Martial Arts Master

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Here, martial arts are no longer legends. They have been passed on from generation to generation, from century to century.

After being confronted by science and technology, they have completely integrated into modern society and all kinds of martial arts competitions are taking place across the country as the consensus between whos superior among scholars are hard to reach, but among martial artists, it isnt that difficult!

Lou Cheng has found an unknown cultivation item that fuses with him and helps him with the first part of martial arts, meditation.

Facing his dream and the glory in his heart, he will advance step by step, becoming the warrior of this modern city and the hero of the era!

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This is written more in the style of an actual novel than a webnovel which is nice. It alternates quite well between what in theory is martial arts but is in reality sports drama and romance quite well. The fight scenes are detailed, but in a really tedious way. The story is interesting but not particularly exciting. The English translation however is quite subpar and frequently is at the level of machine translation. Webnovel should be ashamed to charge money for it. But thats sadly nothing new.

CuttleFish That Loves Diving is one of my favorite Chinese writer and since I finished his last completed story and the current one is far from over, I decided to proceed with one of his earliest work, « Martial Arts Master ». So, did this string of excellence date even further back ?

The characters are of excellent quality, even if, as it is logical, not everyone has the same depth. The protagonist, Lou Cheng, is a very well made contemporary martial artist, obviously not with the usual callous attitude found


in this kind of novel, although he shows ressources of strong willpower and lateral thinking, he has the refreshing normalicy of a modern young adult/student. Outside of martial arts and his passion for his girlfriend/wife, he is a serious, tame otaku as well as a good son and friend. Speaking of his love interest, Yan Zheke is a real deuteragonist in this novel (in fact, if not for her noticeably shorter « screentime », she would be a true second protagonist). She is equally well-written, strong and feminine, remarkably intelligent (often more perceptive than the MC) and driven.

The rest of the cast is excellent, with each character having his own flavor, whether it is for the sassy best friend Cai Zongming (who really deserves the nickname « Talker »), the mentor, geezer Shi, the other friends, Lou Cheng and Yan Zhekes parents and grand-parents (all of them likeable and concerned about their descendants life, but quite different in their behaviors and backgrounds), the rivals, competitors and antagonists, all of them are finely made, this is definely a big strong point of the book.

The setting is also pretty good, in fact I find that it is the one that best answers to the « Magical Realism » definition. It is our contemporary world, but an added level of low-to-mid supernatural abilities. China, America and Japan are all present (although with some liberties, but nothing major) with their real names and other countries are also present, but under different name (Gaul for France, Albion for the United Kingdom...). As for supernatural powers, they are part of the world, almost entirely because of martial arts, but they are not omnipresent (being a martial artist at a significant level is a full time job that relatively few people have the talent for, especially at the higher levels) nor omnipotent (martial artists are powerful, but they cant go against the might of a state level, well equipped and trained army, even at the « Physical Invulnerability » level). As it is, the setting created here by Cutttlefish That Loves Diving shines because he has made it « credible ». On a side note, there is a patriotic bias of the author, but it keeps quite clear of the obnoxious nationalism found in a lot of Chinese contemporary fantasy novels.

The power system is also quite well-made. In fact there are quite a number of them, all linked to martial arts (even distantly) but each with distinct characteristics, strength, weaknesses and cultural background. One is clearly based in the hard body training of Muay Thai, a Japanese one has clear influence of Karates Kiai, others in America and Europe are based in Christianism, Satanism, Animism/New Age, and I leave the Egyptian one and the rest to your imagination. The most detailed system is the Chinese one (logical) and it is quite diverse in itself (one sect is Buddhist, another Taoist and pretty much everyone at high level has powers related to one or more elements), unified by the various stage the martial artists go through : Body Refining, Dan Qi (use of Chi), Inhuman (acquisition and /or reinforcement of supernatural abilities) and Physical Invulnerability (relative). The protagonist is a peculiar case, as due to events I wont spoil here, he includes elements of the mostly abandonned Cultivation system in his martial arts path, which makes him a bit of a trailblazer and is a significant part of the plot.

