Canonbutton Dragon Ball Games

  • Rock
  • Scissors
  • Paper
Jan Ken[1][2][3][4]
Literal English Rock, Scissors, Paper
English TV Rock, Scissors 'N' Paper
Other VIZ Paper Punch
First Appearance
Manga Debut Volume 1, Chapter 3
Anime Debut DB003
Game Debut Dragon Ball: Daimaō Fukkatsu
Type Physical Martial Arts Technique
Sub-Type Basic type
Class Offensive
Range Close range

The Jan Ken is a Physical Martial Arts Technique created by Son Gohan, and seen as one of his signature techniques. It would later become a technique widely used by Son Gokū for much of his early childhood, and thus his signature, until it was replaced by the Kamehameha.


The Jan Ken is a technique invented and used by Gokū's grandfather Son Gohan. He later taught it to a young Son Gokū.


Composed of three distinct hand techniques, the Jan Ken is a martial art maneuver that executes each of the aforementioned hand strikes in an order befitting the situation and the whim of the user.

  • "Rock" is when the hand forms a fist and strikes the opponent, typically in the abdomen.
  • "Paper" is an open palm strike typically used to strike an opponent's face.
  • "Scissors" is a two-fingered thrust that is meant to strike the opponent's eyes to blind them and disorientate them temporarily.

Whether all three moves are performed together as a chain, or separately at different intervals, is highly dependent on the user themselves. When used by Son Gokū against the Turtle Hermit during the final round of the 21st World Martial Arts Tournament, Gokū showed that he was prone to calling out the specific hands when utilizing the matching hand strike; treating the move more like a game than a martial arts technique. In doing so, it was possible for Muten Rōshi — disguised as Jackie Chun at the time — to parry each move with an opposing sign meant to block the strike. While the Jan Ken is traditionally used as a strike for all three hands, it can be used defensively as well. The Turtle Hermit, for instance, used "Paper" to parry Gokū's "Scissors" by using his flat hand to block the two-fingered thrust. It is presumed the other signs can be used defensively as well but there have not been any specific instances in the manga or anime to support this. Gokū, realizing that Muten Rōshi knew how to counter the move, decided to change up the orthodox method of using Jan Ken by calling out "Paper" when he actually attacked with "Rock". The result was Muten Rōshi attempting to block an open palm strike when, in reality, Gokū struck his fist clear into the elder's face.


  • While in the actual game of rock-paper-scissors, scissors cuts paper and thus defeats the latter hand, in terms of combat practicality, paper would instead be used to defend against scissors. This is actually an exchange shown in many fighting series — anime included — where a two-fingered thrust to the face is stopped by an open palm block held up in front of the nose.


  1. Daizenshū 2, page 202
  2. Daizenshū 4, page 114
  3. Daizenshū 6, page 16
  4. Daizenshū 7, page 142