82+ Good Martial Arts Film Fights You May Not Have Seen

by The_Phantom_Projectionist | created - 12 Dec 2014 | updated - 19 Apr 2016 | Public

Here are some fight scenes that may have slipped under your radar. They may not be the best you've ever seen but deserve mention for their physicality, creativity, or uniqueness. Mostly American productions.

Click here for my other list of fight scenes.

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1. A Dangerous Place (1994)

R | 97 min | Action, Thriller

When Ethan's older brother Greg is found dead, the police rule the case a suicide, but Ethan suspects foul play stemming from Greg's recent involvement with a martial arts team called the ... See full summary »

Director: Jerry P. Jacobs | Stars: Ted Jan Roberts, Corey Feldman, Mako, Erin Gray

Votes: 341

Ted Jan Roberts vs. Corey Feldman Feldman matches himself against the real karate kid and proves that he's more than a pretty face.

2. American Brawler (2013)

R | 91 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A martial arts instructor must enter the world of illegal pit fighting in order to save his family and his dojo.

Director: Jose Montesinos | Stars: Marco Antonio Alvarez, Dennis Ruel, O.G. Dave Rivera, E. Ambriz DeColosio

Votes: 283

Marco Antonio Alvarez vs. Dennis Ruel A fast-paced taekwondo match that's over much too quickly.

3. American Ninja 2: The Confrontation (1987)

R | 90 min | Action, Drama

39 Metascore

On a remote Caribbean island, Army Ranger Joe Armstrong investigates the disappearance of several marines, which leads him to The Lion, a super-criminal who has kidnapped a local scientist and mass-produced an army of mutant Ninja warriors.

Director: Sam Firstenberg | Stars: Michael Dudikoff, Steve James, Larry Poindexter, Gary Conway

Votes: 7,453 | Gross: $4.00M

Michael Dudikoff vs. the Bikers Dudikoff deals out a series of throws when some rude thugs attempt to keep him out of a bar. Nice stuff.

4. American Shaolin (1991)

PG-13 | 106 min | Action

After being humiliated in the ring by a dirty kickboxer who pulled down his shorts and then hit him, a martial arts master decides to travel to China and enter a monastery where he may ... See full summary »

Director: Lucas Lowe | Stars: Trent Bushey, Kim Chan, Reese Madigan, Daniel Dae Kim

Votes: 1,175

Reese Madigan vs. Trevor Bushey Possibly the most creative ring fight you'll ever see.

5. Bad Blood (1994)

R | 90 min | Action, Drama

A trucker (Lamas) has to come home to help fight mobsters after his brother who embezzled $5,000,000 from them.

Director: Tibor Takács | Stars: Lorenzo Lamas, Frankie Thorn, Hank Cheyne, Joe Son

Votes: 433

Lorenzo Lamas' Stickfight I can't identify his two opponents, but Lamas excels in a violent brawl in a construction area.

6. Battle Creek Brawl (1980)

R | 95 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

A young Asian-American martial artist is forced to participate in a brutal formal street-fighting competition.

Director: Robert Clouse | Stars: Jackie Chan, Kristine DeBell, José Ferrer, Mako

Votes: 4,452

Jackie Chan vs. Stephan Merjanian A hard-fought battle in a movie of pretty easy wins for Chan. The pacing is much slower than Jackie's usual output, but with all the more time to admire his grace and physicality.

7. Belly of the Beast (2003 Video)

R | 91 min | Action

An ex-CIA agent's quest to find his kidnapped daughter leads him on a trail of political intrigue, corruption, danger and betrayal; he will stop at nothing to save her.

Director: Siu-Tung Ching | Stars: Steven Seagal, Byron Mann, Monica Lo, Tom Wu

Votes: 5,718

Steven Seagal & Byron Mann vs. Warehouse Swordsmen Easily one of the strangest and most bombastic battles of Seagal's film career. Pure Hong Kong coolness.

8. Best of the Best (1989)

PG-13 | 97 min | Action, Drama, Sport

A team from the United States is going to compete against Korea in a Tae Kwon Do tournament. The team consists of fighters from all over the country--can they overcome their rivalry and work together to win?