For the plot, sadly it is where it shows that the author was writing one of his early novel. The story is good, but he tried to include too many genres into one. You see, Martial Arts Master is a martial art novel, a sport novel, a romance novel and a cultivation novel, all rolled into one. And while Cuttlefish tries to keep every plot type separated in its own chapters, it is simply too much, even if each element is very good by itself (especially the cultivation and romance parts, which seem natural and believable). Add to that long chapters (good to keep most fights in one chapter) with pacing problems (mostly due to the overwhelming number of tournaments chapters compaired to other types of action chapters), and you get a story that, while being good, very good in some parts, is also rather heavy to digest, forcing the reader to take breaks regularly (which is a pity, as the food scene are very good ; clearly Cuttlefish is a gourmet). The somewhat abrupt ending is, for this reason, appreciated.

The translation is pretty good, especially for the description during combat, although with (I may be mistaken) some technique names of the side character change from one chapter to the other.

So, in conclusion, Martial Arts Master is clearly an early novel of Cuttlefish That Loves Diving : the characters are excellent, the setting and power system are very good but the plot, although good, is overstuffed and suffers from pacing issues (something the author greatly improved in his next novels). With the few translation problem found there, you got a good story, with some very good parts and some others you really have to push through. Overall, my final verdict is a 7 out of 10. It is obviously above average, but not in the same league as the excellent novel Lord of Mysteries and Throne of Magical Arcana (both 10 out of 10).

I have read a lot of novels and am lookout for new novels with are little different from the norm like Ze Tian ji, WoC etc. This I feel is one of the novels which is written well as is close to best novels Ive read. I have read upto latest chapter and my review can be considered more upto date with little bias.

I think I can provide a decent review having read upto latest 702nd chapter

This novels is about martial arts set in modern world. The martial


arts in this novel is like other sports which is divided into professional level and amateur levels. So expect lot of inter-club, collegiate and country fights. The martial arts is realistic and power of person depends on how intelligently he adapts and uses the techniques he learnt to counter the situation which makes fights interesting. Please dont expect people to destroy planets.

The main character obtains a some-what Cheat item which helps him kick-start his entry into the martial arts. However unfortunately it doesnt help him much later and MC has to solely rely his hard work and comprehension of martial arts to become stronger.

The cheat item is like ignition of the car so dont expect it to be too helpful once the car has started. T

he the story has a solid romance rarely seen in cultivation novels. Even though the main point of the story is about martial arts, the

story focuses on how MC develops as he becomes stronger with terms to his relationships with other characters - friends, love interest, his idols, his fans and his rivals.

No young masters and random xianxia cliches

of MC - he evolves from a newbie in cultivation and interaction with girls to someone who can deal with better. His personality and feelings change as he becomes stronger.

. So many times he has lost and so many times his club, university has lost. So in many fights you dont know what will happen. There are lot of people and peers who challenge MC.

e best romance Ive read in cultivation novel

s. The MC has to struggle hard to woo her and the process of how the relation develops very interesting and long. The best thing is girl acts like any reasonable person unlike, you know, xianxia girls.

Absence of any big cheat. There is a cheat item but that does not play much role in story.

Good dialogues and interactions between different people.

Quite realistic and absence of random powerups or treasures (unlike Invincible, ATG)

Excessive tournaments (but fight scenes are all different and techniques used are different so thats not too bad)

There are lot of chapters dedicated to non-fighting chapters.

MC is not very OP like in ATG, MGA. He is strong but there are always people challenging him.

There are some concerns which have been raised which I want to clarify:

The main purpose is use in fights but MC barely uses it as he doesnt want to rely on it to get stronger. As the story progresses, it becomes more and more irrelevant.

MC is not OP. At first his speed of cultivation is very fast but thats not unusual. (As we learn later) Later cultivation becomes more challenging and there are many peers who are talented and rival him in speed. So, MC is little OP but not OP like ATG or ED and the cultivation and levelups are very realistic and well done.

About the background of girl he is with is not as simple as it appear and it plays important part in story. But some readers make

conclusions too quickly without reading further.

Yes. Initially MC is ignorant about talking girls like some college students. Nothing wrong with it. But with greater interactions with other girls and his GF he improves and is not so awkward with them anymore. This is called character development.

Yes his initial reason for joining is because of the girl. But obviously he later revaluates why he wants to get stronger and is just not only for the girl.

At the end of the day, there are some shortcomings which surely some people will not like but no story can be perfect.I am sad that there are

. I know the rating is only 3.4 because its on qidian. Thats too bad.I feel t

he plot, fights, dialogues etc far are very good to overlook reading this story just

because of some small details (which I dont understand why are even bothersome to some people as thats heavy nitpicking) . The author is well known and has written very good novels, so one can expect quality from him.

Personally I think there are only positive things to say about this novel and pace is quite fast. And once you start it, it very hard to put down. Why I say so?

