If you’ve ever played games in the Street Fighter or Final Fantasy series, you know that each time you win a fight the characters make a little celebratory dance. It's actually not just those two games, but many games old and new have this little quirk. You could argue that games use this animation to communicate emotion with the player. But, you'd be missing most of the story.
It's strange, but in 1974 one event would alter the course of gaming forever. That was when a lightweight boxer named Guts Ishimatsu was crowned champion. His celebration has been imitated ever since in Japan. Since many games come from Japan the move has been put various titles, as well as anime, movies and commercials.
On 11 April, 1974, underdog fighter Guts Ishimatsu pulled off a stunning upset over the then champ, Gato Gonzales, in front of a home crowd in Tokyo, Japan. After the knockout, a celebration ensued and Guts struck a pose that would later be named after him. Due to his sudden popularity, it quickly became imitated and a new buzzword was born.
Japan has a reputation for incorporating English words into its language in unconventional ways, and Guts Pose is no exception. In Japan, the word is universally known and even has its own holiday. However, despite the phrase being two English words, it is not well known in the English speaking world. Play through Mario, Kirby, Splatoon and almost every fighting and sports game though, and you will see the Guts Pose (in various forms) over and over again.
To see the long, strange trip of Guts Ishimatsu and his famous pose, check out the video below. Then go ahead and start calling the victory dance in your favourite game the Guts Pose. That is, after all, the proper name for it.
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