Martial art is a form of sport or set of skills practised and mastered by many. It had its origin in East Asian region and has various forms. It includes both armed and unarmed art forms. Apart from being a physical activity, it has its philosophical aspects too.
Let us take a brief look at the top 10 Best martial artists In the world.
Top 10 Best Martial Artists In The World
10. Johnny Tri Nguyen
Born on 16 February, 1974 in Vietnam. He is a Vietnamese-American action choreographer, actor, martial artist and a stuntman. He left for US at the early age of 8. He started and completed his martial art training at the US National Team. He is familiar with martial art forms like Kung Fu, Tai chi and Japanese Aikido. His martial art films are Tom-Yung-Goong, Cradle 2 and The Rebel. He has worked in Spiderman as the Green Goblin. Beside his presence in Vietnamese film, he has been engaged as a supporting actor in Indian films like 7aum Arivu and Irumbu Kuthirai. His recent film includes Babysitters at work and Da 5 Bloods.
9. Tony Jaa
Born on February 5, 1976 in Thailand. He is a popular actor, a martial artist, director and a stuntman. From his tender age he watched martial art films and found inspiration in Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jet Li. He practised and mastered martial arts at the local temple school. He later studied at the Physical Education College in Thailand. His passion and potential skill for stunts got him in Mortal Kombat:Annihilation. Later, overwhelmed by his skills ‘Ong Bak’ was directed in 2003. It was his groundbreaking debut. His next hit was Tom-Yum-Goong and later Ong bak 2 and 3 where he had to face several problems. He was invited for Fast and furious 7 in 2015. Now he’s into Hollywood and Hong Kong-Chinese film. Recently in 2019 he joined the ‘Ip man’ Franchise. His upcoming and most awaited movie is ‘Detective Chinatown 3’.
8. Donnie Yen
Born on July 27, 1963 in China. He is an actor, dancer and a martial artist. He is accredited for bringing Mixed Martial Arts into Asian Cinema since 2000s. It was in Massachusetts when he was influenced and trained by Master Bow-Sim Mark, Donnie’s Mother. He aslo had the love for music. His meeting with the famous martial arts movie Director Yuen Woo-Ping led him into his debut film ‘Drunken Tai Chi’. Later, he was signed-in for ‘Tiger Cage’ and then for a co-star in ‘Once upon a time in China 2’. He was nominated for the best supporting actor at the Hong Kong Film awards. His directoral debut was ‘Legend of the wolf’. Later, he was invited to choreograph the action scenes for Endgame and Blade 2. His entry in the Ip Man was a huge successs. His other popular film includes, Crouching Tiger and the Hiddn Dragon. He is also a part of the world’s biggest film franchise. His latest film is the remake of ‘Mulan’.
7. Jean Claude Van Damme
Born on October 18, 1960 in Brussels, Belgium. He is a body builder, martial artist and an actor. He began his training at the age of 11 at the National Training Centre of Karate under the guidance of Master Claude. He bagged his first title at the Middleweight Championship. He is also the winner of the European Professional Karate Association. He started his career as a martial artist at the age of 16 in Belgium and America. He moved to Los Angeles in the early 1980s to pursue his dreams. He loves to be called ‘Frank Cujo’. He finally settled as a performer in 1982 and moved Hong Kong at the age of 19. He started with ‘Missing Action’ in 1984 where he had not major role to play. ‘Bloodsport’ in 1988 was his breakeven point where it was able to hit the box office. Later, he did ‘Double Impact’ in 1991, Universal Soldier, Time Cop etc. His directorial debut was with the ‘Quest’. His higher budget films were Cyborg, Lion heart, Double impact and Universal Soldier. His recent film includes ‘We Die Young’ in 2019 and ‘the last Mercenary’ in 2021.
6. Wesley Snipes
Born on July 31, 1962, he is an American actor and a martial artist. He attended the state University of New York. He studied and practiced martial arts from the age of seven. It was with his achievement in ‘the Me, Nobody knows’ he became focused of his carrier in film industry. His debut film was ‘Wildcats’ in 1986. Later, he took a lead role in Lee’s ‘Jungle Fever’. He consider it as his most memorable character till date. He honed various action scenes in movies like Blade. He was nominated for the independent spirit award for best supporting male actor for ‘The Waterdance’. He also won the ‘Volvo Cup’ for the best actor in ‘One night stand’. His mention worthy films tills date includes, Rising sun, Demolition, The Fan, Blade, Brooklyn’s Finest and Doctor death. His recent being ‘Armed Response’ – 2017, ‘Dolemite is my name’ – 2019, and thr most recent one is ‘Coming to America’ – 2021.
