Batman is one of the most notorious superheroes in the world. The caped crusader is a master detective who takes down his opponents without any struggle at all. The billionaire philanthropist is much more than a pretty face with a lot of gadgets. One of the things people forget is that many of the Batman Fighting Styles gives him strength.
Although he doesn’t have any real “superpowers,” he’s always able to go head to head with the strongest of metahumans in the DC universe and beyond (it’s worth checking out the fantastic crossovers). Batman did not become Gotham’s #1 vigilante overnight, though. He uses many training and strategies to keep crime in check and remain an asset to the Justice League.
Over the years, writers developed some signature styles for Batman to use so that you can always tell it’s him. It was a great little Easter Egg for anyone following the events of Grant Morrison’s run following Batman’s death in Final Crisis.
He is much more than just a man in a mask, and it’s pretty clear to readers (and the fictional characters of Gotham) whenever someone else is donning the cowl. How many of these signature Batman fighting styles can you recognize from Bruce Wayne’s book of tricks?
Long List of Martial Arts Master for The Different Batman Fighting Styles
The origins of Batman always vary a bit, but there are a few stories that persevered throughout Batman’s long-running history. Following the murder of his parents, Bruce became very closed off and had a strong desire to make the world a better place.
With a significant amount of influence and money at his disposal, he decides to run off and master the martial arts when he becomes a teenager/ young adult. Batman ends up returning and taking on the persona of Batman to battle crime in disguise.
He wasn’t just sightseeing and relaxing out during his travels; he was actually out mastering different types of martial arts. Which ones, you ask? It’s pretty hard to break it down as it often changes between writers. Most people recognize Batman as a master of 127 different styles of martial arts, including (but not limited to):
- Bojutsu, Francombat
- Wing Chun
- Krav Maga
- Varma Adi
- Jeet Kune Do
- Ba Gua
- Hung Gar
- Tai Chi
- Kung Fu
- Shorin Ryu
- Chin Na
- Hokuto Shinken
As there’s a little debate over what constitutes as “martial arts,” parkour is often thrown in as another mastered skill that helps Bruce Wayne navigate the world of Gotham using non-lethal force and taking advantage of all the buildings.
He usually has a stealthy, bruce-force approach to handing bad guys compared to some of his partners. While he masters over a hundred different fighting styles, in actuality, he doesn’t use everyone in his daily combat (that would be a bit impractical).
Many people pointed out how you can notice the difference between Bruce and Dick as Batman by how their fights are illustrated (with Dick being a bit more acrobatic).
His fighting skills are often praised when going against other martial artists. He’s a ridiculously talented opponent who spent years training and kept up with his fitness all this time. You can see him sparring with his partners in the cave often and occasionally meeting a (usually disturbed) colleague from his past training.
When operating in a world full of metahumans and alien threats, martial arts won’t always cut it. Sure, Bruce is arguably one of the most skilled fighters of the DC universe, but he can’t always compete with Kryptonians or venom users. He has an entire arsenal of weapons for any occasion, all with varying levels of ingenuity and potential for destruction.
Bruce tends to steer clear from any guns due to his distaste for them, often remarking that they are a weapon that requires little skill. It seems like a lot of pretentious talks until you see the number of weapons he’s mastered over the years. In addition to the fact he knows how to operate a gun (and is a pretty good shot), he’s a trained swordsman, archer, and lasers thrower.
While he has a lot of toys unless there is some special occasion, Bruce normally sticks to a few signature, less conventional weapons. Ropes, a grappling hook, small bombs, and a handful of batarangs are more than enough for the dark knight to get the job done.
As he often tells some of his more ambitious allies, like the Red Hood and Robin, there is more skill in taking down an enemy without lethal force. He actually has a bit of a soft spot, not that he would let anyone know.
In fact, not having a soft spot is a talent on its own. Intimidation is one of Batman’s earliest fear tactics. Sure, he would never actually kill anyone, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been known to threaten a thug or two from the top of a skyscraper. Especially in the early days, Batman functioned a bit as an eerie urban legend and got the information he needed through blatant threatening.
While his tactics didn’t work with every bad guy, he stays on top of his game by keeping an air of intimidation among everyone – even his own colleagues. Many people are surprised to figure out that the scary legend, Batman, is actually just a regular human (with a whole lot of skill and money).
Some people would even go as far as to say he is a little… off. It is always a welcome comic relief when he walks in on a character mentioning how their mentor warned them about him (think back to the Wally West). Still, the fear he manages to instill in others is enough to help him get by a lot.
But when it isn’t enough, he can always whip out his detective skills. Bruce is so much more than a pretty face and an impressive workout routine. He’s brilliant and has one of the highest IQs out of the DC superhero-verse.
This is why he has this name as the world’s greatest detective. He is great at thinking on his feet, knows a decent amount of science, speaks a bunch of languages, knows a lot about tech, and has (almost) unmatched detective skills.
Many times, he’s the one who works day and night finding the proper antidotes for Joker’s poison or Scarecrow’s fear toxin. He’s often thrown into impossible situations where he is obviously outmatched in brawns or is left without a weapon.
There was even an impressive moment where he surprised the Riddler by escaping a premature death and never letting him know how he did it (in all fairness, he just hid in a safe, but still cool, he outsmarted Edward Nigma).
While he certainly lacks a lot of people skills most of the time, he’s an amazing tactician who often takes a leadership role as he is incredibly practical and knows what he’s doing. He makes learning how to do these things an important part of any ally training as well.
While he does have a level head, he sometimes gets pushed around by his emotions a bit in extreme situations. Some may argue these moments of letting his heart override his brain are poor practice, but often, it’s these emotional moments that make Batman, Batman!
Batman always says that he works alone, but it couldn’t be any farther from the truth. The expansive Batfamily is pretty impressive – ranging from recuperated Villians to orphans Bruce Wayne took into his care. Many different members of the DC universe call themselves allies of the Bat. He’s incredibly loyal to them (and for the most part, they are to him as well).
How is this a signature fighting strategy? Well, his allies have saved him at the last minute more times than we can count. If it weren’t for him enforcing teamwork, he would have died a long time ago (or at least had his work cut out for him).
Even Harley Quinn jumped in and saved him during the Joker War arc, completely changing the gruesome outcome of the battle. Mixed with his intelligence, he knows how to make the team better than ever and makes sure that any team is much more than just the sum of its parts.
He’s more than proven his abilities as a trainer and mentor to any characters that held the title as part of his dynamic duo. He knows how to really create perfect fighters, even if it doesn’t always go his way sometimes.
Final Thoughts On All of The Batman Fighting Styles
Sure, maybe some of these techniques aren’t traditional “fighting styles,” but all of these battle approaches are what makes Bruce Wayne Batman!
How do you think his abilities stack up against other DC characters? Do you think his skills are really enough to do what he does, or is he just overrated? After all, Batman has controversially lost (and won) some surprising battles.