Quite different to genetic xianxia novel and very realistic and very very few things to complain about.

very very few people who will not like

it. But there are some negative where

eviews even the best things about the novel are written as criticisms

and I dont know what to say other than being pained and writing this long of a review. I have not written lot of reviews. But for this I am forced to write as its very good novel and I dont want people not to read it by being misguided with wrong info provided by other reviewers.I hope the long time I have spent in reviewing will at least force some people to read it.

Come on, this really is a sports novel. If you change the cultivation by bodybuilding then you get a fighting sports novel. And a good one at that. Like romance? Like some good dialogue, some sports, and a little bit of MC OPness? Read it!

Good cast of varied and slightly unique characters;

Characters all feel normal or relatable at least in some way;

Calm, collected story progression, good flow;

Warm fuzzy story of romance and martial arts, warmer than a hot chocolate;

Fast translation pace: 3 chapters per day, and the quality is good;

Cliches out of the window: no arrogant young masters, no need to conflict over everything;

Lack of conflict may make it seem dull to read;

Unexplored world background (not yet at least, were far from the end) ;

Not a very elaborate cultivation system, not much explained.

Overall, not perfect but makes me feel fuzzy and warm and occasionally provides the adrenaline kick only powerful MCs give, 5/5. More detailed explanation down below.

Do some of you seriously downvote every Qidian International published novel? I understand you want to boycot them, but you know whos collateral damage? The author, who wants his novels to be popular (and in my opinion rightfully so) and readers who never learn of this great novel because it gets buried with a low score.

This is for a significant part a romance novel. This is not like Coiling Dragon or Martial World or whatever cultivation novels you think of. Giving a low rating because the novel is not what you want it to be, is so... childish.

As for the romance itself; giving it a low rating because the MC is ignorant of girls is preposterous. Nothing about the romance in this novel is unrealistic. Longtime crushes exist. Calling the MC a stalker is... like... you dont know what a real stalker is. Saying he avoids other girls because he already has a girlfriend is completely unbased. Oh and the guy saying this is like a Japanese novel because of the martial arts and romance: I dont get what youre saying. This guy may be humble, but he actually knows hes good at martial arts. Hes not a self loathing coward or a giant pervert. Hes a pretty normal guy

As for the cheat: in xianxia for example cheats are rampant, for better or worse. In this novel, the cheat is rather unobtrusive. It enhances his attacks with two elements, and improves his stamina. Whether it improves his talent, thats unsure so far. Maybe he really has a lot of innate talent, even without the cheat? For the record, this may be kind of a wish fulfillment novel, but as much as a good romance story is one. Its not like xianxias with uberpowerful MCs that collect harems or revive their parents.

The tournaments: ofcourse there are a lot of tournaments, martial arts is a sport in this novel and sports are tournaments and vice versa...

I just dont get it those ratings... There are legitimate points of criticism but those bad reviews dont mention those at all. On to the real review.

The three genres given earlier are more accurate than whats given by NU. So far, its been a (martial arts) sports story with a sweet, very prominent romance subplot. User ipapotihus is about right, its 45% martial art, 45% romance and 10% bro. There isnt much real cultivation, its mostly martial arts. And the fights are pretty well written.

I like the calm progression in the main characters strength and sports achievements, the slowly but naturally and really well written romance (I was constantly reminiscing about my first love/girlfriend, whats written didnt feel unnatural or unrealistic at all). Its unlike most Chinese webnovels, which is a really good thing. 192 chapters in and its not like hes far from the best martial artist ever. His talent is great, and slowly getting recognized, but thats it.

This is going to be such a warm, fuzzy and satisfying read, I feel it. The calm progression is gonna make me feel real good and when its finally completely translated, Ill reread it (something I rarely do).

This brings me to the last point; most cliches out of the window (apart from the cheat and powerful master). No arrogant young masters, no constant scumbaggery, the character cast doesnt seem like the scum of humanity. The MC is a normal guy, the girlfriend is a beautiful but feisty girl. The people around them feel like real persons with their own quirks as well. The writer could have made the girlfriend a bit less pretty and it wouldnt have been much different. Again, this novel feels normal, feels warm, makes me happy while reading it.

And o thank god dear lord hallelujah not everyone is after the MC because hes together with a really pretty girl, this must be like the first time that happens in a Chinese novel.

