Last Updated on September 27, 2022
Goku is the Dragon Ball series' most powerful fighter. His fighting stance significantly resembles various real-world martial art systems, despite his training in fictitious martial arts.
What fighting style does Goku practice?
Goku practices various martial arts, including Kung Fu and Karate. Goku draws most of his fighting style from Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. These combat techniques include Street Fighting, Boxing, Wing Chun, and Muay Thai elements.
Fighting styles and martial arts that have influenced Goku in the series will be discussed in this article. So, let’s get into it!
Dragon Ball Martial Arts
Son Goku is an extremely strong fighter, the strongest on his adopted planet Earth.
While the martial arts style depicted in manga and anime is sometimes exaggerated and features many supernatural elements, it is based on genuine martial arts.
At first glance, we could assume that Goku is simply a fantastic kickboxer with quick reflexes, but his style is more nuanced than that.
Shortly said, Goku's technique is essentially a combination of Karate, Wushu, and Wing Chun, the latter two of which are particular varieties of Kung Fu.
Chinese and Japanese martial arts influenced Goku's technique. So, let's examine each component of Goku’s fighting style one by one.
Anyone who has watched any of Dragon Ball will be aware that the combat animations are (for the most part) rather simple and include lots of fast shoots and blocks between the characters.
Punches are usually thrown back and forth frivolously, with the majority of them being directed at the head and chest. There are many parallels between boxing and real-world martial arts and combat sports when examining Goku's strikes.
Goku frequently holds his palm out straight and adopts a boxer-like posture with an angled stance. His defensive posture is different from a boxer's, which makes a difference, although not many Dragon Ball fighters have such a distinct stance.
Most strikingly, his stance resembles the Gong Bu stance from Shaolin Kung Fu. Although Goku's position is not the same, it is the most similar to this real-life stance.
Let's focus on his kicks. We were able to discover for you that Goku typically kicks at the head and less frequently at the torso. He hardly ever uses leg kicks, which is an odd fact considering how important they can be in combat in many ostensibly related martial arts (such as Muay Thai or kickboxing).
These kicks are mostly employed in taekwondo and karate, two martial arts that originated in Korea and Japan, respectively.
We can say that Goku's kicking is more influenced by Karate and/or Taekwondo than Chinese or Thai martial arts since head kicks are highly essential because they provide the highest points, and chest kicks are typically allowed.
His defense resembles Chinese martial arts. Goku blocks with his forearms, which is natural and rational, but he does so in a unique way that makes it simple to rule out comparisons to boxing.
Goku uses his wide, noticeably lowered gong bu stance in conjunction with his blocks rather than holding his hands up like a boxer.
He can now use his forearms more effectively, as they are employed in Wing Chun. Goku possesses rapid reflexes, which are ideal for Wing Chun's blocking technique.
Martial Arts That Influenced The Goku Fighting Stance
As was already said, Goku employs a variety of martial art techniques. Goku first trained in Kung Fu techniques, but as the story goes on, he also learns other martial arts forms.
1. Kung Fu
Wushu, another name for Kung Fu, includes several fighting styles and techniques.
The tactics make use of a variety of conventional weapons. The staff that Goku practices within the earlier episodes of the anime are one of these conventional weapons.
Kung Fu's acrobatic style fits very nicely with animation's emphasis on visuals. The series’ battle sequences are mostly for amusement and significantly borrow from Hong Kong's martial arts films.
In addition to training, Goku's fighting style and postures clearly show the impact of real Kung Fu stances.
Bajiquan and Hung Gar's postures are two that are frequently employed throughout the series.
Bajiquan employs several explosive techniques, such as direct and strong attacks. The name of the move translates to "Eight Extremes Boxing," which sums up Goku's fighting style perfectly.
The wide set horse stance, with the gifts, held relaxed and somewhat open, serves as the foundation for all of the Bajiquan postures. In his battles, Goku usually adopts this position.
Shaolin-inspired Kung Fu is called Hung Gar. Dragon Ball draws inspiration from Shaolin, as shown in everything from Goku's orange robes to the fighting stances and moves.
Hung Gar, a different martial art that emphasizes high-intensity attacks, is renowned for its footwork, blocking, strikes, and kicking drills. Goku uses these methods in his fighting style, notably in the earlier episodes.
Hung Gar adopts a broad horse posture as well. However, it also incorporates several of Goku's low postures from the battle sequences in the anime.
Wing Chun is yet another Kung Fu form shown in the Dragon Ball series. The bulk of the Hong Kong martial arts movies that served as the series' inspiration include this style often. In reality, when Goku uses his forearms to deflect blows, he employs Wing Chun.
Goku employs a lot of Karate, just like the two martial artists who serve as his inspiration: Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee.
Shotokan karate expert Keeran Obaray has noticed that many of the punches and kicks performed are similar to those used in full-contact Kyokushin karate.
Throughout the series, the mantra of "never stop training" is ingrained by Master Roshi, a “drunken style” fighter referenced from Chan’s film Drunken Master.
