What Martial Arts Does Goku Use? [Answered!]

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Goku is one of the strongest anime characters of all time. But what do you think helped him to be that strong?

He used martial arts as his primary weapon to defeat superhuman enemies. You might be wondering, what martial arts does Goku use?

Goku knows and uses martial arts like Shaolin Kung Fu, Karate, Wing Chun, American Kickboxing, and Muay Thai. But, according to the anime, Goku’s main martial art style is called ‘Kame Style,’ which was developed by Master Roshi.

Are you a Dragon Ball fan? If so, you’ll love the article I prepared for you about Goku; dive in. 

The martial arts used by Goku

The Goku fighting style is a unique mix of Karate, Muay Thai, Shaolin Kung fu, Wing Chun, and American Kickboxing.

In the anime world he’s living in, he only uses one style, the ‘Kamen Style.’ A more versatile form of martial art that comes with superhuman move sets. 

Kamen style is pioneered by Master Roshi. The small old guy with a turtle shell on his back. 

Karate

Goku has no Karate background because, in his world, Karate is not a martial art. But, his kicks and punches are inspired by Karate moves in real life. 

Karate originated in Japan which is also the birthplace of Dragon Ball. Karate is a martial art associated with lighting fast kicks and punches from a distance. 

Goku also uses the wide Karate stance, which helps him strike his opponents with unbearable speed and precision. 

You can see Goku use Karate in all Dragon Ball episodes and movies. He defeated Earth invaders such as Meta Cooler and Dr. Gero. 

Muay Thai

Muay Thai is not present in the Dragon Ball universe, but you can see Goku use it with his explosive knee matched with other strike combos. 

Muay Thai is a martial art style that originated in Thailand. It specializes in using knees and elbows matched with regular punches and kicks to damage the opponent.

Along with these strikes, you can also clinch and do leg sweeps to destroy your enemy’s body balance.

Goku loves to teleport to his opponent’s back and throw a knee or a downward elbow. He sent Jiren and Majin Buu crashing with his Muay Thai move sets. 

Shaolin Kung Fu

Despite being a Japanese anime, Dragon Ball adapted the Shaolin Kung Fu style from China. Goku uses this along with other Dragon Ball characters like Krillin.

Shaolin Kung Fu is the most famous style of Kung Fu. It comprises fluid-like movements with body-shattering strikes. This style uses weapons, but Dragon Ball didn’t adapt that part. 

In Shaolin Kung Fu, they use different kinds of animal styles that have unique fight stances. Goku uses the ‘Horse stance.’ It’s a wide horizontal stance. 

Shaolin Kung Fu is extensively seen in all Dragon Ball episodes, movies, and comics. Kakarot (Goku) fought Semi-Perfect Cell and Frieza with this martial art style. 

American Kickboxing

Goku didn’t actually learn Western Kickboxing. But, it’s evident that he uses this style because he loves to throw punches combined with a roundhouse and lead kick combos. 

American Kickboxing is a mixture of Western Karate and Boxing. Unlike the traditional Kickboxing you watch, Western-style doesn’t allow elbows and clinch. 

Goku uses kicks in almost all his fight scenes against anyone. He fought the Androids and The Ginyu Force with American Kickboxing. 

Wing Chun

Goku doesn’t have any formal background in Wing Chun. But it’s clearly seen that he knows what he’s doing as he implements this style in almost all his moves, especially on defense. 

Wing Chun is a close-quarter combat martial art that uses the forearm and wrist to block and release counter shots. It also uses short punches, kicks, and palm strikes. 

One famous martial art idol that used Wing Chun is Bruce Lee. Bruce Lee used Wing Chun in his movies and various stunts during his time. 

Goku uses Wing Chun to deflect strikes from his opponents. You can see it during his fight against Brolly and Vegetta.

He usually teleports to the back after deflecting with his forearms to fire a devastating counterblow. 

Capoeira

Nobody taught Goku Capoeira, but he implements Capoeira moves in most of his acrobatic kicks. He loves associating turning kicks with his movements, making his fight scenes badass. 

Capoeira is a Brazillian martial art that combines music, dancing, and combat. It focuses on acrobatic movements as the main setups for viscous kicks to any part of the opponent’s body.

What makes Goku’s fight scene cool is his acrobatic kick inspired by Capoeira. He mainly used this in his battle against the Androids and Frieza.

You can also notice that DBZ fight scenes are accompanied by incredible music to amplify the mood of the battle. This is somehow similar to the use of music in Capoeira. 

Does Goku know all the martial arts?

Dragon Ball Z balls

Goku doesn’t know all the martial arts in the world. Despite that, Goku knows many such as Kickboxing, Karate, Shaolin Kung Fu, Wing Chun, Capoeira, and Muay Thai. In the Dragon Ball world, he uses one style called the ‘Kame style.’ 

When it comes to the Dragon Ball universe, Goku might know all the fighting styles because he’s the strongest. 

In Goku’s universe, the Kame style is the only known martial art to exist. If we observe the Kame fighting style, we’ll see that it’s actually inspired by real-world martial arts. 

In comparison, Batman knows many martial arts used in a more realistic hero universe.

Did Goku master all martial arts?

Goku didn’t master all real-world martial arts because it doesn’t exist on the Earth he lives on. But if we would think he lives in the real world, the answer would still be a no. 

He only uses Kickboxing, Wing Chun, Shaolin Kung Fu, Karate, Capoeira, and Muay Thai. 

Mastering all martial arts worldwide is impossible because mastering one would take half of your lifespan. Even Jackie Chan didn’t get to master all styles during his prime. 

Did Goku ever win a martial arts tournament?

Dragon Ball Z fans at MCM London 2015
Cosplay Vogue1, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Despite being the anime’s main protagonist, Goku only managed to win one martial art tournament. This win is against Picollo, the green alien from Namek. This tournament occurred in old-school DBZ during its first aired anime episodes. 

After that win, Goku would fall short in all martial art tournaments he joined. Some good examples are the Cell Games, The 25th Tenkaichi Budokai, and the Tournament of Power.

Despite losing various high-stake tournaments, Goku still manages to save the Earth from being obliterated by otherworldly beings. 

How many martial arts does Goku know?

In real-world martial arts, Goku knows a total of six martial arts that he mixes up into one fighting art called Kame style. These martial arts are Kickboxing, Wing Chun, Shaolin Kung Fu, Karate, Capoeira, and Muay Thai. 

In the anime universe, these martial arts do not exist at all. What Goku uses there is called the ‘Kame style.’ 

Kame style includes superhuman moves. It even has the ‘Kamehameha move’ where Goku will fire a large lethal laser beam generated by his palm. Cool, isn’t it?

What is Goku’s fighting style based on?

Goku’s fighting style is based on a lot of real-world martial arts. The main real-world martial arts that inspired Goku’s main fighting style are Kickboxing, Wing Chun, Shaolin Kung Fu, Karate, Capoeira, and Muay Thai. 

Goku tends to mix these martial art styles and use them all together. So technically, we can say that Goku also uses Mixed Martial arts.

Final say on Goku’s martial arts

Goku knows and uses several styles of martial arts from the real world. But they are combined into one “Kame” style used for the animation.

Goku’s Kame style is heavily inspired by various martial arts, including Kung Fu, Muay Thai, and even Wing Chun.

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