5 action movie stars who are legitimate martial artists
Action on the big screen unleashes powerful neurons in our brains and triggers feelings and emotions that mirror what we see while watching them. Our hearts raced as we watched Rocky in an all-out brawl with Apollo Creed. We were inspired as we witnessed Robert De Niro play the legendary Jake LaMotta in his final bout with Sugar Ray Robinson in Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull. We cheered Karate Kid Daniel Larusso as he summoned all of Mr. Miyagi’s teachings to unleash a flashy crane kick to Johnny’s face. Martial arts movie actors are a different breed. They evoke a sense of realism into their fight scenes that make the movie more realistic and credible in terms of martial arts. How many of these martial artists have you watched in movies you’ve enjoyed so much? In this article by MAFA, we will take a look at 5 popular action movie actors who are real life martial artists. Read on for more information.
Bruce Lee is the quintessential martial arts legend known for combining various martial arts disciplines like Kung Fu and Jiu-Jitsu with the grace of a dancer. His unique style, Jeet Kune Do, was self-developed through his talent for dancing and his propensity to engage in street fights during his younger years as a tough kid on the streets of Hong Kong. Lee studied the Chinese martial art of Kung Fu while absorbing other styles like Wing Chun.
This talented martial artist is known to his home country of Thailand as Jaa Panom. He is a Muay Thai practitioner that has starred in the movies “Ong Bak” and “Tom Yum Goong”. He started training at the age of ten largely from the influence of his Muay Thai practicing father.
Jackie Chan was born Chan Kong-sang in Hong Kong in 1954. He grew up in a Hong Kong boarding school where he studied martial arts, drama, acrobatics, and singing. His first movie in 1962 was “Big and Little Wong Tin Bar,” which he filmed when he was only eight years old. Chan caught the eye of Hollywood and martial arts legend Bruce Lee when he worked as a stuntman in his 1972 film “Fist of Fury.” After Lee’s tragic death, Jackie Chan was seen as a likely successor to the king of Hong Kong cinema. He later starred in leading roles in movies like the “Rush Hour” series, “Shanghai Noon”, and “The Karate Kid” remake.
Jet Li won his first Wushu national championship at the age of 11. Born in 1963, Li is the youngest of five children. Li traveled to several countries as part of the Beijing Wushu Team and once gave a martial arts demonstrations to President Richard Nixon. He retired from the sport when he was 17 and debuted in the movie, “Shaolin Temple” which catapulted him to fame in his home country of China. At the end of the 1980s, Li moved to Hong Kong where he starred in more movies that eventually gave him his star status. Li’s most popular movies include “ Once Upon a Time in China,” “Lethal Weapon 4,” “Romeo Must Die,” “Kiss of the Dragon,” “War,” and “The Forbidden Kingdom,” among many others.
Carlos Ray “Chuck” Norris founded his own school of martial arts, Chun Kuk Do. He is also known in pop culture as one of the toughest human beings that ever lived. Norris’ interest in martial arts began when he was stationed at the Osan Air Base in South Korea as a member of the United States Air Force. His training began in Tang Soo Do, a Korean form of martial arts that combines techniques from Subak and Wushu. Upon his discharge from the Air Force in the 1960s, Norris opened a chain of about 30 Karate schools spread over different US cities. An encounter with Bruce Lee during a martial arts demonstration in Long Beach, California led to his appearance as Colt in the movie, “The Way of the Dragon,” where he performed in one of the most iconic fight scenes in film history.
Hopefully you enjoyed this light hearted article by Martial Arts Fitness Academy, about some popular action movie stars that are actual martial artists. If you are looking to start training in the martial arts, we encourage you to continue browsing through our MAFA website. Whether you are looking for group fitness classes, Muay Thai classes, Jiu Jitsu classes, or boxing classes