He doesn't necessarily hit you with his sword arm. He hits you with his faith.The Warrior Monk is a fighter defined by his or her faith, which serves as a weapon and armor the equal of any mundane wargear. He focuses his mind with sacred chants before the battle, quotes scripture while he smashes aside infidels, strikes with absolute conviction, and fights without fear or hesitation. He is a combination of the archetype of the warrior and the archetype of the shaman. Both archetypes share the need of rites of passage. This character is often a member of a Church Militant, be it a martial-minded sect within a larger religion or the divine army of a powerful theocracy. Other Warrior Monks have more diverse backgrounds, and could hail from actual monasteries, master-apprentice relationships, or could even be self-taught. Warrior Monks may be shining examples of a religion's ideals, or in some situations may end up fighting a Church Militant if the latter has become a Corrupt Church. Others may ignore religious politics altogether, doing more for their faith by acting as an example. This character type has two usual regional variants:
— Dungeons & Dragons designer Andy Collins, on 4th Edition Paladins
- The Western form of Warrior Monk often turns out as a particularly devout Knight in Shining Armor, a heavily-armed and -armored crusader combining martial prowess with unmatched devotion to the ideals of the church (if not necessarily the church itself). Expect such warriors to be referred to as paladins or templars. In a fantasy setting, these Warrior Monks frequently enjoy tangible signs of their deity's favor, along with a variety of defensive, curative, or augmentative powers, overlapping with the Combat Medic's repertoire. They also occasionally have a few offensive abilities along with battle skills, too. Still, sometimes the best way to deal with a monster or evil-doer is with a good, solid blow to the head, so Western monks often arm and train with blunt weapons such as maces, warhammers and flails, especially if to overcome the vow to never shed blood literally.
- The Eastern variant are mainly Buddhist in nature, though China has its Taoists and Japan its Mikoshi and Shinto. Whether it be the saffron-robed Shaolin monks or the mountain-wandering Yamabushi or Shugenja, this seemingly-harmless, lightly-armed traveler unexpectedly displays incredible ass-kicking abilities at the sign of trouble, then gives some words of wisdom to any survivors. Due to the differences between Western and Eastern religions, these Warrior Monks tend to be more contemplative mystics than dogmatic, crusading zealots, but are no less devout than their foreign counterparts; Eastern religion-based monks derive inspiration from fitness and effort connected with higher thought and understanding of themselves and the world around them, from how Gautama also was once of the warrior caste, having faithful bodyguards to protect him on his pilgrimages from danger, Bodhidharma being the original teacher of physical prowess to Shaolin, and to the mysteries of the world's dynamics, be it qi or the potential buddha in all, allowing one to understand how to flow with all of creation. When it comes to an Eastern-style Warrior Monk's powers, all bets are off: they can be wielders of a Simple Staff, melee masters of Ki Attacks, or walking avatars of elemental destruction.
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Anime & Manga
- Lyrical Nanoha
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS introduces Sister Schach Nouera, the Dual Tonfas-wielding Church Knight of the Belkan Saint Church.
- Sister Sein is also currently training to be one under Schach as of StrikerS Sound Stage X. Her younger sisters, Otto and Deed are also working for the church, as a female butler and nun, respectively.
- Chantez Arpinion of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid is another one of Schach's students. She uses Dual Tonfas like her master and fights using a combination of Super Speed and trickery.
- The Church Knights of the Holy Empire in Tears to Tiara.
- In Vagabond the monks of the Hōzōin Temple are devout buddhists and very proficient spear wielders. Most of the common ronins who challenge them at their temple quickly get their asses handed to them. Their master, Inshun, deserves special mention for being the first to actually beat Musashi in a fair fight and displaying such prowess, that he made Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy Gion Toji lose all faith in his own ability.
- In Naruto we have the monks of the famous Fire Temple, who are known for their Gift of the Hermits chakra. A major technique derived from this is the Welcoming Approach: Thousand Armed Murder. Very self-explanatory.
- Nightcrawler is very religious, and was even ordained a Catholic priest in a years-long hallucination. His faith allowed him to defeat Dracula where other X-Men had failed.
- The Priestesses of Hathhalla are this in Artesia. Being women and brutally violent they also fall into Dark Action Girl.
- Thara Ak-Var from the Supergirl comics, she's the super-hero known as Flamebird as well as a devout follower of the Church of Rao.
- Wonder Woman is an Amazon Princess who is also devoted to her many gods and will some times offer a peaceful hand to her enemy rather than fight them.
- The eponymous character from the movie Priest belongs to an Anglican/Catholic order with the sole purpose of ridding the world of vampires using knives and other pointy objects.
- The Thirty of David Gemmell's Drenai series are a group of warrior monks, who spend their lives training to fight in one battle against evil where all but one of them will die. The survivor is usually sent away before the final attack or their last stand and will form the next Thirty.
