Since Cap was frozen for 70-plus years, it would only make sense for the world’s best Super Soldier to spend time learning the new forms of combat that arose in his absence. A new video from YouTuber Scopian01 examines the fight scenes demonstrated by Chris Evans’s Captain America in 2014’s Captain America: Civil War and 2016’s Captain America: Civil War to speculate the specific styles Steve Rogers has learned, something confirmed by the directors in the Blu-ray commentary for The Winter Soldier.
In the video, Scopian01 uses specific kick-ass moments from Captain America’s movies — specifically the ones set in modern times — to evaluate Steve’s modern fight expertise. Based on his evidence, Steve knows Muay Thai, kali (Filipino weapons training), Taekwondo, wushu, Krav Maga, judo, pro wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and even ninjutsu, based on Rogers’s adept ability at throwing knives.
A lot of the aforementioned martial arts aren’t “modern” — many have been practiced for centuries — but they didn’t enter the American military’s curriculum until 2001, when Sergeant First Classman Matt Larsen created Modern Army Combatives at Fort Benning which implements many of the styles Scopian01 talks about.
In World War II, when Steve Rogers was a soldier, U.S. military CQC (Close Quarters Combat) drew its techniques from the British Armed Forces. After the war, CQC was played down until Vietnam, when urban and guerrilla warfare made such techniques necessary.
In the Blu-ray director’s commentary for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the Russo brothers confirmed that Steve has been studying modern warfare since his awakening in the MCU. The entire opening sequence on the ship was engineered to demonstrate Steve Rogers’s modernized combat repertoire, making him a formidable opponent for the likes of Batroc (played by MMA star George St-Pierre) and the Winter Soldier (Bucky Barnes), the world’s greatest and most secret assassin, and also his best friend.
But while Captain America remains a powerful force, let’s hope his Krav Maga is good enough against Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War.