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Kung-Fu Kid
Typical Kung-Fu Kid in The Karate Kid

The Kung-Fu Kid is a a child or teenager with a very high level of skill in martial arts, whose skills are particularly noteworthy in the context of the story. Sometimes the skills are first acquired during the course of the story, and sometimes the character begins the story already having a significant level of martial arts talent. If it is a Sports Story, the Kung-Fu Kid will likely be working toward a major tournament. In a Fighting Series, this guy will regularly battle against enemies, often in tournaments, but sometimes in deadly serious combat. In Spy Fiction, the Teen Superspy is often a one of these. In Fantasy or Superhero stories, a character's martial arts skills might be sufficient to qualify them as a Badass Normal that can stand toe to toe against more supernatural enemies. Some characters may have martial arts skills that could be classified as Supernatural Martial Arts, or even as a Charles Atlas Superpower. Sometimes the kid combines spell casting with martial arts to be a Kung-Fu Wizard.

No Real Life examples unless this kid is considered particularly exceptional and famous in the martial arts world. This should not turn into a listing of everyone with a black belt. Nor should it list every young character that takes a karate class but only has the fact mentioned in one or two episodes and gets into perhaps one fight against an untrained person using a minor example of martial arts skills. Mark Taylor of Home Improvement would not qualify, for example.

This is the martial arts equivalent to the Child Mage or the Kid Detective. Compare to Kid Samurai, Ninja Brat, Cute Bruiser and Waif-Fu. This character might also be a Kid Sidekick or a Kid Hero. If female, she may be a Little Miss Badass.

Not to be confused with The Karate Kid, though the movie series does provide several perfect examples.


Examples:

Anime and Manga

Comic Books
  • Batgirl - The Cassandra Cain Batgirl is a teenager trained to be an assassin, but whose empathy for human beings prevents her from ever actually going lethal.
  • Legion of Super-Heroes - Karate Kid (Val Armorr) is a master of every form of martial arts to have been developed by the 31st century
  • Teen Titans - Robin is a Badass Normal whose skill in martial arts allows him to keep up with his superpowered teammates.

Film
  • Super Kung Fu Kid - Man Lung
  • The Karate Kid - Daniel Larusso, Andre Parker
  • 3 Ninjas - Samuel Douglas Jr., Michael Douglas, Jeffrey Douglas, Miyo
  • Sidekicks - Barry Gabrewski

Literature
  • Alex Rider - Alex has a black belt in karate, which alone is not enough to qualify for this trope, however he regularly uses his martial arts skills during his spy missions.
  • The Black Belt Club - A children's book series about four young martial artists who go on secret missions.
  • CHERUB - All CHERUB agents train in advanced martial arts, however Bruce Norris is particularly noted for his martial arts talent.

Live-Action TV
  • Kung Fu- Young Caine in the Once an Episode Flashbacks
  • Kung Fu Kids - A Philippine TV series tells the story of seven kids of different personalities united by a prophecy. The Kung Fu Kids train under the village idiot who turns out to be a Kung Fu master from China.

Tabletop Games
  • Feng Shui - Scrappy Kids are based on this character type in Hong Kong cinema.
  • You can also play a Kung-Fu Kid in Hong Kong Action Theatre, though you will need "To Live and Die in HK" to do so.

Video Games
  • Kung Fu Kid - A 1987 Sega Master System video game about a kid that uses his knowledge of kung fu to fight enemies.

Webcomics
  • How I Killed Your Master - The stories with the younger versons of the main character are something of a deconstruction, since he still has to spend a great deal running away or being rescued. Then again some of the rescuers count as this trope as well.
  • The Bully's Bully - The unnamed heroine appears to be an example although this is not yet canon.

Western Animation
Kung-Fu JesusThis Index Knows Kung-FuKung-Fu Proof Mook
The Kid with the Remote ControlYoungsters    
Knowledge BrokerCharacters as DeviceThe Lab Rat

alternative title(s): Child Martial Artist
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