Definitions

extrasensorial

Anything Goes Martial Arts

''See also Independent Character Fighting Techniques. Musabetsu Kakutō Ryū (無差別格闘流 "School of Indiscriminate Grappling") more commonly known in English as Anything Goes Martial Arts, is a fictional school of martial arts from the anime and manga series, Ranma ½. It was founded by Happosai and is the art used by the protagonist and title character Ranma Saotome, his fiancée Akane Tendo, and their fathers Genma Saotome and Soun Tendo, respectively.

History

It is most commonly believed that Musabetsu Kakutō Ryū was founded by martial arts master and perverted lecher extraordinaire Happosai during his travels around Japan and China long before the start of the series. How long ago is disputed as his exact age has never been disclosed. In the manga, Happosai is at least 118 and at most 230 years old (and in the anime a little over 300) with his training trip happening when he was still a young man. If this figure is true, then it is safe to assume that the school itself, or at least its beginnings are quite old. What is known is that, sometime before the start of the series, Happosai took two young apprentices, Soun Tendo and Genma Saotome, as his students, an act which would lead to both the creation of the two main branches of Musabetsu Kakutō Ryū, as well as his lengthy hibernation without food or water.

After Soun and Genma were able to imprison Happosai in a cave with sake, explosives and Shinto seals draped over a boulder that sealed the cave's entrance, the two went and founded their respective branches of Anything Goes, both named after their families. Soun would eventually settle down to teach his Tendo School to his daughter Akane while Genma would later take his son Ranma on a 13-14 year long training journey (wherein both inadvertently get cursed) before presenting him to Soun for the eventual reunification of the two schools.

Philosophy

True to its name, Musabetsu Kakutō Ryū or Anything Goes Martial Arts, is based on learning and adapting many different styles of martial arts, taking what works and discarding what doesn't. As such, Musabetsu Kakutō Ryū is not confined to a single way of thinking or philosophy when it comes to martial arts combat. This gives the practitioner of Musabetsu Kakutō Ryū the advantage of adaptability and unpredictability in a fight since he or she would ideally know moves and techniques from many different schools that complement each other, minimising perceptible weaknesses. In this respect, the ideal practitioner of Musabetsu Kakutō Ryū is its heir apparent, Ranma Saotome. Throughout the course of the series, Ranma not only learns multiple styles and techniques from both friends and enemies, but also displays the uncanny ability to adapt or modify these techniques in mid-battle to catch his opponent off-guard.

It is interesting to note that the philosophy of Musabetsu Kakutō Ryū is similar to that of many martial arts used by many real-life mixed-martial artists, most of whom cross-train in many different disciplines to create a balanced, well-rounded fighting style.

Known Practitioners

Practitioners by loose extension only

  • Hinako Ninomiya - English Teacher. Not a trained martial artist, and strictly had her body modified as a child for her special abilities.
  • Natsume (Anime only) Almost exclusively independent training.
  • Kurumi (Anime only) Almost exclusively independent training.
  • Ryu Kumon - Not affiliated with, or directly trained by, the school; Heir to the Kumon Dojo/Style and practitioner of the Yamasenken, which Genma invented. He was later forced to seal the scroll that described the style's techniques, and possibly his knowledge of them, after being defeated by Ranma.

Branches of Anything Goes

After Soun Tendo and Genma Saotome sealed Happosai away in a cave, Musabetsu Kakutō Ryū was divided into two styles, the Tendo and Saotome schools. Happosai also has his own variation, Ganso Musabetsu Kakutō Ryū, though the school itself, which relies a lot on trickery, seems to have been developed to compensate for his advanced age.

Soun and Genma seem intent on having the school's legacy advanced and promoted through Ranma, regardless if he marries one of Akane's untrained sisters, possibly due to her comparatively limited prowess. Given that the Saotome branch seems superior in adaptation, aerial and unarmed combat, speed, and even power, the only possible contributions of the Tendo school would be armed, and likely melee combat. But given that Ranma has been able to reach a stalemate with Mousse in staff fighting, even the former seems uncertain. Akane's talent was shown as immense during the battle-dougi arc, so the reason for this implied limitation may simply be that Soun has provided shoddy training. But given her own fierce determination to excel, this seems too one-sided. More likely, it is because she was not completely immersed in the martial arts from the time she was a baby like Ranma was. Akane instead focused on a traditional education, having friends, imitating Kasumi and being the school's top gymnast as well. The Tendo school seems more limited and apparently focuses on ground-based power, versatile traditional weapons use and possibly fighting against many opponents, like what would be seen on a samurai battlefield.

Saotome Musabetsu Kakutō Ryū

In general, the Saotome School is the more aerial of the two branches, with both Ranma and Genma Saotome performing feats of acrobatics during their fights. During a competition with Kodachi the former stated outright that mid-air combat was the speciality of this style. In this respect, it is probably the closer of the two systems to the original school of Happosai, since the latter also prefers to go to the air when fighting. The Saotome school is also host to a number of offbeat, diversionary techniques named after animals, such as the "Crouch of the Wild Tiger", which are a hallmark of the Saotome school.

