Top 10 Daredevil Martial Arts Fights

To some, he is known as The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen. To Others, The Man Without Fear. However, just about everyone knows Matt Murdock best by his superheroic moniker of Daredevil.

By day, Matt is an unassuming attorney from New York City’s neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen, and one who also happens to be blind. However, by night, Matt dons the horned red suit of Daredevil to fight organized crime and even other ninja warriors, with most completely unaware that the circumstances of how Matt was blinded also granted him superhuman senses – including a “radar sense” that enables him to perceive the world around him even better than a sighted person.

Daredevil’s life first began in the pages of Marvel Comics, while he’s been adapted to numerous animated and live-action movies and TV shows. The most popular of these, by far, is the three-season Netflix series “Daredevil”, which also crossed over into the superhero team-up show “The Defenders” on the platform (though both have subsequently been relocated to Disney+).

Throughout “Daredevil” and “The Defenders”, Matt Murdock’s skill as a formidable ninja warrior has been consistently showcased in absolutely phenomenal martial arts fight scenes, with “Daredevil” also helping popularize one-shot fight scenes and Charlie Cox’s Matt also set to make a return to his butt-kicking nightly activities in his upcoming sequel series “Daredevil: Born Again”.

Naturally, we at KFK cannot watch such a pedigree of awesome action without commenting on its greatness in countdown form, so strap in for a ninja superhero adventure, KFK readers – here are the Top 10 Daredevil Martial Arts Fight Scenes! (in descending order)

10. The Defenders Meet – “The Defenders”

Matt Murdock, Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter), and Danny Rand (Finn Jones) finally join forces as the eponymous team of street-level superheroes in “The Defenders”, but the show makes their initial team up one that happens almost as a happy accident, and one that brings their fighting skills together in a spectacular action scene under Matt Mullins’ fight choreography.

Matt, Jessica, Luke, and Danny each have their own individual reasons for confronting the Hand, with Danny first trying to fight them off solo before Luke, Matt, and Jessica arrive in succession, with the boardroom and hallway fight growing more elaborate and enthralling as the team grows.

For Matt’s part, he also has a one-on-one section of the fight with his old girlfriend Elektra Natchios (Elodie Yung), with a little help from Danny’s most-famed power as the Iron Fist.

For the first meeting of a team of superheroes, “The Defenders” makes an extremely convincing case that a martial arts fight works wonders to start the team off right.

9. Daredevil vs. Iron Fist – “The Defenders”

Matt Murdock and Danny Rand come to blows over their differing perspectives on how to defeat The Hand in “The Defenders”, and it’s an enthralling hero-vs-hero smackdown of the team’s martial arts masters.

Danny and Matt’s respective training and backgrounds also gives their fight a Shaolin monk vs. Ninja quality in the contrast of their fighting styles, and as the two most trained Defenders, Danny and Matt really get to show off the breadth of their training in a completely different way with the two having to fight their own anger at each other to win in the safest way possible.

And yes, the Iron Fist itself punctuates the Daredevil vs. Iron Fist fight in a properly show-stopping manner.

8. Daredevil vs. The Kingpin – Daredevil: Season One

“Daredevil” season one culminates in the season’s much anticipated battle royale between Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin and The Man Without Fear, with the latter finally clad in his classic red suit complete with his signature devil horns.

Comic book lovers know Daredevil and Wilson Fisk’s long-standing enmity well, and the show’s season one finale does not disappoint in its final brawl of the Kingpin’s rage-filled bull-rushes and Matt Murdock’s aerial spinning kicks and somersaults (the latter courtesy of stunt pro Chris Brewster, who also provided Steve Rogers’ astonishing martial arts skills in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”).

Daredevil and the Kingpin meet again plenty of times on “Daredevil”, but season one’s climactic Daredevil vs. Kingpin street fight set the tone for their fist-to-fist battles very well.

7. The Stairwell Fight – Daredevil: Season Two

“Daredevil” went into its second season with a uniquely specific mandate that most shows don’t have, that being following up the very memorable one-shot hallway fight from “Daredevil” season one – and naturally, The Man Without Fear can’t resist a challenge of that nature, leading to season two’s wild single-take stairwell fight sequence.

This time, Matt Murdock has both a handicap and an advantage in having an empty revolver taped to one hand and a chain around the other, and suffice it to say that he makes quite liberal use of the latter.

“Daredevil” season one helped spark the one-shot fight scene phenomenon, but it was truly the stairwell brawl of “Daredevil” season two that made one-shot martial arts battles a staple of Daredevil’s live-action adventures.

6. Daredevil & The Defenders Unite – “The Defenders”

Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist finally unite as a team to take down the Hand in the underground showdown of “The Defenders”, and Daredevil brings all his gravity-defying Ninjutsu skills to defeat his well-known band of enemies from the comics.

To be sure, the final showdown is very much a team fight with each of the four Defenders working together in concert. However, each member still snags their show-stealing money shot moments, with Daredevil’s specifically coming in the form of a well-executed series of spinning kicks against a band of Hand ninjas.

With the individual Defenders gradually re-entering the MCU fray, hopefully that’s not the last such instance of Daredevil’s spinning kicks against ninja warriors of his skill level!

5. Daredevil vs. Bullseye 1 – Daredevil: Season Three

The Kingpin is well-known as one of Daredevil’s two arch-nemeses, and “Daredevil” season three finally brought in The Man Without Fear’s second most sworn enemy, Bullseye (Wilson Bethel), kicking their rivalry off marvelously in a fast-paced brawl in a darkened New York City news office.

