What Martial Arts Are Used By Goku In Dragon Ball Z?

Dragon Ball Z is a martial arts series in which the characters use various combat styles and methods to defeat their opponents. Although the franchise contains comedic, supernatural, and other aspects, martial arts are essential to comprehend it. 

If you’re a Dragon Ball Z fan like myself, you’ve probably used the show as motivation to begin martial arts training. However, have you ever wondered what kind of martial arts they practice? Is this an actual combat technique? Well, search no more because, in this article, I’m going to examine and describe the different forms of martial arts which are used by Goku and his pals in Dragon Ball Z.

Goku fights in a hybrid style influenced by Kung Fu, Karate, and Wing Chun. This is demonstrated by his broad posture, which is extremely similar to the stance of Gong Bu, which is featured in the movie “Shaolin Kung Fu.” His striking style is based on karate, and Goku’s blocks and open-palm attacks are remarkably comparable to those performed in Wing Chun. 

The series recounts the experiences of the protagonist, Son Goku, as he practices martial arts from childhood to adulthood. He spends his youth far from society until he encounters Bulma, a teenage girl who pushes him to join her in her mission to find the seven orbs referred to as the Dragon Ball Zs, which, when assembled, create the wish-granting dragon Shenlong.

Along the way, Goku meets new friends like Master Roshi, Krilin, Oolong, and many others, establishes a family, learns about his alien heritage, and fights various villains, many of whom are also after the Dragon Ball Zs.

Also read: 5 Best MMA Gloves for Heavy Bag

Who is Goku in Dragon Ball Z?

Son Goku is the main character of the Dragon Ball Z anime series. He is somehow based on Sun Wukong, a key character in the traditional Chinese novel Journey to the West, although his entire plotline is comparable to Superman’s as told in DC Comics issues.

Goku meets Bulma and accompanies her on a quest to obtain the Dragon Ball Zs, which grant wishes and call the legendary dragon Shenlong. When Goku is at ease, he is lighthearted and cheerful, but when he fights, he is serious and smart and eager to fight. Goku has become one of the most famous and iconic characters globally as a result of the series’ global popularity.

Goku’s Fighting Style

The fighting style of Goku is a combination of multiple martial arts, as noted in the brief answer above, which is a wise approach to fight because no martial art can cover every part of the fighting. At first appearance, Goku appears to be mostly a kickboxer with amazing strength and rapid reactions. 

However, there are clues in Goku’s battle sequences that allow us to pinpoint the specific martial arts he uses and how often he uses them. 

Many Dragon Ball Z fans are aware that the majority of the fights in the show consist of back-and-forth punching between the characters. I’d compare the fighting style of Goku to that of a boxer, as he extends his arms straight out and takes an angled stance to throw punches in the manner of a boxer while maintaining decent head movement to avoid being hit.

There are many things you could miss while watching the fight scenes of Dragon Ball Z, one of which is the kicking style of Goku. Most of the kicks of Goku are primarily directed at his opponent’s head. At first glance, this may appear to be an obvious thing, as the most harmful blows will be to the head.

On the other hand, leg kicks have proven to be powerful enough to end a battle in martial arts such as Muay Thai, where kicks to the legs of the opponent are common. 

The kicking style of Goku demonstrates a preference for hitting the head and rarely the body, a trait common in Karate and Taekwondo. Leg kicks are explicitly prohibited in the Olympics in Taekwondo, for example.

Goku’s blocks are mostly derived from Wing Chun, which emphasizes the use of the forearms. In some form or another, every martial art involves the use of your arms to block strikes. The distinction is that in boxing, for example, your guard remains up and ready to prevent attacks whether or not you expect one.

The guard is lower in Wing Chun than in boxing, and you can use your arms to block punches as they come. To do some practice on these blocks, many students use a wooden three prolonged dummy. The prongs stand for an approaching punch. This method works well when combined with rapid reflexes, which Goku possesses.

Also read: BJJ Green Belt – A Complete Guide

Creation of Goku’s Fighting Style

Akira Toriyama is a manga artist and the creator of the Dragon Ball Z series in Japan. According to Toriyama, the fighting style of Goku is inspired by Jackie Chan’s combat scenes. As a result, it should come as no surprise that Toriyama is a big fan of Jackie Chan, as his fans are well aware.

In reality, Toriyama’s first meeting with Jackie Chan is quite well documented, a meeting during which Toriyama performed a kind of interview with Jackie Chan.

When the master of Goku, Master Roshi, joins the first martial arts tournament, Toriyama references Jackie Chan in the anime. To avoid being recognized, he enters the event under the name “Jackie Chun,” a clear homage to Jackie Chan.

Toriyama, on the other hand, was not the only martial artist who influenced him. Toriyama has stated that he is a lover of Kung Fu in general and Bruce Lee in particular. Toriyama developed the unique and intriguing fighting style of Goku, which was based on combat scenes he saw in films featuring Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan.

