Greetings, Splendid Seven devotees and martial arts aficionados! Antoni here with another written entry focusing on Sesshoumaru, Shuran, Inuyasha, Hakkaku, Ginta, Ayame, and Shunran specialising in the martial arts they do, especially for tournaments, demonstrations, and kicking a whole lot of demon, monster, and villain butt. What more can I say other than I love it when these seven Yokai martial artists band together as a powerful family to not only demonstrate their brutal yet awesome moves but also live with honour, integrity, truth, respect, cooperation, dedication, and discipline as martial artists and as people.
Picture yourselves in a huge arena where a martial arts demonstration is about to take place. You see seven martial artists in the forms of Sesshoumaru, Shuran, Inuyasha, Hakkaku, Ginta, Ayame, and Shunran entering the arena as fierce and determined as ever to show that they are the greatest Yokai martial artists Japan and the world has ever seen. Sesshoumaru breaks twenty-five cement blocks on top of each other with his bare fists. Shuran charges through a concrete wall using his whole body as if though he were the world’s most powerful wrecking ball. Inuyasha breaks thirty huge ice blocks aligned at each other with his bare fists, bare shins, and bare feet. Hakkaku effortlessly shin kicks tall wooden poles made of oak. Ginta speedily knee strikes tall wooden poles made of ebony. Ayame unleashes punches and kicks towards various metallic tiles, thus breaking them. Shunran goes zero gravity with her kicks and tricking towards wooden boards and ceramic tiles, thus breaking them too. After that display of superhuman power, their greatest challenge is to overcome opponents larger than them in the fastest time possible. It may have been gruelling, but all seven Yokai martial artists come out on top. This would definitely be the greatest sight to behold and one that would live on in martial arts history.
Ever since I have been making various written entries revolving around The Splendid Seven, their chosen martial arts, and the various fighting game mentors I have in store for them, I have been further assessing the possibilities of their fighting styles all thanks to the video games I used to play as a young lad ranging from Street Fighter to Tekken to King of Fighters to even Mortal Kombat as well as watching Let’s Plays of a Karate-focused video game called Karate Master Knock Down Blow. This has additionally extended nicely to watching a fair number of martial arts documentaries, shows, and media instalments which have further sparked my interest in making The Splendid Seven be a sturdy family of Yokai martial artists who live with integrity and honour. Considering that I assigned them various mentors from some of the fighting games I used to play as a child, it is also my way of further expanding their martial arts skills and even have some surprisingly genuine connections to their mentors. With that said, let us get to the individual Yokai martial artists.
Leaning towards the tradition, the discipline, and the honour side of the martial arts is Sesshoumaru a Karateka whose specific styles are Shotokan, Shito-Ryu, Goju-Ryu, Shorin-Ryu, Shorei-Ryu, Motobu-Ryu, and Uechi-Ryu. Aside from Karate, he also has a sturdy background in Marine Corps Martial Arts, Brazilian Jujitsu, Japanese Jujitsu, Taekwondo, Mixed Martial Arts, Judo, and Shootfighting. Sesshoumaru’s clean and focused attacks are characterised by lethal jabs, uppercuts, roundhouse kicks, and axe kicks to the face, head, gut area, and ribcage among many other body parts, strangulating chokeholds that see his opponents gasping for air, bludgeoning takedowns, quick reaction time to what his opponents would deliver at him, and high doses of stamina which have seen him emerge as the victor. There is also a military code that he abides by when it comes to not attacking unless somebody is brazen enough to provoke him. He even takes after Gouken’s discipline of the martial arts code, Ryu’s ambition to become a more powerful warrior, T. Hawk’s strong and silent calmness before the storm of battle, and Kazuya Mishima’s relentlessness to emerge as the victor to the point where Sesshoumaru considers Gouken, T. Hawk, Ryu, and Kazuya to be his most favourite mentors of all time. Sesshoumaru truly does make Karate, Taekwondo, and Jujitsu a way of life whether he does his daily katas, spars with his younger brother Inuyasha and with their father Toga the Dog General on a daily basis or uses his martial arts skills to take his enemies down.
Being large and in charge complete with brute strength, loads of raw power, and earth-shattering takedowns is Shuran a wrestler whose focus is on American and British Professional Wrestling, Sumo Wrestling, Ssireum, Turkish Oil Wrestling, Pehlwani, and Malla-yuddha. He is also an ace in Sambo and Vale Tudo, thus demonstrating that he is more than just a grappler, as his ground and pound attacks, palm strikes, knee strikes, elbow strikes, and punches can cause collateral damage to his opponents. While Shuran’s punches, palm strikes, elbow strikes, knee strikes, and ground and pound attacks can physically and psychologically damage his opponents, his grappling skills remain unparalleled. As Shuran is the biggest and the tallest member of The Splendid Seven, his specialties of pile drivers, chokeholds, arm bars, Full Nelsons, up his sleeves such as hammerfists to the temple, straight punches between the eyes and to the solar plexus, elbow strikes, knee strikes, and kicks, not just grapples such as Full Nelsons, arm bars, chokeholds, takedowns, and foot sweeps deriving from Brazilian Jujitsu. Inuyasha draws inspiration afrom Akuma’s lethal ferociousness, es of inspiration for emerging on top of his game thanks to E. Honda’s dignity, Zangief’s toughness, Blanka’s resilience, and Ganryu’s formidability. Shuran’s brute strength and power may make him bear a champion’s mindset, but it is his unwavering will to never surrender that makes him a truly aspirational grappler let alone wrestler.
