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This Article Contains Spoilers - WARNING: This article contains major spoilers. If you do not wish to know vital information on plot / character elements in a story, you may not wish to read beyond this warning: We hold no responsibility for any negative effects these facts may have on your enjoyment of said media should you continue. That is all.

Your karate's a joke!
~ Barnes's catchphrase
Come on, get up! Get on that line! Get on that line, LaRusso! You're worthless! Your slope teacher's nothing! Get up, man! You're no champion. Get up! You suck, LaRusso! You suck, man! And your teacher's karate is shit. You hear me? He's shit! You're done, LaRusso. Your karate is a joke. And your teacher's worth shit. He's nothing! He's nothing! And you're nothing! I own you! I own you, LaRusso! Where's your little Jap teacher now, huh? He's a phoney, man. He's a fake and he didn't teach you nothing. Your karate's shit. You hear me? Get up!
~ Barnes yelling at Daniel to get up and continue their fight.
You know, ever since you guys brought karate back into my life, I have been... itching for a fight. I guess I thought it would help me recapture some sense of my power or something.
~ Mike to Johnny Lawrence after their fight.

Michael "Mike" Barnes is one of the two secondary antagonists (alongside John Kreese) of The Karate Kid Part III and a major character in Cobra Kai.

He is a wrathful karate fighter hired by Terry Silver to represent the Cobra Kai dojo. In order to assist Silver in John Kreese's revenge against Daniel LaRusso and Mr. Miyagi, Barnes starts harassing the former by threatening him into fighting him in the All-Valley Karate Championship, making Daniel's life miserable if he refuses.

Years later, Barnes starts running a furniture store, and is confronted by Daniel and Chozen Toguchi to help them take down Silver. When Silver burns down Barnes furniture store in retaliation, he, alongside Chozen and Johnny Lawrence break into Silver's house to seek retribution.

He is portrayed by Sean Kanan, who is best known for his roles as Alan "A.J." Quartermaine, Jr., on the American soap opera General Hospital, and Deacon Sharpe on The Bold and Beautiful.


The Karate Kid, Part III[]

Mike Barnes was hired by Terry Silver to defeat Daniel in the All Valley Karate Championship, in exchange for 25% (later 50%) ownership of his new Cobra Kai dojos. It is shown that he is a highly skilled karate master. He proves to be far too much for Daniel (mostly because Daniel could not so much as land a single damaging blow to him until the end of the film). He constantly torments Daniel and tries his best to force Daniel into signing an application for the All Valley Karate Tournament (which Daniel chooses not to enter because he has no reason to fight). Later when Mike forces Daniel to sign up for the tournament, Miyagi trains Daniel for the event. At the tournament Mike (under Silver's instructions) to deliberate fights with Daniel by scoring points and then losing them with penalties. Despite his situation, Daniel manages to defeats him in a sudden death match with the kata that Miyagi taught him earlier. After being defeated, Mike starts pounding the ground in frustration.

As revealed in Cobra Kai, after Mike lost the 1985 All-Valley tournament, his life was ruined, and he was lost, as well as banned from karate (which was all he knew). Mike then found himself working many odd jobs, one of them being at a furniture store where he met his future father-in-law, who helped him learn he could do something with his hands other than fight. Mike became engaged to his daughter and became the co-owner of the furniture store. As a result, Mike made a complete 180 in his life.

Cobra Kai[]

Season 1[]

Although he does not make an appearance, it is revealed that the Cobra Kai was banned from the All-Valley Tournament because of his, Kreese's and Terry Silver's actions in 1985.

Season 2[]

While Mike does not appear his picture is shown in a flashback when Daniel talks to students about the time he joined Cobra Kai. 

Season 3[]

Mike appears in a flashback when Daniel takes his daughter Sam to the All-Valley auditorium to teach her a lesson about his past. Sam thinks Daniel is going to tell her about his fight with Johnny, but instead he tells her about his fight with Mike the following year. Daniel only refers to Mike as "my opponent" but clarifies he was more ruthless than anyone else he ever fought, and that fighting Mike made him more scared than ever, to the point where he shut down and attempted to quit. However, he eventually overcame this fear.

Season 4[]

After the surprising but inevitable return of Terry Silver to their lives, Amanda LaRusso asks Daniel if there are any more Cobra Kai foes from his past that will return. Daniel replies "No… well, at least I hope not.", referring to Mike. Otherwise, Mike does not appear in the season.

