Best Martial Arts Movies of All Time

karate-kid-movie

Eric’s Far-From Authoritative ‘Best
Martial Arts Movies’ of All Time List

[If you have something important to do, don't waste your time with this post. But if you're looking to kill some time or procrastinate, dig right in!]

Let’s get one thing straight – I don’t claim to have good taste, be a movie critic, or even a movie buff. Hell I don’t even watch a lot of movies. But I knows what I likes so I’m going to share some of my favourite martial arts movies with you. Selfishly, I’m hoping you can share some of your fave flicks with me so I can better pass these rainy spring days.

So feel free to get all bent outta shape and rip into my choices if you want, “How dare you even CONSIDER The Matrix? That isn’t a martial arts movie – less than 10% of the actors are Oriental!? You’re a disgrace to the Chinese people.”

Or…

“Eric, How come Karate Kid 2010 isn’t on your best martial arts movies list? I thought you knew your shit?!? You are so st00pid. I hate you.”

Say whatever you want, I won’t take it personally. It’ll entertain me. Like I said, I knows what I likes.

karate kid martial arts movies

"In West Philadelphia, born and raised, in the DOJO is where I spent most of my days"

So without further adieu, let’s get to my Best Martial Arts Movies of all time…

Best Martial Arts Movies – #5 – Rumble in the Bronx

Yes, Jackie Chan makes it on my list due to his combination of equal parts martial arts skills, creativity, humour and stunts. (I know I’ll get some flack for this one, but bring it on – Jackie is awesome). You can’t beat Jackie when he’s in a room full of furniture and he’s fighting 10+ enemies. His use of chairs, tables, belts, jackets, and whatever other object is in close proximity is unparalleled. But what really impresses me about him is his stunts. He directs all of his stunts and does many of them. In Rumble in the Bronx, he busted up his ankle and finished the film with a cast. Here are some outtakes of his stunts:

 

Best Martial Arts Movies – #4 – The Matrix Trilogy

I can’t remember which one of these is my favourite, but one of them stood out above the rest (maybe you can remind me?). Sure, Keanu Reeves isn’t a true martial artist, sure there are a lot of special effects, but that’s the whole point. If you want real martial arts, watch MMA. Movies are meant for fantasy and that’s where the Matrix shines.

 

Best Martial Arts Movies – #3 – Bloodsport

Of course Jean-Claude Van Damme made it on this list. I think this is what I watched at my first sleepover party at my best friend’s house in Grade 4. It blew me away. The splits, on CHAIRS?!? WTF? And Bolo – he inspired me to be able to learn to bounce my pecs.But I think my favourite character was the Monkey man. Oh how I wanted him to win. Alas, it was not meant to be:

 

Best Martial Arts Movies – #2 – Ong Bak

Tony Jaa is a bad motherf*&#*$. And the opening scene hyped me up like no other opening scene from a movie, except I kind of remember the opening scene from Apocalypto was pretty crazy, I’ll have to check it out again. Anyway Ong Bak was the first movie I saw showcasing Muay Thai and I loved the flying knees and elbows… although the Double Elbow from Kneeling Mount on a Standing Opponent (at 1:29) was a bit much.

 

The #1 Movie on Eric’s “Best Martial
Arts Movies of All Time” List

FIST OF LEGNED starring JET LI

Have you seen this one? By far my favourite on the list. Tons of quality fight scenes, the beginning of Matrix style flying around, the epic battle between Karate and Kung-Fu, Japan and China, and a Boss-General modeled after Street Fighter’s Bison that you loved seeing get beat up. If you haven’t seen it, you have to watch it ASAP. Just thinking about it has me pumped. I might have to watch it tonight. Here’s one of many, many good scenes that even showcases some Bruce Lee style fighting:

 

So that’s my list. What do you think? Am I an idiot?

Have I wasted your time? [If so - read this training post and feel better that you've educated yourself at least a bit today.]

Got some recommendations for me?

Let me have your best martial arts movies below:

116 Comments

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  • Tom

    Reply Reply Mon, May 20, 2013

    Hi,
    I agree with your summary of great martial arts movies. I would add Dragon Tiger Gate to the list, simply because it is hard (even in slow motion) to believe that the heroes in the movie aren’t actually connecting with their foes. I know there’s special effects on how they are kicked backwards, but the hits are more real than I’ve ever seen.
    I love the fantasy part of the movies as well, and especially love a martial arts movie with a great story line. The (original) Matrix, and Dragon Tiger Gate have good stories and amazing action. Bullet Proof Monk with Chow Yun-Fat is another one of my top 10 ten movies. They are not ‘American’ with their baddy/goody beat up script with no story line.

  • Ranstorm

    Reply Reply Sun, April 14, 2013

    You forgot Enter the Dragon.

  • tony

    Reply Reply Sun, January 13, 2013

    bloodsport is poo apart from the knee thing van dam is a wife beating bitch

  • tony

    Reply Reply Sun, January 13, 2013

    the best fight sceens are in chocolate u retard eny1 dunt agree WATCH IT buy the way matrix 2 is the good one

  • Brian

    Reply Reply Tue, December 4, 2012

    5. Ip Man (1-3)
    4. Ong Bak
    3. Undisputed (1-3)
    2. Never Back Down (1-2)
    1. Flash Point

    i think i’m gonna add Bourne (1-3) here as well.

