More Sonny Chiba
than Bruce Lee
, the Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy
is a loner. He's simply too mean to have friends. Unparalleled in combat, he has The Gift
. His interpersonal skills are nonexistent
, and his temper is best described as "volcanic
." Living in a constant state of aggravation
, his only joy comes from Trash Talking
and putting "foolish fools
" in their place. He may not actually enjoy fighting
, but it's all he knows
. Their view of the world means they can never understand the concept of the Worthy Opponent
, as they are either better than you or you are the roadblock standing in the way of greatness.
With this character, Failure Is the Only Option
. They are almost always defeated by The Hero
and are never the protagonist
(except when they are
). Much of the time, they aren't as talented as they let on. If taken seriously, they might defeat the hero
or a member of the supporting cast, only to be defeated by the protagonist
in a rematch. Often, if you're in an anime or eastern videogame, they'll spout off a line about how you are a hundred or more years too early
to be fighting them. If this character is the protagonist, expect Break the Haughty
to come into play or for them to in some other way learn An Aesop
that true mastery comes from patience, discipline and humility. If not, then they may be a Designated Hero
or at least a Showy Invincible Hero
Despite the name, this trope does not merely apply to merely those that know Chinese martial arts. Indeed all martial arts are probably represented at least once in this trope somewhere. Nor is the limit there—any skill may apply. The Cooking Duel
is about as likely to involve one as anything else. That said, at least for martial arts, due to their a having strong national identity it's probably more likely for a foreigner to display this trope for some bonus Cultural Posturing
about their proud history, especially if the native land has its own martial arts traditions. Which probably explains why many Japanese-made examples do use Kung Fu for this trope, while China might, say, have an arrogant boxer
Tends to have a foil
in a Martial Pacifist
, the inverse of this trope
. See also Smug Super
, Jerk Jock
. Contrast/See also Cavalier Competitor
and Insufferable Genius
. Opposite of Miles Gloriosus
who has the social skills to maintain a facade but zero bravery or combat skill to back it up.
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Anime and Manga
- One Piece
- Kuroobi, part of Arlong's Quirky Miniboss Squad. He brags about his prowess in Fishman Karate, gets Sanji on the ropes for most of their fight due to most of it taking place in water, and only loses because he stops to boast and can't finish his ultimate move (when he first attack hardly did any damage at all) resulting in Sanji curb-stomping him. As a bonus, his name translates to English as "black belt".
- Bellamy constantly thinks he's more powerful than Luffy due to the belief that Luffy is weak because he still believes in his dreams and had let Bellamy beat him up as he found fighting him pointless. Plus he regarded bounties as power levels and that his 55,000,000 Beri trumped Luffy's (at the time) 30,000,000 Beri. However, Bellamy made the mistake of beating up his friends and disregarding the new 100,000,000 Beri bounty as an attempt to scare him. So when the two confronted each other again, it was virtually a no contest; Luffy floored him with one hit.
- At first, Whitebeard appeared to be like this, ripping up Shanks' letter and demanding he come in person to deliver his message. However, we see that Whitebeard may be proud but not smug. He is fully aware of his decreasing health and when one of his comrades stabbed him, rather than kill the guy outright, he calmly embraced the traitor, calling him his son and forgiving him. He had charged into battle, expecting to die, in order to save Ace. If anything, he is more of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
- Rob Lucci. Gives up his key so it won't distract from his fight with Luffy. Is unconcerned about anything else but defeating Luffy. Trash talks through the entire thing about how he is more powerful than a mere pirate. And unlike virtually every One Piece main villain, he never suffers a Villainous Breakdown. He's arrogant up until the exact moment of his defeat, and doesn't have time for anything but an Oh, Crap.
- Like Whitebeard Lucci is more than justified in his belief though: until Luffy comes along Lucci had never lost and was (short of the Admirals) the strongest agent the World Government had (and had more operational freedom). Had Luffy not been a Determinator Lucci would have beaten him and gone to massacre his crew and take Robin back.
- Neji Hyuuga is an uppercrust example, as is Sasuke Uchiha. Neither are exactly smack-talkers, however: Neji tends to use long speeches about fate, while Sasuke prefers long, lingering stares. Neji gets better thanks to Defeat Means Friendship. Sasuke is a much harder sell, as it turns out this trope is ingrained in the Uchiha clan at the genetic level.
- The signature Uchiha arrogance reaches a peak in ol' Madara himself, who has powers close to a god and will not hesitate to remind you of it.
- Any and all villains from 'Dragon Ball'', particularly Frieza, Tao Pai Pai, Vegeta, and Tien (though the latter two did a Heel-Face Turn).
- Vegeta in particular may very well be the Trope Codifier for modern Shonen. It wasn't until he completed his Heel-Face Turn in the Buu saga that he shed most of the characteristics associated with the trope.
- Tien is actually a subversion. His arrogance comes from believing he has a better master and Goku doesn't fight or train seriously but when he finds out Crane was having Chiaotzu use his powers on Goku to throw the fight he demands his friend stop and gives Goku a free shot to try and make the fight fair again. When he wins by virtue of Goku hitting a car seconds before he hit the ground he tries to request a rematch as he felt that the victory should be Goku's.
- Hercule/Mr. Satan is a subversion. He's the official world martial arts champion (a title he got because Goku and his friends were too busy saving the world to participate in the tournament) and incredibly arrogant about it. He thinks Dudes flying around and shooting energy blasts are all trickery, and when he learns that it's real, he still acts like it isn't publicly. Among all the main characters in the series, he's easily the weakest. At the same time, he is legitimately the greatest martial artist in the world among normal human beings, so it's not like that bravado comes from nowhere either.
