Coming from Virtua Fighter creator Yu Suzuki, it's only natural that the fights in Shenmue wouldn't be thrown together. The Move Scroll in Ryo's inventory gives a run-down of the combos he can pull off during "free battle" fights.
These moves are divided up into three types, the same way as in the game - Hand Moves, Leg Moves and Throw Moves.
Ryo's moves get more powerful the more you perform them, so when you have free time in the game, it's a good idea practice your favourites. The best place to train is the car lot beside the You GAME Arcade in Dobuita, but you can also practice in Sakuragaoka park or Suzume park (if they are empty) , and the Hazuki Dojo (although it seems to be picky sometimes). If you face one direction while in the parking lot, and run to the opposite corner, you should be able to make complete circles around the parking lot by doing your moves, without the camera resetting behind Ryo and reversing your buttons.
Unfortunately, you can't train throws without an opponent, so it's best to use the "Training" option before you go to sleep to make sure they improve if you plan on using them.
What moves you want to use will depend on your style as much as anything, but against multiple opponents I've always found the roundhouse kicks much easier - you can take out a couple of guys at once with something like the Brutal Tiger. Some throw moves will let you use one enemy to knock others down, but that's more reliant on the angle you're at than any intended use in the move itself.
- Tiger Knuckle:
The Tiger Knuckle is a move aimed at the jinshu, a pressure point located between the mouth and nose.
- Pit Blow:
This double punch begins with a step forward and a mid-level strike with the leading fist, followed by a second punch to the same target with the other hand. Masters of this move can add an elbow strike.
(Learned from Fuku-san in the Hazuki Dojo)
- Swallow Flip: +
A move where the user blocks the opponent's punch and then kicks their leg, causing them to fall to the ground. Once the opponent is on the ground, the user can deliver a hand chop.
(Learned from Master Chen)
- Upper Knuckle:
A move where the practitioner momentarily lowers, then raises their body while swinging to strike the opponent in the jaw.
- Sleeve Strike:
This move involves taking one step forward with the rear leg and punching at a mid-level target with the fist.
- Rain Thrust:
The Rain Thrust is a straight punch aimed at a pressure point on the right side of the opponent's neck.
- Big Wheel: +
The Big Wheel is a powerful variation on the Elbow Slam. Aimed at the opponent's collarbone, it features a diagonal blow struck once the practitioner closes in.
- Twin Hand Waves: +
This move involves advancing a step forward and striking at the opponent 's chest and jaw with the palm and entire forearm. The impact creates a shockwave that affects the opponent's internal organs.
- Backfist Willow: +
This is a surprise attack with a spinning backfist. The spinning motion increases the power of the blow.
- Avalanche Lance: +
This move strikes the pit of the opponent's stomack with an elbow bent at an acute angle, similar to a lance thrust. Experts can do this move while spinning, to evade attacks.
- Katana Mist Slash: +
The practitioner advances one step with the forward leg and delivers a slashing blow to the opponent's side with the side of the palm.
- Stab Armor: +
A powerful blow with the palm, which can be made even more powerful when the user is closer to the opponent.
(Scroll in Dojo Basement)
- Double Blow: +
A very powerful attack where the practitioner places an open palm in front of the opponent, and then slams the free hand into the back of the palm, creating a deadly blow.
(Learned from Yamagishi-san in Suzume Park)
- Mistral Flash:
A move which utilises the running speed of the practitioner to deliver a diagonal cutting blow to the area between the shoulder and the nape of the neck.
- Twin Blades:
The practitioner lands a chop to the opponent's neck using the sides of the open hands. When this technique is mastered, the practitioner can repeat the attack after the initial strike.
(Scroll in Hazuki Residence behind the Altar Room)
- Rising Flash:
After lowering their body momentarily, the practitioner then springs upward to deliver a blow to the opponent's chin.
(Scroll from Bunkado Antiques, ¥500)
- Crescent Kick:
The Crescent Kick is unleashed like an upward sword-stroke, aimed at the opponent's head.
- Trample Kick:
This move is similar to a so-called front kick, but is delivered using the entire underside of the foot in a stamping action while targeting the vital organs in the torso.
- Swallow Dive:
This move from the Yang Qing Style is reminiscent of Taekwondo. The initial kick is a feint, and after the opponent is lured in, the practitioner intercepts with the heel drop.
