Five Ancestors series by Jeff Stone

The first book only sort of gripped me, but each one got better. I haven't read them all yet, though. My favorite part was way the secrets in the students' pasts unfolded from book to book. None of them remember much about their parents, but they learn as the story goes on. The martial arts stuff was fun- described enough for a novice, but not over explained so that if you already know something about the moves you won't be bored.