Urshifu is a large, bipedal Pokémon resembling a humanoid black bear with a wushu motif. It has a muscular build with long legs and long arms with large paws and claws for striking. Its body and head are covered in gray, black, and white fur, minus the yellow muzzle. The front of Urshifu's pelt slightly resembles a traditional frog buttoned/braid buttoned hanging off ends on both front and back. The fur on Urshifu's head is spikier and flares into a flowing white and black headband. The backs of Urshifu's hands, its knuckles, and the tops of its feet are also white-colored.
Urshifu's style and personality are determined by how it trained as a Kubfu and the scroll it reads from either of the Towers of Two Fists. Urshifu is known to enjoy eating honey, particularly Max Honey. It lives in the mountains of a distant region. Urshifu trains its legs and moves by racing across sheer cliffs. Urshifu is the evolved secret armor for the Master Dojo, and reaches its full potential through either the path of darkness or path of waters.
Urshifu has two forms, Single Strike Style and Rapid Strike Style, each with unique Gigantamax forms. The two Styles appear nearly identical to each other, with the main differences being the look of the fur on top of its head, and the posing of both of its fists and legs.
Single Strike Style
Appearance-wise, the fur on top of Single Strike Style Urshifu's head and on its legs flows up, while its headband flares upward and backward. The two styles also have different default poses: Single Strike Style Urshifu has its front fist raised, back fist lowered, and both feet planted.
Single Strike Style Urshifu prefers battling without holding back, and often employs one-hit KO strategies. If enraged, it will mercilessly attack the opponent until utterly crushed. Its movements are direct and involve rushing in a straight line. When it is a certain distance away from an opponent, it quickly leaps in to unleash a powerful blow.
Rapid Strike Style
Appearance-wise, the fur on top of Rapid Strike Style Urshifu's head and on its legs flows down, while its headband flares forward and outward. Rapid Strike Style Urshifu has its back fist raised, front fist lowered, and front foot lifted off the ground.
Rapid Strike Style Urshifu prefers calmly observing the opponents and their strengths while dodging. It uses flowing movements to ward off an opponent's attack before overwhelming them with rapid strikes. Rapid Strike Style Urshifu's movements and attacks have been compared to a river, flowing but unyielding.
When Urshifu Gigantamaxes, the patterns on its fur become significantly accentuated, its headband lengthens, and its eyes and mouth take on a white glow. In general, parts of its fur that used to be gray are now white, and parts that used to be black are now its signature color (red for Gigantamax Single Strike Style and blue for Gigantamax Rapid Strike Style). In addition, Gigantamax Single Strike Style Urshifu's leg fur and headband become spikier, while for Gigantamax Rapid Strike Style Urshifu they become rounder and less spiky.
Gigantamax Single Strike Style Urshifu has been called "the very embodiment of rage" and "a divine emissary that banishes evil spirits with its fury." It is believed that Gigantamax Single Strike Style Urshifu can rid the world of its malevolence through its terrifying expression and shouting. The shockwaves released from its fists can blow away Dynamaxed Pokémon with just one hit.
Gigantamax Rapid Strike Style Urshifu maintains a perfect one-legged stance in a calm, unflinching manner. Opponents who face it may either feel greatly agitated or experience a sense of relief as if freed from evil spirits. Gigantamax Rapid Strike Style Urshifu could supposedly destroy those with evil in their hearts by simply glaring at them.
Urshifu has two non-interchangeable forms: Single Strike Style and Rapid Strike Style.
The two forms share the same in-game model, and are only animated differently, but have different types, with Single Strike Style being Fighting/Dark-type and Rapid Strike Style being Fighting/Water-type. They also learn different moves and have different cries and Gigantamax forms.
It is also the only Pokémon with more than one Gigantamax form, and consequently the only Pokémon with more than one G-Max Move.
It is also the only Pokémon with a Gigantamax Form whose Shiny form is unavailable, not counting Melmetal, as Melmetal has been made legitimately available in Shiny form, albeit without the Gigantamax Factor, which it cannot gain from Max Soup.
Urshifu may be based on an Asian black bear and a wushu fighter. Its two forms may reference various styles of Chinese martial arts.
Single Strike Style Urshifu may have been based on Bajiquan, a highly assaultive style featuring precise, powerful and direct strikes. This can give meaning to Single Strike Style Urshifu's signature move, Wicked Blow; which always lands in a critical hit and described to be a singular, strong punch. The posture of Single Strike Urshifu in its official artwork may be based on the shàngbù dǐngzhǒu (Chinese: 上步頂肘 / 上步顶肘) stance of Bajiquan, where the practiser takes a step forward and protrudes an elbow towards the opponent. The Single Strike Style may also be a reference to actor and martial artist Bruce Lee's famous "One Inch Death Punch".
Rapid Strike Style Urshifu may have been based on the Mantis style, which is based around flowing movements, balance, dodging, deflecting, and tactile overwhelming blows, just like Rapid Strike Style Urshifu and its signature move, Surging Strikes, which is given a further nod to the movements given and flowing, flurrying strikes delivered in the Japanese name: Streaming Strikes. Its Water typing may also be a reference to the water parable in Taoism, which is popularised by the "flow like water" quote by Bruce Lee. The posture of Single Strike Urshifu in its official artwork may be based on the "mantis hook" hand posture and the one-legging standing preparation move, also commonly known as "pheasant stance".
Both forms of Urshifu and their pre-evolution Kubfu may also be based on the Ursa Major and the Ursa Minor constellations.
Urshifu's Gigantamax forms may be inspired by fierce deities, transformed Buddhas with terrifying appearances yet noble hearts, that judge and punish the spirits of the dead, and additionally, quell evil. Alternatively, they might have been influenced by Nio, Agyō and Ungyō, a pair of viciously powerful Buddhist deities that ward off evil spirits and protect good spirits, as Urshifu is also capable of doing both. Typically, statues depicting Agyō will have its mouth open as a sign of violent aggression, while Ungyō will have its mouth closed to represent latent strength. Gigantamax Urshifu's forms seem to reverse this, as Rapid Strike Style's mouth is closed and it attacks its foes relentlessly, while Single Strike Style's mouth is open and it confidently delivers a single punch to a weak point. Additionally, the statues are often colored red and blue, though the color is not a prominent trait of either, as they can each be red or blue, and sometimes both.
Urshifu may be a combination of ursus (Latin for bear) and shifu (Chinese for master). It may also involve kung fu.
Wulaosu may be a combination of wushu (Chinese martial arts), 老師 / 老师 lǎoshī (Chinese for teacher), and possibly ウラー urā (hurrah, battle cry) and 押忍 osu (interjection used in Japanese martial arts).
In other languages
From wushu, 老師 / 老师 lǎoshī, and possibly ウラー urā and 押忍 osu