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Artwork of Ryu firing a Hadoken from Street Fighter II.

The Hadoken (波動拳 Hadōken?, "Surge Fist" or "Wave Motion Fist") is a special attack that originated in Street Fighter. Although technically a ki blast, it is often referred to as a blue "fireball" due to its appearance, despite a few instances of the move actually producing flames. It is one of the most famous special moves in the Street Fighter series, along with the Shoryuken and Tatsumaki. Its most popular users are Ryu, Ken, and Akuma.

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Street Fighter 6
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"Fire a ki blast directly forward. Useful for attacking opponents at range."
Street Fighter 6
Ryu Hadoken

Ryu firing a Hadoken in Street Fighter V.

The basic type of Hadoken is a surging punch in which a fighter's willpower is utilized to focus energy into and through the palms. As the palms are thrust outwards towards the target, a surging energy wave is expelled that results in a punching force traveling through the air in the opponent's direction. In some games, the projectile will have actual "energy hands" inside it. According to the Street Fighter II Official Fanbook, the Hadoken is said to be as warm as normal body temperature, contrary to popular belief that it is a fireball. Depending on its practitioner as well, its force of impact varies; Ryu's Hadoken is said to feel like a hard kick and its pain lingers, while Ken's is said to be like a hard punch but is brief in pain.

The user will usually be immobilized for a short time after performing this move, leaving them vulnerable to counterattack. Certain crossovers allow the basic Hadoken to be used in midair.


The primary use of the Hadoken is to control the horizontal playfield: if thrown at the opponent, they will have to block, jump or use a special attack to counter. In any case, they will have to act, allowing the player throwing the Hadoken to potentially counter.

The speed of the Hadoken is determined by which punch button is pressed. The Light Punch version travels the slowest, while the Heavy Punch version travels the fastest. The EX version hits the opponent twice, leading to a knockdown.

Alternatively, the opponent can perform a projectile attack of their own, including another Hadouken, negating the Hadouken. In mid range, the Hadoken also works as a poke to supplement one's footsies. Though in some games, it can be Super Cancelled into supers such as the Shinku Hadoken without the projectile having to connect.


Wave Motion

Wave Motion Gun & Wave Motion Fist (from Space Battleship Yamato and Super Street Fighter II, respectively).

Takashi Nishiyama, the creator of the original Street Fighter, credits the 1974-'75 anime Space Battleship Yamato, in which the titular battleship has a mighty weapon called the "Hadōhō" ("Wave Motion Gun/Surge Cannon") as the origin of the Hadoken. In crossover games, Shinku Hadoken turns into a laser-like beam just like the Wave Motion Gun.[1]

Dragon Ball Goku Kamehameha gif

The Kamehameha from the original Dragon Ball, which the Hadoken shared very similar techniques.

The Hadoken have also been most likely inspired by the infamous "Kamehameha Wave" from the Dragon Ball series, which was created in 1984. Both special attacks have identical hand movements as they charge up (the position of the hands themselves are placed slightly different between them) and are also fired the exact same way. The Kamehameha, however, in comparison to the Hadoken, is of a powerful laser-like ki energy blast like the aforementioned "Hadōhō" rather than a fireball-like projectile. Ironically, the Shinku Hadoken is identical to the Kamehameha in some games such as the Marvel vs. Capcom series.

Different variants of the Hadoken[]