  • dorota

    Reply Reply Mon, September 17, 2012

    Very good idea. I got Bloodsport and Fist of Legend to watch as I haven’t seen them yet.
    Also, I think Jackie Chan is a wonderfull athlete and comic actor.
    So here is my list in return (not much to do with MMA) ;-)
    Not very ambitious either mostly romance/comedy/bit of philosophy.

    1. Rusalka [The Mermaid International (English title)] 2007 Anna Melikyan
    2. Billy Elliot 2000
    3. The Yes Man Fix the World
    4. The Taste of Others 2000 Agnès Jaoui
    5. Shirat Ha’Sirena [Song of the Siren] (1994) Eytan Fox
    6. High Spirits 1988 Neil Jordan
    7. Les visiteurs (original title) 1993 Jean-Marie Poiré
    8. Game of Thrones (2011 TV Series)
    9. Millenium 1-3 (Swedish, not Hollywood)
    10. Harry Potter 1-7

    ;-)

  • Hans

    Reply Reply Sat, August 18, 2012

    You should also check out The Raid. The movie features awesome action scenes based on the Pencak Silat martial arts, which originated in the south east asia.

  • Hans

    Reply Reply Tue, August 14, 2012

    I can’t believe you miss Warrior from that list. The fighting scene was realistically brutal and the story was incredible.

  • Danny Atwater

    Reply Reply Sat, April 14, 2012

    Hi, How can you leave out all of Bruce Lee’s movies? The Chinese Connection should be in that list. Have you seen Blood and Bone with Micheal Jai White? That movie is off the hook. How about Undisputed ll with Micheal Jai White and Scott Adkins? These should be considered before the Matrix series. Keanu Reeves couldn’t fight his way out of a paper sack. Really?

    • Rezbi

      Reply Reply Sat, April 14, 2012

      While Bruce Lee may have been a decent martial artist, he was never proven against anyone decent.

      Having said that, this is not about the individual fighter. Rather about the best movies.

      And, whether or not Keanu Reeves can fight is irrelevant.

      The first Matrix movie was decent. Most of Bruce Lee’s movies – after the first watching – were boring.

      I agree about Blood and Bone. I haven’t seen the others you mention.

      • decko

        Reply Reply Mon, November 19, 2012

        knob head bruce lee films boring ya sound like your up your own hole

        • Rezbi

          Mon, November 19, 2012

          Me knob-head?

          People like you are so fan-boy about bluce ree you’d think you would actually have his babies, you fag.

  • kennethy

    Reply Reply Tue, February 21, 2012

    Michael Jai White – people, this man fought the entire Blood and Bone movie wearing Timberlands. That is right. He is hard core and has earned 7 black belts in seven different styles.

    So if you really want authenticity, watch his movies. He would kick virtually every martial artist featured on this page. He weighs 225 lbs and is 6 foot 3 inches. Everyone else listed is less than 200 lbs and most Chinese/Japanese/Thai fighters are below 190 lbs.

    Since I am also Black, and heavier than most Asian movie fighters, I am partial to him in terms of who would do the most damage. Fighting with boots is not easy. Try it sometime. I did it many years while in the military.

    Now did this:

    Check out the final fight scene in BLOOD AND BONE. Flash back to when Bruce Lee was fighting in Enter the Dragon when He and John Saxon were fighting all of the guards, and when Bruce kicks this one guy 5 times, you can see the stunt doubles in the background laughing. Now remember that Bob Wall was in that movie as Han’s bodyguard.

    Now fast forward to MJW fighting in the final fight scene in Blood and Bone. NOtice when MJW does a spinnng back kick, he does it again and hits the target, and guess who is in the background laughing in that scene??? Robert Wall as O’Hara, one of McVeigh’s bodyguards. Previously, he played a character also named O’Hara in Enter the Dragon.

    Scott Adkins and MJW were both in Undisputed 2 Watch that movie please. Make sure you then get Undisputed 3. I hear that they are coming out with Undisputed 4 when he finishes shooting Expendables 2. Watch both of them. Now only if Tony Jaa learned English……..

    • DrAgONzRuLe4554

      Reply Reply Wed, September 18, 2013

      I will check out Undisputed II and III. MJW is a monster when it comes to MMA. Tbh he is my favorite actor.

  • kennethy

    Reply Reply Tue, February 21, 2012

    I can see that everyone is much younger than myself, but I have definitely seen more movies than anyone here because I was 14 when Bruce passed. So here is my list:

    1. Michael Jai White/Scott Adkins – Undisputed 2 & 3 Michael Jai White in Blood and Bone
    Anything either of these two are in off the chain. They are the new heirs of martial arts mastery along with
    2. Donnie Yen – Ip Man 1 & 2, Legend of the Fist His scene are always realistic
    3. Jackie Chan – Rumble in the Bronx, Meals on Wheels, My Lucky Stars, Police Story 2 – that fight scene in the playground and the final fight scene was off the chain. Include the mall fight scene from Police Story 1, and Super Cop
    4. Jet Li – The Bodyguard from Beijing -, Black Mask , Fearless, My Father is a Hero
    5. Bruce Lee – Return of the Dragon and Tony Jaa in Ong Bak, sorry but The Protector was too unrealistic at the end but the temple fight scene wit hLateif Crowder was good.
    6. Sonny Chiba – All of the Street Fighter movies, and all of the Mas Oyama movies he did. Sometimes,l the fight scene were hookey, but when Chiba really wanted to get busy, he did.

