All Chinese People Know Kung Fu

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
"All Chinese people know martial arts."
Count D, Pet Shop of Horrors.

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 Badass Spaniard isn't necessarily from Spain, 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. 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.

Examples of All Chinese People Know Kung Fu include:

Anime and Manga

  • Count D in Pet Shop of Horrors pulls this trope on (blond) LA cop Leon Orcot after performing an impossible leap (he's not entirely human.) "All Chinese people know martial arts." 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.
  • Neji, Rock Lee and Tenten are martial artists who take the position of "Chinese" rival team in
  • Shaman King has Ren Tao as the Chinese rival.
  • In Cardcaptor Sakura, Li Syaoran is a Chinese martial artists who takes the position of Chinese rival.
  • MS Saga has Li Fang a Chinese ex-waitress Martial Arts master mobile suit pilot who uses a Gun Cannon (a normally ranged only suit) with martial arts moves... later upgrades to Mobile Fighter G Gundam's Burning Gundam a true melee suit.
  • 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")
  • 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.
  • Negima's Ku Fei and Chao Linshen, Ku Fei is from southern china and Chao is from northern this is reflected in their 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.
  • Miss China (yes, indeed...) from Spirit of Wonder. Combines with Tsundere for lots of property damage.
  • 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 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.
  • The Xingese are a whole Fantasy Counterpart Culture based on this in Fullmetal Alchemist. All the Xingese characters are proficient in martial arts (although this is justified considering all of them are either royals or royals' retainers).
  • Hong Long (but not his mistress Liu Mei) from Mobile Suit Gundam 00.

Video Games