Season 5[]

You know, after the All-Valley Tournament, my life was ruined. I mean, I was lost. I was banned from karate, which was all I knew. So I found myself working odd jobs. One day, I'm moving furniture, and I meet my future father-in-law. He showed me I could do something with these hands other than fight.
~ Mike to Daniel about how his life has changed in the past 34 years in Season 5 of Cobra Kai.

In Season 5, Mike appears as a major character.

When Daniel and Chozen go after him, Mike apologizes to Daniel for how he treated him back in 1985, saying he wanted to apologize to him many times over, but felt it would "trigger something" or bring back bad memories for Daniel, and finally decided it was best to leave the past in the past. While chatting with Daniel LaRusso about Terry Silver, Chozen attacks Mike and his employees. The two get into a fight that is broken up by LaRusso. After getting info about Silver, Chozen and Daniel leave. Terry finds out about this and burns down Mike's furniture store.

In Survivors, while Johnny Lawrence, Daniel, and Chozen are partying, Mike steals their limo and then viscously grabs Daniel out of the limo and accuses him of ruining his life. Upon Daniel's explaining that Silver burnt down the store, Mike realizes Daniel's right, and he, Chozen, and Johnny go to Terry's house to get revenge. Mike is caught in a fight between some of the Cobra Kai sensei's and is knocked out. He later regains consciousness and saves Johnny's life by beating the two hired Cobra Kai sensei's trying to kill him.

Mike is last seen at the Cobra Kai dojo, with an injured Chozen and beaten Johnny, reconciling with Daniel once more just as Silver is arrested for good. It is also revealed that Mike stole a picture frame from Silver's mansion, wanting to use it to cover up the damages from his destroyed furniture company.


Mike is extremely vicious, aggressive, and immoral. He repeatedly threatens and harms Daniel. He does everything he can to cause Daniel pain. He is more than willing to break the rules fight unethically which is demonstrated in the All Valley tournament. He even kicks Jessica, showing he is willing to be aggressive with anybody. It is very likely that he has an anger problem as he is shown to be angry throughout the movie and there are several occasions where he screams out of anger like a psychopath.

Mike has no morals and is willing to do whatever it takes to win which is evidenced in the All Valley Tournament where he repeatedly attacks Daniel illegally just to cause him pain instead of beating him honorably and personally attacks Daniel while he is lying on the mat hurt. 

He can be compared to Dutch from the original movie and Chozen from the second movie as his behavior and actions seem similar to theirs to a certain extent, though he is much more angry and aggressive than them. He may be just as skilled as Chozen, but it is possible that he is more skilled than Chozen as he stuck fear in Daniel and only lost in the end because of the tiebreaker, while Daniel wasn't afraid of Chozen and truly managed to defeat him. 

However, he becomes a changed man during the events of Cobra Kai, becoming a furniture store owner and happily married, even having his wife as his co-owner. As a result, he becomes much more nicer to Daniel and apologizes to him for his actions, though he briefly goes back to his old ways by stealing the limousine and accusing Daniel for ruining his life and leaves him on the road when he and Chozen decide to stop Silver themselves when finding out that Silver was the real culprit. Nevertheless, he still made amends with Daniel in the end.



  • Michelle Barnes - Wife
  • Unnamed father-in-law





Look, man, I'm so sorry for the things that I said back in the day, the things that I did. Man, I've wanted to apologize to you so many times. I guess I was worried it would've triggered something, or whatnot. But maybe it was just best to leave the past where it is.
~ Mike apologizes to Daniel for his past behavior.
I don't give a shit what he fights for. I'm gonna knock his ass out, and then you're next.
~ Mike Barnes after breaking into Silver's house.