The school also has two sealed martial arts developed by Genma Saotome, the Yamasenken and Umisenken. Both are schools designed to help in thievery and have some rather deadly attacks. It was in attempting to learn the Yamasenken that the father of Ryu Kumon ended up killing himself and destroying their dojo, leading to the beginning of the younger Kumon's quest for the complementing scroll "to rebuild the Kumon dojo".

Training for the Saotome School involves turning everything, even mundane events into training exercises, as well as experimenting with many new techniques (as is the way of Musabetsu Kakutō). This willingness to experiment, however, can lead to some unexpected results.

Despite some rumours, the Saotome-ryu does involve weapons use, and Ranma has reached draws in staff fighting against both Mousse and Soun. However, they haven't been shown to match the diversity of the Tendo-ryu. Saotome-ryu makes use of staves at the very least and may have an element of hinged weapons (nunchaku). Their swordplay seems to have more in common with Chinese styles than Japanese kendo, going by Ranma's beach duel with Cologne. Ranma is not any more disrespectful of weapons than he is of anything else, but is less willing to use them, and somewhat less skilled in the usage, than unarmed techniques. He only requires relatively slight practice to master the more esoteric weaponry (tea sets, gymnastics or cheerleading equipment) to the point where he can at least match the specialists he has fought in their use (Sentaro Daimonji, Kodachi Kuno, Mariko Konjo), provided these have considerably lesser general skill than himself. The main exception to this talent seems to be ice skates, where even with extended practice, he's just about able to stand and move forward on them.

Saotome-Ryu may emphasise one-on-one confrontations over one-on-many confrontations.

Tendo Musabetsu Kakutō Ryū

(無差別格闘天道流 — Musabetsu Kakutō Tendō-Ryū)

The Tendo school seems like the more 'traditionally Japanese'/Karate-like ground-based school of Musabetsu Kakutō Ryū (as opposed to the more 'Chinese'/Kung Fu-like Saotome school), implied by the fact that Akane and Soun Tendo more seldom use aerial techniques. However, both Akane and her father have been known to jump significant heights and use aerial attacks when necessary, and Akane has shown remarkable manoeuvrability in battles against the Orochi, the Dojo Destroyer, or Kiima.

The Tendo School may emphasize power over speed, evidenced by Akane's ability to smash through cement blocks, the dojo's walls on a regular basis and on at least one occasion, even stone palisades. The Tendo School also seems to teach weapons use, both standard and improvised. In her battles with Ranma, Akane has wielded shinai, bokken, mallets, bonbori, tables, bows and arrows, and been clad in samurai wear, and Soun uses archaic armour and weaponry far more frequently. Akane's weapons training has proved enough to maintain an almost even official kendo match with Tatewaki Kuno, a known and highly skilled practitioner.

It is possible that the Tendo school has been taught to more than those who are shown practising the style in the series. This is due to the fact that Soun Tendo owns the Tendo Dojo and undoubtedly used it to make a living out of teaching prior to the series, though no students are shown at all throughout the run of either continuity and the separate anime continuity has an episode focusing on the drive to acquire new students. It is also open for regular community requests to get rid of monsters, catch thieves, public nuisances, attackers and similar.

Tendo-ryu may be more effective against large groups of opponents than it is one-on-one, as evidenced by Akane's nearly instant wins against throngs of her school's sports and martial arts club members, but this may also be due to the attackers' comparatively low skill level.

Ganso Musabetsu Kakutō Ryū

The Creative Indiscriminate Martial Arts, sometimes translated as the Founding School of Anything Goes Martial Arts, Ganso Musabetsu Kakutō Ryū is Happosai's variant of Musabetsu Kakutō. This variant mostly involves chi manipulation as well as stealth and trickery. Whether or not this is the original school of Musabetsu Kakutō Ryū, or whether Happosai developed it as a response to his advancing age, is unknown. It seems different enough from the Tendo and Saotome schools that it can be considered a later development. However, both the Tendo and Saotome schools have themselves evolved further with the appropriation of new techniques.

Special Techniques

Happosai, Genma, or Ranma perform the majority of the Musabetsu Kakutō Ryū techniques shown in the series. In Ranma's case, two of his techniques are actually moves he learned from Cologne, elder of the Chinese Amazons. There is a subset of moves that only Hinako Ninomiya is able to use because of the training Happosai gave her when she was young that allows her to absorb and utilise raw chi from her opponents.

Soun

As a former student of Happosai, Soun is in excellent shape, frequently fights wearing full traditional samurai armour, and is skilled at both hand to hand combat and handling a wide variety of archaic weaponry. He has been able to reach a draw against Ranma in serious staff fighting.

He's managed to come across as quite formidable during a few confrontations with Happosai, but hasn't been explicitly shown to use any special techniques beyond his battle aura.

