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All Chinese People Know Kung-Fu

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Yes, all 1.4 billion of them.

Dre Parker: Mr. Han's teaching me kung fu.
Sherry Parker: The maintenance man?
Dre Parker: It's China, Mom. Everybody knows kung fu.

In Japanese media, an unusually high percentage of Chinese people will know a martial art, from the harsh, half-senile Old Master, to the petite young woman. It will always be a form of Kung Fu, never a Japanese style. Just as the Dashing Hispanic isn't necessarily from Spain or its colonies, in some works all Chinese people may know Kung-Fu because they belong to a fictional version of Chinese culture based on this stereotype. Regardless, it's not unusual for this trope to involve some sort of Chinese rival or Chinese rival team. If you're lucky, this will lead to a scene where Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting.

The prevalence of this trope can likely be explained by the Japanese people's fondness for the martial arts action of modern Hong Kong cinema, and of ancient Chinese classics such as Journey to the West and Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Consequently, characters falling under this trope often contain references to Hong Kong action stars.

All Asians Know Martial Arts is the equivalent of this in Western media, and is about how Westerners view Asians. In contrast, this trope is about how Japanese (one Asian group) view Chinese (another Asian group).

In Real Life, Chinese will refer to a person's ability in any human endeavour as "Gung Fu," not just martial arts. Also, all Chinese students receive compulsory military training during their educational period, so they are knowledgeable in martial arts. So it's quite technically true... That said, do not antagonize anyone who is praised as having good Wu Gong as they will be real life examples of this trope.

The anthropomorphic animal equivalent of this is a Fighting Panda.


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     Anime and Manga 
  • In Cardcaptor Sakura, Li Syaoran is a Chinese martial artist who takes the position of Chinese rival.
  • The one Chinese/Hong Konger character in The Case Files of Jeweler Richard practices Jeet Kune Do.
  • Amusingly invoked in Darker than Black. Kenji comments that "it's true that all Chinese people are martial artists" after seeing a waiter dealing with an unruly customer (and feigning weakness at that). Also, pretty much every Contractor of Chinese ancestry on the show is a good fighter in addition to their powers, which isn't true of Contractors from other backgrounds.
  • Digimon Tamers: Despite both of them being computer nerds (especially the father), Lee Jiangliang and his father Jiang-yu practice Tai Chi, seemingly for fitness purposes. It does come handy in actual combat situations. But it is unknown whether the other three Lee children know Tai Chi or not.
  • Xing is a Fantasy Counterpart Culture of China in Fullmetal Alchemist. All the Xingese characters seen are proficient in martial arts. Justified considering all of them are either royals or royals' retainers and the court is implied to be dangerous (considering it's comprised of several clans using their children to jockey for power). Ling is a Combat Pragmatist because he's been fending off assassination attempts since he was a child.
  • Lee Jenshin in Gaiking: Legend of Daiku Maryu teaches Daiya martial arts forms to help him focus in battle.
  • In Historys Strongest Disciple Kenichi, all of the Chinese characters in the story use kung fu or kenpo as their preferred fighting style.
  • Mobile Fighter G Gundam has Neo Hong Kong's Master Asia an expert in martial arts who was The Master then The Rival to Domon. (His name is literally "Master.")
    • Somewhat subverted by the prequel manga Mobile Fighter G Gundam: 7th Fight, which depicts the events of the 7th Gundam Fight (G Gundam is set during the 13th). A much younger Master Asia (then Shuuji Kurosu) is seen fighting for Neo Japan in the Yamato Gundam, meeting the soon-to-be other members of the Shuffle Alliance along the way.
    • Obviously Sai Saici from Neo China is this, using Shaolin-style Kempo.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing's Chang Wu Fei a martial arts master who uses the Shenlong Gundam and later Altron which primarily uses a pike in a Chinese style.
  • Neji, Rock Lee and Tenten are martial artists who take the position of a "Chinese" rival team in Naruto. While there is no actual "China" (or an equivalent) in Naruto, the trio all use fighting styles based on various Chinese martial arts.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi's Ku Fei and Chao Lingshen; Ku Fei is from southern China while Chao is from northern China, and this is reflected in their fighting styles. The former takes up the role as The Master to Negi while the later takes up as the Big Bad for a little while then The Mentor when she leaves.
  • Count D in Petshop Of Horrors pulls this trope on (blond) LA cop Leon Orcot after performing an impossible leap (he's not entirely human) by nearly mentioning the trope verbatim. It's not the first or the last thing he blames on being Chinese, either. To give Leon credit, he knows perfectly well that D is bullshitting him outrageously. There just isn't much he can do about it except grumble.
  • Ranma : Most major Chinese characters are expert martial artists, and often have a leg up on the Japanese fighters due to a more "mystical", supernatural, or at least much older fighting tradition. Then again, the majority of such characters come from tribes or villages explicitly devoted to a form of combat, such as the Joketsuzoku, the Seven Lucky Gods, and the Musk Dynasty, or are combatants and officers in an otherwise regular society (in fact, it's because these specific characters are martial artists that they run around with Ranma and company). The Jusenkyo Guide and the civilian population of the Phoenix tribe, for example, are never even hinted at being anything other than regular folk, and the Phoenix royal guard are simply ordinary soldiers of various levels of skill, not martial artists.
  • Shuu/Kento of Ronin Warriors is the sole Chinese member of the group. Surely enough, in supplimentary materials his martial art of choice is stated to be kung fu (taught from an early age by his mother, a kung fu master).
  • Shaman King has Tao Ren as the Chinese rival. Even without using his spirit, he's a kung-fu master who is much stronger than his size would suggest.
  • Miss China (yes, indeed...) from Spirit of Wonder. She has Super-Strength and a black belt in Martial Arts and Crafts, also combined with a Tsundere's personality for lots of property damage.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Turning Red, this trope is alluded to when Mei and Ming start their cleaning routine as they initially appear to be preparing to spar with each other using bo staffs before it is revealed they're holding brooms which they proceed to sweep with.

