Martial Arts

"The grim purpose that burned inside him was growing, demanding direction, seeking release. He looked further, to the East. He learned karate from an ascended master in the Paektu-San mountains of Korea--Savate from a convicted killer living as a beach bum on an island off Borneo. Six months in a japanese hermitage taught him the value of Judo and Ju-jitsu. From a chinese woman so old she should have been dead, he learned the secrets of the Tao, that nothing is fixed, everything is fluid, everything is energy. He mastered a dozen disciplines, experimented with them and fused them into something that was uniquely his own. In Africa he learned how to read the environment for the signs man's passage leaves--how to find and follow a trail to which ordinary men were blind...The ninjas taught him their secrets--how to use the shadows, how to employ psychology to win the battle before it's even fought--the precautions to take when you make yourself a target--and how to use fear."  - Shadow of the Bat #0

Who taught Batman martial arts - The known martial arts masters that trained Bruce Wayne 

Ted Grant aka Wildcat the world's best boxer trained a very young Bruce Wayne in the "sweet science" of boxing and how to take a hit (Robin #31 & 52 #23 also see the Batman/Wildcat #2 reference in the knowledge section below)

A flashback memory showing his training under an unknown teacher who's instructing him how to kick correctly as he's shown knocking down a tree barefooted (Gotham Knights #1 - Batman Black and White Backup Tale)

Was taught by an unknown female teacher (its unknown what combat arts he learned) who he refers to as his "Queen" who puts Bruce through a pit fight gauntlet with death match rules for 28 hours straight in order to teach him an important lesson about the need to kill. It's a lesson Bruce refuses to learn due to his no kill code but he's still able to finally put an end to her gauntlet in his own unique way (Batman v2 #23 - Backup Tale)

 photo batman23-pitfighter1.jpg photo batman23-pitfighter2.jpg photo batman23-pitfighter3.jpg photo batman23-pitfighter4.jpg photo batman23-pitfighter5.jpg

Shown training with an unknown monk (or ninja?) martial arts master in the art of stealth (Batman v2 #52)

 photo batman52-stealthtraining01.jpg photo batman52-stealthtraining02.jpg

Detective Comics #599

- Learned kung-fu from old grand master Chu Chin Li who deemed Bruce as his favorite student

- Tsunemoto (the most deadly martial arts assassin of the Yakuza) teaches him how to anticipate his opponents attacks against various enemies plus the secret of spiritual healing techniques. Later on, Tsunemoto comments Bruce was his best student

Receives training under Kirigi for a year, an old martial arts master that very few people in the world have had the privilege to study with. Kirigi comments that Bruce has a natural genius for mastering combat techniques due to the great violent nature inside him (Secret Origins of the World's Greatest Super Heroes)

Legends of the Dark Knight #52 & 53 - Tao

Learning the ways of Taoism from Shao-La mostly on how to keep a clear mind

Learning the secret arts of Taoism from H'sein-Tan who also trained the mystical martial artist known as Dragon who developed a grudge against Bruce since he was favored more by H'sein-Tan (see the battle between Batman & Dragon in the Martial Arts Battles Section)

After training 9 months "somewhere in the Himalayas" with Shihan Matsusa, known to be one of the greatest zen warrior monks, he is able to master Tummo meditation ("elemental battle between ice and blood" that takes place while he is meditating nearly naked outside), actually melting the ice he is sitting on (Detective Comics v2 #0)

Training under Richard Dragon known as the world's best martial artist (Richard Dragon #7)

Here we see Batman having a flashback of his training with the renown former League of Assassins member David Cain as he's sparring with Cain's daughter Cassandra Cain (the 3rd Batgirl aka Black Bat) who's one of the best martial artists alive. David Cain taught Batman many forms of martial arts, weapon mastery, and combat tactics. He's known by many as being one of the very best assassins in the world also having invented a unique fighting style that involves the perfect reading of body language. Here we see Batman defeat Cassandra in the sparring contest by using a modified deadly nerve strike (that was taught by Cain) to paralyze her. Being that violence is Cassandra's main form of communication (plus she was unable to talk at the time), it was the only way he could "speak" with her since she can read body language which enables her to anticipate attacks before her opponents make them (Detective Comics #734)