- Ruki Makino/Rika Nonaka (depending on the dub) from Digimon Tamers. Being a Mon series, this applies to her tactical abilities rather than her melee prowess, to the point where she nearly has the main character's partner killed for experience. This attitude only lasts until she acknowledges that Digimon are living beings.
- Samurai Champloo featured Shouryuu, a Japanese kendo student-cum-Shaolin martial arts master who killed reputable samurai in order to prove his superiority. He takes every fight seriously; After his return to Japan, he killed another student during a sparring match.
- In B't X, there's Ron, the hot-headed spiritual guardian.
- Kaiser Ryo of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX post his Freak Out; his addiction to sadistic duelling eventually killed him in another world...no big deal, though.
- Hiei from YuYu Hakusho comes close to becoming one if he wasn't already a dark Bad Ass or the The Comically Serious.
- Issei Tsubaki from Full Metal Panic! is a comic (and less evil) example; his extreme nearsightedness prevents him from being taken seriously.
- Chang Wufei of Gundam Wing. When you scowl all day and beat up hyenas without batting an eye, you wind up here.
- Ranma ½'s Ryouga Hibiki, the epitome of the rival version, whose menace is slightly undercut by the fact that he couldn't walk around a tree without getting lost.
- Tatewaki Kuno also fits, for the most part, except for the fact that most other characters could kick his ass in their sleep once he falls victim to Can't Catch Up. Apparently, he's too arrogant to realize he needs to improve.
- It helps that he's too stupid to die. People improve in response to threats, and nothing can actually threaten him - and since he Can't Catch Up, he's not enough of a threat to anyone else to really get things going.
- Mousse doesn't qualify quite as much as Ryouga, but almost. Fortunately, like Ryouga, he has an easily-exploitable weakness in his absolutely terrible vision. He's hiding an infinite supply of glasses in his robes, but it still takes time to put on a new pair.
- Ryu Kumon is probably one of the only characters in the entire manga who isn't at all humorous ever at all ever (especially in his backstory). A completely ruthless fighter who causes only senseless destruction.
- Pantyhose Taro. He's a martial artist capable of resisting Ranma in a normal fight even before using his Jusenkyo curse to become a giant flying minotaur (later with Combat Tentacles tentacles and ink) able to fight off most of the Nerima Wrecking Crew at once. He's also ruthless, clever and underhanded.
- Herb of the Musk.
- Ranma himself is pretty much this. He's also a sore loser who'd do anything to win a fight.
- Surprisingly averted with Ranma while his casual use of super human abilities, the belief he can win, and maybe a tiny bit of trash talk once or twice in the series make many consider Ranma a braggart/show off in fanon. Canon Ranma will most likely be the first person to downplay his skill.
- This is most likely because Ranma is a very secretive person who hates talking about himself and did not talk about any of his previous battles (most things about Ranma's past we learn second hand), Akane even complains that Ranma never really tells her anything in the manga. However Ranma is an incredibly Sore Loser so this aspect will show up from time to time when he his the underdog.
- Shampoo fits this well, even to Ranma (hint: she's in Japan for losing against Ranma and the gap just keeps getting bigger). Also she isn't above using cheats like the Super Soba and drugs and complains when other fighters do the same
- Akane fits this on the count that she gets jealous easily of anyone whose fighting ability exceeds her own (which is almost everyone after Ranma came into the picture).
- Jan Akiyama of Iron Wok Jan embodies this trope for the Cooking Duel.
- Satsuki Arashiyama of Nanaka 6/17, whose constant aggravation is due to no one taking her seriously and Nanaka accidentally foiling her at every turn. Despite this, she's an incredibly competent swordswoman and downright deadly roughly 100% of the time.
- Hyoutei's Hiyoshi from The Prince of Tennis, whose Enbu tennis style is based on Kobujutsu (an ancient martial arts from Okinawa). Not really a people person, often seems to be annoyed or angry, and his philosophy in life is gekokujo (which means that subordinates will surpass, defeat and take the place of their superiors... similar to putting fools in their place, in a way).
- Rikkai's Sanada is such an arrogant kung fu guy that his signature move Fuurinkazan comes straight out of The Art of War.
- This is a definite description for Kurogane, of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle.
- However, he slowly warms up his travelling companions (especially Fai), and begins to value their well-being and safety above everything else. He even decides that fighting is only justified if it's to protect someone important.
- Ginga Izumo, one of the heroes of GEAR Fighter Dendoh, is a lesser (hey, he's only 10) version of this trope at the start of the series. Being forced to work with the much more mellow Hokuto keeps him from ever venturing into the full blossom of this trope.
- Pick a villain in History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi. Some got better after they are defeated, but some refuse to change.
- Except Boris. Out of like fifty villains (... recurring, post Heel-Face Turn or no...) there had to be one eventually who admitted Kenichi didn't suck before actually losing, right?
- Out of Yomi, Boris, Ethan, and Chikage all act more like a Punch Clock Villain than anything else. The rest of Yomi, and almost all the Fists of Ragnarok, fit this trope well.
- Card Captor Sakura — Syaoran, though this is cheerful shoujo fare so it's toned down. But as far as he's concerned, no one but him is entitled to the Clow Cards and Sakura's name is 'weakling'. At first...
