"..ex-degenerate man. 8AM tomorrow, I’m a senior. I’ve got one year to make it all work, and that’s what I’m gonna do… make it work. All of it!”- Johnny Lawrence's first lines in The Karate Kid
".. No mercy, man.” - Johnny Lawrence
Johnny Lawrence, as a young kid, was very feeble and distant. Growing up with a harsh step-father, Johnny would often distance himself through use of his Walkman. However, one day while strolling home, Johnny came across a karate dojo by the name of Cobra Kai. Inside he found John Kreese teaching his students, which inspired Johnny greatly.
Johnny rushed home, and reported to his mother and step-father of his findings—then requesting to join the Dojo. While his step-father was reluctant, his mother eventually persuaded his step-father, and Johnny was enrolled into Cobra Kai.
At some point during his early high-school years—many years following his enrollment in Cobra Kai—Johnny and his friend, Dutch, sat in a movie theater behind a group of girls. Dutch threw milk-duds at the girls, before one of them, Ali Mills, stood up, furious. This was the first time Johnny Lawrence formally met Ali, and he soon went on to form a relationship with her.
Just shortly before the events of Karate Kid, Johnny and Ali got into a small fight, and broke off. Johnny was very adamant about getting back with her, but never truly got his chance. Johnny won the All-Valley tournament in 1982 and 1983, when he didn't lose a single point.
Karate Kid (1984)Edit
At the beginning of Karate Kid, Johnny is seen confronting Ali at a beach party. She rejects all his advances, and the two quickly get into a fight. Daniel LaRusso, seeing a chance to insert himself and stick up for Ali, intervenes. Johnny quickly pushes Daniel down, and the two get into a brawl—in which Johnny wins, and leaves.
Quite a bit later, during a Halloween school event, Johnny was in a bathroom stall, when Daniel put a hose over him, and drenched him with water. Johnny, enraged, gathered his friends, and chased Daniel down the street, before cornering Daniel and beating him up. That's when, unexpectedly, Mr. Miyagi showed up, defending Daniel and knocking Johnny out.
Miyagi and Daniel later showed up to the Cobra Kai Dojo, requesting of John Kreese that his students leave Daniel be until the All-Valley Tournament. Agreeing, Johnny was forced not to lay a hand on Daniel, which allowed for Daniel to torment Johnny until the day of the Tournament arrived.
Once the day of the All-Valley Tournament finally arrived, Johnny rocked his way up to the finals, where he was pitted against his now-rival, Daniel LaRusso. While Johnny put up a good fight, especially with his opponent having an injured leg, Daniel ended up defeating Johnny using the Crane Technique.
Karate Kid Part II (1986)Edit
Johnny is not seen for very long during Karate Kid Part II, but, in the beginning, Johnny is seen among his friends, arguing with their mentor, John Kreese. Kreese, enraged by Johnny's loss, destroys his trophy and discards it. Johnny fights back, insulting Kreese, but Kreese quickly puts Johnny into a headlock.
Johnny's friends unsuccessfully tried to save him from Kreese, before Mr. Miyagi stepped in, and defused the situation. Daniel and Miyagi then left Johnny in the parking-lot.
Karate Kid Part III (1989) Edit
Johnny appears in a montage in the beginning of the movie. In the present day, it is revealed that Kreese hasn't had a student in months. While it isn't revealed why he doesn't have any students, it can be implied that it's because of his actions against Johnny following his loss in the All-Valley Tournament.
In the past three decades in between Karate Kid and Cobra Kai, Johnny's life has gone downhill. Marrying an unstable woman, Johnny had a kid by the name of Robby, who he soon lost custody of following his divorce with the woman.
Johnny then got a job as a home-improvement worker, although he detested his job greatly. He fell victim to alcohol, and was living life as a drunk.
Cobra Kai (2018)Edit
Johnny is seen immediately getting fired from his job, after mouthing off a stubborn customer.
Soon after, Johnny goes to a strip-mall and buys a slice of pizza, which is where he meets Miguel Diaz, a boy he previously spoke shortly with that lives in the same apartment/hotel as Johnny. Johnny leaves the strip-mall and eats his food, while witnessing Miguel get thrown around by a bully named Kyler, and his friends. Kyler eventually throws Miguel onto Johnny's car, which sparks Johnny's attention and gives him an incentive to beat up Kyler and his goons—similarly to how Mr. Miyagi had beat up Johnny and his goons years earlier.
Johnny is arrested for the fight, and returns home the next day. His step-father, who bailed him out, is waiting for him, who hands Johnny a check as a means of buying Johnny out of his life. Johnny rips up the check without hesitance.
Miguel, impressed by Johnny's fighting prowess, asks Johnny to be his Sensei, but Johnny refused. Going out for a ride, Johnny had a flashback of Kreese strangling him in the parking-lot during the events of Karate Kid Part II, before hearing a loud crash. Turning around, Johnny saw that a group of girls had crashed into his car. Johnny confronted the girls, but they raced off, leaving for his car to be towed.
Johnny later went to LaRusso Auto to pick up his car, where he reunited with Daniel LaRusso, and their rivalry rekindled. Johnny left with his car, and finally agreed for Miguel to become his student. Johnny went on to reassemble the pieces of the check his step-dad gave him, which he used to buy a Dojo for his own.
This was where the Cobra Kai Dojo was reformed—Johnny Lawrence now the Sensei, and Miguel Diaz the student.