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The Hadoken (波動拳 Hadouken?, "Surge Fist" or "Wave Motion Fist") is a special attack that originated in Street Fighter. It is often referred to as a "fireball" due to its appearance, despite few instances of the move actually producing flames.

All characters and appearances Arcade Stick QCF + Arcade Button Punch


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 of how it is believed to be 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 Hadouken 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.

Alternatively, the opponent can perform a projectile attack of their own, negating the Hadoken.

Popularity and Pop CultureEdit


Animation of Ryu and Ken firing Hadokens towards the screen.

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 Super Street Fighter IV.

Concept and Influence Edit

Takashi Nishiyama, the creator of the original Street Fighter, credits the 1970s era anime Space Battleship Yamato and a missile called the "Hadō hō" ("Wave Motion Gun") as the origin of the Hadoken.[1]

The Hadoken may have also been inspired by the "Kamehameha" ("Turtle Devastation Wave") from the Dragon Ball series, which was created in 1985. Both have identical hand movements (the way the hands are placed is slightly different between them), and are fired the same way. They are also similar in appearance (the Kamehameha is a laser-like beam, much like the crossover versions of the Hadoken).

Different Variants of HadokenEdit

  • Gohadoken (豪波動拳 Gou Hadouken?, "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 Zankuu Hadouken?, "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 take on the Zanku Hadoken.
  • Shakunetsu Hadoken (灼熱波動拳 Shakunetsu Hadouken?, "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. 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 Gourai Hadouken?, "Roaring Thunder Surge Fist") – An electric Hadoken used by Oni.
  • Shinku Hadoken (真空波動拳 Shinkuu Hadouken?, "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.
  • Metsu Hadoken (滅波動拳 Metsu Hadouken?, "Destroying 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? "Sky Demon Great Slashing Air") – A more powerful version of the Zanku Hadoken.
    • Thunder Gou Shower - Cyber Akuma's version of the Tenma Gou Zankuu.
  • Meido Gohado (冥恫豪波動 Meidou Gou Hadou?, "Dark Painful Great Surge") - A more powerful variant of the Gohadoken, used by Oni as his first Ultra Combo.
    • Messatsu Gou Zankuu - The Meido Gohado fired air-to-ground.
    • Messatsu Gou Tenha - The Meido Gohado fired ground-to-air.
  • Denjin Hadoken (電刃波動拳 Denjin Hadouken?, "Electric Blade Surge Fist") – A chargeable Hadoken that electrifies the defender, stunning them momentarily.
  • Ren Hadoken (連波動拳 Ren Hadouken?, "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 Hadouken?, "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 Gadouken?, "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 Shinkuu Gadouken?, "Vacuum Self Way Fist") - A stronger variation of the Gadoken which also travels further.
    • Haoh Gadoken (覇王我道拳 Haou Gadouken?, "Supreme King Self Way Fist") - A variant of the Gadoken used by Dan as his Ultra Combo II in Super Street Fighter IV onward.




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.

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 Hadou no Kamae, "Stance of the Surge"). By doing so, Ryu will simply do the hand thrusting motion for a Hadoken, not firing it.


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 & techniques more in line with his speed-oriented fighting style. He is a little faster than Ryu, but can still do some damage.

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

Evil Ryu/Violent KenEdit

Both Ryu's and Ken's darker selves have access to many versions of the Hadoken that their normal counterparts have.


Akuma infuses his Hadokens with the Satsui no Hado, giving his Hadokens the potential to truly kill an opponent. 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 AkumaEdit

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 partway 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.

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 an downward angle. Each variation bears a different name: Meido Gohado (shot straight), Messatsu-Gotenha (shot upwards), and Messatsu-Gozanku (shot down from air at angle).


Sakura Kasugano has an imperfect Hadoken, since she is not trained in the Hado-style and instead learned by imitating Ryu. 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 they inflict is great. She also has the Nekketsu Hadoken, where she immediately charges the Hadoken with a pink color and fires it with great force and speed.


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 Hadou Burst Super Art as his only projectile.


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


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 Hadoken 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 Super Fireball, and also parodies the Haoh Shoukou Ken used by Ryo in Art of Fighting/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 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. 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 2 hands for the Denjin Hadoken, in order to control the Hadoken while he charges it before releasing.


For more sprites, see: Hadoken/Sprites






Ken-sf2-hadoken Ken-alphafireball Sf3kenhadouken2.gif




Akuma-fireburn Akumapockethado Akuma-motm-super

Cyber AkumaEdit

Bolt Hadoken










Ryu and ken hadoken double hit

Artwork and ScreenshotsEdit

Games Edit

Animation Edit

Live-action Edit


  • Sakura is currently the only female character that is shown to be able to use the Hadoken.
  • Fei Long's win quote to Gouken in Super Street Fighter IV indirectly references the amount of Hadoken variants ("Just how many of you Hadoken throwers are there?").


  1. - The Man Who Created Street Fighter

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