Created By: Known Unknown on November 12, 2009

Rival Dojos

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Shares a name with a work I know, but it's the best name for it right now, so I'll change it later.

Exactly What It Says on the Tin. A pair of rival schools of martial arts, run by a pair of masters who have probably been at it for years before the series even started.

Most often, but not always, the two masters were students of the same martial arts style before branching off to different styles: the protagonist usually (but not always) learning under the benevolent master who teaches wisdom and self defense, while the rival school is run by an Evil Mentor and is characteristically ruthless, aggressive and brutal.

Very often comes up in Fighting Series'. This situation often involves or ends with the main students from both schools eventually becoming friends or at least allies, usually after one of them defeats the other, effectively ending the feud, or turning it into a Friendly Rivalry (if it wasn't already) instead.
  • Being the quintessential Fighting Manga, Dragon Ball of course has this, with Goku learning the Turtle Style from Master Roshi, while his rival Crane Hermit's teaches his students styles of brutal assassination. Goku fights two members of the Crane School, Crane's brother Tao and his star pupil, Tien. Tien defeats Goku the first time, but, in a rare occurrence for this trope, his Heel–Face Turn begins even before Goku eventually bests him.
Community Feedback Replies: 18
  • November 11, 2009
    Chabal 2
    Usagi Yojimbo uses this.
  • November 11, 2009
    • The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway has a rivalry between a ninja school and a mime school. (Yes, the mimes are martial artists. Don't ask.)
  • November 11, 2009
    Just to clarify, the key differentiating characteristic here between the two schools is the ideologies of the masters or founders, right?
    • Supported by Miyagi Dojo vs Kobra Kai in the Karate Kid 1 and 3.
    • Inverted by The Best Of The Best, where the two schools are both honorable and have similar philosophies.
    • Averted by The Five Deadly Venoms, as both the good guys and bad guys trained at the same school.
  • November 11, 2009
    @Micah: Perhaps they're training to be Mime Assassins?

    • Ninja Academy. Oddly enough, one of the students at the Hero ninja academy is a mime.
  • November 11, 2009
  • November 11, 2009
    random surfer
    Real Life: Count Dante's Dojo Wars
  • November 11, 2009
    Probably shouldn't use the actual name because of the game series?

    Jade Empire naturally has a variant on this (It's technically the same school, but the two teachers use different styles)
  • November 11, 2009
    Chabal 2
    There was a take on this in a Kogaratsu story in which the students from the two schools split off and claimed they had made their own style ("Crab" and "Seagull"). Then another guy came along and claimed he could whip them all with his own style ("Scavenger"). It all went downhill from there and ended with pretty much everybody but the protagonist dead.
  • November 11, 2009
    Known Unknown
    Superhal: It not a requirement for the two ideologies to be Good/Evil, I just noted that that is most often the case. Other versions usually end up having it actually be a Friendly Rivalry.
  • November 11, 2009
  • November 11, 2009
    The backstory of Jubei-chan was that the Yagyuu school of swordsmanship got the backing of the government, so they forcefully silenced or killed all other Rival Schools.
  • November 12, 2009
    School Feud? Harvard Yale Interaction (they are rivals, right?)?
  • November 12, 2009
    I was going to say if you want to limit it to martial arts schools you have to have that in the title. I like Rival Dojos for that purpose.

    If you want to expand it to all kinds of schools, then we can include things in Real Life like Harvard/Yale, Pitt/WVU, Lehigh/Lafayette, Oxford/Cambridge, and of course similar rivalries in fiction, which I can't think of any right now.
  • November 12, 2009
    When I read the title, I assume it could be applied to anything, like rival marching bands or rival debate teams. If it's specifically about schools of martial arts, I suggest a name change.

    Rival Dojos works.
  • November 12, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Seven Sisters High School and Kasugayama High School in Persona 2 as a result of Kasugayama being a reform school with a good chunk of it's students having been kicked out out Seven Sisters High.
  • November 12, 2009
    Known Unknown
    ...and switched to Rival Dojos. Now for examples...
  • January 16, 2010
    Bump for examples...
  • January 16, 2010

    Just Launch It Already