Battle aura: Manifested either in the form of Soun's regular head, once shown with shoulders, armour, and possibly body, since only the upper part was shown, alternately, as a distorted demonic version, with a prehensile tongue. It can apparently be maintained for a considerably longer time than Genma's, but, with the above-mentioned possible exception, hasn't seemed nearly as large. It's usually seen inducing fear or intimidation, but has also been used to physically attack/hunt Happosai, presumably being of similar nature to that of the 2 other school masters. In the anime he shares both Happosai's and Genma's ability to grow into a giant capable of fighting ancient "demonic" spirits.

Akane

As one of the heirs of the Anything Goes Martial Arts School, Akane is a very good fighter and has excellent physical strength and agility. She's been shown as extremely talented but doesn't know enough to use her style as efficiently as Ranma.

Battle Aura: So far it only seems usable when she's severely upset, and then strictly for intimidation and a remarkable strength boost. In the Akaneko-dan computergame this ability to occasionally strike with extremely heightened force was treated as the game´s ultimate hidden special move, and did not tax character stamina.

Dual Jet-Stream Raging Waters Attack (Anime only): In this combination attack, Ranma and Akane cross their arms together and leap into the air while spinning, and once enough speed is gained, they deliver a combined sharp kick. This attack was only used once, in their battle against the Dojo Destroyer.

Sixth Sense: Like an undisclosed amount of other martial artists in the main cast, Akane has a certain extrasensory awareness, which in her case is consistently shown to warn her from incoming danger/ambushes, and active battle auras, for example from Mousse or Kodachi. It also occasionally seems to grant her a vague premonition, as when she heard Ryoga call her name from afar when the latter was almost strangled to death by Lime, and possibly overhearing Ranma's thoughts after the conflict with Saffron.

Ranma

Ranma's training in the Musabetsu Kakutō Ryū began under his father when he was approximately at most 2 years old (going by the flashback to the time he was separated from his mother). He is aware of Genma's recurrently dishonourable nature, and holds a grudge for the semi-bullying upbringing, but may have incorporated some of the latter's underhanded methods to maximise his effectiveness. While he doesn't mind extensively cheating in order to 'triumph' against superior enemies, he generally tries to fight fairly and expects the same from his opponents. His first thirteen to fourteen years of practice were classical in nature, training almost exclusively with Genma, but after encountering the Chinese Amazons, Ranma has been taught two of their techniques, which he has incorporated into his fighting style.

Generally useful moves

Mōko Takabisha (猛虎高飛車 — Pride of the Fierce Tiger, lit. Fierce Tiger Overbearing): A chi attack based on the emotion of confidence, created by and for Ranma. It was developed as a direct counter to Ryoga's Shishi Hōkōdan (Lion's Roar Blast) since, although he does know the original attack, Ranma could not maintain the level of depression required for it to be an effective tool. Its weakness is that it is inefficient if he is unnerved by the prowess shown by a sufficiently powerful opponent. In the manga, Ranma is able to create a "Double Mōko Takabisha" that fires two equally strong chi blasts.

Kachū Tenshin Amaguriken (火中天津甘栗拳 — Imperial Roasting Chestnuts in the Fire Fist/Chestnuts Roasting over an Open Fire Fist): The name comes from the method of learning the technique, which eventually trains the user's hand speed such that one can snatch chestnuts from a fire without burning themselves. Because Ranma was affected by the Full-body Cat Tongue pressure point at the time, he could not handle heat from just being close to the fire. Thus, he did not master the technique in the conventional manner, but instead does so by pulling piranhas from a fish tank using his bare hands. In the manga this is not treated as a special attack, but as a general speed exercise/enhancement. Although it is mentioned that due to undergoing it, Ranma can throw several hundred punches so swiftly that it looks like a single strike. In the anime it is shouted out loud, and manifestly used more frequently.

Sixth Sense: Like several other characters, Ranma has displayed a certain extrasensorial awareness, warning him of incoming danger, or battle auras.

Hiryū Shōten Ha (飛龍昇天破 — Flying Dragon Ascension Strike, also called Heavenly Dragon's Strike): Cologne taught Ranma this attack based on a clash of temperatures. The fighter develops a "Soul of Ice", to devoid himself of emotion. The user then attempts to lead his/her opponent in a circular motion, creating a spiral of heated chi/battle-aura, but it has also worked on Happosai's intense lust and Saffron's raw heat. The user then makes a corkscrew uppercut strike, while still maintaining an ice-cold aura. The pressure difference, from the collision of hot and cold, forms a tornado that carries off the opposing fighter(s). It is Ranma's most powerful technique, and has only been used in situations where he can't possibly prevail through other means, such as against Happosai, Herb, Saffron, Lukkosai, Ryoga, and (anime) Kirin. Although being caught in the initial blast does not necessarily knock out his opponents. Happosai, Lukkosai and Herb have been unfazed and ready to continue fighting afterwards. Lime, Mint, and even Ryoga's piglet- and Mousse's duck-form, were similarly unaffected from being accidentally immersed in the resulting tornado. Hot chi/battle aura is not necessary for the move, just a usable temperature difference between intense heat and cold, which can be directed to create the whirlwind. When Herb changed chi from hot to cold, he avoided all damage from the blast, but still rode the vortex upwards. It is unclear if this was an intentional choice through his ability of flight, to attack Ranma by surprise when descending. He also proved able to 'detonate' it by directing cold chi at Ranma's feet, catching the latter in his/her own blast.

