Drew is a Fantasy-LitRPG author and a blogger. He enjoys binge reading manwha, manhua, manga, and webtoons to fight boredom.
Why Read Martial Arts Manhwa and Webtoons?
What type of Korean manhwa will get your heart pumping the most? The martial arts genre! As a long-time reader of manhwa and webtoons, I have yet to be let down by a martial arts story.
From the art to the plot and characters, these action-packed webtoons are high in quality. And as the quality standards rise, the fan base for the genre also increases.
If you're looking for a thrilling read, then this manhwa list is for you. Here are the 23 best martial arts manhwa (in my opinion) to energize your day. Sit down, read, and enjoy!
The Top 21 Martial Arts Manhwa (Webtoons) You Should Read
- Murim Login
- Nano Machine
- Heavenly Demon Reborn
- Undefeatable Swordsman
- The Breaker Series
- Fist of Mount Hua
- Volcanic Age
- Return of the Mount Hua Sect
- Legend of Asura: The Venom Dragon
- I Reincarnated as the Craze Heir
- The Return of the Crazy Demon
- Father Unrivaled (Peerless Dad)
- Master of Lightning Knives (Lightning Decree)
- Memoir of the King of War
- Tale of a Scribe Who Retires to the Countryside
- Doctor’s Rebirth
- The Stormy Inn
- Chronicles of the Martial God’s Return
- The Grand Mudang Saga
- The Girls of the Wild
1. Murim Login
In an era of monsters and hunters, cash-strapped hunter Jin Tae-Kyung picks up a strange VR machine. This mysterious machine leads him to the path of cultivation and Murim.
Spiced up with comedy and intrigues, this story will glue you to your chair. Despite looking like a massive mess, it will prove you wrong again and again.
My Rating: Murim Login is an 8/10. It's an outstanding mix of cultivation and dungeon manhwa. The art style and plot will keep you captivated. The interactions between the characters are pure gold. It's a must-read.
2. Nano Machine
Yeo-Woon-Cheon’s mother died early, succumbing to the dreadful schemes of his father’s other wives. But he lucks out when his descendant from the future injects him with nano-machines. And when nano-technology meets Murim, it’ll be a bloodbath.
If you’re into fast-paced, action-packed, face-slapping manhwa, then this is a story you mustn’t miss.
My Rating: Nano Machine is a revenge trope done right. The characters have clear goals that will make you stick with them through thick and thin. Though the plot is bloody and edgy, the payoffs will make you pump your fist in celebration. And don’t get me started on the art; it has top-standard panels. I’ll rate it 9/10.
3. Heavenly Demon Reborn
After falling into a trap, Woon-Seong has no choice but to watch his master die a gruesome death. In the end, he also fails to escape, dying a dog's death.
But fate always has other plans. Woon Seong wakes up as a child, training to be a soldier of the Demon Sect. But can his righteous spear arts and demonic arts harmonize together?
My Rating: Heavenly Demon Reborn shines above the other cultivation revenge manhwas. I’ll give it an 8/10. The plot is straight as an arrow but still delivers the chills. The character build-ups are solid, and their personalities aren’t one-dimensional. The only weakness I can see here is the art. It’s not bad, but compared to other martial arts manhwa, it pales.
4. Undefeatable Swordsman
Despite his wish to become a martial master, Sung Woo-Moon can only dream. With his frail physique, forget martial arts. He can only live as a lowly innkeeper and inherit his family’s business.
But on one fateful night, a mysterious guest arrives at their inn to eat. With no money on hand, the guest offers a painting as payment. A mysterious painting that’ll lead Woo-Moon to the world he always desired.
My Rating: The art style is apt for a martial arts series, showing great potential in the first chapters. But even though it started strong, it soon faltered along the midway slog. It isn’t bad and far better than manhua trash. Still, the character growth and the plot payoff have failed to impress. I’ll rate it 7/10.
5. The Breaker Series
When Shi-Woon, a frail and helpless bullied high schooler, verges closer to suicide, he turns to ask the help of his new teacher Chun-Woo. But unbeknownst to him, his teacher, behind his kind mask, is but the Murim’s Nine-Arts Dragon—a wanted man.
If you like shounen martial arts manhwa tinged with drama and intrigues, then you find the right one. No joke, I read it when I was still in high school. Years had passed and every time I read, it never gets old.
My Rating: The Breaker Series is a recommended masterpiece. A time-stumping classic among the heaps of Korean martial arts manhwa. The character development, the plot progression, pay-off, and the world-building are captivating. So here, please take this well-deserved 10/10.
6. Fist Demon of Mount Hua
Dam-Ho is nobody in Mount Hua. Just a poor lad who survived a bandit raid, destined for the life of mediocrity because of his lame leg.
Though lacking in talent, he has an unquenchable tenacity. Despite all odds, he never stopped his training to become a martial artist. But where will a lame man’s unyielding heart lead him in the future?
