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Dragon Ball: 10 Fictional Fighting Styles That Are Actually Based On Real Ones

Dragon Ball is one of the coolest manga around. Inspiring a variety of series all over the world like One Piece and My Hero Academia, it tells the story of Goku who is a Saiyan raised on Earth. Training to be the absolute strongest, he has been trained under a variety of masters from Master Roshi to the angel Whis. Before the events of Dragon Ball Z and Super where it was argued that Dragon Ball is only relying on pure power when it was initially conceived, there was a much heavier emphasis on martial arts. Some that look quite similar to the real thing.

Related: Dragon Ball: 5 Characters We Will Need To See Team-Up (& 5 That Never Will)

Here are the 10 fictional fighting styles that are actually based on the real ones. These will be based on Toriyama’s inspirations as well as some hypotheses based on research.

10 Ki Is Based On Qigong

The is the energy source that powers all characters in the Dragon Ball universe. Ki is the lifeforce that allows characters to do a variety of things from basic defense amplification, flight, and energy blasts. It is also responsible for a variety of techniques like the Kamehameha wave.

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The principle is based on a Chinese discipline called Qigong which is a concept where it focuses on recreational purposes such as meditation, self-healing, relaxation, exercise, and so much more.

9 Mr Satan Is Possibly Based On Count Dante’s Karate

Something that some fans may or may not know, is that Hercule is possibly based on someone known as Count Dante. Also known as Keehan, he was a martial artist who was primarily known for his Karate style. Although the style didn’t last long, the poster for the school is remarkably similar to Hercule right down to the afro. Similarly, Hercule’s “Satan” style in all seriousness is basically a glorified version of Karate. This makes sense since Karate has a lot of different styles and is one of the most popular martial arts in the world.

8 Yajirobe’s Swordplay Is Very Similar To Iaijutsu

Yajirobe doesn’t really show up nowadays, but back when he was first introduced, he was known for his swift swordplay. Often doing quickdraw moves that are quite similar to classic Samurai films of the past. Although it doesn’t have a proper name, the style he employs is remarkably similar to the Japanese style of Iaijutsu, where the user uses classic quickdraw techniques with the Japanese katana. It also teaches things about Samurai discipline, although Yajirobe doesn’t seem to follow that.

7 Yamcha Wolf’s Fang Fist Technique Is Similar To Martial Arts Like Tiger Style

Yamcha is infamous amongst the Dragon Ball fandom. Aside from his death and just being comically weaker than a vast majority of characters, he is known for the technique known as “Wolf Fang Fist,” which is an open-palm style that strikes at fast speeds. Considering Dragon Ball is heavily inspired by Chinese kung fu and mythology, it is possible that Akira Toriyama took inspiration with open palm styles such as Tiger Style. Which is also known for its ferocious power, speed and clawed movements.

6 Master Roshi’s Style Is Based On The Drunken Fist

Master Roshi has been heavily influenced by Jackie Chan. This can be clearly seen in his disguise as “Jackie Chun,” but also through influence with the usage of Zui Quan. Also known as “The Drunken Fist,” it’s a famous style where you mimic the movements of a drunk and fight unpredictably. This can be easily seen during his fight against Kid Goku, where he does the very same technique against him, right down to the same clumsy, unpredictable movements and strikes.

5 Tien’s Style Has Elements Of Crane Style

Tien Shinhan and his best friend Chaotzu were part of a rival school that is outside of Goku and Krillin’s. Following what is called the “Crane School,” there are elements of fast and direct martial art systems within the fighting style.

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This most likely means that Toriyama has taken elements of martial arts like the Fujian White Crane, which focuses on something that is just like that. However, considering Tien’s style is more composite then anything, it is likely that this is just an aspect to his overall form.

4 Krillin’s Style Is Most Likely Shaolin Martial Arts

Before Krillin joined the “Turtle School,” he was a Shaolin monk. Although he didn’t get much training there, there are still elements of Shaolin Martial Arts in his fighting style. Essentially the foundations for Chinese kung fu in general, it is primarily based within Wushu which is a highly acrobatic style. Considering Krillin’s height and his often acrobatic style that he shares with Goku, it is most likely that his style of Wushu is Shaolin style specifically.

3 Hit’s Assassin Style Is Based On A Mixture Of Wing Chun and Boxing

When Hit was first introduced in Dragon Ball Super, his style was very precise. Far more precise compared to most martial artists or fighters seen in the past. Befitting an assassin, his strikes were like a snake that pierced the neck of its prey. Very similarly, Hit’s assassin style looks like it took inspiration from both Wing Chun and Boxing. He takes elements of Wing Chun from the stance and fast strikes, but he implements Boxing jabs rather than the strikes seen in Wing Chun.

2 Whis’s Style Is Based On Wing Chun Kung Fu

While Hit’s style takes elements of both Wing Chun and Boxing in order to create a fighting style that is both precise and direct, Whis seems to be almost entirely based on Wing Chun. Not only does Whis implement the stances, but the movements as well.

Related: Dragon Ball: 10 Characters With The Most Fights, Ranked

Moving and flowing like water, Whis often bounces around and instead of outright blocking strikes he pushes them aside. He is so effective that he is able to take on Goku and Vegeta’s strikes at the same time. Showing Wing Chun at it’s purest form.

1 Goku’s Style Is Based On Different Forms Of Kung Fu

When Akira Toriyama first began Dragon Ball, he was influenced by the great martial art stars of his era. This included Jackie Chan and the absolutely legendary Bruce Lee. As such, Goku is probably the closest example of a mixed martial art. He takes elements of everything, from the eclectic wushu seen in all of Dragon Ball, to taking moves and techniques from the martial art philosophy of Jeet Kune Do. The most notable example is the infamous One-inch punch that he does against Frieza. A move exclusively seen from Bruce Lee.

Next: Dragon Ball: 10 Times Akira Toriyama’s Editors Changed Everything

Dragon Ball is one of the coolest manga around. Here are the 10 fictional fighting styles that are actually based on the real ones.

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