Kinchou (KIN) [1+2]
KIN can be performed by pressing 1+2 from standing. It is often the first stance to learn as it has the most followup options and is commonly used for pressure and combos.
This stance is temporary since Yoshimitsu will cancel the stance if the player presses down, back, or nothing at all. While KIN is active, Yoshimitsu can move forward, or attack. By pressing foward, Yoshimitsu can crush high attacks during this dash. The movement can be canceled at any time by performing an attack, but not by pressing down or back. Additionally, there is a built-in automatic counter in the first few frames of KIN where Yoshimitsu disappears and reappears doing an overhead attack. Because of the amount of time for the reappearance, opponents can avoid or block the attack and punish it. The counter should not be relied upon.
KIN can also be performed by pressing:
1+2 after 2, 2
1+2 after b+2
1+2 after b+2, 1
1+2 after f, n, d, d/f+1 (CD+1)
1+2 after f, f+3
1+2 after SS 4
1+2 after KIN 4
Moves available in KIN:
KIN 1, 1 – This string is only a natural combo on counter hit and is safe on block, though the first hit is punishable on its own. It has fair damage and decent frames. Unfortunately this move no longer transitions into NSS.
KIN 2, 1+2 – The first hit can be used by itself to launch the opponent for a full juggle. The second hit can be delayed by holding the buttons and slams the opponent on the ground on hit; it hits grounded and can wall break or floor break, but is not as useful without the bound mechanic. The second hit should only be used to catch opponents trying to punish a blocked/whiffed launcher.
KIN 3 – This attack is a sliding low kick that has good range and many active frames. Yoshimitsu crushes low attacks during the short hop and crushes highs during the slide. Additionally, it now knocks down on normal and counter hits (it was just on CH in TTT2). When performed up close, this move is launch punishable on block, but it is very difficult to punish when starting at max range. This move should be used sparingly against tougher opponents, as it is very easy to defend, especially from range.
KIN 4 – This kick shares the animation and properties with SS+4. It is a high homing attack that knocks down on hit, stuns on CH for full juggle, and can be transitioned into MED by pressing 3+4, or back into KIN by pressing 1+2. This move is safe on block, but shouldn’t be spammed since it can be ducked.
KIN 1+2 – This attack is one of the fastest available from KIN and deals a good amount of damage. It is a series of mid-level slashes which knocks down the opponent and leaves Yoshimitsu backturned. If the opponent is standing while hit by KIN 1+2, Yoshimitsu can get a free BT d+1 on the grounded opponent.
KIN f+2 – Also one of the fastest attacks in KIN, this slash hits high and has the highest single hit damage available in the stance. While it is punishable on block, it has deceptively long range. It is commonly used as a juggle ender for these reasons, as well as the ability to send the opponent into a wall for additional damage. Additionally, it screws on CH, making it a viable option in neutral.
KIN u+1+2 – This move is a transition into Yoshimitsu’s Dragonfly (DGF) stance. The startup animation is the same as KIN 3, so opponents are typically expecting the low. If used unexpectedly, an attack from DGF could hit the surprised opponent.
KIN b+1+2 – In this attack, Yoshimitsu takes a step back before returning and delivering an unblockable slash. Because of the step back, this move evades most quick attacks meant to interrupt Yoshimitsu’s KIN mix-ups. Being unblockable makes it very effective against those that are waiting to block the follow-up. Despite its evasive properties, this move still has a rather long start-up and is weak to sidestepping. However, the startup frames have been reduced (along with damage) since TTT2, so it is a bit harder to react to.
KIN f – Dash in from KIN stance. High crushes and covers some ground.
Dragonfly (DGF) [u+1+2]
Dragonfly can be performed by pressing u+1+2 (or u/f+1+2 or u/b+1+2) from standing. While active, Yoshimitsu floats and is able to slowly move forward or backward; the stance itself crushes lows, but can still be vulnerable to lows during the start-up animation of of a few moves. Also, highs and mids can put him in a floated state for juggle combos. With no ability to block or move to a side without exiting the stance, DGF is one of Yoshimitsu’s more vulnerable stances. The transition to DGF is very quick and there are a few great attacking options, but it is best to not to stay in the stance for long.
