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The Crane School is a Martial Arts school founded by Master Shen and taught by Shen and his brother Mercenary Tao. The school presumably continues the teachings of Shen's former sensei, Master Mutaito. The two best students of the Crane School are Tien Shinhan and Chiaotzu.


Dragon Ball[]


Tao and Shen at training

The Crane School is a rival to Master Roshi's Turtle School. Master Shen is also known as the Crane Hermit, like Roshi is known as the Turtle Hermit. The school colors are green and yellow. Its specialties are the Sky Dance and the Dodon Ray. Shen also taught his best student Tien Shinhan the Tri-Beam, a deadly attack that is considered a double-edged sword, which Roshi greatly resented. In addition to Master Shen, Mercenary Tao despite his rivalry with Shen is shown to be affiliated with the school as he knows the Dodon Ray and is shown training Tien in flashbacks.


The harsh training of the Crane School

Originally Tien and Chiaotzu trained under Shen to become assassins. After Mercenary Tao was believed to have perished fighting Goku (in reality he survived and had himself reconstructed into a cyborg), Shen sought revenge on Goku and Master Roshi's Turtle School (who Goku was a student of) with Chiaotzu and Tien. However Master Roshi managed to persuade Tien to seek a more noble path as a martial artist. Shen attempted to kill Goku himself during the final round only to be defeated by Roshi and preventing him from killing Chiaotzu. As a result Tien and Chiaotzu left the school. Shen later discovered his brother was alive and joined forces with him to take revenge on Tien, Chiaotzu, and Goku during the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament. Though Cyborg Tao critically injured Chiaotzu, Tien defeated him and told Shen to stay out of his life.

Dragon Ball Super[]


Yurin's last encounter with Tien and Chiaotzu before they quit studying under Master Shen

It is revealed that in addition to Tien and Chiaotzu, Master Shen trained a female student named Yurin who trained alongside Tien and Chiaotzu. One day she hoped to fight Tien but he was already leaving with Chiaotzu. After Tien and Chiaotzu drop out of Crane School, Yurin goes on to learn witchcraft so she can get her revenge on Tien by turning his students and Master Roshi into Jiang Shi. However her plan is foiled by Tien and Goku. Remorseful for the damage her Jiang Shi caused to a nearby village, Yurin apologizes to the citizens and Tien's students before officially enrolling herself as a student at Tien-Shin Style Dojo.


Intermission 1

In Kakarot, Cyborg Tao and Master Shen (called Crane Hermit in-game) encounter some monster in the Southwest Mountains Area near Mount Paozu after the Saiyan Saga. It gives the Crane Brothers the idea to start a protection racket by offering to protect locals using tales of the monster they saw to convince people to accept their "protection".

Unbeknownst to either brother, they have the misfortune of end up doing this at the home of Chi-Chi and Gohan of the Son family during the period when Goku is still in Wukong Hospital. Chi-Chi however recognizing Tao and Shen from the 23rd World Tournament isn't fooled and sees through their scheme. Gohan however senses that Tao isn't lying about the monster as he can sense a high power nearby and decides to check on it, hoping that by defeating it he can convince the brothers to leave his mother alone.

Gohan finds the monster to be part of a group of Saibamen that have been appearing on Earth ever since the Attack of the Saiyans. Gohan defeats them and returns home to tell Tao and Shen the monster has been dealt with. However Tao and Shen believe he is lying and Tao accidentally admits even he couldn't defeat the monster thus the brother's "protection" would have been good for nothing. Tao then notices Gohan's resemblance to Goku and nervously asks who his father is and his fears are confirmed when he reveals it to be Goku as Tao suspected. Not wanting anything more to do with the freakishly strong Son family, Tao pretends to have business elsewhere and leaves without his brother forcing Shen to run after him.

Frieza Saga Episode 1 & Intermission 2

During either Frieza Saga Episode 1 or the 2nd Intermission after the Frieza Saga, Tao and Shen can be found in certain locations.

In West City near the plaza with a large fountain, Tao and Shen can be found looking out for potential new recruits to join the Crane School. Gohan (Episode 1 & Intermission), Piccolo (Intermission only), or Vegeta (Intermission only) can speak to them and they will try to recruit them by offering an item as an incentive to join (this can only be done once).

