->''"These fellas won't ever get it. Winning's never been the real reason I fight him."''
-->-- '''Kuwabara''', on fighting Yusuke, in ''Manga/YuYuHakusho''

A character who lives for a challenge. It doesn't matter where they are or what lies at stake, what they really love is the battle, the challenge of going against someone who is a WorthyOpponent, no matter what the venue or the game is. Usually they hold no grudges, and have no one they'd consider their enemy. (Their [[TheRival rivals]], on the other hand...) Instead, they have those whom they relish challenging again and again, so that they can enjoy themselves.

These characters are mostly heroes, but, if they are antagonists, they are usually {{Punch Clock Villain}}s and, even without that, they are almost always {{Friendly Enem|y}}ies. They certainly [[WorthyOpponent make the best rivals]].

These characters' main motivations are usually to [[WorthyOpponent find the ultimate challenge]], the one who can truly match their skills, and sometimes, taking that to the extreme, their motivation is to [[DeathSeeker find someone who can finally defeat them]]. Sometimes, they have no motivation other than to fight/have a challenge. In any case, [[GracefulLoser they certainly don't mind losing]].

Any series where the main focus is a form of competition, from martial arts to chess, has at least one of these.

If this character is really in it for the brutality and/or rush of a physical fight (and who will thus rush into any fight, big or small, just to get their jollies, and never back down from a fight), not the challenge, then he is a BloodKnight, not a SpiritedCompetitor (a Spirited Competitor will probably avoid a conflict that wouldn't challenge them or doesn't involve someone they feel is worth it). If he's in it for sadistic pleasure, then you've got a PsychoForHire (or a CombatSadomasochist, if he ''also'' gets off on '''receiving''' injuries). If the character wishes to face challenges while striving to be the best, then he wants ToBeAMaster (usually such characters become these after a while). If the character is completely laid-back or carefree about the challenges, or even nonchalant about them to the point of cockiness, then he's a CavalierCompetitor.

Subtrope of InHarmsWay.


