Tekken games are one of the best fighting games in history. Its storyline and characters attracted millions of people all over the globe to play the game and duel with their buddies. With the Tekken: Bloodline release, a Netflix animated TV show, a lot of newer fans got interested in the details behind this storied game and its background of the characters. Because of its genre, over the years Tekken represented a lot of real-life fighting styles and implemented some elements to make new, fictional fight styles, that suit each character beautifully.
All of this inspired us to rank every fighting style from Tekken games and determine which one is the most helpful and useful fighting style in real life. We will analyze each style, mention which characters use it, and ultimately decide which one is the most useful. Remember, all of these fighting styles would be useful in real life, but we need to take into consideration the difficulty of learning them and their efficiency. If you are interested in this topic, stay with us until the end of the article.
24. Sirius-Style Exorcism Sorcery
Users of the fighting style: Claudio Serafino
We start this list with Sirius-Style Exorcism Sorcery, which is a fictional magic-based discipline used by only one character in the Tekken universe (as far as we know), Claudio Serafino. It is used to exorcise demons and evil forces from humans, and besides Claudio, who is their leader, the Archers of Sirius are the main users of this cool rage style.
The style also includes punches, kicks, and knee and elbow strikes, and the moves are really stylish. Besides the Christians and Supernatural fans, this fighting-rage style is not that useful, since you do not need to exorcise in real life, however, its actual combat elements can be. However, because of its supernatural nature, we will put this fighting style at the bottom of this list.
23. None – Not Defined
Users of this fighting style: Miguel Caballero Rojo
As you can see from the name, an undefined fighting style is also present in Tekken games. When asked about Miguel and his fighting style, Namco promptly said that he does not have a defined fighting style – he is just a strong brawler. He uses his raw power and physique to fight his opponents, and that can be quite powerful for opponents not expecting this kind of retaliation.
However, in real life, this fighting style is not safe at all – any opponent with better and refined skill can outplay non-defined fighters, and because of that Miguel and his fighting style is not really useful in real life.
Users of this fighting style: Christie Montero, Eddie Gordo, Mokujin (through mimicry), Lucky Chloe (most likely)
Now we have one of the coolest fighting styles produced by humankind ever, Brazilian Capoeira. This amazing and cool fighting style at first glance looks like a mixture of dancing and some kind of sports, but it is actually a really deadly fighting style. It is also known for its fast and deadly moves that are mostly unpredictable for the opponents.
For the sake of aesthetics and fun, Tekken developers tweaked Capoeria a bit to look more aggressive, even though the fighting style is mostly founded on many sweeps and low moves. Regardless, Capoeira is fun and really complex and the user needs to be really athletic to learn this cool style of fighting. All in all, we put it really low because, even though the style would probably be very useful in real life, the user needs to be an athletic and strong individual who can eventually master this beautiful fighting style.
21. Wing Chun
Users of this fighting style: Leroy Smith
Firstly defensive martial arts, Wing Chun is quite deadly if you look at it closely. The users adopt a thin stance with their elbows tucked in close to their bodies. Furthermore, the fighter waits for the right moment to strike the weak points of their opponent and deal devastating blows.
However, one of the biggest weaknesses this fighting style has is the reluctance of the user to deal with high kicks which leaves their upper body quite vulnerable. The martial arts would be useful, but it has too many weaknesses.
20. Baji Quan
Users of the fighting style: Michelle Chang, Julia Chang, Leo Kliesen, Mokujin (mimicry)
Baji Quan is truly an amazing fighting style. Originating from China, this fighting style is famous for its explosive, short-range power and elbow and shoulder strikes. It is truly deadly, and users, as we can see from Michelle and Julia Chang in Tekken, are really underrated characters. They are really hard to master, and when you do, you are unstoppable most of the time. What is so special about Baji Quan is its strategic aspects and special forms that fighter uses in their combat.
There are six different strategies:
- 頂 – Ding – using shoulder, fist, or elbow to push forward and upward,
- 抱 – Bao – putting arms together,
- 提 – Ti – elevating the knee or foot to hit the opponent in the show,
- 單 – Dan – single move,
- 胯 – Kua – using the hip,
- 纏 – Chan – entangling with rotation around the wrist, elbow, or shoulder – this is the most useful form in close combat.
All in all, Baju Quan is a deadly and quite useful technique in real life, however, one needs to master really complicated moves and forms, that is why we will put it in this place.