  • Gohadoken (豪波動拳 Gō Hadōken?, "Great Surge Fist"): A much more powerful and potentially deadly variant used by those who have fully tapped into the Hado (either the Satsui no Hado or its toned down counterpart).
    • Bolt Hadoken: An even more powerful variant of the Gohadoken, used only by Cyber Akuma.
  • Zanku Hadoken (斬空波動拳 Zankū Hadōken?, "Slashing Air Surge Fist"): This is an aerial Hadoken which travels diagonally down and towards the opponent, first used by Akuma.
    • Zanku Bolt Hadoken: Cyber Akuma's more powerful version of Zanku Hadoken.
  • Shakunetsu Hadouken (灼熱波動拳 Shakunetsu Hadōken?, "Scorching Heat Surge Fist"): A Hadoken which is imbued with the power of fire. The user can launch from one to three depending on the strength of the punch button, and some versions may inflict multiple hits. It is also known as the Red Hadoken. Akuma's version is also called "Hell Hadoken" in Brazil.
  • Gorai Hadoken (轟雷波動拳 Gōrai Hadōken?, "Booming Thunder Surge Fist"): An electric Hadoken used by Oni.
  • Shinku Hadoken (真空波動拳 Shinkū Hadōken?, "Vacuum Surge Fist"): A super-charged Hadoken that, when executed, can hit the opponent multiple times and destroy other projectiles launched by the opponent. It is much more powerful than a normal Hadoken in that it is coated with a layer of vacuum. Some versions cause it to be fired as a beam instead.
  • Metsu Hadoken (滅・波動拳 Metsu Hadōken?, "Perish Surge Fist"): Using the energy of the Satsui no Hado, Ryu charges a Hadoken that is likely one of the most powerful variants of the move.
  • Messatsu Gou Hadou (滅殺豪波動? "Annihilating Great Surge"): A more powerful version of the Gohadoken, similar to the Shinku Hadoken, that uses massive amounts of the Satsui no Hado. In the Street Fighter III series, it is depicted as being a few times larger than a regular Hadoken.
    • High Mega Gou Beam: Cyber Akuma's variant of the Messatsu Gou Hadou.
  • Tenma Gou Zankuu (天魔豪斬空? "Heaven Demon Great Slashing Air"): A more powerful version of the Zanku Hadoken.
    • Thunder Gou Shower: Cyber Akuma's version of the Tenma Gou Zanku.
  • Meido Gohado (冥恫豪波動 Meidō Gō Hadō?, "Dark Painful Great Surge"): A more powerful variant of the Gohadoken, used by Oni as his first Ultra Combo.
    • Messatsu Gou Zanku: The Meido Gohado fired air-to-ground.
    • Messatsu Gou Tenha: The Meido Gohado fired ground-to-air.
  • Denjin Hadouken (電刃波動拳 Denjin Hadōken?, "Electric Blade Surge Fist"): A chargeable Hadoken that electrifies the defender, stunning them momentarily.
  • Double Hadoken (双龍波動拳 Sōryū Hadōken?, "Twin Dragon Surge Fist"): This version of the Hadoken was invented by Ryu and Ken and involves both fighters launching their Hadoken which fuse together into a single, larger, and more powerful projectile. Though originally debuted in Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie (though unnamed at the time), the technique was later reintroduced in Project × Zone 2 as Ryu and Ken's Multi-Attack.
  • Ren Hadoken (連波動拳 Ren Hadōken?, "Chain Surge Fist"): A new variation of the Hadoken developed by Ryu in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Here, he can fire off five Hadokens in quick succession instead of one, albeit with poor range which seems to extend only slightly further than Dan's Gadoken with Heavy Punch/Fierce Punch.
  • Baku Hadoken (爆波動拳 Baku Hadōken?, "Bursting Surge Fist"): Another new move developed by Ryu in Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. He is able to charge the Hadoken and once he releases it, it vanishes from sight, reappearing a split second in front of the opponent and promptly detonates with explosive force.
  • Gadoken (我道拳 Gadōken?, "Self Way Fist"): A move used by Dan. It has the same input as the Hadoken, but it is significantly weaker, and has a shorter range. This is the result of Dan's short training under Gouken.
    • Shinku Gadoken (震空我道拳 Shinkū Gadōken?, "Quaking Air Self Way Fist"): A stronger variation of the Gadoken which also travels further.
    • Haoh Gadoken (覇王我道拳 Haō Gadōken?, "Supreme King Self Way Fist"): A variant of the Gadoken used by Dan as his Ultra Combo II in Super Street Fighter IV onward.
  • Raiko Hadoken (雷光波動拳 Raikō Hadōken?, "Lightning Surge Fist"): This variant of the Hadoken was invented by Ryu and introduced in Street Fighter V. It can be described as a blue Hadoken with a golden electrical charge at the head. This type of Hadoken can only be accessed when Ryu activates the Denjin Renki (電刃練気 "Electric Blade Refined Qi"?). This projectile attack will cause a hard knockdown with every successful hit and can be charged for additional power and effect, causing a guard crush once fully charged.
  • Sekia Goshoha (赤鴉豪焦破 Sekia Gōshōha?, "Red Crow Great Char Blast"): This version of the Hadoken was invented by Akuma and introduced in Street Fighter V. While identical to his traditional Shakunetsu Hadoken in many ways, the Sekia Goshoha differs in the manner in which Akuma prepares the projectile. As he initiates the move, Akuma channels his ki through both hands and ignites fiery spheres which are combined into a single projectile. This method alters the move very little as the properties and effects of the projectile remain virtually identical to Akuma's traditional Shakunetsu Hadoken.
  • Sen Hadoken (閃・波動拳 Sen Hadōken?, "Flash Surge Fist"): This variant of the Hadoken was invented by Ryu and introduced in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. This technique is identical to Ryu's traditional Hadouken. However, the charge is held and amplified momentarily before release, shooting as a beam bolt instead of the traditional wave.
  • Tengyo Hadoken (天仰波動拳 Tengyō Hadōken?, "Heaven Seeking Surge Fist"): A new version of Hadoken made by Sakura in Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter (referred to as the regular Hadoken for Sakura in that game), this version of the move got it's name in Rival Schools: United by Fate and involves firing an anti-air Hadoken, not unlike Gouken's medium and strong Gohadoken.
  • Taka Hadoken (鷹波動拳 Taka Hadōken?, "Hawk Surge Fist"): A variant of the Hadoken found exclusively in Power Rangers: Legacy Wars used by Ryu Ranger. According to the data file on the attack, it combines Ryu's Hadou with energy from the Crimson Hawk Power Coin's connection to the Morphin Grid. This creates an energy construct of a burning hawk that strikes the target into the air. In Super Mode, it strikes a second time.