- Aramis of The Three Musketeers was studying to become a priest.
- The Church Knights from The Elenium and The Tamuli by David Eddings are an odd example. While technically orders of cloistered monks when not on the battle fields the normal rules of the clergy are relaxed for them. For example they can get married despite being clergy in an Expy of the medieval Catholic Church. What makes them really odd though is that in a world where Religion Is Magic their magical powers come from the Styric Gods (and in the case of the Genedian Knights, the Troll Gods as well). It leaves them essentially straddling two religions while otherwise playing the trope (mostly) straight. Lampshaded within the books themselves when it finally dawns on them all that since 'magic' comes from gods they never really needed to go outside their own religion as the Elene god probably could have been convinced to do the same thing for them that the Styric and Troll gods do for their followers. It's concluded that the Elene god is so aloof, it's no surprise no-one thought it would be possible.
- Joscelin Verreuil from the Kushiel's Legacy series belongs to an order called the Cassiline Brotherhood. Cassiline Brothers train for 10 years to beclome elite bodyguards who serve the royal family. All members swear allegiance to the Precepts of Cassiel which include celibacy.
- In some of the Robin Hood stories/ballads, Friar Tuck is an accomplished swordsman and archer, and when he isn't he can usually hold his own with his fists or a staff.
- In the Emberverse, the Monks of Mt. Angel become this after the Change. Notable in that it is not only a conscious shift from a more traditional monk to Warrior Monk, but that they also Lampshade it very often.
- The Acts of Caine
- The Abellican Church from R. A. Salvatore's Demon Wars saga has very strong martial traditions (the only warrior able to consistently best elf-trained swordsmen is an Abellican monk, albeit an evil one), though not all Abellican clergy follow that path.
- Archbishop Turpin in the medieval Chanson de Roland.
- The Five Ancestors
- The villain of Ivanhoe is a literal Knight Templar as well as an example of the trope.
- The Reynard Cycle: The smith priests of Fenix field "battle priests", who are present during the Battle of the Samara in The Baron of Maleperduys. Naturally, they wield war hammers.
- A Song of Ice and Fire has a few:
- Thoros of Myr is a red monk of the fire god R'hllor as well as a fearsome fighter. He has overthrown many a man in a melee with his flaming sword and was famously the first warrior over the wall during the seige of Pyke. He lapsed in his faith for some time until early in the series, when he experiences a re-awakening.
- The Drowned Men are holy men of the Drowned God who are expected to take up driftwood cudgels and kick ass for the faith when heathens are about.
- The men of the Night's Watch belong to a semi-monastic order where they have to have vows of celibacy and renounce all claims to heritage and lands. Calling them monks would be a stretch, since they don't subscribe to a faith (though recruits swear their vows before the Seven or the Old Gods, whichever they choose). The celibacy vow is very lax, as they are informally allowed to have sexual relations as long as these don't produce any offspring. The recruiting has also become gradually lax as well, as they have to scrape from the bottom of the barrel and recruit mostly from convicts and criminals, whereas in better years many lords and heirs "took the Black". The Watch has become a form of punishment, and not a very appetizing one; in the eventuality that a criminal has to choose between jail, execution or "taking the Black", most criminals would chose the alternative to the Watch.
- The Faceless Men of the House of Black and White are a monastic order based on Braavos of highly specialized and skilled assassins who are in service of the Many-Faced God, a composite god of the multiple religious facets of death. They are said to be skillful enough to achieve even better results than thousands-manned armies.
- The Faith Militant is a more straightforward example of warrior monks reminiscent of knightly orders of Christianity in the real world. Basically enforcers of the Faith of the Seven, the Faith Militant has had various conflicts with the Iron Throne because of their belief that they answer to a higher power than the Kings of Westeros, making them almost completely unaccountable, overtly zealous and unbending. The early Targaryen kings had constant problems with the Faith Militant that they could not solve through forceful means and the ensuing conflicts left innumerable deaths on both sides until peace was reached by justified concessions leading to a complete armistice of the Faith Militant; then Cersei Lannister gave them leave to arm themselves again.
- In Anathem, the avout, who are monks of science, logic and philosophy, have an order of the Ringing Vale, who specialize in the science of combat.
- Thraxas runs into two groups of warrior monks, unsurprisingly in Thraxas and the Warrior Monks.
- In Elantris all clergy of the Derethi religion are trained in monastaries where they learn combat skills, among other things. This is taken to its most extreme by Wyrn's favorite enforcers, the Monks of Dakhor, who use a combination of Body Horror and Blood Magic in tandem with fighting skills to make them so dangerous that opponents of the Derethi sometimes call them demons.
