Great Martial Artistsby mostafabeshier | created - 24 May 2013 | updated - 18 Aug 2014 | Public
1. Scott Adkins
Actor | Boyka: Undisputed IV
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 ...
Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Jujitsu, Kickboxing, Wushu, Krav Maga
2. Bruce Lee
Actor | Meng long guo jiang
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 ...
Wing Chun, Jeet Kune Do (founder), Judo, Jujitsu, Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Tang Soo Do, Silat, Tai Chi, Choy Li Fut, Praying Mantis Kung Fu, Hung Gar, Hapkido, Wushu, Muay Thai
3. Loren Avedon
Actor | The King of the Kickboxers
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 ...
Hapkido, Tae Kwon Do
4. Gary Daniels
Actor | The Expendables
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 ...
Kickboxing, Tae Kwon Do, Sillum Wong Gar Kune, Muay Thai, Karate, Aikido, Judo
5. Billy Blanks
Actor | The Last Boy Scout
Muscular African American sports star, actor, media identity and inventor of the phenomenally popular "Tae Bo" fitness system, derived from his extensive martial arts training. Blanks was born in Eerie, Pennsylvania in 1955 amongst humble backgrounds and grew up as one of 15 children, battling ...
Karate, Tang Soo Do, Tae Kwon Do
Actor | Crank
Jason Statham was born in Shirebrook, Derbyshire, to Eileen (Yates), a dancer, and Barry Statham, a street merchant and lounge singer. He was a Diver on the British National Diving Team and finished twelfth in the World Championships in 1992. He has also been a fashion model, black market salesman ...
Kickboxing, Wushu, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Mixed Martial Arts
7. Jet Li
Actor | The One
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,...
Wushu, Bagua Zhang, Tai Chi, Xing Yi Quan, Zui Quan, Tang Lang Quan, Ying Zhao Quan
8. Donnie Yen
Actor | Yip Man
Donnie Yen was born in Guangzhou, China. His mother, Bow-sim Mark, was a kung fu master and his father, Kylster Yen, a newspaper editor and amateur musician. When Donnie was just two years old, the family moved to Hong Kong and then, when he was 11, to Boston, Massachusetts.
There, Master Bow-sim ...
Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Wushu, Wing Chun, Tai Chi, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Mixed Martial Arts
Actor | Le pacte des loups
Mark Dacascos is an actor, director, martial artist, and television personality. Whether seen on the big screen or small, playing the good guy or the bad, Mark has been making audience stand up and take notice for many years.
This May, Mark will be seen in highly anticipated film John Wick: Chapter ...
Wun Hop Kuen, Chin Na, Shui Jao, Capoeira, Karate, Kickboxing, Jeet Kune Do, Wing Chun, Wushu, Muay Thai
10. Tony Jaa
Actor | Ong-bak 3
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 at the local ...
Muay Boran, Muay Thai, Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, Jujitsu, Judo
Actor | Black Dynamite
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 ...
Kyokushin, Goju-Ryu & Shotokan Karate, Kobudo, Tang Soo Do, Tae Kwon Do, Wushu
12. Jackie Chan
Actor | Ngo si seoi
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 after his start in Hong Kong's manic martial arts cinema industry.
Jackie was born Kong-sang Chan on April 7, 1954, on Hong Kong's famous ...
Hapkido, Northern Shaolin, Tae Kwon Do, Bak Mei, Wing Chun
13. Daniel Bernhardt
Actor | Atomic Blonde
Daniel Bernhardt was born on the 31st August 1965 in Worblaufen, Bern in Switzerland. After finishing high school, he studied architectural design for four years and graduated in Bern. At the same time he opened a martial arts school with his brother. After completing his studies, Daniel moved to ...
Kickboxing, Karate, Tae Kwon Do
14. Keith Cooke
Actor | Mortal Kombat
Keith Cooke is a man of many qualities, accomplished in the arts of Wushu, Tae Kwon Do and Karate.
He started his WuShu training in 1973, under Roger Tung. In 1980 he went to China and he trained for 5 hours a day and entered the competition circuit in 1983. He immediately gained a second place in ...
Wushu, Tae Kwon Do, Karate
15. Dolph Lundgren
Actor | Rocky IV
Dolph Lundgren was born as Hans Lundgren 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, ...
Kyokushin & Goju-Ryu Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Judo
16. Wesley Snipes
Actor | Blade
Wesley Trent Snipes was born in Orlando, Florida, to Marian (Long), a teacher's assistant, and SMSGT 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 dance and the theatre were to be his career. He attended ...
Shotokan Karate, Hapkido, Capoeira, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Wushu, Shaolin Kung Fu
17. Shin'ichi Chiba
Actor | Kill Bill: Vol. 1
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...
