show us what he had learned. And so I you know, cut a lot of people pick it up that way but between him and a family friend who would train in a screamer, you know, Filipino stick fighting. There were a ton of different places that I got exposed to different martial arts. And then in the 70s or so early 70s, we moved to a community in Southern California called chino. Oh, yeah, kind of a rural place back then. Now it's, you know, the handle on you know, regular town, but when we moved there, both things happened again, I ran into a neighbor, we started working out with a neighbor who also was trained in in the Screamer, but also in Kung Fu. And so we would go to his house and do some training. We would do stick training, we would hit the bags and he would teach us stuff. But then a couple years later, my mom My brother again. And I enrolled in the Chino parks and rec program for karate. That's where we hooked up with my instructor Joe Rojas, who's still my instructor Wow. And we started training and I was, I was good at karate, I had a talent for it as limber, a small, good for creative people, right and pretty quick, had good reflexes, and that could kick, my legs were lower and, and the kicking was was easy for me. So picked it up quickly. And by the time we're about a blue belt, we started doing karate competitions. And that's where I really started to, you know, expand my horizons. In the martial arts, I was competing a lot competing in karate econo competition, as well as the point system biting, and just doing really well, our school kinda, I wouldn't want to say we were the dominant force, but we did well for our middle school, and we would go to LA and Orange County and competing on the open tournaments, which are quite a lot. You know, in the summertime, there might be six, seven weeks in a row, we would travel to LA or Orange County and compete in these tournaments. And, and my instructor kind of took me under his wing, and he would bring me a lot these times. So, you know, during the late 70s, I started to collect a lot of trophies and do really well. And then in about C, so in, in high school, I wrestled, I wrestled by freshman, the first three years of high school. And then I got to become a brown belt, just add my, my junior and senior year, and kind of wanted to, you know, expand my horizons would be the head and been reading a lot about Bruce Lee and watching entering the dragon. So Bruce Lee and his book, Dougie KUNDO. And so after doing the wrestling, I pursued boxing, so I boxed for a couple of years at the local boxing gym, which was run by a high school friend's uncle. And so we did that for a while. And I really liked the experience of boxing and, you know, learning really how to play in different way from karate, but also, you know, the whole more than just point system finding, I liked about it, but it did have kind of a negative impact on my, my tournament sparring because I would use a right cross and knock people down and get disqualified. So right, it changed my fighting in the point realm, but I kind of liked the way it won't heard from it. And I always do boxing type workout, when I'm training at home, I have the heavy bag and the speed bag and the double end bag. And those those styles of training have always been what I like. And then in addition to that, I you know, because following the footsteps of Bruce Lee, I had to find a wing chun experience. So one of my friends had taken Wing Chun and he had actually traveled and stayed with a guy for a while and it got his ranking. And so when he came back to California, I trained with him and picked up some Wing Chun. Wow, it didn't get a formal ranking. But you know, you do do the Chi Sao and I learned the terms and we built we built our wing chun dummies back then we had some different ones. And I still use one now I still have a full size Wing Chun me and I like to train with it. So those are kind of like all the pieces that brought me to the martial arts, the Filipino stick fighting, I would train with whoever I could find. So over the years, I probably had six or seven different groups of people that I would train with. From that I started my club here in Marietta, and I teach that a couple times a month as well. So he's still doing still doing the karate teaching and training with that here and then stick biting and that's kind of like where I am today. Oh, call that.

Jason Connell:

Yeah, that's incredible. And I've always said that, you know, some of the best athletes do like cross training like you do. You've been exposed to so many different things boxing, wrestling, karate stick fighting, and I my own martial arts background, I've studied hapkido Taekwondo, not to your level, but I've always liked the different styles and nuances, and I'm an athlete in sports. And if I'm training for basketball, I like to keep playing soccer. And there's something to be said for that. But that's an incredible background that you have. And I mean, Darrell, listen, from your childhood on you really are a karate kid. Like you fell into it early and it's a mainstay in your life. Did your brother stick with it as well? Are brothers I should say.

Darryl Vidal:

Actually, no, it was Yeah, both my brothers dumped it into a little bit but when my oldest brother he joined the Navy and it kind of interrupted his training and so he never really went beyond like, like Greenbelt or so. But I continued on I got my black belt. Yeah, when I was 18 and then started helping my instructor that's how we progress is just by continued teaching and training. So taught with him for about another 10 years and then my wife and I moved here to Marietta where I live now and started a program here 32 years ago now and just been doing that.

Jason Connell:

That's amazing. I recently had on a sensei Jim from the local school here in the Boston area. And the reason I came across his dojo, he's been training I think, instructing about 50 years just about still runs a wonderful Dojo here. It's like an Okinawan style. But the reason I stumbled on their Dojo is because they were involved. His dojo was involved with the next karate kid that was actually filmed in Boston with Pat Marita and Hilary Swank, you know, not the most well known of the Karate Kid franchise, but still the only one on the East Coast. And here's the dojo behind it all. And I, I had him on and found out his origin story. And it's very similar. You know, it's like he came into it early. And then he was trained and then kind of helped out the dojo and then slowly took over the dojo he used to teach out of his garage. I love these, like lifelong teachers. And that's what you get in martial arts, a lot of times some of my instructors. That's their story, and it's just I marvel at it. And it's incredible. So let's pivot this is now a big part of your background, your being. Yes. And then here comes the film crew. Let's just go back pre production of The Karate Kid 1980 force classic movie feel good movie holds up forever. But how do you Darrell the dog get involved with the Karate Kid?

