You couldn’t leave well enough alone, could you, little twerp? No, you had to push it. Well, now you’re gonna pay!
~ Johnny Lawrence to Daniel LaRusso.

Johnny Lawrence is the secondary antagonist of the 1984 original film The Karate Kid.

He was portrayed by William Zabka.


The Karate Kid

He was the best student of John Kreese’s Cobra Kai Dojo, and the ex-boyfriend of Ali Mills. Throughout the film, Johnny torments and bullies the protagonist, Daniel LaRusso. But when Kreese told Johnny to “sweep the leg” in order to beat Daniel at the All-Valley Karate Tournament, Johnny gives Kreese a frightened glance (while also possibly realizing that Kreese had gone too far). After he lost to Daniel, Johnny shows respect to Daniel and gives him the first-place trophy. With that, he and Daniel patch things up and become friends.

The Karate Kid Part II

At the beginning of the second film, while Johnny was perfectly fine with winning the second-place trophy, Kreese was not (and even broke the trophy in two after Johnny called him a loser). After an argument between Kreese and Johnny (which Daniel and Miyagi take notice of), Kreese violently berates Johnny, but Miyagi stops him. After that, Johnny and the rest of the Cobra Kai students left Kreese in the parking lot, now seeing Kreese for the kind of man he really was.


  • Johnny's actor, William Zabka, is notable for playing villains in various 1980s movies (with another one of his roles being Greg Tolan from the 1985 coming-of-age high-school comedy drama film Just One of The Guys). However, he played a good guy in a 1980s sitcom To Protect & Surf, as well as being featured in The Equalizer. Out of homage to his 1980s villainous roles, Zabka was cast as Rick Steelman in the 2010 film Hot Tub Time Machine.
  • Johnny Lawrence will return in Cobra Kai tv series and resurrect Cobra Kai from his former sensei.  It is unknown if he is the good guy or bad guy in the tv series. 


           Karate Kid Villains

Karate Kid (1984): John Kreese | Johnny Lawrence
Karate Kid Part II: Chozen Toguchi | Sato Toguchi
Karate Kid Part III: Terry Silver | Mike Barnes
Next Karate Kid: Colonel Dugan | Ned
Karate Kid (2010): Master Li | Cheng