Despite being only a man among gods, Batman is one of the most versatile superheroes in existence. He can do anything he wants (not being a god, that’s for sure), especially as a human pushing himself to the limits. Batman has many titles – “The World’s Greatest Detective,” “Caped Crusader,” but one could add “Martial Arts Master” to the collection. Bruce Wayne might have the resources for his vigilante career, but he doesn’t necessarily have to learn so many skills to be a good superhero. Batman does it, hence why he is so good. In this article, we will explore the fighting style and martial arts Batman practices as the protector of Gotham City.
In the history of DC comics, Batman showcased 127 martial arts styles. The variety of combat stems from boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, and jiu-jitsu to Taekwondo, karate, Kung Fu, and more. Batman headbutts with his Krav Maga skills, is stealthy using ninjutsu, and kicks with Savate techniques. The Caped Crusader is surely one of the most skilled superheroes in history because he showcased so many different styles of combat that only a few people can replicate. With that being said, Batman mostly uses 10 to 15 core martial arts and fighting styles during combat, like Aikido and Krav Maga.
Batman is a freak of nature, and some would say that Wayne family money did bring a lot of benefits to the mysterious superhero, but the will and motivation to adapt and learn so many skills is a feat that a lesser person could never replicate – Batman is far from an ordinary person and superhero.
How many fighting styles and martial arts Batman has in his arsenal?
We all know who Batman is. A mysterious superhero who cleanses Gotham City’s criminal underground from the most notorious people, while during the day, Bruce Wayne is showcased as a philanthropic billionaire playboy who likes a ravishing lifestyle.
Since 1939 and his debut in the comics, Batman has changed, but not enough to become a caricature – like becoming a silly, costume vigilante with tragic life. Now, during the 1960s and 1970s, the silliness and mellowness of Batman jeopardized this great character, and DC decided to make changes to his character. Since ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths, ‘ Batman has been mostly consistent, at least in the hands of writers like Frank Miller, Alan Moore, and Grant Morrison.
Besides layered personality and characterization, Batman became more creative in his fundamental skills as a fighter and a superhero. Just as you think that Batman will be too weak for aliens and other extraterrestrial beings, Batman proves everyone wrong and showcases other skills that he can contribute to the better cause.
Even the Man of Tomorrow, Superman, called Batman the most dangerous man on Earth. Nevertheless, Batman is very skilled and resourceful, so he knows so much about combat.
If we look at the history of Batman and his combat style, there is so much information regarding his combat knowledge, with most sources claiming that Batman knows and used 127 styles over the course of his seventy years tenure in DC comics.
These also include his amazing acrobatic skills
Of course, currently, Batman uses only a handful of martial arts and fighting styles and uses his knowledge to adapt to any situation. To really determine his most common fighting style, we have to look at comics, video games, and other fictional media.
Of course, we will focus most on the comics but also in Arkham video games, which showcase Batman’s amazing combat best way visually.
Which fighting style and martial arts Batman uses the most?
Of course, if one knows that many fighting styles, one obviously can favor some of them. Batman favors at least ten to fifteen fighting styles, which he uses in most cases – another reason is that those writers cannot make Batman replicate every single combat style in every story, which is completely reasonable.
This topic has been covered by multiple martial arts websites, where real-life fighters analyzed Batman’s combat and his favored styles. Professionals recognized these next fighting styles as the most prevalent during Batman’s combat:
- Bam Pow
- Krav Maga
- Tae Kwon Do
- Dim Mak
- Muay Thai
- Kung Fu (various styles)
These thirteen martial arts and fighting styles are the dominant ones in Batman’s combat. Of course, these styles can be divided into seven combat categories Batman uses:
- Defensive skills
- Kicking techniques
- Throwing techniques
- Weapon throwing and skills
- Elbow and knee strikes
- Open hand strikes
Let’s discuss Batman’s combat style using the ‘Batman: Arkham Knight’ video game. This notable video game franchise has been praised for Batman’s combat, and this particular video showcases many martial and fighting styles.
Of course, video games tend to be repetitive when it comes to these things, but let’s break down this video in the context of this article. We have already established that Batman is a versatile fighter with strategy and thought processes during combat, which makes him so unpredictable. In this video, we see Batman fighting an enormous group of soldiers.
The first phase is the stealth and surprise factor, which is connected to ninjutsu. Batman uses his stealthiness and high ground to attack enemies from above, where they are likely the most vulnerable. The unexpected attacks are what put Batman at a bit of an advantage despite being massively outnumbered, but smoke bombs do help in that section.
After the smoke bomb, Batman attacks and uses the momentum to fluidly move on to the next enemy. He kicks from above and then uses his strength to throw his enemies and punch them in sensitive spots. Those attacks resemble Aikido (throwing) and Dim Mak, the martial arts known as “Touch of Death.”
The fighter finds sensitive points of enemies body and strikes to immobilize or certainly murder the opponent. Now, we know that Batman doesn’t kill, so he beats everyone to a pulp.
Batman is at the highest human body conditioning, hence why he is seen in comics and animated series/films as throwing people around the place.
Moreover, Batman uses his momentum to go on to other enemies and uses Krav Maga and Kung Fu techniques to block the attacks and Judo to throw them on the ground. Then we have boxing, where we see Batman punching his enemies quickly and finishing the enemy with Savate and Muay Thai knee strikes. Batman loves kicks and elbow strikes, and those are his specialty.
The next phase is kicking, and Batman uses them mostly to stun other enemies and focus on another to finish them. Tae Kwan Do martial art is dominant here, especially during high kicks, where the enemies are momentarily stunned.
Weapon usage is something Batman practices a lot in his combat, and his gadgets and batarangs are the most common weapon of choice. This particular style is mixed martial arts, with ninjutsu being quite common in Batman’s combat style, especially when he gets Arnis or Eskrima types of martial arts originating from the Philippines, and it mostly uses sticks, knives, bladed weapons, and more.
Since Batman doesn’t kill, he uses blunt weapons – similarly, Nightwing uses Escrima as his martial art choice. Of course, we cannot forget Karate which uses open-hand strikes that immobilize opponents and deals them blunt trauma, mostly to their chest.
Nevertheless, Batman uses all these styles and creates his own fighting style that could defeat the most notorious and strongest people on the planet. How did he learn all of these martial arts, we don’t know, but the resources of the rich man that is Bruce Wayne and his steely determination can lead anyone really far – and Batman did go really far.
What is your favorite Batman martial art in combat? Judo, Aikido, or something else? Let us know in the comments below!