- Several of the villains in Bleach act like this, but many of them change after their initial appearance. Yammy takes the cake though.
- Nnoitra. He's capable of going over anyone and everyone just to show that he's better than everyone - this shows in his shared backstory with Neliel, whose repeated ass-handing to him made him inflict severe head trauma on her to turn her into a kid and, thus, kick her out of Las Noches. And, for bonus points, his reasoning is combined with pure machismo here: not only he didn't accept to be bested in battle, but it always stuck in his craw to be regularly beaten by a woman.
- Kyuzo of Samurai 7 is a cross between this and Aloof Ally. He is very, very good, and enjoys fighting (which seems to be all he knows), but he's too much the strong silent type to brag about it.
- Kongo Agon of the Shinryuuji Nagas from Eyeshield 21 is Neji in football gear. Made worse in the fact that his team and seemingly everyone around him goes out of their way to enable him... Except the Devilbats.
- Paul of Pokémon, to the extent that even one fair and square crushing loss haven't changed his attitude.
- All top-tier martial artists from Fist of the North Star, except Toki. Unless really being that good, or less than completely antisocial, disqualifies you, in which case the chief protagonist, Kenshiro, also doesn't count.
- Much more downplayed, but Kenshiro's uncle and namesake, Kasumi Kenshiro, from Fist of the Blue Sky, was also prone to overconfidence.
- Asuka from Neon Genesis Evangelion is a deconstructed female example. She's extremely cocky and aggressive, and takes great pride in her skills as an Ace Pilot. However, it's later revealed that she uses this attitude to obfuscate just how messed up she really is.
- And Tetsuya from Mazinger Z and Great Mazinger is the deconstructed male example (predating Asuka for twenty years). Also known as Tetsuya "Combat Pro" Tsurugi, he was an orphan kid trained since he was a child in martial arts and piloting Humongous Mecha. Don't you dare questioning his skills and his Ace Pilot status unless you want to make him mad. Don't try to show him up unless you want make him MAD. And when he is angry he can be a world-class jerk. Later you find out that he is so arrogant because he tries to hide he has a HUGE Inferiority Superiority Complex and an utter lack of self-steem. Nevertheless, all of that arrogance and underlying confidence and abandonment issues caused MANY troubles throughout the series.
- Balsa's self appointed rival from Seirei no Moribito is one of these. It turned out he overestimated himself a bit.
- The son and father who get involved in the wrestling celebration in the village are another example. Ironically, neither of them are even all that good.
- Takeshi Onimaru in Yaiba, before and after his transformation. Also Gekkou the Black Moon Bunny and Budou the Grapefruit Soldier.
- Black*Star of Soul Eater is extremely arrogant about his abilities, although also a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. His genuine skill and (latterly) achievements do little to justify his attitude; the kid thinks the world revolves around his 'godly' strength. He's been known to proclaim himself the Hero of the series in which he is, technically, The Big Guy to Maka's Heroine and Soul's Lancer.
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The first paragraph of this trope's description aptly describes Kyoko Sakura, who is a Jerk Ass in every way imaginable. She gets better massively, ultimately laying down her life to save the girl she called fool in the first place. What an idiot!... Right?
- Homura, even moreso. When she actually bothers to fight, she neutralizes powerful witches and Magical Girls without even trying, and acts astoundingly condescending most of the time. Subverted; she does all this for the sake of protecting Madoka, not because she wants to. Her Hidden Heart of Gold comes out near the end.
- Kyo Sohma from Fruits Basket fits this trope almost perfectly. He is a loner, being cursed by the spirit of the cat of the zodiac, and he loses his temper constantly. On top of that, he trash talks Yuki Sohma whenever he gets the chance and spent tons of time up in the mountains training with his master to one day overcome Yuki in a fight. Yet, Yuki remains the stronger, better fighter throughout the course of the series.
- Miyamoto Musashi is portrayed this way in Vagabond. His Story Arc throughout the whole series could be seen as him growing out of this.
- Musashi gets the most spotlight, but he is not even the worst example. Many of the fighters of the series – particularly the younger ones – are this to some degree. Gion Toji is a particularly bad case. He believes himself second only to his master, Yoshioka Seijuro, and is an insufferable Jerkass with a constant Smug Smile on his face, who takes pleasure in curbstomping outmatched opponents.
- Zekka in Gunnm: Last Order. He's a bit more affable than it's the norm, but his arrogance certainly is Up to Eleven (not that it wasn't unfounded). Which sometimes makes him a much bigger jerk than he really is.
- Muteki Kanban Musume: The protagonist, The Rival and the Unknown Rival fit in this trope. Being a deconstruction of the Fighting Series, all three are also Man Children.
- In a bizarre case of this trope, Sakurai in Cross Manage believes that any time someone could possibly be competitive about something, they should be, at least at the beginning of the series. Indeed, he applies this mindset to the concept too, looking for people to deride for playing just for fun or continuing to practice something if they're not good at it. Sakurai does not have many friends, and this seems to be how he prefers it.
- Loneken in Cyber Weapon Z is a quite classic example. Aloof, tall, blond, usually observing things from afar with a critical, oten contemptuous, eye and has a henchwoman who you have to beat before even wishing to challenge him. And of course, he has the skills to live up to his reputation.