    No one asked about the best villians so here is my short list:

    Wang Jang Lee (youtube him) He kicked Jackie Chan’s tooth out of his mouth and actually killed a man in real life. He was a trainer to the Korean Army. I love him and rooted for him in many movies. He is awesome. See him on youtube especially THE ART OF HIGH IMPACT KICKING instructional videos. You can really learn how to kick from watching all 8 videos.
    Yu Rongguang (he is the Iron Monkey) who was a villian in THE KARATE KID (Chan) and MY FATHER IS A HERO

    Hey now what about the women???

    Yukari Oshima – any of her movies. she is the bomb.
    Gina Carano – She is currently featured in HAYWIRE. She has a great future in martial arts films
    Sue Shiomi – Sister Street Fighter

    I do not like wire work, flying in the air or poor camera editing.

    I am sorry, but Van Damme does not make my list because ,most of his fight scenes were too mechanical. I hate when another fighter doesn’t put up a fight. It is phony. People are not punching bags and real fighters DO fight. Most Van Damme fight scenes (except the movie KNOCK OFF and DOUBLE TEAM with Dennis Rodman) are pne sisded – he really needed a Chinese or Japanse fight chroeographer instead of the western fight directors he had (excluding John Woo). He had great potential but blew it once he started using drugs.

    Anyway, I can provide a better list, but that should be a good start.

  • Ben

    Reply Reply Fri, November 25, 2011

    By the way, you said the one film featured Bruce Lee style fighting, i would like to point out that Bruce Lee was trained in the style of Wing Chun, Which was Developed by Ip Man, of whom was Bruce Lee’s Teacher

  • Chris

    Reply Reply Mon, November 14, 2011

    YES. Good list, fist of legend is #1 for sure and your other choices are good too.

  • Josemm

    Reply Reply Tue, October 11, 2011

    Bruce The big boss, fist of fury
    Blood sport1 and 2 ,the quest
    few sequences from matrix
    Kick boxer movies with sasha Mitchell
    krav maga action in Bourne trilogy
    the only capoeira movie i know Only the Strong with Mark Dacascos
    Rocky

    and what about fighting video games Eric?
    I would go for Tekken
    Virtua fighter
    the one of the ufc
    MMa from EAsports
    The beat them up games from the 80`s like:
    Double dragon
    Streets of rage
    etc etc

  • KungFuMaster

    Reply Reply Sun, September 4, 2011

    -Ong Bak II
    -The Protector
    -Once Upon A Time In China I
    -Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
    -Ip Man I

    • Joshua

      Reply Reply Thu, September 22, 2011

      your list is the best.
      I cant believe no one else put the protector

  • Jackie

    Reply Reply Thu, August 4, 2011

    1. Jet Li Fist of Legend, 2 Bruce Lee Enter the Dragon, 3 Jet Li Fearless, 4 Bruce Lee Fist of Fury, 5 Jet Li Fearless. My 5 Stars are: 1 Jet Li, 2 Bruce Lee, 3 Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, 4 Chuck Norris, 5 Michelle Yeohe

  • HitManHey

    Reply Reply Thu, July 28, 2011

    @Bakwena
    Jacki is far FAR more than a stunt man!!
    Have you seen how fast he is in his earlier Hong Kong movies??
    He also brings a great sense of humour to his movies.
    Jacki Chan must have made more great martial arts movies than anyone else going… the guy has been around for years!!

  • HitManHey

    Reply Reply Thu, July 28, 2011

    1 Bruce Lee
    2 Jacki Chan
    3 Sonny Chiba
    4 Donnie Yen
    5 Tony Jaa

  • HitManHey

    Reply Reply Thu, July 28, 2011

    ! Enter the Dragon.
    2 Kung Fu Hustle
    3 The Street Fighter
    4 Prodigal Son
    5 Hero

    • HitManHey

      Reply Reply Thu, July 28, 2011

      I should have added The Story of Ricky Ho in here somewhere but 5 is such a short list.

      • HitManHey

        Reply Reply Thu, July 28, 2011

        DAMN!!! I keep coming up with great movies!!
        my last choice… Kung Fu Pow!!! Hah hilarious movie. A must for all Old School Martial Arts fans!!!!

  • brenton

    Reply Reply Fri, July 22, 2011

    I did not see one person mention Van Damme? Come on now Bloodsport and Kickboxer are amazing martial arts movies, Van Damme is my hero and I’m a little dissapointed nobody mentioned him. Just about every movie he has made(except the newer ones) are good, some great! They are all worth watching

    • kennethy

      Reply Reply Tue, February 21, 2012

      No one mentioned him because he had poor fight directors. He looked so mechanical and his fight scene were phony except when he was directed by Asian stunt choreographers. Westerners (except the Undisputed movies) do not stage great fight scenes. Cory Yuen is great having directed both Van Damme and Jackie Chan and Jet Li and Donnie Yen in many great martial arts movies.

      Don’t get me wrong, even Bloodsport, after looking at it today, is not as good as Michael Jai White – See Universal Soldier 2 where they fight each other. When JCVD did KNOCK OFF and DOUBLE TEAM, he was much better than virtually all of his previous movie fight scenes. See for yourself.