- North from Of Fear and Faith, who is very upfront about his faith in a world where almost no one believes in God anymore. He often prays before and after battle, and always prays for the souls of those who died in battle, whether they were his allies or enemies.
- The Michalines and later the Knights of the Anvil in Katherine Kurtz' Deriyniverse qualify.
- Elsabeth Soesten's friend and companion, Brother Hieronymus, is a warrior friar, who is no slouch with a sword and buckler, and studied with a master named Leonardus in his youth, whom he holds in high esteem.
Live Action TV
- Series 5 of the new series of Doctor Who has a religious order of Clerics, who judging by the titles they hold appear to be members of a variant of Anglicanism. Refreshingly for a warrior monk order from the far future, they wear practical camouflage combat gear instead of anything overtly religious or ornate.
- It's an unusual version where The Reveal is that the soldiers are priests, rather than that the priests are soldiers.
- Warhammer 40,000 has several. Although the Ecclesiarchy is a Church Militant that mostly restricts itself to preaching and keeping the whole Imperium fanatical, some priests and drill-abbots actually go into the field and handle some military duties alongside the Imperial Guard, some Inquisitorial cells, and most notably the Sisters of Battle, who are technically a group of client institutions of the Ecclesiarchy.
- While the Adepta Sororitas have many orders dedicated to medicine, diplomacy, and scholarly pursuits, there are the Orders Militant, better known as Sisters of Battle, who really play this trope straight.
- In terms of individual Space Marine Chapters, there is something of a sliding scale of this trope. Most Chapters are essentially monastic and militant brotherhoods, and have their members doing little more than sleeping, eating, praying, and drilling for most of their members not at war; and are prone to shouting out mantras, litanies, invocations, and other Imperial catchphrases in the middle of battle. But in spite of this, Space Marines think of their founder and true master, normally referred to as the God-Emperor of Mankind by most of humanity, as a very powerful man and nothing else (going along with his own opinion on the matter).
- The Black Templars, rather unsubtly, play this trope completely straight, since they're a notoriously devout and furiously puritanical chapter. They draw many elements and inspiration from the Teutonic Knights and the Knights Templar.
- The Dark Angels and successor chapters, however, play this trope just a little less unsubtly, as they are essentially Arthurian knightly orders. However, they are less monastic than the Black Templars, whose sources of inspiration were founded on religious grounds.
- The Grey Knights, a specialized Chapter of Space Marines serving as the arm militant of the Ordo Malleus,the branch of the Inquisition that specializes in fighting Chaos, are the only faction that has never had an example of anybody turning over to Chaos, so their ranks will inevitably include some Ecclesiarchy priests and the odd Adepta Sororitas elements.
- And of course, since dark deities also occasionally flirt with this trope, darkly devout Chaos Space Marine chapters and warbands fit. Most notable is the Word Bearers legion, who are arguably the ones ultimately responsible for the state the galaxy is in, who were the first Crusaders of Chaos, opened the way to Chaos worship for every other Imperial faction, and of course remain its most fanatical followers. Ironically, the Word Bearers turned to Chaos because the Emperor rejected their worship of him, culminating in him sending the Ultramarines to demolish the cathedral city the Word Bearers built in his name and forcing them to kneel before him in subjugation. The sting and humiliation of rejection coupled with their need to worship a higher power led them to Chaos.
- And finally, Space Marine Chaplains and Dark Apostles are the spiritual leaders within Space Marine Chapters and Traitor Legions. These guys are fanatical and charismatic to the point that they become spiritual leaders of good and evil orders of Warrior Monks, which is impressive in itself.
- Warhammer also gives us the Warrior-Priests of Sigmar who like to bash stuff with big hammers. Followers of Ulric are similar, but favor axes. There are also Bretonnian Questing and Grail Knights, and some Chaos warlords qualify as evil versions of this trope.
- Paladins and clerics in Dungeons & Dragons, along with avengers and invokers from 4th edition. There's a monk class as well, but oddly it has significantly less religious content than the above classes. (But although the monk class is mostly another name for a ninja, it too has some notion of a pseudo-Buddhist spiritual path.)
- Magic: The Gathering has Rhox War Monk, alias Pancake Flipper.
- In the two earliest installments of The Legend of Zelda, Link was definitely this trope. (Both games feature the same Link.) He was a righteous warrior who had a Crucifix on his shield and carried a Holy Bible in his inventory, and was willing to selflessly and unquestioningly risk his life to rid the world of evil. He used a cross to see invisible enemies, and even learned a special swordsmanship technique from a knight in in a church. Even more, one of his "magic spells" is actually represented with an image of him praying.◊ Later installments abandoned this motif.
- Paladins in the Warcraft universe.
- In World of Warcraft some variations apply:
- Alliance paladins play it straight - they gain they powers (either defence, healing or ass-kicking) from their faith in Light. Draenei paladins actually have encountered the Naaru, who are Crystal Jigsaw Angels.
