Best martial artists / fighters all time

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1.
Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee remains the greatest icon of martial arts cinema and a key figure of modern popular media. Had it not been for Bruce Lee and his movies in the early 1970s, it's arguable whether or not the martial arts film genre would have ever penetrated and influenced mainstream North American and European cinema and audiences the way it has over the past four decades...
 
2.
Chuck Norris
Chuck Norris is familiar to fans worldwide as the star of action films such as The Hitman, The Delta Force and Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection. He also starred in Missing in Action and its sequels, Firewalker and Sidekicks. He was an executive producer of Walker, Texas Ranger as well as the star. Chuck Norris was born in Ryan...
 
3.
Jean-Claude Van Damme
Van Damme was born Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg in Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, Brussels, Belgium, to Eliana and Eugène Van Varenberg, an accountant. "The Muscles from Brussels" started martial arts at the age of eleven. His father introduced him to martial arts when he saw his son was physically weak...
 
4.
Jet Li
Actor, Ying xiong
Jet Li born Li Lian Jie in Beijing, China. He started training at the Beijing wushu academy (wushu is China's national sport, largely a performance version of various martial art styles) at age eight. He won five gold medals in the Chinese championships, his first when he was only 11. In his teens, he was already a national coach...
 
5.
Tony Jaa
Actor, Ong-bak 2
Japanom Yeerum was born on February 5, 1976, in the northeastern province of Surin, Thailand. His parents were elephant herders. Jaa watched martial arts films as a young kid and began to emulate some of his idols, from Bruce Lee to Jackie Chan to Jet Li. Jaa studied martial arts...
 
6.
Jason Statham
Jason Statham was born in Shirebrook, Derbyshire, to Eileen (Yates), a dancer, and Barry Statham, a street merchant and lounge singer. Statham has done quite a lot in a short time. He has been a Diver on the British National Diving Team and finished 12th in the World Championships in 1992. He has also been a fashion model...
 
7.
Jackie Chan
Hong Kong's cheeky, lovable and best known film star, Jackie Chan endured many years of long, hard work and multiple injuries to establish international success via his early beginnings in Hong Kong's manic martial arts cinema industry. Jackie was born Kong-sang Chan on Hong Kong's famous Victoria Peak on April 7...
 
8.
Wesley Snipes
Actor, Blade
Wesley Trent Snipes was born in Orlando, Florida, to Maryann (Long), a teacher's assistant, and Wesley Rudolph Snipes, an aircraft engineer. He grew up on the streets of the South Bronx in New York City, where he very early decided that the theater was to be his career. He attended the High School for the Performing Arts (popularized in Fame)...
 
9.
Steven Seagal
Producer, Under Siege
Steven Seagal is a striking and somewhat boyishly handsome (often with ponytail) action star who burst onto the martial arts film scene in 1988 in the fast-paced Warner Bros. film Above the Law. Steven Frederic Seagal was born in Lansing, Michigan, to Patricia Anne (Fisher), a medical technician...
 
10.
Dwayne Johnson
Actor, WWE Raw
Dwayne Douglas Johnson, also known as The Rock, was born on May 2, 1972 in Hayward, California, to Ata Johnson (born Feagaimaleata Fitisemanu Maivia) and Canadian-born professional wrestler Rocky Johnson. His father is black (of Black Nova Scotian descent), and his mother is of Samoan background (her own father was Peter Fanene Maivia...
 
11.
Randy Couture
Randy Couture is a collegiate wrestler and fighter turned actor from Everett, Washington. He served as a four time US Olympic wrestling team alternate as a soldier in the U.S. Army, and is also a 6 time world heavyweight and light heavyweight UFC champion and Hall of Famer. He is a graduate of Oklahoma...
 
12.
Dolph Lundgren
Dolph Lundgren was born in Stockholm, Sweden, to Sigrid Birgitta (Tjerneld), a language teacher, and Karl Johan Hugo Lundgren, an engineer and economist for the Swedish government. He lived in Stockholm until the age of 13, when he moved in with his grandparents in Nyland, Ångermanland, Sweden. Despite an early interest in music and the fine arts...
 
14.
Bolo Yeung
Bolo Yeung was born in China. He began his martial arts training at the age of 10. Growing up he took an interest in bodybuilding. Later he became know as Chinese Hercules after becoming Mr. Hong Kong bodybuilding champion. He held the title for ten years. Because of his impressively muscular physique he was chosen for several bad guy movie roles...
 
15.
Sammo Kam-Bo Hung
Actor, Ip Man 2
Born in Hong Kong, Sammo Hung's acting career began while he was training in acrobatics, martial arts and dance as a child at the China Drama Academy, and he received acclaim for his performance with a troupe called "The Seven Little Fortunes." He made his feature film debut as an actor at the age of 12...
 
16.
Don Wilson
Three-times WKO World Kickboxer Champion and many other titles Don 'the Dragon' Wilson, named the greatest kickboxer of all time. Fighter of the year three times in Blackbelt Magazine. Has 10 titles in three different weight divisions. World light heavyweight kickboxing champion for twelve consecutive years.
 