      MJW, instead of Denzel Washington, should have been cast in THE BOOK OF ELI. What a waste,

      See NEVER BACK DOWN 2 for more on MJW.

  • Abz

    Reply Reply Sun, July 17, 2011

    donnie yen (ji dan) is already a master in wing chun he didnt need training months before the movie sorry but most of people lists are just really bad

    hard to pick a top 5 but mine is

    5 Enter the dragon/5 deadly venoms
    4 Ong bak
    3 Iron Monkey
    2 Fist of legend
    1 Ip Man

    • Bakwena

      Reply Reply Tue, November 15, 2011

      Nice choice Abz.U know your story very well.

  • Bakwena Matsaba

    Reply Reply Wed, June 15, 2011

    Guys we must remember that Jackie Chan is just a mere stuntman,but the following movies are still the best.

    1.Iron Monkey(Donnie Yen)
    2.The Fist of Legend(Jet Li)
    3.The Protector(Tony Jaa)
    4.Fearless(Jet Li)
    5.Ongbak 2(Tony Jaa)

  • Delilah Gomez

    Reply Reply Sun, May 29, 2011

    I like this site very much so much superb information.

  • Joe

    Reply Reply Thu, May 12, 2011

    Wonderful choices Eric!
    Thank you!

    Fist of Legend is an excellent choice.
    Here is a list in no specific order:

    1. Ong Bak, the Protector-Tony Jaa.
    2. Fearless- Jet Li.
    3. Enter the Dragon – Bruce Lee.
    4. Fist of Iron- (I can’t recall).
    5. Death ring- Ti Lung & Chen Kwan Tai

    There are so many that I many which I may have forgotten.
    Enjoy

  • Rezbi

    Reply Reply Mon, May 9, 2011

    I don’t usually like jet Li’s fight scenes – they’re too flowery for my taste. But I quite like this one.

    Never seen it before.

    He seems to be doing a bit of what Bruce Lee did in one of his movies. Although I can’t remember which one.

  • Bill E.

    Reply Reply Sun, May 8, 2011

    Enter the Dragon is by far the best martial arts movie ever produced….no one can compare to the legendary Bruce Lee, a man decades ahead his time…..

  • Ben Suff

    Reply Reply Sun, May 8, 2011

    1) Hands down, Drunken Master 2 starring Jackie Chan takes the top spot.
    2) Enter The Dragon
    2) Ali
    3) Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
    4) Dragon : The Bruce Lee Story
    5) Kill Bill

    Karate Kid 1, The Seven Samuri, Ninja Turtels 1, Rumble in the Bonx all take honorable mentions.

  • Phillip

    Reply Reply Sat, May 7, 2011

    Top 5 movies for me…

    1) Way of the Dragon
    2)IpMan 1,2
    3)Game of Death
    4)Rapid Fire
    5)Ong Bak1,2

  • ali

    Reply Reply Sat, May 7, 2011

    1)Bruce Lee
    2)Bruce Lee
    3)4) Jet Li or Jackie Chan
    5)Ip man1-2 main Actor (Donnie Yen)

  • ali

    Reply Reply Sat, May 7, 2011

    and by the way #1 fist of legend jet li is a jeet kune do martail artist in this movie which bruce Lee created the jeet kune do same as mma bruce didn t wih to name his way of martail art …..

  • ali

    Reply Reply Sat, May 7, 2011

    I am really desapionted in u
    u didn t put the godfather of mma the one n only bruce lee u better remake ur list of martail arts

  • Paul B.

    Reply Reply Sat, May 7, 2011

    1) The Protector
    2) Ip Man
    3) Fist of Legend
    4) Drunken Master
    5) Chinese Hercules

    I have a few others but you said 5, lol.

  • Pete

    Reply Reply Sat, May 7, 2011

    5 Deadly Venoms
    Death Duel of Kung Fu
    Twin Warriors
    Fearless

  • PJ

    Reply Reply Sat, May 7, 2011

    Unleashed with Jet Li, from memory, not a pure martial arts fill but some of the action in it is awesome

  • Andres

    Reply Reply Sat, May 7, 2011

    Don’t forget Drunken Master 2.

    One of the best of all time.

  • Nindz

    Reply Reply Fri, May 6, 2011

    Hi Eric

    I have to say i’m huge nut when it comes to hong kong cinema style films in terms of choreography.
    Love they way the are so detailed in moves/forms, it almost like a dance but with martial arts instead
    These guys spend months on scenes and its no wonder they’re a joy to watch

    My list of favorites is huge but for old school hong kong flicks i’d highly recommend the following

    1.) 5 Deadly Venoms, some people have mentioned this above, awesome fights
    2.) Fearless Hyena (One of Jackie’s earlier films)
    3.) Born Invincible (Carter Wong is amazing in this one)
    4.) The Prodigal Son (Yuen Biao & Sammo Hung utilizing wing chun)
    5.) Warriors 2

    You wont go wrong with these classics

    • HitManHey

      Reply Reply Thu, July 28, 2011

      The Prodigal Son is one of my all time favs :0)
      It has the best, worst dubbing ever in any movie ever made… love it lol.
      Some great fight scense… excellent choice!!