Showing every monster, foe, and demon what he has got in terms of stamina, super strength, muscular power, and relentless confidence is Inuyasha a Karateka who mainly prioritises on Kyokushin, Seidokaikan, Wado-Ryu, Ashihara, Budokan, Enshin, and Gosoku-Ryu. Inuyasha does not limit himself to Karate, as he is also extremely phenomenal in Brazilian Jujitsu, Judo, Pankration, Mixed Martial Arts, American Kenpo Karate, Bokator, and Kapu Kuialua. Inuyasha is a combatant who trains day and night to strengthen and fortify his attacks, specifically his uppercuts, jabs, hooks, cross punches, roundhouse kicks, spinning back kicks, and axe kicks, to sheer perfection, especially since he revels in explosive close combat attacks where he can feel free to rain as many blows as possible until his opponents bleed profusely and cause as much collateral damage to their systems as possible. As Inuyasha is also a judoka specialising in the old-school way of that particular martial art, he also has a repertory of atemi waza up his sleeves such as hammerfists to the temple, straight punches between the eyes and to the solar plexus, elbow strikes, knee strikes, and kicks, not just grapples such as Full Nelsons, arm bars, chokeholds, takedowns, and foot sweeps deriving from Brazilian Jujitsu. Inuyasha draws inspiration and strength from Akuma’s lethal ferociousness, Ken Masters’s unwavering relentlessness, Guile’s military precision, and Paul Phoenix’s rowdy toughness, learns a great deal from his favourite mentors about growing physically and mentally stronger as a fighter and as a person, and always has fun tackling Akuma, Guile, Ken, and Paul in every wrestling match he initiates to let off some steam. Inuyasha’s super strength and muscular power give him free access to get really close to his opponents with a huge menacing grin on his face in order to rain some serious blows on them as well as remind them that nobody else but he is going to be the all-time champion.
Emerging from being knocked down several times with a toothy grin on his face and loads of resilience, excitement, dedication, and determination is Hakkaku a Muay Thai practitioner known for his lethally relentless elbow strikes, shin kicks, and knee strikes to any parts of the body. As a prominent striker and clincher, he also draws inspiration from Pradal Serey, Kajukenbo, Panantukan, Dambe, Moraingy, and Taekkyeon as a means to diversify his repertoire of punches, kicks, knee strikes, palm strikes, elbow strikes, and headbutts. Furthermore, he practices Yoga to keep himself flexible and well-conditioned for any and every battle he finds himself in. Hakkaku considers himself to be a dedicated fighter with sufficient energy burning in his system to propel his strikes and clinches with everything he has got. He is also aware that strength alone does not make for a complete fighter, for flexibility, quick reflexes, stamina, dedication, accurate timing, and perseverance are also the most important physical hallmarks martial artists should bear to reach their ultimate potential. Hakkaku also has reverence as a martial artist, seeing that he once fought for the King of Siam in a tournament which saw him go into combat against his best Muay Thai and Muay Boran practitioners, thus considering this opportunity to be the greatest honour of his life. Furthermore, Hakkaku aspires to have Sagat’s rampaging formidability, Dhalsim’s cool conscientiousness, Balrog’s intimidating toughness, and Bruce Irvin’s unapologetic fierceness, for he considers them to be the greatest mentors he has ever had who have shaped him to be the fighter he is proud to be today. It also helps that every sparring match they find themselves in is full of encouragement, perseverance, and the will for him to keep on growing. Hakkaku’s lethal and speedy blows are coupled with his never-ending resilience to grow as a combatant and as a person.
Acquiring all of the girls’ romantic attention as well as the guys’ romantic and platonic fascination thanks to his adorable dimples, never-surrender attitude, and abundant charisma is Ginta a Lethwei practitioner renowned to the world for his quickly timed punches, kicks, and most of all his signature headbutt that leaves his foes writhing in pain. Being the prominent striker and clincher that Ginta is, he also implements Jeet Kune Do, Sanda, Pencak Silat, Hwa Rang Do, Tang Soo Do, and Eagle Claw Kung Fu in his moves to combine strength, agility, and overall endurance. Complimenting his martial arts prowess is how he uses sprinting, Yoga, and tricking as a means to ensure that he maintains physical agility, speed, and flexibility. While he has jabs, hooks, axe kicks, spinning back kicks, elbow strikes, headbutts, knee strikes, and shin kicks that can break his enemies on the inside and on the outside, his greatest strength is his accurate timing and his need for speed and agility to perfectly compliment his physical strength and leverage over his opponents. Ginta also believes that speed, timing, and strength are insufficient when a fighter does not put their mind, soul, and heart into it. This is especially evident in one Sanda match that he got himself into in Beijing when he used his speed, strength, and accurate timing to send his opponents in a flurry while showing reverence and humility to the emperor. Speaking of reverence, he feels honoured to be ingrained with Adon’s fiery formidability, Dee Jay’s virile charisma, Vega’s darkly handsome charm, and Lei Wulong’s unwavering sense of duty so much so that Ginta truly admires Adon, Dee Jay, Vega, and Wei as his greatest mentors of all time. Ginta’s likeable charm should never be mistaken for a weakness, for his mad moves full of speed and strength can overcome any and every foe.
