Goku Fighting Stance: What Kind of Martial Arts Does Goku Use?

A Deep Dive into Goku’s Fighting Stance, the Martial Arts it Features, and How it Came to Be.

Goku Fighting Stance
Goku Fighting Stance

The world’s greatest martial arts icon, Goku, is a fictional character and protagonist of the Dragon Ball manga series. Although he is a Saiyan originally sent to destroy Earth, Goku has become known as the planet’s greatest defender.

Goku uses the square stance which involves a loose mabu (horse stance) while turning the torso sideways. The fighting style allows the character to utilize short bursts at maximum power in quick succession instead of putting it all into one attack. Having trained under Master Roshi, Goku learned many martial arts styles, making him a versatile fighter.

Though Goku is a fictional character, he has impacted martial arts. Are you wondering how? Keep scrolling as we dive into Goku’s fighting stance, its influence, martial arts techniques, and more.

How does Kungfu Influence Goku’s Martial Art?

Goku is a character in Dragon Ball Z’s anime series, which has significantly influenced martial arts with his unique techniques and stances. His martial art corresponds with the real martial arts of China, Japan, and Korea. He has a horse stance and a dragon ball z stance.

The traditional martial arts background of Goku’s martial art comes from the Kung Fu style practiced by Shaolin Monks in China. This style was founded by Bodhidharma, who was an Indian monk. This tradition eventually spread throughout Japan and Korea, where it became known as Korean Taekwondo or Japanese Karate, depending on where people practiced it.

Various fighting styles have influenced Goku’s fighting style. These include traditional Chinese martial arts styles like Wing Chun and Tai Chi Chuan. Additionally, these techniques have influenced other styles, including Japanese and Korean styles like Goju Ryu Karate, developed in Okinawa.

Is Goku Based On Bruce Lee?

Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee

Goku’s fighting stance is centered on Bruce Lee’s style. He’s known for his “non-style,” which means he didn’t have one particular martial arts discipline that he studied and focused on. Instead, he combined multiple disciplines into a unique style of fighting that was all his own.

Goku’s fighting style is called the Turtle Hermit Style. This style focuses on balance, speed, and precision. For example, Goku can spin around in place or jump high into the sky at incredible speeds. He can do this with one foot touching the ground at any given time.

The reason this is possible is that Goku’s training involves key training styles such as:

  • Balancing on a ball for extended periods without falling off (to build up his sense of balance).
  • Running through trees at high speeds without hitting them (to increase his speed and precision).
  • Other exercises like kicking rocks while they’re moving through air to work on power and accuracy in his kicks (to build up strength).

How Did Akira Toriyama Create Goku’s Fighting Style?

Akira Toriyama created the Dragon Ball series. When Akira was little, he loved watching movies in which Jackie Chan starred. He was motivated by the styles in Jackie Chan’s films, and he decided to create a fictional character that would use similar tactics as Jackie.

Toriyama recognized that to make his comic book more exciting, he needed something more than just punch-punch-kick action. He needed some style. Therefore, he took inspiration from Jackie, who used acrobatics and agility to keep his enemies off balance and guess what would happen next.

Toriyama loved watching Chan movies because they were exciting and full of action. He also liked how the characters could use their brains to develop creative ways to defeat their enemies instead of just relying on brute strength or special powers. He wanted his characters to be able to do this too!

Toriyama’s favorite character in these films was always Jackie Chan himself. He loved how smart and resourceful he was while still being able to fight as nobody else could. It inspired him to create characters who would have similar qualities.

Goku uses a similar strategy. To win, he needs to be strong enough to defeat his opponent and fast enough so that they can’t hit back.

Martial Arts Used In The Dragon Ball Series

Various martial arts from China and Japan influence Goku’s hybrid style. The character mostly targets the opponent’s sensitive areas like the head and chest when fighting. Additionally, he throws numerous punches and kicks to weaken his opponent. This technique is similar to how boxers throw numerous punches before the finishing move.

The same can be said about kicks, emphasizing using them to break through an opponent’s defenses or guard. Another thing that Goku does that is evident in many martial arts styles is a lot of jumping around and leaping kicks into different directions.

While jumping, Goku also tries to avoid getting hit by other fighters who want to take him down first before moving on to other opponents on their team. Goku’s fighting style is similar to Muay Thai in contrast to how he uses knees against opponents.

The main reason why Goku’s punches seem so light and fast is that he uses them as a way to distract his opponent. He will throw multiple punches quickly before landing one big blow that knocks out his opponent.

We often see it in boxing matches where boxers throw dozens of jabs before landing a knockout punch. It helps them to tire their opponent out before landing the finishing blow.

Other Martial Arts That Influence Goku

Many other styles influence Goku’s martial arts style. In the anime, he learns a technique called the Drunken Master from his mentor, Master Roshi. The Drunken Master involves absorbing your opponent’s energy and redirecting it back at them to knock them out.

You probably picture Goku in his trademark orange gi when you think of Dragon Ball Z. However, this outfit is iconic and symbolic of the series. It’s not the only martial art that influenced Goku’s fighting style. In fact, many different martial arts have been incorporated into Dragon Ball Z.

Jackie Chan’s martial arts style was also influential to Goku’s fighting style. Jackie Chan’s style focuses on using limbs and feet to counterattack, also how Goku fights in Dragon Ball Super. Many martial arts in Dragon Ball are similar to real-life fighting styles. Here are some of the real-life techniques that influence Goku’s fighting style:


Fury Retires
(via @espn – Instagram)

Boxing, also called pugilism or prizefighting, is a combat sport in which two people contest strength, speed, reflexes, and endurance. The contenders will throw punches at each other with gloved hands until one wins. Boxing has various rules and has been practiced professionally since the mid-19th century.