- The only thing to match the strength of Teresa of the Faint Smile in Claymore, the number 1 not only of her generation, but of all generations, was her overconfidence. The whole reason she fell to Priscilla was treating the latter, a legendarily powerful warrior in her own right, as a petulant child in need of schooling, until Priscilla struck her In the Back with the sudden power boost from her Awakening. And after coming back in Claire's body, Teresa is treating Priscilla, who is now a seemingly unbeatable Eldritch Abomination, and was just about to finish off the rest of the cast combined, with even greater contempt.
- Toyota, of Y: The Last Man, is a very Arrogant Kung Fu Chick. Also a ninja. She kicks the dog every three frames or so, with apparent enjoyment.
- Lady Shiva. She occasionally can be cajoled into training promising fighters for good or ill, but her main life's work is to hunt down the best martial artists in The DCU and beat them to death in single combat.
- Marvel Comics' Moving Shadow is, at the very least, equal in skill to his brother, Shang-Chi, the Master of Kung Fu. Unlike his brother, however, he never learned the path of peace, and is controlled by his anger. He's also straight up evil, and wants to kill (and, more importantly, defeat) his brother more than anything.
- The Mandarin, enemy of Iron Man. He barely even uses the rings anymore, preferring to kill Iron Man with his martial arts abilities.
- The Mandarin's son Temugin is the Mandarin minus everything except the martial arts skills and superiority complex.
- Akira Yamamoto from Hsu and Chan comics is an Arrogant Video Game Designer, who nevertheless fits this trope like a glove. Mainly because he's also a talented martial artist. He and his father are rivals to the titular Tanaka brothers, and their rivalry that has gotten very physical in the past. Like when Akira cut Hsu's hand off in a swordfight.
- Davos, the Steel Serpent, from Iron Fist comics. To him, there is no defeat. His alleged loss to Wendell Rand? Slanderous lies. His inability to contend with the fully realized power of the Immortal Iron Fist? A fluke. To hear him tell it, anyway. While he is an incredibly talented martial artist with the sacred power of the Serpent Sting, he wants nothing more than to kill Iron Fist and prove once and for all that he's the best there is.
- Richard Dragon, in his latest series. The first issue opens with him winning a pit fight against two opponents, mercilessly killing one of them, and leaving the other alive to spread the knowledge that Richard Dragon is the greatest master alive. His narration remarks that "even those who win money off me do not cheer", because his brutality is too much for an underground fighting circuit.
- A Howard the Duck story entitled "Quack Fu" showed an AKFG putting a fatal beatdown on a hyperactive kid who made playful moves against him. Howard gets dangerous on his deserving ass.
- Gold Digger is rife with these type of characters, they make up the majority of the series' antagonists. Even the main characters, such as Brittney, aren't safe from this.
- The alternate dimension of Jade appears to have an Arrogant Kung Fu Guy-based economy and be governed by an Arrogant-Kung-Fu-Guy-ocracy.
- The Wolverine villain Mr. X joined Norman Osborn's incarnation of the Thunderbolts because just killing all comers in underground fighting matches in Madripoor wasn't challenging enough anymore. He was enthusiastic about invading Asgard because he wanted to prove he could kill a god with his bare hands. He could, and he did.
- In the Firefly fic Forward episode "Mosaic," the crew has to deal with an enemy pirate gang that includes an arrogant martial arts master named Si Quan. He considers River to be a Worthy Opponent who he can test his skills against, but River disagrees. When he goes after her, she shoots him twice in the head.
- Pennsylvania in Project Freelancer Phase One Genesis will do anything to overcome the number one agent and only becomes "friends" with those he considers worth killing.
Film - Animated
- Just how arrogant is Tai Lung in Kung Fu Panda? When he meets the Furious Five, who had just cut the rope bridge he was on and were holding it up just long enough for Tigress to get off it and drop him, his first move is to use the rope bridge like a lounge chair while asking where the Dragon Warrior was and then mocking the Five when he reveals that he knows that none of them are that warrior.
- Master Tigress flirts with kung-fu arrogance but in the end, is closer to a subversion. She will gladly tell you that she has much to learn and does not boast about her skill. However, in the face of someone like Po, who possesses none of the skill or finesse that she has spent her life perfecting yet is supposedly The Chosen One in spite of that, she will speak her mind and some of this leaks out.
Film - Live Action
- Many villains from Kung Fu movies fit this trope, particularly the Beast from Kung Fu Hustle and Han from Enter the Dragon.
- Another would be Sho'nuff from The Last Dragon, who even has a gang/chorus following him around repeating how great he is.
- Wong Fei Hung in the first Drunken Master movie qualifies as this, as the protagonist. He one-ups the school's assistant teacher by criticizing his style, constantly gets into trouble by getting into fights and is generally a brat (with a streak of kindness here and there); yet even his father grudgingly admits that his son is an exceptional fighter, prompting him to teach his son a lesson in humility- by letting his uncle teach him a new martial art instead, one with a brutal training regiment.
- Parodied to great effect in Kung Pow! Enter the Fist, with "Wimp-Lo" constantly challenging the hero. His master "purposely trained him wrong, as a joke". He believes that losing is winning, and as such his abilities range from "my nuts to your fist style" to declaring: "I'm bleeding! Making me the victor!"
- Sonny Chiba portrayed his real life master Masutatsu Oyama this way in Karate Bullfighter, Karate Bearfighter, and Karate for Life.
- His character Terry Tsurugi from The Street Fighter series also qualifies, a viciously brutal antiheroic badass with absolutely no qualms about killing opponents in bloody and painful ways.
