Hokuto Shinken (北斗神拳, roughly "Divine Fist of the Northern Dipper") is an instrumental martial arts style practiced in the Fist of the North Star series. It is partially reenacted in the Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage series.
Hokuto Shinken is a 1,800 year old martial art that originated from the borderlands of eastern China and the violent fictional nation of Shura during the era of the Three Kingdoms, founded by the Hokuto Sōke Ken practitioner Shuken. Its progenitor martial art being that of Hokuto Sōke Ken, the martial art came into being when Shuken combined his knowledge of Meridian Points used in the Yuezhi people martial art, Seito Gekken.
During the Three Kingdoms period, the style was split into the Hokuto Sanka Ken schools. Over time, the school Hokuto Soka Ken, which served Cao Cao, rose at the end of the warring era as the defining martial art of Hokuto Shinken; Hokuto Sonken, which served Sun Wu, continued its existence in modest but vauge detail, whereas Hokuto Ryuken, which served Liu Bei, also continued to exist but disappeared into obscurity.
Powers and Other Traits
Hokuto Shinken is a school that uses advanced acupuncture on the human body's internal qi, targeting of specific vital areas of the body where qi is to gather (Meridian Points). Users can use this offensively to have their foes bodies break down instantly, heal others with a "miraculous" touch, or alter themselves to have superhuman speed, strength, and resilience to otherwise fatal injuries. With proper training and care, multiple Meridian Points can be used to unleash a person's latent ability and potential.
Like other martial arts, there are soft and hard aspects to Hokuto Shinken. Soft aspects focus on accuracy, fluidity and directness to properly aim for specific meridians with untold agility. Hard aspects focus on strength, form and force to deliver powerful and indiscriminate attacks at many meridians on the body.
Though Hokuto Shinken finds power through the internal workings of the body, its true strength lies in the power of love. "Love" can be driven from the power of friendship, fraternal bonds between brothers, or romantic ties. Love can only be realized within a user through knowing true loss and sorrow. It is understanding and accepting this emotion that refines its techniques and separates it from copycat users. Expert users of Hokuto Shinken can perfectly mimic the techniques of the people they respect in their hearts.
Hokuto Shinken is a martial art that practices Isshi Sōden, where a select heir is appointed in succession by their master to carry on the legacy in their generation. Many can be trained, but there can be only one successor at a given time. When a successor has been chosen, all prior trainees must voluntarily give up the style or undergo forceful methods to seal away rogue users. The true heir to the technique must also be tested and approved by the "Lone Star".
According to the legends of Hokuto Shinken, it is said, "Wherever the Norther Dipper arises, violence shall soon follow." The heir of Hokuto Shinken must bear the tumults fated to occur to them as a cost of wielding the martial art. This brings wrath and destruction to everyone they encounter: their enemies, friends and loved ones.
Like the other major schools in Fist of the North Star, Hokuto Shinken believes in Chinese astrology and each practitioner is fated to carry out their correlating star within the Northern Dipper constellation. Hokuto Shinken heirs are said to be entrusted with the role of Hokuto Seikun, one of the two guardians of the Celestial Emperor. Their responsibility is to be the merciless punisher of evil and the protector of the innocent to all of those under the skies.
- Meridian Points/Keiraku Hiko - Vital points of the body where qi is said to concentrate greatly at and are responsible for the human body's functions. There are over 708 recorded Meridians known on the human body.
- Ju no Ken - A soft style of Hokuto Shinken developed and used by Toki. Uses one's speed and fluidity to overcome the opponent and use their own force against them.
- Go no Ken - A hard style of Hokuto Shinken developed and used by Raoh. Centered around tempering and bulking one's body for the purpose of overwhelming the opponent with indomitable and direct strength.
- Hokuto Ujoken - A derivative Hokuto Shinken school centered on Keiraku Hiko associated with benevolent effects that can heal and destroy in humane fashion.
Astronomy and Astrology
- Hokuto - lit. the Big Dipper. In Chinese legend, it is said that the Hokuto constellation is the celestial palace of all of heaven.
- Star of Death - Refers to the dimly viewable star Alcor and the legend surrounding it and the Hokuto constellation. It is said that if one should be able to see Alcor under the night sky near the handle, it is an omen that foretells their death within the year.
In the Games
The games have the martial arts centered on direct hits and focused blows. Compared to Nanto Seiken, Hokuto Shinken's range of physical attacks are narrow and somewhat stiff in maneuverability, but make up for that with an easy learning curve, incredible power and Signature Moves with good range. Their defense game is greatly centered on blocking, and their long blocking frames allow for an easier chance at parrying opponent's attacks and deflecting arrows.
Appropriate to the series, foes who are defeated by users of Hokuto Shinken will have their bodies contort painfully and uncontrollably as they darken a blackish bloody red, before they blow up gorily into pieces. Additional attacks or more powerful or "hard style" attacks will see foes blow up into pieces immediately. Though its own category, but with relation with Hokuto Shinken, foes who are defeated by Hokuto Ujoken also contort wildly but come to do so in bliss and feel no pain while illuminated with a halo skyward, before they erupt and blow up into pieces.
Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage
|Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage • Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage 2 • 100man-nin no Hokuto Musou|
|Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage|
|Kenshiro • Rei • Mamiya • Toki • Shin • Jagi • Thouzer • Raoh • Heart • Outlaw|
|Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage 2|
|Juda • Shew • Fudo • Juza • Ryuga • Bat • Rin • Ein • Falco • Shachi • Hyou • Kaioh • Amiba • Nameless Shura • Han|
|Hokuto Shinken • Nanto Seiken • Hokuto Ryuken|