There are a lot of difficult training courses out there in the military. There's Ranger School and jump school, SERE, HALO, dive school, the "Green Footprint" I-school, Scout-Sniper School.
Most famously of course are things like the SF Q-Course and BUDS. Anyone that watches TV or goes to the movies can seemingly discuss their relative difficulty and merits (it's hard to read sarcasm, but try).
Slightly less well known over here on this side of the pond is the Brecon Beacons part of SAS Selection, Canada's SOBQ, the Golani Training School and the BBE's "Black Tulip" shindig. All of these pale in comparison to one unnamed training cycle of such incredible difficulty it's only been successfully completed one time. That's right. It's the training regimen known colloquially as "Becoming Batman."
Legionnaire, Inside Delta Force and Bravo Two Zero were all great books -- but you're going to need to read Becoming Batman: the Possibility of a Superhero by E. Paul Zehr.
Interested? Well, Scientific American interviewed the author recently, asking such questions as How many of us do you think could become a Batman?
The response: "If you found the percentage of billionaires and multiply that by the percentage of people who become Olympic decathletes, you could probably get a close estimate. The really important thing is just how much a human being really can do. There's such a huge range of performance and ability you can tap into..."
The interview is Dark Knight Shift: Why Batman Could Exist, But Not For Long.
Here's the description of his book:
Battling bad guys. High-tech hideouts. The gratitude of the masses. Who at some point in their life hasn't dreamed of being a superhero?
Impossible, right? Or is it?
Possessing no supernatural powers, Batman is the most realistic of all the superheroes. His feats are achieved through rigorous training and mental discipline, and with the aid of fantastic gadgets. Drawing on his training as a neuroscientist, kinesiologist, and martial artist, E. Paul Zehr explores the question: could a mortal ever become Batman?
Zehr discusses the physical and skill training necessary to maintain bad-guy-fighting readiness while relating the science underlying this process -- from strength conditioning to the cognitive changes a person would endure in undertaking such a regimen. In probing what a real-life Batman could achieve, Zehr considers the level of punishment a consummately fit and trained person could handle, how hard and fast such a person could punch and kick and the number of adversaries that individual could dispatch, what it would be like to fight while wearing a batsuit, and the amount of food one would have to consume each day to maintain vigilance as Gotham City's guardian.
A fun foray of escapism grounded in sound science, Becoming Batman provides the background for attaining the realizablethough extremelevel of human performance that would allow you to be a superhero.
[Editor's Note: Welcome to our new contributors "Slim" and "Swingin' Richard" from the BreachBangClear blog. They'll give us the inside scoop on what operators like (and dislike) in terms of weapons, gear, training and tactics, so stay tuned for more.]