DGF can also be performed by pressing:
u+1+2 during KIN, FLE, or IND
u after 3~4
1+2 after u/f+1+2
1+2 after u/f+3+4
Moves available in DGF:
DGF 1 – An unblockable overhead slash which deals decent damage. It can be difficult for the opponent to react to, since a SS may be necessary to evade depending on spacing. Great to occasionally use against a blocking opponent.
DGF 2 – This uppercut hits high, launches opponent, and is plus on block. Unlike most of the other moves, Yoshimitsu stays in DGF after performing this move. Since it is also one of the fastest attacks from this stance, it’s typically possible to use a second time on the midair opponent before continuing the juggle. It is best to determine the knowledge of your opponent before relying on this move because its great properties make it expected; an aware opponent will duck the attack and subsequently punish.
DGF 3 – It is a low kick which creates a juggle opportunity on CH, but is unsafe on block and has bad tracking on both sides. Because it is reactable, it would be best not to rely on this move to get the CH launch.
DGF 4 – This spinning kick is a mid attack that tracks clockwise and is a screw attack on airborne opponents. It is also the most damaging single hit move available in DGF. It is not particularly fast, but it can screw a standing opponent on CH. It is most commonly used for the screw attack in a juggle.
DGF 1+2 – This move transitions from DGF to Yoshimitsu’s flea (FLE) stance, where he perches on top of his sword. Grounded foes directly under Yoshimitsu will be hit by his sword. Though FLE has more evasive options than DGF, they share a similar hurtbox. Because of this, be wary of using against an aggressive opponent, as Yoshimitsu can get attacked during or following the transition.
DGF 3+4 – This move is a high unblockable that grabs the opponent and slams into the ground. The throw can break floors and can work against floated opponents. At max range, Yoshimitsu cannot fully grab the opponent and the attack deals a small amount of damage instead of throwing. However, the throw cannot be broken once successful. This grab is effective against opponents that have been conditioned to block and can be a flashy finish for a juggle.
DGF f+2 – New in Tekken 7, this attack is a horizontal slash that leaves Yoshimitsu in DGF, like DGF 2. It is a homing high attack that is plus on block and also screws airborne opponents. Because DGF 4 screws with more damage and exits DGF, DGF f+2 is better used for catching opponents attempting to sidestep rather than mid-juggle.
DGF d+3+4 – This moves drops Yoshimitsu directly into his Indian sit stance (IND). This would allow him to avoid high attacks rather than avoid low attacks and counterattack from the IND options. Yoshi can be hit during the transition and by mid attacks, so be careful when considering using this move.
Flea (FLE) [d+1+2]
FLE is performed by pressing d+1+2 from standing. Yoshimitsu perches on top of his sword and deals unblockable damage to opponents in contact with his blade. Similar to DGF, Yoshimitsu is susceptible to getting floated by jabs and cannot block. However, there are many more movement options in FLE than most of his other stances. He can use his swords to walk forward, backward, jump, sidestep, and duck; most of these options have special properties, which will be explained further. It should be noted that because Yoshimitsu can now walk backward in Tekken 7 by pressing back, d/b is now used to dismount from FLE. Additionally, the sword's hitbox is larger in the back and backturned FLE can be used with ff+1+2:d+1~2. Unlike DGF, there are hardly any quick attacks that can be used from FLE. FLE is commonly used to surprise grounded opponents with unblockable damage, or bait the opponent into whiffing an attack for a damaging follow up.
FLE can also be performed by pressing:
f+3+4 (if attack successful from 1SS)
1+2 from IND or DGF
Moves available in FLE:
FLE 1 – Yoshimitsu rolls forward off his sword to exit FLE in FC position. The start up animation is very similar to FLE 3+4, and is most useful for oki setups from full crouch. It can also be useful against opponents expecting the roo kick. Yoshimitsu is vulnerable to getting hit in the transition, so use with caution against standing opponents.