[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]
* ''Franchise/DragonBall'':
** Quintessential Example: Goku, which extended into ''Manga/DragonBallZ''. Most of the other characters love to fight, but not the way Goku does. He's the only one who would resurrect the most evil adversary he's ever known (don't worry, he resurrected him as a good soul) in order to fight him again.
** On the other hand, Cell, after gaining his Perfect Form, constantly states that he is one of these, and wishes to find something that will finally challenge his power. After encountering such power, he immediately becomes a sore loser and desperately tries to find ways that he won't lose, including [[RageQuit blowing himself up to spare a defeat and turn it into a draw]].
** Majin Buu in his Fat and subsequent Good Incarnation is a prime example of a spirited competitor. He enjoys fighting almost as much as Goku himself, and even goes so far as to say that Goku is a strong fighter, and that he is having a fun time, and actually wants to continue their fight long after Goku runs out of time. Even when he becomes the incredibly evil Super Buu he still waits for Gotenks to show up instead of blowing up the planet. Though he does kill nearly every human on Earth with a single attack to kill time.
** His evil form, on the other hand, is much like Cell. Claims to be looking for a challenge from a strong fighter, but upon getting overpowered immediately freaks out and becomes a sore loser. In his case "strong fighter" apparently means someone he could beat up on for a while without dying instantly, rather than someone that actually had a chance of defeating him.
* Many characters from ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'', especially Yusuke and Kuwabara. The number of such characters goes way up in the Dark Tournament Saga, where each team has at least one (for example, Chu, Jin/Gin, and Younger Toguro, who doubles as a DeathSeeker).
** The last saga, which deals with Demon World Tournament, has a ton of these. Both Raizen's old sparring partners and Yusuke's old enemies share this love of a challenge, the latter thanks in no small part to Yusuke's influence. In fact, this mindset is the subject of an entire episode in the anime, and it's inferred that such an attitude could actually bring in an era of honor and sportsmanship among demons, replacing bloodlust with a love of a challenge.
* Ikusabe from ''Manga/BusouRenkin'' is one of these. When his likes are listed as "winning battles, losing battles," you know the guy loves fighting.
* Gao from ''{{Manga/Eyeshield 21}}'' could easily be considered a football {{expy}} of Kenpachi. Although violent and merciless, his true objective is simply to find a {{worthy opponent}}, god help any person who gets in the way of that. In fact, he's actually quite honorable, freely praising and admiring those he considers strong and brave even after he defeats them.
** He'll also viciously attack ANYONE who insults his fallen opponents, whom he'll consider a comrade. Apparently, challenging the strong is Gao's way of making friends.
** Not to mention, the thought of possibly being killed by Kurita makes him SMILE, much to his teammate's horror.
** Though he describes being defeated by Mr. Don as being humiliating and swears revenge. However, unlike other opponents, Mr. Don WAS a racist {{jerkass}} so it's understandable why Gao treated his battle with Mr. Don with equal parts spite and excitement.
** Yamato Takeru of Teikoku is very competitive, loves 1 on 1 battles, and will go at anyone with his full strength, regardless of how strong they are.
** Basically, most featured players are like this, especially [[TheHero Sena's]] rivals with notable exception of [[JerkJock Agon.]] Considering this is a manga about football, it's kinda expected.
* Signum of ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'', though as a [[LadyOfWar knight]], she doesn't let it get ''too'' much in the way of her duty. When she found out that the enemy she had soundly trounced before had gotten a BiggerStick and can match her blow per blow, she reacted with sheer joy, and more than a twinge of regret that she can't let her heart out to play in the battle since she had a goal to achieve.
** Nanoha is also this, as she greatly enjoys practice matches and mock battles. She and Signum even had two matches that both ended in a draw because [[BloodKnight both of them got a bit too into the battle.]]
** Nanoha's adopted daughter also loves fighting (her main hobby is competitive martial arts), though she lacks her mother's BloodKnight aspects.
* Kotarou of ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima''. His reaction when he learned that TheRival who had beaten him before could now do martial arts and match him in melee too?
--> '''Kotarou:''' Ahahaha... Chinese Martial Arts? That's nice!!
* Light from ''Manga/DeathNote'' is like this. While he'll bang on about how he's going to be a god, and how the world will be far [[strike:better]] [[strike:happier]] newer under his divine guidance, what really drives him is the challenge from people who can match him. Watch and see.
** But he takes losing horribly, and reacts in the most pathetic way possible. On top of that, when he [[spoiler:manages to kill L]], he isn't exactly a graceful winner either.
** Light started off as a bored genius. He appreciates being able to engage his full intellect on a problem, and comes to admire L on that level, but actually threaten his position as Kira and he'll kill you as soon as possible.
* ''Anime/YuGiOh'': Joey/Jounouchi is much like this, especially later in the show. After losing the unofficial duel for third place against Kaiba in Battle City he is exuberant about the challenge Kaiba gave him, and when Kaiba derides this attitude in contempt, he asks, mystified, why the hell Kaiba even duels if not for fun.
* ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'': Kaiser Ryo and Judai are both like this, but in different ways.
