He’s not from another planet. He’s not from another dimension. He’s not the product of a failed experiment, or even a chance encounter with a spiritual entity. He is the culmination of the ultimate pursuit to become the apex of human achievement…He is Batman.
By all accounts Batman shouldn’t be a superhero for all of the reasons mentioned previously. His superhero resume seems a little thin if you judge him by the criteria of so many of the others. Perhaps that is why he is so special, since he is a mere mortal, just like us.
Bruce Wayne’s motivation to reinvent himself as the dark knight was born out of being a victim of violent crime: A tragedy. It is a powerful motivation, and one that I share, having been one myself. So what makes Batman a superhero? Is it the costume, which strikes fear into the heart of the criminals he encounters? Well, not just the cool costume like this unique Batman hoodie or joggers, he has the skills and ability to back it up.
How do we become Batman? Anyone, with the grit and determination to do what is required can become their own version of Batman. I have divided up the attributes that make up Batman into three broad areas.
- He physically strong and agile
- He is a master of martial arts
- He has a superior mind, especially regarding strategy.
How to Become a Superhero
Now we can assemble the triad of attributes into a superhero method. If you zero in on the “how” of becoming a superhero, you will look even better in your Batman inspired apparel!
Physical Fitness and Agility
You can’t be a superhero with saggy arms and a middle-age spread so if you haven’t started training already then you need to start working out. That may or may not entail you hitting the gym. I have never set foot inside of a gym to work out, so don’t rule out the idea of using the many resources available to you today and working out at home.
You can find just about anything and everything online, so excuses must be banished to some far corner of your Batcave. With some 8, 10 or 12 pound octagonal dumbbells you can start on your superhero body today.
There are many free and pay subscription exercise channels, books and workouts available, but I think a good place to start is with the famous “Spartacus workout” from Men’s Health. It is a very challenging workout that looks deceptively easy. If you don’t go ancient, then at least choose a workout that includes intervals and/or weights, so that you can look and feel your best. Don’t forget to pick up your Batman hoodie and joggers for working out!
You don’t want to just look great, you want to be able to back it up. If you are wearing a big bat on your chest, you need to be formidable. For that you need some martial arts training. Now we get down to the oldest question in the history of martial arts: What is the best martial art? Let’s make it easy, just choose the one you like the best.
Granted Batman is a master of several martial arts, but I don’t recommend studying a bunch of arts all at the same time: It will be time consuming, confusing and frustrating. You need to choose what is best for you. To make it simpler we can divide martial arts into some broad categories such as: Grappling, Striking and Weapons. Not all arts will fall neatly into these categories but they will “mostly” fit one of these.
Some examples of grappling arts are Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), Judo, Sambo and Greco-Roman Wrestling. All of these involve throwing and some involve ground fighting, joint locks and chokes, however if getting up close and personal with your opponent isn’t your bag, then read on.
Striking arts involve punching and kicking. There are many striking arts such as: Karate, many styles of Kung Fu (Hung Gar and Shou Shu), Tae Kwon Do, Boxing and Kickboxing. All of these arts will involve striking bags and practicing with a partner. With striking arts you will need some equipment at some point. Wear your compression shirt under your uniform, and always remember your quest.
Weapon arts are a lot of fun and great if you are looking for something different. Whether it is Kendo or Western fencing you will learn a lot about yourself, your body and your mind by studying a weapon. Some other weapon arts are Iaido (Way of the Sword) and Kyudo (Japanese archery).
Don’t limit yourself to what you have seen or already know. Investigate what interests you; after all, that’s what Batman would do.
Honing the Mind
Batman is a master strategist and detective, so surely he has read and studied the classics. Here are some titles that are a must for any aspiring superhero:
- The Art of War by Sun Tzu – Often quoted in business, it is the premiere book on strategy. Many maxims have been taken from this book such as, “All war is deception.”
- The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi – Similar to Sun Tzu, this is one that you have to read.
- The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli- Read this one, so at least you will know what Machiavellian means at your next cocktail party.
Now you are set! You are working out three days a week, and going to class two. In your car at lunch you are reading classics of strategy and ancient wisdom. If that seems like a lot, it is, but hey, didn’t you want to be Batman?