Drunken Boxing, also known as Drunken Fist or Drunkard's Boxing, is a traditional Chinese martial art. It is a style of wushu that imitates a drunkard in its movements. The postures are created by momentum and weight of the body, and imitation is generally through staggering and a certain type of fluidity in the movements. Part of the idea here is to make one's movements unpredictable (because it doesn't look like any normal martial art). It is considered to be among the more difficult wushu styles to learn, due to the need for powerful joints and fingers. Think about the kind of strength you need to be able to lay flat on your back and stand up without using anything but your toes and ankles.
Drunken Boxing techniques are based on the legend of "The Eight Drunken Immortals". Each of the techniques in the Drunken Set demonstrates an attribute of one of the Immortals. These "elements" from all eight Immortals' styles are combined to form a beautiful and effective fighting art.
It also provides an interesting-looking set of movements for a character, or makes him stand out among other more linear fighters.
Variant of the Drunken Master
in which the character performing this combat style doesn't need to actually be drunk. Related to the story trope Confusion Fu
Unfortunately this is often considered a good example of Awesome but Impractical
, as the style itself performs poorly in competitions.
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Anime & Manga
- Played straight by Rock Lee in Naruto. Lee is actually a good enough fighter to begin with, but Kimimaro at the time of his fight with Lee, noted that Rock Lee a very direct, frontal attacking style of fighting, which could lead to predictability. With alcohol helping to keep his movements unpredictable combining with his freakish speed, Lee becomes a monster when using his Drunken fist.
- Parodied in Ranma 1/2. After Kuno has forced a whole bottle of sake down female-Ranma's throat, she begins to sway and dodge in unpredictable patterns. A teacher (whom Kuno shortly intimidates into silence) complains about underage drinking, but Genma tries to explain that it's really a form of Drunken Fist, especially when she kicks Kuno out cold... and she passes out right there, tanked out of her skull.
- Chuu from YuYu Hakusho even incorporates alcohol into his Ki Attacks, making them more powerful.
- Master Roshi uses Drunken Boxing in the original Dragon Ball. The Blue Ocean dub "covered up" by characters calling the style "Mad Cow" and the addition of cow-head clipart to the scene. The Funimation dub called it for what it was.
- Wong Fei Hong has displayed this type of kung fu in a good number of movies, especially the Drunken Master series with Jackie Chan and the Last Hero In China series with Jet Li.
- In The Matrix, Drunken Boxing is one of the many styles uploaded into Neo's head during his training on the Nebuchadnezzar.
- Raging Phoenix is sometimes billed as "drunken (B-boy) muay thai vs. drunken kung fu."
- In The World's End, the pubcrawlers, while not martial artists in any sense of the word, get progressively better at fighting their robotic foes the more they drink, even displaying a couple of recognizable moves from Drunken Master- this should be expected given that the stunt coordinator was Brad Allen, a member of the Jackie Chan Stunt Team.
Live Action TV
- Everway supplement Spherewalker Sourcebook. The combat system called The Entangling Art involves the user appearing clumsy, staggering out of the way of blows, accidentally tripping enemies and clumsily dashing weapons out of their hands. It can be used to break arms, knock down stout warriors, and even kill opponents.
- In the doujin fighter game Eternal Fighter Zero, Nayuki Minase parodies this with her "sleepy boxing" technique, which looks just like drunken boxing, except she's asleep. In this case, alcohol is replaced with strawberry jam.
- Something similar also shows up in Kinnikuman where it turns out King Muscle and Kid Muscle have developed an elaborate sleep-fighting technique due to sleeping in the same bed. (Uh...)
- Lei Wulong, the Jackie Chan Homage character from the Tekken games, has Drunken style as one of his stances.
- Brad Wong from the Dead or Alive series of Fighting Games. Incidentally, his only goal in the storyline seems to be a search for the ultimate beverage of legend.
- Shun Di, a regular of the Virtua Fighter series since the second game, uses Drunken Boxing as his fighting style of choice. Some of his more damaging and advanced moves require Shun Di to have a certain number of drinks in him to perform.
- Chin Gentsai in the King of Fighters series.
- Bo Rai Cho in the Mortal Kombat series has drunken boxing as one of his fighting styles, and carries a flask. His name is a pun on the Spanish word "borracho", meaning "drunkard". In fact, he is canonically the inventor of the style within the universe of the game.
- The Pandaren Brewmaster of Warcraft 3 has this as an ability that gives them a random chance to dodge and do extra damage. They probably are drunk when they do it.
- Pandaren are coming in the World of Warcraft expansion Mists Of Pandaria, and bringing their brewmaster fighting style with them, they're tanks who rely on dodging and "stagger" (shrugging off instant damage in favor of taking it over time, probably because they're too drunk to feel it right away).
- Suika Ibuki, of Touhou's first of two Fighting Games, is an oni that is known to have a gourd that never runs out of sake. Translation: she is never sober, even while fighting (while standing, she sways quite noticably) and it just so happens she is the final boss.
- Later, in Subterranian Animism, we meet Yuugi Hoshiguma, who carries a sake dish (filled with sake) throughout her entire fight with you (that is, the a large portion of the stage). While she's not shown drunk at all, it's implied that she and Suika were old fighting (and presumably drinking, both being oni) buddies (two of four particularly notorious oni...).
- In Jade Empire, one of your party members has the ability to toss bottles of wine to you, allowing you to activate the Drunken Master fighting style.
- Which, although powerful, is quickly and easily outmatched by any other martial style. Drunken Master cannot be leveled up with skill points, meaning it never gets more powerful, but it's about twice as powerful as a basic martial style with no skill points. It's also very slow, and hard to control. It's mostly for Rule of Cool.
- God Hand, with its customizable combos has several Drunken Boxing moves. You can make Gene a drunken boxer... however, the moves are relatively impractical.
- In Punch-Out!!, the Russian boxer Soda Popinski was originally named Vodka Drunkenski, who used this style. His fighting style has not changed after he switched to soda.
- The "not actually drunk" version is sort of exemplified by the Pokémon ability Tangled Feet. Pokémon with this ability gain a 20% boost to evasiveness when afflicted with the confusion status effect.
- Phantasy Star Portable 2 gives us the Ikku Hikku, a Photon Art for the knuckles weapon. At the end of the combo, the user reclines on the ground and takes a swig from a flask pulled out of Hammer Space.
- In Heroes of Newerth there is a hero literally called the Drunken Master, who uses this technique while also being completely drunk, all the time. One of his abilities is called "Drink", which does Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- WWE Raw vs. Nitro has drunken boxing as a stance in character customization... however, there are no actual drunk boxing moves in the game, and the walk animation doesn't change... so in effect, it's possible to make a character that stumbles drunkenly while standing still... and that's about it.
- Jackie Chan Adventures had two scenes where Jackie used Drunken Boxing in homage to the movies. Since they couldn't mention alcohol on a kids' show, they used workarounds. The first time, he was disoriented due to the venom from a snakebite. In another example, he was suffering from "the bends" (leaving the water too quickly after a deep dive).
- Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness had 2 scenes in the same episode. In the earlier scene, Po practices "Dizzy Kung Fu" with Monkey. This turns out to be useful later, when Scorpion tries to poison the village, leading to the second scene, where he's intoxicated, as the poison didn't outright kill anyone, and being larger than most, he could endure its effects for longer, rather than passing out immediately like everyone else.
- If you haven't guessed by now, Jackie Chan is a Master of Drunken Boxing. He incorporates it into his movie choreography, giving us his entertaining performances.