This is a point in a story where one of the characters, usually an ActionSurvivor, feels a need to take action against the BigBad.

The problem is, they can't fight.

Cue TheProtagonist going to a trusted friend who can, and asking to be taught. They agree, but although the two are on friendly terms, the training is anything but easy. It's sometimes even TrainingFromHell but the protagonist [[TookALevelInBadass takes a level in badass]] by the end of it. Cue LookWhatICanDoNow.

Note that they actually have to ''ask for the training themselves.''


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Oh god poor Shirahama Kenichi in ''Manga/KenichiTheMightiestDisciple'' . As the show goes on, one starts to wonder if he would've been better if he just lost the match to Daimonji.
** On the other hand, the benefits of the training far outweigh the initial (and admittedly still ongoing) terrors Kenichi faces from his masters; he [[TookALevelInBadass takes several levels in badass]] to the point that he's able to hold his own against low-level Master-class fighters (even if he doesn't actually ''win'') and he even ''increases his own training regimen without his masters' input''. This is far more evident in the manga, which is still ongoing after the anime ended.
* In ''Anime/{{Madlax}}'', after Vanessa shoots a person for the first time (it's to protect the eponymous heroine and she only grazes her target, but she [[ItNeverGetsAnyEasier angsts nonetheless]]), she eventually asks Madlax to teach her to shoot. [[spoiler:It doesn't end well, as she dies when protecting Madlax again.]]
* ''LightNovel/ShakuganNoShana.'' Yuji is a NonActionGuy, but his insistence on keeping up with Shana's demon-hunting lifestyle led him to receive TrainingFromHell from several different sources, eventually taking [[TookALevelInBadass several levels in Badass]]. Most striking is when he's being pushed around by a minor demon, who intends to use him as bait to draw out Shana. He suddenly realizes that this guy is well below his current power-level, and proceeds to kick his ass. Yep, Yuji's all grown up now...
* ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima.'' Negi is already quite good at the start of the manga (it's suspected that he's been training from age four), but it really gets serious when he asks [[DrillSergeantNasty Evangeline]] to teach him.
** Several of Negi's students (especially Asuna) also begin training, if they weren't competent fighters already.
* Happens in ''Manga/RosarioToVampire'', a couple times. [[spoiler:The first time with Tsukune being trained by Ruby and Moka. The second time, Tsukune is trained by Touhou Fuhai.]]
* ''Manga/{{Change 123}}'' uses this trope ''twice'', both times a ''boy'' asks a ''girl'' to teach him... well, not actually how to ''fight'', since both boys do indeed have some confidence and experience in fighting (one of them is a black belt in judo and another one a fearless street brawler), but rather how to take their fighting skills to a higher level.
* In ''Manga/{{Monster}}'', when Tenma decides that he has to hunt down and kill Johann, the first thing he does is seek training from a retired mercenary on how to properly handle a gun.
* In ''Manga/TokyoGhoul'', Kaneki reaches this point after witnessing the death of [[SacrificialLamb Ryouko]] [[MamaBear Fueguchi]]. Seeing Touka wounded from an attempt to avenge Ryouko's death, he expresses his determination to fight and asks her to teach him.
* In ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'''s first arc, Phantom Blood, Speedwagon requests Zeppeli to train him in hamon so he can be more useful in the fight against Dio. Zeppeli attempts to correct Speedwagon's breathing with a finger to the chest, but winds up missing and just knocking the wind out of him.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In the comic ''Franchise/{{Superman}} vs. Muhammad Ali'', Ali teaches Superman to box. This is, of course, to create a non-superpowered "fair fight" between the two.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''Fanfic/KitsuneNoKenFistOfTheFox'', after Hinata gets swatted aside while frantically hitting Zabuza to stop him from twisting Neji's arm in a brawl, she seeks out [[ActionGirl Nii Yugito]] and asks for training, with the aim of not being a burden on Naruto and the others in future. Yugito warns her that [[TrainingFromHell any training she gets will not be a picnic]], but Hinata accepts the condition nonetheless. [[spoiler:Following the TimeSkip, Hinata's become skilled enough to beat Sasuke in a spar, bearing in mind that Sasuke had previously shown himself able to fight Naruto on even footing without either one holding back]].

* Also happens in ''Film/TheForbiddenKingdom'' with the protagonist and Jackie Chan's character.
* With a name like ''Film/TheKarateKid'', you can probably guess that this happens without seeing the movie.
** In fact, this is pretty much {{universal|Tropes}} in kung fu movies not starring Jet Li, Bruce Lee, or Chuck Norris. Taken to extremes when the "teacher" is so completely non-badass that the suspension of disbelief is completely broken, e.g. Billy Blanks, Pat Morita, Mako, etc.
* In ''Leon'', known in some areas as ''Film/TheProfessional,'' a young girl asks to be taught a hitman's skills in order avenge her brother's death.
* Luke's arc as a Jedi in training (''Film/StarWars'' Episodes [[Film/ANewHope IV]] and [[Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack V]]) begins with the death of his guardian family on Tatooine, starting with Obi-Wan Kenobi as his mentor, but this trope is particularly invoked when he goes to Dagoba and trains with [[RetiredBadass Yoda]], where Yoda at first [[AdventureRebuff rebuffs his request for training]], the training is particularly challenging, and he clearly does [[TookALevelInBadass Take a Level in Badass]] when that training is finished.
* ''Film/MyBodyguard'', starring Creator/AdamBaldwin, has some of this in it.
* The Creator/SteveMcQueen movie ''Nevada Smith'' (1966). Max Sand seeks the men who murdered his parents, but can't read or write and doesn't even have a gun. He uses an [[BrandishmentBluff abandoned rusty pistol]] in an attempt to rob a travelling gunsmith, who says ItWorksBetterWithBullets. Fortunately the gunsmith takes pity on Sand and teaches him the skills for his RoaringRampageOfRevenge.
* Averted in ''Film/IndependenceDayResurgence''. Nerdy accountant Floyd Rosenberg asks Dikembe Umbutu to "teach him everything he knows" about using his machetes on aliens. Umbutu is unimpressed, and doesn't take up the offer.