- Blood elves put a twist: playable paladins were initially forcefully sapping their powers from the captured Naaru, resulting in their skills being a bit Darker and Edgier. Then the antagonistic blood elves stole their Naaru and continued to drain powers from him in their favour. Playable elves found that they still had their powers - it was The Plan on part of the Naaru to open them to a true Light. Their skills became more in-line with the Alliance versions, though they still had their specific mount.
- Cataclysm adds tauren paladins into the mix, who, in line with their Nature Hero tendencies, get their powers from the Sun.
- This also applies to a certain extent to Druids and Shamans, who are fuelled by their respective spiritual or religious organisations and who are fully capable of bringing the hurt up close and personal. This, however, is not as clear an example:
- Druids shapeshift to fight, rather than relying on armour and weapons.
- Shamans do not belong to a specific religious organisation but rather follow the spirits of the land directly.
- The Templar Order from Dragon Age are basically warrior monks of the chantry.
- Priests (and maybe nuns) trained by the Order of Saint Lennox in Open Blue, owing to the fact that most of them are sent off as chaplains aboard Avelian warships and thus, need to know how to defend themselves during battles with pirates. And the Order served as Avelia's Spanish Inquisition. v5 adds the Order of Saint Clara, which trains nuns to fight against The Legions of Hell and black magic, and the Order of Saint Micaela which, while specialising in exorcism, nevertheless trains its nuns in hand to hand combat, because the world in general is just dangerous.
- Sci-fi variant: the Aeon military in Supreme Commander, complete with three known ranks being Knight, Templar, and Crusader. Their leader is called the Avatar of War.
- The "Holy Warrior" from GURPS: Dungeon Fantasy.
- Ky Kiske of Guilty Gear.
- Any tanker in Lineage 2 is aligned with the god of their race, Shillien Knight/Templar is worship Shillen, while Eva Knight/Templar is favored by Eva. The exceptions being Human knights, both Paladin/Phoenix Knight and Dark Avenger has no deity, since Grand Kain is considered the Dark God of Destruction.
- In Sonny, near the end of the first game, Sonny and Veradux run into a Palladin on a mission, and in the second game meet a cult that has these as soldiers.
- The hammer-wielding, heavily armored Omniknight from Dota 2 fights for the service of "the Omniscience".
- The eponymous E.Y.E. of E.Y.E.: Divine Cybermancy are described as psi-cybernetic warrior monks. Interestingly, while they all follow the western form of this trope (being armor clad and fighting with guns, Psychic Powers and cybernetics rather than martial arts), they are split into two factions because of resource shortages. While there are few other differences between them, the Culter Dei (player's faction) wear medieval European style armor, while the Jian Shang Di wear armor reminiscent of samurai or ninja. Additionally, rather than being part of a church, they are the militant arm of a group of megacorporations and their main purpose is to fight the Metastreumonic Force, with no mention of any gods. Naturally, the whole setting is heavily inspired by Warhammer 40,000.
- The Priest Assist Character from Magic Sword: Heroic Fantasy is a typical white-magic user, using "light bullets" as his assist attack.
- Aldo the Cleric from The King of Dragons, a muscular monk with a heavy weapon. His profile even states his dislike of bladed weapons, which is why he fights with a mace.
- Dragon's Crown has a Female Warrior Monk who serves as the supporting NPC in the Forgotten Sanctuary. She was crippled by a demon while trying to purify the place with the Holy Symbol and has to rely on you to stop the Demon King's resurrection. Despite this, if you choose to stop the Demon King directly and take too long fighting his Arch Demon, she will still manage to fight her way through the dungeon despite her injury and successfully place the Holy Symbol on the Sanctuary's altar to wipe out the remaining demons for you.
- In Dungeon Keeper II, monks are potent Magic Knights with Healing Hands, defensive powers, and weaponized crucifixes that can bypass vampires' resurrection abilities and bring them Final Death. One mission sends the Keeper to wipe out one of their strongholds in the underworld.
- In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the Vigil of Stendarr is a Church Militant order dedicated to the Aedric Divine Stendarr, God of Justice, Mercy, and Compassion. They can mostly be found wandering the countryside purging supernatural threats (Daedra, Daedric Worshipers, vampires, lycanthropes, etc.) with their maces and spells. Despite serving Stendarr, they aren't a group big on mercy, and do not discriminate between worshipers of the more benovolent Daedra and/or Friendly Neighborhood Vampires. Their headquarters gets wiped out by a vampire order at the start of the Dawnguard DLC.
Anime & Manga
- The Warrior Priests of the Ishval religion in Fullmetal Alchemist. Even before he gained the ability to kill via Facepalm Of Doom, Scar was shown to be able to take on an entire platoon of soldiers with only his fists.