Artwork of Ryu firing a Kadoken from Street Fighter II.

Ryu focuses more on the Hado principle of the fighting style, which makes him very skilled with his usage of ki. Some of Ryu's more powerful attacks are variations of the Hadoken technique. As time progressed, Ryu's version became the most outstanding of its practitioners, with superior speed and recovery time compared to his rivals. Because of his training, his Hadoken's forms are depicted as "transcending" its usual "flying fists" form.

In some games, he has an exclusive "fake-out" Hadoken, executed by doing a quarter circle forward and pressing the taunt button and is known as the Hado no Kamae (波動の構え? Stance of the Surge). By doing so, Ryu will simply do the hand thrusting motion for a Hadoken, not firing it.



Ken firing a Hadoken in Street Fighter V.

Ken is also a student of Gouken alongside his partner and best friend Ryu. However, although he possesses the ability to manipulate ki, he has chosen to focus on developing moves and techniques more in line with his speed-oriented fighting style. He is a little faster than Ryu, but not as strong in Hado arts. His Hadokens are depicted as the basic but correctly attained form that shows the "flying fists", and in crossovers his Zanku Hadoken is done one handed, sharing this trait.

In the crossover games, he gains various types of Hadoken, such as the Shinku Hadoken.

Evil Ryu[]

SSFIV 2011-07-03 13-33-35-17

Evil Ryu firing a Hadoken against Oni.

Evil Ryu has access to many versions of the Hadoken that his normal counterpart have. His Hadokens are manifested purely with the Satsui no Hado empowering them, with later installments showing them wreathed in dark purple flames.



Akuma firing a Gohadoken in Street Fighter V.

Akuma infuses his Hadokens with the Satsui no Hado, giving them the potential to truly kill an opponent by concussive and life-threatening force. Akuma is the first to demonstrate the ability to use the Zanku Hadoken. Given the amount of Hadoken variations Akuma can conduct, he appears to be far more proficient in this move than Ryu.


Cyber-Akuma, due to his cybernetic enhancements, soundly surpasses Akuma. His Gohadokens and Zanku Hadokens, dubbed Bolt Hadoken and Zanku Bolt Hadoken are much larger visually, more damaging, and have lesser startup and recovery. Like Shin Akuma, he can launch two Zanku Bolt Hadokens at once. His variation of the Tenma Gou Zankuu, the Thunder Gou Shower, has him send down a barrage of 32 Bolt Hadokens at once. His counterpart to the Messatsu Gou Hadou is the High Mega Gou Beam, which is more damaging than the original with almost no startup.

  • Bolt Hadoken
  • Zanku Bolt Hadoken
  • Thunder Gou Shower
  • High Mega Gou Beam


Akuma's Hadoken variants change after his transformation to Oni; he now fires a one-handed Hadoken similar to Gouken, which can also be charged. Fired uncharged, the Hadoken will only travel part way to the opponent but at a full charge, they can cover the full range of any Hadoken. Oni also possesses the Gorai Hadoken, which replaces the Shakunetsu Hadoken, and is filled with electricity instead of flames. Compared to Evil Ryu and Akuma, his Hadokens are pitch black and an abyssal dark blue, to show his infernal nature.

He also possesses a stronger version of the Messatsu Gou Hadou, called the Meido Gohado. This massive Hadoken can be fired in 3 ways: on the ground, horizontally and vertically, or in the air, at a downward angle. Each variation bears a different name: Meido Gohado (shot straight), Messatsu-Gotenha (shot upwards), and Messatsu-Gozanku (shot down from the air at the angle).



Sakura firing a Hadoken in Street Fighter V.

Sakura Kasugano has an imperfect Hadoken, since she is not trained in the Hado-style and instead learned by imitating Ryu's attacks.[2] She can charge her Hadoken, though the longer she charges, the shorter it reaches. Even with no charge, the projectile does not go too far. However, the damage it inflicts is great. It also gives her a frame advantage on block. Sakura also has the Tengyo Hadoken, which she can fire diagonally upwards as an anti-air attack. She also has the Nekketsu Hadoken where she immediately charges the Hadoken with a pink color and fires it with great force and speed, dealing insane amounts of damage as a result.