Director: Robert Radler | Stars: Eric Roberts, James Earl Jones, Sally Kirkland, Phillip Rhee

Votes: 11,216 | Gross: $1.70M

Phillip Rhee vs. Simon Rhee The best in a series of semi-realistic tournament bouts. The brothers match each other well.

9. Best of the Best 4: Without Warning (1998 Video)

R | 90 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

A group of Russian mobsters have stolen a huge supply of paper for printing U.S. currency, and are now flooding the market with conterfeit bills. When one of the mobsters decides to give ... See full summary »

Director: Phillip Rhee | Stars: Phillip Rhee, Ernie Hudson, Tobin Bell, Thure Riefenstein

Votes: 1,023

Phillip Rhee vs. the Stick Fighters Taekwondo master Rhee takes on four stick-wielding opponents in an intricate battle, fighting back with a fencing foil.

10. Beyond the Ring (2008)

PG-13 | 86 min | Action, Drama, Family

Martial arts champion Andre Lima's fighting days ended with his wife's death. The past nine years Andre has struggled to rebuild his world around his two children. When his daughter's health suddenly fails, his finances collapse

Director: Gerson Sanginitto | Stars: André Lima, Martin Kove, Gary Busey, Brye Cooper

Votes: 523

Andre Lima vs. Justice Smith A six-minute back & forth fight between well-matched combatants. Lima's fighting style is nothing if not versatile.

11. Bloodsport: The Dark Kumite (1999)

R | 100 min | Action, Romance

Agent John Keller goes undercover into the tough prison known as Fuego Penal to find out about the corpses of prisoners disappearing without a trace. There he gets involved in a dangerous ... See full summary »

Director: Elvis Restaino | Stars: Daniel Bernhardt, Ivan Ivanov, Lisa Stothard, Stefanos Miltsakakis

Votes: 996

Daniel Bernhardt vs. Stefanos Miltsakakis A fast-paced wrestling match that I only wish were longer.

12. Brawl (2012)

R | 92 min | Action

A former boxer, Mike, moves to Thailand to start a new life when he is robbed and left with nothing...until he meets Yo, a skilled Muay Thai boxer, and his beautiful wife. The new friends ... See full summary »

Directors: Julaluck Ismalone, David Ismalone | Stars: Jawed El Berni, David Ismalone, Jakkrit Kanokpodjananon, Yuhkoh Matsuguchi

Votes: 153

Jawed El Berni vs. Patrick Tang Tang is surprisingly intimidating as a beast-type fighter, and Berni rocks the cage with his many spinning kicks.

13. Bridge of Dragons (1999)

R | 92 min | Action, Romance, Sci-Fi

The tough and cold mercenary Warchild, is working for the man who took care of his war training and upbringing, the greedy General Ruechang. Ruechang is planning to take over the country by... See full summary »

Director: Isaac Florentine | Stars: Dolph Lundgren, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Valerie Chow, Gary Hudson

Votes: 2,335

Dolph Lundgren vs. Valerie Chow Granted, stunt doubles may supply the brunt of the action, but it's still a neat stickfight and different from anything else seen in any Lundgren vehicle.

14. Chocolate (2008)

R | 110 min | Action, Drama

An autistic girl with powerful martial art skills looks to settle her ailing mother's debts by seeking out the ruthless gangs that owe her family money.

Director: Prachya Pinkaew | Stars: JeeJa Yanin, Hiroshi Abe, Pongpat Wachirabunjong, Taphon Phopwandee

Votes: 16,667 | Gross: $0.01M

Take your pick from several cool ones wherein Jeeja Yanin takes on gangs of opponents with her self-taught boxing techniques.

15. Choyleefut: Speed of Light (2011)

PG-13 | 93 min | Action, Comedy, Drama

Having taken his father's advice, one man decides to return home in pursuit of a fresh start. While training at his father's martial arts school, he learns that his father has given consent... See full summary »

Directors: Tommy Wai-Tak Lor, Ming-Sing Wong | Stars: Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Wah Yuen, Tin Chiu Hung, Kane Kosugi

Votes: 459

Kane Kosugi vs. Ian Powers Nice moves, minimal wire-fu, and undeniable athleticism in a respectable ring fight.