* Many characters in ''Manga/HikaruNoGo'', but the strongest example would be Sai, who has been a ghost for centuries, striving to play the greatest game of Go ever ("the Hand of God", as he puts it).
* ''Manga/HajimeNoIppo'': [[TheAce David 'Golden' Eagle]] is a good example of this as well, his main motivation in his fight with [[BloodKnight Takamura]] was to fight someone fun. He was also looking forward to fighting [[PsychoForHire Bryan Hawk]] for the same reason. [[spoiler:After losing he grinned and shook Takamura's hand, overjoyed he'd finally fought someone stronger than him]]. He is also fits the anti-villain mold of typical {{Spirited Competitor}}s in that even though the series usually has the enemy boxers be non-villainous, Eagle stands out as being so [[KnightInShiningArmor honourable and likeable]] he actually got considerable support in Japan.
* Zangulus from ''{{LightNovel/Slayers}}'', one of the mercenaries and bounty hunters who tried to capture the party. After the first encounter with Gourry he flatly stated that for him it's about the challenge and his fee and his employer's orders don't matter much. He just wanted a duel to see who's the best swordsman out here, that's all, and reappeared as a WorthyOpponent until he got his final fight. Also, once he was persuaded to join the party just by mentioning that there's a strong opponent for him. Naturally, in such circumstances he didn't use underhanded tactics.
* Asuka from ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion''. Only exception is that she [[FailureKnight does mind losing]].
* Defied in ''Manga/SlamDunk'' by the coach of Kainan. Having deduced that TheHero gains his strength from playing against the best, he intentionally marks him with a player with a less imposing disposition. Feeling he's being mocked by a seemingly inferior player being assigned to him, TheHero loses focus and his game becomes sloppy.
* ''Manga/OnePiece'': Roronoa Zoro is definitely of the Spirited Competitor mold, always on the watch for worthy opponents, and seemingly bored when not fighting and/or drinking. His ultimate goal is to become the world's strongest swordsmen, and he plans to beat every single opponent that challenges him.
* Deconstructed in ''Manga/MutekiKanbanMusume'', a hiliarious deconstruction of the FightingSeries: Miki is a Kanban Musume, a delivery girl for her motherís ramen restaurant, who never manages to deliver the food on time because sheís always picking fights, especially on those opponents who are worthy. So, she fights with an AngryGuardDog for hours just to make a delivery, despite the owners telling her that she could yell their names and they'd go out, just for the chance to fight it.
-->'''Mikiís mother:''' Well, what's your excuse this time? For only a delivery, you have taken a long time.\\
'''Miki:''' Yes, I did take a long time... but thatís because I had the determination not to lose. To trade work hours for my victory, it was worth it.\\
'''Mikiís mother:''' Shut up!
* ''Anime/VariableGeo'': Yuka Takeuchi has been a practictioner of [[SupernaturalMartialArts Kyokushin Karate]] since childhood and firmly believes that bonds can be formed through competition [[WorthyOpponent with strong opponents.]] Her fighting style has even evolved to center around this concept, by quite literally allowing her to [[WarriorTherapist empathize with her opponents through combat]] and [[HeartIsAnAwesomePower purge them of any negative emotions]] with her [[LimitBreak ultimate attack]]: [[KameHameHadoken Kyuukyo Kikou Dan.]]
* ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'': [[KidHero Ash Ketchum]] is a prime example, travelling anywhere and battling anyone on his quest ToBeAMaster.
* Musubi from ''Manga/{{Sekirei}}'' loves to fight, whether a serious life-or-death battle or a friendly sparring session. The Sekirei are essentially a ProudWarriorRace, with quite a few enjoying facing a strong opponent and forging unlikely friendships through facing each other in battle. Musubi serves as a MoralityPet to BloodKnight [[BigBad Karasuba]], with their friendship centered around their promise to become the strongest Sekirei and one day face each other in the final battle of the Sekirei Plan.
* ''Anime/GundamBuildFighters'' and its sequel ''Anime/GundamBuildFightersTry'' have a lot of these for two main reasons: Gunpla Battle attracts people with similar personalities (and who already have a shared love of the ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'' franchise to bond over), and the battles' stakes are relatively low. The only characters who don't really qualify as this trope are [[StopHavingFunGuys those who take the game]] [[SeriousBusiness way too seriously]] like the Renato Brothers in the first series (who act like they're participating in an actual war) and their spiritual descendants the Toritsu Academy team from ''Try'' (who gleefully discuss how to take advantage of the fact that [[TheHero Sekai]] [[YourMindMakesItReal suffers sympathetic damage from his Gundam]].
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'':
** Captain Kenpachi is one of the strongest people around, but loves fighting so much that he deliberately weakens himself in order to have a more even match. He does this even against an opponent that is trying seriously to kill him. His techniques include an [[EyepatchOfPower eyepatch]] that drains his energy, bells that make it harder for him to do a sneak attack, and deliberately wielding his [[OneHandedZweihander two-handed sword with one hand]].
** Aizen, after absorbing the Hougyoku and achieving godlike power, takes his time setting about the end of the world in case someone comes along who can present a decent challenge. He intentionally destroys the Cleaner in the [[VoidBetweenTheWorlds Precipice World]], knowing that Ichigo can then use the Precipice World's YearInsideHourOutside effect for some last-minute training to unlock his strongest technique. In this case, Aizen probably wasn't looking for a real challenge, just someone to test his power on who wouldn't die instantly.