- While not actual monks, in Eyeshield 21, the students of Shinryuuji High School (Shinryuuji means Temple of the Dragon God) are encouraged to invoke this trope, often meditating and reciting Buddhist scriptures. Also subverted since we're often reminded that underneath their stern personas, they're really just your typical girl-crazy teenage boys.
- Sanzo from Saiyuki is a perfect example.
- Anji Yukyuzan from Rurouni Kenshin is a fallen Buddhist priest, endowed with phoenomenal strength. He usually fights unarmed, though he carries around a shortsword resembling a buddhist prayer tool.
- One Piece has Urouge, a pirate modelled after the typical japanese warrior monk, along with his crew.
- Benkei Musashibou from Getter Robo is a monk who started fighting the Oni out of necessity. Even when piloting a giant robot, he still recites Buddhist prayers as a form of attack-calling.
- In Brave10, Seikai's both a monk and a fighter. Often as not, he starts it.
- The antagonists from the second season of Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt are the Nanyang monks - a Buddhist cult that rules over the Earth's South Seas. Initially affiliated with The Federation, they defect and oppose both sides at the end of the One Year War, and what they lack in technological warfare, they make up with dogmatic faith created by brainwashing from the leader's Newtype powers which goes as far as using suicide attacks.
- The Kyoto and Nara sohei from Shi are based on the Buddhist warrior-monks of Japanese history (see "Real Life" below), but Buddhism rarely seems to come up and they act more like ninja. Interestingly, protagonist Ana Ishikawa's internal struggle to balance her sohei training and her grandfather's shaping of her into a tool of vengeance with her devout Catholicism makes her the straightest example of this trope in the comic.
- Bulletproof Monk's protagonist. Self-explanatory.
- Babylon A.D.. A gender inverted version is Sister Rebekka of the Neolite sect. Played by Michelle Yeoh.
- Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon. The first two scenes establish both his ass-kicking and philosophical credentials. (The philosophy discussion was in fact added to the script by Bruce himself.)
- Oto Tachibana from Yamato Takeru is a priestess of Amaterasu who is also a potent martial artist. She also throws fireballs, combining this trope with Kung-Fu Wizard.
- In The Gamers: Dorkness Rising, Brother Silence is an elf kung-fu monk Player Character in Kevin Lodge's Dungeons & Dragons campaign, whom Cass insists on playing despite Lodge's insistence that it's a Western European setting with no elves. Pastimes include delivering Stunning Fists and equally headache-inducing Ice Cream Koans.
- Musashibō Benkei was a sōhei (see below) who was an important figure in the legend of the Samurai warlord Minamoto no Yoshitsune; he was Yoshitsune's retainer and trusted friend, often depicted as a man of great strength and Undying Loyalty.
Live Action TV
- Shaolin Monks appear as one of the contenders on Deadliest Warrior vs. the Maori. They win, handily.
- The evil monks in the Doctor Who episode "Tooth and Claw" were martial artists. Which was a bit out of place given that they were 19th-century Scots.
- Kwai Chang Caine, Kung Fu.
- In the Chinese Paladin series, the monks of Mt. Shu are this, dedicated to exterminating evil and aiding the just and innocent. They also have a demon-expelling mantra that doubles handily as a Badass Creed. Mo Yixi and the Sword Saint from the original series, and Xu Chanqing from the sequel are primary examples.
- The Monk class in Dungeons & Dragons. Also the sohei from various editions' Oriental Adventures or Kara-Tur campaign settings.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! there's Armed Samurai Ben Kei, who naturally, is based on Musashibō Benkei.
- In Rocket Age some Martian monasteries have a martial bent and a number of martial arts originate from them, such as Celestial Fist.
- Magic: The Gathering has them in both of its asian-inspired planes. In Kamigawa, based off Japan, the Budoka and Kannushi seek harmony with nature, but when the kami war rages on they're forced to fight against the very spirits they seek union with. In Tarkir, based off literally erverything but Japan, the Jeskai are more focused on personal perfection and martial arts. Upon the plane's re-writing, the Ojutai clan that replaces them are repressive, fanatical dragon-worshipping theocrats.
- The Monk class in Final Fantasy.
- Heroes of Might and Magic has monks who fire energy balls and later call down meteors. The exception was the two first games, but even they had religious figures in hooded robes that throw energy balls. They just happened to be called druids instead of monks.
- The "Martial Artist" from GURPS: Dungeon Fantasy.
- Sohei warrior monks are recruitable in both Shogun: Total War and Total War: Shogun 2. In the second game, they are the specialty of the Uesugi clan. The Ikko-Ikki also use the Sohei as a special unit.
- Mortal Kombat gives us Liu Kang and Kung Lao. They even got a spinoff called Shaolin Monks.