Darryl Vidal:

Great question. And the fun part is, it's it's kind of like a true language story. I told you, I was a big Bruce Lee fan, and did a lot of karate competition. So in that I'm thinking, I don't really know anything about Hollywood or I'm not an actor, you know, I didn't have an agent. But I thought if I was in LA doing karate, I might get discovered, you know. I tried to make you know, in Canada competition, you know, you train Yeah, you have a communist that's given to you by the, by the school and you know, you You're, you're ranked and graded on how well you do it. So in competition most people back then were would were using their school contests. But I had learned all these, you know, jumping kicks, you know, these flashy moves, that I even picked up from Bruce Lee, or, you know, watching the other kung fu movies at the time. Yeah, so I would create the kata that included all these moves. Yeah, and so, and I would compete with it, and you know, it would it would be a lot different. And so I went with it a lot. And what happened was, I was in Los Angeles, actually at Southgate, a tournament I found out I remembered much later, someone reminded me that we were there. And it happened to be that the director of the karate kid who, you know, was also the director of

Jason Connell:

Rocky, John G. Appleton, rest in peace, exactly.

Darryl Vidal:

I was there with his assistant scouting. And lo and behold, you know, I win the competition and they saw me do this kata with all this jumping and flying kick. So, I'm sitting in the line, getting ready for the competition, you know, the fighting competition in your basically, you're all sitting in line with all the other competitors. You got your gear on, you know, getting ready to play. And the assistant director comes up to me and says, Hey, you know, I saw your con, I was really good. How would you like to be in a movie? I'm like, of course I want a movie.

Jason Connell:

Yeah, of course.

Darryl Vidal:

Yeah. John comes up and introduces himself and we can't really show I didn't have much time.

Jason Connell:

This is right before you fight is this throw you off your game or you dislike bonfire now to go kill?

Darryl Vidal:

It definitely shouldn't be. But you know, like I said, it was a short meeting. They said, you know, we'd like to have you, you know, work with you on this. And it wasn't even an audition. He basically handed me a paper and said Call this number and then we'll we'll set it up. Yeah, so I called the number and it was basically getting directions to do a paramount or o'clock and remember one of the Studios in Burbank and said, come down here and we'll start rehearsals. So you know, it wasn't even an audition. It was like

Jason Connell:

as back in the day you want to be in movies. Yeah. Come on, kid. It was such a different era. What was did Appleton introduce himself as you know, this is the direct Dr. Rocky, did you even know that that meeting? I

Darryl Vidal:

don't know. I can't recall the discussion. I'm sure I knew at a certain point. Yeah, he was. Yeah, yeah. But I can't remember the discussion. But the main thing I recall is, is Randy, the assistant saying you want to be in a movie, just my mind basically blowing

Jason Connell:

up. And that's like such a line. That's like, Yeah, okay. But if they say, well, he directed an Oscar winning movie, it's like, wait a second, what? So you call up, you're in the movies. Now. It's not even a question of showing up at trial. Here's your thing. So so from that point forward, what was it? You know, what did you like? You're gonna be a stunt player. You're gonna be an actor. Yeah. How does it go from there?

Darryl Vidal:

Yeah, no, I didn't know any of that. So I get there. And we're meeting at the soundstage, you know, the studios. And I start meeting all these people. And they're introducing me to Ralph, who I didn't know. Yeah, all these actors who are in Cobra Kai, I met Pat Johnson, obviously, introduced to me as a stunt coordinator. And of course, I don't know who he is, just from being around tournaments. And he was an Enter the Dragon and all that. Yep, exactly. met Jerry Weintraub.

Jason Connell:

Oh, yes. The big

Darryl Vidal:

guy. And then in the first couple days, I got to meet, you know, Pat Marita and Fumiko demre. And Gerald Nakamura, who was also they were checking him out for some different parts as well. And so you know, I'm just blown away. Yeah. All this in the first day. And they said, Okay, well, here's this guy, Daryl, we're bringing him in? Why don't you show us what we saw you do, you know, do the content. So Ralph, and all these people were kind of like, up in the chairs. And you know, there's, and I do the kata. And Ralph was like, wow, that's dynamite. You're really good. And, you know, hope you'd have an actor to type.

Jason Connell:

Because I'm out of here.

Darryl Vidal:

They really, they really took to it. And we basically scheduled to be there for about six weeks to train. And they had me trained with the Cobra Kai group. You know, that's how they got their training was, I would work out with the Cobra Kai guys from the in the morning or, and then that Johnson would go do some training with Ralph and

Jason Connell:

Pat read it. Yeah, I read that. So real quick, I gotta ask you, how old are you at this point in time?