16. Code of Silence (1985)

R | 101 min | Action, Crime, Drama

64 Metascore

A Chicago cop is caught in a middle of a gang war while his own comrades shun him because he wants to take an irresponsible cop down.

Director: Andrew Davis | Stars: Chuck Norris, Henry Silva, Bert Remsen, Mike Genovese

Votes: 6,226 | Gross: $20.35M

Chuck Norris' Bar Brawl Arguably the most fluid fight Norris has under his belt.

17. Cold Harvest (1999 Video)

R | 89 min | Action, Sci-Fi

A bounty hunter protects his dead brother's wife in a lawless world after a comet has devastated much of earth.

Director: Isaac Florentine | Stars: Gary Daniels, Bryan Genesse, Barbara Crampton, David Sherwood

Votes: 530

Gary Daniels vs. Bryan Genesse A box-smashing, weapon-stealing duel that has Genesse looking the best he ever will.

18. Day of the Panther (1988)

84 min | Action

A martial-arts expert goes after a criminal gang and its boss, who were responsible for the death of his partner.

Director: Brian Trenchard-Smith | Stars: Edward John Stazak, John Stanton, James Richards, Michael Carman

Votes: 320

Edward John Stazak's Warehouse Brawl Australia's answer to Van Damme shines in this Hong Kong-inspired randori.

19. Deadly Bet (1992)

R | 92 min | Action

Jeff Wincott plays a gambler who puts his life on the line to buy his way out of the clutches of a mobster.

Director: Richard W. Munchkin | Stars: Jeff Wincott, Steven Vincent Leigh, Charlene Tilton, Michael DeLano

Votes: 285

Gerald Okamura vs. Dino Homsey Feel free to take your pick from a smattering of solid ring fights, but my favorite's a kung fu/kickboxing bout that allows tiny Master Okamura to show his moves against a giant opponent.

20. Deadly Target (1994)

R | 100 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Hong Kong police detective Charles Prince (Gary Daniels) arrives in Los Angeles to extradite a notorious Chinese gangster back to Hong Kong for trial. But soon, his suspect escapes. With ... See full summary »

Director: Charla Driver | Stars: Gary Daniels, Ken McLeod, Byron Mann, Susan Byun

Votes: 194

Ken McLeod vs. Bill Ryusaki A fight between two masters I'd love to have seen more work from.

21. Dei seung chui keung (2001)

PG-13 | 89 min | Action, Adventure

A sports company decides to make history by simulcasting the first all-Internet martial arts competition.

Director: Wei Tung | Stars: Ken Chang, Patricia Ja Lee, Jacquline Li, Jun Ngai Yeung

Votes: 131

Patricia Ja Lee vs. Nicola Berwick A nice, weapons-based exchange atop of a floating platform. Feel free to choose your personal favorite from all the fights, but this one's mine.

22. Dragon Eyes (2012)

R | 91 min | Action, Crime, Drama

In St. Jude, drug dealers and corrupt cops have destroyed an urban neighborhood. But newcomer, Hong, has the fighting skills and moral vision to save this town from itself.

Director: John Hyams | Stars: Cung Le, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Johnny Holmes, Peter Weller

Votes: 5,384

Cung Le vs. Trevor Prangley A hard-won battle between MMA competitors - one that has yet to take place in a real ring.

23. Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (1993)

PG-13 | 120 min | Action, Biography, Drama

A fictionalized account of the life of the martial arts superstar.

Director: Rob Cohen | Stars: Jason Scott Lee, Lauren Holly, Robert Wagner, Michael Learned

Votes: 25,654 | Gross: $35.11M

Jason Scott Lee vs. Ong Soo Han For a long time, this was my favorite fight scene of all.

24. Dragon Tiger Gate (2006)

94 min | Action, Drama, Fantasy

Three young martial arts masters emerge from the back streets of Hong Kong to help the powerless fight injustice.