- Onmyōji gives us Aobōzu the Buddhist priest, and to an extent the protagonist Abe no Seimei, who is an onmyōji (practitioner of onmyōdō).
- The Order of Biron in Legend of Legaia is a monastic order of Eastern-style Warrior Monks, combining spiritual teachings with martial arts training. Gala, one of your party members, is a member of the order at the beginning of the game. Unlike many examples of this trope, he wields axes, clubs, and maces.
- The Monk role in NetHack is a mystic martial arts expert who maintains rigorous spiritual conduct (ideally, though not always in practice.)
- Juroung from the 2014 Strider is a spiritual shaman warrior with water-based powers and a blind, complete belief in Grandmaster Meio's godhood and the right of his "vision" for Earth. As his closest subordinate, he rules the Underground in his name and fights fully convinced that "his will guides" him to victory.
- Garr from Breath of Fire III may deceive some with his looks (he's, after all, a giant, alcohol-loving gargoyle), but he shows early hints of this like his giant beads and the praying pose he does when casting magic. Then mid-way through the game he's revealed to be part of a very devout city and he's, himself, part of a group of "angels" sent by God to eliminate evil. And it turns out the "God" is none other than Myria (BOF1's Big Bad, and the "evil" is the series' protagonist race, the Brood/Dragon Clan.
- Guardian adds an original character named Imogen who is a temple swordfighter, implied to be of the same discipline as Auron, as the muscle on Lady Ginnem's pilgrimage.
- Jedi Knights from Star Wars combine Western chivalry and swordsmanship with Eastern mysticism, ascetics and acrobatics. They don't worship any deity in the usual sense, although their reverence of the Force itself fills in quite nicely. It goes as far as their headquarters being named the Jedi Temple.
- The gunslinger kick-ass "priests" in Equilibrium are also fit in this trope. They are refered as cleric and their leader is called Father.
- Soldiers in the movie The Men Who Stare at Goats. They refer themselves as warrior monks, using new age phrases, and their goal is to be jedi-like warriors.
- The members of the eponymous organization of Special Circumstances come from a wide range of religions, both Western and Eastern varieties, each having their faith an integral part of their offensive and defensive capabilities.
- Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara makes reference to a temple full of Shaolin Acrocanthosaurus.
- The sfvantskors, warrior-mystics of the Old Faith from The Chathrand Voyages are basically what you'd get if you mixed Eastern-style ninjas, shaolin monks, and Western-style paladins. They have a well-earned reputation for being some of the most badass warriors in their world. Neda Pathkendle, also known as Neda Phoenix-Flame, sister of the main protagonist, is one.
- The Carawen monks of The Witchlands are a religious order founded to protect the Cahr Awen. As a result, they put heavy focus on combat training (a mix of Western and Eastern styles), and their mercenary branch is quite renowned for its effectiveness. Evraine and Aeduen were both trained by them, and even though the former is a healer, she's still an Action Girl.
- The Immaculate Order in Exalted is mostly of the Eastern type, but—Exalted being the Fantasy Kitchen Sink it is—they also have some overtones of the Western variety.
- The Brothers Battle from Fading Suns are an odd combination. On the one hand, they're a future version of The Knights Templar, complete with banking, but on the other hand, they're also known for the deadliest unarmed martial art in the Empire. Meanwhile, their characteristic Powered Armor isn't really associated with either archetype.
- Similarly to Exalted above, in Anima: Beyond Fantasy, having the game's setting that it has, the two types coexist within the Church of Abel but the Western flavor has elements of the Eastern one (Ki attacks and the like) too.
- In Magic: The Gathering's Regatha, the Keral Keep are a rather unique monstery focused on personal freedom and the study of pyromancy.
- The Fire Emblem series has tons of these. In some games you can promote the previously helpless Clerics into badass ax-wielding men of faith. Then there's the former dragon Gotoh, who gave men the gift of magic, from Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light and Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem; Celica, one of the two protagonists of Fire Emblem Gaiden who wields swords as well as her White Magic; Frost from New Mystery of the Emblem; and Jodel from Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade, just to name a few.
- Mass Effect 2 adds not one but two Warrior Monks to Commander Shepard's team.
- First is Samara, a member of a very rare sect of asari warriors who swear off having family or possessions beyond weapons and armor, and follow a strict Code which obligates them to protect the innocent and stop lawbreakers. Samara at one point compares herself to a Knight Errant or a samurai.
- On a more informal level, meanwhile, there is Thane Krios, a drell assassin and devout polytheist who kills people he believes deserve to die in an effort to make the galaxy a better place. Best illustrated in his first lines:
Thane: Prayers for the wicked should never be forsaken.Shepard: Do you really think she deserves it?Thane: Not for her. For me.
