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Pacifist Dojo

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"I know I said you have to let go of your anger and show forgiveness, but… when the fight comes to you, you have to be ready to fight back. And to do that, we'll need more students. Welcome to Miyagi-Do Karate."
Daniel LaRusso, Cobra Kai

In any works that involve Rival Dojos, the Pacifist Dojo is the natural Foil — and by extension the Good Counterpart — for the Thug Dojo. Whatever their Way is, you can bet your bottom dollar (or yen) that nine out every ten of its students — along with their sensei — are Martial Pacifists (hence the term) and the other is a technical one (if not a Reluctant Warrior).

Not to say that no Deceptive Disciple ever gets past their system — after all, no process is foolproof. A Defector from Decadence, who probably began at the other place, might also take up training here and won't be that kind of sneak. But do not be fooled — like most Real Life eastern-martial-arts schools, they will make it clear that its members are not to use their techniques outside of the school, unless it is an emergency (self-defence, defence of a third party, etc). Using the techniques anyway, for bullying, for example, will lead to your expulsion upon discovery. And make no mistake, one way or another, they will find out, and the violator will be Persona Non Grata.

In any proper competition or tournament, they will have been trained to follow the rules to the letter, especially between bouts, and be graceful losers regardless. Oh, they might be fine bending the rules, if only to stop cold any opponent who has no problem with prohibited moves (and they probably have no problem with trash talking, either), but not beyond that point.

And just to drive home why you should Beware the Nice Ones, they can fight if they absolutely need to — especially if they end up in a massive brawl where dirty blows are flying all around and the ante is constantly going up. When their sensei (or Old Master) gets into the act, that's the signal to watch out.

Compare Ninja School and Hero Academy.

There does not have to be a competing dojo to qualify the school for this trope. Nor does it have to be "heroic" in any sense of The Hero. Nor does it even have to be technically a dojo. As long as it honors and strictly enforces its code of ethics as per the description, it counts.


Anime and Manga

  • The Kamiya dojo from Rurouni Kenshin is one of these, with the Kamiya Kasshin-ryu style being a swords style used to protect people, not harm others.
  • Not a dojo, but in the anime adaptation of Grenadier, the Empress imparts in her personal traveling gunwomen not just the Improbable Aiming Skills but also the prime imperative to end any conflict without drawing their guns if at all possible.

Comic Books

  • Robin (1993): The Raul Lama's school teaches that violence should only be used when necessary and need be balanced with the healing arts and meditation which are also an aspect of the holistic discipline he teaches. The school itself does not have a Thou Shalt Not Kill aspect but Tim Drake, its most well-known student, certainly does even if he's slightly more flexible about whether or not his allies stick to that rule than his mentor.

Films — Live-Action

Live-Action TV

  • Cobra Kai: In season 2, Daniel LaRusso opens up Miyagi-Do Karate, a martial arts dojo based out of Mr. Miyagi's old house, to counter the rising impact of Cobra Kai in the San Fernando Valley. His training of Robby and Sam — which involves almost all of the same tactics Mr. Miyagi used on him — indicates Miyagi-Do is set to follow this path. Unfortunately, tensions between various members of Miyagi-Do and members of Cobra Kai culminate in a karate war breaking out at school, leading to Sam being hospitalized in a skirmish with Tory Nichols, while Robby goes to jail after kicking Sam's ex-boyfriend Miguel Diaz over a railing. Daniel realizes that he has failed to pass on his sensei's lessons of deescalation and peace making and, on Amanda's ultimatum, elects to shut it down. In season 3, Sam chooses to reopen the dojo in her dad's absence when Cobra Kai continue picking on the Miyagi-Do kids at school, and after the hostilities between the dojos culminate in Demetri getting his arm broken in a gang fight, Daniel steps in to get the dojo back on course and properly instill the virtues of Miyagi-Do into his students.
  • In the original Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, Jason ran such a class. In fact, he went on to lampshade it to Bulk: "Martial arts was not developed to hurt others."
  • Kickin' It has Bobby Wasabi Martial Arts Academy, whose staff and students have turned Good Is Not Soft into an art form in terms of conflict resolution. Most common in any situation where Jack catches a fist in his palm and calmly goes into his Pre Ass Kicking One Liner.

Video Games

  • In the Street Fighter Universe there's Gouken's Ansatsuki School, which teaches a non-lethal version of this martial art, Ryu and Ken being two of his most famous disciples.


  • The Isabel's grandfather's dojo in Paranatural teaches people how to manipulate Spectral energy to battle ghosts. Despite essentially being about teaching magic, it looks like a stereotypical martial arts dojo and frequently requires physical exercise.
  • In El Goonish Shive, the Anime Style Martial Arts Dojo used to be this ... until Sensei Greg decided to close it down. He did that partially because, given the potential of the techniques he taught, the risk a Deceptive Disciple could pose was too high.

Real Life

  • Most martial arts schools, especially those training children, operate along these principles. They'll make it clear that the class is about discipline, self-control, fitness, healthy competition, etc. and that violence should otherwise be an absolute last resort in a self-defense situation. This is, in fact, what the Eastern arts always emphasized, though it may seem a little odd to modern Western audiences. There's also the fact that they are businesses, after all, and gaining a reputation as a Thug Dojo can have serious financial and potentially legal consequences.