Martin Kove Speaks out on 'Karate Kid' and 'Cobra Kai' Co-Star Robert Garrison's Death

Just hours after news broke Friday afternoon that Karate Kid actor, Robert Garrison had died at the age of 59 following organ shutdown, his co-star and on-screen Sensei, Martin Kove broke his silence in a post shared to social media over the weekend. Kove, best known as John Kreese in the three Karate Kid movies and leader of the Cobra Kai dojo, honored his “warrior” student in a heartfelt message posted to Instagram.

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“To all the wonderful fans of karate kid, Cobra Kai and Rob Garrison. I feel Weve (sic) lost one of my warriors the Spirit of my friend Rob, I will see you up there one day and we will have the dojo to ourselves, because cobra Kai down here, won’t be the same without you on ‘this’ planet,” Kove wrote.

“I send my love and condolences to the family of my friend, who did such a wonderful job as a guest on the show last year. He was a really good man to those who personally shared his energy. You will be missed young Cobra, as a friend, in and out of the dojo sensei Kreese [Karate Kid, Cobra Kai] never die we just regroup.”

Fans of the iconic ‘80s movies and the YouTube Premium series were heartbroken over the loss and took great comfort in the message Kove shared.

“Cobra Kai Never Dies sensei! No Sadness in this dojo!” one fan wrote alongside a snake emoji and a skull. “RIP ROB.”

“Just regroup! That's absolutely right! Prayers and Love,” added another.

“Well said! It’s a fraternity that started in the 80s and is stronger than ever today!!!” wrote another.

“That was amazing! Cobra Kai never dies!!!” another echoed the sentiment of the iconic dojo.

“Glad he had a great send off in season 2,” another wrote. “So sad.”

Garrison, who was known for the famous line embedded within our pop culture, “Get him a body bag!” had the chance to reunite with his Karate Kid co-stars, Ralph Macchio and William Zabka in the second season of the YouTube revival, Cobra Kai, though his character had passed in the following episode.

Prior to his role in the Karate Kid franchise, Garrison began his acting career in the late ‘70s, appearing in films such as Search and Destroy and Starship Invasions. In the early ‘80s, he turned up in films, Brubaker and Prom Night, before becoming a Cobra Kai member in the mid-‘80s. He would subsequently go on to take small roles in TV series, St. Elsewhere, MacGyver and Columbo.

His final film performance, prior to his Cobra Kai cameo, was a 2011 film titled, The Pledge.


Macchio broke his silence over the passing as well, sharing a tender tribute to his co-star, friend and the “tender gentleman.”

Photo credit: Columbia Pictures