- The Cobra Kai dojo from The Karate Kid. No mercy, and all that. Oh, and karate is about winning. Don't be afraid to sweep the leg even if you risk disqualification.
- In Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Jen fits this trope to an extent, particularly in the latter half of the story. She has The Gift of the art of Wudan, uses it arrogantly, and treats a lot of people she meets as enemies, without even observing the usual etiquette of the kung-fu world when doing so. She's one of the rare examples that are both female and a protagonist, being more young and headstrong than out-and-out bad girl.
- In Samurai 3: Duel at Ganryu Island, this is how famous real-life samurai Kojiro Sasaki is portrayed. Hero (and more famous real-life samurai) Miyamoto Musashi, something of an Arrogant Kung Fu Guy himself in the earlier films, completes his transformation into a Martial Pacifist as a result of their climactic duel.
- Pai Mei from Kill Bill. Mr. "Compared to me you're as helpless as a worm fighting an eagle?" The man who slaughtered a temple of monks because one of them didn't return his nod?
- Number One, the Centipede, in The Five Deadly Venoms. Of the six students of the Poison Clan, he's easily the most self assured, feeling that as the first student he's the one in charge and bearing an intense grudge against number five, the Toad, after being defeated by him. He's also the one with among the most impressive abilities; They call him the Centipede because he's faster than greased lightning.
- Several in Master of the Flying Guillotine, including "Wins Without a Knife", the dishonest Japanese fighter who, when outclassed, invariably pulls a knife on his opponent and kill them, and the titular Old Master wielding the Flying Guillotine himself, who searches far and wide for the One Armed Boxer to kill him as revenge for a loss that wasn't even his.
- Apollo Creed from the Rocky series fits this trope to a T.
- Clubber Lang is probably a better example; With Apollo, he clearly had a life outside the ring. Lang knows nothing and cares about nothing but bringing the pain and proving he was the best all along.
- Storm Shadow from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
- The Kurgan from Highlander definitely comes under this heading. He openly admits that he only seeks to kill all of the other immortals, and only deals with mortals for convenience/amusement, but is described as "The perfect warrior" by Ramirez.
- The Twister from Ip Man 2 is a Western boxer who fits this trope, in contrast with the eponymous Martial Pacifist. From the first film there was General Miura, Blood Knight Four-Star Badass, and several others from the sequel. Wong Leung starts this way but eventually gets better after a few hard lessons.
- Jet Li's character in Fearless starts off this way, before he accidentally kills a master martial artist and wrecks his best friend's restaurant, followed shortly thereafter by the posse of the former killing his family in retaliation. He then has a Heroic BSOD and reforms.
- Darth Vader, in both Star Wars trilogies, shows many of these qualities (lacks respect for authority, resorts to violence with minimal provocation, etc.)
- Especially Vader-before-he-was-Old-Buckethead, as depicted in the Revenge of the Sith finale (during his climactic duel with Obi-Wan on Mustafar) fits this trope to a tee.
- The more so Darth Maul. If you count in the EU background, the latter exemplifies a training style given to Sith deemed less gifted, in which they're taught little but martial arts and using the Dark Side to enhance aggression and physical power, intended to produce shock troops and disposable assassins. At times there have been a lot of these.
- Kelly Stone, played by Joe Piscopo in the film Sidekicks, is an example of this trope taken to ridiculous extremes. He even mouths off about Chuck Norris... to the man's face.
- Uri Boyka from Undisputed II Last Man Standing movie considers himself "the most complete fighter in the world" and is just as skilled as he's arrogant. After having his knee snapped in the climax he takes a turn towards Warrior Poet in the third one.
- In Shaw Brothers wuxia Soul Of The Sword, the nameless hero is this to the core, irritating practically everyone in the martial world by challenging famous swordsmen to duels...and killing them. Amusingly, he is repeatedly told that he is not, in fact, arrogant enough.
- In Inheritance Cycle, Vanir plays this role, though in this case the art in question is sword fighting rather than kung fu.
- Sisterhood Series by Fern Michaels: Harry Wong is the second greatest martial artist in the world (regrettably, the identity of the greatest martial artist in the world is never given). On a personal level, he acts like this. Fortunately, his relationship with Yoko Akia (the only person to beat him and the only person he fears) seems to have a civilizing influence on him.
- A common trend in David Gemmell's writing is the flashy arrogant guy who is convinced he can take the less flashy hero, and who usually has a friend who advises him not to bother. The archetype, Dorian in Legend, goes down in one hit from Snaga.
- Liam Ironarm from Song of the Lioness. He's actually a Love Interest for Alanna, but he's recognized as the Shang Dragon, one of the most skillful unarmed fighters in the world, and hoo boy does he have an ego. He's constantly lecturing Alanna not just on the inferiority of armed combat and magic, but every aspect of living her life, and they break up soon after she ignores his attempted order to abandon The Quest.
Live Action TV
- Mordred in the 1998 miniseries Merlin. The first we see of him is practicing archery with a group of servants standing with apples on their heads. "If you gentleman don't stop trembling, I might miss and kill you all!"
- The villains of the Wuxia-themed Juken Sentai Gekiranger and Power Rangers Jungle Fury. Of special note is the second main villain: Maku / Grizzaka, a bear-themed berserker whose two main characteristics are a gigantic ego and a hair-trigger temper. Maku's overwhelming pride was behind his pre-series fall to evil; he couldn't stand knowing he was his mentor's second choice for successor, the first one having turned down the role.