After his back is broken, he seeks out training from Lady Shiva (also the mother of Cassandra Cain) to regain his physical prowess. Shiva is regarded by many as the world's deadliest martial arts assassin who Batman considers to be one the very few martial artists in the world that is his equal if not slightly better (Batman #509)


How many martial arts styles of combat has Batman mastered

His knowledge of every known discipline has made him a unique and unpredictable opponent (Batman The Ultimate Guide to the Dark Knight)

Has spent years perfecting every known fighting discipline (The Ultimate Guide to the Justice League of America)

Is said to be quite possibly the greatest martial artist alive and a master of every fighting style on earth (DC Comics Encyclopedia vol 2)

Batman Profile photo dcencyclopedia-batmanprofile.jpg

Mentions that he's trained to perfection in every combat form there is plus how he can incapacitate a person in 463 different ways without drawing blood (Batman The Widening Gyre #4)

Is a master of all fighting arts with his courage being said to be the only thing that matches his skill (Detective Comics #411)

Was a natural to Ted Grant who taught him all his best moves before he moved on to the next teacher. With he each new teacher he trained under, he perfected a new fighting skill and was becoming the sum of them all plus more (Batman/Wildcat #2)

Is said to be the most highly skilled fighter in the world, possibly the greatest human fighter the world has ever known, and a master of every combat form there is (Batman Secret Files & Origins #1)

Is a master of virtually all combat forms (Random DC Profile by Jim Lee)

Gives Batgirl a CD that contains the lessons of 127 martial arts styles on it to help her develop her martial arts skills (Batgirl #7)

Posing a super villain, he trains Robin (Tim Drake) in the batcave and limits himself to using only a handful of Indian martial arts styles. This is a combat exercise he seemed to put Robin through normally in order to improve his combat ability (Robin #124)

 photo robin124-indianbatman1.jpg photo robin124-indianbatman2.jpg photo robin124-indianbatman3.jpg

Quickly deduces the location of where Penumbra's fighting style originated from and that she's using the manipulation of shadow energy that originates from a seemingly secret mystic discipline in India that very few people even know about (Detective Comics v2 #21)

 photo detective21-penumbra.jpg

While engaging a well trained international assassin in melee combat, he quickly deduces that the masked assassin is using a Kung Fu fighting style based off various Wushu techniques and is from Hong Kong (Detective Comics v2 #13)

Deducing Martial Arts Style photo detective13-batcombatknowledge.jpg

Easily recognizes Asano Nitobe's (agruably the most legendary ninjitsu master in world) fighting style that the Suicide King is using against him (Batman Family #1)

Deduces the basic type of fighting style a super powered alien being known as Titan Super Gladiator is using against him despite having a big headache having just come out of a coma (Batman Superman #10)

 photo batmansuperman10-batmanvsupertitangladiator4.jpg

Refered to as the world's most skilled combatant and seen teaching Ra's Al Ghul's League of Assassins non-lethal techniques which were unknown even to them (Batman Son of The Demon)

Pressure Points/Nerve Strikes
Examples of Batman using exotic nerve strikes or pressure point techniques that very few people even know about

A rookie Batman neutralizes a man larger than himself using a nerve strike technique to the neck which disables his breathing (Legends of the Dark Knight #102)

Uses Dim Mak techniques to get a psycho to talk (Legends of The Dark Knight #205)

Takes out 2 GCPD SWAT cops at the same time from behind using a 2 finger nerve touch technique (Batman #406)

 photo batman406-batbeam2.jpg

Takes down a bouncer by merely touching his neck with 2 fingers (Gotham Knights #7)