(Learned from Gui Zhang)
- Against Cascade:
In this flying knee move, the practitioner leaps upward to kick while restraining the opponent with both hands. Masters of this move can increase its destructive power.
- Tornado Kick:
One of the most powerful moves in the game, the Tornado Kick is a double-kick where the second kick gains the momentum of the first, creating a quick series of kicks to the opponent.
(Learned from Tom)
- Surplice Slash:
This back roundhouse kick strikes in a downward motion diagonally across the opponent's body. The path of the kick resembles the surplice worn by Buddhist monks.
- Thunder Kick:
This kick begins as a high outward spin kick, but ends as a heel drop. The path of the kick is compact, and those who master the move can follow a middle kick with this technique.
- Hold Against Leg:
This move involves using the power of the forward leg to deliver a low to mid-level kick to the opponent.
- Brutal Tiger:
This is a high-speed reverse roundhouse kick. Those who have not yet mastered the move usually find themselves off-balance when they miss, but experts can recover with ease.
- Dark Moon:
A kick delivered while flipping forward in mid-air, this is one of the more unusual moves in the Hazuki style. Experts leave no opening for an attack after the execution of this move.
- Cyclone Kick:
This flying back roundhouse kick is powerful, due to the jump and rotation, but is also easy to dodge. Masters of the move can jump higher to kick.
- Windmill: +
A flying back kick, this powerful move aims a diagonally slicing kick at the base of the opponent's neck.
- Shadow Reaper: +
While running, the practitioner suddenly slides forward along the ground to sweep the feet out from under the opponent. Experts can twist to make the attack stronger.
(Scroll found in Fuku-san's room)
- Twin Swallow Leap: +
A simple flying kick, but in the hands of an expert, a heel drop can be added after landing from the first kick.
- Crawl Cyclone:
With this move the practitioner crouches and spins around rapidly on the pivot leg while using the other leg to sweep out the opponent's legs.
(Scroll from Bunkado Antiques: 1000¥)
- Mud Spider:
With this move, the practitioner slides toward the opponent, and kicks upward with the leg, aiming for the abdomen. Experts can also aim for the jaw.
(Scroll from Bunkado Antiques: 1000¥)
With this move, the practitioner takes the opponent's arm and lowers the body while grabbing the opponent's collar, lifting the opponent over the back and throwing.
- Sweep Throw:
This move involves quickly turning and pulling the opponent's collar, then using the leg to sweep the opponent's inner thigh upward to throw. In judo, this move is called "uchimata".
- Vortex Throw:
In this so-called sacrifice throw, similar to the judo technique of the same name, the practitioner falls backward to throw the opponent overhead to the rear.
- Mist Reaper:
With this move the practitioner grabs the opponent's neck and pulls forward and down while reaping the legs back and up, effectively applying power in the opposite direction to the upper and lower body.
- Demon Drop:
The practitioner uses an armlock to throw the opponent while flipping forward in mid-air during the throw to land on top of the opponent.
- Shoulder Buster:
A technique used in jujitsu where the user performs an arm-bar on the opponent and then applies great pressure to the shoulder.
- Tengu Drop:
A grappling move where the user picks the opponent up by the leg and slams them to the ground.
- Tiger Storm:
A move where the user crouches down, charges into the opponent, and then performs an elbow strike.
- Arm Break Fire:
A move which does immense damage to the opponent's arm; the user will perform an elbow to the ribs, and then an arm-lock followed with a shoulder-lock.
(Scroll from Bunkado Antiques, ¥2000)
NOTE: When entering the forward, back, back, B Ryo will only perform the elbow to the ribs. A well timed press of X during the elbow will start the animation for the arm-lock, then another well timed press of X+A will finish the move with the arm lock
- Darkside Hazuki:
A quick move where the user grabs the opponent from the side and slams them down to the ground.
- Shadow Step: +
This move involves the evasion of an opponent's attack, while moving behind to attack from the blind spot.
(Learned from the Old Man in the Harbor)
- Shadow Strike: +
This move is an extension of the Shadow Step. After slipping into the opponent's blind spot, the practitioner strikes the back of the neck.
(Learned from the Old Man in the Harbor)