Dragon Ball Super: Did Spirit Control Help Goku Reach Ultra Instinct?

Dragon Ball Super's current manga story arc, "Galactic Patrol Prisoner" has been pulling the double duty of retconning some key events from the franchise's past, while also introducing some game-changing new elements to push Dragon Ball into the future. New villain Moro is so fearsome with his fight skills and energy-draining magic that Goku and Vegeta have been forced into strategic retreat, with both Saiyans seeking their own new forms of training, to break their current limits. Goku is training to Master Ultra Instinct with the help of a 'Fallen' Angel, while Vegeta has gone to Planet Yardrat, the origin place of Goku's Instant Transmission technique.

However, while it seems that Goku and Vegeta's storylines have diverged, their paths may actually be more connected than we think. That's because the secret to Vegeta unlocking Yardrats unique techniques may be the same secret to why Goku was able to master Ultra Instinct!

As Vegeta learns from Yardrat's Elder that the Yardratian race has achieved something called "Spirit Control." That technique allows a being to master his/her chi, and use that spiritual energy to manipulate their physical form, achieving things like teleportation, size changing, or creating duplicates. Obviously Goku only learned enough to master teleportation (i.e., Instant Transmission) after Dragon Ball Z's Freeza's Saga - but perhaps he learned more than he thought?

During his current life-or-death training with 'Fallen Angel' / Galactic Patrolman Merus, Goku gets schooled in what Ultra Instinct is. Merus tells Goku that the divine state of combat is achieved when one gives up both conscious thought and emotional impulse during battle; though that sounds like mastery of the mental and physical sides of existence, it could easily be a spiritual reference.

What we see from Goku's manifestation of Ultra Instinct during Dragon Ball Super's Tournament of Power certainly lends credit to the idea. In intense of moments of battle during the ToP, it seemed as though even when Goku's body and mind were spent, he tapped into some deeper spiritual control to unlock Ultra Instinct. At the time, the only real distinction in training between Goku and Vegeta was Goku's time on Yardrat, which has already given him one ability that Vegeta can't match (Instant Transmission). With Ulttra Instinct being the only technique of Goku's that Vegeta has never matched, it stands to reason that Spirit Control could be the determining factor.

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Why is this a potentially pivotal thing to note about Ultra Instinct? Because if that explanation is true, then Vegeta's training on Yardrat could lead him and Goku to the same destination: a fully Mastered Ultra Instinct power-up. If that's the case, Moro wouldn't stand a chance - but then again, a lot fans are already making the case for why Vegeta shouldn't achieve Ultra Instinct like Goku.

The Japanese-language and English dub releases of Dragon Ball Super are now complete and available to stream with FunimationNOW and Crunchyroll. Viz Media is releasing new chapters of the manga at a monthly rate that can be read entirely for free through the Shonen Jump digital library, and Dragon Ball Super's big movie, Dragon Ball Super: Broly, is now available on Blu-ray and DVD. Fans in Japan are also able to enjoy fresh non-canon adventures from the franchises with new episodes of Super Dragon Ball Heroes' promotional anime series.