Real martial arts and anime

In nearly every anime the characters are always announcing the special move, magical effect they’re about to invoke. I was just curious if they do this in real martail arts and if so, why?

Of course not. Though sometime the shout (kiai) that accompanies a technique may be timed a little before the technique to cause an opponent to flinch as the technique lands or to otherwise try and upset the opponents timing. I don’t know if it was ever common to announce your school or style before a fight but can imagine that being done to ‘advertise’ your style and prove its superiority over the opponents style.

I’ve seen that done by a villain in the Jackie Chan cartoon series; I’ve also seen it as a Disadvantage for a Champions superhero in a roleplaying game. No, real martial artists don’t do it.


Hak Fu is the greatest, heh.

Any ideas about how the idea got started?


Having seen more than my share of that posturing, I can say with some confidence that it’s purely for show. Not sure when it first started, but the practice really hit it big with Dragonball Z. Capcom, for whatever reason, copied it for the Street Fighter games (which borrow a fair amount from Dragonball Z), and it stuck.

The only martial art I know where you’re supposed to announce your intentions is kendo, and that’s definitely not supposed to resemble real fighting.

This at least goes back to those old martial arts novels. In books, you can get away with the narrative saying “such and so unleashed a punishing Thousand Hand Stab”, but in other formats (such as manga, anime, and movies), you’d either have to have color commentators or the fighters themselves announcing their moves.

Isn’t it Iron Reamer Soul Stealer? I call it the Iron Beaner Clam Steamer.

My favorites are the Master Boulder Cutter Strike and the Whirling Outboard Motor Propeller Strike.