This parallels Kyokushin Karate's emphasis on rigorous practice and self-improvement. Knee strikes, body, and head kicks, as well as full-contact sparring, are permitted in this style of Karate.
All of these influence the way Goku battles his opponents throughout the series. As the series advances and shifts its emphasis to power-ups, the majority of the martial arts influence fades.
Goku is increasingly relying on force, although the impact of Kyokushin Karate can still be seen in the strikes he picks.
Knock-Out Point: Goku is a grand master of Karate. Do you know how many belts he has to wear before becoming an expert in this martial art? Read our post to find out -- Karate Belt Order.
Unquestionably inspired by Wushu, Goku blocks with his forearms like a Wing Chun practitioner. However, Goku's punching style clearly shows the impact of boxing.
Bruce Lee's fighting style serves as an inspiration for many of the boxing moves used in the series.
The Goku fighting technique combined Muay Thai, Kung Fu, and Western boxing.
When Goku unleashes Bruce Lee's One Inch Punch on the enemy Freiza, it makes the most overt usage of boxing tactics.
The punch depends on the person's internal strength rather than momentum. The method works well for Goku because he already has a strong core from being a Super Saiyan.
4. Street Fighting
Goku is renowned for giving his all during battles. He doesn't just fight for show; he fights with genuine intent behind his punches and kicks.
Goku's fights are close quarters and extremely intense, which suggests that the unpredictable aspect of street fighting also impacts his fighting style. Goku battles like an MMA fighter.
He combines Kickboxing, Capoeira, and Wrestling moves with the agility and acrobatics of Kung Fu.
He uses a mix of strength and combat styles typical of the street to defeat brute force brawlers like Frieza in Dragon Ball Z.
Under Master Roshi, Goku acquired the ability to manage his ki. Even at an early age, he was able to create a weak Kamehameha ball, which puzzled Master Roshi.
Although the Kamehameha has no analog in the real world, Goku's training also incorporates Qigong. This is a traditional Chinese workout and healing method.
The method involves a sequence of timed movements and meditation to enhance physical and spiritual well-being. Many practitioners believed it to be the best way to grow and balance the life force, or "qi," which is the essence of qigong.
Like Master Roshi in Dragon Ball, Qigong is frequently utilized to train in martial arts. As was already said, Martial Qigong is a crucial component of numerous Kung Fu techniques that have a big impact on Goku's fighting style.
The Goku Fighting Stance: Real-Life Application
By this point, we've discovered that, while being animated and romanticized, Goku's style can be likened to several real martial arts techniques.
What we don't know, though, is how successful Goku's fighting method is in everyday conflict (without supernatural components).
There are instances of fighters with fighting methods similar to Goku's that have been successful in real combat situations, although his style isn't frequently seen in actual battles.
Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson, a UFC fighter, is a fantastic example of someone whose fighting technique is quite similar to Goku's animation style from Dragon Ball in many ways.
Like Goku, Thompson comes from a traditional martial arts background. Thompson's father owned and operated a karate school in his birthplace. Therefore, he has a foundation in traditional martial arts.
As we've seen in the paragraphs above, Thompson typically fights with a very wide stance and a broad guard, which is extremely similar to Goku's posture.
Similar to Goku, he employs a wide range of kicks that are typically directed at the head. In traditional martial arts, head kicks are preferred above leg kicks, as we've already discussed.
Stephen Thompson is a wonderful example to follow if you want to establish a real-life style that is comparable to that of Dragon Ball and its sequels.
His moves and battles are a fantastic place to start if you want to advance your knowledge and be like Goku, even if he also merged various conventional methods into a unique style that requires a strong foundation in martial arts.
Knock-Out Point: Do you think Goku is committing illegal moves every time he does his battles? There is a Code of Ethics even in times of war, right? Familiarize yourself with a few of these unacceptable strategies -- Illegal UFC Moves.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Vegeta’s fighting stance?
He typically adopts a no-combat stance during the bout. Most frequently, a single, strong straight punch is used. He occasionally catches his opponents in his arms.
Is Goku a good martial artist?
Yes, he is but Goku did not train in a martial arts school. He is a skilled combatant. He didn't continue his martial art over the first 20 years till he was on stage in front of an audience. Goku's self-training focuses mostly on physical preparation.
Is it possible to fight like Goku?
Yes, you can certainly fight like Goku. In addition to the superpowers conferred to Goku because of his alien origin, anyone may pick up Goku's techniques. Goku would probably be an MMA fighter today if he were not a fictional character.
Son Goku received martial arts instruction in the fictitious "Turtle Style." The Dragon Ball series is an animated television series, although it draws its moves from actual martial arts.
Several Kung Fu techniques have had the biggest impact on Goku's fighting technique. They all affect how Goku stands, blocks, and performs his acrobatic movements.
Other inspirations include karate, which can be seen in Goku's kicks, boxing, which can be seen in his punches, and Qigong, which can be seen in his ki training.