* ''Literature/{{Pendragon}}'': After nearly being beaten to death by Saint Dane, Bobby asks Loor to do this. His training is very much TrainingFromHell.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'':
** ''Literature/HarryPotterAndThePrisonerOfAzkaban'': After having fainted twice when being exposed to dementors, Harry asks the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher Lupin how to fight them off, and Lupin teaches him the Patronus Charm, which is able to repel them.
** ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix'': After being saddled with a highly incompetent and nasty Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, who deliberately refuses to properly teach the students how to cast defensive spells, Hermione asks Harry to teach her and several other students instead, thus leading to the foundation of Dumbledores Army.
* Jason Marshall, in ''Rogue of Literature/{{Gor}}'', devises a plan to defeat the pirates who are terrorizing the peaceful river-ports along the Vosk. But first he must learn to fight with a sword. He wins the gratitude of the broken-down alcoholic Callimachus, who when sober is an excellent swordsman, levels up as per the plan and does indeed defeat the mean old pirates over the course of the remainder of the book and the next one.
* Richard Cypher of the ''Literature/SwordOfTruth'' spends a good portion of the first book doing this, until he takes up the mantle of the Seeker and starts calling the shots. He's a woodsman who doesn't even let himself be ''angry'' because his mother was killed by a fire caused by an angry outburst. He knows questing, and killing, from nothing.
* Subverted in ''Fraternity of the Stone'' by David Morrell. A man whose parents were killed by terrorists asks his HonoraryUncle to help him learn the skills to fight terrorism. Years later he realises that the man he looked up to actually arranged the bombing himself. There's a similar plot in ''Brotherhood of the Rose'' -- two orphaned boys turned CIA hitmen realise their mentor has manipulated them all their lives, including setting up a mugging so they'd be motivated to learn martial arts.


[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Done in ''Series/{{Community}}'' episode "[[Recap/CommunityS1E12ComparativeReligion Comparative Religion]]" when Troy and Pierce have to teach Jeff how to fight a bully.
* ''Series/{{Heroes}}'': Claire asks Noah to teach her to fight. She is reluctant to actually do this until he tells her to "Just hit me!" with a plank of wood.
* ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'' gets asked this by Gabrielle.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'': Sheridan asks Kosh to teach him how to fight "those things" ([[BigBad the Shadows]]) after first learning about them, and that they were connected to the fate of his wife on the doomed voyage of the ''Icarus'' ("In the Shadow of Z'ha'dum").
* Subverted when Connor asks Series/{{Angel}} how to fight vampires; he's actually doing it to learn Angel's fighting style [[IHateYouVampireDad so he can kill him]].
* In ''Series/TheVampireDiaries'', Elena goes to Alaric for fighting lessons. While she can't really compete with the superpowered fighters, she does take a small level in badass. Probably comes in handy [[spoiler:once she becomes a vampire herself]].
* ''Series/{{Arrow}}'': After [[spoiler:Sara]] is killed in front of her, Laurel asks Oliver to train her so she can join his team. He refuses. [[GoodIsNotNice Harshly]]. Undeterred, she gets training from two other people and eventually becomes TheSixthRanger.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' adventure [=OA5=] ''Mad Monkey vs. The Dragon Claw''. During the sea journey {{NPC}} Ko La Ko approaches one of the {{PC}}s and asks the PC to teach him kung fu so he won't be so useless in a fight.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Shirou from ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight''. Saber starts training him just to shut him up and convince him that he's out of his league fighting Servants. In the Fate route, she then notes that his body is quite well-trained, and continues the training to help him survive against Servants for a few seconds or possibly take down other Masters. In Unlimited Blade Works, [[spoiler: thanks to Archer's skills seeping into him]] Shirou can somewhat keep up with Saber, but she then becomes very dissatisfied because he's performing better using Archer's technique rather than hers.
* In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheBindingBlade'', young archer Wolt asks OldSoldier Marcus for sword training, since he feels he'd be able to protect his friend and liege-lord Roy better if he was closer to the fight. Marcus refuses because Wolt is too old to begin learning now[[note]]Wolt is about 15, but he's already on the battlefield and knights often began learning from age eight[[/note]] and because he thinks Wolt should be proud of the skills he already has with a bow.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Subverted in ''Literature/VoidDomain''. Both Juliana and Shalise ask another person to train them. Neither are all that helpful.

[[folder: Real Life]]
* Any military training obviously enough. But mentioned for historical interest is the Great Louisiana Maneuvers of 1941. These were a TeachMeHowToFight on a national scale, meant to change an army meant for small border actions into one capable of fighting UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. The commanders of the "blue army" and the "red army" included many famous American generals.
* Cassius Clay A.K.A Muhammad Ali's origin story. After his brand new bike was stolen, Ali was taken to the boxing gym by the police officer he complained to so he could learn how to fight. The rest is history.