Dragon Ball Online[]

Tien creates the New Crane School in Age 821. This school is based on the use of enormous loads of ki and life-sacrificing attacks to damage the enemies which was inspired by Goku's use of the Super Spirit Bomb to destroy Kid Buu which caused Tien to realize that even powerful warriors like Majin Buu could be vanquished by powerful techniques. The New Crane School teaches the two most powerful attacks of the game, Tri-Beam and Self Destruction, which use LP instead of EP; 212 LP and 500 LP, respectively. This makes Crane Spiritualists the greatest DPS, but also one of the most kamikaze class and healer dependent. The character class that represents the New Crane School are the Crane Hermit. However unlike the Crane School and Turtle School, the New Crane School and New Turtle School are not enemies due to the friendship between their respective founders Tien and Krillin, as their schools only differ in martial arts philosophy as the New Turtle School is more centered around teamwork and working. However even if their schools' philosophies differ, members of the two schools are shown to be capable of working together much like their schools' respective founders Tien & Krillin did in the past. Additionally the New Crane School seems to reject the darker methods of the old Crane School and follow a more nobler path much like Tien and Chiaotzu did after rejecting Master Shen's evil methods.

However despite the foundation of the New Crane School, after Cyborg Tao is upgraded into Tao X he keeps Crane School's evil teachings alive through his mentoring of General White Jr. whom Tao X recruits to be General White's successor within the Red Pants Army. Tao X also retains his status as the Earth's #1 assassin (with Hank Earth's #2 assassin) until he is killed by the Time Patrol in Age 1000.

Xenoverse series[]

In Age 850 to Age 852, master of the New Crane School Tien Shinhan assists the Time Patrol by offering lessons to Time Patrollers that pass his Initiation Test allowing them to learn New Crane School skills and training regimen which they put to use defending history and grow as a martial artist. These skills include the Dodon Ray and Tri-Beam/Spirit Tri-Beam as well as Volleyball Fist and Neo Tri-Beam as well as a team attack version called DUAL Neo Tri-Beam. In Xenoverse 2, Tien states that the techniques his school teaches are techniques he learned while training under Master Shen which he improved upon through his own training. Unlike Master Shen, Tien encourages his students to follow their own path and even train under various masters a philosophy he shares with Master Roshi who is known to have trained under both Mutaito and Korin. However it may also be influenced by Tien's own training under various masters such as Shen, Roshi, Kami, and King Kai as he recognizes the importance of following one's own path even if it means training under evil villains such as Frieza and Cell, as he himself benefited from the harsh training under Mercenary Tao and Master Shen.



Crane School Symbol

The symbol of the Crane School 鶴 translates out to the word tsuru, which means "crane." The symbol is worn by Tien, Chiaotzu, and the Crane Hermit, Master Shen, himself.

Known Students[]

  • Mercenary Tao - Master Shen's brother who became the world's greatest assassin. As the school's senior pupil, Tao assisted his brother in training Tien and Chiaotzu. Though he and Shen have a sibling rivalry, Master Shen seeks revenge on Goku for defeating his brother and later joins forces with Tao rebuilt as Cyborg Tao to take revenge on Tien and Chiaotzu for betraying the Crane School only to be defeated at the 23rd World Tournament by Tien after Tao brutalized Chiaotzu during the preliminaries. User of the school's signature Dodon Ray technique and Super Dodon Ray. In Dragon Ball Online, he receives upgraded cybernetics to become Tao X as part of the Red Pants Army and recruits General White Jr.
  • Tien Shinhan - The school's star pupil trained by both Master Shen and his brother. Taught the Sky Dance, Dodon Ray, and Tri-Beam by Master Shen. Later defected from the school during the finals of the 22nd World Tournament which he also won. Eventually became the founder of the Tien-Shin Style Dojo which eventually evolved into the New Crane School in Dragon Ball Online.
  • Chiaotzu - Tien's best friend and fellow pupil trained by both Master Shen and his brother. Taught the Sky Dance and Dodon Ray by Master Shen. Later defected from the school along with Tien during the finals of the 22nd World Tournament. Eventually becomes Tien's assistant in running the Tien-Shin Style Dojo.
  • Yurin - Master Shen's only known female pupil who studied under him during the same period as Tien and Chiaotzu. Views Tien as her rival and was upset by his decision to leave the school causing her to learn Witchcraft to take revenge leading to her attack upon the Tien-Shin Style Dojo but was defeated by Goku and Tien. Later became a student at the Tien-Shin Style Dojo.