Users of this fighting style: Nina and Anna Williams, Geese Howard, Mokujin (mimicry)
Redirection is the main theme of Aikido because it does not deal with attacks head-on, but by redirecting the force of the attack. Nina and Anna Williams learned it from their mother, however, they only use Aikido for chained throws and reversal moves. Therefore, Aikido uses body movement as the main tool for attacking opponents.
An individual who actually can do it needs to be light on their feet and have amazing balance. Strikes of the martial arts are usually from the sword while the techniques like punches are practiced as thrusts of the sharp weapons – knives or swords. Kicks are used for the opponent’s upper body and their consequences can be devastating. All in all, Aikido is mainly a body movement martial arts that use kicks, throws, and strikes by weapons in combat, and it can be devastating and useful in real life. However, once again, an individual who wants to learn this martial art really needs to be built for it – light on their feet, intelligent, and really good with cold weapons.
18. Jeet Kune Do
Users of this fighting style: Marshall and Forest Law, Lee Chaolan/Violet, Mokujin (mimicry), and Paul Phoenix (some techniques)
Tekken was inspired by a lot of characters in popular culture for their characters but Bruce Lee has to be one of the most famous ones. His Jeet Kune Do is a hybrid of the martial arts system and philosophy of life – “the art of expressing the human body”. Bruce Lee always preached about martial arts needed to be spontaneous and reactionary, not predictable and rigid.
The fluidity of this martial art is something that would be really useful in real life, and it also preaches that a strong offense is the strongest defense. Besides Bruce Lee and his movies, Marshall and Forest Law represented that philosophy really well in Tekken games and were always considered “overpowered characters in the game”. However, we placed it in this place because one needs to truly change their life to practice this martial art, and most people find it really hard.
17. Sumo Wrestling
Users of this fighting style: Ganryu, Mokujin (mimicry)
At first glance modern Japanese martial arts, Sumo wrestling actually has historical origins in various Asian countries. Sumo wrestlers are renowned for their great physique and girth, which includes vast body mass, and this aspect of the fighters is an indication of great warriors. However, in professional competitions, there are no weight divisions, which means that some fighters can face opponents twice their size.
That means that tactics and strategy are really important in Sumo wrestling and individuals who know it can be really deadly to their opponents. However, learning it can be hard, and that is why this fighting style is in this place. We did not see Ganryu in action in Tekken: Bloodline, but we will surely do in future seasons.
Users of this fighting style: King, Armor King, Craig Marduk, Julia, and Michelle Chang (grapples are taken from pro-wresting), Mokujin (mimicry)
Even though most of the most popular wrestling tournaments stem from WWE, a professional wrestling league that attracts millions of fans every fight, this section will focus on three different styles that are used in Tekken games:
- Greek and Catch wrestling
- Luchadores (Mexico)
- Japanese wrestling
Wrestling can be useful and is not that hard to learn if you compare it to previous entries, but it is quite hard to fight against hard hitters like brawlers or fast, agile fighters. All in all, wrestling can be useful, and the unique techniques of each wrestling type can be really deadly but really hard to learn.
Users of this fighting style: Ling Xiaoyu, Miharu Hirano, Mojuni (mimicry)
This fighting style is quite flexible and contains various techniques, like strikes, elbow, fingers, palms, fists, joint locks, throws, and evasive circular footwork. Because of its evading nature, Baguazhang is not purely defined – it is something between striking and grappling martial art. This is why this martial art is really useful in real life – its evading techniques and lightness of users’ footwork, can bring an individual a long way in combat.
Even though it is not real life, we saw in Tekken: Bloodline how Xiaoyu uses her light footwork and techniques with a planned strategy to beat a very skillful fighter and assassin, Nina Williams. Ranking it this low might seem harsh, but because it is focused on so many elements, one could find it quite hard to learn it, and that makes masters of this art amazing opponents in any combat.
Users of this fighting style: Katarina Alves, Lee Chaolan (some techniques)
This french martial art and combat sport is a style of kickboxing developed by sailors in the 19th century. The users of this fighting style allow shoes in the ring but restricts knees or shins, and prioritize kicking into opponents’ vital areas. Western boxing is an inspiration for punches and during combat, fighters are trying to lower their opponents’ guards to find their weaknesses.
