Under: Celebrities
14 Dec 2008


When I was a kid I used to watch both Batman and the Green Hornet and at the time thought I learned some really cool fighting techniques. I was too young to hear about the drama behind the scenes but apparently some people thought that Robin could beat Kato in a real fight? Why about the time the movie, “Enter the Dragon” was out I made a comment to my uncle that I guess Kato would have won the fight.


My uncle said he heard that Robin (Burt Ward) and Kato (Bruce Lee) got in a real fight outside a bar and Burt won and stuffed Bruce in a trash can. I told my uncle that was a bunch of hooey and who Bruce Lee really was. I guess that it was like Coke or Pepsi, or Ford or Chevy… everyone had an opinion what would happen if they ever met up. Well what I did not know but reportably Robin (Burt) was a black belt in in own right but I have not been able to track down where he trained. This is kind of a fun post but I will try and tie it into what I thought fighting was when I was a kid and what the TV shows were portraying at the time. Here is a video of Batman and Robin meeting the Green Hornet and Kato and I will have a video of the fight scene where Batman fought the Green Hornet and Robin fought Kato!




Well now as I recall the caped crusader had a quick wit and a utility belt second to none as well as the boy wonder. Robin was supposed to be a great fighter in the series but even as a youth I was always irritated that the dynamic duo always got caught and then had to get away before they caught the bad guys.


The Green Hornet and Kato seemed to be a more serious story line where the police thought the Green Hornet and Kato were actually bad guys. I remember how fun it was watching Kato take on a bunch of thugs while the Green Hornet was no slouch with his apparent boxing skills. Here is some history of the feud and some of the fight scenes of the crossover episode.



Now you can see some of why there was a feud between Robin and Kato but really, knowing what I know of Bruce Lee, there would have been no contest. Bruce Lee was a good fighter and brought the martial arts to the forefront of cinema. Without further ado here is part of the crossover episode where Batman and Robin fight the Green Hornet and Kato!



Well now you have it… you have just witnessed the Dynamic Duo fight the Green Hornet and Kato! I was impressed back when I was 10 years-old but when I told my dad I could fight like Batman – he laughed. I tried to convince him that if I pulled my punch way back and then smacked someone it would really hurt! He laughed again as told me that if I pulled my punch back like that – everyone would see the punch coming and I would not hit a thing!


Later when I started getting into fights and my dad showed me the old one-two (jab-right cross), I realized there was more to fighting then wearing tights, capes and witty sayings! One actually had to figure out strategy if one wanted to prevail against the Joker, Riddler and Penguin! Ok kidding aside I did learn that one did have to figure out how to fight if one wanted to become a great fighter.


About the time I sent away for Sea Monkeys, Xray glasses, and a hypnotism book from the back of comic books, I sent away for the fighting book Ketsugo! I found a link here of some common comic book martial arts ads. Here is what the ad looked like. 



Well it is safe to say I did not become a martial arts master from this book but it started a burning lifetime desire to learn martial arts! I bought Bruce Tegner’s book, “Jukado” and then started in on real lessons in my teens.


I would argue that watching Batman and Robin as well as the Green Hornet with Kato were part of why I wanted to learn how to defend myself with karate. Do you know that I would have loved to see real sport karate match between Burt and Bruce but as far as I know it never happened. So if the burning question you are wondering about is who would have won in a real fight, Burt Ward or Bruce Lee… I guess we will never really know and leave it at that.



If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

8 Responses to “Robin vs. Kato? Batman vs. the Green Hornet?”

  1. Ikigai Says:

    I didn’t realize there was such a competition between the two! With full respect to Burt, I don’t think there were many people then or many people now that could hang with Bruce Lee.

  2. Kim Says:

    Jet Li would make a good modern day Kato! I know this isn’t the proper forum, but I can’t reach you John. Call when you get the chance.

  3. John W. Zimmer Says:

    Hey Kim – I think you are right about Jet Li – wasn’t he in a life of Bruce Lee film recently?
    Sorry I have not got back to you but I’ve been sequestered studying for my windows 2008 test I just passed! I’ll call you later.

  4. Brason Says:

    John — It’s been a while since I looked at your website. This was a really fun article to read. As a very young kid, I met Batman at the grand opening of a store in Chula Vista and fondly remember asking Batman where was Robin. He said that he was fighting the Joker in the back stockroom, which was great to hear. I didn’t know that Robin was a black belt, and I didn’t know that there was a feud between Robin and Kato. If I had to guess as a kid again, I would say that it would have been a tie.

  5. John W. Zimmer Says:

    Hey Brason – Yeah it was a toss up from my kid mind too. They were both great. I used to watch Bruce Lee in “Longstreet” too and remember him telling how to be like water in a fight (you know teaching a blind man how to fight). Robin was one to rush in – never to shy away from a fight. I did not hear of him doing another series after Batman.
    It is kind of fun to revisit our influnces as kids and realize that they may have contributed to our desires to suceed at (fighting in this case) our interests!

  6. Jordan Thurman Says:

    Tony Jaa as Kato
    Tony Jaa as Kato
    Tony Jaa as Kato
    Tony Jaa as Kato

  7. Jordan Thurman Says:

    Does any one know how to contact these guys like seth rogen and say ” Tony Jaa for Kato

    P.S. how in gods name can Seth rogen play the green hornet thats like casting george clooney

  8. John W. Zimmer Says:

    Hi Jordan,

    No idea about the new Green Hornet movie or how to contact anyone.