- Back when the National Wrestling Alliance was still a huge thing, every other NWA World title holder seemed to be one. The most famous of course was Harley Race but every world champion belt had more than a few holders of this variety. If you were a champion of any smaller region of the alliance and your belt corresponded to a "world" equivalent, it was just safer on your sanity to expect the world title holder to giving you headaches and stock up on aspirin early. Ric Flair was a subversion though, he talked a big game and did win a lot, but usually by the skin of his teeth and through dubious means. And he was proud to admit it. This hasn't stopped now that the NWA is a smaller thing either, its just not as noticeable.
- Antonio Inoki and New Japan Prowrestling in general garnered this reputation in Inoki's efforts to prove professional wrestling the strongest style in the world and his particular brand of strong style the strongest of all professional wrestling. The NJPW dojo would attract and open its doors to any fighters who disagreed, then shut its doors on them and have the best guys in their locker room beat them up.
- Even among New Japan Wrestlers, Masakatsu Funaki had a reputation for going to any length to show he was the best at whatever he happened to be involved in.
- Also from New Japan is American Dragon. He takes his job very seriously and if you're going in the ring with him you had better too because he will always look to kick your head in and let everyone know he has till five. He'll lecture you on why you're not good enough to beat him, talk about everyone else he's beaten, boast about his unbreakable small package and if you have the unfortunate fate of falling to him, he'll celebrate over enthusiastically. Don't talk about your favorite wrestlers around him either, unless you compare him to them in a favorable way. He'll take not being mentioned as an insult.
- Dragon's trainee, American Angel, wasn't an example of this trope at first but those days of humility are a distant memory. What's that? Easy escape point from the bottom position? She'll start on her back and still not get pinned? Tap out? She know's one million different submissions holds! No closed fists? Fine, its more fun to knock people out with the foot anyway.
- Despite being of the New Japan mold, helping form the shoot fighting UWF and becoming the general manager of MMA Pride fighting Nobuhiko Takada was notably not an example of this trope for most of his career. That is until HUSTLE came along and he became The Generalissimo bent on destroying professional wrestling in favor of mixed martial artsnote
- Minoru Suzuki is another for New Japan, talking down to foreigners and Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners while kicking in the face those who would enter "his" ring holding the ropes. Also, was a founder of the world's second MMA promotion, Pancrase. He really wasn't quite so mean as he would have you believe but apparently his derision of jiu-jitsu is legit.
- Similar to the above, UWF's "Gracie Hunter" Kazushi Sakuraba was not an example of this at heart but put up the image, boasting about the might and superiority of professional wrestling during the lead up to his MMA matches. Once he actually got done with his matches, even when he won, he was much more respectful.
- Continuing The New Japan trend is Akira Maeda, who was notorious among his coworkers up to and including André the Giant, for shooting when he did not get his way. Not even Antonio Inoki had much patience for Maeda but the fans loved him.
- Even among New Japan Pro Wrestling, Katsuyori Shibata's persona plays on this enough to stand out. Only in this case, he is a "shooter" who looks down on professional wrestlers. Now add in No Sell and suddenly we have a problem.
- Subverted by Black Rose, she's a cocky showoff with a short temper that shows little respect for her opponents and has a hard time believing she's ever not right, but wrestling isn't the only thing she's arrogant about. She's equally competitive in managing, coaching and dancing. She might even try to befriend worthy opponents but be careful rejecting the offer.
- Matt Sydal is the epitome of arrogance and lack of discipline, or so it seems. If pushed on the issue, he'll admit it is just something he puts on and he would never go so far as to alienate the people who may otherwise buy his shirts.
- Jimi Mayhem in Vendetta Pro Wrestling, as any self proclaimed "Shogun Of Harlem" should be.
- The worst of the Immaculate Order, from Exalted, combine this attitude with that of The Fundamentalist. Their mascot is the signature character Peleps Deled.
- Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition has a whole class dedicated to the concept. The Battlemind is a psionic swordsman whose powers act as a form of wish fulfillment, and whose blade is an extension of their ego. Many of their powers revolve around berating enemies for their lack of skill so convincingly they actually become less skilled. Or just die from terror at your abilities
- There's even a Battlemind Paragon Path called "Steel Ego", and it's perfectly possible for a Battlemind character to not know they have psionic powers and simply believe themselves to be that good.
- It depends on the player, but about half the fluff for the Monk class falls in this category; the other half goes into Dissonant Serenity.
- Many "Pro" gamers tend to be like this, in part due to the GIFT. Good at the game, yes, but with a terrible attitude, often veering into Social Darwinist level. The ninth wonder of the world could easily be how they manage to even have friends to play with in the first place. See also “Stop Having Fun” Guys - partly induced by the GIFT. (as acting this way in real life typically results in either you receiving a kick in the face, or people deciding "screw you")
- Subverted by a lot of people who physically attend gaming tournaments. Plenty of them are actually good competitors.
- Gato and Shen Woo from the The King of Fighters series both fit this to a T, despite not resembling one another much in personality. Gato, in particular, is probably the example, from the way he speaks to the way he dresses to the brutal way he fights.
- Akuma of the Street Fighter series is exemplary; embracing the darkness within, he eventually killed his former master and his own Martial Pacifist brother (or so it seemed) before searching the world for a worthy opponent.