The reason this martial art is higher than previous entries on this list is that it has useful self-defense variations of Savate which includes knees, headbutts, throws, and cliches that could be quite useful in real life.
Users of this fighting style: Steve Fox, Mokujin (mimicry)
One of the most popular martial arts in history, boxing is available in every part of the world. We saw so much boxing in competitive sports and even in fictional media like the movie Rocky. This martial arts is extremely useful for unskilled opponents and as self-defense, boxing is magnificently useful. Jabs, punches, crosses, and hooks are the main elements of boxing, and evading and body balance with footwork is really important as well.
However, its weaknesses are quite glaring, and even though it is an available martial art for everyone, the leg combat and lack of defense of the lower body can present the issue.
Users of this fighting style: Yoshimitsu, Kunimitsu, Raven, Master Raven, Mokujin (mimicry)
Ninjutsu is quite a famous martial art around the world and Tekken included it as well in the ocean of other cool martial arts. Ninjutsu is considered more of an art of tricks than martial arts. This art includes unarmed combat or “body art”, and combat with weapons like Katana, Naginata, Bō, Shuriken, non-detections techniques, avoidance and more.
This legendary arts is usually connected to legendary ninjas from myths and ancient stories, which also include invisibility, flight and other supernatural abilities. Would it be useful in combat? Definitely yes, but we can’t fly and that is why it is ranked like this.
11. Mishima Style Fighting Karate
We saw firsthand how Mishima Style Fighting Karate can be devastating, especially when it is practiced by a master like Heihachi. This variation of Karate was originally created by Jinpachi Mishima, Heihachi’s father, and completed by Heihachi. We won’t go into details about what Karate styles inspired this fighting style, but we will just say that Mishima’s Karate is not passive and stiff at all. It is more fluid and users of this martial style are dangerous opponents.
It is also important to mention that each of the Mishima users, including Jin, has its own unique style of karate.
It would be really useful in real life, but surviving Heihachi’s training… will be really hard.
Users of this fighting style: Hwoarang, Baek Doo San, Lee Chaolan (some techniques), Mokujin (mimicry)
One of the most popular martial arts in the world is Taekwondo from South Korea. It is mostly practiced in professional sports but its combat potential is really high. Combat and self-defense are really important aspects of this martial arts, and the speed and agility of head-high kicks, jumps, and spinning kicks can be deadly to most opponents.
There are multiple styles but we will just say that this fighting style can really useful in real life, but it has glaring issues when it comes to hand combat – that is why this is its rank.
9. Kazama Style Traditional Martial Arts
Users of this fighting style: Jin Kazama (after Tekken 3/Bloodline events), Jun Kazama, Asuka Kazama, Devil Jin (some techniques), Mokujin (mimicry)
We saw firsthand how Kazama Style Traditional Martial arts works in Tekken: Bloodline. It incorporates traditional Japanese Jujutsu such as Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu, a fighting style that contains throwing, and defensive techniques to neutralize or blend the attack’s effectiveness to use it against the opponent.
Jun Kazama showed in Bloodline how she uses her fighting style – there are a lot of spinning and reversal moves. However, Jin and Asuka use it more aggressively. Jin Kazama, after the events of Tekken 3 (probably Bloodline’s first season as well), uses his mother’s fighting style and abandons Mishima martial art. Because of its defensive aspects, this fighting style is quite useful in real life.
8. Muay Thai
Users of this fighting style: Fahkumram, Bruce Irwin, Josie (combination with other martial arts), Bryan Fury (some techniques), Mokujin (mimicry)
One of the most popular kickboxing styles in the world, Muay Thai is an effective martial art for today’s MMA fighters. It uses multiple different kickboxing styles and besides using punches and kicks, this particular martial art also uses shins, elbows, and knees.
This is a really useful martial art and millions of people all over the world are practicing this fighting style for self-defense or powerful retaliation tool against their attackers or opponents. Because of its availability, and efficiency, we needed to put Muay Thai so high on the list. It has its weaknesses, like trying to fight with wrestlers, but all in all, it has proven multiple times that this is a really useful martial art.
Users of this fighting style: Paul Phoenix, Jun Kazama (some Judo aspects are in Kazama Fighting Style), Mokujin (mimicry)
One of the most popular Japanese martial arts in the world, Judo can truly be deadly in real life. It is mostly used in a competitive atmosphere but is not too shabby when used in sticky situations outside of the ring. Judo has three main techniques: throwing, grappling and striking.