5. Steven Seagal
Born on April 10, 1952 in Lansing, Michigan, is an actor martial artist and a musician too. He Started practicing Martial arts under Fumio Demura. He later studied Philosophy and had opportunity to choreograph martial arts fight scenes. After his good days in Asia, he returned US and founded a Martial Arts Academy. His first film was ‘Above the Law’ in 1988. It was followed up by another thrill ‘ hard to kill’. Amongst his big budgeted films was ‘Under Siege’ released in 1992. He is said to have a different style of martial art forms. He had featured with Mike Tyson in ‘China’s Sslesman in 2017. He has consistently been a student of Buddhism as he preaches philosophy. He has close ties with the Russian President and was regarded as the country’s special representative to US. His recent film includes, General Commander, The Iron Mask and Beyond the Law.
4. Jet Li
Born on April 26, 1963 in Beijing, China. Jet Li is a martial artist and Chinese film actor too. From his early days, he was a sport enthusiast. He even won the first national championship in Wush. He travelled to more than 45 countries as a part of the Beijing Wushu team. He entered the film industry at the age of 17. His first debut film was Shaolin Temple(1982). He presence is found also in ‘A star was born’ and ‘Once upon a time’. His presence in the Hollywood got uncovered with the coming of ‘The lethal weapon 4’. Other includes, ‘Kiss of the Dragon’. The best foreign film ‘Hero’ was his greatest achievement. Overwhelmed by uncertainties, he appeared again in 2005 where he starred in Unleashed in 2005. It was in the ‘Forbidden Kingdom’ where he got the opportunity to work with legendary Jackie Chan. The expendables and the remake of Mulan is his recent movies. He founded the ‘Jet Li One’ in association with the Red Lion Society of China.
3. Vidyut Jammwal
Born on Dec 1980, he is a martial artist, a stuntman and an actor. He was born in the state of Uttar Pradesh and brought up in Jammu and Kashmir. He studied at the Ashram in Palakkad in kerala till the age of 13. He did a rigorous training from the age of 4 and is an expert in Kalaripayatty martial art form. With his years of immense dedication and practice he is also known as the ‘New Age Action hero of Bollywood’. He’s been featured in many of the popular lists, mainly the list of ‘most desirable men’. His debut film was Force (2011) where he fortunately got selected in an audition held for the same movie. Post release, he was able to grab the attentions and awards for the most promising debut in 2012. He was also a major part of Telegu films. Billa II was his debut in Tamil cinema. It was in his next film Commando where he showcased his skills. The movie was also showcased at the international international events, where he was regarded as India’s answer to Bruce Lee and Tony Jaa. Till date he has been successful in receiving too many awards and honours. His recent achievement includes two action awards at Jackie Chan international Film week.
2. Jackie Chan
Born on April 7, 1954 in Hong Kong, China. He studied Martial arts at the Chinese Opera Research Institute, besides drama, acrobatics and singing. He inherits a different style of martial arts, blended with screwball physical comedy.
He did his first film ‘Big and Little Wong Tin Bar’ at the age of 8. Fist of Fury, starred By legendary Bruce Lee was probably his first experience with his skillset. He was often linked with Bruce Lee and was also appreciated by Lee for his dedication. Later, he wanted to create his independent image. It was with the coming of his Drunken Master (1978) that Hong Kong film was brought to light. Others include, Snake in the Eagle’s shadow, the fearless hyena, the young master, police story etc. Enlightened by his success, he founded his production company ‘Golden Way’ in 1986. It was in 1995, he created his own comic book character, the central figure in Jackie Chan’s Spartan X. . He was later presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the MTV Movie Awards. He is also the founder of Jackie Chan Stuntsmen Association. The recent films inckude, forbidden kingdom, Rush hour, kung fu panda, Police story 2013 and the Dragon blade.
1. Bruce Lee
A martial artist, actor, dancer and a filmmaker, born in 1940, San Francisco and raised in Hong Kong. He inherits his name ‘Bruce Lee’ from a nurse in the Jakson Street Hospital. He has been into the film industry since the tender age of 3 months. By the time he was 18 he had appeared in 20 films in Hong Kong. It was at the age of 13 he was introduced to his master Yip Man, from he learned and mastered Gung Fu. He moved to US, at the age of 18 and worked at a restaurant. He then wanted to educate himself and joined Edison Technical School and later joined the Washington University where he studied philosophy. Leaving behind everything, he chose martial art as his profession. Later, he started his own unique style of martial art ‘Jeet kune Do’.
He was in dilemma and couldn’t decide regarding his career and passion. Bruce then worked hard at furthering his acting skills and career. His first television series ‘Green Hornet’, where he received a high acclaim. Further, in 1969, he played the role of a stand over man in Marlowe. He grabbed a lead role in THE BIG BOSS. His last film was Enter the Dragon in 1973, where unfortunately he couldn’t spectate the release. He is still remembered for his contribution and dedication towards martial arts.