The Gentle Fist (柔拳, Jūken) is a form of hand-to-hand combat used by members of the Hyūga clan. It inflicts internal damage through attacking the body's Chakra Pathway System, subsequently injuring organs which are closely intertwined with the area of the network which has been struck. To do this, the user surgically injects a certain amount of their own chakra into the opponent's chakra pathway system, causing damage to surrounding organs due to their proximity to the chakra circulatory system. Even the slightest tap can cause severe internal damage, hence the name "gentle" fist.
By employing the use of the Byakugan they can target the tenketsu, thus enhancing the havoc and control a Gentle Fist practitioner can impose upon an opponent's chakra network. These 361 nodes are key gate-keeping interceptions in the chakra circulatory network, thus forcibly opening or sealing them in whatever manner the Gentle Fist user sees fit, is a powerful tactical option to have. The affected person's chakra flow can either be increased or disrupted completely, preventing them from using techniques as seen in Neji's fight with Hinata during the Chūnin Exams, rendering her own Gentle Fist manoeuvres ineffective.
Neji Hyūga noted that any chakra-based substance can be destroyed by this technique. As seen in his fight with Kidōmaru, it is done by leaking chakra from the chakra openings in one's hands and moulding it into a needle-like shape to slice through the chakra. In contrast, Kidōmaru managed to devise a method that prevented the chakra from being injected into the body, thus negating the main impact of the Gentle Fist through physical contact. Because Gentle Fist is mostly taijutsu, some believed users can only emit chakra from their hands due to the hands being the most mobile limbs on the body. However, users can emit chakra from any tenketsu, making binding them with chakra-based substance impossible.
Being a close-quarter combat style, Gentle Fist practitioners have a disadvantage against long-range fighters, as Kidōmaru took full advantage of his distance weaponry to overwhelm Neji.
Because the chakra pathway system is invisible to the naked eye, the Byakugan is required for most techniques of this style. Since the Byakugan is unique to the Hyūga clan, it has become their signature style of combat. The ability to inflict severe internal trauma with minimal external force, combined with chakra network manipulation, makes the Gentle Fist the most reputable and fearsome taijutsu style known in all of Konohagakure. In contrast to this, the technique can also be used for supplementary purposes displayed when Hinata used the technique to fix Naruto Uzumaki's dislocated shoulder joint during the Fourth Shinobi World War.
Due to their possession of the Byakugan, the Ōtsutsuki clan also practices this taijutsu form, though far more aggressive than what the Hyūga clan practices. Momoshiki Ōtsutsuki demonstrated his while fighting Naruto Uzumaki, targeting Naruto's tenketsu and internal organs to try to incapacitate him.
- This fighting style is based off the real-life Chinese martial art Baguazhang, a fighting style usually made up of circular movements, allowing the practitioner a wider range of motion and full use of momentum, without giving his or her opponent much of a chance for a direct strike. In Japan, it is known as Hakkeshō.
- Techniques from this line have also been called "Gentle Fist Art" (柔拳法, Jūkenhō/Jūkenpō) or "Gentle Step" (柔歩, Jūho). Kenpō is also a popular Japanese term for Chinese martial arts.
- Although the supposed reading of "Gentle Fist Art" (柔拳法) is "Jūkenpō" due to constant-conversion, in the name of this technique according to furigana it is "Jūkenhō".
- This fighting style might have also been based on Touch of Death, in which moves seemingly less lethal can be made lethal by striking certain pressure points on the body, a reference to how this technique targets the Chakra Pathway System and tenketsu of an individual to explosively increase the damage done.
- Naruto chapter 193, page 15
- Naruto chapter 79, page 5
- Naruto chapter 617, pages 12-13
- Boruto episode 65