Thursday, September 17, 2009

Batman -- Martial Artist - Prologue

(I’m going to preface this by giving some credit to “Bruce” over at Building Batman for inspiration.)

This is the beginning of a series about Batman’s martial arts training. Batman is one of the most fascinating characters in all of fiction, and probably THE most fascinating character in all of comic books (there are lots of characters who would tie for a close second, though).
One of the things that have always interested me most about Batman is his physical capabilities. Foremost among these is his combat proficiency.

This prologue will just lay out some of the arts that Batman has trained in (or that some writers have suggested he’s trained in). In future writings for this series, I will point to a particular story that mentions or depicts Batman training in a martial art, and I will write a bit about that art’s history and why Batman would (or would not) learn that art. I will do my best to go in historical order, but I may jump around a bit because of timelines/continuities.

According to superhero expert Scott Beatty’s entertaining “training manual”, “The Batman Handbook”, there are ten major martial arts that Batman mixes and utilizes:
Krav Maga
Kung Fu

In Scott Beatty’s “The Ultimate Guide to the Dark Knight”, he states:
“There are 127 major styles of combat. While abroad, Bruce learned them all, from Aikido to Yaw-Yan. His knowledge of so many varied disciplines has made Bruce an unconventional and unpredictable opponent, quite capable of countering a Savate kick with a Capoeira dodge, then kayoing with a paw-knuckle strike!”

I should be writing about all of the aforementioned arts.


Bruce said...

Somehow, I missed this post yesterday.

I can't wait to read your upcoming posts. Are you actually planning on doing an extended series?

M.C. Elroy said...

I intend to cover as much of Batman's marial arts repertoire as I'm able. I don't want to simply google "batman karate" and re-post whatever I find, but instead I will mostly draw from issues/stories/resources that I have on my bookshelf or in my long boxes, and provide some basic information about each particular style.

This could take a while, as I own A LOT of Batman comics as well as a few martial arts books and plenty of magazines. I'll also be adding in my own experiential knowledge when appropriate/necessary.

I estimate that this "series" will easily require at least fifteen posts. The first will probably be Boxing, and the second Jujitsu, since these are the two arts first mentioned (when Bruce is first training Dick).
I will also probably touch on various DC characters (like Wildcat, Kirigi, O-Sensei, Bronze Tiger, Richard Dragon, Ra's al Ghul, Green Arrow, Deadthstroke, Lady Shiva, Cain, Batgirl, etc.) as they relate to Batman and the martial arts.

After I feel I've covered everything I can (or enough so that I get bored), I'll most likely end the series with an Epilogue that's more about how I would go about training to get Batman' martial skills and what arts I would most likely use (and which ones I wouldn't).

I plan to write at least one of these a week, in addition to movie and comic book reviews.
So... watch this spot!