Martial Art

#1 Posted by SmoothJammin (2403 posts) - - Show Bio

Here is where we evaluate Nightwing's fighting style. In previous continuities, we know Batman had a background in several different ones and passed along most of this knowledge to Dick. What school of martial arts does he utilize most in battle today? Which other contributing factors influence his combat skills and are there any other styles you can see Dick grayson adopting in the new 52?

#2 Posted by Breadspread (771 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't know much about different fighting styles but I always thought Batman would use his own non-lethal style of Krav Maga, the most efficient way to take out an opponent. I think Dick would have more aerial attacks because of his circus background. Taekwondo has flying kicks so maybe he uses Taekwondo.

I always assumed that they both knew a lot of different styles and could change it up on the fly.

#3 Posted by MissJ (407 posts) - - Show Bio

I always assumed a little bit of capoeira skill. It's so acrobatic that it seems natural for him.

#4 Edited by Alak (964 posts) - - Show Bio

I think his fighting style would be pretty close to his pre-52 counterpart. Here's a scan of Black Mask evaluating his techniques. I don't know how much of a fighting expert BM is, but the fact that he can pick up karate and capoeira influence shows that those are pretty dominant traits in Dick's fighting style. Personally, I feel like jiu jitsu (or even BJJ) should be part of his showings since he frequently faces opponents stronger than he is.

#5 Posted by SmoothJammin (2403 posts) - - Show Bio

@alak: Jiu Jitsu is a nice fit for him too, never considered Dick much of a submissioner but I have to imagine his enemies usually hold physical advantages over him in sheer size or brute strength so it makes perfect sense. I keep running that fight he had with Tigress on Young Justice over in my head and how he was able to wrap his legs around her neck o.O his ground game is probably wicked. I think his versatility makes him a danger for anyone south of "enhanced human" territory, and then some.

He's also not your standard h2h fighter if we take into account his natural athleticism and gifted ability to read body language(not to mention years of shadowing Batman). It goes without saying, Dick clearly has a flair for the dramatic when he fights. I wouldn't rule out Capoeira as those crop of fighters are genuine showmen and we all know how Dick loves taking center stage. Aikido on the other hand, appears too rigid for his tastes and probably served him better in his Robin days when enemies lunged at him believing he was some pushover. Judo for when his enemies are rough housing him up close and personal. Karate actually seems fluid enough to suit his strengths... that scan is very insightful. I appreciate your input!

#6 Posted by JayAaerow (507 posts) - - Show Bio

He's a Master of a Half Dozen Martial Arts, though, DC Wikia states the Martial Arts he's mastered along with the sources.

Honestly, it's hard saying what Martial Art he's uses. He uses a combination at once. I remember that from Robin Year One, where Shrike I noted various combinations of Martial Arts while fighting Junior League of Assassins kids. I assume he still does so, perhaps using different Martial Arts.

And it's been shown he can easily switch them around. He doesn't do it often due to not needing to, as it takes care of most opponents. He does display a different fighting style as Batman. Starfire noted it herself that he dances as Nightwing while as Batman ,he doesn't.

He doesn't have a define Martial Arts in my opinion. One may stand out the most(Akido) but it seems like Batman, he has his own little Martial Art from the combination of others and given any circumstance, he can reasonably change it.

#7 Posted by Alak (964 posts) - - Show Bio

The difference between his fighting styles as Nightwing and Batman could be explained with the suit and the role. As Nightwing, he wears an incredibly flexible leotard. As Batman, he's wearing a rather heavy cape as well as body armor that's much heavier than anything else he's worn in the past. It would also be a tad bit weird seeing Batman prance around with tons of showmanship. I like to think that when he put on the cowl, he tried to maintain the role that Bruce spent decades establishing.

#8 Edited by Nathaniel_Christopher (1715 posts) - - Show Bio

The above scan's from Countdown Arena. It's not Batman evaluating Dick's fighting style, but 2 alternate universe Batmen evaluating each others. Given that they're both Batman, and neither have superpowers, I think it stands to reason that New Earth Batman would fight in a similar way to them, wherein he'd be combining multiple styles at any given time, and have a little of his own personal flair thrown in. Given he was trained by Bruce, I think it's logical to assume the same for Dick. Besides Karate and Capoeira that have been stated above, I know it's been stated in some sources that Dick also uses Jeet Kune Do (A style that relies on minimal movement and extreme speed, as well as kicks, punches and grappling, basically whatever tool to suit the current job at hand) and Aikido (Which mainly involves disabling the opponent, but with minimal injury to said opponent. So it works perfectly for Dick and really every member of the Bat Family. It uses the attackers force against them. This would certainly come in handy whenever Dick's going up against someone who's physically more powerful than him.) Given his slimmer build, and gymnast background, Dick naturally has more speed to work with than Bruce, and the ability to jump around and come at his opponent from any angle. In terms of other martial arts I know Dick also utilizes Savate, Judo, Wing Chun, and Kendo. (NOTE: These are what I can remember off the top of my head, there are most likely more.)

This is an older image, long before Flahpoint of course, but Dick's training under Bruce has probably always remained the same. So here:

You can see a young Dick practicing with the batarangs, but also in the upper left hand corner using some gloves against Bruce. So I think we can add boxing to his resume.

