With ten games under its belt as of October 2010, the Tekken series has firmly entrenched itself as one of the all-time greats in the fighting-game genre. One of the best aspects of the series is its true-to-life portrayal of actual fighting styles. This includes well-known styles such as Tae Kwon Do and Kickboxing, and obscure, specialised styles such as Aikido and Capoeira.
Aikido is a unique style of martial arts that doesn't just focus on punching or kicking. It aims to use the opponent's energy and momentum against him instead. It utilises throws, joint locks and momentum-style attacks while stressing an overall philosophy of being in perfect harmony with one's own body and movements. In Tekken, both Anna and Nina Williams' fighting styles are based within Aikido.
Tae Kwon Do
Tae Kwon Do is a Korean martial art that focuses on various types of kicks, body and limb coordination and the combination of speed and power at all times. In Tekken, Baek Doo San and Hwoarang specialise in Tae Kwon Do.
Kick-boxing, as its name implies, relies heavily on kicks of all sorts in combination with a crisp, in-and-out boxing technique. Usually, the fist attacks lead into or help set up the more devastating kicks of the discipline. In Tekken, Bruce Irvin, Bryan Fury and Steve Fox fight with the Kickboxing style.
Capoeira can almost be called a performance art. The overall fighting style resembles a frenzied dance and emphasises agility and aerobics. The style requires the use of a multitude of feints to surprise opponents and keep them in a constant defensive position. Once an opponent is in the defensive position, takedowns are used. In Tekken, Eddy Gordo, Tiger Jackson and Christie Monteiro all practice Capoeira.
Ninjutsu is a traditional Japanese martial art that is well known for being the fighting style of ninjas. It preaches surprise attacks, stealth, a cerebral approach to all situations and a high level of discipline. In Tekken, fan-favourite Yoshimitsu and Raven are both adept Ninjutsu practitioners.
Fictional Tekken Martial Arts
Many of the characters in the Tekken universe specialise in subtypes of karate or martial arts that were created by characters within their universe. A good example of this is Mishima-style Karate, which was created by Jinpachi Mishima, who subsequently taught it to his son, Heihachi Mishima, and grandson, Kazuya Mishima. Of the three, only Heihachi and Kazuya are playable characters. Other characters who have fictionalised fighting styles are Marshall Law, Forest Law, Julia and Michelle Chang and Jin and Jun Kazama.