The Power of Nothingness (無の拳 Mu no Ken?, "Fist of Nothingness") is a light energy-based force known for its use by Gouken, Ryu and, to a lesser extent, Ken Masters. It is the antithesis of the Satsui no Hado, which is mainly used by Akuma.
The Power of Nothingness is a state of consciousness transcending ordinary perspective, born through spiritual and mental refinement. Bearing common traits with states of being within Buddhism, martial arts, and spiritual perfection, it is the power to act without being attached to emotions and thought, free of fear, anger, pride, and ego, to draw upon the contents of one's heart intuitively without obstacle and hesitation, and to be aware of the world and to know one's place and meaning within its vastness, to flow with all of creation without the need of worry, desire, and doubt.
It is the complete opposite of the Satsui no Hado. As such, it can only be used by a person of pure mind, compassion, mercy and peace. Such a person must have embraced the peaceful and spiritual aspect of the art to their fullest extent. Just like the Satsui no Hado, it makes a person unbelievably powerful, granting invincibility (spiritually and physically) to many attacks, as well as sealing off evil power and making the user a stronger fighter.
Gouken has practiced with this power throughout his years of training with Goutetsu, and after he had completed his training and left his master to begin his own dojo. He is the only one who has used this power in battle in the games, as shown by his "Shin" form. Ryu and Ken have awakened this power, but only Ryu has mastered it as of the events of Street Fighter V, capable of using it to render his soul incapable of consumption by Necalli and capable of defeating M. Bison's Psycho Power. Ryu identifies the Power of Nothingness, not as the power to defeat one's enemies, but as the power to grow in skill, completely distinct from the Satsui no Hado.
Street Fighter mainline seriesEdit
Near the beginning of the animated movie Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind, Ryu said to himself that he sought a power better than the Satsui no Hado, but has no clue what it is, all the while arguing with Akuma's voice in his mind.
Later, when Crimson Viper refused to tell Ken where his wife was and attacked him with an electric fist - which had sent Ryu reeling even while blocking it - Ken awakened the Power of Nothingness, repulsing C. Viper with a single block while keeping a resolute and justice-driven expression. C. Viper retreated and reported back to the CIA; her undercover identity as S.I.N. agent "Maya" was useless now that Ken could defeat her easily. C. Viper noted to Ken before she left that while Ryu using the Satsui no Hado was impressive, Ken was "no slouch" with the new power he showed, relatively. Ken realizes after reuniting with his wife that he has a power that comes from protecting the ones he loves, and that he would never need the Satsui no Hado, even if he had the talent for using it.
Near the movie's climax, Seth was trying to force Ryu to use the Satsui no Hado. Seth questions why Ryu, a man who seeks power, keeps the Satsui no Hado's power locked inside - as he described it, power was the natural human inclination to trample on others and the natural destruction of human life. When almost beaten, Ryu finally realizes what the power he seeks really is, which is the natural 'destination' of human life, and the courage to stand up against evil and win. When Seth laughs and argues that power is power and that there is no difference, Ryu shows him the difference and awakens the Power of Nothingness, stopping Seth's near-invincible punch with one grab.
At first, his power goes off the charts when analyzed, just as with the Satsui no Hado, but then the readings show an infinite amount of zeroes, symbolizing invincible nothingness. The skin on Seth's arm where Ryu grabbed it starts burning away; as Seth charges at Ryu in fury and shock, Ryu summons all his power and fires a purified Metsu Hadoken at Seth that blasts 50 feet away, leaving his body completely battered from the impact and causing him to go into a series of muscle spasms, which leave him nearly completely helpless after they subside. Ryu is then shown standing on the stage with his arms out, falling flat shortly afterwards. As Ken and Sakura surrounds Ryu, Ryu looks at Ken and states that he could feel the Power of Nothingness within him as well.
At the beginning of the story, Ryu is still struggling with the Satsui no Hado and seeks Dhalsim's help. Necalli appears unexpectedly and defeats Ryu who is almost taken over by the Satsui no Hado. Dhalsim tells him that he has to face the Dark Hado if he wants to control it.
