Miguel "Miggy" Diaz is a teenager who is Johnny Lawrence's neighbor turned top student of the Cobra Kai Dojo. He is one of the main protagonists in the Cobra Kai web series. He is the deuteragonist of season 1. Despite being the main antagonist in the end of the season, he is able to better himself in season 2. Miguel is of Ecuadorian descent, and Hawk nicknamed him El Serpiente ("the snake") for his first-place victory in the All-Valley tournament.
Fictional Character Biography
A naive asthmatic with low self-esteem, Miguel is attacked by a group of rich bullies led by Kyler while shopping at a strip mall. When the bullies shove Miguel on Johnny's car, Johnny attacks them before he is arrested.
Miguel becomes Johnny's first student in the new Cobra Kai dojo. Aside from learning karate, he is the dojo's housekeeper and website administrator. In short time, Johnny becomes a father figure to Miguel, despite objections from Miguel's concerned mother.
When Samantha confronts Kyler over rumors he spread about her, Miguel beats up Kyler and his clique, gaining popularity in the school and earning Johnny's respect. He and Samantha become a couple. Unfortunately, Cobra Kai's philosophy begins to affect Miguel's values as a series of misunderstandings with Samantha and Robby encourages him to become much more violent and ruthless, which results in Samantha dumping him and a rivalry between him and Robby to form.
At the All Valley Karate Tournament, he along with Eli Moskowitz (Hawk) reach the semifinals. In the semifinals, he defeats the defending the champion Xander, thus allowing him to advance to the finals. Prior to the finals he apologizes to Samantha for his behavior, but when Samantha rebuffs him for the way he has been acting, Miguel defends his actions by threatening to hurt Robby in the final, which causes Samantha to leave the tournament. He faces Robby in the finals. During the finals he viciously attacks Robby's shoulder which was injured thanks to Hawk in the semifinals. However, even with his injured shoulder Robby is able to tie the score at 2. When Robby tries to help Miguel up, Miguel instead yanks Robby's arm and further injures his shoulder. The referee warns Miguel for unsportsmanlike contact. When Johnny tells him to avoid Robby's right arm and that he can win without fighting dirty, Miguel's response is "there is nothing dirty about winning", which shocks Johnny. Miguel manages to defeat Robby, thus winning the tournament for Cobra Kai. Following his victory, Miguel hugs his mother and grandmother, but is also upset to learn from Demetri that Samantha left.
Despite being one of the primary characters and focuses in season 1, this season sees his role reduce significantly.
Both Miguel and Hawk are scolded by Johnny for their cheating/cheap moves during the tournament, stripped from their black belts, relegated to white belts along with the rest of the class, and forced to do 50 push ups under Johnny's order. When Miguel confronts Johnny about what he just did, Johnny tells him when he was younger he did not show mercy or honor and eventually paid the price as a result and the reason he is being tough on him is so that he is a better man that he (Johnny) ever was.
At first he wants to talk things over with Sam. He sends her some apology texts but she doesn't respond. Sam later blocks him making him further guilty and upset. However, he soon meets new student at the Cobra Kai dojo named Tory, and overtime they become a couple.
After going into Johnny's house to give him some food, he notices a picture of Robby on the fridge. He tells Hawk, and the two find out Robby is Johnny's son. They assume that Johnny is only being hard on them because Robby is his son. They confront Johnny, but the latter angrily tells them that to mind their own business. However, Johnny later tells Miguel how he screwed up with Robby, and that he is proud that he is teaching him making their bond stronger and realizing that he isn't favoring Robby over him.
During a competition in the woods hosted by Johnny's sensei John Kreese, Miguel finds out that Hawk trashed Miyagi's dojo and stole his badge of honor, and Miguel in turn defeats Hawk and takes the badge. He goes to Sam's house to return the badge, but when Robby opens the door Miguel gives him the badge.
During a party at Moon's house a drunk Sam thanks Miguel for giving back the badge and the two share a kiss, but the two then both immediately regret it. However, they are unaware that Tory sees them.
When a school fight starts on the first day of school, Miguel sees Robby holding Tory against the locker. Unaware that Tory was attacking Sam before and Robby was trying to stop the fight, Miguel tackles Robby and the two fight. After gaining the upper-hand on Robby he notices Sam and Tory fighting. He runs to stop the fight but is stopped by Robby who attacks him. With the assistance from two of his Cobra Kai friends he manages to kick Robby into one of them who grabs hold of Robby. After being encouraged by his friend to go he runs to Tory and Sam leaving Robby to deal with his two friends. After reaching Tory and Sam, he tries to stop Toy from attacking Sam, only for Tory to kick him in he face, causing him to have a bloody lip.