- Adon stands right up there with Gato as a definitive example, however. He has nothing but contempt for anyone, his moves are extremely punishing, and he will not stop until he's defeated every last person who might even kind of be able to challenge him. Unlike most examples of this trope, Adon can often be seen smiling... and it's much creepier than if he were to scowl.
- Better yet, it's implied he fought Akuma.
- On the other end of the scale and the tier list, Dan Hibiki is a parody of this - he has all the traditional traits, with one exception - he's hilariously weak, which turns his bravado into a massively ironic joke.
- Unless a really good player uses him to humiliate a weaker player. Nothing says 'pwned' better than using the joke character to beat your opponent.
- Especially in Street Fighter 4, Dan is more of a mind game character who has a brutally effective counter super with unreal priority. Beat Dan down enough and he can unleash and turn the tables, turning him into Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass. Even in prior games you could pull it off, it just took a lot more skill.
- Just as Fei Long is Bruce Lee, Gen comes off as Pai Mei. Which is interesting since he predates Kill Bill.
- Pai Mei, aka Bak Mei, et al, has his roots as a semi-historical Chinese figure. He even founded, influenced, or is credited with the creation of the actual kung fu style, Bak Mei; White Eyebrow. The Pai Mei in Kill Bill was based on Pai Mei from earlier Shaw Brothers movies.
- Rufus, an arrogant fat guy who proclaims he's the best fighter in America (Though he actually could back this up), and searches for Ken, without knowing who the guy even was.
- Played with in Super Robot Wars Gaiden, with one of Elemental Lord Masters: Hwang Yang Long. Maybe he does not have the loner intent and aggravation, but he's still pretty distant compared to the other Masters, and he's more like The Lancer towards Masaki. Guess what's his occupation: Chinese PE teacher that knows Kung Fu.
- Tekken's Feng Wei exemplifies this well enough.
- And Paul Phoenix is a non-kung-fu example (his fighting style is based on judo).
- The Last Blade series has a few. Lawful Stupid government agent Keiichiro Washizuka is extremely self-sure, with the skill to back it up, and has very little in the way of people skills. The series' protagonist, Kaede, has some elements of this normally, but is a much better example in his Super Mode.
- Genjuro Kibagami of the Samurai Shodown series is always angry, has an intense rivalry with Haohmaru, and is just a sociopath in general. The only time he ever seems to enjoy himself at all is when he's cutting someone to shreds.
- Thing is, Haohmaru himself is as well. He's more gung-ho and optimistic about his place in life but he's definitely got the personality of an AKFG.
- Also from the Samurai Shodown series is Wan Fu, a gigantic Chinese royal who believes the path of the sword is "Possessing absolute power to crush his enemies." His character bio states he can kill a tiger in under three seconds, and that he insists he has no flaws and idolizes no one.
- In Jade Empire, practically anyone who follows the Way of the "Closed Fist" including, potentially, the player character. This is only usually the case, however, and adherents of the Way of the Open Palm can also act this way.
- The Shaolin monk Chinnen from the Power Instinct series of fighting games, by virtue of being an intentional subversion of the Martial Pacifist mold and an amoral egotist with incredibly intense moves. He's more explicitly evil than most, too.
- Ghost Kick, from the fighting game Martial Masters, is a despicable misanthrope with an insanely brutal fighting style trying to beat the (supposed) fact that he's the top fighter in the world into everyone else's skulls.
- Lei-Fei from Virtua Fighter is exactly like this.
- Evil Genius: Jet Chan is a perfect example of this trope (in addition to being an obvious dual Shout-Out). The only way to beat him permanently is to drug him so he loses a fistfight with one of your ninjas. He is so humiliated he never returns.
- Pokemon often uses this trope for Black Belts, Battle Girls, and other Fighting type Trainers. Fighting type Pokemon in games such as the Mystery Dungeon series, by contrast, tend to avert this trope.
- Real-life skater Tony Trujilio is portrayed this way in Tony Hawk's American Wasteland; He constantly condescends to the player and kicks your ass if you beat his challenge.
- Mortal Kombat's Johnny Cage. He's a somewhat mild example, and his arrogance is somewhat justified by the fact that he's a Hollywood actor, and thus is fairly superficial. Kobra on the other hand is definitely this.
- Assassin's Creed I: Altaïr. So much. It gets one of his fellow assassins killed during the first part of the game, and another (the first guy's brother, Malik) crippled. Altaïr gets some straightening out, though.
- Ezio from Assassins Creed II starts off as this, but gets better quickly. The first game only shows a few weeks of Altaïr's life, whereas the second follows Ezio from the age of 17 to 40, showing us his career highlights. It reaches the point where Ezio refuses to kill Rodrigo Borgia, the man responsible for the murder of his brothers and father, because it won't bring them back.
- Bass from Mega Man (Classic) is what happens when you give one of these an assault rifle for an Arm Cannon.
- Byrne/Staven from The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks: "* arrogant grunting* He's only human, Cole. It was hardly a fair fight."
- Xaero, end boss of Quake III: Arena. While he doesn't really use kung fu on you (seeing as how guns are the primary means of fighting and your Power Fist is an emergency weapon), he has the look down pat, constantly trash talks you, and is a ridiculously skilled shot with a railgun.
- Mr. X from Kung Fu Master is probably this. He even kidnaps the protagonist's girlfriend just so he can get a chance to show that he is the better fighter.