My Rating: At first glance, Fist Demon of Mount Hua seems just another low-budget cliched revenge story. But damn, this manhwa keeps proving me wrong. A hidden gem. The character and the plot progression have kept me on my toes throughout the read. The art is simple but delivers. It’s so well-done I must give this an unexpected 8/10.
7. Volcanic Age
After surviving the Murim's upheaval through sheer luck, Joo Seo-Cheon soon became Mount Hua’s great elder. Though his life looked glorious, it was also full of guilt, shame, and regret.
On his deathbed, he couldn’t help but reminisce about his friends and loved ones. As he closed his eyes, a twist of fate changes everything. He returns to the past.
My Rating: Volcanic Age is another second-chance martial arts manhwa. The story’s chief strength is its simplicity. It's easy to follow and read, but that also became its weakness. The main character’s plot armor became too overpowered. Then the rinse and repeat cycle of power-up, fight, lose, and win wore me out. I’ll rate it 7/10.
Jiwoo is a kind-hearted and bright boy who has a heart for stray cats. But one day, he saves an injured Garfield-sized yellow cat. He thought it is but an unlucky feline. Then the fat kitty talked. Dirty.
Unbeknown to Jiwoo, his new talking cat is one of the most powerful ability users on the planet. The infamous world’s worst battle junkie, Kayden Break. Read it, I promise you won’t regret it.
My Rating: A brilliant 10/10! It has amazing art, captivating world-building, and interesting characters. Then add that solid plot progression with the right amount of slap jokes and you’ll get this masterpiece. One of the best martial arts manhwa recommendations I can give right now.
9. Return of the Mount Hua Sect
Sword Saint Chung Myung died fighting against the leader of the demonic cult, Cheonma. It was a battle that led to the death of thousands of martial artists.
He wakes up a hundred years later in the body of a young kid. Thus, he returns to Mount Hua Sect only to discover the sect in its dying throes. Can Chung Myung bring back his beloved sect to its former glory?
My Rating: This super-tier martial arts goodie. A 10/10. Great art style spiced further by funny micro-expressions. The plot is straightforward, but hooky and never boring. Plus, the hyped scenes will keep you wanting more. The main character’s antics will also keep you high with laughs. If it isn’t obvious, this is one of the best martial arts manhwa you must read.
10. Legend of Asura: The Venom Dragon
How to make a vengeful asura after your ass? Step one, kill a young boy’s parents via poison. Step two, deprive him of his freedom. The last step, annihilate his sect and feed him poison every day. I mean, what can go wrong with that?
And of course, Legend of Asura is a revenge story. Who could have known?
My Rating: Despite all the sarcasm, I’ll rate this 8/10. The art style is stunning. The characters are interesting. Still, I have a bit of a gripe about the main character’s overbearing titanium-plated plot armor.
11. I Reincarnated as the Crazed Heir
Despite being the virtuous and talented son of the Murim Alliance Leader, Jagak Yang hasn’t survived the assassination of his rivals. Yet, he never expected that he’ll live again.
He transmigrates into the body of the crazed heir of the Demon Cult, Cheonso Ma—a wastrel, self-centered, and lustful demon. How can a virtuous man cope with his new life and stinky reputation?
My Rating: I’ll give this 7/10. The characters and art delivery is nothing short of the top tier. However, this martial arts manhwa seems to have fallen victim to the dreaded ‘where-am-I-going’ plot problem. Though it isn’t bad, it has fallen short of what it could have been.
12. The Return of the Crazy Demon
Mad Demon Jaha Lee has always dreamed of becoming the greatest martial arts expert in the world. Too bad his dreams have to end after stealing the demon cult’s treasure. Chased to death and left with no choice, he jumps into a cliff. He thought he will die. And he did.
Fortunately, he returns to the past. The days when he is but a bullied innkeeper. The crazy demon’s first reaction upon transmigration? To kick some bloody ass.
My Rating: Take this 10/10, please. Alright folks, look and read, this is how you make a crazy demon. This top-tier martial arts manhwa has it all—dead-funny characters, a well-paced plot, and super-tier art filled with sperm-eyes (you know a manhwa’s going to kick ass when you see it well-done).
13. Father Unrivaled (Peerless Dad)
Gajang Noh isn’t your normal martial artist. He is strong, sincere, and humble. Plus he has triplets. Cute ones, I say.
Father Unrivaled isn’t about a muscle-for-brains nut-job out for world domination. Slay the thought. Instead, it is the stirring journey of a widowed man as he raises his three little kids in the world of Murim. Exciting isn’t it?
My Rating: Though slow-paced, this must get its well-deserved praise. A solid 10/10. This classic doesn’t conform to the normal martial arts mold. It is sweet when it needs to, thrilling and kicks ass at the right turns, and bittersweet at unexpected moments. The plot, characters, and world-building are high-tier. A top recommended martial arts manhwa.
14. Master of Lightning Knives (Lightning Decree)
Ryu-Yeon thought meeting a powerful martial master will help him make the best out of his life. But he is wrong. Dead wrong. After all, his master is but a sadistic jackass that pushes his disciple into life-threatening situations.