Goju-Ryu & Kyokushin Karate, Ninjutsu, Judo, Shorinji Kenpo, Kendo
18. 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 ...
Karate, Kickboxing, Judo
Actor | Double Impact
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 ...
Tae Kwon Do, Shotokan Karate, Muay Thai, Kickboxing
20. Lorenzo Lamas
Actor | Grease
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 ...
Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Kenpo, Jujitsu
21. Phillip Rhee
Actor | Best of the Best
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 (Former Chairman of Lions Gate) and Frank Giustra, a Canadian Billionaire and founder of Lions Gate. The first "Best of ...
Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido, Kendo, Wing Chun
22. Shô Kosugi
Actor | Ninja Assassin
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 ...
Ninjutsu, Judo, Kendo
23. Steven Seagal
Actor | On Deadly Ground
Steven Frederic Seagal was born in Lansing, Michigan, to Patricia Anne (Fisher), a medical technician, and Samuel Seagal, a high school math teacher. His paternal grandparents were Russian Jewish immigrants, and his mother had English, German, and distant Irish and Dutch, ancestry. The enigmatic ...
Aikido, Kendo, Iaido, Shido-Ryu Karate, Judo, Jujitsu, Wing Chun, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Escrima
Stunts | Yip Man
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 ...
Wing Chun, Judo, Hapkido
25. Michael Worth
Actor | Killing Cupid
Born in Philadelphia, Michael came from a line of German sailors on one side and American Delaware Indians on the other. As a 10 year old Michael directed his first film entitle The Tire. It was shot with a super-8 camera his mother bought him. He continued making short films into his late teens. ...
Tang Soo Do, Escrima, Jeet Kune Do, Muay Thai, Aikido, Judo
26. Jeff Speakman
Actor | The Perfect Weapon
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 ...
Kenpo, Goju-Ryu Karate
27. Jeff Wincott
Actor | The Night Of
Jeffrey Wincott (born May 8, 1956) is a Canadian actor, producer and martial artist best known for his Gemini Award-nominated lead role in the television series Night Heat. Wincott was also the star of several martial arts films in the 1990s. In 1996 he was named one of the "Martial Arts Movie ...
Shotokan Karate, Tae Kwon Do
28. Johnny Nguyen
Actor | Tom yum goong
Johnny left Vietnam at the age of 8, uncertain of what lied ahead. As a boy, he already loved Hong Kong cinema. Johnny would start training in martial arts and now has over 18 years of experience in Kung Fu, Tai Chi and Japanese Aikido. Johnny is now also an expert in Wushu, which he does for over ...
Wushu, Lien Feng Kwon, Tae Kwon Do, Vovinam, Tai Chi, Aikido
29. Ray Park
Ray Park was born in Glasgow, Scotland. He moved with his parents, younger brother and sister to London, England, at the age of seven. Ray always wanted to be in the movies, and be like their heroes. He also began to nurture a love for martial arts from the age of seven, when his father's fondness ...
Northern Shaolin, Wushu, Kickboxing
30. David Bradley
David Bradley was born in Plano, Texas on October 2, 1953. He is well known to the fans of low budget and martial arts films.
Prior to films, Bradley worked as a car salesman on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles and practiced such martial arts as Shotokan Karate, Chinese Kempo, Tai Chi and Aikido. ...
Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, Iaido, Wing Chun, Judo, Jujitsu
31. Chuck Jeffreys
Stunts | Twelve Monkeys
Born William Charles Jeffreys (III) on July 23, 1958 in Washington, D.C., Chuck Jeffreys found his interest in the martial arts at the age of 8 and started training in Western Boxing and Tae Kwon Do. He began training in Northern (Tien Shan Pai) Shaolin Kung fu in the early 70s. He was well known ...
Tae Kwon Do, Northern Shaolin, Wushu, Changquan, Escrima, Jeet Kune Do, Pentjak Silat, Nan Chuan, Chin-Na
32. Chuck Norris
Actor | Walker, Texas Ranger
Chuck Norris is familiar to fans worldwide as the star of action films such as The Hitman (1991), The Delta Force (1986) and Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection (1990). He also starred in Missing in Action (1984) and its sequels, Firewalker (1986) and Sidekicks (1992). He was an executive ...
Tang Soo Do, Tae Kwon Do, Chun Kuk Do, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
33. Robin Shou
Actor | Mortal Kombat: Annihilation
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...
34. Darren Shahlavi
Actor | I Spy
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...