Darryl Vidal:

I'm 20. Yeah, okay. 20. And

Jason Connell:

you look like you're a teenager, because I've seen the movie a million times. So yeah, you're, you're perfect for this. And that whole group watching you besides, I want to say Dutch, who's Chad McQueen. He had some martial arts background. And Robert Mark came and had some background as to Patty Johnson. But everyone else is a newbie. So you just look like we're not dimension. You're like next level already. But you probably blew them away. You're the right age. So they got a spot for you. Was it immediately knowing that you would be your own name? Like you would be Darrell Madol.

Darryl Vidal:

That actually didn't even come out until they were actually filming. Okay. Okay. And I think the reason it happened was because they were putting up that scoreboard.

Jason Connell:

Yes. And they exactly knew they needed your last name. And you got a great last name. It's like it's perfect.

Darryl Vidal:

Well, that's great. But you know, and so he said, yeah, just because he's his name. But oh, okay, perfect. And that's the way that it happened.

Jason Connell:

That is wild. So yeah, you were training them. And you've kind of bonded with them. If you're training with Cobra Kai's in any sporting event, you're gonna bond with them. So you got to know Zabka pretty well. And some of the other guys McQueen. And that whole group, did they keep them separate? Like, I know, they did that on the making of Animal House. It was like they kept the two groups apart. Was that going on? Or not to kind of build that wasn't really,

Darryl Vidal:

yeah, the corporate guys would train as a group. And I would train with them. Yeah. And kind of, you know, I didn't train them. But you know, I was always a black belt already. So he would let me like do the count or, you know, lead the exercise or something? Yeah. Now, just to clarify it, Ron Thomas. Yes. Bobby Brown was also a black belt. Oh, he

Jason Connell:

was Well, that's good insight. I did not know that. Okay, so he had been training. Okay, I know I do. Funny story

Darryl Vidal:

behind that is his, you know, he's an actor, and he had auditioned and everything else, but his agent had told him not to let them know that he was a black belt. So for the first few weeks or time he was kind of keeping that on the download, but I knew because

Jason Connell:

hell your spot.

Darryl Vidal:

So we kind of have this inside joke. Hey, we know that you know, and then it came out that yeah, he's a black belt in jujitsu and in some of his talent, but it was just the The two of us in terms of the kids who had formal training

Jason Connell:

Yeah, that's amazing. Well what I meant I'm being separate is like some of his keep them completely separated like they they build some sort of animosity towards each other beyond his training, but it was this route by himself. It wasn't like two different groups of people like, you know, West Side Story. Like those guys over there.

Darryl Vidal:

Those guys are with Ralph. Ralph and Pat, pat. Yeah,

Jason Connell:

that's that Chris Miyagi dough. Well, that's fascinating. So you're making this movie now you know, it's a movie legitimate operation, you know, and Weintraub it. It's all the makings of classic Hollywood. I've read what Jerry wine Trump's biography rest in peace. I was a big fan of his and he's bigger than life. And, of course, Appleton, it's like the perfect recipe. It's almost like the rocky for the kid age. You know, it really has that to it, and they got the right director. Sometimes movies just fall together because the you know, the Powers That B had came in story, which is this classic story. It's just so beautifully written and I read that he experienced this too in his own training. He went to a dojo that was more Cobra Kai esque. And then he went to one that was more Miyagi dough and then and then wrote about it and and now we're still talking about it, which is just a rubber

Darryl Vidal:

game came in. He's a great martial artist. It's really deep with him. I think his ranking is in Dojo route, but he's also experiencing I think, Bagua Kung Fu and, and so anytime we talked about it, he was he was always sharing some really deep, you know, martial arts stuff. So yeah, yeah. A lot of insight. Definitely.

Jason Connell:

Wow. So just to clarify, I'd read somewhere in 2012, you had reached a 10th degree black belt, and we're at Grandmaster math 2012. That's 10 years ago. Where are you at now? In your in your rankings?

Darryl Vidal:

Well, since since the best kind of as far as you can go, Oh, okay. That's it. That's okay. And that's, that's where my instructor, you know, he's, he's 10th. And, you know, over over the 30 years preceding, and the way our system works is every three to four years, if you are continuing to teach and train, you'll get rank, because there's a whole hierarchy of other instructors that are behind you. Okay. Then to gain any rank, you know, the guys that are still teaching and training you have to get right. So I get is no, I'm still teaching the training, I get pushed up. So 19 or 2012. I reach 10. He promotes me. And that's kind of as far as I can go. Well, congratulations.

Jason Connell:

Yes. That yeah, not that I was saying that was like, Hey, where are you at? Now? Come on. Now. I was just impressed. I want to make sure that you know, I wasn't missing something. So oh, that's incredible. And I gotta say, Darrell, I was shocked. And you heard it on that episode that you heard us on our solid? Yes, I was shocked to learn that you wore a bald cap and probably some padding in the midsection, because you were much younger than and you played Mr. Miyagi, as he practiced the crane kick on the pole, as Daniel watched from afar, that still blows my mind. But you're here to confirm that really option?