     Films — Live-Action  
  • Used by the hero in They Call Me Bruce to get out of a fight.
    Bruce [to threatening mob]: "Take a good rook at my face. I'm an oriental!" [mob scatters]

     Video Games  
  • The ramen-loving fighter who speaks Chinese from ARMS, Min Min, utilizes her legs in what seems to be a boxing-style sport. The only time she kicks her opponents is during her throw attack. Her primarily ability involves deflecting an opponent's punches by kicking them down. Her appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate gives her more variety of her kick attacks such as giving her a rapid-fast kick attack.
  • Played for comedic irony in Dragalia Lost, wherein the character who is thoroughly convinced of this is herself an Anime Chinese Girl (though her assumption is specifically targeted at Qilin people). Xuan Zang is not amused.
  • Honkai Impact 3rd shows that even Chinese games aren't free of this trope. Fu Hua, the only playable Chinese character in the game, is also the resident Kung Fu master who's capable of dishing out Curb Stomp Battles against mechas, Honkai Beasts, fellow Valkyries, and Herrchers with her bare hands.
  • Lee Rekka from The Last Blade, a martial artist who almost exclusively incorporates kicks into his moveset. Incidentally, he is the only Chinese character in the cast.
  • MS Saga: A New Dawn has Li Fang, a Chinese ex-waitress Martial Arts master mobile suit pilot who uses a Gun Cannon (a normally range-only suit) with martial arts moves... which later upgrades to Mobile Fighter G Gundam's Burning Gundam, a true melee suit.
  • Chun Li from Street Fighter II fights with a primarily kicking style that doesn't precisely correlate to anything, but is officially described as a combination of Chinese martial arts. Fei Long is the series' Bruce Lee Clone. Other Chinese people in the series: Gen (who can change styles mid-fight), Yun, Yang, and Lee from the first game.
  • Dragon Chan and Hoy Quarlow of the SNES Super Punch-Out!!, the former also appearing in the arcade Super Punch-Out!!. Incidentally, both sport Kung Fu moves, in a boxing game.
  • In Touhou Project, the majority of the cast is Japanese, and the token Chinese girl, Hong Meiling, is depicted as skilled in martial arts.
  • Fei Fong Wong from Xenogears, a tribute to Jet Li's Wong Fei Hung character from Once Upon a Time in China.

     Web Comics  
  • El Goonish Shive: Asian-American Ashley says that people have assumed that she's "some kind of magical martial artist" when complaining about stereotypes in general. Hilariously, the other major Asian character in the comic, Nanase, is a magical martial artist.
  • Aubrey of Something*Positive once scared off an annoying idiot by shouting random Eastern-sounding terms. She's Malaysian, but it made no difference to the guy.

     Web Original  
  • Discussed and invoked in Wong Fu Productions and Freddie Wong collaboration short Kung-Fooled where a regular Asian man is about to robbed by someone and accidentally makes some poses, leading the robber to think he knows kung fu and runs away. Then he chooses to get into a fight with another Asian kid both of them pretending to know kung fu. They both bluff the fight and Freddie gets into tangle a with a Scary Black Man... who is also bluffing.