Hiryū Shōten Ha variations, useful under special circumstances

  • Hiryū Kōrin Dan (飛龍降臨弾 — Flying Dragon Descent Blast): Since the Hiryū Shōten Ha proved ineffective against Herb, Ranma noticed that the surplus hot chi from the latter's stray blasts had accumulated to overflow in the surrounding air. He visibly initiated the spiral motions for another whirlwind, counting on that Herb would repeat his previous counter-measure of radiating cold chi to throw him/her into it. While in the air, Ranma shot a spiral blast of "cold energy" into the centre, in effect making the excessive 'hot energy' forcefully draw into the vortex of 'cold energy', and forming into a giant version of his ordinary Moko Takabisha. This took Herb by surprise, since he believed Ranma already defeated, and knocked out the otherwise consistently overwhelmingly skilled opponent.

  • Hiryū Hyō Toppa (飛龍氷突破 — Flying Dragon Ice Breakthrough): This is Ranma's final attack against Saffron in volume 38 of the manga, completed with the aid of the Gekkaja a very powerful artefact/weapon of the Phoenix people, which produced an icy cold touch based effect. Ranma planned on throwing a whirlwind though a channel of cold air surrounded on both sides by the hot air of Saffron's blasts. The swirl in the middle the whirlwind would become highly concentrated, squeezing the cold spiral into a razor's edge. He was unable to find an opportunity to use the move until Akane threw her frozen doll form at Saffron, tunnelling through Saffron's heat and giving a Ranma a small channel of cold air to fire the Hiryū Hyou Tōppa. The refined Hiryū Shoten Ha froze Saffron's lower body into ice which quickly fragmented from his frame, in effect defeating him.

  • Hiryū Gyōten Ha (飛龍仰天破 — Flying Dragon Searching the Heavens Strike): Used immediately after the former, also in while using the Gekkaja. Akane was seconds away from dying and only the water from the Dragon Faucet could save her. Ranma, falling from the sky, had no time to get Akane to the water. Instead, he used all the hot air remaining from the fight to create another whirlwind. Drilling downwards and then sideways through the Dragon Faucet, to make it spew water into the sky, restoring her to normal, but risking to destroy Jusenkyo, and the cures for him and his companions, in the process. It should be noted that Ryouga's and Mousse's regular fist- or axe-strikes respectively only caused superficial dents and cuts to the Dragon Faucet prior to this, and beforehand, when Ranma was propelled towards it by one of Ryouga's smaller Shishi Hokodan, he strictly made an almost 2m wide circular indention. However Kiima's "Thousand Wings of a Seabird" attack was able to slice straight through the side of it.
  • Hiryu Shōten Ha kaiteiban: Gedan Rasen (飛龍昇天破改訂版:下段螺旋 — Flying Dragon Ascension Strike revised: Horizontal Spiral): (Anime) A counter to the unique situation offered by Natsume and Kurumi's Hiryū Carimbō attack, Ryūka Ringu (Ring of Dragon-Fire). A rationalization of this unexplained attack is that Ranma used the spiral of hot chi radiated from Kurumi's ribbon as a basis to create an opposing whirlwind. Ranma the used it to throw Akane into her opponents. The cold chi from Natsume weakened Ranma's own attack, but since the hot chi in the spiral was stronger, the effects were negligible.

Sealed, unreliable, or less useful moves

Umisenken (海千拳 – Sea of 1000 Fists/"Way of the Silent Thief"): : Genma taught Ranma this system when Ryu Kumon arrived and challenged them for the Umisenken scroll using its companion set, the Yamasenken. By becoming "emotionless" and moving silently Ranma can hide the "presence" which warns other martial artists of danger, and sneak up on and attack them, but can be brought out of this state if someone successfully provokes him. Most of the moves are specifically constructed to counter the Yamasenken, and have extremely limited usefulness beyond this respect.

