"(Punch the incoming objects with the A button! It's a common game... right?)
— Karate Man Description (Rhythm Tengoku)

"More karate training! We've got
an all-new song and all new stuff
to throw at you! (No practice)
— Karate Man Returns! Description (Rhythm Heaven Megamix)

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Karate Man Returns!
かえってきた カラテ家 Kaettekita Karateka

Karate Man GBA

Return of karate man

BPM 119
Appearance Rhythm Tengoku
Rhythm Heaven Megamix
Game Number 1 (Tengoku)
33 (Megamix)
Perfect Reward Karate Man song (Tengoku)
1 Flow Ball (Megamix)

Karate Man Returns! (かえってきた カラテ家 Kaettekita Karateka?), known in Rhythm Tengoku as Karate Man (カラテ家 Karateka?), is the 1st minigame in Rhythm Tengoku and the 33rd minigame in Rhythm Heaven Megamix. In this game, Karate Joe is training by punching flying objects off-screen. The sequel, Karate Man 2, is unlocked later on in Rhythm Tengoku. It's also a sequel to Karate Man in Rhythm Heaven Megamix.


Karate Man Arcade
Hey baby gameplay

The gameplay of this game sees Karate Joe punching out the flying objects off-screen which is done by pressing the A button. The flow bar (found only in Tengoku), located on the left, acts as an ability meter of sorts, responding to the player's successes (see below). Unless the meter is at three or more, Karate Joe cannot punch rocks or bombs; attempting to do so will result in a miss. There are various objects that need to be punched off-screen:

  • Pot
  • Rock
  • Soccer Ball
  • Light Bulb (only in Tengoku)
  • Bomb (only in Tengoku)
  • Cooking Pot (only in Megamix)


Button Mode

  • A: Punch

Simple Tap Mode

  • Tap: Punch

Timing Notes

  • Hit: Karate Joe will punch the object off-screen. The Flow bar will increase by one.
  • Barely: Karate Joe will wince as the object lands on the ground just in front of him. The Flow bar will decrease by one. A barely counts as a miss.
  • Miss: Karate Joe will gasp as the object flies past him. The Flow bar will deplete completely. When punching a rock or a bomb in Tengoku, if the Flow bar is not high enough, Karate Joe will gasp as the object falls to the ground and his fist will be colored red.


Hey, baby! How's it going?

This beat is non-stop.

Hey, baby! Listen to my phrase.

I can give you the sense of rhythm.

...Oh yeah.

Hey, baby! How's it going?

This beat is non-stop.

Hey, baby! Listen to my phrase.

I can give you the sense of rhythm.

Awake, baby! Trust me!

This beat is non-stop.

New groove in your soul! Oh yeah!

This beat. You are growing up well!

Hey, baby. Hold on to your ambitions. Hey!

Oh yeah!

Rating Notes

Rhythm Tengoku


  • "師匠のおことば" (Master's words)

Try Again

  • "きほんが できてない。" (The basics are not set.)
  • "つづけざまは ニガテみたいだね。" (It seems you're not good at the successive parts.)


  • "う~ん..." (Yeah...)
  • "まぁまぁ、 かな。" (OK, I guess?)
  • "とりあえず..." (Anyway...)
  • "よしと します。" (You did your best.)


  • "れんぞくパンチに キレがある!" (There is a sharpness to your successive punches!)
  • "さいご キマってた!" (You nailed the last part!)

Rhythm Heaven Megamix


  • "Mutterings from the Master"

Try Again

  • "Your punches lack pizzazz."
  • "You can't spell "triple punch" without "trip.""


  • "Eh. Passable."


  • "Your punches have some punch."
  • "Three cheers for your triple punches!"


Rhythm Tengoku

Rhythm Heaven Megamix

Rhythm Item

Cooking Pot

Cooking Pot
Karate Memory #2
My father is a master of karate, but not of cooking. Occasionally, he makes dinner anyway, and he keeps asking if I like it. I always lie and tell him it's good.

Skill Star

The Skill Star can be collected when you hit the last rock at the very end of the minigame.

Remix Appearances

Karate Man 2P

"とんでくるモノを Aボタンでパンチ!
気合とノリで ぶっ飛ばそう!"
"(Punch the incoming objects with the A button! Let's go with the flow!)
— Karate Man 2P Description

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Karate Man 2P
カラテ家 2P Karateta 2P
Karate Man GBA
BPM 119
Appearance Rhythm Tengoku Arcade
Game Number 1
Perfect Reward None
Song Used Karate Man Song

Karate Man also appears in the 2P mode of Rhythm Tengoku (Arcade) where it is referred to as Karate Man 2P (カラテ家 2P Karateka 2P?). It plays the same as the 1P version, except it has a split screen display to accommodate the second player. As a consequence of this design, the flow bar remains off screen.


  • Karate Man has become rather well-known for being the first ever rhythm game in the franchise. This has allowed it to make it into the next three games in the series, with new mechanics.
  • Karate Man is one of the three games to return in each installment of the series.
  • The name Karate Joe may be based from Knuckle Joe from the Kirby series. Both use fists and feet (see Karate Man Kicks!), their first names are fighting-related and they end with "Joe".
  • Like the other games in Stage 1, this game reappears in the arcade version as part of the Extra stage, where it is sped up, with new orchestration to match.
  • This is the first game in the Rhythm Heaven Series to include vocals.
  • The audio gasp for missing the object in Rhythm Tengoku may override the thrown object cue. This may cause problems if trying to play the stage without looking at the screen.
  • Missing a single object will count as a OK or Try Again.
    • Punching when you are not supposed to in the Tengoku version will break a Perfect.
  • The Rhythm Heaven Megamix version is slightly changed from the original, as the light bulbs were replaced by other objects, while the "Hit 2!" cue near the end was changed to "Hit 3!". The bomb at the end of said cue was replaced with a cooking pot. The Flow meter is not present in this game so Karate Joe can punch rocks without hurting his fist like he did in the GBA version.

In Other Languages

Language Name
Flag of Japan Japanese 帰ってきた カラテ家 Return of Karate House
FR French Super karatéka
ES Spanish El regreso de Kárate Killo
D German Karateka! 2
IT Italian Il Ritorno di Karate Ka
Flag of South Korea Korean 돌아온 격투가 Return of the Fighter

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