10 Martial Arts Celebrities

Thursday, July 21 by Ed Mulero

These martial arts celebrities bring the culture and elegance of the institution to the forefront to many fans and followers across the globe. These celebrities not only practice the martial arts but also preach many of martial arts' fundamentals whether in film, television or in competition. Martial arts is about discipline and focus and the celebrities embraced this in their careers as they climbed the ladder to success. These martial arts celebrities are the cream of the crop as they bring the spotlight to the structured lifestyle.

  1. Bruce Lee The quintessential King of Martial Arts is the most world-renown celebrity who has trained Hollywood actors and followers for years. His untimely death never takes away from the impact he since "Enter the Dragon" to his own style called "Jeet Kune Do."
  2. Chuck Norris This six-time Karate champion has parlayed his abilities into martial arts movies like his fellow counterpart, Bruce Lee. Their paths crossed in the famous battle in the Roman Coliseum in "Return of the Dragon."
  3. Jackie Chan As a child Chan learned acting and martial arts from the China Drama Academy at six years of age. His unique style of martial arts action and slapstick comedy brought him success and celebrity with films from "The Drunken Master" to "Rush Hour."
  4. Jet Li The actor was a national champion in China for several years with a focus on Wushu since the age of eight. Later on, his career took a turn to movies with "Shaolin Temple" and he has since become an international celebrity like Jackie Chan.
  5. Steven Segal His training began at age seven with famed Karate instructor Fumio Demura and evolved later to Aikido when he traveled to Japan. "Above the Law" brought his martial skills and tall stature to the big screen that gave him notable celebrity even when patrolling the streets as a Reserve Deputy Sheriff.  
  6. Jean-Claude Van Damme The Muscles from Brussels was part of the Belgium Karate Team that also led to a career in full contact competition in Europe. "Bloodsport" helped launch his movie career and soon a string of box office hits in the '90s followed with "Lionheart," Double Impact" and "Universal Soldier."
  7. Michelle Yeoh This former ballerina and Miss Malaysia starred in a commercial with Jackie Chan and the rest was martial arts history. She is often referred to as the Queen of Martial Arts for conquering the male-dominated industry that got her a role in the James Bond movie "Tomorrow Never Dies."
  8. Zhang Ziyi A gorgeous actress is more known for her martial arts films than her good looks since "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." The lovely celebrity has branched out to modeling ads for Maybelline and Coca-Cola while still acting in movies.
  9. Tony Jaa This whirling dynamo from Thailand has taken the martial arts world by storm with his uncanny ability and stunts. The movie "Ong-Bak" thrust the the unknown stuntman to resounding celebrity with his amazing fight scenes with no wire work or CGI.
  10. Michael Jai White The actor has done everything from drama to action throughout his career. His martial arts skill is on full display from films like "Universal Soldier: The Return," "Exit Wounds" and "Black Dynamite."