Quickly KOes a Kobra operative with a nerve strike to the neck (Batman 12 Cent Adventure)

 photo batman12centadv-batattackobra.jpg

Quickly takes out a Leviathan henchmen with a 2 finger touch technique (Batman Incorporated v2 #6)

 photo batmaninc6-touchofthebat.jpg

Knocks out 4-armed meta with a 2 finger touch (Green Arrow & Black Canary #10)

Knocks out a large biker thug with 3 mere touches of his finger (Action Comics #766)

He is able to disrupt Lois Lane's short term memory's transfer (erase her recent memory) with a nerve pinch (Superman Batman Annual #1)

While trying to reason with him, he easily defeats Green Arrow with a nerve pinch disabling his arm then re-enabling it to move again with a touch (Legends of the Dark Knight #128)

Batman And Robin v2 #3 & 4

- Nobody uses a two finger touch nerve strike technique against Robin that instantly paralyzes him

- Which Batman also later uses against Robin to revive him reversing the original effect

- It's then revealed by Bruce that the technique is capable of easily killing someone if not executed prefectly

Defeats a Kirigi trained ninja with the lethal vibrating palm technique which he modified to knock the ninja out instead of killing him as he mentions after their battle (Batman #431)


Tracking down a killer who used the chest pentration technique that makes a mark on the victim's chest look like they were killed by an axe. Only 4 people in the world know how to use this move with Batman revealing to being one of the four (Detective Comics #634)

Mimics Lady Shiva's signature finishing technique the lethal Leopard Blow in order to take out the last and most formidable of the ninja masters that Lady Shiva sent after Bruce in order to help retrain him in the martial arts (in her own deadly way) since he lost his physical prowess when Bane broke his back. However, it turns out that he's modified the killer technique into a non-lethal strike which knocks the ninja master out instead of killing him. He does this to fool Lady Shiva into believing that he's willing to kill so he could pass her final test (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #62 and Robin v2 #8)

Able to identify the Falling Leaf technique a move only two people (Cassandra & David Cain) in the world know how to use (besides himself) (Batgirl #49)

Masterfully defends against The Sensei's spine crusher iron fist technique from behind by trapping him with his own unique technique that he calls "The Gymnast's Third Hand". Note: This fight was staged for show however this still showcases his high level mastery and vast knowledge of martial arts technique as also noted by The Sensei himself during their fight (Batman Odyssey v2 #7)

Quickly knocks out a super steroid enhanced weight lifter who's impervious to pain using his martial arts skill and rapid pressure point attacks/techniques (Detective Comics v2 #17)

 photo detective17-batouch1.jpg photo detective17-batouch2.jpg photo detective17-batouch3.jpg

Using pressure point attacks to the nerve clusters, he KOes a group of cybernetic enhanced Gorillas with quasi-telekinetic abilities that boosts their IQ's greatly (JLA Incarnations #2)

 photo jlaincarnations2-batvsupergorillas1.jpg photo jlaincarnations2-batvsupergorillas2.jpg

Takes out Coldsnap with a nerve strike technique to the side of the body after dodging his ice blast (Batman and the Outsiders v1 #10)

 photo batoutsiders10-batvscoldwave1.jpg photo batoutsiders10-batvscoldwave2.jpg

Using the two most deadly nerve strikes in all martial arts against the magically super powered Eddie Hurst however the strikes have no effect on the Eddie due to his magical invulnerability (Detective Comics #788)

While investigating the murder of Vesper, Nightwing mentions to Batgirl that their isn't any nerve strike that Bruce doesn't know (Batgirl #29)


Batman's best martial arts (hand to hand or melee) battles against the most highly skilled martial artists in the world

A young Bruce Wayne just before he became Batman fights a young Morgan Duncard (before he became the mercenary known as Nobody who's the son of the legendary manhunter/mercernary Henri Duncard who Bruce also trained under and met for the 1st time here) for 15 minutes straight and beats him in melee combat. Also, be sure see their other battles as shown in the Endurance (Stamina), Good Showings (Martial Artists/Street Level Fighters) and Strategy/Tactics (Super Powered/Meta Humans) webpages on the site (Batman & Robin v2 #5)