Judo, Karate, Kickboxing, Muay Thai
35. Lateef Crowder
Actor | Tekken
36. Iko Uwais
Actor | Serbuan Maut 2: Berandal
Iko Uwais was born in Jakarta, Indonesia, to Maisyaroh and Mustapha Kamaluddin. His grandfather, H. Achmad Bunawar, was a master of silat, an Indonesian traditional martial art, and founded a silat school. Iko himself has been learning silat since he was 10 years old. He became National Champion in...
37. Hakim Alston
Actor | Mortal Kombat
Hakim Alston is a kick boxing champion with over 20 years of martial arts experience including Karate and a 4th degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. His skills brought him to be a member of the USA Karate Team from 1984-1990. His brother Shah Alston is also a great fighter.
After being a great champion...
Kickboxing, Tae Kwon Do
Jason David Frank is well-known for his role of Tommy Oliver in the long-running family television show Power Rangers. He is the voice of Emissary in Transformers: Titans Returns and brings Bloodshot to life in the highly-anticipated project Ninjak vs.the Valiant Universe. Always one looking for ...
Karate,Toso Kune Do (founder), Muay Thai, Mixed Martial Arts
39. Matt Mullins
Stunts | Ford v Ferrari
From his humble beginnings of watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Matt Mullins has risen to become world renown in martial arts, and as a star in the CW4Kids show "Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight".
With 5 martial art world titles in hand, Matt moved from Naperville, IL to Hollywood and quickly began ...
40. Bolo Yeung
Actor | Bloodsport
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 ...
Wing Chun, Tai Chi
41. James Lew
Stunts | Luke Cage
Raised in South Central Los Angeles, James Lew's destiny was to answer a cattle call in Hollywood for the hugely popular Kung Fu (1972) television series. He went on to star in the now collectible Hong Kong film, Young Dragon (1979). He made the move to big budget studio films in 1984. John ...
Tae Kwon Do, Hakido, Southern Shaolin, Muay Thai
42. Richard Norton
Stunts | The Suicide Squad
A powerful screen presence, Richard Norton wins the applause of international audiences with his engaging ability to play either the hero or the heavy. Rare versatility and focused work ethic have enabled him to build an expanding library of almost 100 film and television titles. The disciplines ...
Goju-Ryu Karate, Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu, Zen Do Kai, Chun Kuk Do, Judo, Aikido, Muay Thai
43. Olivier Gruner
Actor | Nemesis
Olivier Gruner was born on August 2, 1960 in Paris. His father was a successful surgeon with his own surgery practice. One of his brothers also became a surgeon and his younger brother became an engineer. When he was 18 years old, he joined the Marine Nationale, volunteering for their Commando ...
Kickboxing, Shotokan Karate, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Actor | The Karate Kid Part III
Thomas Ian Griffith was born on March 18, 1962 in Hartford, Connecticut. His father, Thomas Joseph, was a college professor and his mother, Mary Ann, was a dance teacher. Griffith trained as an opera singer in New York City with Metropolitan Opera star Delia Rigal. He attended the College of the ...
Kenpo, Tae Kwon Do
Actor | Mortal Kombat
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa got his first big break as an actor when he was cast in Bernardo Bertolucci's The Last Emperor (1987). A US Army brat, he was born in Tokyo and lived in various cities while growing up. His father was in the army, stationed at Ft. Bragg (NC), Ft. Polk (LA) and Ft. Hood (TX). His...
Karate, Kendo, Chun-Shin
46. Hiroyuki Sanada
Actor | Tasogare Seibei
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 (1965) (Shin'ichi Chiba 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 ...
Shorinji Kenpo, Kyokushin Karate
47. Jalal Merhi
Producer | Tiger Claws
Jalal Merhi is recognized worldwide as a premiere action-film producer / director after successfully delivering over 20 films worldwide within a decade, and numerous short film projects. Born in Brazil from to Lebanese parents, Jalal emigrated to Canada to study and eventually built an extension of...
Shotokan Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Choy Lay Fut, Hung Gar
48. Jeffrey Falcon
Actor | Six-String Samurai
Tai Shing Pek War, Hou Gun, Wushu, Northern Praying Mantis kung fu
49. Chia-Hui Liu
Actor | Kill Bill: Vol. 2
50. Jon Foo
Actor | Tekken
Jon Foo was born October 30th, 1982 in London England. He is known for his roles in The Protector (2005) Tekken (2010) WEAPONiZED (2016) and Rush Hour (2016) . Inspired by His fathers karate and mothers Judo He began training Kung Fu and now trains mixed styles. He went from performing at festivals...
51. 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 ...