This next image is Post-Flashpoint:

Now at the bottom you once again have him training with the Batarangs, as well as throwing stars, but in the middle you see Dick and Bruce sparring with some staffs. I think that's important to note, if only because in the Teen Titans animated series Robin (Dick) was basically known for using a staff, however in the comics that staff has always been seen as Tim's trademark. This scan's proof that even in the comics Dick has some skill and experience with the staff.

And these next images have him wielding a sword. First against Azrael, Micheal Lane I believe, who was Batman at one point while Bruce was..away:

And secondly against Ra's Al Ghul himself:

The above's also a good moment for the fact that Ra's acknowledges Dick as a worthy opponent.

This next few images I just want to go ahead and throw in because its a cool Dick/Tim brotherly moment, as well as showing Dick's skill at operating without his eyesight. The context is that they were doing an exercise where they tested their balance and reaction time and moved around the sitting, while blindfolded. Dick mentions that Bruce took him on this exercise when he was Robin:

^Later, while on the same exercise, Dick and Tim fight off a bunch of goons, with the blindfolds still on. Now all of this I think can be traced back to Dick's skill in Wing Chun. When training in the style users slowly learn to develop their self-awareness, sensitivity, and balance, all things that this exercise Dick and Tim were having helped them work on.

^And at the end of the exercise you then have this moment here, again showcasing Dick's sense of the environment and always knowing where he is. Also taking into account he'd have to adjust his speed to compensate moving from one train to another travelling in the opposite direction.

Now these next scans are from Batman Year Three, so as with some of the above the canonicity of it all is up in the air, but I don't really think DC would ever go so far as to limit the fighting skill of Dick, but its up to everyone to decide for themselves. Dick gets confronted by some muggers, and Shrike watches on, noting Dick had used a number of different styles:

4 muggers in 1 minute and 53 seconds, while still Robin! And the different styles he used were "Aikido, Judo, Savate, and a smattering of Capoeira". So these would be some scans proving some of the styles I mentioned earlier.

I'm sure we all know this, but here's Dick stating it for emphasis:

"I never shut up. It kept me loose. My mind was going a mile a minute just like my body. That worked for me." And if you'll note in the earlier scans when sparring with Damian, Dick shows just that. He never shuts up, stays loose, and notes Damian's too rigid in his own approach. SMH, this too had great chemistry as Batman and Robin, far better than Bruce and Damian ever did.

This next image is from Batman Inc. and deals with Dick training Nightrunner, the Batman of France. During their training sessions (10 hours a day!) Nightrunner notes differences between Dick and Bruce:

"He says my speed is my strength. Our big focus is on movement though. Balance. We're built the same way. This Batman's faster than the other one---much more fluid. Makes sense for him to be the one training me."-Nightrunner

"Stay centered, Bilal. It's the difference between being able to run....And being able to fly."

So now this would be Dick being able to judge another person's body and fighting style, figure out their strengths, and help them develop to use those strengths. And note Dick's comment on "being able to fly" as even as Batman that's still what he seeks to do, and early on the cape caused him trouble again as it doesn't mesh well with his need to fly.

These next scans are from the Outsiders, where Thunder reveals she'd trained with Nightwing (Amazing how many varied people Dick worked and trained with isn't it? Just pointing out, in these panels Thunder states "I trained with Nightwing". That's a statement that holds weight here, it means something to have trained with Dick. He's one of the best.) :

She notes Dick taught her to use her opponents size and momentum against him (That's also Grayven she's facing. You know, the third son of Darkseid!) That'd be a callback to Dick's skill in Aikido.

Let me get some more scans of Dick as Batman in here:

Here you've got him using various nerve strikes against this guy (Don't remember his name) but he was an enhanced, black ops trained, soldier.

This is Dick facing some type of spy. I've never seen this story before, but found the scan while surfing the net lol:

The guy's name is Thomas Tresser, and during the entire fight he notes how he's worked with Batman before and such, and how Dick isn't "him" (The original Batman he worked with, Bruce Wayne). This panel's the only one I chose to include, specifically because at the end he notes that Dick "Moves faster than I can see. Maybe faster than the real thing." That'd be faster than Bruce. Just another person noting that Dick's the faster of the two.

Let me end things with this. It certainly wasn't the best event, but I thought this final confrontation and ending was amazing. Dick Grayson winning the Battle for the Cowl:

#9 Posted by JayAaerow (507 posts) - - Show Bio

@nathaniel_christopher: Michael Lane wasn't Batman at one point. That was Jean-Paul Valley. He's one of the ones trained to be his replacement. Didn't quite go as planned. In an alternate future, he was masquarading as one. Canonly speaking, that was Jean-Paul Valley.

#10 Posted by Nathaniel_Christopher (1715 posts) - - Show Bio

@nathaniel_christopher: Michael Lane wasn't Batman at one point. That was Jean-Paul Valley. He's one of the ones trained to be his replacement. Didn't quite go as planned. In an alternate future, he was masquarading as one. Canonly speaking, that was Jean-Paul Valley.

Read the Three Ghosts of Batman, wherein Micheal Lane serves as one of three alternate Batmen.

#11 Posted by JayAaerow (507 posts) - - Show Bio

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