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This Valley Martial Arts School Went From ‘Cobra Kai’-Style Confrontations To Training For The Show

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Is the House of Champions martial arts dojo in Van Nuys the real Cobra Kai? Not exactly, but sensei Mark Parra says that some of his own experiences have felt like a true-life version of the hit Netflix show.

One key difference, he says, is that while some of the show's villains are looking out for themselves, he ultimately has his students' best interests at heart.

His school helped helped train Mary Mouser for her role as Daniel LaRusso's daughter on the series — both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. They worked on everything from how to do a choreographed fight on camera, to classical karate forms.

The pandemic hit House of Champions hard, but he's back up to a couple hundred students through Zoom classes and an outdoor training area. And he's ready to strike hard when it comes to continuing to rebuild.

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We spoke with Parra about the show, the pandemic, how House of Champions has stayed alive with Zoom classes and outdoor training, and his plans for getting back inside the dojo again.

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