  • Ben

    Reply Reply Fri, May 6, 2011

    Not bad. Here are some of my favorite Kung-fu movies:
    36 Chamber of Shaolin
    5 Element Ninjas
    Magic Blade
    5 Deadly Venoms
    Ip Man 1 & 2
    Masked Avengers

    Most Of these films are the old-school Shaw Brothers films. If you like Kung fu films check these out.

  • Adrian

    Reply Reply Fri, May 6, 2011

    5) Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story

    4) House of Flying Daggers

    3) Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon

    2) Hero

    1) Kung Fu Hustle

  • Sean

    Reply Reply Fri, May 6, 2011

    how come nobody has mentioned forbidden kingdom? yeah its a little cheesy but jet li AND jackie chan… enough said! but also i think it would just be easier to list top 5 martial arts movie actors and heres mine.

    5. steven segal
    4. jet li
    3. jackie chan (i like some humor in my martial arts)
    2. chuck norris
    1. Bruce Lee

  • Tom

    Reply Reply Fri, May 6, 2011

    there’s some good ones there but 2 big ones missing.
    RedBelt – cool BJJ movie about a guy walking the path of the warrior.
    And Valhalla Rising – a really awsome battle saga.

    And just for Laughs, what about American Ninja

  • Iain

    Reply Reply Fri, May 6, 2011

    Oh, I forgot, Awesome film called ‘Iron and Silk’ – Biographical drama about a martial arts nerd who trains with a chinese master- see Imdb

  • Iain

    Reply Reply Fri, May 6, 2011

    Some awesome films that haven’t been mentioned:

    Drive (mark Dacascos), Blood and Bone (Micheal Jai White), Enter the Dragon, Dragon (Jason Scott Lee),
    Eye for an Eye (Chuck Norris), Double Impact (JCVD), Under Siege, Lethal Weapon, Rocky 4, China o’Brien (just joking), The Protector (American Jackie Chan buddy cop film from early 80′s – WTF???) and Perfect Weapon (Jeff Speakman)

    How about worst martial arts film? Gymkata?

  • rohail

    Reply Reply Fri, May 6, 2011

    AWSOME VIDEO’S maan , i LOVED IT :D

    personally my favourite’s are

    1) never back down
    2) undisputed 3
    3) big stan
    4) karate kid

  • Ronaldoz

    Reply Reply Fri, May 6, 2011

    Would have to say

    1: Undisputed 3
    2: Enter The Dragon
    3: Bloodsport
    4: Ong Bak
    5: Kung Fu Hustle (If you want a laugh)

  • buster

    Reply Reply Fri, May 6, 2011

    sorry was ment to say you havent got SHOGUNS ASSASSIN not in your top 5

  • buster

    Reply Reply Fri, May 6, 2011

    drunken master
    snake in eagles shadow
    enter the streetfighter {with sonny chiba
    battle creek brawl
    and cant believe SHOGUNS ASSASSIN in your to 5

  • Michaelr

    Reply Reply Fri, May 6, 2011

    Last of the Mohicans w Dan Day Lewis has some of the best fight scenes ever

  • MichaelR

    Reply Reply Fri, May 6, 2011

    No-one’s mentioned Lethal Weapon – the choreography was way ahead of it’s time – one of the Gracies was an advisor, there are also elements of 52 Blocks, Silat and Capoeira in the gritty mix. In a similarly urban vein, both Taken and the Bourne films have some great bone crunching action. While Filippino based, the latter owe much to Segal. Two of my all time favourites: Ghost Dog and The Seven Samurai

  • reven

    Reply Reply Fri, May 6, 2011

    Eric, being a van damme fan I would definitely have to say Kickboxer(first one only), No Retreat , No Surrender and then of course lately, MJ White with the Undisputed 2 & 3. I definitely agree with you with Bloodsport.

  • Kevin

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    Really dig the list, and I’m way stoked you put Bloodsport on there. That’s definitely on my list, as is Ong Bak 1. Have yet to see 2 and 3, but one was such an awesome movie!

    Well, here’s my list:
    1. Enter the Dragon – Bruce Lee
    2. Chinese Connection(I think that’s what it’s called, correct me if I’m wrong guys) – Bruce Lee
    3. Bloodsport – Van Damme
    4. Ong Bak – Tony Jaa
    5. Karate Kid(The original) – Don’t remember the guy’s name…

    another good one I watched recently is the Live action film for Tekken. The story was horrible, but the fight scenes were pretty well done.

  • Cameron

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    I hope you’ve seen Flashpoint with Donnie Yen. The last 20 odd minutes is an mma inspired fight with Colin Chou. Fantastic stuff. Also for pure 80′s entertainment you can’t beat Mismatched Couples. Donnie again at his breakdancing Kung fu’ing best.
    The police story and project a series are some of jackie’s best.
    Drive with Mark Dacascos was, until recently, the best American made ma flick.
    My absolute favourite though is a tie between Fist Of Legend and Drunken Master 2.
    Also, anything with Scott Adkins or Michael Jai White (black dynamite) will do you no harm. They are definitely the future of action.

