Vegeta Has One Trait That Truly Makes Him Better than Goku

Even though Vegeta and Goku have always been neck and neck when it comes to their power levels and fighting abilities, Dragon Ball confirms that Vegeta has one trait that truly makes him better than Goku. Interestingly, this trait has nothing to do with the power he can amass within himself but his ability to ensure that the next generation has the tools to become even stronger.

Vegeta made his debut in Dragon Ball chapter 204 by Akira Toriyama, and he is initially presented as a powerful, world-ending villain. Over time, Vegeta would become one of the greatest heroes in the Dragon Ball universe, but that is long after he causes some serious problems for the Z Fighters. Even before Vegeta officially introduces himself to the heroes of Dragon Ball, his presence in the universe causes the Z Fighters immense panic and forces them to train themselves extra hard so that they can be ready for the day Vegeta and his Saiyan partner, Nappa, finally arrive at Earth.

In Dragon Ball chapter 206 by Akira Toriyama, Piccolo is training Gohan following the death of Goku during his battle with Raditz. Piccolo is only taking such a drastic measure in teaching someone as young as Gohan the ways of martial arts because Raditz told him and the others that they only have one year before Vegeta and Nappa get to Earth, and they needed all the help they could get. When Gohan throws a fit telling Piccolo that he would rather have his father train him, Piccolo replies, “He’s powerful, but he’s no combat-master,” Piccolo then elaborates further, “He doesn’t have the toughness that is plainly needed…” which was a comment on both Goku’s lack of teaching ability and Gohan’s lack of discipline.

While it is a bit cruel to tell the four-year-old son of a dead man that his father isn’t good enough to be there for him, Piccolo isn’t incorrect in his statement–something that becomes even more true as the series goes on. While Goku is always on the prowl for someone stronger to train him, he never really seems to train anyone else. He’ll spar with them, sure, but that is always just as much about growing his own strength than that of the person Goku’s fighting against. Vegeta, on the other hand, is a fantastic teacher. Vegeta’s teaching skills are proven true during the tournament between Universe 6 and 7 in Dragon Ball Super. During that story arc, Vegeta is battling a Saiyan from Universe 6 named Cabba who is far less bloodthirsty than the Saiyans Vegeta is used to seeing. In fact, Cabba doesn’t even know what a Super Saiyan is let alone how to become one himself. Upon stepping into the ring against Vegeta, Cabba asks Vegeta to teach him how to unlock that ability. While Vegeta audibly rejects his request, he secretly teaches Cabba how to harness his raw emotions and channel them through his body’s energy, helping him spark the transformation in a matter of minutes.

Vegeta’s training tactics are harsh as they require breaking down his students to the brink of death (and to the point of murderous rage) but his methods are effective. Goku’s version of ‘training,’ however, (during the very few times he’s ever attempted being someone’s teacher) is composed of friendly sparring matches and eating a ton of food–which, again, is just as much for his own benefit as it is for his student. Based on Piccolo’s sentiment about how Goku is strong but lacks the ability to teach along with the fact that Vegeta is a surprisingly great martial arts master, it is clear that Vegeta’s ability to teach others the skills he’s learned as a Dragon Ball fighter is the one trait that truly makes him better than Goku.

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