- Neither of these are straightforwardly "holy" characters. Samara's Code takes a very hardline stance toward crime, and though she's capable of finessing situations to keep from being forced to take unnecessary action, she makes it clear that this only goes so far. Thane's religion, meanwhile, takes the concept of a soul separate from the body a step or two beyond human faiths, to the point that he makes a clear distinction between acts of his own personal volition and acts that are performed solely by his body (for example, in the service of others, a mindset doubtless informed by the fact that he was raised as an assassin from the age of six) - he holds himself no more responsible for the latter than he would consider a gun to blame for shooting someone, a philosophy that would probably make prosecuting a drell serial killer a real headache.
- The Paladins from The Battle For Wesnoth are described directly as 'warrior monks' in the in-game description. While mainly Western-style, the no-religion-in-Wesnoth rule dictates that they gain their power not from any divine source, but from adherence to the philosophy of good itself. Although they are not as tough than their more mundane counterparts, the Grand Knights, they are faster, have basic healing abilities and are wield an Arcane-power infused attack that makes them extremely effective in combating Undead entities.
- The Pax Dei, the military forces of the Order of the New Dawn, from Ground Control is an army composed of warrior monks in a Sci-Fi setting, from the lowliest Crusader (a basic infantryman) to a Volans (heavy Hover Tank) pilot to a Paladin (an autonomously operating general). They don't have any special personal powers, but they do have heavy weapons and war machines, and plenty of Applied Phlebotinum.
- Might and Magic 7 has a monk class that is a combination of the Shaolin and Western style of monk, with magic for good measure.
- Dungeon Keeper 2 features monks that are look like the traditional plump, brown-robed European friars, but possess the hand-to-hand fighting skills of Shaolin monks. As did the prequel's, though they focused more on healing and spellcasting (everybody in the prequel did more spellcasting).
- The Monk class in Ragnarok Online is a cross of East and West—kung-fu with distinct Catholic motifs.
- Sulik from Fallout 2 is a somewhat strange warrior who is guided by the spirits, if the Chosen One is a Good Karma character he can join his party. He gives spiritual advice for each location in the game.
- Majesty features Monks trained at the temple of Dauros, the God of Law, who are a mashup of both varieties; they specialise in hand-to-hand combat that apparently draws from Kung-Fu, but their aesthetic is decidedly Catholic, including something very like Gregorian chanting being audible from the temple when at least one monk is resting there.
- The Paladins, also made available by building a Temple to Dauros, are rather obviously based on Joan of Arc.
- The Monk player class of Diablo III is a mixed example, being a martial artist who hails from the setting's equivalent of Russia and is a holy warrior in the vein of western examples.
- Worldof Warcraft brought in Monks with the Pandaria expansion, who have traits of both types.
- Akuji from the PS1 game Akuji The Heartless fits this trope well. Even before his adventures in the underworld, the game establishes him as a bloodthirsty Voodoo priest who has killed LOADS of people in battle, to better perfect his magic.
- Alani from Battleborn is a fish alien warrior monk who uses Ket, her order's martial art. Said martial art involves water manipulating nanotech.
- The monks of Pillars of Eternity are bare-fisted fighters who wear little or no armor and use meditation and sometimes hallucinogens to achieve understanding. They believe that one can achieve enlightenment and purify the soul through pain, and their powers are activating by spending points they get as they take damage in combat. Whether a particular monk is more Eastern, Western, or something altogether different depends on their origin culture, but the companion monk introduced in White March, Zahua, hails from the Ixamitl Plains, and draws more from pre-Columbian Mexico than anything else.
- In The Elder Scrolls, the Blades have elements of this. The Blades are an Ancient Order of Protectors who have long served the emperors of Tamriel as bodyguards and spies. They undergo Training from Hell that turns them into a katana-wielding One-Man Army with spy skills. Many Blades are also predisposed to the worship of Talos, the Deity of Human Origin who is the ascended form of Tiber Septim, the founder of the Third Tamriellic Empire and the person who re-formed the Blades after they were previously dissolved. The Order of Talos soon formed within the Blades in his service. Given that the Blades are essentially Samurai crossed with a western-style order of knights, they have traits falling on both sides of this trope's variants.
- The Shinwa are this in Earth And Beyond, albeit in spaceships. In truth, they seem to be warriors first, monks second, which makes sense given that they are the Jenquai military.
- An example of a kung-fu nun, Chen-Chen in Harkovast has incredible abilities relating to her martial arts training she received as a member of a religious order.
- In The Order of the Stick, Miko Miyazaki and the rest of the Azurite Paladins of the Sapphire Guard are Western-style Paladins from an Eastern-inspired civilization who call themselves Samurai. Miko further complicates matters by having levels in the actual Monk class.
- Guilded Age: Penk, after becoming an avatar of Tectonicus.