Darryl Vidal:

Well, it will not only that, it's it was kind of funny, because if you watch the movie, and then review the cap, the you know, the credits at the end, it lists me as the semi finalists, right? Yes, I know. But it doesn't list me as instance. Or in that position. Yep. And so for about 20 years, I couldn't, I couldn't prove that that was me, because people would talk about it. And I would say, oh, yeah, that's me. They said, No, I heard that me or the room was the start. Oh, so it was actually I couldn't, I couldn't really prove it. But during that time, I kind of like, laid low. I wasn't really talking about the Crytek yet, you know, it kind of just pop its head up every year when it would show up on TV wasn't really part of my life for the longest time. And then 20 year anniversary, they release a new, what they call it directors release. And in that directors release, they had commentary with Pat and Ralph. Yes, I listened to it. Oh, okay. So when when it gets to that scene, they go in and they're sterile. Or whatever they said, and I was like, I was vindicated. It was like, hey, there it is. That's the proof. Yeah, I

Jason Connell:

think that's when I heard it. I was like, Wait a second. What and then I you know, had forgotten about it. And then I made some notes before that episode. It was like that's so hard to believe. But it's true. And you're right. I think I looked through their credits and it doesn't out you it doesn't say Hey, this is by x, you know, person and, in fact, even in the skeleton scene in the Halloween dance. There's a lot of good martial arts going on. And that's one way to hide this inexperienced Cobra guys because they're wearing a mask you know, they're all done it up. So anybody could have been those guys in those scenes. Were you one of those skeletons in those scenes that was someone else or do you even know okay, you weren't you're absolutely they were all

Darryl Vidal:

the actors. They were Absolutely. The Pap Marita has done. We're done biting me on camera

Jason Connell:

they were but that one. And when I went back and watch it after I learned this revelation about you being him, it's done so beautifully because it is far away, you know, it's through Daniel's POV, and you kind of dismiss it. But then I watch it now knowing what I know, it's like, yeah, he is pretty limber there. It looks pretty good. And I actually heard you on an interview before having you on the show. And I didn't want to go too far into it. But you were describing just that particular scene how you had practiced it in one place, and then they stuck you on this wonky pole, and you're like, oh, okay, I guess I'll do it here. Maybe you could just speak to that just a little bit?

Darryl Vidal:

Sure. Yeah. Well, I mean, they, they told me probably a couple of weeks into the training, that, you know, I was going to be in a tournament, but then they said, you know, we want you to do this, this other part, you're gonna be patched double. And we want to do this, what we call the Crane Kick, the crane technique. This is actually Robert teaming describing the crane technique. And he's saying, Yeah, you're gonna, Daniel's gonna have his leg hurt. So you're gonna need to stand on one leg? Yep, you're gonna have your arms outstretched to the side like a bird. And I'm like, Well, why would you ever do that? And they said, because it's the crane technique. And so I kind of said, Oh, I better shut my mouth. And

Jason Connell:

I got it. Roger that. So

Darryl Vidal:

then they described the fact that they wanted me to, you know, stand there in this crane pose. arms stretched out to the side with one leg up. They wanted me to jump, kick and land on the same leg. Yeah, yeah. And I was like, I don't know if we can do that. So I actually went off and spent a couple hours trying it trying to make it work and, and actually talked to Ron Thomas, we were already kind of going back and forth about it. And you know, there is a way to do a move like that, but not not standing stationary. Especially. Exactly. Yeah. So I finally told him, I said, Look, this is a what we call a double jump kick. And this is what I think we can do. You know, stand like this. I'm come up on put the arms out my legs out, leg up, but I'm gonna jump and do the kick, and then I'll land on this leg. But then

Jason Connell:

I'll quickly switch back because you got the injured leg. Yes, exactly.

Darryl Vidal:

And so they liked it. And that's what we did. That became magic.

Jason Connell:

When I watched the movie now and of course, this is after training in martial arts. And it's funny that and Cobra Kai is so big on sweeping the leg. It's you know, it's, it's all the craze. It's like, if someone was in front of me doing the crane, the last thing I'm gonna do is go towards the crane. I'm gonna let them just hold that crane and maybe Sweep the leg. But in a movie history, it worked beautifully. And yeah, cuz I read that Appleton gave you credit for inventing the crane kick butt. It sounds like it was kind of crank by committee. They had the idea, but then you really perfected it.

Darryl Vidal:

Yeah, you know, what happened was we did the kick part. And then they said arms to the side. Then they said, Well, you got to do something with the arms. You can't just stand there. So I said, Okay, we're gonna start off with this stat. So if you remember, I'm this is actually a wing chun handguards. Exactly, yeah. And then I come down low and bring the arms up, like the waves, do the kick and then land back in that wing chun card. So that's, that's what I say, you know, is the culmination of all that. All of

Jason Connell:

that. Yes. Yeah. It's good, because Mr. Miyagi actually uses that after he takes those guys out on the Halloween night. He's waiting for someone else to stand up. And he's doing that kind of stance. Yes. But very good. That's, that's amazing. Darrell, thank you for shedding light on that for our listeners. So what was your reaction? The first time you watched the Karate Kid? I mean, now, this is your first movie. And you probably even understand how big of movie it was going to be? What was that viewing experience? Like? Did you go to a big premiere? Like a big Hollywood premiere, like grommet or something?