FLE 2 – A low attack where Yoshimitsu dives head first, knocking down the opponent on hit but also leaving Yoshimitsu grounded. This move is usually guaranteed after f+3+4 hits and deals a good amount of damage. Because this move acts as a short slide, it has longer range and is safer at its maximum range; this also means that it will take longer for the attack to hit at longer ranges. Also note that it can be a juggle starter at a specific range and can get a guaranteed wake-up low at close range after side switch. Use caution when using against a standing opponent, as it is fairly easy to react to and punish since the move is a bit slow and is well known.
FLE 3 or 4 – Pressing 3 will cause Yoshimitsu to spin left as a sidestep, remaining in FLE. Pressing 4 will do the same toward the right. This evasion is much slower than b+3 and b+4, but Yoshimitsu does not get dizzy after repeated use since repeated inputs are not considered part of the same string. He also moves slightly backward during this evade. This move is suited for reactivating the sword hitbox in FLE and repositioning Yoshimitsu to maintain a good position against the opponent while remaining in FLE. Attack evasion to punish whiffs is possible, but more difficult to do because of the lack of immediate punishers.
FLE 1+2 – This attack is a headbutt that launches the opponent. It is a high attack that is safe on block. Surprisingly standard high launcher, keep in mind that a savvy opponent will duck and punish if they see this move coming.
FLE 3+4 – Yoshimitsu rolls off the sword to perform a big launcher, similar to kangaroo kick (4~3). The animation is slow and unique, so an opponent can react to this move fairly easily. Best used for big damage after forcing the opponent to whiff a high attack.
FLE f or b – Yoshimitsu walks forward with f (and backward with b) for as long as the button is held. He stays in FLE and a few moves can be used during walking FLE (notated WFL). The unblockable hitbox of the swords are not active while walking, so it will not damage opponents that are grounded or attacking low. The walk is fairly slow, and should not be relied upon for significant movement.
WFL 3 – Yoshimitsu uses his legs to throw the opponent. This mid attack can be blocked, but the throw cannot be broken once hit. It will hit successfully on opponents that are crouch blocking. This throw deals a large amount of damage and can break floors, though it is launch punishable on block.
WFL 4 – Yoshimitsu slides down to kick the opponent in this low attack. This attack is not as punishable on block and incentivizes the opponent to crouch block when Yoshimitsu is WFL. This move does not knock down the opponent on normal hit (only counter hit) and Yoshimitsu is grounded 'face up, feet toward' afterward. Unfortunately, the damage is usually not enough to make opponents fear this low, so the WFL mixup is typically not too fruitful. Can be used against grounded opponents and set up the get-up spring kick.
FLE f,f – Yoshimitsu dashes forward using both of his swords. Unlike WFL, his swords do damage while this move is active, damaging grounded opponents. Since they are technically mid attacks, they can be blocked by a standing opponent. This attack occurs automatically after a successful f+3+4. This dash cannot be canceled, so avoid use against a mobile opponent and avoid use at a wall since Yoshimitsu will wallsplat himself if he runs into it. As mentioned previously, d+3+4 can be used if this occurs to cancel the stun into IND.
FLE u or u/f – Yoshimitsu jumps into the air for an unblockable.
FLE u+1+2 – Yoshimitsu leaps into the air and transitions into DGF. It is a lengthy animation, so avoid using in front of an aggressive opponent.
FLE u+3+4 – Yoshimitsu leaps into the air and dropkicks the opponent. It is a high damaging attack that knocks the opponent down. It is the same start up animation as FLE u+1+2, so while it is also slow, it can hit opponents that are expecting the DGF. Use with caution: Yoshimitsu will be grounded after this attack and would be unfavorable if it does not hit. It is important to tech the fall (similar to a standard knockdown) so that he does not stay on the ground.
FLE d – Yoshimitsu ducks by plunging the sword further into the ground before returning back up. The sword’s hitbox is not active while ducking, but he can avoid highs and even mid attacks at the lowest point. What makes this move useful is that it can be cancelled at any point by performing most of the other attacks in FLE. It can be essential for causing the opponent to whiff and allow the slower moves available in FLE to succeed.
FLE d+3+4 – Yoshimitsu’s transition to IND. As with DGF d+3+4, it allows Yoshimitsu to avoid high attacks and follow up from his IND options.