[[folder: Comic Books ]]
* ''{{Franchise/Batman}}''
** The Riddler is a partial example; he lives for the mental challenge of his and Batman's battle of wits, but he also hates to lose. ComicBook/TheJoker is a better example, and is one of the few examples of this kind of character who is also actively cruel.
** Creator/PaulDini's character Roxy Rocket is one as well, really only liking the thrill of flying around on a rocket, stealing, and challenging guys whom she flirts with even as they are arresting her.
* ''Comicbook/ElfQuest'': At one point in ''The Rebels'' spin-off, the main characters, still on the run from military agents due to their desertion and stolen spacecraft, drop by their home world of Abode to get some rest-and-relaxation. Scorch ends up participating in a major televised car race, and the SpiritedCompetitor here is [[spoiler:the nephew of the SympatheticInspectorAntagonist on their tails]], who ends up helping Scorch out in multiple ways because he wants more than a mere race: He wants to beat the very best name in the sport.

[[folder: Fan Works ]]
* In ''Fanfic/PokemonResetBloodlines'', maturing didn't make Ash any less competitive. A sidestory reveals that he was this even before his consciousness from the past timeline merged with his current self.


[[folder: Film ]]
* Jean Girard from ''Film/TalladegaNightsTheBalladOfRickyBobby'' is this. He is simply looking for a WorthyOpponent.
* The Beast in ''Film/KungFuHustle'' fits this trope, partially, but whenever he finds the challenge he says he's looking for, he resorts to cheating to win instead of losing gracefully, as most examples of this trope would. Interestingly, when he tries to cheat in the climactic fight, and [[spoiler: Sing]] thwarts him, he immediately bows down and calls him master, apparently with complete sincerity. It seems that [[CombatPragmatist The Beast considers cheating to be a valid combat tactic]], rather than, well, cheating.
* Ryan from ''Film/NeverBackDown'' was a mixture of this and BloodKnight, possibly with a touch of PsychoForHire. Although Ryan was looking for a worthy opponent, he would happily beat anyone within an inch of their lives. At one point he nearly killed the main character's best friend in a fight just to intimidate him into fighting.
* ''{{Franchise/Predator}}'': The Predator is a creature that travels the galaxy looking for the best of the best to fight and kill. It lives off combat and is steeped in a code of honor so great that it would rather die then cheat or dishonor itself.