As Bruce Wayne he defeats E.D. Caldwell aka The Wrath (Batman's evil counterpart) in a traditional martial arts sparring contest (Detective Comics v2 #23)

Wayne (Batman) vs Caldwell (The Wrath) p1 photo detective23-waynevscaldwell1.jpgWayne (Batman) vs Caldwell (The Wrath) p2 photo detective23-waynevscaldwell2.jpgWayne (Batman) vs Caldwell (The Wrath) p3 photo detective23-waynevscaldwell3.jpg

Laughing off at the skill of a martial arts sensei


After having his back broken by Bane (& healed by Dr. Kinsolving) and having trained with Lady Shiva, the latter arrange for Batman to face seven master martial artists, each being better then the previous one. Here is the Dark Knight's clash with the third of said masters, where he escape the trap set up by his opponent and straight up beats him (Batman: Shadow of the Bat #29)

Battles the last and best of the seven master martial artists, is able to skillfully break free from a hold he's put in by the strong master ninja, gets the better of him, and finish him with the deadly Leopard Blow attack modified to knock the ninja out instead of killing him, fooling Shiva in the process (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #62 and Robin v2 #8)

Defeats Dan Kingdom a former Green Beret and martial arts expert who's mastered the deadly Leopard Paw Knuckle technique thats blocked and countered by Batman in this battle (Detective Comics #443)

Batman faces the leader of an Elite Commando charged with taking Gotham vigilantes out. Said leader is good, described by Bats as an "expert in hand to hand combat that hits like a truck", but the Dark Knight still ends up manhandling him (Batman: Outlaws #3)

Vs Priest - Legends of the Dark Knight #136
A young mercenary with impressive martial arts skills that almost rivaled the young Dark Knight's own skills. Priest was an undefeated fighter obsessed with finding worthy opponents to test his skill

Round 1
Defeats Priest after an impressive hand to hand battle

Round 2
Defeats Priest again despite being ambushed

Defeats Freeway a highly skilled martial artist trained by the legendary ninja master Asano Nitobe. According to Suicide King, he is known around the world as one of the best with only a handful of people being as skilled as him (Batman Family #8)

Easily humiliates King Snake (the father of Bane) a blind martial artist known as being one of the best in the world (Batman #469)

Defeats Dragon (a mystical martial artist nearly equal to Batman in skill who had the same teacher) on a mental plane where they engage in combat once their eyes lock and the battle plays out in their minds at the sametime. As a result, Dragon realizing he can't win decides to kill himself. The one person observing the fight believed that Batman made Dragon kill himself by simply looking at him unaware of the fight that truly took place (Legends of the Dark Knight #53)

Vs Master Haim (Legends of the Dark Knight #129-131):
A very dangerous martial arts master who's skill seem to equal Batman's own and also has a great mastery & knowledge of many lethal nerve strike techniques.

Master Haim showing off his skills as he catches Sag's arrow who's an archer on par with Green Arrow then brings him to his knees with a nerve grip


Easily kills two masters who were considered among the greatest martial artists in the world with his death strike


Takes down Oliver Queen with a single finger nerve touch to the chest


Fights evenly with a young Batman in hand to hand combat as neither are shown getting the upperhand on one another until Haim manages to hit Batman with his Hungry Cobra death strike technique. However to his surprise, Bruce is one of the 7 people in the world who know how to defend against it (very likely use it as well) leaving him open to attack thus being defeated.


Vs David Cain
One of the world's greatest assassins, one of the best martial artists in the world, well known former member of the League of Assassins, former trainer of Bruce Wayne, and father of Cassandra Cain who trained her to become one of the most lethal and top ranked fighters in the world.