  • Opening Move: the user takes a stance like that of a ghost, hands limp in front of their abdomen on slightly bent arms. The user then hides his 'presence'/battle aura from an opponent, limiting the effectiveness of the 'awareness' that warns many Ranma-verse martial artists of danger, or allows them to predict attacks, but remains fully discernible by any onlookers. The techniques are:

  • Gaito Retsuga Dan (鎧戸裂牙断 – Armored Door Splitting Fang Failure): A counter to the Yamasen-Ken's "Welcome Gate Iron Fang Fingers"/Geimon Tessen Shi, by biting the antagonist's hand.
  • Shichū Rakuchi Sei (支柱落地勢 – Collapsing Brace Force): After the former. Ranma's falls to the ground while still biting the hand and then forces the opponent's legs open, unbalancing them briefly to set up for the next attack. Based on knocking loose floor braces without being caught by the resultant collapsing floor.
  • Haku Dato Shin Shō (白蛇吐信掌 – White Snake Venom Reliable Fist): Multiple focused strikes towards the back, based on the concept of a sneak thief rapidly rummaging through drawers, capable of making Ryu dizzy for 1-2 seconds.
  • Goshin Ryūsei Fu (護身流星布 – Self-Protection Shooting Star Cloth): A counter to the Yamasen-ken's backbreaking bearhug attack. Ranma's wraps a star cloth around the adversary's head.
  • Rigyo Honshin (鯉魚翻身 – Carp-Fish Bodyflip): After Goshin Ryūsei Fu, he flip out of the hold to move behind the latter.

  • Haizan Tōkai Tai (背山倒海態 – High Mountain Reverse Sea Ability): After Rigyo Honshin, Ranma drives his feet into his rival's back while pulling down on the cloth, creating a strangling effect unless the cloth is ripped apart.
  • Goshin Dai Ryūsei Fu (護身大流星布 – Self-Protection Great Shooting Star Cloth): Ranma whirls a psychedelic batik-patterned huge bath towel around his body, allowing him to quickly disappear from view.
  • Yasha Tankai Hō (夜叉探海包 – Demon-Guardian Searching the Sea Wrap): Still under the effects of the Goshin Dai Ryūsei Fu, Ranma steals a Yamasenken user's clothing from behind, as well as those of nearby onlookers, and any debris created by the Kijin Raishū Dan vacuum blades. He wraps all of them inside the cloth, while simultaneously loosening all the soil around the latter with his feet. He then gains the Yamasenken user's attention and jumps from above, to provoke an attack. When the enemy unleashes his/her vacuum-blades the contents of the bag will absorb the brunt of the attack, while the void will cause a sucking effect on the soft dirt on all sides, wrapping and burying everything under the towel.

Nekoken (貓拳 — Cat Fist): A condition Ranma is subject to when his fear of cats reaches an unbearable level, rather than an actual technique. If he were cured from it, it would likely disappear. When this happens, he starts acting like a cat, apparently using his power more efficiently by fighting like a ferocious animal, with swipes of his "paws" which have torn tree-trunks to shreds from a few meters distance. This does not seem to be the result of chi-blades, since no visual effect has implied it, while they were clearly distinguishable when generated by Herb, but rather powerful air pressure swipes, somewhat similar to those of Kuno or Ryu Kumon, but with far less shown destructive power than the latter. While in this condition, he even managed to disperse Cologne's Shark-Fist water-blast, though it is uncertain how much she held back. However, he is mentally a cat, driven by instinct and of limited intellect or attention span, making catnip (which will make him 'drunk'), distraction (throwing something and saying 'fetch!' has proved enough to get rid of him) and complete lack of strategy major weaknesses of this form. He has been brought out of the Nekoken by triggering his curse/being doused in water, or by falling asleep in the lap of someone he trusts. Also worth noting is that Ranma and Akane shared their first "kiss", while he was in this state, as he impulsively rubbed against her face. It is not a practically usable technique and beyond two times very early in the manga, it has only been activated against Maomolin, the Bakeneko, but his general fear of cats is shown more frequently. Given his own increase in versatility and more efficient use of his inherent power, it is uncertain if this state would give him an advantage towards the end.

Shish Kebab (manga only): An attack Ranma uses to counter Mousse's Takazume Ken (Hawk's Talon attack). He uses a rapidly ascending kick to avoid Mousse's attack and slam into his face like a kebab rod going through meat and vegetables.

Pansuto Ryūsei Kyaku (パンスト流星脚 — Pantyhose Shooting Star Kick): An extremely powerful kick Ranma used to nearly defeat the already severely pounded cursed form of Pantyhose Taro, though he still had to beat up the latter's even more battered human form straight afterwards. When Ranma's feet accidentally got caught in a rope of Pantyhose. Taro used the opportunity to throw him towards a cliff, but Ranma managed to use their elasticity as a catapult to use the monster's own strength against him. Causing much more damage than any of his single previous attacks had managed.

Expoding Round-House Kick (anime only): This technique was only used in one episode of the anime entitled: "Meet You in the Milkey Way". Ranma used it to defeat Kengyu after becoming enraged when he found out that he had been beaten by kicked on the back of the head by Kengyu's steer, Li'l Moo.

Non-techniques, or completely useless moves:

Saotome Secret Technique: Fast Break: The "secret attack" of the Saotome School, which Genma says is based in the concepts of motion, contemplation, and opposition. In other words, the user runs away from his opponent, buying time to think of a better way to attack. Ranma used this only once, after Ryoga Hibiki learned the durability-enhancing Breaking Point technique.