17.
Michael Jai White
Michael Jai White is an American actor and martial artist who has appeared in numerous films and television series. He is the first African American to portray a major comic book superhero in a major motion picture, having starred as Al Simmons, the protagonist in the 1997 film Spawn. White portrayed Jax Briggs in Mortal Kombat: Legacy...
 
19.
Jeff Speakman
Jeff Speakman was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, where he became a All-American springboard diver in high school. He broke records in his school's district and conference all without ever having a coach. Determined to go to college, he worked for six years and graduated with honors from Missouri State College...
 
21.
Yun-Fat Chow
Chow Yun Fat is a charismatic, athletically built and energetic Asian-born film star who first came to the attention of western audiences via his roles in the high-octane/blazing guns action films of maverick HK director John Woo. Chow was born in 1955 on the quiet island of Lamma, part of the then-British colony of Hong Kong...
 
22.
Donnie Yen
Actor, Yip Man
Martial artist and Hong Kong action star Donnie Yen was born to newspaper editor Klyster Yen and martial arts master Bow Sim Mark. At the age of four Yen started taking up martial arts from his mother, who taught him wushu and tai chi until the age of eleven when his family emigrated to Boston, MA. From there he continued mastering wushi and tai chi...
 
23.
Matthias Hues
Matthias Hues was born on Valentine's Day in Waltrop, Germany, to the late Dr. Josef Hues and Maria Humperdinck Hues who still resides in Germany. Maria is the niece of Engelbert Humperdinck, composer of the opera Hansel and Gretel. Matthias was very involved in sports from an early age on. By the time he...
 
25.
Brandon Lee
Actor, The Crow
Born on February 1, 1965 to Bruce Lee (Martial Arts idol) and Linda Lee Cadwell. Brother to Shannon Lee. In 1970-71, they moved to Hong Kong where Brandon became fluent in Cantonese by the age of 8. He attended Boston's Art-Oriented Emerson College in Massachusetts. He studied Martial Arts and drama...
 
26.
Gary Daniels
Action film star Gary Daniels was a real-life kick-boxing champion. With rugged good-looks, a muscular build and a charming personality, it was a natural for him to move from the world of fighting to that of acting. Born Gary Edward Daniels on May 9, 1963 in Woking, Surrey, England, Daniels was a childhood fan of legendary martial arts film star Bruce Lee...
 
27.
Jeff Wincott
Jeff was born in Toronto, Canada and attended Ryerson University for Theatre. He worked on stage in Anne Of A Thousand Days, Play It Again Sam, Romeo and Juliet and in the Toronto Premier of Martin Sherman's play Bent. He moved to New York to study with Stella Adler, Michael Kahn, and Eli Rill. Director Paul Lynch cast him in the horror film classic Prom Night (1980)...
 
28.
Lorenzo Lamas
Lorenzo Fernando Lamas was born in Santa Monica, California, the son of actors Arlene Dahl and Fernando Lamas. His father was Argentinian and his mother was American, of Norwegian descent. Lorenzo was raised in Pacific Palisades, California. In 1968, his family moved to New York. He attended private school...
 
29.
Benny Urquidez
Stunts, 1408
Benny Urquidez was raised in a very athletic family. His mother was a professional wrestler and his father a professional boxer, with all of his siblings black belts. He has earned black belts in nine different martial arts and trained in other styles. The Jet decided to pursue full-contact karate as a career in 1974...
 
31.
Jang Lee Hwang
Hwang Jang-Lee is the ultimate bootmaster. Known for his powerful and deadly kicks on screen as well as off, Hwang has a reputation as the Lord of the Superkickers. Born in Japan, Hwang's family moved back to their native Korea, where at the age of 14, Hwang began taking the national martial art of Tae Kwon Do...
 
32.
David Carradine
David Carradine was born in Hollywood, California, the eldest son of legendary character actor John Carradine, and his wife, Ardanelle Abigail (McCool). He presided over an acting family that included brothers Keith Carradine and Robert Carradine as well as his daughters Calista Carradine and Kansas Carradine, and nieces Ever Carradine and Martha Plimpton...
 
33.
Shô Kosugi
Miscellaneous Crew, Black Eagle
Easily the best known actor/martial artist during the 1980s ninja cinema craze, Kosugi was a proficient martial artist & skilled weapons performer which was highlighted in his several starring roles. Kosugi grew up as the youngest child and only son of a Tokyo fisherman, and began his martial arts training at the age of five studying karate at a local dojo...
 
34.
Cung Le
Cung Le made his first appearance on the professional M.M.A. stage in 2006, and shortly after won the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship in 2008, setting high standards through his powerful kicks, skillful strikes, and well-timed take-downs. This U.S.-Viet Namese champion, actor, producer and action director is a household name in many parts of East Asia and is equally adored in Hollywood...
 
35.
Jon Foo
Actor, Tekken
Jon Foo is an artist working in Los Angeles. He was born in London where he studied art and design at Harrow collage, focusing on Product design, sculpture and fine art. Jon had many part time jobs and eventually began a career as an acrobat after being talent scouted at a local open training gym. Jon...
 