Kickboxing, Jeet Kune Do, Yee Chuen Tao
52. Tak Sakaguchi
Actor | Versus
It seems that right at birth, Tak Sakaguchi was bound to be a force to be reckoned with. From an early age, he exhibited excellent motor skills and cat-like reflexes; putting these skills to use and excelling in martial arts such as Judo and boxing. Surprisingly, even with his stunning looks and ...
Bājíquán, Shaolin Kenpo, Kickboxing, Mixed Martial Arts
53. Don Wilson
Actor | Batman Forever
Don "The Dragon" Wilson is considered the greatest kick-boxing champion in the sport's history. A native of South Florida, Wilson began fighting in the late 1970s. In a career which spanned 4 decades, he won 11 world kick-boxing championships, among them the WKA, STAR, WKC, PKO Lightheavyweight ...
Kickboxing, Pai Lum, Goju-Ryu Karate
54. Cyril Raffaelli
Stunts | Banlieue 13
Shotokan Karate, Wushu
55. Chris Casamassa
Actor | Mortal Kombat
Chris Casamassa is the son of American Martial arts pioneer Louis D. Casamassa. He is a world class Martial art expert with a 9th degree black belt in Red Dragon Karate and over 35 years of experience. Casamassa currently presides over the 12 Red Dragon Karate Schools in Southern California. He ...
56. Akshay Kumar
Actor | Hera Pheri
Akshay Kumar, born September 9, 1967, is an actor. He studied martial arts in Hong Kong. It was a student that suggested that he try modeling. Because of his success as model, he was offered films. Along with his good looks and excellent martial art skills, he was always the first choice to do ...
Tae Kwon Do, Muay Thai
57. Dan Southworth
Actor | Devil May Cry 5
Dan Southworth is an accomplished actor with wide experience in feature films, television shows, motion capture, voice over, and commercials. Power Ranger fans know him as Eric Myers, the Quantum Ranger from Power Rangers Time Force. Mortal Kombat fans enjoyed his portrayal of Kenshi in the popular...
Tae Kwon Do, Kenpo, Judo, Jeet Kune Do
58. Andy On
Actor | Blackhat
Andy On was born on May 11, 1977, in Los Angeles, California. A non-martial artist, Andy had always loved Jackie Chan movies and emulated his moves from flips and kicks at his home. In early 2000, while working as a bartender in Rhode Island, someone suggested he should become an actor. Andy, who ...
Wushu, Shaolin Kung Fu, Wing Chun, Tae Kwon Do
59. T.J. Storm
Actor | Punisher: War Zone
Born in Indiana, raised in Hawaii, Storm is a world class martial artist who has trained in various styles for over 19 years. Storm holds belts in Arashi-Ryu Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Ninjitsu, Jujitsu and Northern Shaolin Kung Fu.
If you ask three time "Martial Art Masters Hall of Fame" inductee Storm ...
Arashi-Ryu & Shito-Ryu Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Ninjutsu, Jujitsu, Northern Shaolin
60. Michael Dudikoff
Actor | Platoon Leader
Michael Dudikoff was born on October 8, 1954 in Redondo Beach, California, USA as Michael Joseph Stephen Dudikoff. He is an actor, known for Platoon Leader (1988), American Ninja (1985) and Bachelor Party (1984). He has been married to Belle since September 18, 2004. They have three children.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Karate, Aikido
Actor | The Big Hit
Antonio Sabato Jr. was born on February 29, 1972 in Rome, Lazio, Italy as Antonio G. Sabato Jr. He is an actor and producer, known for The Big Hit (1998), Shark Hunter (2001) and General Hospital (1963). He was previously married to Cheryl Moana Marie Nunes and Tully Jensen.
Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Kickboxing
62. Will Yun Lee
Actor | Altered Carbon
Will Yun Lee was born in Arlington, Virginia, to Jung Ja Lee and Soo Won Lee, who had recently emigrated from Korea. He was raised by both immediate and extended family and moved often, exposed to life on the tough Bronx streets and idyllic Hawaiian beaches. By his teens he was living in the San ...
Tae Kwon Do
63. Roddy Piper
Actor | They Live
Roddy Piper was born Roderick George Toombs on April 17, 1954 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. He was a pro wrestler from 1973-1987 in the NWA, Pacific Northwest, California. He was a longtime mainstay in the WWF, and was one of the biggest "bad guys" in the WWF during the early '80s, before ...
64. Oleg Taktarov
Actor | Predators
"Oleg makes an impression." On his DVD commentary for "Righteous Kill" (2008), director Jon Avnet remarks that he needed a powerful actor to play Russian mob enforcer Yevgeny Mugalat, a character who survives six gunshots at close range. International star Oleg Taktarov, born in Sarov, Russia, ...
Judo, Sambo, Mixed Martial Arts