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I'm far from beeing a pro in Street Fighter (and even more in fighting games), but in Street Fighter articles, tests or web-comics, this "shoto" term seems to appear a lot. Since Wikipedia didn't help me at all, I hope someone here will be able to enrich my vocabulary !
Is it a typical SF term, or is it more a general concept in versus fighting games ?

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Shoto in SF4 generally refers to Ryu, Ken, Akuma, Gouken, Evil Ryu, and Oni are considered Shotos. Generally, traits of Shotos are good pokes, excellent air to air attacks, a fireball, and a dragon punch (Shoryuken). – Decency Jan 24 '13 at 22:12
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Shoto - which is a shortened version of the full name of Ryu's style 'Shotokan' is described in the US Manual for an early Street Fighter release as the fighting style for Ryu and Ken, but was later used for multiple other characters in the series (including Akuma, but also influencing other character's fighting style such as Sagat's uppercut).

More information about Ryu and his fighting style can be found on the Street Fighter Wikia pages:

Capcom USA originally referred to Ryu's fighting style as "Shotokan", despite bearing little resemblance to the discipline. Because of this, Ryu and other characters who use similar styles (such as Ken and Akuma) are still called "Shoto clones" or "shotos" by fans. Although as the Ryu character is based on the real life events of Yoshiji Soeno, who was a practitioner of kyokushinkai karate under Masu Oyama, the traditional kyokushinkai techniques can be clearly seen in the character's fighting style, as with Makoto, who's fighting style and techniques are based off shotokan karate.

SHOTO can also stand for Shotokan Traditional Karate Organisation, which is a real world organisation practising this style.

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Just as an addendum, Ryu/Ken/Akuma/Gouken's style is called Ansatsuken – Wilerson Nov 27 '12 at 15:47

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