Indian Sit (IND) [d+3+4]
IND is performed by pressing d+3+4 from standing. Yoshimitsu sits cross-legged and avoids high attacks while active. Soon after sitting, Yoshimitsu will begin rhythmic chanting, healing 3 damage with each chant. Opponents usually will not allow Yoshimitsu to heal and often attempt to interrupt. Most of the options from IND involve the same animation of Yoshimitsu rapidly spinning before performing the move. This makes his options very hard for opponents to read but their sluggishness allows the opponent to attack during the startup. IND is used more to avoid a high attack and land a surprise hit on the opponent rather than heal.
IND can also be performed by pressing:
d+3+4 after f+3, 3
d+3+4 after d/b+3, 3…
d+3+4 after u/f+3+4
d+3+4 when Yoshimitsu is grounded face up
d+3+4 during DGF
u+1+2 or d+1+2 in NSS
Moves available in IND:
IND 1 – After spinning, Yoshimitsu disappears and reappears in the air with an unblockable overhead slash. This attack is the slowest from this stance, and can be sidestepped on reaction by an experienced opponent. Otherwise, it is highly effective against opponents that are blocking without sidestepping or backdashing. A good option if the opposing player does not move well.
IND 2 – After spinning, Yoshimitsu attacks with a spinning mid punch that mimics his d/b+2. Like d/b+2, he can continue pressing 2 for additional punches. It does very low damage but it is virtually safe on block and recovers in full crouch and close to the opponent, allowing the opportunity for additional FC or WS follow-ups. The attack has little range, so it will be weak against those that move around effectively. Additionally, this attack causes Yoshimitsu to teleport behind an opponent that is in very close range. It is a decent option for those wanting to get up while maintaining pressure.
IND 3 – After spinning, Yoshimitsu lunges at the opponent with an attack similar to the 1+2 portion of his f, f+3+4, 1+2, 3+4 string. This move is one of the fastest attacks available in IND and has good range. However, it is very unsafe on block and can be devastating if whiffed. It can catch opponents trying to quickly close the distance to Yoshimitsu if IND was performed further away.
IND 3, 3+4 – This attack adds the kangaroo kick from the string mentioned above. Like the kangaroo kick, it is a big launcher on hit that can lead to massive juggle damage. While the kick itself is safer on block than the first 3, an opponent can interrupt with a fast attack and float Yoshimitsu if the first hit is blocked. It is useful for surprising opponents that want to do a big punish against the first attack.
IND 4 – After spinning, Yoshimitsu does a crouching low sweep kick. This is the fastest attack out of IND and can lead to a juggle on counter hit. While this incentivizes the opponent to block low, this kick is very punishable on block and can be reacted to by alert players.
IND B or F – After spinning, Yoshimitsu appears in one of two standing positions: if B is pressed, he will stand with his back turned to the opponent; if F is pressed, he will stand with his back turned if the opponent is more than one character space away (range 1) or he will reappear behind his opponent if he is closer. This is dependent on the opponent’s position at the end of the spinning, not when the F is first pressed. This is useful for punishing opponents that committed to an attack string, or getting into a better position in the stage.
IND 3+4* – Holding 3+4 will cause Yoshimitsu to sit without chanting or healing. Yoshimitsu can slide on the ground by holding the desired direction while 3+4 is held. He does not have access to his other IND moves in this state.
IND 1+2 – Yoshimitsu will transition directly to his FLE stance without spinning. Useful for getting the unblockable sword damage for opponents trying to hit Yoshimitsu with a low while in IND. Keep in mind that he can get hit by mid attacks in either stance, so use with caution.
IND u+1+2 – Yoshimitsu will transition directly to his DGF without spinning. As with his transition to FLE, this can avoid damage by low attacks intended to hit Yoshimitsu out of IND and can be used for quick access to FLE options.
Meditation (MED) [3+4]
MED is performed by pressing 3+4 at the same time from standing. Yoshimitsu turns his back to the opponent and chants, healing 3 damage per chant. Because of this, opponents will quickly try to interrupt so health gain is prevented, making this move great for baiting the opponent into attacking if not for the healing. Since Yoshimitsu is standing with his back turned, he is vulnerable to any level of attack, so it is best used when there is a significant amount of distance from the opponent. By pressing U or D, Yoshimitsu will quickly turn around and begin sidewalking in the specified direction.
