Makunouchi Ippo (幕之内一歩 lit. makunouchi ippo) is the eponymous protagonist of Hajime no Ippo.
He is a retired Featherweight boxer from the Kamogawa Boxing Gym, and the former Japanese Boxing Commission Featherweight Champion.
He originally started boxing to try and answer one simple question: "What does it mean to be strong?"
Since then he has formed a rivalry with Miyata Ichirou, a brotherly bond with Takamura Mamoru, and a deep trust for his coach, Kamogawa, whom he now aims to become a world champion for to honor the coach's teachings.
Powers and Stats
Name: Makunouchi Ippo
Origin: Hajime no Ippo
Age: 17 (as of début), 24 (currently)
Attack Potency: Wall level (Cracked Sendou's ribs, broke three of Sanada's ribs, knocked out an expert boxer 4 weight classes above him, arm wresting with Takamura Mamoru broke the table they were using, the latter had previously wrestled with and knocked out an Asian Black Bear with his fists, Takamura could also lift a small truck with almost no effort, yet Ippo was stalemating him)
Speed: Subsonic with Transonic reactions and combat speed (When sparring with Takamura, could react to his casual punch. Managed to keep pace with a serious Miyata Ichirou, who can casually create afterimages and seemingly dissappear from sight, and has surpassed fighters that he was previously incapable of perceiving due to their speed. Is comparable to characters like Sendo and Itagaki, who could see and react to Miyata Ichiro's fastest punch, which was able to break the sound barrier)
Lifting Strength: Superhuman
Durability: Wall level (Took 10 consecutive hits to the face from Okita. Took a counter from Sawamura that Kamogawa described as potentially fatal and not only survived, but remained standing. Could take numerous punches from Takamura while sparring early in his career)
Range: Standard melee range.
Standard Equipment: Boxing Gloves, Mouthguard.
Weaknesses: Ippo is simple-minded.
- Peek-a-Boo Style: Ippo's most commonly used boxing stance. After the match with Oda, Kamogawa noticed Ippo's weak defense and taught him the Peek-A-Boo. Ippo continues to use this style as it allows for a strong defense while allowing him to attack without giving up any power.
- One-step Straight Punch: Ippo's First Punching technique taught by Takamura.
- Weaving: In order to prepare to avoid Mashiba's flicker jabs, Ippo worked on his lower body by running and sprinting. This allowed Ippo to bob and weave his head around, making it difficult for the opponent to make a clean hit.
- Turtle Strategy: In Ippo's first spar (against Miyata) while he didn't know any techniques, Takamura taught him the Turtle strategy (or "Operation Turtle"). After the spar against him, Ippo used it just once more during his sixth title defense.
- Counter: Even though Ippo is not a counter-user he has trained to use ones such as using a uppercut counter against Jason Ozuma's hook and using a cross hook to counter Hayami Ryuuichi's uppercut.
- Liver Blow: A body blow aimed directly under the right side of the ribs. Ippo uses it constantly since it is very effective against Out-boxers. It was first used against Mashiba Ryou.
- One Centimeter Punch: "Motionless Short Uppercut" Ippo, during his second spar with Miyata threw an uppercut directly upward instead of with a curve, due to Miyata's reflexes, the punch only hit the tip of his chin and ended up doing more damage than if the blow wasn't dodged. This "Uppercut" was revived by Ippo against Sendou in the All-Japan Rookie Finals as a different type of Smash (which it was originally). Ippo used it to counter Sendou's own smash successfully. It is noted that despite the technique being faster, it sacrificed some power to attain that speed.
- Gazelle Punch: A punch where Ippo springs downwards and then launches himself forward using the momentum of that motion into an uppercut. It was first used on Volg Zangief.
- Dempsey Roll: Ippo's Sunday Punch. After Ippo recovered from his match against Date, he had a comeback match with the 3rd ranked seed in Thailand. The nervous Ippo trained on dodging and punching, and while doing so thought up a way to punch and dodge in the same time. When the opponent was trapped by the ropes, Ippo started a combination of dodging and punching in a form of the figure eight, a combination that was completely identical to the Dempsey roll, a technique that the world heavyweight champion of 1920, Jack Dempsey had used. Ippo relies on this technique quite a bit, although it has many weaknesses. The Dempsey Roll itself is a technique that relies on moving in the shape of a figure eight while attacking the opponent with hooks (later Ippo discovers a way to use uppercuts as well), thus allowing the user to attack from a blind side, and then switch to the other using the centrifugal force built up. As the speed increases with the number of rotations the user's power increases along with it.