Darryl Vidal:

Yeah, you know what it was, it was all bigger than like, you know, I was such a naive young person. I didn't know anything about Hollywood. So you know, to be cast in this thing. And then they filmed it. And that was all an amazing experience. But then after that, I've kind of tossed back into my life and it's been, you know, regular nothing. And then, you know, months later, almost a year later, they say, oh, here comes to the premiere. You get to go back so now it's like, oh, after you know, six or eight months of nothing. I went back to Hollywood now I could see the movie. I get to see all the guys I hung out with. And then the movie came, you know, watch the movie on the big screen and yep, there I am. And you No, there's me fighting and yeah, they're showcasing all my little little jumping, flashy kicks. But who would have thought it would be this movie that after almost 40 years people still watch, you know?

Jason Connell:

But did you? I mean, I know you're in it and you have a different experience than me watching it for the first time because to me, it's all magic. You're in it. You're going oh my god, there I am. Right there. I met this because you're all over the valley, which is the end of the movie. But when you watch it and the Bill Conti score, and I mean, it's just such a masterpiece. It's bigger than life bigger than life. And were you excited at the end for Daniel, you didn't get like caught up in the others that crank IQ thing I've been learning did you get caught up in it swept up in the emotion of believing? Yeah, I

Darryl Vidal:

can watch that movie. Like any number of my favorite movies. I can enjoy it again. Yeah, absolutely. And my what I always say it's got such a pathetic last three months.

Jason Connell:

Oh, we're gonna get into that. Just me, Darryl, don't let's hold off on that. We're gonna dissect that more. But he probably had no idea would have the same power. None of us did. But it didn't feel like it instant classic. It's like when I watch rocky for the first time I'll beat I was a kid. It just like this is incredible. I'll revisit this movie again and again and Rocky. And of course, then the karate kids the same. So

Darryl Vidal:

just as a note, I actually asked John to help us in this question, because it was 25, almost 30 years when I contacted them. And I wanted him to autograph a copy of the script. And I still how nice and you wanted to get with him. And so when we had lunch and Beverly Hills, and I you know, I was I was there for work. So I was just working out a lunch with him. And I said, Did you ever imagine how big this movie would be? How long it would last? He said Not in a million year.

Jason Connell:

That's great. He didn't even know Weintraub might have been the only one that who knew. Yeah, he just somehow saw success anything he touched. But was it called I think it was but was the movie called The Karate Kid when you were like brought on board? Did it already have his title? Yes. Okay. I thought so. Because I know Ralph Macchu said, he was really against this title. They sent him a script. And I kind of figured it was but didn't have some dummy name that they changed. Well, I

Darryl Vidal:

know I had to say an instinct, you know? And they said, what's the movie called? And the Karate Kid? I'm like, You're kidding.

Jason Connell:

I know. It sounds so hokey. And that true? Like, it only works now because of what it is. But it's like, what? I totally agree. Somehow it worked. Yeah, because it is so great. So Darrell, what were your thoughts? Again, you've moved on the movies come and gone. It's a success. But you know, you're you're doing your thing, your martial arts career, your life? So here comes the Karate Kid, Part Two, The Karate Kid part three. And like I just talked about earlier, The Next Karate Kid? What were your thoughts? Is those popped on the screen? And did you have any interest or discussions have been involved in any of them? Like the third Karate Kid easily could have had you in it in some context? Because it's kind of set the same place. The original is the second one's more in Okinawa. But was there any discussions anything or just nothing?

Darryl Vidal:

Nothing. Yeah. But you know, it was interesting because John Albertson, such a nice guy would send me Christmas cards every year. So you know, it's Christmas time, I would get a card from this guy. And so I always tried to return and send one back. But you know, clearly he remembered me course. But yeah, but then crime kit two came out. I said, Oh, look, they came out with another one. It's in Okinawa, I guess. Understood besides

Jason Connell:

the opening scene? Yeah. You know, essentially, it's all you know, for the most part.

Darryl Vidal:

And then when product three came out, I was totally blindsided. And I did wonder and it's like, no wonder why you didn't contact me. You know, I'd be all ready to be there. But it is what it is. And it came out. But then they by that time, it was a huge thing. Right? It was open audition. And the funny thing is, I don't know if you caught this in, you know, past interviews of mine, but William Christopher Ford, who played Dennis in credited three. He was a friend of mine because we used to compete together. Yeah. And so when I was doing the Karate Kid, I told him because I had seen him and I said, hey, they're gonna put me into this movie's called The Karate Kid. And then next thing I know Karate Kid three comes out and he isn't it.

