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Thug Dojo
"I'm not positive, but I think Bas Rutten has made the first self defense instructional video for the bad guy. Which is troubling news because it's much, much better than the ones for the good guy. So I guess the only thing I've learned is that when a bar fight ever breaks out, you're going to die. And if Bas Rutten ever breaks out, we're all going to die."
Seanbaby, "5 Insane Fighting Manuals (You Probably Shouldn't Listen to)"

Where the Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy learns martial arts.

"Welcome to Poison Snake Way, where we practice real martial arts! None of that sissy stuff like questing for enlightenment or martial pacifism here. What we teach you is how to violently decimate anyone and everyone who stands in your way. Inner peace? That's for losers. Here, you'll learn how to rip people apart until anyone who picks a fight with you is left only able to scream for mercy through their broken teeth and bloodied lips while they stare in horror at your foot coming down on their face over and over again."

The Thug Dojo is essentially a mass production facility for the Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy. While it may be effective in producing proficient martial artists, what it is also producing is thugs and bullies who mercilessly pummel anyone weaker than them. Unlike most dojos, which discourage the use of martial arts in anything other than self defense or fair competition and expect their students to never raise their fists in anger, a Thug Dojo enthusiastically endorses the use of extreme physical violence on anyone, anywhere, for any reason. While in a competition, expect them to use prohibited moves including groin attacks. Expect them to use training methods that would fit in nicely with Training from Hell, The Spartan Way and Teach Him Anger to get results.

Subtrope of Rival Dojos. See also Deceptive Disciple, who may open one of these after leaving a more upstanding mentor. The Defector from Decadence may be a dropout from here. Compare Opposing Sports Team and Academy of Evil.


Anime and Manga
  • History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi features two examples. One of them is simply a dojo that teaches low down dirty fighting techniques, the other is the partnered organizations of Yomi/Yami, a group of masters and disciples who follow the philosophy that the martial arts are simply a tool to kill people, and teach their students accordingly.
  • The Crane style master from Dragon Ball has this kind of dojo. His top students defect after they're defeated by the good guys.
  • The Shiryu-kai Karate organization in Karate Shoukoushi Kohinata Minoru (which, as the head of the organization acknowledges, is not so much a karate school as a school of MMA,) fits this to a T. Their training is stripped down to almost nothing but working out and fighting, all the time, and a practitioner receives their black belt when they can beat at least six black belts out of ten in consecutive fights. In the words of the head teacher, "If you want to train your spirit, you're better off becoming a monk." He has no reservations about describing his school as "a factory" to produce strong fighters. The teacher also encourages students to commit fouls in competition if they can get away with it, and he won't hesitate to protest about the rules of competition the moment they become inconvenient for his fighters, even if he devised those rules himself.

  • Cobra Kai from the first two The Karate Kid movies is probably the most famous example of this trope to Western viewers.
    • Karate Kid 3 and The Next Karate Kid movies also featured this. The main antagonists in Karate Kid 2 are never seen training in it, but their mentor Sato —the movie's primary villain— owns a dojo, so it's safe to assume Chozen and his toadies are students there.
  • A gym/dodgeball version of this trope appears in Dodge Ball A True Underdog Story. The Globo Gym has a Jerk Jock mentality when it comes to fitness training and this extends to their ultra-aggressive form of dodgeball, contrasted against the heroes' nice guy personas.
  • The 3 Ninjas movie has the children kidnapped and dragged to a dojo like this, in order to hold them ransom to blackmail their grandfather into teaching the ninjas. Considering the 'ninjas' at this school are not only highly visible ninjas but also beaten up by 3 little kids with only a summer of training one can understand why their leader would be going out of his way to find a better sensei.
  • The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies depict Shredder's training of Foot soldiers in this manner.


Live Action Television
  • On Soap Jodie's search for his infant daughter and Baby Mama leads him to a kung fu fortress in California, where they plan to raise her as a kung fu princess using this method. They put Jodie and Maggie (his PI/girlfriend) in the dungeon and plan to execute them; they meet another prisoner who has been there for 20 years.
  • Kickin' It has the Black Dragon dojo. Yep, a dojo full of thugs and very much an Expy of Cobra Kai. If you doubt, watch the first episode. If you doubt even after that, you never watched the first Karate Kid movie or the Chinese remake.

Video Games
  • The Shadow Dragon Cult in Lunar: Eternal Blue kidnaps children and puts them through hellish and abusive training in Shadow Dragon Karate, according to their leader's belief that to forge someone into a great martial artist, you must teach them to be cruel and ruthless. Shadow Dragon Karate is stylistically identical to Blue Dragon Karate, and is only distinguished by encouraging its students to be evil.
  • In EverQuest II, once Lucan D'Lere took over the city of Freeport, he gave the monks of the Ashen Order two choices: Either comply with his will or leave. They packed up and moved out, but a few less honorable students stayed behind to form the Dreadnaughts, a guild of thugs who believe in inflicting pain, fighting dirty, and just embracing street fighting in general. Just like actual thugs, Lucan D'Lere employs them to rough up citizens who fail to pay their rent and protection money, among other things.
  • The Black Leopard School in Jade Empire is host to a martial arts civil war - half the students favour Master Radiant, who stays shut up in his room, while the other favour Master Smiling Hawk, who is suspected of harming Radiant somehow. The twist is that Smiling Hawk did indeed poison Radiant...successfully. Radiant is a ghost, so he waited until someone who wasn't afraid of that (like, say, the Spirit Monk) came along to denounce Smiling Hawk.

Western Animation
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: The entire Fire Nation is implied to be degrading into a nation-wide version of this. The dragons (no not that kind) reveal to Aang and :Zuko that the Fire Nation has forgotten the true motivations/focus of fire bending and twisted it to being about anger and rage only.

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