  • Patrick

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    No Steven Seagal flicks!!!!!????? With all the nut hugging he’s gotten from the MMA community as of late.
    I have to make a top 5 list just dedicated to him. Of course all 3 word titles:

    1. Marked for Death
    2. Out for Justice (seriously impressive stick fighting scene with he and Dan Inosanto)
    3. Above the Law (some cool old school traditional aikido)
    4. Hard to Kill
    5. Under Siege (not 3 words and more action flick but still worthy)

  • Wayne Magruder

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    My top five

    #5 – Lone Wolf McQuade – Chuck Norris and David Carridine
    #4 – The Transporter movies – Jason Statham rocks
    #3 – Bloodsport – Only really good movie VanDam ever made.
    #2 – Game of Death – Bruce Lee – enough said
    # 1 – Enter the Dragon – see comment for # 2

  • Tim

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    Fearless and Hero, starring Jet Li, are two of my favorites. Of course, I have to throw in some classics like the original Karate Kid movies. (Not the Next Karate Kid. That one was awful.)

  • Stian

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    Hey Eric.

    1. Best of the Best 1 – the other ones are crap.
    2. Never Back Down – like the training scenes and music
    3. Kickboxer – big Jean Claude Van Damme fan growing up
    4. Bloodspoort – Undisputed 2 or 3 – both are great

    I see on 9 Sept theres launching a new MMA movie called Warrior – looks good! All the recent movies with famous fighters were crap!

    Rgds.

    Stian

  • Dwight

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    All very good nominations. I may actually add a few of the above to my *Need to be Seen* list.

    Hopefully not repeating… a few that I think need special recognition.

    1) Mark Dacoscos – Brotherhood of the Wolf (Le Pacte des loups) – Although set in the French 1760′s, Dacoscos brings his martial arts flavor to the Iroquois Indian character he portrays. Highly recommend this foreign film loosely based on the French historical story of the Beast of Gévaudan.

    2) Jeff Speakman – Perfect Weapon

  • antony

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    Not sure if this one has been mentioned, but don’t forget ‘kung fu panda’. Amazing fight scenes!

  • cork_boi

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    Some cool choices above, here’s my top 5 (no particular order)
    Ong Bak – Tony Jaa
    Hard Boiled – John Woo (martial arts wt guns)
    Yojimbo- Akira Kurosawa  ( or else the 7 samurai)
    Police story (1 or 2) Jackie Chan
    Enter the dragon (uncensored ) -Bruce Lee 

    special mention : meals on wheels fight scene between Jackie Chan and Benny the Jet.
    Bruce Lee Game of Death
    Blood Sport ( Van Dame)

  • Gianni

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    all the above plus others I remember off the top of head
    - Iron Monkey
    - Tai Chi Boxer
    - Blood & Bone
    Anything with Jet Li, Donnie Yen and Jackie Chan.

  • Nathan mace

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    Master of the flying guillotine. Iron fist pillage. Dogeatdog.Hardboiled,any Chow yun-fat.Jackie Chan,fearless heyena,Crime story,Police story.Rutger Hauser,Blind Fury.Jet Li,Once A Upon A Time In China,Black Mask.Michelle Yeoh movies.The Last Dragon,Bruce Leroy lol.Chuck Norris,The Octagon.Bruce Lee,Game of Death,Big Boss.Van Damme.Hard Target,In Hell.Steven Seagal.Marked for Death,The GlimmerMan.Also the art of war

  • Dwight

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    Hi Eric! I just watched “IP Man” and that movie has all the elements guys like and all the elements a significant other would like too! It’s the story of one of the most famous martial arts practioners in the world. He was Bruce Lee’s teacher! I HIGHLY recommend it!

  • dragonmamma/naomi

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    Most martial arts movies are so over-the-top outrageous that I also prefer them with a big dollop of fantasy and/or comedy. Love the Stephen Chow movies (Kung Fu Hustle and Shaolin Soccer) and all The Matrix movies. (Yes, even the much hated Part III.) The One is another “popcorn” movie that I’ve enjoyed multiple times when I don’t feel like thinking too much.

    I don’t think anyone mentioned Big Trouble in Little China. Do you remember that this was one of Jackie Chan’s early movies before he became a star? He was one of Kurt Russell’s gang; very minor, non-speaking role.

  • frank

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    Shaolin soccer
    Kungfu hustle
    Jackie chan the legend of the drunken master (not positive on the name though)
    Equilibrium(not martial arts really but there is this one awesome gunfight you have to see.)
    Kill bill
    Those are my 5 off the top of my head but yeah I’m sure ill think of better ones as soon as i try to go to bed or something.

  • Patrick

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    Ip Man of course, shame on you for not putting Ip Man on the list. And Jet Li’s The Legend. My 2 favorite of all time, both are very inspirational with AMAZING fight choreography.

  • Will

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    Great list going on here. The listings want me to make a movie holiday. I saw Enter the Dragon pop up on other people’s list a lot, but I ma going to have to say Return of the Dragon is my #1. Just because of the Bruce Lee vs Chuck Norris scene. My #2 being Young Master with Jackie Chan. My #3 would have to be City of Violence (it’s a slow starter, but a lot of awesome fights through out the movie once it gets rolling). #4 is Blood Heat with Kane Kosugi, especially with the sledgehammer fight at the end. My #5 would have to be High Risk with Jet Li. I like the whole martial arts spin on Die Hard they did with that movie.