The dialogue is great, and the character building is good as well. I didnt instantly forget who everyone was, because even most sidecharacters talk in their own way, or have their own characteristics,... The sidecharacters feel unique, feel alive.

The one thing that might be a black mark is the lack of conflict. This is both a good and a bad point, depending on how you look at it. The conflict in most xianxia novels is luckily absent in this novel, but strangely enough the typical sports rivalry isnt there yet either. The best candidate for a rival, someone in the same martial arts club of the same age, actually isnt a rival at all, more like an acquaintance or even a bit of a friend. Id like maybe some more conflict in the tournaments?

Another problem was that it was difficult sometimes to follow the cultivation system and the ranks. Not much time is invested in explaining ranks, cultivation and techniques.

I also want to know more about the world. How cultivation declined, how techniques were passed on, why the world of martial arts is like it is in the webnovel. So far, not much has been explained but that will probably still come?

How to help a friend, what to say to a girl and when to say it. This title needs to be changed to something like Making friends, While wooing a girl and I am martial arts master. Yeah it sounds Japanese.

Thirty three chapters of low quality fights (mostly by side characters), playful banter between men and an MC desperately chasing after a girl for no other reason than shes pretty.

Anyway my real problem with this story is that it doesnt seem to have an aim other then building fictional relationships. He doesnt want to change his life with martial arts for any other reason than because he had the opportunity to do so.

Yusuke wanted to save a kid from getting run over, naruto wanted to prove himself to the village and Lou Cheng caught a fish! No character depth, no travesty and no reason to care for anything in this story but love and bros!

Before I start my review I just need to say to the future readers to not care about the rating at all. This novel is much better than what the rating suggests. Especially if you want a good, cute lil romance with main focus being martial arts- mostly tournaments. (Martial arts-romance ratio is like %65- %35). And also, the cheat power MC obtains in this novel is not really at the level of being OP. MC certainly becomes strong real fast at the beginning but its already started to slow


down and even though he was and still is getting stronger faster than others, there are still some few rare geniuses who can keep up with him and even stay outside of his reach for a few years to come from how things are looking. His cheat (?) power also doesnt win him the fights at all, its mostly something he has to use for training himself rather than fighting. It can give him energy to keep fighting but it is only pyhsical energy. He still gets tired mentally and he still gets injured (and no it doesnt heal injuries at all) so he has to stop fighting at some point. And he himself knows the best way to utilize this power is to use it for training a lot more than he normally could so in the future he wont need to use any external help at all.

I cant say this novel has the best fighting scenes or technique names but theyre 10 times better than most of the xianxia/xuanhuan novels youll read. So you wont just read about the name of the move and then 10 sentences of how much damage it does or anything like that, no. This novel is much better than that.

Other than that, romance is definitely the strongest point of this story. Its just much better compared to the other chinese novels I couldnt believe this was a chinese novel while I was reading it. Development of their relationship takes time, girl doesnt just fall in love with MC simply because he is talented or praises her for a few times. It takes him several months to be able to get her to see he loves her and kinda say yes to him. And even after that things dont just become like cliche chinese romances. He still has to work hard to keep the relationship steady and strong, he has to be careful with what he does and says so that she doesnt get uncomfortable and other stuff guys have to do in case they are the one who confessed first.

His relationship with his male friends is also well written in my opinion. I read a lot of chinese high school/college life novels and in around %90 of them the relationship with male friends is waay too unrealistic and sappy. The way they act usually make no sense and its usually too childish, but I think author managed to avoid that in this novel. There are still some unnecessariy stuff that happens between MC and his male friends but author stops himself before its too much for you to handle without getting annoyed or bored.

Also, I saw 2 reviews saying the same thing about how the girl MC fell in love with has nothing special about her at all. I mean, what do you expect? Does she always have to be from the strongest family in the martial arts universe or something? Arent you tired of that same sh*t being used over and over again already? Im pretty sure everyone whos complaining about how the girl has nothing special about her except for her beauty has never fallen in love before. You dont fall in love with someone just because they have something special.

Not sure why so many people are giving this 4 stars and up, I would rate this 3 at most atm. I gave this a try after skimming through the reviews, however im starting to regret wasting my time even reading this. Its a chore now to try to read through the end of every chapter.

This MC gains a cheat like ability where he can put very little work in and still become strong vs others thats been training their body for years and decades, okay sure that doesnt sound


too bad since hes the MC and we all like self fulfillment. My problem is how ignorant the MC is with girls. In his mind, he thinks that he should stay away from all females as he already has someone he likes. The MC has been stalking this girl that is from his home town and is crazy over her. Thats his sole reason for joining for martial arts club in the first place, prior to this, the girl that the MC is so in love with didnt even know who he was.