The camera holds for a full thirty seconds on the first section of the fight to really showcase Daredevil and Bullseye’s close-quarters combat skills, before expanding out for Bullseye to put his signature ability to work, that being his talent for wielding literally anything as a lethal projectile.

Even though the fight ends in a stalemate, it’s another example of the fight scenes of “Daredevil” always being top notch when Matt’s arch-villains come into play – and Daredevil and Bullseye are only just getting warmed up here!

4. Daredevil vs. Bullseye 2 – Daredevil: Season Three

Daredevil and Bullseye meet again for another battle of ninja warriors in the church brawl of “Daredevil” season three, this time with Matt clad in his original black ninja suit as Bullseye retains his Daredevil disguise from their first encounter.

Daredevil and Bullseye’s second match-up is even crazier than their first, with Matt breaking out every spinning kick and takedown in his arsenal, and Bullseye turning everything from candles to rosary beads to his equivalent of ninja shuriken. As in their first duel, Daredevil and Bullseye’s rematch ends without either emerging as the victor, and that hardly stops it from being another feast for the eyes for martial arts fans and superhero aficionados alike.

3. The Prison Fight – Daredevil: Season Three

“Daredevil” season three meets its one-shot fight scene quota with one of Matt Murdock’s most challenging battles yet, with Matt fighting his way out of a prison riot while having to also fight to simply stay conscious after being partially injected with a sedative.

Naturally, that adds a degree of feral power and desperation Matt has never had to face before, and which perfectly fits the prison environment he finds himself fighting his way out of.

The prison fight is the most sustained and elaborate “Daredevil” one-shot fight scene to date, clocking in at an incredible 11 minutes with nearly non-stop combat packed into the set piece and only a brief break taken for a quick bit of plot exposition.

With its season three prison fight, “Daredevil” truly cemented itself as inseparable from one-shot fights and an absolute master of the craft that goes into them.

2. Daredevil vs. Bullseye vs. The Kingpin – Daredevil: Season Three

“Daredevil” season three culminates in one of the biggest knockdown, drag-out fights the show has ever delivered with Daredevil, the Kingpin, and Bullseye all going head-to-head in a winner-take-all free-for-all.

The ninja skills of Daredevil and Bullseye keep season three’s climactic showdown as fluid and elaborate as their previous two battles, while the Kingpin brings size, strength, and his ferocious temper to the battle to make himself a real challenge for both of his opponents.

Daredevil’s victory ends on a powerful note with Matt screaming his famous “I BEAT YOU!” monologue at the top of his lungs, but the final moments of “Daredevil” season three indicate this isn’t the last encounter Daredevil has had with either the Kingpin or Bullseye – and thankfully, with both joining the cast of the forthcoming “Daredevil: Born Again”, it most certainly won’t be!

…And in at number 1 is…

The Hallway Fight – Daredevil: Season One

As has been mentioned multiple times in this very piece, “Daredevil” is well-regarded and beloved as a pioneer in both pushing fight choreography on a TV series to the next level and for making single-take action scenes more popular than ever.

It all goes back to the elaborate, enthralling, utterly captivating one-shot hallway fight scene of “Daredevil” season one, with Matt donning his black ninja suit and battling a gang of thugs to rescue a kidnapped child. Both for its visceral power and its phenomenal fight choreography, season one’s hallway fight is a superhero and martial arts fight scene champ. And it’s really in the impact of the sequence itself that this fight continues to stand the test of time.

The hallway fight of “Daredevil” season one carries clear influences from “Oldboy” and “The Raid” movies, which opened up an entire new wave of audiences to discover both.

Moreover, while the overall fight choreography of “Daredevil” helped push superhero action, both on TV and in movies, to the level audiences now take for granted, the hallway fight had such an impact that it is among the most important fight scenes of any superhero movie or TV series.

“Daredevil” deserves a great deal of the thanks for why we can now expect superhero fight scenes to be on the level of a top-level martial arts flick, while the show’s first single-take hallway fight also kickstarted greater emphasis in action films without capes or superpowers to dive into this kind of sustained fight choreography as the new fight scene craze.

For all of those reasons, the hallway fight of “Daredevil” season one earns the exalted distinction of being the greatest Daredevil martial arts fight!

So there we have it folks, KFK’s rundown of the Top 10 Daredevil Martial Arts Fight Scenes!

Did any of your picks make the list? What is your favourite season of Marvel’s Daredevil? Are you looking forward to The Man Without Fear’s return in “Daredevil: Born Again”? Let us know in the comments below, join in the conversation/share this on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter & Instagram!

TUNE YOUR SUPER SENSE into CINEMATIC FU-niverse with these Top 10’s, Top 5’s, exclusive, deep-dive interviews, DON YOUR MASK with KFK-wear, and subscribe for more FU sans FEAR on YouTube!

Brad Curran

From the earliest days of childhood, Brad Curran was utterly fascinated by martial arts, his passion only growing stronger after spending time living in the melting pot of Asian cultures that is Hawaii. His early exposure developed into a lifelong passion and fascination with all forms of martial arts and tremendous passion for action and martial arts films. He would go on to take a number of different martial arts forms, including Shaolin Ch'uan fa, Taekwondo, Shotokan Karate and remains a devoted student, avid and eager to continue his martial arts studies. Brad is also an aspiring writer and deeply desires to share his love for martial arts and martial arts movies with the world!

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Kung-fu Kingdom