    A lot to choose from, so if you ask me again tomorrow the list might change. I like a lot of the classics too, like 5 Fingers of Death, The 5 Deadly Venoms, Shaoling vs Ninja, Zatoichi, and some of the Hong Kong films like My Schoolmate the Barbarian, Ip Man, OCTB (organized crime and triad bureau), Young and Dangerous 4 and so on.

    • kennethy

      Reply Reply Tue, February 21, 2012

      High Risk – great choice. Loved it. along with Bodyguard from Beijing, especially the last fight scene where they were both fighting for air, same as the end of Black Mask. When Li fought that White guy at the end of Black Mask and kicks him 5 times with one leg, crossing sides of his leg – just awesome. I always have to rewind that scene just to make sure it was real.

      I do not like wire work, but include FEARLESS in the mix. Along with the last fight scene in UNLEASHED especially when they are fighting in the bathroom.

      wow.

  • MOnkey

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    great to see a lot of love for Drunken master – that original is prob my all time fave –

    also liked ‘Ninja’ from 2009 – with Scot Adkins – some real nice framed shots and camera work – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1182921/

  • nathan o

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    never back down
    anything with bruce lee
    Red Belt ( Chiwetel Ejiofor )
    Ip Man
    Only the Strong

  • Ralph

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    I would throw in Chuck Norris films and one of my favorites “Billy Jack”, yeah I am sure I will catch hell here, but coming from a retired military special ops type maybe you can cut me some slack…

  • Erik

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    Eric,

    I have to agree with most of the movies listed above. Two movies to consider The Best of the Best, excellent movie and one for you and her to watch Romeo Must Die.

    Both worth watching.

  • jim g

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    enter the dragon, mortal kombat are 2 of my personal favorites…………..i was very surprised enter the dragon wasnt on your list bro……considering bruce lee is a legend and quite possibly the godfather of todays modern martial arts

  • William Blanscet

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    Old School B-movies
    Breathing Fire – Bolo Young
    Showdown in Little Tokyo (1991) – Dolph Lundgren, Brandon Lee and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa
    College Kickboxers (1992)
    American Samurai (1992)

    Gorgeous (1999)

    Shootfighter – Bolo Young

    Rapid Fire – Brandon Lee

    Donnie Yen
    Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen
    Chen Zhen

    2010 Ip Man 2
    Ip Man

    2008 Ip Man
    Ip Man

    2007 Flash Point
    Det. Sgt. Ma Jun

    2006 Dragon Tiger Gate
    Dragon Wong

    2005 Kill Zone
    Insp. Ma Kwun

    2002 Hero
    Sky

    Tai Chi master – Jet Li

    Fist of Legend is the all time best.

    • kennethy

      Reply Reply Tue, February 21, 2012

      I would have to separate some of your movies – for instance, SHOWDOWN IN LITTLE TOKYO should be on this list , but the last 20 minutes of FLASHPOINT should.

      Rapid Fire should not, you can see how slow Brandon is, even though I wanted that fight scene to be great. Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa shouldn’t be in this list. Neither should Amreican Samurai. However, Jackie Chan’s 2 fights with his western stuntman in Gorgeous should be.

      I used to like the classical movies but moved on to more realistic fight scenes now.

      type WANG JANG LEE in youtube and see everything he did, including 2 with Jackie Chan.
      Learn how to really kick to kill someone like he did in real life by typing THE ART OF HIGH IMPACT KICKING in youtube – see all 8 videos. Wang Jang Lee was the best villian of movies ever. He can really fight and trained the Korean Army in martial arts for many years.

      • kennethy

        Reply Reply Tue, February 21, 2012

        correction SHOWDOWN IN LITTLE TOKYO should NOT be on that list.

  • Kent

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    Whoops, I see that Keith also mentioned 36th Chamber. Still an awesome movie.

  • Kent

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    One that no one has mentioned:

    Master Killer (aka the 36th Chamber). Come on, a bald Shaolin monk undergoing awesome training sequences? I would have thought that was right up your alley!

    Also, like a lot of people, I’m a fan of both Jet Li and Donnie Yen. One movie with both of them is “Once Upon a Time in China II.” The fight scene between them is epic.

    Another movie that features a battle between two badasses is “Dragons Forever.” Jackie Chan fights Bennie “The Jet” Urquidez, and you get Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao as a bonus.

  • silven

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    Hi Erik
    It is hard to choose only 5, but let’s go, here is my list
    Undisputed 2 and 3
    The Transporter,
    Bruce Lee – Enter the dragon,
    Best of the best

  • Patrick

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    Good pics Eric but I will echo the sentiments of others in saying that a tip of the hat to Bruce Lee was in order. One of the best martial arts flicks that nobody else seems to have seen was a Mark Dacascos movie called “Only the Strong” that featured some sick capoeira. Another campy b-movie fave was The Perfect Weapon starring kenpo flash in the pan Jeff Speakman. Last but not least, although it was pure camp, I can’t leave off 80s standout “Big Trouble in Little China” with Kurt Russell and Kim Cattrall. Honourable mentions are “Rapid Fire” with Brandon Lee and 70s Sony Chiba classic “Street Fighter” for sheer brutality.

    • HitManHey

      Reply Reply Thu, July 28, 2011

      Great to see Sonny Chiba!! But if you are going to mention Big Trouble (which I agree is a great movie) then you have to mention The Last Dragon also

      • kennethy

        Reply Reply Tue, February 21, 2012

        Unfortunately, since I am Black, I found THE LAST DRAGON lame, and yes, I am a real fighter. However, Michael Jai White holds it down finally. Hollywood is racist and you never see any black fighters in movies, ask Taimak the LAST DRAGON as he said in the TV series UNSUNG.