Is Goku’s Fighting Style Effective in Real Life?

So far, we’ve learned that, despite being an anime character, Goku has a combat style similar to real-world techniques. However, we haven’t discussed the actual efficacy of the tactics in the real world. 

Although the fighting style of Goku isn’t often seen in real fights, there have been some examples where fighters with similar fighting styles to Goku have won in real combat.

Stephen Thompson, a UFC fighter, is a perfect example of someone with a similar fighting style to Goku in real life. His father owns a Karate school in their hometown, so he has a background in classical martial arts.

Thompson frequently fights with an open stance and a wide guard, comparable to Goku’s posture. He uses a wide range of kicks, most of which are aimed at the head, much like Goku. Also, head kicks are preferred above leg kicks in traditional martial arts.

Based on Thompson’s performance, I believe it’s safe to state that the fighting technique of Goku is highly efficient in real life, especially when accompanied by adequate training and diet. 

Also read: How Hard Can An Average Person Punch?

Different Martial Arts Performed in Dragon Ball Z

There are several martial arts performed in this anime, but mostly they consist of two martial arts, which are as follow:

  • Qigong
  • Kenjutsu


Other characters in the Dragon Ball Z series have shown and used a variety of martial techniques. Many of the warriors in Dragon Ball Z can use their energy, often known as chi, to do amazing things like flying and blasting energy rays at each other. Although this type of energy manipulation is not conceivable in real life, there is a martial art founded on the concept of chi manipulation. Qigong is a Chinese martial technique that originated in Ancient China.

The basic goal of Qigong is to cultivate what is known as “life energy” or “chi” among participants. According to Qigong instructors, chi cultivation is utilized to improve one’s health, martial arts abilities, and spirituality.

Several types of research have been conducted on the effects of Qigong on medical issues such as high blood pressure. However, none of these research is decisive because they are often poorly conducted tests that require better structure to be reliable.

You can be certain of when it comes to Qigong practitioners because they can take a beating. Many monks who practice Qigong have performed demonstrations online, showing incredible feats of strength, endurance, and pain tolerance.

Shifu Yan Lei, a top online instructor of martial arts, demonstrates how he can survive strikes from an opponent by manipulating his chi in a video. 

In the video, Yan Lei begins with a little warm-up and then proceeds to pound himself in the stomach area with progressively harder objects, eventually turning to an iron rod. He says that the concentrated chi in the targeted place stops him from feeling pain or being harmed by the blows he receives.

This is known as “Iron Shirt” in Qigong, and it is one of Shaolin Temple’s arts. A similar concept is known as “Iron Palm,” which involves training and chi manipulation to strengthen the hands.


Characters in the Dragon Ball Z series rarely use weapons in their battles. However, there are some characters in the series who use swords, the first of whom is Yajirobe. Yajirobe fights in a samurai-like manner and is one of the few characters who do not have accessibility to chi-based attacks.

In reality, Japanese sword fighting begins with Kenjutsu, an umbrella name for any sword-based fighting style. Yajirobe’s type appears to be built on surprise and rapid, brief encounters, to be more precise.

Iaijutsu would most probably apply to the fighting style of Yajirobe. Iaijutsu is best described as a sword drawing skill and much more of a technique than a combat art. Iaijutsu, or swift sword drawing, was taught to Samurai to assist them in reacting quickly in the event of a sudden encounter.

This corresponds to Yajirobe’s appearance in the Dragon Ball Z series. Yajirobe, for example, confronts Vegeta when he arrives on Earth to face Goku and his companions. Yajirobe, on the other hand, did not go after Vegeta head-on. Instead, when Vegeta was injured, he surprised him from behind.

Since Iaijutsu was intended for less dynamic kinds of attack, attacks that are both rapid and decisive, this method of attack corresponds with the Iaijutsu principles. Since this manner of sword-unsheathing was popular among Japanese Samurai, I’d relate Yajirobe’s combat style to that of a samurai.

Also read: Top 5 Best Karate Belt Displays


To sum it up, Goku employs a hybrid fighting style combining Wing Chun, Karate, and Kung Fu, which is difficult to imitate in real life. Stephen Thompson, who has a Karate background, is one of the closest similarities to Goku’s style. Everything aside, Dragon Ball Z is a worth-watching series.

So that’s everything that you should need to know about the fighting style of Goku in Dragon Ball Z. if you are a true fan of martial arts, this anime is best for you. You will surely enjoy the fighting style of the characters in this series a lot. The story of this series is also very intriguing, full of surprises and good fights.

At the end of the series, you will surely become a fan of Goku, although he is the hero of this series whose fighting style is similar to Jackie Chan as the writer of this anime was a big fan of his (Jackie Chan). Still, if something is missing, feel free to leave a comment below. We would be happy to get some new suggestions regarding the fighting style of Goku. Until then, happy gaming!

Leave a Comment