- Seifer Almasy from Final Fantasy VIII. He's one of only a very few individuals in the setting who can use a gunblade, and he and Squall are both "in a class of their own" in terms of fighting ability. Seifer's also a Blood Knight who loves fighting, demands that he be allowed to get the kills in a fight so he can get the XP, deliberately injures his training partners and thinks that he's doing them a favor, and disobeys orders to charge off for personal glory. His wild ways soon lead him to defect to the Sorceress.
- Kakarotto from Heros Realm. Not only is he a total jerk who killed Akira's father, he's in the pay of Murzhor.
- In reality, he's not even human and transforms into a dragon in the middle of your fight.
- Mahk in I Miss the Sunrise. He's from a culture that does nothing except craft and sell weapons to the point of obsession, so it's really all he knows, and boy is he smug about it. This is the complete opposite of his personality in The Reconstruction, however, so he ends up going through a lot of Character Development.
- Two of the incarnations of Odio in Live A Live are like this. Odi Wang Lee in the Ancient China chapter is the head of a brutal martial arts school, and targets the Master's school just for sport. Odie Oldbright in the Present Day chapter is a monstrous fighter who considers brute strength the only virtue and murders his opponents in order to prove his superiority.
- Played for laughs in Saints Row 2-the Big Boss of the Ronin crosses katanas with you. After draining his health, he cries out in a cutscene "You cannot match my skill!" to which your character replies "No, so I'm gonna cheat" and shoots him in the chest. Instant hilarity, followed by more hilarity as you use your cell phone to broadcast his screams of pain.
- Everquest II's Bruiser class has this as its lore background. The Good-aligned Monk is the Martial Pacifist counterpart.
- Franziska von Karma of the Ace Attorney series. Though she practices law instead of martial arts, Franziska is a good fit for the trope. Perfection is the only satisfaction she can understand and she acts condescendingly towards everyone else, both in and out of court.
- Her father, Manfred, is probably the best example from the series (as later on Franziska does start to become more sociable, though still relatively harsh towards what she perceives as ignorance).
- Yutaka Kazami in Investigations 2 has this attitude towards dessert baking.
- Prince Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender is a prime example, particularly in the first season. Skilled in both firebending and martial arts, his abilities lack refinement, and he is overly reliant on power. He can never stop fighting because he cannot fathom giving up. He gets much better over the course of the series, especially after his Heel-Face Turn.
- Before his Heel-Face Turn, Tohru from Jackie Chan Adventures was a textbook example, being an easily aggravated goliath who could crush the title hero with his bare hands. Hak Foo, who filled Tohru's role as The Brute, is also a fine example, a Perpetual Frowner with martial arts skills unparalleled in the series.
- Additionally, late-series villains Strikemaster Ice, DJ Cobra, and MC Fist, Totally Radical Jive Turkeys who learned their moves from the Shaolin before going all Deceptive Disciple on them and eschewing "the path of peace" for criminal operations.
- Kyodai Ken from Batman: The Animated Series is one of the only characters who can pose a real threat to Batman hand-to-hand... and would've killed him if Bats hadn't sort of cheated. He's also a complete lunatic who just likes beating people up.
- Katarou, the gigantic wannabe ninja from the Teen Titans episode "The Quest", had it all. He bested Robin early in the episode, something only Slade had really ever done before.
- Grooor and Ceres from Ōban Star-Racers. Grooor is an extremely fierce competitor and never lost a race until he went up against Molly. He actually gave her a head start just to make her defeat all the more humiliating... then tried to kill her after he lost. Ceres, on the other hand, constantly flings insults at his opponent and their entire species and makes them hallucinate with his flute until they crash.
- A rare female example, Jinx from G.I. Joe. But more so a mild version of a Small Name, Big Ego.
- Bushido Brown from The Boondocks is this. Justified when he beats the living crap out of Huey in their fight, but not so much when he gets beheaded by the Hateocracy.
- Legend Of The Dragon has Ling as the Arrogant Kung Fu Girl at the beginning. She is pretty violent to her brother Ang, is unwilling to consider the responsibilities of the Golden Dragon, and wants its power, even if she has to take it by force and go to the Yin side (i.e. the Dark side). By season 2, she goes back to the Yang side (i.e. the Good or Light side), and becomes a Golden Dragon herself. She still retains a degree of cockiness, however.
- ''Tokyo Mater'' has Kabuto, a mean and obnoxious Japanese racing car who likes to cheat his way to victory in every single drift race he's been in, as well as having a tendency to strip his rivals of their modifications after losing to him. Guess what happens to him after he loses to Mater at the end of the short!
- Monkey Fist from Kim Possible.
- Omi from Xiaolin Showdown. He is still a child, and it's not like he's unfounded in his beliefs; he is the Xiaolin Dragon of Water for a reason after all.
- Another example would be Chase Young, who is very similar to Omi, and was once even a Xiaolin warrior before turning to the Heylin side.
- Lightning Dust from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Her only real care is pushing herself to the limit, which puts Rainbow Dash, the other Wonderbolt cadets, and even the other Mane Six in danger.
- In Kung Fu Panda Legends Of Awesomeness, Po himself sometimes fits this, though he usually learns a lesson by the end. And promptly forgets it.
- Certain Mixed Martial Arts exponents dismiss traditional martial arts as outdated and ineffective. Some traditional pugilists dismiss MMA-ers as Know-Nothing Know-It-All upstarts. So on and so forth.
- While Jobst Brandt made a name for himself with his groundbreaking book on bicycle wheel design, he's almost as well known for his endless tirades against anyone who disagrees with him.