  • Jonathan Avildsen, son of the film's director John G. Avildsen, screen tested for the part of Mike Barnes. It was decided that he was not the right fit for Mike, but Jonathan did such a fine job that the role of "Snake" was created especially for him.
  • After answering an open casting call for the movie, Sean Kanan was called back for a screen test with Ralph Macchio. "I wanted them to remember me," said Kanan. "So I backed Macchio into a corner and wouldn't let up.".
  • Sean Kanan had been a fan of the franchise for years before being cast, having seen both The Karate Kid and The Karate Kid Part II ten times each before learning of the plans for a second sequel.
  • Sean Kanan beat out two thousand other martial arts hopefuls for the part of Mike Barnes.
  • At the time of his casting, Sean Kanan was a green belt in karate.
  • While filming, Sean Kanan performed his own stunts, including one wherein he lunged forward and landed on his stomach for twenty takes. After taking aspirin for four days to deal with the residual pain, Kanan fell unconscious. At a hospital, he was diagnosed with internal bleeding caused by a torn abdominal wall.
  • Mike Barnes' final dialogue (wherein he triumphantly jeers Daniel into getting up for the "Sudden Death" portion of their grand championship match) was not in the screenplay, but rather ad-libbed by Sean Kanan.
  • During the end of Season 4, Silver explains that he will recruit old friends to help out Cobra Kai. This caused fans to hint that Silver was talking about Mike Barnes; however, it wasn't true, and it turned out Barnes has become a changed man, running a furniture business.
  • In the first Cobra Kai episode, Ace Degenerate, when Johnny gets fired from his handyman job for arguing with a rude customer, his boss is named Mike. This originally implies that it is Mike Barnes, but this isn't true since Johnny and Mike Barnes met for the first time in Season 5, teaming up to stop Terry Silver and his newly recruited sensei's. Also, the Mike mentioned in Season 1 is implied to be a home improvement supervisor, indicating that it's not Mike Barnes.
  • Mike Barnes is the third rival of Daniel LaRusso to be redeemed, following Johnny Lawrence and Chozen Toguchi. Just like the two of them were influenced by their mentors like Terry Silver and Johnny Kreese that turned into a villain.
  • Sean Kanan claims that the filmmakers described the character to him as "a seventeen-year-old white Mike Tyson".

External Links[]


           KarateKidTitle Villains

The Karate Kid (1984)
Cobra Kai
John Kreese | Johnny Lawrence | Dutch | Bobby Brown | Tommy | Jimmy

The Karate Kid Part II
Chozen Toguchi | Sato Toguchi | Toshio & Taro | John Kreese

The Karate Kid Part III
Cobra Kai
Terry Silver | Mike Barnes | John Kreese | Snake | Dennis

DynaTox Industries
Margaret Spencer | Milos Dadok

The Next Karate Kid
Alpha Elite
Colonel Dugan | Ned Randall | Charlie | Gabe | Morgan

The Karate Kid (2010)
Fighting Dragons Studio
Master Li | Cheng | Liang | Zhuang | Song

Cobra Kai
Season 1
Kyler Park | Brucks | Yasmine | Moon | Rory | A.J. | Trey & Cruz | Tom Cole | Louie LaRusso, Jr. | Sid Weinberg | Robby Keene | Miguel Diaz | Eli "Hawk" Moskowitz | John Kreese
Season 2
Cobra Kai (John Kreese, Eli "Hawk" Moskowitz, Tory Nichols, Raymond "Stingray", Miguel Diaz, Chris, Mitch, Bert, Doug Rickenberger, Mikey, Edwin, Big Red, Dieter, Lawson & Dirk) | Trey & Cruz | Derek | Graham | Armand Zakarian | Ear Gauge
Season 3
Cobra Kai (John Kreese, Tory Nichols, Eli "Hawk" Moskowitz, Kyler Park, Robby Keene, Mitch, Doug Rickenberger, Mikey, Brucks, Edwin, Big Red, Paul, Dieter, Lawson & Dirk) | Tom Cole | Trey & Cruz | Sid Weinberg | Captain Turner | Shawn Payne | David | James | Juan | Hector | Roger | Bo | Pham Minh Tao | Vietnamese Soldiers
Season 4
Cobra Kai (Terry Silver, John Kreese, Robby Keene, Tory Nichols, Kenny Payne, Kyler Park, Piper Elswith, Edwin, Big Red, Dieter, Jake, & Paul) | Zack Thompson | Slade Wang | Marcus | Raymond "Stingray" Porter | Greg Hughes | Kandace Nichols
Season 5
Cobra Kai (Terry Silver, Kim Da-Eun, Kenny Payne, Hyan-Woo, Odell, Bacaria, Min-Jun, Morozov, Suk-Chin, Kyler Park, Mitch, Big Red, Edwin, Dieter, Paul, Devon Lee) | John Kreese | Kim Sun-Yung | Hector Salazar
Season 6
Cobra Kai (John Kreese, Kim Da-Eun, Tory Nichols, Kwon Jae-Sung, Yoon Do-Jin) | Kim Sun-Yung