Is Gouken a shoto? Legitimate discussion



Hello Gouken mains. Basically my question is simple. Based off of the moveset of Gouken, do you consider him, or not consider him to be a shoto alongside Ryu, Ken, and Akuma? Im asking you this as a result of a discussion [that can be found here](“Execute.” The Decapre thread of which the topic is “Are Sakura and Gouken Shotos?”. Accordingly, I shall also be presenting this question to the Sakura player community as well. Feel free to post your thoughts here, or join the discussion in the hyperlinked thread.

The context of “shoto” here is more less a character who has a hadoken, a shoryuken, and a tatsumaki. The issue that was brought up is that Gouken and Sakura are not shotos, because of how their moveset differs in appearance and utility from the original 3. I am in the camp that thinks they are shotos regardless, but i would still like your opinions on the matter.

"Execute." The Decapre thread

I think what you mean is a fireball, forward moving special, and an anti-air, no matter how useless.

By your definition, Sagat, Rose, DeeJay, Gouken, Sakura, Dan, Seth, Oni, and Evil Ryu are all shotos as well.

Really, you are just linking them by association in canon and the fact that have a fireball.

Ryu, Ken, and Akuma, especially in other versions of Street Fighter have moves that only differ by property. I.E. They all literally have a tatsumaki that travels across the screen, they all can throw fireballs, they all have shoryukens that travel upwards, all of these done with the same motions.

Even a lot of their normals are similiar. Until Turbo or maybe Super SF2 (don’t remember) Ken and Ryu had the same normals I believe. I may be wrong.

I’m sorry but Gouken is only similiar to Ken and Ryu in that he throws a fireball. His normals are absurdly different. Just so much that makes him not a shoto.


Basically what he said. His moves are similar in name only.


A lot of non-Sakura and non-Gouken mains dismiss them off as shotos very easily. Forget them.

If anything, Sakura is closer to a shoto than Gouken is, not because of the special moves, but because of her very basic bnb (“jab jab xx dp”). Gouken currently doesn’t have anything that lets him jab into an ending damaging special move.

I don’t think I have to go into why his tatsu is not like a shoryuken, and why his palm is not like a tatsu.

In Super SF2, Ken’s tatsu didn’t knock down. Ryu’s did. It’s been like this up until now.


Well I had a huge post here discussing all of the lovely normals Gouken had in common and those that were divergent amongst all the shotos, but the internet ate it. Oh well.
Long story short, Gouken has MANY Shoto staples in his arsenal, though a common change is that he prefers open palms to fists and will often have guard up where the others don’t(especially fun with j.LK ONly Gouken covers his junk and will be safe from moves like Juris c.HP). Ken is one of the most divergent of shoto staples, but even he often has them hidden in places.

Some of Goukens fun nods are his cl.HP which is the traditonal shoto hadouken stance(as he does them one handed) and his focus attack which is Ryus Sokutogeri from 3s(and his ultras are from that one as well, shinsho even being from Alpha). Also Goukens Air tatsu is a tribute to the good old versions of shoto air tatsu before they gave them gravity properties(in ssf2 I think? its been a while) In this way Sakura is less a shoto than Gouken as her references are far less and often have her hvaing a very loose stance when she does do them. Still though, it is very clear where her inspiration comes from and that she is doing her best to imitate what she has seen Ryu do.


Gouken is not a shoto.
There are even people who say: Wtf does everybody play shotos and not cool underused characters like Gouken.

As everybody in this thread stated he has moves similar to shotos but his specials are only shotolike in name.


I consider him Shoto. No doubt. Obviously he differs, and it is to quite an extent that he differs too, admittedly.

He has the SF2 Shoto sweep; he has the SF2 throw, damage wise; he has the Hyper SF2 air-Tatsumaki; he has a 3 frame DP (Super); he has Hadoken to anti-air traps (although tricky - referring to either Kongo or Tatsu); he has the ranged cr. MP to fireball ground game (although it does not typically combo); he has the walk speed and dash speed/ distance and jumps of Shotos; etc.

But it’s certainly true that he differs in many areas - and hey, you say tomato, I say potato - they’re both edible.


JJust for the sake of curiosity, here are some differences up until SSF2, since in ST they are very different:

Ryu has a few frames, while stunned, when he eats double damage.
Ryu’s kick throws do not move himself (and the enemy) as far as Ken’s, since he doesn’t roll.

Ken’s tatsumaki combos and move faster.
Ryu’s tatsumaki have invulnerable start-up and recovery, and knock down.
Ryu’s hadoukens have faster start-up.
Ken’s shoryukens have faster start-up and recovery.
Ken’s shoryukens have a bigger hitbox.
Ken’s diagonal jumping fierce punch has better priority (smaller vulnerable area below).
Ken’s neutral jumping fierce punch has worse priority (bigger vulnerable area below).

IIRC, the same differences from CE.

Same differences from CE, plus:
Ryu’s hadoukens have a different animation art.
The recovery and the hitbox on Ryu’s hadoukens increase as the strength of the punch increases. (So there an advantage and a disadvantage.)
Ryu gains a new special move: the shakunetsu hadouken.
Ryu’s tatsumaki still have some invulnerability, but only during start-up, and it’s reduced to 4 frames.
Ryu can not combo a jumping attack into and air tatsumaki against most enemies (first attack whiffs, only the second one may combo).
Ken’s fierce hadouken sets the enemy on fire and hits up to three times.


How is Gouken being a shoto even a discussion? In flavour/backstory, obviously yes. In gameplay, blindingly obviously not. What’s the next topic, whether gravity makes things drop?


