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.
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. 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 attempt to kill Goku failed and he was defeated by Roshi, 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
In Dragon Ball Super, 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.
Dragon Ball Online
Main articles: Dragon Ball Online and New Crane School 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.
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.
- 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.