Jonathan had lived a rough past as the son of an aristocrat, and was known in his childhood to have been at least a competent boxer. In his college life, he is shown to have played Rugby alongside Dio Brando, and was revered as one of the two stars of Hugh Hudson Academy.
Even prior to learning the Ripple, Jonathan was shown to have been able to hold his own against three thugs, Speedwagon among them, with sheer might and willpower. He was also shown to have been able to wield various weaponry held by the suits of armor in the Joestar mansion, as well as perform incredible feats of strength, such as jumping from the hilt of a sword and hoisting himself up to the second floor with an arm inhibited by a spear pierced into his pectorals, even doing a flip over the guardrails as he did so. Perhaps his greatest display of strength was after being revitalized and empowered by Zeppeli's Ultimate Deep Pass Overdrive, where he ripped through 3 steel bars clutching his neck, a feat that even the mighty vampire Tarkus outright admitted he was incapable of.
Jonathan is an intelligent person and a very competent thinker in combat.
During his studies, Jonathan managed to graduate from University, having written a celebrated thesis in archaeology.
In a fight, Jonathan is adept at thinking of moves on the spot and using the environment to his advantage. On several occasions, Jonathan was quick to formulate plans even in a moment of crisis. Still recovering from the loss of his father, Jonathan had to fight a vampirized Dio, and quickly thought about burning down the Joestar Mansion in order to bring Dio down. Likewise, agonizing from a wound in the throat (which also led to a loss of oxygen going to his brain), Jonathan managed to use his last Ripple and one zombie to dispose of a horde of them and Dio at the same time by forcing the zombie to make the boat explode. Jonathan even notably used his belt as a supplementary whip before ever acquiring the Ripple, as well exploited the fact that Windknight's Lot was a coal mining town to deduce that a lake would have air pockets at its bottom to surprise Bruford with an unexpected production of Ripple.
Jonathan has an arsenal of ancient martial art techniques, most inherited from Will A. Zeppeli and involving Ripple, at his disposal. Some are his original creation, each ending with "Overdrive".
- Zoom Punch (ズームパンチ Zūmu Panchi): Jonathan launches his fist forward and strikes his opponent. First used by Zeppeli, the attack involves a Ripple breathing technique that dislocates and stretches the joints to extend the arm and give it greater reach while also using the same Ripple to dull the pain caused by the move. Due to the increased length, the strike immediately reaches the opponent's face first, which from that perspective seems "zoomed in."
- Sendo Ripple Overdrive (仙道波紋
疾走Sendō Hamon Ōbādoraibu): Jonathan charges a Ripple wave through his arm and releases it into a solid object, such as a wall or partition. The Ripple can travel through and reach anything on the other side, and anything hit by the Ripple is sent flying in a spiral. If the enemy is an Undead, the Ripple will enter their bloodstream and destroy them from the inside.
- Scarlet Overdrive (
緋色の波紋疾走Sukāretto Ōbādoraibu): Charging the Ripple into one hand, Jonathan can create a Ripple of flame. He is able to transfer over this flame to another part of his body, and anything that touches that body part has a chance of catching fire. 
- Underwater Turquoise Blue Overdrive (水中のための
青縁波紋疾走Suichū no Tame no Tākoizu Burū Ōbādoraibu): Appropriately the strongest place to use the Ripple, Jonathan can release high powered tempests while underwater with enough force to blast enemies away. In most cases, a good portion of the water is propelled outward as well, draining something like a lake to waist-high depth. 
- Overdrive Barrage (
波紋疾走連打 Ōbādoraibu Renda): When Jonathan jabs fast enough consecutively, he can release multiple Overdrives at once. 
- Metal Silver Overdrive (
銀色の波紋疾走Metaru Shirubā Ōbādoraibu): Essentially the same as a Sendo Ripple Overdrive, but with the ability of transferring through metal.
- Life Magnetism Overdrive (生命磁気への
波紋疾走Seimei jiki e no Ōbādoraibu): With the aid of Zeppeli, Jonathan can draw all the leaves in the immediate area and magnetize them together to form one giant leaf, which was used as an impromptu-hang glider. This move can be applied to most plants, and has the ability to revive them passively as well - as when Jonathan touched a dead tree branch with his newly Ripple-healed arm and restored its wilted flowers.
- Sunlight Yellow Overdrive (
山吹き色の波紋疾走！！ Sanraito Ierō Ōbādoraibu, Lit. "Bright Yellow Ripple Sprint"): His final and most memorable attack, first marked by Jonathan's words: "My heart resonates! The heat's enough to burn! The beat of my blood is razor-sharp!!" (ふるえるぞハート！燃えつきるほどヒート！！刻むぞ血液のビート！ Furueru zo hāto! Moetsukiru hodo hīto!! Kizamu zo, ketsueki no bīto!). It is a devastating and extremely rapid flurry of Ripple-infused punches with power comparable to the sun itself and has the ability to completely obliterate the Undead.
Alongside the attacks, the Ripple has various other uses in combat. A skilled Ripple user such as Jonathan has the ability to walk on water, strengthen objects and increase their potency, increase jumping height, and much more.
One of the main conveniences of the Ripple is the ability to heal the body to an extent. During his battle with Doobie, Jonathan was able to eject poison out of his bloodstream via Ripple transfusion. During his battle with Tarkus, he was also able to heal his broken neck after receiving the Supreme Pass Overdrive from Zeppeli.
- Luck and Pluck (
幸運と 勇気Rakku to Purakku): After his defeat, Bruford gave Jonathan his sword, which played a major role in the final battle against Dio, where Jonathan was able to counter Dio's freezing ability by infusing the sword with Ripple, in order to avoid direct contact with Dio's body.
- Main article: List of Unnamed Stands § Joestar Stand
Manga Debut: Chapter 122, The Thing on the Plane
Along with the The World, it was stated that DIO's semi-precognitive abilities that seemed to have resulted from a Hermit Purple-like Stand were due to a Stand power that awoke in Jonathan's body. Similar to Hermit Purple, it can produce a psychic photograph by smashing a camera, which DIO used to track the Joestars and their friends's current location to send Stand Users after them.
- According to the JoJo novel, JOJO'S BIZARRE ADVENTURE OVER HEAVEN, the Stand shares the same name with Hermit Purple and it is called "Hermit Purple #2". In the subsequent novel JORGE JOESTAR, the Stand is instead named "The Passion". The canonicity of either novel is questionable.