Because of its availability and effectiveness, we need to put Judo higher on the list than the rest – it is at glance simple, but it really isn’t and its strikes combined with grappling can be really reliable in real life.
Users of this fighting style: Nina and Anna Williams, Mokujin (mimicry)
This fighting style is a Japanese fighting system included in the Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu organization. The premise of the so-called “bone method” is quite simple – attack the main bone frame of the opponent’s body. The philosophy behind this fighting style is to attack the opponent’s main threat (bone structure) and if immobilized, that part of the body cannot be used in combat.
Weak points are struck with thumbs and fingers with which users of Koppojutsu are manipulating opponents’ limbs in a state of weakness. Nina and Anna combine this martial art with Aikido, and for that are deadly pair of sisters. When it comes to usefulness in real life, it truly is, and every user of this martial arts is a huge advantage when used properly in combat.
5. Wu Xing and Zui Quan
Users of this fighting style: Lei Wulong, Mokujin (mimicry)
Remember Drunken Master starring Jackie Chan? Well, he used Zui Quan but Lei Wulong in Tekken uses both Wu Xing and Zui Quan fighting styles. The second one originates from Shaolin Temple in Henan, and uses five forms of animals in its arsenal:
- Snake Form – open-handed strikes,
- Crane Form – circular motions, relayed then sudden and focused attacks,
- Tiger Form – powerful, and strong strikes,
- Leopard Form – whip-like techniques,
- Dragon Form – sudden explosive strikes, with penetrating force.
Each animal form presents its signature strikes, and Lei Wulong is one of the most unique Tekken characters. Wu Xing would be extremely useful in real life because it is mostly balanced martial arts. On the other hand, Zui Quan is essentially a Drunken fist, a category of techniques, forms, and fighting philosophy that imitates a drunk person’s movements. It is acrobatic and requires great skill, coordination, and balance. Why is it this high? Because combining these two martial arts, makes one really powerful and useful in real life.
Users of this fighting style: Josie Rizal
Eskrima is weapon-based combat that involves weapons like sticks and knives. Originally from the Philippines, this first underground martial art got popular once again in the last few decades and was practiced by soldiers and later passed over to common people. Vicious strikes are something this fighting style prioritizes but only in the form of counter-attacks. More specifically, this fighting style waits for the opponents to strike first, and then counter them.
Military and security in the Philippines started prioritizing and practicing this cool martial art, and because of its simplicity but effective fighting style, is mostly used as a martial art in Hollywood movies. That is why this fighting style is this high on our list.
3. Xin Yi Liu He Quan
Users of this fighting style: Wang Jinrei, Michelle and Julia Chang, Mokujin (mimicry)
The cruelest Chinese martial arts, Xin Yi Liu He Quan, is extremely deadly and cruel. It is the most powerful and fighting-oriented fighting style existing in Chinese history and its short, fast, and powerful movements, can neutralize every opponent. Like Wu Xing, Xin Yi Liu He Quan is also based on animal forms, but this time ten of them.
We won’t describe each and every one of them but we will say that this particular martial art utilizes every aspect of the user/fighter – body, mental, internal strength, and many more. Every single part of the body is used, from hips to shoulders, and is practicing the use of full body force, hence why can be extremely useful in real life.
Users using this fighting style: Sergei Dragunov, Mokujin (mimicry)
The closest martial art to Krav Maga, the Israelian military fighting style that is famous for its defensive style of combat. Sambo originates from Russia and is one of those fighting styles that “borrows” various different styles of wrestling systems. Its goal is to stop an armed or unarmed opponent in the least time possible.
There are Commando and Sport Sambo variations and each has unique styles for unique combats. With this fighting style, one can be really powerful and because of its defensive properties, Sambo needs to be near the top of this list.
Users of this fighting style: Mokujin
Imagine copying every single fighting style in the world or your opponents before the fight. Mokujin can do that. This unusual Tekken character copies its opponent’s fighting styles and fights with them perfectly mimicking them. In the game, it changes its fighting style every round and sometimes stays with the same fighting style in the second round.
This character cannot be mastered unless a player masters every character in the game. Now, imagine changing and practicing every single fighting style on the list in real life. Yes, one would be unstoppable, hence being on top of this list.