Charging headfirst into action and giving every Amazon warrior a run for her money is Ayame a Kickboxer whose main foci are Dutch, American, and Japanese Kickboxing, given the many punches and kicks she has on standby. Kickboxing prowess aside, Ayame is also a phenom in Koppojutsu, Nippon Kenpo, Hapkido, Boxing, Taido, Krav Maga, and Systema, thus demonstrating high amounts of leverage in her striking abilities through her furious fists and her fleet feet. Every jab, uppercut, cross punch, sucker punch, Superman punch, hook, and gut punch she offers can leave her opponents’ bones broken and writhing on the floor with loads of excruciating pain and distress. Furthermore, Ayame’s roundhouse kicks, tornado kicks, split kicks, knee strikes, shin kicks, and axe kicks are a sight to behold, thus causing her foes to have their breath taken away. The millisecond her enemies launch an attack is when Ayame launches a counterattack that can be a lot more painful than what they can deliver with gusto. Coupled with Ayame’s grand array of punches of kicks is her determination to grow stronger as a fighter, her great attitude to accept new challenges with open arms, and her unfettered dedication to her craft as a kickboxing sensation. If there are attributes Ayame constantly finds inspiration from, they have to be Chun-Li’s confident physical power, Cammy White’s lethally accurate focus, Sakura Kasugano’s joyous ebullience, and Nina Williams’s unfettered sense of resolve, for she feels that they have given her every reason to achieve more as a fighter. In fact, this will to achieve has found herself being an honorary member of the Hong Kong police force, Delta Red, the Japanese police force, and UK’s MI6. Ayame may have fists of fury and fleet feet as a kickboxer, but they are nothing without her determination and confidence to achieve higher goals and aspirations.
Springing and leaping into battle with mischievous giggles, versatile attacks, and loads of tricking moves complete with the fragrant smell of cherry blossoms is Shunran a Capoeirista who loves to experiment with flip kicks, flying kicks, gymnastics, and zero-gravity moves to put her enemies in a constant state of confusion. Capoeira skills aside, Shunran also specialises in Aikido, Shaolin Kung Fu, Ninjutsu, Wing Chun, Wushu, Baguazhang, and Northern Praying Mantis Kung Fu to the point where she combines Capoeira with Aikido and Shaolin Kung Fu to make her attacks as fluidly effortless yet utterly deadly as possible. Shunran has a huge laundry list of kicks that she specialises in such as flip kicks, spinning roundhouse kicks, butterfly kicks, spinning back kicks, split kicks, axe kicks, shin kicks, and flying kicks that go from 360 degrees to 720 degrees, thus defying gravity. She does not only limit herself to kicks, for Shunran is also well-armed with knife hand strikes, elbow strikes, knee strikes, backfists, hook punches, and, her personal favourite, chi blocking. With her lightning quick strikes and her penchant for outrunning her enemies, Shunran backs her physical prowess up with resourcefulness, cleverness, cooperation, and quick wit to ensure that she consistently stays ahead of her own game and everybody else’s game, while doing what she can to keep her family under one secure roof. For that, she attributes Elena’s jovial dedication, Ibuki’s clever tactics, Karin’s abundant resources, and Anna Williams’s savvy yet deliciously Machiavellian intelligence as her sources of inspiration to the point where Shunran is utterly blessed and grateful for everything Elena, Ibuki, Karin, and Anna have done to give her the clear direction she needs as a fighter and as an individual. Shunran’s fancy footwork let alone limb work may get the job done in terms of overcoming her foes in a quick and easy manner, but her cleverness should never be underestimated, especially with all the tricks and mad moves up her sleeves.
Sesshoumaru’s lethal accuracy as a Shotokan Karateka who incorporates Taekwondo and Japanese Jujitsu, Shuran’s brute force as a wrestler who incorporates Vale Tudo and Sambo, Inuyasha’s powerful formidability as a Kyokushin Karateka who incorporates Judo and Pankration, Hakkaku’s strong willpower as a Muay Thai practitioner who incorporates Pradal Serey and Kajukenbo, Ginta’s hypnotically dangerous charm as a Lethwei practitioner who incorporates Sanda and Silat, Ayame’s determined endurance as a Kickboxer who incorporates Koppojutsu and Nippon Kenpo, and Shunran’s resourceful cleverness as a Capoeirista who incorporates Shaolin Kung Fu and Aikido are all forces to be reckoned with. When brought together, these seven Yokai martial artists can form a team let alone a family worthy of everybody’s respect, admiration, and honour. Nothing, and I mean nothing, will ever knock them down even if various attempts were made.