Well considering how there are multiple different stances on the subject, that easily make it a discussion. If anything the real problem is that what constitutes a shoto isn’t a solid piece of factual information. Everybody has their own definition of a shoto. For people like me, it just means having a hadoken, tatsu, and shoryuken in any form. For others the normals have to be there. And then there are those who think the utility of the moves must be the same as well

Also, since you want to be a smart ass, gravity does not make things drop. For gravity to make things drop there would need to be a standard galactic point of reference for up and down. There is no such thing, since spatial point of reference and sense of direction is a concept we as humans created, and animals use unknowingly. Therefore any nonsentient being or entitiy cannot abide by the concept of “up and down”. Gravity in an overall setting only pulls objects towards a gravitational point with the amount of force generated by the pull being subjective. In essence, gravity does not simply make things “drop”.

Feel free to participate in the thread topic if you wish.


Canon wise, he is a practicer of shotokan karate or whatever, he has to be, since he is the master of Ken and Ryu.

As far as actual in game character moves and normals? No, I don’t think so. He does not even have a 3 frame invincible DP.

If you knew nothing about Street Fighter and I showed you Ken and Ryu, just ran through their normals and their specials, and then I showed you Akuma and Gouken and did the same thing with them and then asked you to bet your life on which character, Gouken or Akuma, was their master I’d hope you would choose Akuma. Without even knowing about frame data or properties or anything the similarity between Ken, Ryu, and Akuma are painfully obvious, perhaps even MORESO when you don’t know frame data.

Ken and Ryu were originally basically pallet swaps, right? They wear the same Gi basically, had the same normals, same specials… They have evolved but I don’t think you can deny they are of the same class. Akuma was introduced, same height, width, Gi, normals and added air fireballs and a teleport. He evolved outwards as well…

Gouken… yeah no.

The best argument I can make is that Ken, Ryu, and Akuma are birds. Gouken is a bat. Or a flying squirrel. He is not a bird. He can fly and he eats insects but dude is not a bird.

If Gouken was named Drunk Bob, would you really think he went to the same school as Akuma, Ryu, and Ken if no one told you so?


He also has a lot of the names of his moves in common with them. he does Hadoukens he does Tatsus. He even has the old Hyper fighting Air Tatsu. He shares about 13 normals in common with Ryu. The origin of his inspiration is clear, but he is one of the biggest departures of a shoto in a long time, which is very refreshing, all based on the developers idea, how do we make a shoto whose DP moves forward.

Though um, they forgot to make it act like a DP in so many ways its not even funny :3

So yeah, drunk bob yelling hadoukens left and right and doing shin shoryukens would still imply his link to them.

though of all the story(and here is one of the biggest problems with this discussion, what criteria counts? what does someone consider it to be enough to be the same. Juris close roundhouse is similar in many ways to the traditonal Shoto close HK, but she executes it very differently.) shotos Gouken has the fewest normals and specials in common with the rest and overlaps with some of the shotos in ways they don’t with others(njHP is similar to Onis nj.MP including its pursuit property, no one else exhibits this also shares Demonflip with Akuma, but adds his own flair to it, like he does with several normals)

So it comes down to how much does it matter?
Story wise, yep hes a student of Goutetsu and the core shoto teacher.
Normals- Has some exact matches, many tributes and some that he does with palm strikes(and often has guard up when others dont) instead of fists(Akuma and Oni tend to have some of these, but not as often as Gouken does) Funnest one being close Fierce a node to the traditonal hadouken pose
Specials - Very clearly inspired by the original set and akumas, but intently subverted to give him a very different feel, far more than ever done with a shoto before(except maybe sean? dont know him well enough He has a more passive focus on these, an air parry and actualy gained a set of counters)
Super- O hey he actually has a 3f invincible DP
Ultras - Based on ones Ryu had in Alpha and 3s
Focus Attack - Ryus Sokutogeri from 3s
Tenmakujin divekick - Inspired by Akuma and Eryu (and Onis lost version)
Forward Throw - Starts tradtional then gets unusally brutal considering how he usually adapts tradtional moves

So yes I consider him a shoto. Because of the design intent and obvious source of its inspiration from story as well as moves and with how much people tend to hate clones I think capcom had some really nice ideas(that they didnt work out well enough to be fair) to really try and diversify the old man while maintaining a connection to the tradtion.


Yun’s Lunge Punch is more of a “horizontal dp” than gouken’s palm ever thought of being.


It lacks the invinicbility and slow recovery of traditonal DPs much like Goukens. Though faster in startup(its still not nearly as fast as Dps) it shares many traits with palm actually. So I don’t think I’d call it more of one. Though its abundance of active frames at least allows Yun to be able to make it not -3 on block which is the best Gouken can ever hope for.


Palms are 1 ton better than Tatsus on moving in past fireballs.

1 ton.

give and take, folks - give, and take.


as far as canon goes he is the one who instructed ryu + ken right? so wouldn’t he have taught them shotokan style or whatever its called? not referencing playstyle whatsoever.


@souchan - 13 normals the same as Ken and Ryu? List them please? Don’t say for Gouken is the same as for them.

His special moves are not the same as ken and Ryu, regardless of the name or what they look like or the motions used. As I stated above, plenty of people have a horizontal special attack, an “uppercut”, and a fireball.

Rose and Sagat immediately come to mind.

More importantly, someone needs to set a defined criteria of what a “shoto” is. Right now, since there is no definition, this cannot be answered. I also do not believe a bunch of people on the internet are ever going to form a solid universally recognized definition of a shoto.

EDIT: Going even further, even the three accepted shotos play nothing like each other. What exactly does being a shoto mean? I think shoto comes more from SF2 when the lines were way less blurred.


Hado technique = Shoto Character


If that were the case then wouldn’t Gouken, Sakura, And Chun-Li be considered shotos as well?
I have to disagree with this statement as it is too broad.


Chun Li says Hadoken???