After Robby defeats Miguel's friends he runs to help Sam, only for Miguel to stop him. They then continue their fight, Their fight seems to be even. At times Miguel has the upper-hand and at times Robby has the upper-hand. After gaining the upper-hand on Robby again, Miguel tells Robby that Sam loves him more than Robby, causing an infuriated Robby to aggressively attack Miguel and gain the upper-hand. Miguel however manages to recover and get the better of Robby by flipping him over and trapping his arm in a lock. After seemingly winning the fight he decides to show mercy due to Johnny's teachings. He lets go of Robby's arm and apologies (possibly for kissing Sam). However, an infuriated Robby who is likely still angry at Miguel for kissing Sam, gets up and kicks Miguel off the railing. Miguel is admitted into the hospital in critical condition.
It is possible that Miguel has a broken spine as a result of Robby kicking him off the railing, but that has not been confirmed or denied. The fate of Miguel is currently unclear.
At the beginning of Season 1 Miguel is a tall young man with short black hair that is parted at the left and short at the back. Near the end of Season 1 he allows his hair to grow out a bit in the back, sides and front but otherwise retains an appearance consistent with the beginning of Season 1. He almost resembled a young Daniel LaRusso.
Personality: Season 1
Miguel initially appeared as a naive, good-natured, kind-hearted teenager. He was similar to Daniel LaRusso before he joined the Cobra Kai. Miguel is much like a hybrid of Johnny and Daniel from the first Karate Kid film, and the change of character he goes through is significant as he went from a nice kid who was incessantly bullied to an aggressive Karate champion who made his former tormentors afraid to be around him. This gradual swirl into rage began when he was convinced that his girlfriend Samantha thought that he was not worthy to meet her family, and was secretly seeing someone else instead (Robby). Miguel proceeded to take out all of his aggression on Robby in the All-Valley Tournament. It is suggested that Miguel's transformation from a mild-mannered and pleasant soul into a vicious and obsessively competitive individual represents that Cobra Kai's "strike first" and "no mercy" rules corrupt innocents and turn them into antisocial bullies. This is expressed when Miguel attacks Robby's shoulder.
Personality: Season 2
Despite becoming indoctrinated into Cobra Kai's "Strike First, Strike Hard, No Mercy" code, in the end of season 1 and during the tournament, being corrected by Johnny seems to calm him down. He's still a nice kid that respects his sensei and stays loyal to his friends. This is also later shown where he initially rebuffs Kreese's teachings realizing that's not what Johnny wants them to learn. After discovering that Hawk trashed Daniel's dojo and stole Miyagi's Medal of Honor, Miguel defeats Hawk in combat, takes the badge and goes to Sam's house to return it, showing he is still a good person at heart despite his prior actions and Cobra Kai's ruthless mentality. Despite still being interested in getting back together with Sam at first he soon meets a new Cobra Kai student named Tory and the two start dating. However an error of kissing Sam at Moon's party leads to a school brawl the next day. Mistakenly believing Robby is attacking Tory, Miguel attacks him. He follows through Johnny's earlier advice to show mercy to not make the same mistakes he had done. Unfortunately this act causes Robby to kick him off a railing, resulting in him being seriously injured.
- "Yeah, it all happened so fast. Everything just came together. I was blocking. I anticipated. I slithered."
- ―Miguel Diaz to Johnny Lawrence[src]
After he begins his training Miguel develops into a solid all-around fighter. Not as flashy as Eli Moskowitz, Miguel favors simple, effective techniques and combinations. His defensive skills, movement, and timing are excellent; he can wait out an aggressive opponent and pick the right moment for a counter, as seen in his match with Xander Stone. Like any true Cobra, however, he can turn on the offense when he needs to. He is also skilled against multiple opponents, as displayed in his lunchroom fight with Kyler's gang.
When his anger gets the better of him, Miguel fights more aggressively and underhandedly, evidenced during his fights with Robby at the All Valley Tournament and school brawl, though he does not fight underhandedly in the latter. Miguel has fought underhandedly, evidenced at the All Valley Tournament, where he aggressively attacks Robby's injured shoulder (in a manner not too dissimilar to Johnny Lawrence underhandedly attacking Daniel LaRusso's injured leg in the 1984 All Valley Tournament) and even yanks it in the finals.