Jason Connell:

Him and Snake Appleton son. Yeah, exactly. He's one of the bad guy bully guys. He's not really on Cobra Kai. He's just on Team Terry silver. You know, like, they don't really have a dojo. Well, if you've ever heard our show, and I hope that you listen to the episodes, you think you would enjoy them. I I have a love hate affair with Karate Kid part three. I love aspects of it. But to me the biggest misfire of the entire trilogy is the fact that how all Valley was treated in Karate Kid part three. And like the way they put Daniel on The finals there's that crazy rule, which I have a lot of issues with. And also this feels tacked on because in the original film, all Valley is just such a character. There's so much going on. They've covered it so beautifully. There's those montages with the great song, you know, you're the best around and then shots of you and you're all over the place. And you really feel like you're there. It's texture to the film or the credit card part to me, it's like, hey, we have one fight. It's Mike Barnes. And it's Daniel Russo. And he's lucky to even be here because he has this past To play in the finals. And so I have issues, you know, if there's one thing they could have done differently, they could have really expound upon all Valley for part three, they could have had you in there maybe not competing anymore, but Darrell Vidal could have been their ex champ, you know, but that was though, and I think if you talk to them, I'm sure Ralph macho, I've read he has his issues with it and, and the show Cobra Kai, which we're gonna get into one thing that they've done, they've absolutely done a great job of kind of revisionist history fixing things from the past, you know, Ali's exit from the Karate Kid part two, and they, they bring her back. And so there's a lot of things that they're doing. I don't know if they can ever repair that. But it is amazing to see what they've been able to do with the show or the short life of Cobra Kai, which is next on my thing to pivot to So are you a fan is Darrell Vador. A fan of Cobra Kai? The show?

Darryl Vidal:

Absolutely. Yeah. I had known that it was happening because in season one, episode one they have a flashback. Yeah. Johnny fighting me. And in order to use that they have to get a waiver. I saw it. Oh, early on, when all the rumors were starting to come up, I got an email from them and said, you know, we were gonna we're doing this so I kind of knew Oh, wow, you know, this Cobra Kai blue show is gonna come out. They're gonna use some stuff from my own that one. I even sent it when I responded with all my waivers and signatures. I told him I said, Hey, I look like Mr. Miyagi now.

Jason Connell:

Yeah, this is perfect. Yeah. And you're still training. I mean, you know,

Darryl Vidal:

I still teach and train and I sent them a couple of pictures and a video that you can see on YouTube where I'm sparring with somebody. Oh, wow. And then so I sent it to them, but so they know about me, and they know I'm out here, but that was that was kind of it for that. But just on the show itself. I mean, I think the writers are brilliant. What they've done with the storylines, you know, conflicted Daniel, and, you know, Johnny and his character, I just think it's, it's, it's done really well. They play off the nostalgia, you know, the 80s trilogy, but they keep you know, the characters moving forward. So yeah, I'm a huge fan I've watched watched it all when it came out. And you know, binge watched it when they win season three and Season Four came out. So yeah,

Jason Connell:

that's right. And now we know Season Five is upon us even faster. We don't have to wait as long so I want to hear your reaction to the Darrell Vidal mentioning the praising and Cobra Kai season three episode five of Miyagi dough, as crees praises Darrell Madol of Locust Valley karate club, as a very skilled fighter who beat Johnny Lawrence in the quarterfinals, and went on to win the all Valley karate championship in 1981. Which Darrell that would have made you like 1314 years old. You learned you're now an all Valley champion from Cobra Kai. How did that feel?

Darryl Vidal:

No, it was it was amazing. You know, the fact that to hear your own name, you know, that was the funny thing is and it's me. But then to have it come up in the scripts, you know, more than once, right? It was before that and season two as well. It just Yeah, that's

Jason Connell:

right in the hospital, right, because Johnny mentioned that.

Darryl Vidal:

And then it includes backstory, too, because, you know, in the hospital, they talked about Tommy beating me. And I'm like, Hey, there's no way they're gonna happen.

Jason Connell:

Yeah, there's some mistakes there because they said that and it was something Mel said in the movie, but we'll leave that alone. But this was the first time that we learned this type of revelation like I'm so this is the show runners doing something honoring the past. Go back and watch the montage and the Karate Kid before you even fight Johnny, the montage for some of the best moves in it. Were you like, Oh my God, there is again doing this great kick and great takedown and you did some incredible moves. So I'm so glad they went back and said yeah, make that guy champ of 81. And that had to feel amazing. Someone should send you an all Valley karate championship trophy, you know from 1981 From the cast of a Cobra Kai.

Darryl Vidal:

Well, I literally have won a tournament promoter back east over Have there actually had any a tournament series and he called it the all Valley so he gave me kind of an honorary it's actually a belt. It's like It's like those heavyweight heavy all about Yeah, yeah,

Jason Connell:

I got a photo of that. That's amazing. So a lot of fun. So then we learned that Fidel, we're not sure we're not sure for 82 All we know is Johnny Lawrence was the champion for 82. We don't even know if you competed. Vidal could have taken the year off, not sure I'm still waiting for them to revisit 82 Then we learned through Cobra Kai that 93 like we just talked about Tommy of Cobra Kai beat Darrell Vidal in the semis. That's right, right. And then Bobby Brown also of Cobra Kai beat medulla and the third place match. Darrell, I don't remember them having a third place match. It must have been eliminated after 83 Because obviously ad for you didn't go fight Bobby. I guess he was D cute, I suppose. So there was that. But very interesting. We never see that again in Cobra Kai aren't even in the credit card part three. So, but to me, this is what bugs me and started and I brought it up in that episode about you is that they're slowly tarnishing the legacy of Gerald Madol you know, it's like 81 champ no one can touch him. 82 We don't know. 83 You're getting bested by almost every Cobra Kai, you know, and you're like, Come on, give this guy a break. And then they put you in the finals I sent me so I should say sorry, semis and 84 Verse Johnny. Now Johnny had never beaten you historically, you had best in him and 81 to go on to win. So I understand why they did it for the movie. But 1233 points Darryl Fidelis out, but if you were a threat, it would have brought Johnny down and they wanted him to look invincible. I get it. But it's more tarnishing the legacy of this prodigy which is you, Darrell Vidal?

