Son Goku, the main character of Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball manga, has proven himself capable of pulling off some incredible feats throughout the years.
Most of them involve different fighting styles and techniques, but some of them have been done with skills that don’t always have anything to do with fighting, which is Son Goku’s specialty.
One of these skills is flight.
How and when does Goku learn to fly, then?
It’s unclear when Goku first discovered flight. Although he has undergone extensive training with a number of characters, it has also been demonstrated that he has a natural ability for flying.
Despite having been shown flying with his tail during the first tournament arc, while Goku was fighting Jackie Chung, we first see Goku fly in the manga in Chapter 193 (without his tail).
In the anime, he may be seen flying in episodes 26 and 148 of Dragon Ball, both with and without his tail.
You may find out more about Son Goku’s ability to fly in the remaining paragraphs of this article.
We’ll go into greater depth about the situation while also letting you know when it occurred and how Goku actually learned to fly.
When Did Goku Master Flying?
One of the most frequently employed methods in the Dragon Ball series is flight.
It enables its users to use methods that would be exceedingly difficult or impossible to use without them because many of them involve attacking from great heights and other such things.
The user can hover or fly by controlling their ki energy.
We learn from the first season of the Dragon Ball anime that Master Shen created the Sky Dance on Earth, making it a special Crane School skill.
When Tien Shinhan and Chiaotzu are seen flying at the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament, Dragon Ball introduces the concept of flight for the first time (Master Roshi deemed this technique “overrated”).
All other Z fighters (apart from Yajirobe and Master Roshi) quickly picked up the technique.
Goku has frequently displayed the ability to fly, making it one of the most notable skills and abilities in the Dragon Ball series.
The Flying Nimbus, a well-known cloud that Master Roshi gave to Goku because he had never learned to fly, was first used by Goku to accomplish this feat.
But Goku is briefly shown flying without a cloud in both the manga and the anime.
Early in his childhood, when he was still a young child, Goku utilized his tail as a propeller to fly, startling everyone in the area.
Considering that Goku could only use this technique to fly for a brief period of time, it wasn’t actually a particularly sustainable strategy.
He has now been demonstrated to fly without the aid of his tail (he had lost it by this point in the saga), demonstrating that he was able to master the skill.
The main issue here is that Toriyama’s depiction of Goku’s flying has not been entirely constant.
In particular, the precise moment when he learned to fly was never mentioned, and there have been occasions when he was taught to fly, albeit infrequently and for a short period of time.
As a result, different groups of fans hold different beliefs about how Goku learned to fly.
Some believe he did so through training, while others believe that because he is a Saiyan, he was born with the ability to fly and only needed to perfect it (which would make sense, seeing how many parallels there are between Goku and Superman).
Now, despite the inconsistent nature of the evidence on this, we have done our best to identify the instances in which Goku was initially depicted as flying, and we’ll tell you a little bit about them in the paragraphs that follow.
In what episode does Goku first use his tail to fly?
As we’ve already mentioned, the exact moment Goku learned to fly was never revealed, and all we could discover were instances in which he was actually seen doing it.
We’ll start by addressing Goku’s tail-flying first.
In the manga, it was demonstrated that he could fly when fighting Jackie Chun in the first tournament arc:
As you can see, Jackie Chun (Master Roshi in disguise) was taken aback when he saw Goku execute this technique.
Given that he was Goku’s master, we can infer that Goku had never previously employed it.
The primary problem with this technique is that Goku couldn’t use it for very long and couldn’t fly across very large (or even longer) distances.
In the anime, this happened during Goku’s match against Jackie Chun in Episode 26, “The Grand Finals.”
We’ll see now when he developed the ability to fly without a tail.
When does Goku first learn to fly without his tail?
We just cannot tell for sure whether any of the instances presented are true flight, levitation, or simply a continuity problem.
As for Goku flying without the use of his tail, there are even more contradictions.
However, Goku was depicted to be able to fly on multiple occasions early in the story, though we can’t be certain that it actually happened.
For instance, we witness him act as follows in Chapter 177:
And in Chapter 184, he performs the following:
The same instance occurred in Chapter 193, where Tien even made it clear that Goku had mastered flight:
Although it is debatable whether these instances qualify as “true flight,” Tien confirmed it in Chapter 193, so we may presume it did occur at that time.
We can presume that Goku learned how to fly in that episode because the identical event occurred in the original Dragon Ball anime’s Episode 148, “The Victor.”
In Dragon Ball Z, Goku has demonstrated a far more consistent ability to fly.
How Did Goku Master Flying?
Son Goku learned to fly in neither the manga nor the anime.
Goku didn’t show off his gift until he defeated Piccolo in the World Martial Arts Tournament; therefore, he probably learned to fly from Tien or Kami during his extensive training in The Lookout.
In the Dragon Ball universe, controlling ki to fly is easy, so Goku can learn to fly given his vast variety of powers.
Kami, a strong character and superb instructor, probably taught him how to do that during training.
Kami likely taught Goku to fly.
It corresponds with another theory that Goku learned to fly by watching Tien. He learned by watching others fly.
Given Goku’s flight’s lack of information, this scenario is as plausible as any other.
Finally, Goku’s ancestry gave him the ability to fly. Saiyans’ alien nature allows them to fly on Earth.
Saiyans are stronger than humans even without their distinctive battle skills. This idea is unproven.
Thus, Goku could fly from the start, but he had to train and adapt to Earth’s environment to use it fully.
Son Goku was partly influenced by Superman’s story—an extraterrestrial who falls on Earth as a child and grows up to protect it.
Due to Earth’s atmosphere, Superman can fly, therefore Saiyans can too.