Miguel's biggest weakness is letting his guard down, which allows his opponents to attack him by surprise and beat him. After gaining the upper-hand on Tory in their sparing match, he ends up dropping his guard by offering Tory his hand, who uses this opportunity to flip him over and beat him. After seemingly beating Robby in the school brawl, he drops his guard by letting Robby go. However Robby then viciously attacks Miguel, who is unable to defend himself due to dropping his guard, resulting in Robby unintentionally rendering him unconscious and severely injuring his spine.
While Miguel defeated Robby in the All Valley tournament in season 1, their match was basically even despite Robby's injured shoulder putting him at a disadvantage, and Miguel himself had to attack his shoulder and fight dirty to win. Their fight and the result showed that Miguel was an inferior and less skilled fighter than Robby. In the school brawl in season 2 however, Miguel successfully pinned Robby to the ground without fighting dirty, showing that Miguel is a more skilled fighter than he was in season 1, as well as that he was the better and more skilled fighter than Robby at that time. Although it should be noted that Robby was angry and not focused when Miguel said that Sam loves him more than Robby, which gave Miguel the upper hand on him.
- Despite being one of the main protagonists of the show and the deuteragonist in season 1, his role in season 2 wasn't as big as it was in season 1 most likely because several side characters from season 1 such as Hawk, Sam, Robby and even Demetri got their own story-lines, which resulted in a lot of screen time being taken from Miguel. While Miguel is a main character and does have story-lines in season 2, his story-lines aren't as big as Hawk's, Sam's and Robby's, causing their roles to be bigger than his and Miguel himself not to be a central character.
- Miguel Diaz can be compared to the following characters:
- Daniel LaRusso -
- Both are being bullied and yet saved by their Senseis (Miyagi and Lawrence respectively) who later taught them about Karate in which it made them win the Under 18 All Valley Tournament. Both share a signature move, the Crane Kick. Both date the ex girlfriends (In Daniel's case, Ali, and in Miguel's case, Sam) of the guys that bullied them (In Daniel's case, Johnny, and in Miguel's case, Kyler).
- Both are fatherless (Miguel had never met his real father, while LaRusso's father is deceased when Daniel was 8 years old), being raised by their mothers, and taught karate along the series of labor tasks by their father-figured senseis (Miyagi and Lawrence respectively).
- Both take their girlfriends on a date to Golf N Stuff, and both end up breaking up with their girlfriends (in Daniel's case it was off-screen and mentioned only in The Karate Kid Part II, while in Miguel's case it was seen on-screen).
- Both physically and verbally defended a female figure (whom they grew interested in), who was being mistreated:
- In the original, Daniel defended Ali at the beach party, when Johnny kept making advances towards her, despite her making it obvious that she wanted to be left alone.
- In the episode Counterbalance, Miguel fought Kyler and his gang, who humiliated Sam, by repeatedly announcing and spreading dirty rumors about her, and insulted her about when she saw a movie with Kyler.
- Miguel closely resembles a young Daniel.
- Johnny Lawrence - both are being broken up by their ex-girlfriends and became aggressive bullies due to the immoral teachings of Cobra Kai. Johnny didn't tell him the whole story, that he was the one who began the fight with Daniel and that he and Ali broke up long before dating Daniel. Both are known to be the best students in Cobra Kai's history, Johnny being the best fighter from John Kreese's Cobra Kai and Miguel being the best from Johnny Lawrence's Cobra Kai.
- Tommy - Both, although inadvertently, caused Daniel and Johnny's animosity to spark.
- After he and his friends (Bobby Brown, Jimmy, Johnny Lawrence, and Dutch) took a ride on their motorcycles to next to the beach (that the end-of-the-summer party was happening at) and were talking about what the school year was going to be like, Tommy, noticing Daniel and Ali bonding, vocally pointed it out to his friends, and suggested that they go check it out. Following this suggestion, Johnny looks over, sees Daniel with Ali, and gets furious and tries to go down to the beach, despite Bobby telling Johnny to let it go. The Cobras head down to the beach, and then the beach fight between Daniel and Johnny, as well as the rivalry between the aforementioned two, ensues.