Director: Wilson Yip | Stars: Yuk Long Wong, Louis Koo, Isabella Leong, Ella Koon

Votes: 6,147

Donnie Yen vs. the Double Devils Yen kills with a staff as he takes on a party of armed opponents in a baseball diamond.

25. Enemies Closer (2013)

R | 85 min | Action, Thriller

49 Metascore

Deep within a forest on the U.S.-Canadian border, two sworn enemies must work together to escape a ruthless drug cartel hell-bent on retrieving a drug shipment which went missing there.

Director: Peter Hyams | Stars: Tom Everett Scott, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Orlando Jones, Linzey Cocker

Votes: 5,229

Tom Everett Scott vs. Zahary Baharov Unexpectedly, the best fight in a Van Damme movie belongs to two different guys.

26. Female Reporter (1989)

90 min | Action, Comedy

Rothrock stars as Cindy, an American FBI agent who travels to Hong Kong to arrest a criminal newspaper editor, Ronny Dak (filmmaker Ronny Yu) who prints counterfeit money using the ... See full summary »

Director: Hoi Mang | Stars: Cynthia Rothrock, Siu-Ho Chin, Hoi Mang, Elizabeth Lee

Votes: 253

Cynthia Rothrock vs. Jeffrey Falcon & Vincent Lyn Feet of fury transition into an impressive stickfight. Rothrock is unstoppable.

27. Fighting Madam (1987)

93 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

A crimefighting organization called the Angels goes up against a drug-smuggling ring headed by a female kung-fu killer.

Director: Teresa Woo | Stars: Hideki Saijô, Alex Fong, Moon Lee, Elaine Lui

Votes: 377

Moon Lee vs. Yukari Oshima A short but furious match between action heroines.

28. Fighting Spirit (1992)

92 min | Action, Fantasy

Billy is a young fighter whose sister Judith was hurt after a near gang rape. When he learns she must have surgery, crime boss Russell has Billy compete in illegal street fights. When Billy... See full summary »

Director: Teddy Page | Stars: Loren Avedon, Sean P. Donahue, Greg Douglass, Michelle Locke

Votes: 62

Loren Avedon's Randori The only good fight in this movie takes place close to the end, when Avedon invades the villains' hideout and takes on a horde of attackers.

29. Firepower (1993)

R | 95 min | Action, Crime, Sci-Fi

In the near future, street gangs have their own city zones where cops can't go. Two tough cops are sent undercover in one of them to investigate an illegal cure for AIDS. But they must first fight in a deathmatch, and the match is fixed.

Director: Richard Pepin | Stars: Chad McQueen, Gary Daniels, George Murdock, Joseph Ruskin

Votes: 470

Gary Daniels vs. Lelagi Togisala A neat weapon-based match inside a cage.

30. Force of Execution (2013)

R | 99 min | Action, Crime

A crime boss sends his top man to kill a prisoner. He gets the wrong man and pays the price. 6 months later he's back on his feet. His ex boss is now being squeezed out by Ice Man, who's responsible for the "wrong man" deal.

Director: Keoni Waxman | Stars: Steven Seagal, Ving Rhames, Danny Trejo, Bren Foster

Votes: 2,816

Bren Foster vs. Alex Terzieff, Michael-David Aragon, Lucas Leggio, Bobby Burns & Raliegh Wilson Making quick work of all men in a cramped hallway, Foster soundly steals the show out from under his better-known costars.

31. Hapkido (1972)

R | 97 min | Action, Drama

Korea, 1934. During the Japanese occupation, there is open warfare between rival martial arts schools. There is a fight in the marketplace, and three Chinese students can't stand the unfair... See full summary »

Director: Feng Huang | Stars: Angela Mao, Carter Wong, Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Han Jae Ji

Votes: 607

Angela Mao vs. the Black Bear School The Lady Whirlwind earns her name with nonstop spinning kicks.