Darryl Vidal:

Well, you know, you'd like you said you understand why yes. And, and it was funny because a little another little behind the scenes is when we we choreographed that whole fight from beginning to end. Like, and John and Pat Johnson pretty much let me let me do it. You know, he told me what what they wanted. But you know, I set it up. I told Billy what to do. You will do this. I'll do this. So the whole fight from beginning the end is choreographed?

Jason Connell:

Yeah, it's great. By the way, that fight is phenomenal, as is the fight between Daniel and Johnny. But yeah, it's incredible. So

Darryl Vidal:

yeah, so you know, we've got it in the way that it was choreographed. He scores that I score. And then he scores, that he scores the last shot, but the time that I score, it was his cut out. It was on the editing room floor. And I actually asked John Allison, I said, How can you? You know, you eliminated my point. And he basically said, we didn't have enough time, you know, yeah, movie was getting too long. So we had to cut it

Jason Connell:

out. Yeah. And makes it you know, what, and we did a special episode. Recently, after years, we did a whole Daniel Russo all Valley champion 90 day for we did beat by beat of this Daniels tournament. And when you go back and watch it now after being exposed to Cobra Kai, because they've now given us to all valleys, you know, of their own, which had been amazing. It's a whole other thing right now, modern day, but you look at Daniels, he fights one guy who's non Cobra, you didn't fight Daniel, but he fought a non Cobra Kai. And then he fights like six Cobra guys. And that fight with Johnny and him that goes on for a while. I just forgot, like how long that is. So I can understand why they're like, We got to make Johnny's win, you know, short and sweet. And have it you know, look as good as it can. And it does work. It's just that years later, we just like think, hey, well, Dara was a champion at one you know, and I even like seeing you on the mat as we kind of pan into the final four years with another guy doing some punches and kind of, you know, talking to some other guy like there's very visible and that.

Darryl Vidal:

You know, they had they actually held like two or three. They call them karate good tournaments to get to get that everybody a little bit, you know, exposure to what a point karate tournament looks like. Yeah. And then they held the final one at Cal State Northridge. And there were some actual karate competitor going so all the time that they're running those cameras. I'm walking around in the back. How do I get it? How do I get the back of this?

Jason Connell:

Yeah, you You did a good job. So what did you think of Cobra Kai and them introducing codons and weapon training and all valley now,

Darryl Vidal:

on the one hand, I like it because that's what a real karate tournament is, you know exactly. Your weapons and then they do sparring usually is how the day ends. So I think it's good but you know it It doesn't really, you know, give enough time to highlight, you know, what can be in those competitions, right? Just get to see, Sam does a little bit of signs, and somebody else does a little bit of both staff and this and that. But yeah, you know, you can, you can actually, there's a lot that can be done with those. But you know, I can see that, you know, they're just trying to give a little bit of flavor to the whole thing. I also think it's good to see that the actors are, you know, training, because they're doing their stuff. And you can actually see the the trading improve over seasons. Oh, my

Jason Connell:

gosh, absolutely. Yeah, they're getting better. I kept thinking this too, like, they're all getting better you go back. And if you revisit it, and I haven't done this yet, which is weird. I do a show about Cobra Kai, but I've never missed an episode, when we watched an episode, we go back and watch it for notes. So you really dissect it. But I almost want to go back before Season Five and relive the first three, and I've gone back for spot checking, like, let me look at that scene. But when you do that, it's like, oh, my gosh, everyone looks super young. And their martial arts isn't what it is now. They're progressing rapidly, you know, through that, and they have trainers, and it's a whole other thing now, Darrell, it's, it's incredible. It's like a machine.

Darryl Vidal:

And not to disparage but you know, maybe just a slight critique is, please, you know, since they don't get to spar, they lose that little bit. You know, I don't know what to call it credibility, but maybe maybe pizzazz or flair that shows up when people that really fight Yeah, and they know I wouldn't call it what I do what I did back then really fighting because it wasn't UFC or MMA but it was you know, I did box. But you know, when you're fighting in point even on point system, there's there's a different dynamic there than when it's rehearsed. And so you can always see the rehearsed moves. It shows up in, you know, in Cobra Kai, but over the the seasons, they do get a lot lot better.

Jason Connell:

Yes. Well, there, I have to ask you as we wind down, because I'd rather have you back on and then just keep you on for too much longer. Because it's been amazing for you to give us your time and your insight. We're all learning wonderful nuggets and things. But do you see a potential? Or maybe it's secret, if you can't tell me of Cobra Kai having all Valley champion Darrell Vidal on an episode or episodes?