- A profile on David Cain that describes his lethal combat style (No Man's Land Secret Files & Origins)

- One of the world's greatest martial artists; knows every move of every fighting style on the planet; highly skilled with every kind of firearm (DC Comics Encyclopedia vol 2)

David Cain Profile photo davidcain-dcencyclopediaprofile.jpg

Defeats David Cain in hand to hand combat (Batman #605)

Vs Tsunetomo (Detective Comics Annual #3)

Round 1
Former martial arts sensei of Bruce Wayne who's a master swordsman and master assassin well known as being one of the best in the world. In this fight he deduces Batman is Bruce Wayne by the martial arts techniques he uses and severely wounds Batman forcing him to retreat

Round 2
Defeats Tsunetomo in an impressive martial arts battle

Vs Ra's Al Ghul aka The Demon's Head
A master swordsman & martial artist who has centuries of honed combat experience and has proven to be near equal to Batman who he's fought numerous times with most of their battles ending in stalemates. Ra's Al Ghul has also defeated Bane and Wonder Woman in sword battles (see the Endurance, Good Showings, & Strategy/Tactics webpages to witness more of their classic battles)

Decisively defeats Ra's Al Ghul in a sword fight and even impales him (Batman #616)

Using just his hand to hand skills and no gadgets, Batman soundly beats Ra's in combat, despite Ra's Al Ghul deciding to resort to using his sword mid-fight (Detective Comics #840)

Bests Ra's Al Ghul in melee combat despite The Demon's Head using dual katana blades in the beginning of their battle (Batman & Ra's Al Ghul #32)

The Bat vs The Demon's Head p1 photo batmanrasalghul32-batmanvsrasalghul1.jpgThe Bat vs The Demon's Head p2 photo batmanrasalghul32-batmanvsrasalghul2.jpgThe Bat vs The Demon's Head p3 photo batmanrasalghul32-batmanvsrasalghul3.jpgThe Bat vs The Demon's Head p4 photo batmanrasalghul32-batmanvsrasalghul4.jpgThe Bat vs The Demon's Head p5 photo batmanrasalghul32-batmanvsrasalghul5.jpg

Stalemates Bronze Tiger until he's taken down by a tranquilizer dart by outside interference. Bronze Tiger is recognized by everyone as one of the very best martial artists in the world and he's responsible for training the legendary martial artist Richard Dragon. Bronze Tiger has once managed to defeat Batman previous this encounter (Detective Comics #485)


Battles Lady Shiva (known as the deadliest martial artist alive by many due to being such as good killer) to a stalemate in a hand to hand contest and is amazed that they're both evenly matched in skill. At the time, Bruce was unaware of how good she was and underestimated her at first. However, due to minor interference from Robin (Jason Todd) the stalemate is ended giving Batman the opening to take her down (Batman #427)

Easily defeats a possibly mind controlled Lady Shiva in a hand to hand contest (who's skills are very much intact as shown in the battle) seemingly answering his own question who's the better fighter between the two of them, despite being surprise-attacked plus having just fought Solomon Grundy without having time to recover (Superman Batman #3)

Fights the legendary martial arts master Richard Dragon roughly to a draw (Brave and the Bold #132)

Batman vs Richard Dragon p1 photo bravebold132-thebatvsthedragon1.jpgBatman vs Richard Dragon p2 photo bravebold132-thebatvsthedragon2.jpgBatman vs Richard Dragon p3 photo bravebold132-thebatvsthedragon3.jpg

Despite being ambushed and inexperienced in anti-gravity martial arts, he battles Karate Kid (Post-Crisis) to a inconclusive stalemate by impressively adapting fast to Karate Kid's style of fighting. This fight took place before his battle with the Pre-Crisis Karate Kid from another future (fight below) (Brave and the Bold #5)

Batman vs Waid's Karate KidBatman vs Waid's Karate KidBatman vs Waid's Karate Kid

Fairs relatively well against an amnesiac Val Armor (aka Karate Kid, the greatest martial artist in 31st Century's DCU, here believing himself to be Trident) who's skills are still intact before Black Lightning takes Val out by surprise to end the battle. We also find out Superman ranks Batman as a class 12 fighter while Val is at 15, Black Lightning's comment aside (Countdown #50 pictures are: second, third, fourth and the last one and Justice League Of America v2 #8 pictures are the rest)