32. Honor and Glory (1993)

R | 84 min | Action

FBI agent Tracy Pride is on a mission to capture businessman Jason Slade, who is involved in extortion and murder. Teaming up with her is her sister Joyce, a news reporter; Dragon, Tracy's ... See full summary »

Director: Godfrey Ho | Stars: Cynthia Rothrock, Donna Jason, John Miller, Chuck Jeffreys

Votes: 460

Cynthia Rothrock, Robin Shou, Chuck Jeffreys & Donna Jason vs. Don Miller & Richard Yuen A long, multi-part battle in which the physicality makes up for a lot of the awkwardness.

33. Into the Sun (2005)

R | 97 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

When a government official is killed, an American operative with experience in the Yakuza culture is brought in to investigate.

Director: mink | Stars: Steven Seagal, Takao Ohsawa, Juliette Marquis, Matthew Davis

Votes: 6,786

Steven Seagal, Kosuke Toyohara & Pace Wu vs. Kuroda's Thugs Our heroes rampage through a house of gangsters, slaughtering all they come across with swords.

34. Irresistible Force (1993 TV Movie)

80 min | Action

A disgruntled retiring cop and his new butt kicking female partner must take on a well-armed terrorist group that holds up a supermarket.

Director: Kevin Hooks | Stars: Stacy Keach, Cynthia Rothrock, Christopher Neame, Kathleen Garrett

Votes: 193

Cynthia Rothrock's Cookware Store Brawl It hurts just to watch how hard she hits with those frying pans...

35. Kickboxer 4: The Aggressor (1994)

R | 90 min | Action, Sport

David Sloan must travel to Mexico to save his wife from a savage drug lord who's also an old nemesis.

Director: Albert Pyun | Stars: Sasha Mitchell, Kamel Krifa, Brad Thornton, Jill Pierce

Votes: 2,989

Sasha Mitchell's Bar Brawl Displaying a more aggressive side than in his previous appearances, Mitchell hangs with the best brawlers in this one.

36. Knock Off (1998)

R | 91 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

37 Metascore

A fashion designer who must join forces with a C.I.A. agent to combat terrorism.

Director: Hark Tsui | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Rob Schneider, Lela Rochon, Paul Sorvino

Votes: 13,172 | Gross: $10.08M

Jean-Claude Van Damme's Fruit Market Melee The closest that Van Damme will ever come to a Jackie Chan-style fight.

37. Live by the Fist (1993)

R | 77 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A man is unjustly convicted of a brutal crime. In prison he must fight for survival, justice and freedom.

Director: Cirio H. Santiago | Stars: Jerry Trimble, George Takei, Ted Markland, Laura Albert

Votes: 121

Jerry Trimble's Stone Quarry Brawl What he lacks in worthy opponents, Trimble makes up with some of the best kicks you'll ever see.

38. Magic Kid II (1994)

PG | 87 min | Comedy, Family

Kevin Ryan must protect himself and his uncle from the TV studio that is producing his hit martial arts show when the execs try strong-arm tactics to keep Kevin from leaving.

Director: Stephen Furst | Stars: Stephen Furst, Ted Jan Roberts, Dana Barron, Donald Gibb

Votes: 204

Ted Jan Roberts vs. Richard Rabago A neat stickfight between masters of different generations.

39. Marked for Death (1990)

R | 93 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

49 Metascore

A retired DEA agent is out to hunt down and take out a Jamaican drug posse that has targeted he and his family for murder.

Director: Dwight H. Little | Stars: Steven Seagal, Joanna Pacula, Basil Wallace, Keith David

Votes: 18,316 | Gross: $46.04M

Steven Seagal vs. Basil Wallace To date, this is the least one-sided fight that the Buddhist Bonecrusher's ever participated in.

40. Martial Law (1990 Video)

R | 89 min | Action, Crime

An undercover cop teams up with a martial-arts expert to stop a gang of drug smugglers and car thieves.

Director: Steve Cohen | Stars: Chad McQueen, Cynthia Rothrock, David Carradine, Andy McCutcheon

Votes: 789

Chad McQueen & Cynthia Rothrock vs. David Carradine & Philip Tan While McQueen and Carradine bat about in the limelight, Rothrock and Tan stage a minor classic in the background.

