Batman (or should we say Vengeance?) has emerged from the shadows once again with the release of the newest film in the caped crusader’s big screen saga: The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson.
Detailing the earlier years of Batman’s career, the crime thriller film is mainly centered around a whodunit filled with puzzles and riddles for Batman and James Gordon to solve. But embedded within all the mystery there’s still plenty of action and, of course, fighting.
Visually, Batman’s combat style feels like a broad mix of rough-and-tumble punches and kicks combined with more skilled, targeted grappling and striking techniques. Which begs the questions: Exactly how much martial arts experience does Batman have? And how many different types of martial arts does Batman know? Lucky for you, we’ve got the answers.
So how much martial arts experience does Batman have?
The generally accepted answer is that Batman knows a whopping 127 different types of combat. While we won’t dive into the full list of martial arts styles he has in his repertoire, some of the highlights include jiu-jitsu, taekwondo, judo, capoeira, tai chi, and hapkido, just to name a few.
So where, and from whom, did he learn to master all of this? Across comic book and film canon, Bruce Wayne has had a variety of teachers while traveling across the globe. He learned from mentors like Chu Chin Li, Shihan Matsudo and Tsunetomo, who all served under Sensei Yoru at a secret training dojo in Japan. In North Korea, he sought ninjutsu instruction from Kirigi, who lived in the Paektu Mountain. In a handful of series, Bruce is shown training with Richard Dragon, another notable martial arts master in the DC universe. And in Batman Begins, we saw Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne training with the League of Shadows under the instruction of Ra’s Al Ghul (who used the alias Henry Ducard).
What about Robert Pattinson?
No matter the writer or director, it’s safe to assume that any version of Batman will be flexing their martial arts expertise on-screen, and actors playing him have to prepare for the action accordingly. Robert Pattinson did exactly that for The Batman. When he first secured the role back in 2019, he did early jiu-jitsu training with Rigan Machado, an 8th degree red and white belt in BJJ and Carlos Gracie, Jr. protege. Later during the film’s production, he also studied under stunt coordinator and martial artist Robert Alonzo, who trained him in Filipino martial arts like arnis, pencak silat, and jeet kune do.
We can’t wait to see Robert Pattinson return to the screen for the follow-up to The Batman, and this time around we’ll know EXACTLY how many types of martial arts Batman is (theoretically) putting to use against Gotham City’s criminals and villains!