36.
Scott Adkins
Scott Edward Adkins was born on June 17, 1976 in Sutton Coldfield, England, into a family that for generations were butchers. Along with his elder brother Craig, he was raised by their parents, John and Janet (Sanders) Adkins, in a loving middle-class family. Scott attended Bishop Vesey's Grammar School in Sutton Coldfield...
 
37.
Abdel Qissi
Actor, The Quest
Imposingly large, 6' 2" Abdel Qissi was born in Morocco on 20 January 1960 and he is best known for playing some of the leading bad guys to Jean-Claude Van Damme. He grew up in Brussels, where he was trained in boxing at sports center in Ixelles, there he also met Jean-Claude Van Damme. Van Damme, Abdel and his younger brother Michel Qissi (later best known as another Van Damme bad guy...
 
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41.
Michel Qissi
Actor, Kickboxer
When he was seven years old Michel Qissi began training in boxing. He soon met and befriended a young Jean-Claude Van Varenberg (Jean-Claude Van Damme) who was studying Shotokan Karate, and the two traded techniques in their systems. They grew up together and shared the same love of action films and dreamed of being action stars themselves one day...
 
42.
Robin Shou
Robin Shou is the fourth child of a Shanghai tailor and homemaker. His family moved to the US in 1971. Their first home in Los Angeles was a 2 bedroom apartment near Olympic and Vermont, today known as Koreatown. Shou didn't start attending martial arts classes until he was 19. He took Kenpo (Karate) classes while attending California State University...
 
43.
Trevor Goddard
Trevor Goddard was born in Croydon, Surrey, England on October 14, 1962. His parents, Eric and Clara, and baby Trevor moved to Bromley, Kent, where he grew up. As a natural athlete, Trevor was highly interested in sports. As a youngster, he played football (soccer) and cricket and enjoyed running as well as many other recreational activities...
 
44.
Michelle Yeoh
Born as Yang Zi Qiong in the mining town of Ipoh, in West Malaysia, in the lunar year of the Tiger, Michelle is the daughter of Janet Yeoh and Yeoh Kian Geik. She spoke English and Malay before Chinese. A ballet dancer since age 4, she moved to London, England to study at the Royal Academy as a teenager...
 
45.
Toshirô Mifune
Toshiro Mifune achieved more worldwide fame than any other Japanese actor of his century. He was born in Tsingtao, China, to Japanese parents and grew up in Dalian. He did not set foot in Japan until he was 21. His father was an importer and a commercial photographer, and young Toshiro worked in his father's studio for a time after graduating from Dalian Middle School...
 
46.
Dan Inosanto
Stunts, Big Stan
Noted Filipino-American martial arts practitioner, who studied "jeet kune do" from fellow martial artist and actor Bruce Lee. Always seeking to improve his knowledge, Inosanto holds numerous belts in various martial arts including Asian, American & Brazilian disciplines such as Muay Thai, Pentjak Silat & Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu...
 
48.
Loren Avedon
After graduating from Beverly Hills High School in 1980, while attending college Loren Avedon signed up at the Jun Chong Tae Kwon Do Karate school in Los Angeles. He received his first "break" while training late one night at the Karate school. Producer Roy Horan was looking for an actor/martial artist to be the star of No Retreat, No Surrender 2...
 
49.
Phillip Rhee
Phillip Rhee is a master martial artist, actor and filmmaker best known for creating the "BEST of the BEST" film franchise with his producing partner and mentor Peter E. Strauss (Executive VP and Mandalay Pictures) and Frank Giustra, a Canadian Billionaire and founder of Lions Gate. The first "Best of the Best" starring academy award nominated actors...
 
50.
Chris Casamassa
Chris Casamassa is the son of Karate guru and American Martial arts pioneer Louis D. Casamassa. He is a world class Martial art expert with a 8th degree black belt in Red Dragon Karate and over 35 years of experience. Casamassa presides over the 15 Red Dragon Karate Schools in Southern California. He also holds the following titles: North American Sport Karate Forms Champion...
 
51.
Sasha Mitchell
Audiences know Cody as a model, actor, and kick-boxer. Prior to acting, Sasha was a model for Bruce Weber's fashion photography and Calvin Klein and made his screen debut in 1986's Pleasure and burst onto screens as Ruggieri in the action thriller Death Before Dishonor (1987). Three years later, he joined the soap opera Dallas as James Beaumont...
 
52.
David Belle
David Belle is the founder of Parkour, an actor, film choreographer, and stunt coordinator. Belle was introduced to his acting career in a meeting with Hubert Koundé ("La Haine") and then in the play Pygmalion. Belle starred in "Les gens du voyages" and "Un monde meilleur", followed by "L'Engrenages" and "Femme Fatale"...
 
54.
Darren Shahlavi
Actor, Ip Man 2
Darren Shahlavi was seven years old when he started training in martial arts in an old drama theatre in Manchester, England. Inspired by Bruce Lees films and other action movies such as Star Wars, he dreamed of being a movie actor and would show up to his Judo class at the drama hall early to watch the actors rehearsing and performing plays...