41. Martial Outlaw (1993 Video)

R | 86 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A DEA agent and his brother, a Los Angeles cop, battle the Russian mafia.

Director: Kurt Anderson | Stars: Jeff Wincott, Gary Hudson, Vladimir Skomarovsky, Krista Errickson

Votes: 299

Jeff Wincott vs. the Russian Circle See Jeff display good use of improvised weapons and excellent conditioning in a satisfyingly long match.

42. Maximum Risk (1996)

R | 101 min | Action, Crime, Mystery

A cop/flic discovers that he had a twin who just got murdered in Nice, France. In order to find out who did it, he takes his place including the cute girlfriend in Little Odessa, NYC.

Director: Ringo Lam | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Natasha Henstridge, Jean-Hugues Anglade, Zach Grenier

Votes: 18,899 | Gross: $14.50M

Jean-Claude Van Damme vs. Stefanos Miltsakakis Choose from three encounters wherein Van Damme must improvise when his kicks are countered by his opponent's grappling.

43. Beauty Investigator (1992)

86 min | Action, Comedy

A cop goes undercover as a nightclub singer to catch a professional hitman.

Director: Tso Nam Lee | Stars: Moon Lee, Chi-Ji Chin, Yukari Ôshima, Jeong-il Choi

Votes: 60

Moon Lee vs. Jeong-il Choi Choi's unexpectedly great form complements Lee's, and the two have a well-balanced, well-paced fight in a construction area.

44. Miao tan shuang long (1989)

Unrated | 100 min | Action, Comedy, Thriller

Martial arts adventure about a tough FBI cop (Cynthia Rothrock) high-kicking her way to the final showdown with a Chinese Mafia boss.

Director: Chia Yung Liu | Stars: Kiu Wai Miu, Cynthia Rothrock, Ken Tong, Suki Kwan

Votes: 183

Cynthia Rothrock vs. Yasuyoshi Shikamura Rothrock wields a strand of wire to counter Shikamura's katana. When that doesn't work, a pair of sai do the trick.

45. Night of the Warrior (1991)

R | 99 min | Action, Sport

Miles Keane pays the debts for his dancing bar back by illegal fighting. When his debt is paid, he refuses further collaboration. But the fight mafia forces him to continue by threating his... See full summary »

Director: Rafal Zielinski | Stars: Robin Antin, Michael Ballew, Andre Rosey Brown, Bridget Carney

Votes: 246

Lorenzo Lamas vs. Ray Sua A painful-looking (and literally dirty) slugfest.

46. Ninja (2009)

R | 86 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A westerner named Casey, studying Ninjutsu in Japan, is asked by the Sensei to return to New York to protect the legendary Yoroi Bitsu, an armored chest that contains the weapons of the last Koga Ninja.

Director: Isaac Florentine | Stars: Scott Adkins, Tsuyoshi Ihara, Mika Hijii, Todd Jensen

Votes: 11,521

Scott Adkins vs. The Ring Just about everything that Adkins does looks good, and this is no exception.

47. Ninja in the Dragon's Den (1982)

95 min | Action, Comedy

Two rival warriors, a Japanese and a Chinese, are forced to work together after their master has been killed by a mighty enemy.

Director: Corey Yuen | Stars: Hiroyuki Sanada, Conan Lee, Jung-Lee Hwang, Kaname Tsushima

Votes: 1,561

Conan Lee vs. Hiroyuki Sanada Choose between two demonstrations of raw talent.

48. One in the Chamber (2012)

R | 91 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

A seasoned assassin plays both sides in a Russian gang war and becomes the target of an unknown enemy.

Director: William Kaufman | Stars: Cuba Gooding Jr., Dolph Lundgren, Claudia Bassols, Andrew Bicknell

Votes: 4,341

Cuba Gooding, Jr. vs. Dolph Lundgren A surprisingly rough brawl. I'm surprised how Gooding's character holds his own against the karate giant.

49. Only the Strong (1993)

PG-13 | 99 min | Action, Drama