Puppet Grip: Ranma clings to his opponent's back, then manipulates his/her arms like a puppet. Used it to try and make Tatewaki apologise to Kodachi and also to eat some Ramen in the Martial Arts Takeout Race. His efforts failed when Tatewaki exploited the one flaw: the technique doesn't control the victim's head, which means the victim can thwart it by keeping his mouth closed. Ranma gets around this by simply insulting Tatewaki, causing the latter to open his mouth to respond, allowing Ranma to feed him.

Parlay du Foie Gras: The "Parlay" involves quickly stuffing your food in your opponent's mouth. Because of this, the user does not have to develop the characteristic distended mouth or elongated tongue possessed by many champions "martial arts diners". It can be deflected by putting a plate in your mouth in such a way that the dish acts as a shield. Ranma used this technique to defeat Picolet Chardin III.

Saotome "Fan the Smoke Back" technique: Just a joke move, to parody Konatsu's tendency to shout out a name for anything he does. Ranma counters the latter's smokescreen-like attack by fanning the smoke back toward its source.

Crouch of the Wild Tiger: Learned from Genma in the moxibustion arc.

Ranma also recurrently uses improvisational underhanded trickery, among other instances when vainly attempting to 'beat' Ryoga when the latter had the battle-mark on his stomach.

Genma

Alongside Soun Tendo, Genma trained directly under Happosai as a young man. Although most of their "lessons" consisted of panty raids and working to pay off the master's debts, it is clear that he did learn a lot of his moves from the old pervert. Genma personally trained Ranma from birth using a series of questionable methods and is also responsible for his son's Jusenkyo curse. Shortly after concluding his training with Happosai, he invented two martial arts of his own. He designed them to aid in the thievery he conducted, apparently to fund his training with Ranma, but sealed away his knowledge of both of them after a fellow martial artist was killed by practising one of them, bringing down his dojo on top of himself. While Genma is usually too lazy or cowardly to show it, his full arsenal of special techniques would easily make him one of the most powerful fighters in the series if he ever used them in combination.

Generally useful moves:

Battle Aura: Focusing all of his battle aura, Genma can generate a skyscraper sized version of himself, which can then fight on a far greater scale. This special attack is extremely taxing for him and unlike Happosai, he can't keep this technique up for more than about a minute at most. He uses this mostly when he's in panda form. In the anime, this doesn't seem to be an energy construct, but an actual size transformation, and Genma can use it for longer periods of time.

Yamasenken (山千拳 – Mountain of 1000 Fists/"Way of the Noisy Thief"): One of two secret and forbidden styles of martial arts that Genma developed when he was younger. This one is based upon burglary, specifically the movements and techniques of a noisy bandit who smashes through the front door of a house. Genma taught this set to Ryu Kumon's father years ago, which indirectly led to his death. See Ryu's Techniques for illustrations.

Umisenken (海千拳 – Sea of 1000 Fists/"Way of the Silent Thief"): The other of a pair of secret and forbidden styles created by Genma. Like the Yamasenken, this too is based upon burglary, however, this one is specifically designed upon the movements and techniques of a quiet thief who sneaks in through the back door. When Ryu arrived to find the scroll for this partner martial art, he took on Ranma's identity. Genma had no choice but to teach the Umisenken to Ranma to restore his son's identity. See Ranma's Techniques for illustrations.

Unreliable, or useless moves:

Jigoku no Yurikago (地獄の揺篭 – Cradle of Hell): Genma's only remaining move that is still consistently able to beat Ranma in regular sparring, without using special moves. It is a grappling attack reminiscent of a parent embracing their infant child, effective mostly because it seriously disturbs Ranma. Its effectiveness is increased if the user grows thick abrasive whiskers, to rub them on his opponent's cheek. Genma practised this move by playing with a tire in panda form. Embarrassing Photo-Fu: A move which can only be used by a parent against a child. The user rapidly produces incredibly embarrassing photographs and displays them to nearby members of the opposite sex. Though incredibly powerful, is use leaves Genma's conscience burdened. Used to teach Ranma the Soul of Ice.

Carp on a Chopping Board: The user lies on their side facing their opponent and puts their palms together above their head with their legs extended and crossed at the knees, making the shape of a fish. It is a submission move that indicates unconditional surrender, as the user is at a great disadvantage relative to their opponent when in this position.

Howl of the Demon Dog: By retreating and taunting, a combatant attempts to provoke the enemy enough to make a fatal mistake.

Crouch of the Wild Tiger: This grovelling technique is accomplished by first crouching, placing both palms on the ground, and then bowing and scraping for forgiveness. Genma says it is "named for the legendary wild tiger that fell from a cliff and..." The basis can be assumed as a tiger scrambling madly to not fall off a ledge. In the "Hard Battle" Super Nintendo Game, this technique is depicted as using the grovelling to trick the opponent into lowering their guard, whereupon the user then launches a swift and savage assault. The video game Ranma ½: Battle Renaissance shows a variation in which Genma pounces on his opponent after they are lulled into a false sense of security.

