The top 30 greatest martial artists (and other specialist fighting). Based on my opinion.
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...
“ Can kill Chuck Noris a thousand times before he hits the ground. Can kick in 0.7 seconds, body on the peak of physical perfection. ” - g-v-gill-val
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...
“ He was a stuntman for Bruce Lee. Fought real-fighter Benny the Jet. Broken every bone in his body, has a plastic plug in his skull. The best fight choreographer of all-time. Did the best stunts of all time, including falling 20 ft without any fall padding, hasn't used wires or special effects in his earlier movies, and even ran through real explosions. ” - g-v-gill-val
Sammo Kam-Bo Hung
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...
“ An absolute delight to watch, fights alongside Chan and Yuen Baio. His speed for his size and his impact is impressive. ” - g-v-gill-val
Yuen Biao is regarded as one of the most acrobatic martial artists ever. Unfortunately, he is still underrated and not as popular as other contemporaries such as Jackie Chan
, Sammo Kam-Bo Hung
, and Jet Li
even though he is the most critically acclaimed out of all of them and the most talented as well...
“ Another stuntman for Bruce Lee and accomplice in many Jackie Chan movies. He's faster than Jackie and has fought against Benny the Jet too. ” - g-v-gill-val
Stephen Chow was the only boy of his family, and has grown up as a Bruce Lee fan and a martial arts addict. His career started on TV, where he presented a children show ( "430 Space Shuttle" (1983)) and started becoming popular. He got some supporting roles, after that, and won the Taiwanese Golden Horse award for best supporting actor...
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...
The 1/2 Taiwanese and 1/2 Japanese Takeshi Kaneshiro may have started out as a puerile teen idol in the Chinese entertainment scene, but he's since become a proper film star in his own right. Whether by his own design or not, the boyishness that marked his first steps into showbiz has evolved into a cool...
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...
“ A real-life fighter, won many kick-boxing championships. Has participated in many kung fu movies. ” - g-v-gill-val
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...
“ Appears in New Fist of Fury. One of the best fight scenes involving a woman, she has a strong physique and lightning fast skills. ” - g-v-gill-val
Pivotal figure in the 1970s explosion of martial arts cinema as lethal "fists for hire" trouble shooter, Takuma (Terry) Tsurugi, starring in the phenomenally popular and ultra violent "The Street Fighter" series of action films. Sonny Chiba wasn't a graceful, fluid fighter like screen icon Bruce Lee
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...
“ It's Jet Li. ” - g-v-gill-val
Siu Tin Yuen
Already a veteran of the Peking Opera, he starred in countless black and white costume dramas before son Woo-Ping Yuen
cast him in _Snake in Eagle's Shadow_ , the film which launched Jackie Chan
's career. He then went on to feature alongside Chan and Jang Lee Hwang
(_Snake in Eagle's Shadow_'s main villain and the villain again in this film) in the sequel _Drunken Master_...
“ The Drunken Master. ” - g-v-gill-val
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...
Japanese character actor Takashi Shimura was one of the finest film actors of the 20th century and a leading member of the "stock company" of master director Akira Kurosawa
. A native of southern Japan, Shimura was a descendant of the samurai warrior class. Following university training, he founded a theatre company...
“ Jackie Chan's "best stuntman" and also his best friend. ” - g-v-gill-val
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 Teik, a lawyer and politician. She is of Han Chinese (Hokkien) descent, and spoke English and Malay before Chinese. A ballet dancer since age 4, she moved to London...
Anthony De Longis
Actor, Director, Fight Coordinator & Weapons Expert. He's performed with some of biggest names in the entertainment industry, including Harrison Ford, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jet Li, Brendan Frasier, Ron Howard, Yuen Woo Ping, Tim Burton, David Carradine, Patrick Swayze, Angelica Huston, Placido Domingo...
“ Weapon artist, uses a whip, is the best whip trainer in the industry. Was called on for Indiana Jones, and has a great fight in Fearless. ” - g-v-gill-val
Mandy Patinkin was born Mandel Bruce Patinkin in Chicago, Illinois, to Doris "Doralee" (Sinton), a homemaker and cookbook writer, and Lester Patinkin, who operated two scrap metal plants. He is of Russian Jewish and Latvian Jewish descent. Growing, up he began singing in synagogue choirs at the age of 13-14 and still continues to use his fantastic voice in musicals and in recordings...
“ My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die. ” - g-v-gill-val
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...
“ A world-class fighter, martial artist and three time world champion in his prime, Cung Le has made a tremendous impact on martial art. ” - g-v-gill-val
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...
Liu Yifei Born in Wuhan, Hubei province of China 1987 August 25th, She began modeling at the age of 8 and was trained in singing, dancing and the piano. Moving to the United States at 10 with her mother, Liu lived there for four years. She returned to China in June 2002 to pursue a modeling and acting career...
Hiroyuki Sanada was born on the 12th of October, 1960 in Tokyo. He made his film debut when he was 5 in Game of Chance
played the lead role.) Sanada's father died when he was 11. Sanada joined Japan Action Club, organized and run by Sonny Chiba, when he was 12. Sanada first became famous as an action star for his role in The Shogun's Samurai
Ken Watanabe was born on October 21, 1959 in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. In 1978, he moved to Tokyo to pursue his career as an actor. He drew the attention of the critics when Yukio Ninagawa
, a famous Japanese director, chose him for the lead role in one of his plays even though Ken was still an acting student...
Tony Chiu Wai Leung
Tony Leung Chiu Wai was born in Hong Kong on 27 June 1962. He and his younger sister were raised by their mother after his father left them. In 1982, after passing the training courses of TVB, Tony became a TV actor and became famous for his comedy style in such TV shows as Lu ding ji
or Jue dai shuang jiao