Sean Matsuda appears to have a powerful Hadoken, but it is not fully mastered yet, and he has yet to fully understand how to manipulate ki. Unlike the other fighters, who have the original technique and some variations available for use, Sean has the Hado Burst Super Art as his only projectile.


Allen Snider has a self-developed Hadouken based on Ken's.



Dan using Gadoken

Dan Hibiki uses the Gadoken, which is a move likely based on what little of the move he learned while training under Gouken. He gains the Shinku Gadoken with the similarity of a Shinku Hadouken except it is a short distance fireball to close-range combat. He also gains the Haoh Gadoken in Super Street Fighter IV, which is similar to Ryu's Shinku Hadoken, and also parodies the Haoh Shoukou Ken used by Ryo in Art of Fighting and The King of Fighters. The distance of a regular Gadoken depends on how strong the punch button was pressed. Also, Dan can use the EX Gadoken, which boosts the range of the blast.



Gouken's Hadoken in Street Fighter IV.

Gouken deploys Hadokens based on his belief that martial arts were meant for self-defense. He uses only one hand for his regular Hadoken in Street Fighter IV (a reference to the "Sheng Long" rumors), and can also fire them straight as well as upwards (depending on the strength of the punch button pressed). His Hadokens can also be charged by holding down a punch button after executing them, allowing them to strike twice when fully charged. The EX version involves him firing two Hadokens at the same time, with one going straight and the other in the air. He does, however, use two hands for the Denjin Hadoken, in order to control the Hadoken while he charges it before releasing. Compared to his students and brother, while he does not have many offshoots and variations of the Hadoken move, his Hadokens are indicative of being extremely well honed and trained to the point of forming perfect spheres of ki, and in regards to his former student Dan, the "true" way to perform one handed Hadokens, showing "proper" mastery of the technique.



Kage fires a Hadoken at Akuma.

Kage also uses the Hadoken. Similar to Akuma, he infuses his Hadokens with the Satsui no Hado. Kage can fire the Hadoken slightly faster than Ryu. However, one of the difference is that Kage releases the Hadoken with one hand. The dark energy also does not leave his hand, similar to M. Bison's Psycho Blast. The EX version does put the opponent in a crumple state, giving Kage a free opportunity to extend the combo and inflict more damage.

He also can release the Hadoken while airborne, similar to Zanku Hadoken, except that he can only do so after jumping forward. Only this time, when Kage fires the Airborne Hadoken, it travels horizontally across the screen, compared to Akuma's who releases the fireballs at a downward angle.


For more sprites, see: Hadoken/Sprites






Ken-sf2-hadoken Ken-alphafireball Sf3kenhadouken2.gif




Akuma-fireburn Akumapockethado Akuma-motm-super

Cyber Akuma[]

Bolt Hadoken










Ryu and ken hadoken double hit


Game artwork and screenshots[]



Pop Culture[]


Animation of Ryu and Ken performing a Double Hadoken towards the screen, from the intro of Street Fighter Alpha 2.

See: Hadoken/Pop Culture

The Hadoken, Shoryuken, and Tatsumaki are the Street Fighter series' most iconic attacks. The Hadoken itself is often featured in the intros of various Street Fighter games, usually at the end of the attract sequence. This trend started from Super Street Fighter II and has carried on to the more recent Street Fighter V.


  • There has always been a debate of the proper spelling of the attack's name (Hadoken or Hadouken), though the extra u exists due to an extended vowel in the furigana of the attack's name.
  • Sakura is currently the only female character that is shown to be able to use the Hadoken (aside from Rogue in X-Men vs. Street Fighter, who can only use it after doing her Power Drain move on Ryu), despite being imperfect.
  • Fei Long's win quote to Gouken in Super Street Fighter IV indirectly references the amount of Hadoken users and variants ("Just how many of you Hadoken throwers are there?").
  • So far only in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, Ryu's Hadouken has differing startup times depending on the version used (L is the soonest while H starts up the latest).


  1. - The Man Who Created Street Fighter Archived from The original
  2. It's not like Sakura never did strange things before, but this time Kei really doesn't get her: apparently, what got her interested in street fights was one particular street fighter - so Sakura calls him - that she once saw as she was going to school. (さくらの奇行は今にはじまったことてはないが、今度のは本当に理解できない。なんでも、通学途中にみかけたストリートファイタ)
    from All About Street Fighter Zero 2 page 150.
  3. The original assassination fist! Ryu and Ken's master, Gouken's master! He is the creator of Hadoken and Shoryuken! (元祖暗殺拳!リュウとケンの師匠、剛拳の師匠!波動拳、昇龍拳の生みの親なのだ!) from Character picture book 027: Todoroki

External links[]