Ken finds Ryu at the Forgotten Waterfall, doing a special training to master the Power of Nothingness and control the Satsui no Hado. Karin summons the two fighters to discuss a plan to take Shadaloo down but only Ken goes.
After finishing his training, Ryu appears at the Kanzuki Estate to fight Necalli. Ryu defeats him and uses the Power of Nothingness to prevent Necalli from consuming his soul.
In the end, at the Shadaloo base, Ryu goes to fight M. Bison. Ryu defeats him and as Bison is about to take over Ryu's body, he redirects Bison's Psycho Power and shoots a Hadoken (infused with the Power of Nothingness) at him. This causes Bison's current body to dissipate. During the escape, he uses another such Hadoken to protect Chun-Li and Li-Fen from the fire and falling debris of the collapsing Shadaloo base.
- See also: Hado Kakusei
In Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Ryu has access to a powered up mode called Hado Kakusei (波動・覚醒 Hadou Kakusei?, "Surge Awakening") which is reminiscent of the Power of Nothingness; it envelops him in a blue aura and turns his eyes a pure white. Ryu suffers minor damage over time while in this mode, but even though it's an install Hyper, he is still allowed to fill his meter gain. His level 1 Hyper Combos are granted increased damage while his speed and overall combo potential are also increased. His Shin Hadoken has the ability to reflect off of surfaces though it cannot be aimed up or down like his Shinku Hadoken, but because it also hits above and behind when standing or behind and below when in the air, it is difficult to evade. Compared to the Shinku Tatsumaki Senpukyaku, the Shin Tatsumaki Senpukyaku has a dramatically increased, pillar like vertical hit box hurricane that seems to generate a storm.
In Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, whenever Ryu performs the Shin Shoryuken when he has less than 25% of his health remaining, it has a new cinematic animation, in which, if it connects, Ryu's eyes and body glow in a red aura, signifying the Satsui no Hado about to take over, but then, the red aura is replaced by a blue aura, signifying Ryu tapping into the Power of Nothingness, nullifying and overcoming the Satsui no Hado, before finishing the attack, referencing Ryu's fight with Necalli in Street Fighter V, and also referencing the time when he lost control and ended up scarring Sagat with a Metsu Shoryuken back in the original Street Fighter.
The Power of Nothingness is one of the central concepts to Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist. Having seen what the Satsui no Hado did to his brother and believing that there must be another way to tap into the ki needed for Ansatsuken, Gouken travels the world. Years later, he explains to his students that during his travels a kung fu master named Gen set him on the path to unlocking the Power of Nothingness, and it is this power that Gouken teaches them to tap into for their arts, completely altering the school's tradition. Emptying oneself of everything takes extreme discipline however and they express disbelief that it can be done instantaneously in the middle of battle. Ryu mentions that his ki in this state feels cool, while Ken says that his feels hot. In early training, Ken seems to be stimulated by following a particular meditative kata, which presents more difficulty and less speed of progress than following another kata which stimulates the Satsui no Hado, but is "purer."
In the UDON comic book series Street Fighter Unlimited, Ryu enters a state he calls "Shin Ryu" by merging the Satsui no Hado with the Power of Nothingness, bringing balance to his light and dark ki. As Shin Ryu, he was able to finally defeat Akuma. Ryu's appearance in this form is mostly the same, the only noticeable changes are to his left eye, which glows red, as well as the occasional flare of a red and blue aura.
- While not named or stated, a similar power was displayed by Ken in the US cartoon when he taps into it to defeat Akuma.
- The idea that Gen showed the path to this power to Gouken as proposed by Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist would explain how both were able to survive Akuma's Shun Goku Satsu; the game's storyline explains that both were able to "empty their soul" in time.
- The Ultra Instinct -Sign-, an ability/transformation used by Son Goku in Dragon Ball Super, is similar to the Power of Nothingness, both are inspired from the martial art concept Mushin.