Happosai

As the founder of the Musabetsu Kakutō Ryū, Happosai knows the martial arts inside and out, and is by all appearances very likely the most formidable fighter in the series. Given that he's simultaneously shown as one of the two most skilled martial artists, and among the three characters with by far highest amounts of raw power. Many of his moves are highly advanced and difficult for a young combatant who lacks the necessary experience, and it appears that some of them were designed to protect himself from the people he stole from or the women he molested. He is also knowledgeable in how to create various magic concoctions, including a rejuvenation potion, power-increasing 'super-soba', a pill which magnetically attracts two targets, or incense which causes someone to sleep throughout the spring, and knows several stolen arcane moxibustion or shiatsu techniques. His stolen hoard seems to contain at least a few enchanted items, although he apparently doesn't keep good track of them.

Finger Block: Happosai can use this move to stop huge objects or powerful punches aimed at him with only his index finger. It has proved sufficient to effortlessly stop Taro's cursed form in its tracks. It is unknown if he uses his own strength, channels his chi to stop the attack, disables the object's momentum, or any combination thereof. Either way, it is one of Happosai's best defensive moves and hints at what he could do with a full arm if he ever turned serious.

Extra-Dimensional Warp: Happosai becomes invisible. The only downside is he cannot attack without becoming visible. It is used primarily to spy on girls. In the Japanese version, this move is called: "Cicada Shell Concealment".

Fist of the Hermit Crab: Happosai throws several empty buckets into the air towards his target, then uses his extra-dimensional warp to hide in one. Afterwards he attacks from his bucket as he bypasses his target. In the anime, this technique is part of an entire sub-discipline of the Anything Goes School known as Bathhouse-Fu. He probably devised it to protect himself from the girls he peeped on in public baths.

Happo Throw: A technique that Happosai uses on attacking opponents. He hooks their arm or leg with his pipe, then uses their own momentum to throw them a great distance, by flicking his wrist. He can also do this without the pipe.

Bean-jam Blow-out (Anime): Using his chi, Happosai creates a large blast of wind to blow his enemies away. This move is named as he created to steal Bean-jam from Soun and Genma.

Flying Squirrel Suit: Happosai has occasionally worn this get-up to glide through the air, and given that he's travelled upwards as well as downwards, possibly even fly short distances.

Happo-Fire Burst (八宝大華輪 Happo Daikarin): Happosai's "ultimate technique" and his favourite. He sealed it away because it damaged a bra many years ago, but after Ranma pushed him too far he rediscovered his long lost technique. In reality it is just throwing large fireworks at people. They are infused with chi, however, and can cause massive damage. Happosai can also immediately create these bombs in different sizes to increase their power, some even as large as a small house. Even single regular sized versions have repeatedly beaten Taro's cursed form.

Happo-Mold Burst (Anime): A modification of the Happo-Fire Burst used only due to heavy rain preventing the use of the regular attack. Happosai's bombs create clouds of paralytic mould instead of explosions. This disgusts and immobilises opponents.

Battle Aura: as the grandmaster of Anything Goes Martial Arts, Happosai is exceptionally skilled at manipulating his immensely powerful battle aura. The shown uses include paralysing Ranma, chi-direction, or solid giant-scale fighting, and it can evidently be moulded into different forms and sizes. In the anime, he is shown to fire it as a serpentine blast resembling a demonic Chinese Dragon. Several times in both the anime and the manga, he uses this technique to manifest a skyscraper-sized version of himself, and he can keep this up for prolonged intervals. Enough to scourge the town in a search of Taro and then effortlessly beat him up, or battle Genma's similar technique even when severely weakened. In the anime, this is depicted as an actual transformation, rather than an energy construct, with both his students capable of the same feat, but they are not as durable. Happosai's lust aura is even more powerful than his battle aura. Cologne commented that the latter could “lay waste to the Earth”. This seems like hyperbole, but is nonetheless signifying the extent of his power, derived from his perverted spirit.

Chi-direction: Happosai has occasionally generated chi-blasts, either directed from himself or his battle-aura. These are shown capable of instantly defeating Taro's monster form, which took an extended beating from Ranma, Ryoga, Mousse and Shampoo without as much effect.

Ultimate Weakness Moxibustion: A stolen technique, used on Ranma after the latter stopped one of Happosai's panty raids. By burning a mark in a certain spot on his opponent's body, he reduces their strength to that of a baby, reversible only with a counter-moxibustion on another point.

Shiatsu: Happosai has also used pressure points to make Ranma empty his tear-ducts, or instantly knock out Ryoga.

Silky Storm: A distraction technique that involves Happosai spinning his pipe and creating a blizzard of bras/panties to cover his escape.

Independent, but related characters

Hinako

Thanks to Happosai's "training" when she was still a sickly young girl, Hinako is able to both absorb chi from her opponents, through any object with a circular hole as a focus, as well as shoot it back at them as a charged attack. She effectively matures into an adult whenever she absorbs chi, but reverts back to her child form when she fires it off. As hitting a set of pressure points caused this condition, the only way to prevent Hinako from performing these techniques is to hit another set every day for at least a month.

