10 Great Martial Arts Movie Stars That Aren't Jackie Chan or Bruce Lee


In relation to cult cinema, the martial arts style has generated one of the crucial devoted fan bases in movie historical past. The style ruled the Hong Kong scene within the past due 60s, however actually exploded within the 70s, because of the upward thrust of the primary global martial arts celebrity, Bruce Lee.

After Lee's premature passing, any other family identify in martial arts arrived to select up the gauntlet, and his identify used to be Jackie Chan. Each very other of their manner, Chan and Lee are ceaselessly the primary names that are evoked once we talk about martial arts films. Alternatively, through the years, stars from around the globe have constructed their careers on swift punches and high-flying kicks. The next are only some of many martial arts superstars that belong in the similar dialog as the 2 greats.


Donnie Yen

In spite of being a staple within the 90s martial arts scene, Donnie Yen did not actually blow up in mainstream recognition till the discharge of Ip Guy in 2008. It used to be there he displayed his lighting-quick reflexes and mastery of Wing Chun. The movie would pass directly to spawn a couple of sequels and spin-offs, ushering in a protracted past due renaissance for Yen's profession.

Along with Wing Chun, Yen is knowledgeable in a couple of sorts of martial arts, starting from Muay Thai to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Nice motion pictures for newbies to Yen's paintings come with the Ip Guy franchise, Iron Monkey and Kill Zone.

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Sammo Hung

Identified for his signature bowl-cut and a heavier body than maximum martial arts stars, Sammo Hung is a novel presence and an absolute powerhouse within the style. He is ceaselessly given credit score for keeping up the style's recognition within the 80s and bolstering the careers of different martial arts icons.

Despite the fact that he is most famed for offering memorable supporting roles and a prepared eye for battle choreography, Hung has confirmed a worthy main guy as smartly. A few of his ideal paintings can also be present in The Prodigal Son, Japanese Condors and Encounters of the Spooky Sort.

Jason Statham

Whilst the early 2000s are ceaselessly thought to be a weaker technology for motion, Jason Statham used to be busy doing the type of B-movie stunt-based motion gold that whole fandoms had been constructed round within the 70s. Together with his hybrid background as a gymnast/martial artist, Statham is as agile as he's hard-hitting.

Now firmly in his 50s, Statham continues to be going sturdy, having labored his manner into the wildly a success Speedy & Livid franchise and incomes his personal spin-off with The Rock. For extra of Statham's model of motion, take a look at The Transporter, Crank and The Mechanic.

Michelle Yeoh

Having made a reputation for herself in a male-dominated business, Michelle Yeoh has helped pave the best way for ladies now not handiest in martial arts cinema, however the motion style as a complete. She starred along Pierce Brosnan's James Bond and the mythical Jackie Chan himself, proving simply as fierce and dynamic as her male opposite numbers.

With contemporary motion pictures like Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and The whole thing All over All at As soon as, Yeoh has in the end won a much-deserved global appreciation. For extra of Yeoh's air of mystery and acrobatic finesse, search out The Heroic Trio, Supercop, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

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Tony Jaa

When the trailer used to be first launched for Ong Bak: Muay Thai Warrior, main as much as its premiere in 2003, motion fanatics went wild. It promised hard-hitting battle sequences, sensible stunts and, after all, the advent of brand-new martial arts celebrity, Tony Jaa. The movie saved its promise on all accounts, launching Jaa into quick cult standing.

Whilst lots of his next motion pictures struggled to reside as much as the hype of his first trip, Jaa has endured to ship intense Muay Thai motion, even taking part with different legends within the style. Keep in mind that, Ong Bak: Muay Thai Warrior is a must-see if you have not already, however some cast follow-ups come with The Protector and Triple Danger.

Scott Adkins

The king of the Redbox and VOD martial arts film circuit, Scott Adkins has slowly constructed up a faithful fan base through the years. His motion pictures don't seem to be precisely identified for top manufacturing worth or status filmmaking, however Adkins’ short and brutal combating taste and dedication to stunt paintings ceaselessly end up greater than sufficient to make up for it.

With revel in in numerous martial arts disciplines, Adkins used to be an extraordinary English import to make his step forward within the Hong Kong motion scene within the early 2000s. For a glimpse into how he accomplished this cult standing, monitor down Ninja 2: Shadow of a Tear, Undisputed II: Final Guy Status, and Avengement.

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Jet Li

Having earned his stay in numerous Hong Kong motion pictures during the 90s, Jet Li is almost certainly best-known for his explosion onto the Hollywood scene within the early 2000s. Despite the fact that he ceaselessly performs the calm and stoic hero, Li has a heat air of mystery that shines via in each and every efficiency.

Making appearances as not too long ago as 2020's Mulan, Li continues to be at the radar of common audiences and may most likely be the third-biggest identify in global martial arts fandom, in the back of Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee. For a take a look at his distinctive megastar energy, take a look at Fearless, Fist of Legend, and the As soon as Upon a Time in China trilogy.

Michael Jai White

Michael Jai White made his step forward as the primary African American on-screen superhero in 1997's Spawn, then went directly to pursue a profession within the motion film underground. He studied in a handful of martial arts types since formative years and has endured to give a boost to his craft through the years.

Despite the fact that he does not take care of essentially the most high-profile martial arts filmography, White's depth and implementing presence as a fighter has earned him a cult following within the style, even splashing into the Asian martial arts marketplace on a number of events. A few of his ideal paintings can also be present in Falcon Emerging, Undisputed 2 and Blood and Bone. As an added bonus, take a look at his hilarious against-type efficiency within the blaxploitation parody, Black Dynamite.

Jean-Claude Van Damme

Identified lovingly as “The Muscle tissue from Brussels”, Jean-Claude Van Damme joined the ranks of different muscle-bound beefcake heroes within the Eighties, surroundings himself aside together with his martial arts background and unbelievable acrobatic prowess.

After hitting a coarse patch and fading into obscurity within the early 2000s, Van Damme sooner or later made a low-key comeback with the TV sequence Jean-Claude Van Johnson, showcasing his still-competent martial arts abilities, in addition to a self-aware humorousness. For Van Damme in his top, glance now not additional than Bloodsport, Kickboxer, and Arduous Goal.

Iko Uwais

Some of the newer breakout motion film stars, Indonesian martial artist Iko Uwais took the sector through typhoon with Gareth Evans’ The Raid: Redemption in 2011. Uwais and his trainer, Yayan Ruhian, choreographed the kinetic battle sequences and offered motion cinema to the Indonesian martial artwork of Silat.

Uwais has since endured to hone his craft within the martial arts scene, taking part with different outstanding martial artists and making cameos in high-profile blockbusters like Megastar Wars Episode VII: The Pressure Awakens. The Raid 2, the sequel to Uwais’ breakout hit, is arguably his ideal exhibit as an motion megastar, however different nice examples come with The Evening Comes For Us, Headshot, and Triple Danger.

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