Martial arts film

From Academic Kids

Martial arts film is a film genre that originated in the Pacific Rim. This genre of film is one kind of action film characterized by extensive fighting scenes employing various types of martial arts. This genre should not be limited to Asian films. There are many action movies by well known western martial artists such as Steven Seagal, Chuck Norris, Wesley Snipes, and Jean Claude Van Damme.

Martial Arts film stars can be classified in two types, namely genuine martial artists who pursued a filming career vs dancers and actors who acted in martial arts film under the directions of choreographers.

Martial arts film stars who are martial artists on their own merits:

  • Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon (1973) was one of the films that brought the genre into mainstream Western acceptance. His fame also helped popularize Wing Chun, the martial art that he originally trained in, and Jeet Kune Do, the martial art that he later created based on it.
  • Jackie Chan continued this crossover during the 80s and 90s, finally conquering the US market with Rumble in the Bronx (1995) and the two Rush Hour films. He is renowned for his blend of martial arts and slapstick comedy, but has directed, action directed and starred in over 50 films of almost all conceivable genres. Despite proper martial arts training from a Chinese opera school, Jackie often tells people that he is an actor, not a martial artist.
  • Cynthia Rothrock, probably the best known woman in the genre and considered "Queen of Martial Arts films"
  • Sammo Hung or Gumbo Hung was a fellow opera school student of Jackie Chan and Yuen Biao. He has directed, action directed and starred in numerous Hong Kong films, as well as playing the leading role in the American TV series Martial Law.
  • Yuen Biao trained Peking Opera with Sammo Hung and Jackie Chan, and is the youngest of the three.
  • Lam Ching Ying learned Peking Opera in Hong Kong.
  • Jet Li won the Chinese national Wushu (Martial Arts) championships five times in a row before becoming a movie star, starting with the movie Shaolin Temple.
  • Donnie Yen learned Wushu from a young age and trained in Beijing as well.
  • Chuck Norris learned Tang Soo Do, a martial art similar to Taekwondo, while in Korea; Norris also trained together with Bruce Lee.
  • Steven Seagal is indeed an aikido instructor, although quite a bit of controversy surrounds him in the aikido world.
  • Jean Claude van Damme practiced karate in Europe.

Martial Arts film stars who are primarily actors:


See also


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