Happōgoensatsu (八宝五円殺 Happo Five-Yen Satsu) Hinako uses a five-yen coin to absorb chi that is already manifest, usually an opponent's battle aura. With the five-yen coin, she cannot absorb chi from someone who is not emitting any battle aura.

Happōgojūensatsu (八宝五十円殺 Happo Fifty-Yen Satsu) Using a larger fifty-yen coin, Hinako can absorb chi even if her opponent does not manifest a battle aura. While the fifty-yen coin works on a single opponent, she is also capable of using larger ring-shaped objects, such as a basketball hoop, to drain chi from multiple opponents. Plugging or otherwise filling the hole of the focus object can stop all of her techniques. Given Hinako's lack of actual martial arts training, swifter opponents, such as Shampoo, Ukyo, and Kodachi, have also proven able to effortlessly disarm her.

Another limitation is that her ability to sense battle aura is restricted when she's surrounded by competitive spirit, like at sporting events.

Happōtsurisengaeshi (八宝釣銭返し Happo No-Yen Coin Return) Hinako releases all of her stored chi in a large blast. While it is quite deadly, this attack can usually only be performed once since it effectively drains all of the chi that Hinako has absorbed, returning her to her normal child form. However, she is able to stay in her adult form if she has enough energy. For instance, the vengeful chi of Furinkan students once supercharged her, so she was capable of firing off multiple blasts. A shown drawback in this instance was that her personality could be severely affected/compelled by sufficiently large quantities of 'sentiment-imprinted' aura. She also had a fish bowl containing two Siamese Fighting Fish that constantly gave off enormous amounts of battle aura so that she could remain in adult form as she fought.

Ryu Kumon

Ryu practices the Yamasenken (山千拳 – Mountain of 1000 Fists, also known as the "Way of the Noisy Thief"), one of two secret and forbidden styles of martial arts that Genma developed when he was younger. This one is based upon burglary, specifically the movements and techniques of a noisy bandit who smashes through the front door of a house.

Opening Move: The user shouts something distracting at the opponent, such as "Freeze!" or "Behind you!" This can severely distract opponents or even freeze them in their tracks, making them susceptible to sucker-attacks. The techniques are...

Mōko Kaimon Ha (猛虎開門破 – "Fierce Tiger Opening Gate Strike"): A powerful kick through the opponent's guard by separating their blocking arms apart. Ryu used this to kill a rampaging bear.

Kaichū Hōju Satsu (懐中宝珠殺 – "In the Pocket Gemstone Kill"): An arm-locked bear-hug manoeuvre, to force opponents to either surrender or have their backs broken.

Dokuja Tanketsu Shō (毒蛇探穴掌 – "Poison Snake Searching Hole Palm"): A fierce strike to the chest area, in an attempt to literally rip out an opponent's heart. It knocked out Ranma for several minutes, despite being saved by Genma. However, he was also distracted at the time.

Kinshi Kinbaku Shō (金絲緊縛翔 – "Gold Thread Tightly Binding Flight"): Ryu throws a rope around his opponent, tieing them up.

Geimon Tessen Shi (迎門鉄扇指 – "Welcome Gate Iron-Fan Fingers"): After the former. A powerful pointed strike towards the solar plexus, with all fingers extended. Female Ranma had to limp home in great pain up to an hour or two afterwards.

Kijin Raishū Dan (鬼神来襲弾 – "Fierce God Assault Blast"): Spreading arms strikes so powerful that they create vacuum arc projectiles.

Kijin-Gun Dai Ranbu (鬼神群大乱舞 – "Group of Fierce Gods, Great Chaotic Dance"): A strange whirling dance while throwing multitudes of Kijin Rashuu Dans in virtually any direction.

Saidaikyū Kijin Raishū Dan (最大級鬼神来襲弾 – "Strongest-Level Fierce God Assault Blast"): Multiple regular-sized Kijin Raishū Dans sent in the same direction. Making into a powerful attack that is capable of carving a large iron Buddha-statue into pieces, and very painful even for Ranma himself, but not enough to deter him for more than a few seconds. Larger, and more powerful than the basic Kijin Raishu Dan because of the multiple simultaneous strikes.

Natsume and Kurumi (Anime only)

Natsume and Kurumi appear to be two of the most formidable young female characters in the anime series. Natsume's fighting style utilises what appears to be a carpet beater or similar implement she normally wears on her back. She can use this to strike an opponent with intense cold, or create miniature ice tornadoes. Kurumi's fighting style utilises a red ribbon she wears in her hair, which she can charge with incredible heat.

  • Ryūka Ringu (竜火リング - Ring of Dragon-Fire): A combined attack similar to the Hiryu Shoten Ha. Kurumi creates a hot spiral with her ribbon while Natsume fills this spiral with a blast of cold energy.

See also

Notes and references

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