[[folder: Literature]]
* ''Literature/SongAtDawn'': Dragonetz hates fighting but he loves competing. Whether it's his NumberTwo or a visiting viking prince he has to face them and defeat them. The prize, if there is one, doesn't matter. Most likely he won't want it.
* Franchise/SherlockHolmes. When he doesn't have a problem to solve to occupy his mind (or even better, an antagonist to match wits with) he becomes lethargic and turns to drugs. Some adaptations play up this aspect by suggesting Holmes is amoral, uninterested in justice and only cares about crime as an intellectual exercise - which was not the case in the original. Well, particularly the Creator/BasilRathbone and Nigel Bruce version.
* In ''Literature/ThisImmortal'', [[ProfessionalKiller Hasan]] enjoys competing and chellanges, and it has the added bonus of keeping him fit for his job. He lugs a Vegan-made wrestling robot with him on the trip and wrestles it daily, and when challenged to a duel, he chooses slingshots because it's more of a competition than just gunning each other down.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/BookerT, the Five time([[CatchPhrase five times]]) Wrestling/{{WCW}} Champion. He enjoys a good, fair contest and is always looking for another. There were some periods where this wasn't true, such as in Wrestling/{{WWE}} when he thought he was too good for the Smackdown brand, but even that came to an end when he decided the WWE Championship was a worthy title to pursue.
* Wrestling/RonKillings, provided he doesn't perceive some injustice being done against him, is more than happy to find the biggest, scariest looking dude on any given roster and offer them a match.
* Wrestling/LowKi is never completely content with his victories. He's always looking for something new to do, someone new to wrestle, some new challenge to conquer, someone's respect to earn...
* Wrestling/MercedesMartinez behaves this way on a good day, actively seeking out new people to wrestle. (On a bad day, well, she isn't spirited about competition because she believes there is no one worthy to compete against)
* Quote Hailey Hatred:
-->"...its a nice rush to get kicked in the face. I love me some Lady Victoria."
* As much of a {{girly girl}} Wrestling/{{Melina}} is, she equally lives for a fight. In a less positive example, she invites threats and dares opponents to do their worst just so she will have more motivation to beat them.
* Wrestling/TheWorldsGreatestTagTeam had this attitude toward Wrestling/RingOfHonor, wanting to fight every tag team there available in the belief they were all great. This attitude changed somewhat after the Briscoe Brothers went on an anti WWE rant though.[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* Ryu, Ken, and Akuma from ''Franchise/StreetFighter''. Akuma, in particular, is a prime example of the AntiVillain version. Other examples of such characters from Street Fighter include E. Honda, Alex, Sakura, and Makoto.
** Sagat is also like this after his HeelFaceTurn after his FaceHeelTurn, though only really towards Ryu, who is the only one who has ever truly beaten him. Be warned, you will find [[AllThereInTheManual none of this through playing the game]].
* This is Wolfgang Krauser's motivation for hosting the second, international King of Fighters tournament in ''VideoGame/FatalFury 2''; he'd become bored after beating so many challengers that he finally decided it was time to fight the best in the world. Rugal Bernstein also hosts the tournament in '94 for the same reasons, but unlike Krauser (who is brutal in the ring but a nice guy otherwise) he just wanted to stroke his ego and maybe add a few more statues to his...collection.
* ''[[VideoGame/AdvancedVariableGeo Advanced V.G.]]'' has several among itsmain cast, with [[TheProtagonist Yuka Takeuchi]] being the primary example:
** Yuka is often considered to be Ryu's DistaffCounterpart. She has the same mentality - caring only for testing herself against [[WorthyOpponent worthy opponents]] in order to learn more about herself as a martial artist. Which has rubbed off on several of her friends.
** Satomi [[ChildhoodFriends grew up together with Yuka]] and trained alongside her at the Kyokushin Dojo, so she's been sparring with her since childhood. Though lately, she hasn't had the time, due to having to support herself and her brother.
** Tamao Mitsurugi is [[{{fangirl}} a huge fan of Yuka's]] and sees her as a role model. Therefore, she's chosen to emulate her; including Yuka's fighting style and refers to her as "sempai" (or "Yuka-sempai"). So she entered the tournament, not to win, but to finally meet her heroine.
** [[AmbiguouslyBrown Jun]] [[AmazonianBeauty Kubota]] is a former Olympic wrestler, who's ''also'' become close friends with Yuka and moreso with [[ForeignFanservice Erina Goldsmith.]] They've competed directly with each other in nearly every game, which is even seen briefly during the intro for ''Advanced V.G. II''.
* ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'': Hell''lloooo'' Lancer! He intentionally gimps himself down to match his target instead of killing them just to make the fight last longer. When questioned about fighting Assassin, though, he gets somewhat irritated because while Assassin is ''very'' good and would be an excellent challenge normally, he's just not the sort of opponent that Lancer is suited to fight. He recommends sniping him instead. Boooooring.