MED can also be performed by pressing:
3+4 after SS+4
3+4 after KIN 4
3+4 while BT
Moves available in MED:
MED f or b – Pressing forward or back will turn Yoshimitsu around, exiting the stance. Yoshimitsu turns around in place with f, and turns around with a step back with b. This is used to abort and regain access to all of Yoshimitsu’s tools in neutral, though it is the least evasive of non-attack options.
MED 1+2 – This attack is an unblockable that both heals Yoshimitsu and stuns the opponent on hit, allowing a juggle combo. He turns around and heals 12 health at once making it the most viable option for quick health recovery. This move is not without risk however, as it is very launch punishable and its low range makes it very easy to whiff. It is most commonly used when the opponent is too slow/far away to punish, or when Yoshimitsu needs a bit more health to win a time-out and the opponent is not engaging.
MED 3+4 – Pressing 3+4 again while in MED will cause Yoshimitsu to stop chanting and stay in BT. Useful for accessing his BT moves in anticipation of the opponent’s attack. Many of Yoshimitsu's BT moves are available without pressing 3+4 to go into BT.
MED 1+4 – In this move, Yoshimitsu stabs himself, dealing unblockable damage to himself and an opponent directly behind him. While very damaging, this move does not have much range, and a whiff will cause the self inflicted damage as well as the punish from the opponent. It is a very high risk move and should only be considered at the end of the round where Yoshimitsu has very little health, but is able to kill the opponent with this move. This is because the self damage is applied a frame after the damage to the opponent, so Yoshimitsu wins the round in that scenario.
MED 2+3 – Yoshimitsu turns around and extends his hand for a throw, stealing health from the opponent and adding to his own. Though this move is unexpected and steals health, it is slow and can be ducked. Additionally, Yoshimitsu loses health when it is broken by the opponent. It is more effective against opponents that come into close range to interrupt Yoshimitsu’s healing.
MED 2+3, F – This grab is the same as the above except the flow of health is reversed; Yoshimitsu gives health to the opponent. If the opponent breaks the grab, Yoshimitsu still loses health, so this move is never a viable option. A character’s rage is retained when they are healed past the 25% health threshold.
MED 2+4 or 1+3 – Yoshimitsu performs his standard throws as if it was from BT. It is the fastest attack option out of MED, but can be easily avoided by ducking, spacing, or throw breaking.
Bad Stomach (BDS) [D/B+1+2]
Yoshimitsu can get indigestion by pressing D/B+1+2 from standing or crouching. While he is calming his stomach, many high attacks can be made to whiff and Yoshimitsu will remain in position for as long as D/B is held. At this time, the stance crushes highs but its follow-up moves do not. He cannot block or move while in BDS and he can return to normal standing position by releasing D/B. While not a full-fledged stance, it can make players think twice before attacking recklessly.
Moves available in BDS:
BDS 1 or 2 – Yoshimitsu exhales a cloud of poison that is an unblockable high launcher for an opponent that gets hit by it. It is among the most damaging launchers available to Yoshimitsu, though it very slow to set up. Despite its large and lasting hitbox, it is weak to proper spacing, sidestepping, and crouching. It is effective against a close combat opponent that is hasty in their offense, usually attempting to keep pressure.
BDS 3 or 4 – Yoshimitsu does an evasive backflip that can act as a mid attack on an advancing opponent. This attack may land on close opponents that are doing a crouching attack to avoid the poison breath, but it is primarily used to create space. Releasing D/B is the only way to exit BDS without sacrificing position.
No Sword Stance (NSS) [2+3]
Yoshimitsu can change between 1SS and NSS by pressing 2+3 from standing, though he will always start each new round in 1SS. Unlike the other stances, 1SS is an actual alternative to his default fighting style with full movement and defensive options. Generally speaking, moves that involve the sword in his left hand are removed, altered, or replaced, though there are other moves that change in this stance as well. DGF and FLE stances are completely inaccessible in NSS. Generally speaking, fighting in NSS sacrifices range, juggle damage, and some unblockables for better punishers and additional moves that opponents may not be familiar with.