- The Kids Next Door could fit this trope to a certain degree, though they're modeled mostly as a military organization, the kids that join them are generally taught and trained to fight to protect kids and their rights from evil, and do whatever is associated with achieveing that goal. And KND Operatives, for the most part, have an ingrained determination to fight for that cause while never giving it up. Those traits give the KND much in common with warrior monks. Essentially they're taught to fight for an ideal, though not political or religious, has been what kept the KND together and what might be the cause of how it's an organization that's been around since the 19th century.
- A very rare villainous example can be found in the Daughters of Aku from Samurai Jack. Raised and trained by the Cult of Aku, they are very devout and Jack's most dangerous opponents, bar none.
- Bishops and other clergy often fought in The Crusades. It's widely believed that clerical law against spilling blood forced them to use blunt weapons such as maces, but this is a myth. There are a number of medieval illustrations of clerics using edged weapons, for instance, in the Rolandslied of Conrad the Priest, c. 1170. Even more notably, a monk is depicted as the master in illustrations in the I.33 manuscript.
- The Sohei of Japan and the original Shaolin monks are obvious historical Eastern variants. Famous warlord Uesugi Kenshin became a monk of the Buddhist god Bishamonten, and is depicted as His devout follower in both Samurai Warriors and Sengoku Basara.
- Much the same in Korea, where, during wartime, Buddhist monks often furnished a large number of fighters, either for government armies, or as volunteers fighting on their own against aggressors. During the 16th century Japanese invasion of Korea, this led to occasional battles where combatants on both sides were Buddhist monks.
- During the High Middle Ages, there were a significant number of these in the form of the Crusading Orders. While there were dozens, the big three, so to speak, were The Knights Hospitallers and The Knights Templar, and the Teutonic Knights. Not only were they militarily important, being large contingents of professional soldiers in an era where professional soldiers were a definite rarity, but they also wielded secular political and financial power (though the actual power they had was often exaggerated, particularly where the Templars were concerned). How holy these warriors were depends on how favourably you view their actions and members, but it is worth noting that they were frequently criticised in their own time for being power hungry, land hungry, and more concerned with financial/political gain than doing their Christian duty, and that the Orders weren't exactly wide-eyed idealists - the Teutons became infamous for, by the 15th century, effectively turning the crusading experience into a package tour for the young nobles of Europe.
- While the Templars are most famous for their less than holy concerns, the Teutons and Hospitallers ruled significant chunks of land on the borders of Christendom; the Teutons in central and eastern Europe, ruling first in Transylvania in the early 13th century, then moving up to found the Ordenstaat in 1230, now part of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, southern Sweden and western Russia (with the invasion of the latter including the famous 'Battle on the Ice'), nominally expanding Christendom eastwards and converting the pagans of the east. It ultimately evolved into the Duchy of Prussia and Royal Prussia in 1525, when the Grandmaster of the time decided to secularise the Order and become a Duke. The Hospitallers, meanwhile, took first Rhodes, then Malta, holding the Ottomans off in the famous 1565 Siege of Malta (albeit after the Ottomans had kicked them off Rhodes at the second time of asking in 1522), and held it until 1798, when Napoleon took it.
- On the Islamic side, ghazis and some orders of dervishes would also qualify to varying degrees. Most of the key religious figures in Islam including their founding fathers were warriors or commanders because the political situation of the time demanded it.
- In the 1380 CE Battle of Kulikovo, both Russian and an unspecified Tatar Khanate's armies put forth a champion to decide the outcome without actually fighting. The Tatar champion was Temir-murza and the Russian, the warrior monk Alexander Peresvet. Unfortunately, the two killed each other in the first round and an all-out battle still took place.
- Military chaplains are considered non-combatants, but carry a side arm and are often present in combat operations.
- Sikhs could be considered a mild example, as a part of the purpose of carrying a Kirpan is to prevent violence against the innocent when all else fails.
- Joan of Arc was a chaste maiden dedicated to the church, and could qualify. (Though she would more precisely be classified as a Warrior Nun.)
- The Shaolin Monks.
- Clergymen provided a surprising number of guerrilla fighters during World War II, particularly in the Balkans as well as in Cold War era Latin America. Some of these zig-zagged this trope by having abandoned religion and joined communist guerrilla forces (e.g. priest-guerrillas in Tito's army and Cuba's Guillermo Sandinas), even though many still performed religious roles vis-a-vis civilian populations in the areas they controlled.
- The Latin American flavor of this was known as liberation theology, and in the politically-charged 80s it got the priests involved in hot water with the CDF (i.e. the modern Inquisition) under Cardinal Ratzinger (i.e. the future Pope Benedict XVI). Their collaboration with Marxist revolutionaries was strongly denounced. 25 years later, Pope Francis cooled off the Catholic Church's opposition to liberation theology, as he was sympathetic to their focus on poverty if not their political activism.