It allows Goku and anyone that is in contact with him to instantly travel great distances (from meters to light-years, or even travel between the living world and Other World) just by concentrating on a particular individual's energy signature and 'transmitting' to that being's location. This action is usually accompanied by Goku placing his index and middle fingers on his forehead to help him concentrate, though if extra time is taken the technique can be performed without this aid. The technique has many practical uses throughout the series. Goku can even shift through realms, having no problem teleporting from Earth to the Sacred World of the Kais in Other World, traveling there to find New Namek. In the Funimation dub of the anime, Goku describes the technique as allowing him to move at the speed of light (specifically 186,000 miles per second), but this is clearly inaccurate given his use of the technique to travel from Earth to New Namek and to King Kai's planet in Other World. It is revealed in a movie that this move briefly moves the user into a pocket dimension which then allows them to move to any location instantly. When Goku became a child, however the ability to use this technique was greatly hindered to the point were he just randomly travels to places a short distance away.
The beings on the planet Yardrat taught Instant Transmission to Goku during his time on the planet. He intended to use the technique to get to Earth before Frieza could harm anyone, but found it unnecessary because Future Trunks had already come to finish Frieza off. Later he found a perfect combination use for this technique, Instant Kamehameha. Throughout the rest of the series, Goku uses the technique often to travel around the Universe. In the DBZ universe more of the heroes use the technique than the villains.
- Goku learned the technique from the Yardratians sometime after the destruction of Namek and prior to his return to Earth in the Trunks Saga.
- Inhabitants of Planet Yardrat supposedly know this technique as they taught it to Goku.
- Perfect Cell learns this technique through absorbing Goku's cells after his self-destruction on King Kai's planet (near the end of the Cell Games Saga of Dragon Ball Z).
- Kid Buu masters it after having only seen it once.
- The fusions Gogeta and Vegito, being two fusions of Goku and Vegeta, can also use this technique.
- Kami, Mr. Popo, Fortuneteller Baba, Kibito and later Kibito Kai also know a variation of the technique called the Instantaneous Movement technique, but it does not require an energy signature to home in on and does not use the typical Goku gesture.
- King Kai mentions he could have taught Goku the technique in the Cell Games Saga.
- Cooler's metal clone servants in the film Return of Cooler also have the knowledge of Instant Transmission. His method of obtaining the technique is unknown, however it was stated that Cooler knew the technique before he came to Earth. Cooler used it to escape from the sun after Goku launched him there. Cooler is first seen using the technique during his second fight with Goku on New Namek. He revealed it after Goku used it to dodge a large energy bomb. Cooler states "thats quite a clever trick", and Goku responds "Yeah, it's called Instant Transmission", only to have Cooler reply "I know...it's of one my favorite techniques". (In the original version, Cooler stated that he was surprised that Goku knew the move as well.) After this, there were times when both used it to fight; when used by both at the same moment, it resulted in the two battling in the dimension that makes up Instant Transmission. When this occurred, once, Cooler won the first skirmish in the Instant Transmission dimension; later, Goku entered it to save Vegeta from a crushing blow from Cooler, who had entered the dimension to surprise Vegeta.
- Hirudegarn in the movie Wrath of the Dragon uses a slight variation of this technique to the same effect.
The same Instant Transmission dimension that Goku and Cooler fight in is seen again in Broly: The Legendary Super Saiyan when Goku uses Instant Transmission to head off in search of the Super Saiyan.
In the anime, King Kai stated he knew the technique, when Goku visited him on his planet to find the location of the New Namek. In the manga, King Kai was amazed by the existence of such an ability.
- 瞬 (shun) = moment, second, instant
- 間 (kan) = interval, space, between
- 瞬間(shunkan) = instant, moment, second
- 移 (i) = move, shift, change
- 動 (dō) = move, shift, change
- 移動(idō) = movement, migration, removal