Batman best battles against Super Heroes and Super Villains that are well known highly skilled martial artists/combatants 

Gives a massive beat down to Vigilante using just his skill despite Vigilante using a gun, gas, and grenades against him which have no effect on him (Gotham Underground #8)

Despite being ambushed, he still dominates Batwoman easily in hand to hand combat (having knocked her down hard twice with 1 blow each time) leaving Batwoman with no choice but to resort to using gadgets/weaponry and treachery (sneaky combat tactics) in an attempt to take him down (Batwoman #24)

Batman vs Batwoman p1 photo batwoman24-batmanvsbatwoman1.jpgBatman vs Batwoman p2 photo batwoman24-batmanvsbatwoman2.jpgBatman vs Batwoman p3 photo batwoman24-batmanvsbatwoman3.jpgBatman vs Batwoman p4 photo batwoman24-batmanvsbatwoman4-1.jpg

In a steel cage blinded with masks over their faces, he battles his former boxing mentor Wildcat (the best boxer in the DCU) and quickly deduces that he's fighting Wildcat judging by the unique fighting moves Wildcat/Ted Grant uses then holds back. Once he realizes Wildcat won't listen to reason he puts Wildcat down with a punch knocking some sense into him plus breaks off his mask (Batman/Wildcat #3)

Takes down Wildcat with a headbutt despite being ambushed (JLA/JSA: Virtue and Vice)

Defeats Bane (Detective Comics #701)

Defeats Azrael (Batman: Gotham Knights #5)

Fights evenly with his evil counterpart The Wrath who he acknowledges as his equal in every way including skill (Batman Special #1)

Showcasing his skill in vast martial arts styles, he battles The Wrath (student of the original Wrath) yet again to a stalemate but has a slight upper hand. To his credit, Batman does acknowledge The Wrath as being better then his mentor before The Wrath manages to narrowly get away (Batman Confidential #14)

Brutally battles his original sidekick & protege Dick Grayson/Nightwing roughly to a draw that leaves the batcave in ruins and stops the fight once he sees that Dick has passed his test to see if his will wasn't broken (Nightwing v2 #30)

Batman vs Nightwing p1 photo nightwing30-batmanvsnightwing1.jpgBatman vs Nightwing p2 photo nightwing30-batmanvsnightwing2.jpgBatman vs Nightwing p3 photo nightwing30-batmanvsnightwing3.jpgBatman vs Nightwing p4 photo nightwing30-batmanvsnightwing4.jpgBatman vs Nightwing p5 photo nightwing30-batmanvsnightwing5.jpgBatman vs Nightwing p6 photo nightwing30-batmanvsnightwing6.jpgBatman vs Nightwing p7 photo nightwing30-batmanvsnightwing7.jpgBatman vs Nightwing p8 photo nightwing30-batmanvsnightwing8.jpgBatman vs Nightwing p9 photo nightwing30-batmanvsnightwing9.jpgBatman vs Nightwing p10 photo nightwing30-batmanvsnightwing10.jpgBatman vs Nightwing p11 photo nightwing30-batmanvsnightwing11.jpgBatman vs Nightwing p12 photo nightwing30-batmanvsnightwing12a-1.jpgBatman vs Nightwing p13 photo nightwing30-batmanvsnightwing13b.jpg

Battles Owlman (evil version of himself from an alternate universe) to a stalemate (Superman Batman Annual #1)

Despite being younger and still a rookie Dark Knight at the time he proves to be evenly matched with the original Earth 2 Batman who's an older and more experienced version of himself from an alternate reality/earth. Both display unique martial arts skill and knowledge against one another that no one else besides them should know about (Batman Superman #2)

 photo batmansuperman2-batmanvsbatman1.jpg photo batmansuperman2-batmanvsbatman2.jpg photo batmansuperman2-batmanvsbatman3.jpg