The moves that have dramatically changed in NSS are included in this guide, so attacks that simply have reduced range, damage, and/or unblockable status will not be listed below.
NSS can also be performed by pressing:
2+3 after d+2, 2
Moves altered in NSS:
NSS 1, 2, 1 – This string is a natural combo in NSS, making it an effective jab punish that keeps the opponent close.
NSS 2, 1 – The second hit of this string now strikes and blasts the opponent away. This string is as fast as the one above and is a natural combo, but does more damage and knocks down the opponent. Add that it can also break walls for additional combo damage, this string can be regarded as one of the best jab punishers in the game. However it is not as good if the opponent blocks the first hit, since the second hit can be ducked and Yoshimitsu can be punished. It is best to use strictly as a punisher.
NSS 1+4 – Though a tad slower in NSS, this move is still an extremely fast launcher. It functions the same way as in 1SS, but the key difference is that it has a bit more range than its 1SS counterpart, making it more usable as a punisher and even in some of the more advanced combos. It is still very easy to whiff.
NSS f+1+2 – This input still smashes the opponent for a knockdown on hit. However, it now has the ability to wallbreak rather than floorbreak. It is slightly slower and more damaging, and is a great ender to a wall combo.
NSS f+3+4 – Yoshimitsu charges the opponent in this power crush attack. It still knocks down a standing opponent, but in NSS however, he no longer goes into running flea on hit. This makes the attack much more usable within juggle combos.
NSS d+1+4 – Yoshimitsu stabs himself with his empty hands since he is no longer holding his sword. Rather than damaging himself and an opponent standing behind him, he disappears and reappears in place. He can still be attacked during the brief moment of invisibility, so this move does not have much use other than to be silly.
NSS d/b+1 – Rather than slashing the opponent, this input is now a simple crouch jab in NSS.
NSS u+1+2 – Yoshimitsu will attempt to go into DGF but quickly falls, dealing a low attack to the opponent and ending in IND stance. It has a longer startup, but people not familiar with Yoshimitsu’s NSS options typically fall victim to this attack.
NSS WS+2, 1, 2 – This WS string from TTT2 is present now in NSS and not in 1SS. All attacks in this string leave Yoshimitsu backturned, and the last hit is not a natural combo. This gives the opponent an opportunity to block or interrupt after the second hit. The last hit of this string is to deter opponents from interrupting or ducking to avoid the high kick. Luckily, it is relatively safe on block.
NSS WS+2, 1, 3 – This alternative string is now a NSS exclusive as well. While the last hit still does not combo, it can be a devastating hit for anyone attempting to interrupt. However since it is a high, it can be ducked by opponents expecting the move.
NSS FC+d/f+1, 2 – This string is an extension of the NSS version of sword sweep, which is still a launching low but is now blockable. The second hit is another low attack, which is fairly damaging. While the juggle opportunity is lost when both attacks hit, this extension is great for catching opponents not expecting the second hit. This move is launch punishable on block; use sparingly for a better chance of success.
NSS FC+d/f+3 – Yoshimitsu sweeps the opponent with a low attack that is a juggle starter on hit. This launching low has more range than FC+d/f+1, but is also worse on block; the different animation on block makes it obvious that the opponent can punish. Still a viable alternative if the opponent is not quick to react.
NSS d+1+2 – Yoshimitsu goes into IND stance rather than FLE. To avoid confusion between 1SS and NSS, it would be best to continue using d+3+4 to use IND.
NSS u/f 1+2 – Yoshimitsu does a big hop that goes over most lows and mids. This move can appear threatening to inexperienced opponents, but for the most part it is an empty jump that can also close some space. Yoshimitsu lands in a FC state, so WS moves would be used if input upon landing or d/f can be held down to keep Yoshimitsu in FC.
NSS KIN 1 – Yoshimitsu attacks the opponent with his hand, causing a knockdown on hit. This move is not particularly fast, but is safe on block and a decent way to get the opponent on the ground in front of Yoshimitsu for him to follow up.
Author's note: I will be making a video of each of the stances based on the descriptions here. Special thanks to Grey for the gifs and additional notes!