Usually executed by charging backwards and then pressing forward (or, in Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike and Chun Li's Alpha uniform in Street Fighter Alpha 2, performing a half-circle forward motion) and punch, Chun Li shoots a small energy ball at an opponent that causes small damage. The Kikoken will not always reach across the entire screen, fizzling out after a certain distance. The distance it travels and its speed are determined by the strength of the punch button used: light punch travels farther and slowly, while the medium punch moves faster, but dissipates quicker, and heavy punch moves even faster, but disappears almost instantly. The EX version inflicts more damage and hits twice, while moving very slowly in SF3:TS, and much faster in SFIV.
In some games such as Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix, the projectile appears much larger in size. In Marvel vs. Capcom 3, this move can be canceled with Heavy into the Kikoanken, which is a powerful short range blast that causes a crumple state and allows for a combo follow-up.
Unlike the projectiles of characters such as Ryu, Ken or Sagat, Chun Li's Kikoken is not effective in a projectile war. Instead, it is better suited to "zoning," or controlling the space between Chun Li and her opponent. By utilizing the different ranges of the Kikoken based on the strength of the punch button pressed, Chun Li can easily keep her opponent exactly where she wants them, allowing her to set up combos.
The Kikoken has changed drastically since it's first appearance in Street Fighter II Turbo. Originally a pair of blue-colored Yoga Fires, it has since been drawn several different ways in various games. Chun Li's pose when throwing a Kikoken also varies based upon the game; to date there are five different poses. In SF3:TS and SFIV she can even throw the Kikoken with one hand.
- In Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, Chun-Li's Kikoken wasn't shown in a scene, but it was added in the Playstation version from the hidden video where Chun-Li launches a Kikoken on Vega during the assassination.