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Rival Dojos
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. If dojo is applied to non-Japanese martial arts, its use is an example of the Far East trope.

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.

A subset of this trope comes in the form of "dojo busting," in which members of a rival school (or even an unaffiliated challenger looking to show his prowess) will sit in on lessons and challenge the sensei or top student to a match, usually as an excuse to completely ransack the dojo, maim everyone inside, and steal a memento of his victory (typically the dojo's marquee.)

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.

See also Feuding Families.


  • Being the quintessential Fighting Series (at least in 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.
  • Turned drastically Up to Eleven in Star Wars where the Jedi and the Sith teach opposing philosophical approaches to similar martial and magical skill, and have been at each others' throats for twenty-five thousand years.
  • 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.)
  • Inverted by Best Of The Best, where the two schools are both honorable and have similar philosophies.
    • Ninja Academy. Oddly enough, one of the students at the Hero ninja academy is a mime.
  • Real Life: Count Dante's Dojo Wars
  • Jade Empire naturally has a variant on this (It's technically the same school, but the two teachers use different styles)
  • Bamboo Blade has rival Kendo schools.
  • Pokémon did an episode about a pair of rival Gyms.
    • The games also featured this with Saffron City's two Gyms, one for the Fighting-type and one for the Psychic-type. Only one got to be the official Gym of the city, and the Psychic-type Gym won due to Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors.
  • In Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger and Power Rangers Ninja Storm, three Rangers are from the Hayate/Wind Ninja Academy and two are from the Ikazuchi/Thunder Academy. They clashed at first with the Thunder ninjas acting as Psycho Rangers to the Wind trio, but eventually pulled together to fight the Big Bad.
    • Almost the entirety of Juken Sentai Gekiranger is about the battles between the heroic GekiJuken Beast Arts school and the evil RinJuken Akugata school.
  • Bobby Wasabi's (whose local sensei is an Adult Child Big Brother Mentor) and the Black Dragons (a Cobra Kai Expy) in Kickin' It.
  • Jackie Chan's first starring role, Snake in the Eagle's Shadow, is about two rival schools, Snake Hand and Eagle Claw. Eagle Claw has exterminated almost every student from Snake Hand. Jackie becomes the last student of the Snake Hand, and incidentally is able to fight the master of Eagle Claw without being killed, so he learns about his style and combines both of them into the style that names the film.
  • New Japan Pro Wrestling, which boasted that professional wrestling was the strongest martial art in the world, was notorious for shutting the doors to its dojo when someone came in to challenge any of the professional wrestlers and then giving out No Holds Barred Beatdowns.
  • This was the whole point of the FWA Academy vs. WAW Academy - Academy Warfare event. This was mostly put on, since the academy happened to share some of their students, mostly.
  • Coastal Championship Wrestling saw a rivalry between CCW's Bodyslam University and Main Event Training Center after Pablo Marquez left Bodyslam and founded Main Event in protest to Bodyslam's head trainer, Cash Money Alex G, abuse of female students. As it is also in Ft. Lauderdale Florida, The Spot can sometimes act as a third wheel. For those of you worried, this rivalry was just an angle to give CCW Wrestlers something to fight over, Alex G doesn't actually try to hurt students, female or otherwise.

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alternative title(s): Dueling Dojos
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