Dragon Ball Series: Everything you need to know about Kaio ken

Throughout the entire Dragon Ball series, Goku has learned a multitude of powerful techniques. His arsenal contains moves like Kamehameha and the Spirit Bomb which he occasionally uses. He also has some very obscure moves which haven’t been used that much, such as the Kaio Ken technique.

This was one of the first moves that Goku learned during the beginning of Dragon Ball Z. He used it several times during the Saiyan Saga but later arcs saw this technique slowly fade away, until it made its comeback in Dragon Ball Super. So, here is everything you need to know about the mysterious Kaio Ken technique.

What is Kaio Ken?

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Goku was able to learn the Kaio Ken technique from King Kai after he was killed during his battle with Raditz. King Kai explained to Goku that it was a heavenly martial arts technique that even he had not mastered yet. Kaio Ken amplifies the users speed, power and physical prowess for short period bursts with high intensity. It requires the user to have a calm and clear mind.

What does the name mean?

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In Japanese Kaio Ken translates directly to “Lord of the world fists” or alternatively “Fist of the World King.” Also, the proper way to pronounce it is “Kigh-oh-Ken” and not “kay-oh-ken” as heard in the English dubbed version of the anime. The name also suggests that it is a signature move belonging to the North Kai and is uniqu only to him.

How does it work?

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Kaio Ken is an integrated mind and body technique. It requires both the body and mind to be trained to a high enough degree so that they can simultaneously work together. If this is achieved than the user can fill his body on the molecular and sub-molecular levels with more and more energy. Ki becomes so dense that it overpowers the cells and increases the metabolism of the body resulting in heat and death of cells after short amount of time, hence the red aura . After the cells die, a recovery process is required to replace the dead cells, which can take a lot of time. As such the Kaio ken must only be used in desperate times.

Dangers of Kaio Ken

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With such a powerful technique there is sure to be major drawbacks. Each multiplier of the Kaio Ken increases the metabolic rate and expenditure of the cells, resulting in a heavier burden and strain on the body. Not to mention the after affects of using the technique which may lead to long-term damages. King Kai warns Goku not to go past Kaio Ken x2 but Goku was forced to use x3 and x4 during his fight against Vegeta. In the Manga Goku says “Oh well… better blow myself up than let him do it.” The only reason why Goku was able to survive such higher levels was due to his Saiyan genetics and inborn endurance, though senzu beans may have helped as well.

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