- Sakki: Before the match against Sendou (the second), Ippo learned about the sakki feint. He managed to use this to his advantage when using the Ultimate Dempsey Roll Combo. It's important to note however as stated by both Coach Kamogawa and Takamura, Ippo doesn't specifically use Sakki but instead uses his own version of it; Courage.
- New Dempsey Roll: Before his fight with Sawamura Ryuuhei Ippo realizes the flaws of the Dempsey roll and comes up with this solution: to include a series of start/stop motions which make the pattern of the technique unpredictable to counter punchers. Ippo seals the move after the match since it cuts short his boxing career.
- Shoulder Block: It's not something that you need to learn, since this technique is very simple. Since Ippo's a pure in-fighter he had to face Jimmy Sisphar jolt blow without retreating, to lessen the damage, Ippo blocked the blow with his shoulder
- Cross Arm Block: In the match against Sanada, Ippo used this to protect himself from the Tsubame Gaeshi. He had also used it against other opponents such as Shimabukuro, Sawamura and Wally and many others. He used this technique afterremembering his fight with Kobashi Kenta.
- Heart Break Shot: A technique learned from Date, Ippo does not have much control over it. Against Gedo, Ippo had a problem of getting close to him. When he got close he didn't know where to punch, so in spontaneous way he just decided to punch the heart. He evolved it into his own by using it as a kind of feint and using raw power to achieve the blow instead of a corkscrew blow.
- Tornado Jolt: Ippo learned the Tornado Jolt in the match against Jimmy. When Ippo faced Jimmy's jolt blows he understood that he will lose if he faced those punches with regular blows. So in order to create punches with the same effect, Ippo himself used the blow. It was after this match that Ippo's nickname, "Wind God", first arose.
- Southpaw Stance: During his debut match against Oda Yuusuke, Ippo sustains a cut over his left eye that threatens to end the bout. Though unfamiliar to him, he instinctively adopts this style in order to protect the cut, resulting in a KO win by way of overwhelming right jabs which had the power of straights. Ippo also appears to switch from a Brawling Stance to a southpaw stance before delivering the finishing blow to Kojima Hisato.
- Tekken: Miguel Zale stated that Ippo took after Kamogawa with the "Iron Fist" aka Tekken right before his boxer Woli was defeated. Although Ippo achieved this in an albeit safer way than Kamogawa, by using a hammer to knock the logs into the hill instead of his fists. Ippo managed to use this without breaking his fists or ending his career.
- Brawling Stance: For the first time in the series, Ippo becomes genuinely angry enough to want to brawl in the ring when his opponent, Kojima Hisato, insults all of Ippo's previous opponents. He adopts a stance very similar to Takamura's during the Bryan Hawk match; his guard is down, his stance is low and he gathers power in his fist to unleash a full-force punch. The result of this stance is that Ippo completely ignores defense--he is easily hit with a counter from Kojima--but becomes so offense-oriented that he not only resists a down, he retaliates with a punch that sends a man from two weight classes higher than him literally flying backward. Ippo's potential with this stance is yet unknown, but there is evidence that his notorious "fighting spirit" is fully activated in this stance. There is little evidence that he will be using it again any time soon.
- Free Form Dempsey Roll: This is considered (by Takamura Mamoru) to be the ultimate progression of the Dempsey Roll. The only variation to it from the New/Dempsey Roll is the addition of an extremely low sway which allows Ippo to throw uppercuts. In this "free form" Dempsey Roll, Ippo can perform hooks, uppercuts, and potentially overhands (if he reverses the motion of the sway) while weaving his head at full speed in unpredictable directions. In the words of Takamura: "It would become an unlimited, free form, high-speed combination... You wouldn't be able to aim a counter against it." Numerous characters, including Coach Kamogawa and Takamura, have stated that this move pushes the limits of the lowerhuman body and would quickly shorten Ippo's boxing career if he performed it repeatedly. He has only used it during the Jimmy Sisphar match. However, following Ippo's eighth title defense, Kamogawa hinted at Yagi that he was preparing Ippo's lower body to handle repeated uses of the move.
- Headslip: Is a technique used to avoid punches aimed for the head by swaying it to either the left or right of the oncoming blow. It has been used by several boxers in the series and was showcased as a way to neutralize "head-hunters". Ippo used this technique in his match with Alfredo Gonzales with an peek-a-boo style, relying on his body to dodge the punches.