  • Dodon Ray - The signature Finger Beam technique of the Crane School originally invented by Mercenary Tao.
    • Full Power Dodon Ray - The original full power version of the Dodon Ray used by Mercenary Tao.
    • Dodon Barrage - A rapid fire version of the Dodon Ray used by Chiaotzu.
    • Super Dodon Wave - A stronger variation of the Dodon Ray used by Mercenary Tao after he was rebuilt as a cyborg. Unlike the original Dodon Ray, the Super Dodon Wave is a energy wave shot from Cyborg Tao's cannon arm.
  • Tri-Beam - A powerful but dangerous energy wave technique that utilizes the user's own life force. As it can potentially kill the user if used recklessly, Master Roshi found it apprehensible that Master Shen taught it to Tien.
  • Solar Flare - A technique developed by Tien that allows the user to create a blinding flash of light that can blind anyone unless their eyes are closed, naturally blind, or they are wearing some form of eye protection that blocks out the light such as sunglasses. It was confirmed to be a Crane School technique in Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot.
  • Pressure Point Attack - A technique where the user attacks the opponent's pressure points. Used by Mercenary Tao to assassinate General Blue.
  • Volleyball Fist - A volleyball inspired rush technique developed by Tien where the user treats their opponent like a volleyball to deliver a three hit rush attack.
  • Sky Dance - The ability to fly by using ki. Master Shen developed this ability which became basis for the Crane School's Sky Dance technique used by Master Shen, Tien, and Chiaotzu. Tao also utilizes this technique in some video games as well. Yurin however never learned it as she uses a jetpack to fly in Dokkan Battle. Master Shen's rival, Master Roshi refuses to learn flight himself out of pride, due to Sky Dance being a technique of the Crane School. However it should be noted that Ki-based Flight predates the foundation of the Crane School and Master Shen's development of Sky Dance, with the ability being relatively common among various alien races such as Saiyans, Namekians, Frieza Race, Majins, wingless Demons, wingless Angels, Core Person, and deities such as the Gods of Destruction.
  • Telekinesis - Chiaotzu's specialty is the ability to manipulate objects and immobilize people with his psychic powers.
  • Telepathy - Master Shen can communicate with his students and Master Roshi using his mind as shown during the 22nd World Tournament.

Clothing & Equipment[]

  • Master Shen's Hat - Master Shen's Crane Hermit cap which features a Crane head which combined with Master Shen's wing-like hairstyle makes it look like a Crane spreading its wings.
  • Sedge Hat - A sedge hat worn by Tien Shinhan during his time as a student of the Crane School.
  • Gi (Crane) - A Gi with the Crane mark on the front and back.

Master Shen and his students wearing their Qipao (Crane)

  • Qipao (Crane) - A Qipap with the Crane mark on the front worn by Master Shen, Tien Shinhan, and Chiaotzu. Also worn by General White Jr. in Dragon Ball Online. Can be seen as the Crane School's equivalent to the Turtle School Uniform.
    • Qipao (Kill You!) - The personalized Qipao of Mercenary Tao. It features a the kanji for Kill ( satsu) on the front and the words "KILL YOU!" printed on the back in English (when it is left uncensored).
  • Ninja Suit (Crane) - A Ninja Suit that features two Crane marks on the front and one on the back.
  • Battle Suit (Crane) - Battle Armor featuring the Crane mark on the front.


  • In Dragon Ball "episode 83", it is shown that Master Shen is on a boat filled with several of other fighters on their way to the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament. Those martial artists are not his students, as Tien and Chiaotzu are the only ones later seen with him at the tournament.
  • The concept of Crane School being rival to the Turtle School is most likely based on the old Japanese saying "鶴は千年、亀は万年" (tsuru wa sennen, kame wa mannen), meaning "As the Crane one thousand years, the Tortoise ten thousand years" where the crane and the turtle represent longevity, fitting Master Roshi's and Master Shen's unusually long lifespans.
  • In addition to Tao's cybernetics, the Crane School has a history of utilizing Robots in various video games, Tao Pai Pai Machines in Kakarot and TPP-EX in Attack of the Saiyans.
  • The Crane School is notable for being a Martial Arts School that specializes in assassination (as Tien and Chiaotzu originally trained to become assassins), presumably due the influence of Mercenary Tao's profession.



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