Yes, all 1.3 billion of them.
"All Chinese people know martial arts."
In Japanese media, an unusually high percentage of Chinese people will know a martial art
, from the harsh, half-senile Old Master
, to the petite young woman
. It will always be a form of Kung Fu, never a Japanese style. Just as the Dashing Hispanic
isn't necessarily from Spain or its colonies, in some works all Chinese people may know Kung-Fu because they belong to a fictional version of Chinese culture based
on this stereotype. Regardless, it's not unusual for this trope to involve some sort of
or Chinese rival team. If you're lucky, this will lead to a scene where Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting
The prevalence of this trope can likely be explained by the Japanese people's fondness for the martial arts action of modern Hong Kong cinema, and of ancient Chinese classics
such as Journey to the West
and Romance of the Three Kingdoms
. Consequently, characters falling under this trope often contain references to Hong Kong action stars
All Asians Know Martial Arts
is the equivalent of this in Western media, and is about how Westerners view Asians. In contrast, this trope is about how Japanese (one Asian group) view Chinese (another Asian group).
In Real Life, Chinese will refer to a person's ability in any human endeavour as "Gung Fu," not just martial arts.
So it's quite technically true
... That said, do not antagonize anyone who is praised as having good Wu Gong
as they will be real life examples of this trope.
Anime and Manga
- Count D in Petshop Of Horrors pulls this trope on (blond) LA cop Leon Orcot after performing an impossible leap (he's not entirely human) with the above quote. It's not the first or the last thing he blames on being Chinese, either. To give Leon credit, he knows perfectly well that D is bullshitting him outrageously. There just isn't much he can do about it except grumble.
- Neji, Rock Lee and Tenten are martial artists who take the position of "Chinese" rival team in Naruto. While there is no actual "China" (or the equivalent) in Naruto, the trio all use fighting styles based on various Chinese martial arts.
- Shaman King has Ren Tao as the Chinese rival.
- In Cardcaptor Sakura, Li Syaoran is a Chinese martial artists who takes the position of Chinese rival.
- Ranma ½: Shampoo and all Chinese amazons know martial arts or Martial Arts and Crafts and take up as a rival to Akane and other Haremettes.
- MS Saga has Li Fang a Chinese ex-waitress Martial Arts master mobile suit pilot who uses a Gun Cannon (a normally ranged only suit) with martial arts moves... later upgrades to Mobile Fighter G Gundam's Burning Gundam, a true melee suit.
- Mobile Fighter G Gundam has Neo Hong Kong's Master Asia an expert in martial arts who was The Master then The Rival to Domon. (His name is literally "Master.")
- Somewhat subverted by the prequel manga Mobile Fighter G Gundam: 7th Fight, which depicts the events of the 7th Gundam Fight (G Gundam is set during the 13th). A much younger Master Asia (then Shuuji Kurosu) is seen fighting for Neo Japan in the Yamato Gundam, meeting the soon-to-be other members of the Shuffle Alliance along the way.
- Mobile Suit Gundam Wing's Chang Wu Fei a martial arts master who uses the Shenlong Gundam and later Altron which primarily uses a pike in a Chinese style.
- Negima!'s Ku Fei and Chao Linshen, Ku Fei is from southern china and Chao is from northern this is reflected in their styles The former takes up the role as The Master to Negi while the later takes up as the Big Bad for a little while then The Mentor when she leaves.
- Miss China (yes, indeed...) from Spirit of Wonder. Combines with Tsundere for lots of property damage.
- Amusingly invoked in Darker than Black. Kenji comments that "it's true that all Chinese people are martial artists" after seeing a waiter dealing with unruly customer (and feigning weakness at that). Also, pretty much every Contractor of Chinese ancestry on the show is a good fighter in addition to their powers, which isn't true of Contractors from other backgrounds.
- The Xingese are a whole Fantasy Counterpart Culture based on this in Fullmetal Alchemist. All the Xingese characters are proficient in martial arts (although this is justified considering all of them are either royals or royals' retainers).
- Hong Long (but not his mistress Liu Mei) from Gundam00.
- Lee Jenshin in Gaiking: Legend of Daiku Maryu teaches Daiya martial arts forms to help him focus in battle.
- Chun Li from Street Fighter II fights with a primarily kicking style that doesn't precisely correlate to anything, but is officially described as a combination of chinese martial arts. Also Fei Long, the series' Bruce Lee clone.
- Other Chinese people in the series: Gen (who can change styles mid-fight), Yun, Yang, and Lee from the first game.
- Though, to be fair, this is a FIGHTING game. If the character didn't know some form of martial art, Chinese or otherwise, they wouldn't be in the game!
- Dragon Chan and Hoy Quarlow of the SNES Super Punch-Out!!, the former also appearing in the arcade Super Punch-Out!!. Incidentally, both sport Kung Fu moves, in a boxing game.
- Fei Fong Wong from Xenogears, a tribute to Jet Li's Wong Fei Hung character from Once Upon a Time in China.
- In the same vein as Fei above, Lee Rekka from The Last Blade. Incidentally, he is the only Chinese character in the cast.
- Discussed and invoked in Wong Fu Productions and Freddie Wong collaboration short Kung-Fooled where a regular Asian man is about to robbed by someone and accidentally makes some poses, leading the robber to think he knows kung fu and runs away. Then he chooses to get into a fight with another Asian kid both of them pretending to know kung fu. They both bluff the fight and Freddie gets into tangle a with a Scary Black Man... who is also bluffing.