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Was Dante Pettis’ TD celebration a Hadoken or a Kamehameha?

This is the biggest question to be solved after 49ers-Seahawks

San Francisco 49ers v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers took a beating on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks, but there were some hallmarks. One of the highlights from the 49ers offense was this gem from Nick Mullens to Dante Pettis. While the touchdown itself speaks all things of awesome, it’s the celebration at the end that has me scratching my head.

So herein lies the question: Is that a Kamehameha or a Hadoken Pettis is busting out at the end? There’s a definite beam struggle with Kendrick Bourne who may be doing a different technique, but which is it? You’re probably racking your brain on those names. Since I’m the video game guy, and I lived in Japan for a year as a foreign exchange student, I’m probably the guy to look into this. I’ll help you out:


The Kamehameha is the signature attack from the Japanese anime Dragon Ball. It’s loosely translated as, “turtle blast” based on it being taught to main character Son Goku from Muten Roshi AKA Kame Sennin (turtle hermit). Roshi lives in the aptly named Kame House (Turtle House—you’re getting it) and it took him his entire life to perfect the attack. The technique revolves around the user placing the bottoms of both palms together in a twist at their waist gathering energy, then extending their arms, palms outward, but still connected and a massive blue wave of ki flies out. Son Goku learns it in a matter of minutes as a young boy. This was very early in the series and by the time Dragon Ball became Dragon Ball Z (where Goku was an adult) the Kamehameha became this massive beam of destruction capable of destroying planets if Goku was powered up enough (a Kamehameha never destroyed a planet, but Goku’s son, Son Gohan used it to kill Cell...errr nevermind) . Here’s the Kamehameha in action where Goku channels a massive blast to go into a beam struggle with Vegeta’s similar galick-ho attack (garlic blast...basically):


The Hadoken (loosely translated as, “surge fist) is the signature attack of the Capcom video game, Street Fighter. It’s used mainly by Ryu and his best friend Ken Masters. The attack is a Kyokushin-style attack taught to them by Gouken. In lore, it’s not a heated fireball, but it’s a fireball that packs the same punch as the user—but gives them some range to give blunt force. To perform it, the player just has to input a quarter circle forward starting from the down position on the joystick and any punch button. The faster the fireball depends on the strength of the punch pressed (you could vary the speeds to throw off your opponent). The attack later was used by other characters in various ways, but it also got morphed into ridiculousness by the time the SF characters hit the VS. series and Ryu’s shinku Hadoken (“true void surge fist”) covered up the screen. The thing to take from this is the Hadoken is performed in a very similar fashion to the kamehameha, especially the shinku Hadoken where Ryu has to wind up for it. Here’s the Hadoken, the shinku version is later in the video:

So that brings us back to Pettis’ celebration. Was he referencing Dragon Ball or Street Fighter? Does this ultimately matter in the scheme of things? Not really, other than it’s a definite contender with his cat call celebration he made all the way back in Week 1.

The 49ers tweeted out Kamehameha with it, so that might answer our question. But what do you think? Is it a Hadoken or a kamehameha?