martial arts heroes

by princepapi-19468 | created - 30 Jun 2017 | updated - 1 day ago | Public

1. 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 ...

2. 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 ...

3. Jim Kelly

Actor | Enter the Dragon

With his funky Afro hairstyle, super cool attitude and superb karate skills, Jim Kelly was instantly identifiable, and one of the top martial arts film stars of the early 1970s. After appearing in a minor film role, Kelly's second screen effort was as one of the invited guests to the deadly Han's ...

4. Jet Li

Actor | Huo Yuan Jia

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,...

5. 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 ...

6. 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 ...

7. 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 ...

8. 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 ...

9. Michael Jai White

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 ...

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 ...

11. 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 ...

12. Jason Statham

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 ...

13. Jean-Claude Van Damme

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 ...

14. 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, ...

15. Mark Dacascos

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 ...

16. Pat Morita

Actor | The Karate Kid

Abundantly busy and much-loved Asian-American actor who became an on-screen hero to millions of adults and kids alike as the wise and wonderful Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid (1984), the sparkling Noriyuki Morita was back again dishing out Eastern philosophy and martial arts lessons for The Karate ...

17. 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 ...

18. 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 ...

19. 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...

20. 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 ...

21. Jing Wu

Actor | Zhan lang

Born in Beijing China in 1974, he was sent to train at Beijing Wushu Academy when he was 6 years old as both his Father and Grandfather were also Martial artists. In 1995 he was spotted by Yuen Woo-Ping who had come to the academy to look for a martial artist for the film Tai Chi 2 (aka Tai Chi ...

22. Collin Chou

Actor | The Matrix Revolutions

Collin Chou was born on August 11, 1967 in Taiwan as Hsiao-Lung Chou. He is known for his work on The Matrix Revolutions (2003), The Matrix Reloaded (2003) and The Forbidden Kingdom (2008). He has been married to Wanda Yung since December 10, 1997. They have two children.

23. Cynthia Rothrock

Actress | The Martial Arts Kid

Cynthia Rothrock is a martial arts expert and athlete, who went on to become a film actress, starring in a number of highly successful B action movies. She first made a name as an action actress in Hong Kong before going on to wow audiences in her home turf. At the time of her popularity, she was ...

24. Michelle Yeoh

Actress | Wo hu cang long

Born as Yang Zi Qiong in the mining town of Ipoh, in West Malaysia, in the lunar year of the Tiger, Michelle is the daughter of Janet Yeoh and Yeoh Kian Teik, a lawyer and politician. She is of Han Chinese (Hokkien) descent, and spoke English and Malay before Chinese. A ballet dancer since age 4, ...

25. Ronda Rousey

Actress | Fast & Furious 7

Ronda Rousey burst onto the women's MMA scene in August of 2010. Born in Riverside County, California on February 1, 1987 to parents Ron Rousey and AnnMaria DeMars, little Ronda was born with an umbilical cord wrapped around her neck that damaged her vocal cords. She didn't speak coherently until ...

26. Shannon Lee

Actress | Blade

Shannon Emery Lee (born April 19, 1969) is an American actress, martial artist and businesswoman. She is the daughter of late martial arts film star Bruce Lee and retired martial arts teacher Linda Lee Cadwell, the granddaughter of Cantonese opera singer Lee Hoi-Chuen, and the younger sister of ...



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