Hitmonlee or Hitmonchan? It’s a choice that you must make in the Fighting Dojo in Saffron City. As with Pokémon Yellow: Special Pikachu Edition, Pokémon Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon Let’s Go, Eevee! will present you with the decision to choose between the Kicking or Punching Pokémon.
First, you must defeat the four Black Belts before you can face the Karate Master in the Fighting Dojo (which is west of the Gym in Saffron City). And, once he has been beaten, you will have the chance to select to receive Hitmonlee or Hitmonchan as your reward. It’s an unofficial Gym in a way, where, rather than being handed a Gym Badge, you get a pocket monster for your party.
To the question as to whether to choose Hitmonlee or Hitmonchan, well, there isn’t really a correct answer. They are both Fighting-type Pokémon with a marginal difference in stats between one another.
Where Hitmonlee has higher Attack and Speed stats, Hitmonchan, in comparison, has a higher Defense. That makes Hitmonchan hardier in battle if your party needs a Fighting-type Pokémon that can stand their ground slightly longer. Whereas Hitmonlee is a perfect choice if you’re looking for a pocket monster that can deal more damage.
The moves that they can learn are, of course, different too. Hitmonlee has access to kick-based moves like High Jump Kick, Blaze Kick and Mega Kick, with Hitmonchan learning punch-based moves like Sky Uppercut, Mega Punch and Focus Punch.
But, all in all, the decision can come down to which Pokémon you think looks the coolest. It’s not something that you need to deliberate on for too long before you continue your adventure in the Kanto region.