But that’s not the end of it. He is also forced to do laundry, cook meals, and gender-bend to work for their meals. Damn, he never thought having a master is one tough job.
My Rating: I’ll rate this manhwa 9/10. Master of Lightning Knives has solid humor. The interactions between the master and disciple kept me giggling throughout the read. The main character also isn’t a bastard cloak in plot armor. His progress is believable and relatable while his growth is justifiable.
15. Memoir of the King of War
Ready to fulfill his master’s last wish, Dan Sa-Yu finally frees himself from years of isolation. He'll traverse the lands as the last master of the Heaven Artillery Arts—Goryeo’s most powerful martial arts.
How will his sudden appearance change the Central Continent’s status quo? If you’re into edgy and thrilling martial arts adventures, then this is for you.
My Rating: It deserves an 8/10. Memoir of the King of War offers nothing new in the martial arts manhwa niche. It’s a great sample of a trope delivered right. It also owns vivid fight scenes that can get your blood pumping. The first arc starts slower than expected, but if you pass through it, you’ll get a gem.
16. Tale of a Scribe Who Retires to the Countryside
When a depressed failed scholar puts an idea on a tough-looking dud in a pub, you know something is about to go wrong.
Son Bin, the poor scholar, is soon forced to record the last journey of the world’s greatest martial artist. Despite his reluctance, he soon discovers it is but a journey of a lifetime. In the end, the weak scholar even finds himself transformed into a peerless martial arts master.
My Rating: Want a hidden gem? Here you go. Despite its lousy title, this martial arts manhwa is a top-tier good. A 9/10. The plot and its delivery are nothing but marvelous. It also has a fluid art that kept the pace well and lovely. The characters aren’t superficial cardboards but have real depth.
17. Doctor’s Rebirth
Jin Cheonhee has spent his career as a doctor working in war zones. In the end, he finally met death when a civil war broke out during a mission. But fate plays in strange ways and he gets transmigrated into a novel he had read.
But how will a former war physician fare in Murim? Especially as the only disciple of the famous White Dragon Godly Doctor.
My Rating: I’ll rate it 8/10. Doctor’s Rebirth is an exceptional mix of isekai, Murim, and medical expertise. The art looks good while the plot is simple but catchy. I also appreciate the main character’s dedication to his field of choice. And thank goodness, he uses his head and conscience, unlike most of the testosterone-boosted main characters.
18. The Stormy Inn
Tired of being an instrument of bloodbath and killing, Zhang Qilin retires from the army, pursuing his desire to live an ordinary life. A desire that leads him to buy an inn and become its innkeeper.
But in a street full of business rivals, can an inexperienced war veteran live the simple life he always wanted?
My Rating: I’ll give this martial arts manhwa an 8/10. Though the main character is a bit overpowered, he doesn’t bash heads just because he can. Rather, he admits his mistakes and learns when he can. In this bloody martial arts genre, it's rare to have such a conscientious main character.
19. Chronicles of the Martial God’s Return
Demon. Slaughterer. Martial God Dam Woohyun’s reputation isn’t for show and his power is not mere hearsay. Wherever he goes, blood follows. Thus, scared of his strength, the sages ended up tricking him, sealing him with all their abilities.
A millennium passed, and he is released from his seal. But his life shifts anew when an orphaned girl lets him experience a kindness he will never forget.
My Rating: Chronicles of the Martial God’s Return is an 8/10 goodie. Simple but apt art style. But what makes it stand out is its fluid storytelling. The main character’s interactions with his newly adopted daughter are gold.
20. The Grand Mudang Saga
What will happen when the vilest man in Murim transmigrates into the body of a young monk? Trouble. Now surround him with gentle oldies. His evil qualities? Purged.
How will the reincarnation of the supreme dark leader affect the righteous Mudang Sect? Will he usher it anew? Or will he destroy it?
My Rating: It is so fun to read how the old buddies thwart Jinmu’s quest for world domination. This martial art manhwa will make you laugh your guts out. A solid 9/10. Great art, humorous characters, and fulfilling plot arcs; this goodie doesn't disappoint.
21. The Girls of the Wild
Song Jae-Gu is a cash-strapped but hard-working young man. One day, he lucks out and receives a rare full scholarship in the Wild High—a prestigious former all-girls High School focused on fighting sports. Yeah, it's a bloody high school full of cute, but dangerous ladies.
But after accidentally offending the champion of Wild High—the Bloody Queen, Yoon In-Gyi, his scholarship soon hangs in balance.
My Rating: Astounding art? Check. Catchy plot? Hooked. Lovable characters? Very. The Girls of the Wild is among the first webtoons I have read. Years passed and the quality of its fight scenes remains up on the ladder. A classic worth 9/10.
The martial arts genre has always been a staple in the comic community. And the rise of heart-thumping Korean manhwa proves it can still go further.
On a side note, this list doesn’t contain everything. There are still lots of hidden gems out there waiting for us to discover. And if I find a new one, I’ll update these recommendations. For now, enjoy this long list of manhwas!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Drew Agravante