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Shaolin Masters reveal the secrets of the Clenched Fist fighting style, increasing ranged infantry hand attack.
—In-game description

Clenched Fist is a technology in Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties that can be researched at a Trading Post built on a Shaolin Temple settlement. Once researched, it increases the melee attack of ranged infantry by 25%, except Melee Skirmishers (e.g. Sudanese Dervish) and Caroleans, that get +10% melee attack instead.

Urumis receive two effects from this technology; one which reduces their melee attack and the other increases it, cancelling each other out.


Clenched Fist enables ranged infantry to fight more effectively when faced with hand cavalry or hand infantry. This technology is very beneficial for Musketeers, but Skirmishers still cannot stand up to any hand cavalry unless massed.

Two units specifically stand out, the Iron Troop for the Chinese, and Jaeger Mercenary available to all European and Asian civilizations. Their build limit is greater than minor native units, and shipments from the Home City are available much earlier.

Civilizations with aura effects for units, specifically attack or hit points, will see greater benefit from the improvement as well.