** Assassin himself. He wants to challenge Saber to a swordplay duel, and takes winning and losing in equally calm measure. Simply 'fighting' anyone else doesn't seem to get his interest in the same way.
* ''{{VideoGame/Persona 3}}''
** Akihiko Sanada embraces every dangerous new challenge as an opportunity to push himself to become stronger. At least three characters call him out on not taking the dangers of [[TheHeartless the Shadows]] seriously enough and not caring what secrets are being kept from the heroes as long as he gets to fight; it's a mark of [[CharacterDevelopment newfound maturity]] when he starts taking the team's battles more seriously, although he's still resolved to meet all challenges - up to and including TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt - head-on.
** A slightly less extreme example is Mamoru, the Star Social Link--a star athlete who really just likes to test himself. His Social Link concerns how to maintain this in the face of ever-growing family troubles.
* This trait is the trademark of Gilgamesh in the ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' series, where he's always ready for a brawl with a WorthyOpponent. In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' even after beating him twice and sending him running, he refers to the party members as his friends, and laments he doesn't have time for a third round. In ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'' he's on the lookout for TheRival [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyV Bartz]], and makes mention in a few of his battle quotes that he likes the idea of a challenging opponent.
* Shizune Hakamichi of ''VisualNovel/KatawaShoujo'' likes to take ''everything'' from schoolwork, to recruiting people for the Student Council, to carrying a box up a hill or deciding what to do with a piece of veal cutlet bread a contest or a game.
** [[spoiler:This is ultimately {{deconstructed|Trope}}, as this part of her personality drives away the rest of the student council, including her own cousin Lilly. In the bad ending, Shizune believes that this part of her is why Hisao and Misha are avoiding her, and breaks up with Hisao, but in the good ending, she recognizes the error of her ways]].
* [[HornyDevils Morrigan]] is portrayed like this occasionally, especially in the VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom games, where her dialog is loaded with many a DoubleEntendre and other suggestions that she likes fighting an awful lot. This makes even more sense if you factor in her [[VideoGame/{{Darkstalkers}} original canon]], which not only establishes her as powerful enough to curbstomp the FinalBoss if she cared to, but also states that it's the intensity of physical sensations that feeds succubi, not necessarily their nature. For her, a good fight is just as satisfying as a good fu- [[LastSecondWordSwap seduction]].
* Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog loves to race others to prove that he's the fastest.
* ''Videogame/FireEmblemFates'' has the ChildProdigy Hayato, an InsufferableGenius spellcaster from the Wind Tribe. While most of the time he pretends to be unaffected and [[TheStoic stoic]] in [[AdorablyPrecociousChild order to seem mature]], he reveals a [[FieryRedhead more excitable and competitive side]] occasionally; in his supports with Orochi, he becomes obsessed with proving himself the better herbalist, and ends up taunting and teasing her when he wins. He seems determined to not be outshone on the battlefield as well, as his [[GameplayAndStoryIntegration personal combat skill]], [[{{Pride}} "Pride,"]] allows him to deal extra damage to units that are higher-leveled than him.

[[folder: Web Comics ]]
* ''{{Webcomic/Misfile}}'': Kate is like this with racing. So is Ash.
* The Jäger Generals in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius''. They even [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20120521 argue with each other]] over which kills "counts". And [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20120523 request]] CombatByChampion as an alternative to surrender.
-->'''General Goomblast''': (to half a dozen of Wulfenbach's spec-ops with poisoned dirks) Feh. Diz hardly seems ''fair''...\\
'''Wulfenbach Commander''': ''C'est la guerre'', General.\\
([[CurbStompBattle dying screams]])\\
'''General Goomblast''': Hy dun mean for ''me''.

[[folder: Web Original ]]
* ''Stinkoman'' from the 20X6 Alternate Universe of ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'' is a parody of this kind of Battle Junkie character. His main (and only?) hobby seems to be going around looking for "A challenge!"
* Chaka, in the ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse''. She's always looking for anyone who can give her a good fight and stretch her abilities. She mostly keeps it to her martial arts classes.

[[folder: Real Life ]]

* Some chess players are like this.
* Similarly, if a fencer isn't like this he won't last long in the sport.