- Miguel, after he was saved by Johnny [who used Cobra Kai against Kyler's gang], suggested to the latter that he should start up a dojo [possibly wanting Johnny to teach that style of Karate from last time]. Johnny, remembering his past experiences with Cobra Kai, showed reluctance towards the idea of starting a dojo and teaching Karate. However, Miguel kept persuading Johnny, until the latter started up Cobra Kai again, reigniting his animosity with Daniel.
- Daniel LaRusso -
- Miguel pulling Robby's injured shoulder in the finals mirrors Johnny elbowing Daniel's injured knee in the original movie. However the difference is that Miguel was more than willing to fight dirty, while Johnny expressed reluctance and discomfort in doing so.
- The two experienced a role reversal in their fight in season 2 as Miguel shows mercy, but Robby in turn shows cowardice and viciously attacks him off guard, resulting in Miguel being critically injured and hospitalized.
- Due to Miguel becoming an aggressive person, and dirty and unethical fighter near the end of season 1 he can be considered changed into a bully during the last episode of season 1.
- However, in season 2 he does show that he is still a good person despite some of the Cobra Kai teachings.
- Miguel being kicked off the railing, which caused him to be rendered unconscious and severely injured is similar to Obi Wan chopping off Darth Vader's arms, legs and limbs.
- Miguel being hospitalized after being kicked off the railing by Robby is similar to Darth Vader being put into the cybernetic suit following his duel with Obi Wan.
- Miguel fighting Kyler's quartet can be compared to George McFly knocking out Biff Tannen: Both jumped in to physically and verbally defend a female figure, who then decides to start a romantic relationship with him. After they fought the bullies (Kyler, in Miguel's case, and Biff, in George's case), both's bullies left them alone and/or respected their former victims, expecting that they would receive the same physical rebuking, if they did otherwise.
- After Kyler and his gang humiliated Sam (by taunting her about seeing a movie with Kyler, as well as announcing/spreading dirty rumors about her), Miguel jumped in, by ordering that Kyler to shut up and stop being mean, which prompts the latter to threaten and attempt to give Miguel another beat-down, like the gang did before. Luckily, Miguel had mastered all of what Johnny taught him, so he was able to fend off the quartet with ease. This resulted in Sam becoming Miguel's girlfriend.
- George McFly was carrying out a mock damsel-in-distress-style rescue (that he and Calvin Klein [really Marty McFly] coordinated), where Calvin Klein would pretend to "take advantage of" Lorraine, and then wimpish George would rescue the latter. George ran to the car that Marty and Lorraine was supposed to be in, and fiercely swung the door open, before ordering, "hey you! Get you d--n hands off her!". Unfortunately [or maybe fortunately for the future McFly generations], the mock rescue turned out to become for real, when it was actually Biff Tannen [who was actually "taking advantage" of Lorraine, and he had got Marty out of the car] there. George was about to leave [leveraging on Biff's threats], when he saw a traumatized Lorraine frantically call for his help--George refused to submit to Biff, but payed the price, which was finding himself getting arm-barred by the latter, but gained newfound confidence, after he knocked Biff out with a left hook, after George witnessed Biff shoving a defensive Lorraine (who tried to pull Biff off George) to the ground, and laughing. After that, Lorraine became George's significant other, saving future McFly generations.
- Unlike Miguel (who was faced with a full-on fight, and having to fend off four bigger teens [who would not give up]), however, all it took for George was a single and heavy left-handed hook.
- After Miguel, who had been training under Johnny Lawrence [gaining new fighting skills] and was now no longer scared of Kyler, defeated Kyler's quartet in a brawl in the lunchroom, Kyler and his gang, via classical conditioning, didn't dare ever torment, or even come near Miguel, expecting that they would get that same beat-down again, if they ever bullied Miguel again.
- After George, whose fear of Biff was no more [after he witnessed the latter "taking advantage of" Lorraine], delivered a heavy left hook to Biff, knocking him out, Biff via classical conditioning, didn't dare ever torment, and even respected George [working for him], expecting that he would get another hook to the face, should he ever bully or disrespect George again.
- He has asthma
- Miguel and Robby have fought each other twice, with both emerging victorious once by retorting to dirty tactics. 1) Miguel attacking Robby's injured shoulder and yanking his shoulder when the latter offered him his hand. 2) Robby attacking Miguel and kicking him off the railing when the latter let him go.