Darryl Vidal:

Well, you know, it gets talked about a lot and I have a lot of fans and I'll tell me that I shouldn't be in it. On the one hand, I feel that the the writers know what they're doing the right thing going and I can see that they they want to move forward. You know, they're moving forward with the characters and and all that but at the same time, they have been pulling in, you know, jeans, yes, they have they have Kumiko and, you know,

Jason Connell:

yeah, we have Yeah, Chosun has come on. We have Elizabeth Chu is Ally. I really anticipated I and I was wrong. I don't like to speculate, but I did. I thought Mike Barnes from credit. Kip are three was going to be on Season Four. I think it's a matter of time now that Terry Silver's in charge. It's like yeah, bring Mike Barnes and he was a good bad guy. It just it makes sense. Right? Absolutely makes sense. They might even bring in Julie from a kind of a different movie. But Pat Ritter being the connecting bond.

Darryl Vidal:

I definitely think Mike Barnes you know, as a main character of Karate Kid three is the next obvious person. Yeah. And you know, I'm very close with Shawn. We're good buddies. Oh, wow. So I can't see anything, but I'll come

Jason Connell:

on. Yeah, that was listening. Come on. No, I'm just kidding. I'm just gonna do not Well, I expected if they didn't do it, it would be like a missed opportunity. He should and if Hilary Swank's involved that's a two time Oscar winner. It only helps the show. But I was thinking like Hey, bring Daryl back for something with all Valley Well, you could have been the ref although the ref was on the take so maybe not the ref most recently that wouldn't have been cool.

Darryl Vidal:

Season Five they have the whole group of locusts Valley yes students

Jason Connell:

exactly you can be their trainer their code their head sensei their master. Well, I'd love to see it. I also would love to see 40 Fernandez make a comeback. Daniel's first friend. I was always like yeah, why? And they go to the South Seas apartment sometimes just to have Freddy out by the pool or something. I love little nuggets like that. I'm holding out hope and if you do No, don't tell me but I'm hoping that we see Darrell muddle on a season because there's probably not that many seasons left. This is season five. You don't keep the show going forever. And you liked the show on top. You know you don't want to go too far. But I think spin offs are coming I've long said a Miyagi series or Miyagi dos series going back in time and showing the origins of Miyagi more akin to law. Kung Fu, I think that type of show would be incredible and really spotlight martial arts more, but I don't know, what are your thoughts? What are your thoughts about the franchise? Could this lead to more Karate Kid movies? Or? Or do you have any thoughts?

Darryl Vidal:

Well, you know, they're coming out with a Broadway show. Right?

Jason Connell:

I do. I read that my co host, Sal put that on my radar. That blew me away.

Darryl Vidal:

Yeah. So I don't know what to think about that. Season six, I would be very cool. Yes. But I also know what you mean about, you know, finishing on top. So the funny thing is, a friend of mine keeps saying this is how long can these kids keep fighting each other?

Jason Connell:

No, I know, you can't have like, I love to see Daniel and Johnny getting along. But then they take two steps back, and then they're on opposite sides. And I liked them getting on the same page. And now they are. So it's like, let's just, let's continue on that you can't just do the same story again and again and again. And they brought Terry silver out of obscurity. And now he's running the show. So it is an amazing series. But everything good comes to an end. And hopefully, hopefully, Darryl Vidal all Valley karate champion from 1981 is involved in something of Cobra Kai in the near future.

Darryl Vidal:

Well, I appreciate that. And I would be honored you do it. And if it does happen, I will let you know.

Jason Connell:

And then we'll have you back on the show. Yeah,

Darryl Vidal:

absolutely. Do. I just want to tell you, I really enjoyed your segment with Sal. And so hopefully, we can do it again and help sell on? Oh,

Jason Connell:

absolutely. We will. We'd love to have you back on maybe as we get to season five. And that winds down and we circle back around and get your insights and thoughts on the season and all three of us can jump on it. Or if I'm back on the West Coast, maybe we could all do it in person. There was a time that we used to record in person I've not seen sow in flesh since 2019. So the pandemic hit and then I moved so we have this virtual relationship but but Daryl it's been incredible. And listen, I should say, if you're never part of Cobra Kai, you are a part of Cobra Kai, you're a part of the whole universe. You're such a big part of the original movie which is really just the Bible of everything the Karate Kid is incredible. And yeah, I'm so happy we were I was touched that you reached out to us and I and Sal nearly fell over when I showed him your messages and so this is a real pleasure and next time we'll get the YouTube to work YouTube Live or we'll do it in person as I said and and thank you for everything and before you go I have one thing you'll have to do if you don't mind. And it's giving your very best John crease no mercy because we end every episode with a no mercy. Okay, so unlock your confidence and always use the right tools for the job with manscaped get 20% off and free shipping with the code Cobra kai@manscaped.com So thank you so much for listening and please be sure to subscribe to the let's talk Cobra Kai podcast as well as the let's talk Cobra Kai YouTube Live Channel. You can also really help us by giving the show a five star rating on Apple podcast. And for all you listeners that enjoy sharing your thoughts. You can leave us a review on Apple podcast send us a direct message or post a comment on any let's talk Cobra Kai social media platform. If you're dedicated listener or viewer of Let's Talk Cobra Kai, please consider supporting the show on Patreon. We also highly recommend checking out our other podcast and visiting just curious media.com So Darryl Madol take it away.

Darryl Vidal:

No Mercy

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