Nothing from the story really catches my attention, we know the MC is op with his cheat ability, however all he thinks about is how to woo this girl whom hes stalked for years. As for the female hes in love with, shes just your typical female, nothing special about her at all.

The Main Character/protagonist is an university student that started off late with his martial arts practice. He joins the university martial arts club, but at first not entirely with pure motives. He actually wants to woe a girl. The way the author slowly weaves the MCs motives and oppurtunity together in a realistic way, coupled with the advise of his friend, just to pursue his dream (s) is truly admirable.

It really gives you the sense of wanting to root for the protagonist. Both in his attempts


to woe the girl and his goals in Martial Arts.

He picked up a Jindan. This helps relieves his fatigue and gives him tremendous endurance to keep going, both in practice and actual fights. It also has a few other nifty side-effects, but thats best left for when youre reading the novel itself.

It doesnt appear overpowered or overly useful except for getting our MC started on his journey to become stronger.

(Jindan = golden egg-like object. Its contained within the body. Most chinese novel readers will be familiar with this term.)

Martial Arts competitions (Tournaments) are prevalent in the MCs world. The MCs fights are actually detailed enough for you to imagine what the fight is like, but still leaves you wondering a bit... since not everything is explicitly explained. Some of the Martial Arts moves have rather flashy names

(thank god theyre not actually shouting out the moves as self-explanatory objects)

. Personally I think the fights are well-written.

Originally I gave this novel 4 stars, but I find myself wanting to read more and more. As it keeps me entertained. I simply gave it a 5 stars.

(might be effected by the many unjustified 1 stars as well)

If youre looking for an entertaining martial arts novel, that actually has some proper romance in it. This is the novel for you. The romance and interactions of the characters is what makes the novel stand out. It feels genuine.

The excessive romance development makes me drop this novel. It has good story and some pretty good fight, but the excessive romance kill it. It is a martial arts novel. Yes we need some romance but if every time he fight, he will flirt with the female lead. What the hell dude.


1. Very well developed romance even better than many romance novels out there. (Im a big sucker for romance and yes Im a guy, so what, gonna bite me???)

2. Deep and realistic character development. (I didnt like MC at first but right now he is one of my favorite MC and also I like female lead too, shes pretty much my type)

3. Intense and interesting fights. (We cant even say if MC will win or not just like audience in the novel. And also this is xuanxuan, in my opinion fights in xuanxuan are better than that in xianxia)

4. Character interactions are great. (My favourite side character is MCs best friend, he is really a genuine love guru, even you learn some points on how woo a girl from his teachings.)

Its literally a CN version ofKing of Fighters (1994) + Historys Strongest Disciple Kenichi (2002).

Its technically shounen. Decent binge read if you have nothing better to do. 3 out of 5 stars.

No idea what all the reviewer grief about Qidian translation turf wars are about. Most reviewers covered a lot of problems so Ill just point the main issues.

As a university freshman, MC has a better...more>

handle on respecting women, which is applaudable compared to most other CN MCs. But for a supposed relationship newbie, MC suddenly becomes incredibly suave just from random words of advice from his best friend. And yethe is incredibly needy, constantly spending every waking/sleeping moment with his love interest. MCs entire life revolves around his gf.

At least Kenichi grew to love martial arts after his initial interaction with the FL, and became a genuine warrior in his own right.

MC Lou Cheng openly states that he wants to be a great martial artist so he can continue pandering/supporting his gf.

Ugh, there are family-men I can respect, but this is kinda ridiculous.

I can understand why some readers really like this, IF you are an adolescent teenager with no relationship experience. Otherwise the lengthy arcs of chapters devoted entirely to cheesy dialogue, romantic banter and a needy-af MC is an incredible pain in the a*s.

You get the sense that author is dictating his cultural norms and relationship experiences to the readers, and all other forms of romantic love besides the way MC does it is inferior, especially since author constantly contrasts other couples relationship against the MCs.

Again, if youre a teenager, that might be interesting but its pretty cringe-worthy for adults.Feels like someone forced me to read Twilight or Hunger Games, declared that its the greatest romance ever, and the readers must be fools if they dont recognize it.

The whole modern martial arts idea is interesting, but poorly developed.

You can easily jump levels and kick someones a*s. There are no real criteria for