It is dawn. Goku makes his way out of Kami's Temple to begin his daily training and contemplation. This is dull work for our unfocused hero, who begs Mr. Popo to be his sparring partner. As Popo waters the plants around the temple with his Water of Life - water which will give life to anything - an idea strikes him. He tells Goku that he will bring him a partner to fight later, and he will match Goku's skills perfectly.
But first he needs a bit of Goku's hair.
Elsewhere, Yamcha, Tenshinhan, Kuririn, and Chaozu race at breakneck speeds toward their new training goal - Karin Tower. They hope to catch up to Goku by first going where Goku gained the strength to defeat Piccolo Daimao; to the master of the Land of Karin, Karin-sama.
They're moving really, really fast.
Back at Kami's Temple, Goku meets his opponent.
(Talk about nightmare fuel.)
Mr. Popo explains the conditions of their match: While there are no rules in particular, they will fight until one loses consciousness or forfeits.
"This guy's really quiet!" Goku thinks.
"I almost can't sense his energy at all!"
After a furious melee, the two boys break apart. Goku gasping for breath, he says to himself... "His power, his speed... they're about exactly the same as mine!" Then he realizes -- "He's not breathing hard at all!" But as Goku is focused on his own thoughts, Mr. Popo pops a balloon! Goku looks toward the distraction, then gets walloped by his sparring partner! "You must never allow yourself to become distracted." Popo scolds.
Mr. Popo, you're an asshole.
Goku launches into a Zanzoken assault!
But his sparring partner isn't deterred, and finds the real Goku immediately!
Goku finally gets a good hit in on his partner, knocking his mask off!
But his sparring partner is... Goku?!
"He's a doll I made using Water of Life and clay. His strength and techniques are exactly the same as your own."
"A doll, huh? That explains why I can't sense his energy!"
"Dammit! I won't let myself get beaten by a doll!"
"I can't read any of this guy's moves, but he can read ALL of mine." Goku laments.
"It is ki." Popo explains.
"When you are so full of bloodlust, even a doll can read your movements."
Goku changes his strategy, and attacks the doll from above...
with a Kamehameha!!
But the doll avoids it with a Zanzoken...!
...and appears above Goku with a Kamehameha of his own!
Goku attacks him head on again, but the doll was only feinting!
Using a Double Zanzoken, he knocks Goku down!!
"We aren't the same strength! He's way stronger than me!"
"That is not true. I said it earlier, his strength and techniques are exactly the same as your own. You only lack training of the mind!"
"Training of the mind?"
"Concealing your ki. Sensing things. Concentrating. These are all vital. If you can just succeed in training your mind, you will not lose to the doll."
"I don't really understand... but I won't let a doll get the best of me!"
Goku and his doll continue to fight for many hours. Mr. Popo confessing to Goku that if he keeps up the struggle, he might soon be killed by his own double. His back against the edge of the Upper World, with his doll flying toward him, Goku's vision begins to blur. His breathing gets steady. He steels himself.
Without thinking. Without trying. Goku's punch connects.
Distracted by his own breakthrough, the fight continues with Goku once more on the defensive. Mr. Popo tells him not to let his mind get flustered. Goku tries to recall the feeling he has just had. He closes his eyes. Quiet like the sky. Faster than lightning.
Goku assaults his doll furiously.
"I did it! I finally succeeded in suppressing my ki!" Goku cheers.
His doll, lifeless, lays across from him.
Popo says calmly. "That is not the case. The effects of the Water of Life have merely worn off."
It is dusk. Goku still has a long way to go.