Cobra Kai Proved Terry Silver Is The Best Sensei In 1 Big Way

Warning: SPOILERS for Cobra Kai Season 5The commercial for the dojo in the opening minutes of Cobra Kai season 5 showcases the one big advantage Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith) has over the other senseis in the San Fernando Valley, including Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio). Cobra Kai season 5 picks up soon after Silver and Cobra Kai emerged triumphant in the All Valley Under 18 Karate Tournament (thanks to Terry bribing the referee). With his big win over LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), Silver commenced his master plan to take over karate in the Valley – and beyond!


Terry Silver was introduced in The Karate Kid Part III as the old Vietnam war buddy of John Kreese (Martin Kove). Unlike the down-on-his-luck Kreese, Silver is a multimillionaire and a shady businessman. When he made it his mission to destroy Daniel LaRusso, Terry’s long-range plan was Cobra Kai’s complete takeover of karate in the Valley. Silver vanished for 30 years after Daniel foiled him in The Karate Kid Part III, and Kreese made the biggest mistake of his life when he recruited Terry to be his co-sensei in Cobra Kai season 4. Silver ultimately betrayed Kreese and sent him to prison by framing him for the attempted murder of Stingray (Paul Walter Hauser). Now that Cobra Kai is completely his in season 5, Terry enacted his massive plans for global expansion by entering Cobra Kai in the Sekai Taikai international competition.

Terry Silver’s Cobra Kai commercial at the start of season 5 shows what sets him apart as a sensei: a glossy corporate sheen. Silver, who was once CEO of Dyna-Tox, is imminently presentable, classy, and camera-ready. Tall, silver hair kept in a neat ponytail, and well-spoken, Terry can cut an elegant figure. Silver mingles easily in upper-class circles, enjoys the finer things in life, and made enticing upgrades to Cobra Kai. No longer seedy sweatshops, Silver’s new Cobra Kai dojos are sleek and state-of-the-art, with world-class training equipment, the latest technology, free merch, and even a juice bar. Terry Silver’s Cobra Kai is an overall package that’s hard to compete with, even for the affluent Daniel LaRusso, who has resources of his own and is a local celebrity in the Valley.

Terry Silver Is Better (And Worse) In Cobra Kai Than He Was In Karate Kid III

Although Terry was always rich, he was outwardly psychopathic and absurd (and likely under the influence of drugs) in The Karate Kid Part III. 30+ years later, the older and wiser Silver (who even mocked his ridiculous younger self in Cobra Kai season 4) is more calculating and intelligent, and Terry plans many moves ahead of his enemies, which makes him much more dangerous. Daniel recognized that Terry is a more insidious threat than John Kreese could ever be, and this is why he brought in Chozen Toguchi (Yuji Okumoto) from Okinawa. Chozen is fearless and can meet Silver’s violence on his own terms, which was evident during their confrontations in Cobra Kai season 5. Terry was a comical villain in The Karate Kid Part III, but Cobra Kai’s ponytailed “Bond villain” is just that, and Silver utterly dominated season 5 as a Final Boss the series hasn’t had up til now.

It’s not hard to understand why Cobra Kai was able to recruit and expand so quickly in season 5, thanks to the classy facade Terry Silver projected. Blue collar Johnny Lawrence, old man war vet John Kreese, and even Daniel LaRusso, who models his own sensei style after Mr. Miyagi (Noriyuki “Pat” Morita), couldn’t compete with all the perks Terry Silver offered his Cobra Kai students. As Tory Nichols (Peyton List) learned the hard way, Silver is a terrifying sensei who truly lives by Cobra Kai’s “no mercy” credo, but the enticements Terry offered made him the best sensei in the Valley – until he was finally exposed and arrested for the criminal he is.

Cobra Kai Season 5 is streaming on Netflix.

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