Outline of Martial Arts - Famous Martial Artists

Famous Martial Artists

The following list consists of various famous martial artists of all different types and throughout history.

  • Bruce Lee, Widely considered the most influential martial artist in modern history. He is most noted for career as an actor, however Lee was also a martial arts instructor, philosopher, film director, film producer, screenwriter, and founder of the Jeet Kune Do (JKD) martial arts movement.
  • Jackie Chan, Most noted for his career as a martial arts actor. Chan is also a, action choreographer, filmmaker, comedian, director, producer, screenwriter, entrepreneur, singer and stunt performer.
  • Wong Fei-hung
  • Brendan Lai
  • Jet Li
  • Donnie Yen
  • Chuck Norris
  • Steven Seagal, 7th-dan black belt in Aikido. Segal became the first foreigner to operate an Aikido Dojo in Japan.
  • Miyamoto Musashi
  • Yip Man, Famous Wing Chun practitioner who taught many other famous martial artists.
  • Gichin Funakoshi, Creator of Shotokan karate.
  • Kanō Jigorō, Founder of judo.
  • Masaaki Hatsumi
  • Tony Jaa, Famous actor, choreographer, stuntman, director, and former monk. Member of Muay Thai Stunt.
  • Panna Rittikrai
  • Dan Chupong
  • Robin Shou, Famous martial arts actor who is most noted for his role as Liu Kang in Mortal Kombat.
  • Sammo Hung
  • Huo Yuanjia, Famous practitioner of Mizongyi and co-founder of the Chin Woo Athletic Association. Yuanjia is a national hero in China for defeating foreign fighters in highly publicized matches.
  • Phillip Rhee, Famous practitioner of various martial arts (taekwondo, hapkido, kendo, wing chun, and boxing) and a successful actor.
  • Jean-Claude Van Damme, Famous practitioner of various martial arts (shotokan karate, kickboxing, muay thai, and taekwondo) and a successful actor.
  • Sho Kosugi, Practitioner of shindō jinen-ryū karate and a successful actor.
  • Sonny Chiba, Practitioner of various martial arts (ninjutsu, goju-ryu karate, judo, kendo, shorinji kempo, kyokushin karate) and founder of Japan Action Club (JAC). Chiba is also noted as one of the first actors to achieve stardom through his skills in martial arts.
  • Zhang Ziyi
  • Cynthia Rothrock, Famous practitioner of various martial arts (karate, tang soo do, taekwondo, eagle claw, wushu, northern shaolin, and pai lum tao kung fu) and a successful actor.
  • Hirokazu Kanazawa, Famous Shotokan karate instructor and practitioner. Kanazawa is also the chief instructor and president of the Shotokan Karate-do International Federation (SKIF).
  • Morihei Ueshiba, Founder of aikido.
  • Mas Oyama, Founder of kyokushinkai karate.
  • João Grande
  • Mestre Pastinha
  • Yuen Biao
  • Angela Mao
  • Kathy Long
  • Mark Dacascos
  • Gary Daniels
  • Wesley Snipes
  • Iko Uwais
  • Dan Inosanto, Famous martial arts instructor who teaches, jeet kune do (JKD), filipino martial arts, shoot wrestling, brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ), muay thai, silat, mixed martial arts (MMA), and American kenpo karate. Inosanto is also a noted student of the late Bruce Lee and authority on Jeet Kune Do concepts. As well as an actor, stuntman, and author.
  • Tadashi Nakamura, Founder of Seidō juku karate.
  • Carlos Gracie, Co-founder of brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ).
  • Hélio Gracie, Co-founder of brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ). Gracie was also a 6th degree black belt jūdōka.

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