Goku’s style has been described as “primitive,” arguing that he relies primarily on brute strength and instinct to win fights rather than technical skill and strategy. Goku’s signature move while using this style is the Dragon Punch.

Read also: A step by step guide to be a professional boxer!


Goku also learned Qigong from Master Roshi, who taught him how to use ki energy to heal himself or others if they’re injured or sick. Goku uses this technique when injured during fights against more vigorous opponents.

He also uses it in Dragon Ball Super when he heals himself after being poisoned by Fortune teller Baba’s magic potion. It causes him pain every time he moves around too much or exerts energy on a particular area of his body affected by the poison.

Martial artists have also used Qigongs to train their bodies through movements based on animal forms such as dragons, tigers, lions, etc.

Street Fighting

Goku also learns several other styles while training with various masters on his journey to becoming more vital than Frieza. The first is the street fighting style he learned from Yamcha when they were both young boys.

This style focuses on using any object as a weapon against an opponent if necessary. It also teaches how to improvise new techniques when fighting someone much more robust than you are.

After defeating Piccolo in Dragon Ball Z, Goku trains with King Kai until he reaches Super Saiyan 2 level—a transformation that requires intense karate training to achieve. Master Roshi then teaches him how to use ki attacks through meditation techniques through his karate school’s teachings.

The aim is to enable Goku to learn to control his energy levels without losing consciousness or getting exhausted by using too much power.

Goku’s fighting style is heavily influenced by street fighting and brawling techniques. His attacks aren’t always pretty or graceful. They are built around getting up close and personal with your enemy and overpowering them with brute strength and raw power. He rarely uses ki attacks except when necessary — he doesn’t need them because he has enough force on his own.


Goku’s martial arts skills are influenced by karate and other martial arts. His signature fighting style is a mixture of all the martial arts he learned from his masters.

Jackie Chan has been one of Goku’s most significant influences in his martial artistry, especially his Drunken Fist fighting style. Jackie Chan’s Drunken Fist is a form of Chinese martial arts that focuses on using flexibility to dodge attacks and absorb damage from attacks.

Goku also uses moves inspired by the Crane School, a form of Chinese martial arts specializing in close-range combat, especially with weapons such as knives, swords, and spears. The Crane School also teaches its students how to use their speed and agility to defeat opponents at close range.

Goku also uses moves inspired by the Monkey School, a Japanese martial art that focuses on using kicks instead of punches when fighting an opponent. This school was also known for its challenging training methods. Students would train while intoxicated or wearing heavyweights around their ankles to increase their strength and endurance over time.

What’s More?

Karate is a form of implementing lethal force by adapting its form and technique to the adversary’s character. There is a saying that there are 38 ways to kill using a katana.

However, were one to take off an opponent’s head like how Goku took off Frieza’s in his final form, we could say that you’ve mastered your technique and your footwork, power transfer, and focus.

Goku is a very smart fighter, and he uses his brain to develop strategies for his opponents that maximize his skill level. When thinking about Goku’s fighting style, we can think about it differently.

He’s very strong and can use this strength to make better punches and kicks. That’s where the physical aspect comes in. He has to fight smart because his opponents are stronger than him. During Dragon Ball Z, he realizes brute strength cannot beat a stronger opponent.

Goku pushes himself harder than anyone else would be willing to push themselves to make up for this. This zeal leads to him discovering new techniques like Spirit Bomb, Instant Transmission, and Kaioken.

In addition to these new techniques,  he also comes up with new strategies for them. Once again, this comes back to the idea that Goku has to think outside of the box when it comes to fighting style because he does not have anything over his opponents.

Watch Goku’s Fighting Styles

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Vegeta's fighting stance?

Vegeta’s fighting stance is a variation of the traditional martial arts stance. Like a cross, he stands with his feet and arms out to his sides. His hands are loosely balled in fists, and he holds them high above his head, with one foot slightly in front of the other.

What is Goku's best technique?

Goku’s best technique is the Kamehameha Wave. The Kamehameha Wave is a large blue blast of energy that Goku can shoot from his hands or the palm of his hand. He first learned this technique from King Kai, who taught him how to use it so that he could defeat Frieza in the Namek Saga.

Does Goku use Muay Thai?

Goku’s fighting style has been described as Muay Thai, Karate, and Kung Fu. He displays some of the stances and kicks used in Muay Thai and uses moves from other styles. Jackie Chan, and Bruce Lee, have been huge inspirations for Goku’s fighting style because they have all had very similar styles heavily influenced by martial arts.

Is Goku a good Martial Artist

Goku is a martial arts expert, but some things make him not a good martial artist. Goku is not a good fighter if you consider that he only fights in a battle. He is also not a good fighter when you think of his power level. He has a lot of power, but that doesn’t make him an excellent martial artist.

Goku’s Parting Shot

As promised, we have discussed Goku’s fighting stance in detail. By now, you understand Goku’s creator formed this character and the martial arts style that motivated him. If you love watching Dragon Ball, this article has helped you understand its character better.

Though you can’t become Goku, you can learn different styles visible in Goku’s fighting stance. As a starter, you can learn some martial arts for self-defense in your nearest karate school.

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