Flight (舞空術 Bukūjutsu, lit. "Dancing Sky Art") is one of the most commonly used techniques in the Dragon Ball series, allowing its users to perform techniques that would normally be very impractical or downright impossible without it.
The user manipulates their ki energy so that they can levitate or fly.
It is stated in the first Dragon Ball anime series that Sky Dancing is a technique unique to the Crane School and that Master Shen is the one who created it on Earth. Flight is first seen in Dragon Ball during the first appearance of Puar, and it was named during the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament, when Tien Shinhan and Chiaotzu are seen flying (with Master Roshi calling it "overrated"). Very soon, all the other Z Fighters (apart from Yajirobe and Master Roshi) learned the technique. Goku likely learned how to fly from either observing Tien or from Kami, during his long training at Kami's Lookout, as he was unable to do so before demonstrating his ability when he concludes his World Martial Arts Tournament match with Piccolo.
In the original Japanese dub of episode 3 of Dragon Ball Z, "Unlikely Alliance", when Goku asks if Piccolo can keep up with the Flying Nimbus, the Namekian replies that his own flying technique is significantly different and superior than the flight technique used by the Z Fighters, allowing him to fly faster than the Nimbus.
During the Great Saiyaman Saga, Gohan teaches Goten and Videl how to fly, and he further explains that anyone with sufficient power and the proper training can learn the ability. However Videl is unable to handle high-speed flight which most of the Z Fighters have mastered by that point though it is implied that this is due to their strength as Goten and Trunks can handle high speed flight easily despite their young age and Goten being as experienced as Videl when it comes to flying. In the anime, during the 25th World Martial Arts Tournament, Mr. Satan attempts to teach himself the technique, but he fails miserably.
The way Gohan describes the secret to fly, one would assume that the flyer is putting their ki underneath them, forcing it down similar to an engine or helicopter pushing air down to rise from the ground.
In Dragon Ball Super, Pan is shown to be capable of flying as a baby without any training.
Flight is a yellow Potara-item in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3. It allows characters who cannot fly normally to be able to do so; like Kid Goku, Chi-Chi, Nam, Grandpa Gohan, Android 8, General Blue, Arale Norimaki, Master Roshi, Mr. Satan, and Yajirobe.
Video Game Appearances
Flight is a common ability in most Dragon Ball Z video games, though in some cases the ability to use it may be limited or only available under certain conditions or exclusive to certain characters. In some cases, likely due to gameplay mechanics, there were a few characters who are demonstrated to use flight despite not actually being capable of doing so within the manga or anime (e.g., General Blue).
"The ability to use Flight in Conton City means you're no longer an apprentice. Fly responsibly."
— Chronoa after awarding the Future Warrior their Flying License
In Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, the Future Warrior can fly around Conton City however it is illegal to fly in Conton City without a license while off duty. As the skill is common among members of the Time Patrol, presumably this law was enacted to prevent accidents and make sure Time Patrollers have a good understanding of how to fly safely, especially in high traffic areas like Conton City, thus it is reserved for Time Patroller elites. Chronoa even gives the Future Warrior a warning after she notices them flying recklessly in Conton City without a license. After defeating Frieza and Cooler on Dying Namek, Chronoa gives the Future Warrior a Flying License in recognition of their status as an Elite Time Patroller for beating Cooler and Frieza. The Flying License only permits one to fly within Conton City, flying in the Time Nest and other large rifts in time remains off limits. Flight allows the Future Warrior to reach more out of the way areas of Conton City and places normally only accessible through the use of the city's fast travel teleportation system. Instructors are apparently allowed to fly with no issue though it is unknown if they have been issued flying licenses or are simply exempt.
During Frieza's Siege, three rookie Patrollers are about to go and fight the invading Frieza Force when one of them points out they don't have flying licenses, but it is unclear if this is just a convenient excuse as Chronoa notes in the Time Patrol recruitment video that unlicensed flying is illegal only when off duty and a conflict like that would likely be considered a state of emergency thus all patrollers would effectively be on duty while combating the invaders.
- 舞 (Bu) = Hover / Dance / Fly
- 空 (Kū) = Sky / Air
- 術 (Jutsu) = Technique