        They never knew what to do with him or any physical action star. example: SPAWN and BLADE’s Wesley Snipes. We black can really fight. BLOOD AND BONE and NEVER BACK DOWN 2 along with UNDISPUTED 2. Check them out.

  • Keith

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    My vote is for Ip Man also…..Ip Man 2 was ok, a couple of good fight scenes, but sequel is always worse.

    Another good Donnie Yen movie is Bodyguards & Assassins.

    Jet Li’s Fearless was very good too.

    OR…You can kick it old school and find some 70-80′s Shaw movies with amazing and long fight sequences like:
    Five Deadly Venoms
    Return of the 5 Deadly Venoms (aka Crippled Avengers)
    Heroes of the East (aka Challenge of the Ninja)
    Invincible Shaolin
    36th Chamber

    Also the History Channel and Channel both produced a series called Human Weapon and Fight Quest where the two hosts would travel to different countries, learn about the martial art of that country and then try to fight a high level practitioner of that art at the end.

    You can find the torrents online.

    That should keep you occupied Eric!

    • ominous

      Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

      drunken master both versions
      best of the best(made my girlfriend cry in high school!)
      way of the dradon/return of the dragon (bruce and chuck)
      ong bak
      I can’t believe nobody has mentioned
      kickboxer!
      lionheart!
      no retreat, no surrender!
      great, no I feel old. lol

  • Willow

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    Fist of Legend is definitely the best martial arts movie of all time, a remake of Bruce’s Fist of Fury and an ode to his Jeet Kune do philosophy. There are some rare Kung Fu films choreographed by Yuen Wu Ping (of Kill Bill, Matrix, Crouching Tiger choreography fame) that are really fun to watch. Dance of the drunken mantis (mantis AND drunken style together, can you believe it?) and if you liked the monkey guy in bloodsport, there is one called mad monkey kung fu that is good, all monkey style kung fu and also on the animal style tip, Snake in the eagle’s shadow is a good old Jackie Chan one.
    I think crouching tiger, hidden dragon would have to get a mention because it is a martial arts film your girlfriend would be ok to watch with you.
    The new karate kid rates as well because I really think they gave the plot more depth and Will Smith’s kid is much less annoying than the original guy.
    Huo Yuan Jia (I think it was called Unbeatable in the US) is a great Jet Li movie, about the first mixed martial arts events recorded in the world media. Fist of legend (and fist of fury) is a fictional story about a student of Huo Yuan Jia returning when he hears of his master’s death and wants to kick some japanese butt in foreign occupied Shanghai.
    Ip Man (Ye Wen in mandarin) 1 and 2 are both kick ass films too. I live in China so there is no shortage of kung fu action to get your hands on here, it’s everywhere…
    Also, I thought “the quest” was pretty good for Van Damme, it was a re-up of bloodsport, van damme plays a guy who gets given to a thai boxing camp as a kid…

  • Drackie

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    My best 4 actors:
    Jackie Chan: Armour of God 1, 2 (and many others:-))
    Mark Dacascos: Drive, Crying Freeman
    Tony Jaa: Protector, Ong Bak
    Jet Li: Fist of Legend, Tai Chi Master

  • Mark

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    1. Jackie Chan – Legend of the Drunken Master. The fight scenes are incredible

    2. Jackie Chan – Who Am I. The fight scene on top of building is worth it alone

    3. Jet Li – Fearless

  • Rob B

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    Karate Kid I and II all time classics. Ninja Assassins is the best new ass kicking movie in a loooonnnggggg time…especially if you’re into the gore stuff. Oh lets not forget The Machine Girl. Not mainstream for sure, but they have at the library. That’s 4, but I’m at work so shouldn’t be on here anyways. But if you haven’t seen the latter 2, highly recommend.

    • HitManHey

      Reply Reply Thu, July 28, 2011

      Machine Girl is more Splatter Punk than Martial arts… perhaps Verses would have been a better choice (a splatter punk movie with lots a great martial arts).

  • jose

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    Watz up coach enter da dragon is# 1 on my list way of da dragon shaolin temple iron monkey kill bill kung fu hustle. The one undisputed 2 all great movies as well

  • Gary Marsh

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    Hi Eric
    It’s a good list. I would have to say my top 5 would have to be:-
    Jackie Chan – Project A
    Jet Li – The One
    Chuck Norris – Side Kick
    Jet Li – Hero
    Jackie Chan – Karate kid

    I must say that I also like all the Bruce lee film as well as all the Karate kid and Matrix films. There is also alot more that I like.

    Take care

    • Red

      Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

      Ha I remember SideKicks, that movie was awesome!

      I would add -
      the Legend of Drunken Master – Jackie Chan being Jackie Chan
      Kill Bill Vol. 1 – I know some people hate it but Uma was kicking major ass!
      Kung Fu Hustle – It has an axe gang; need I say more?
      I also like any martial arts movie that showcases different fighting styles like Bloodsport & the Quest (basically bloodsport 2.0)

      • Red

        Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

        I almost forgot Unleashed with Jet Li. Great fight scenes in that one.

  • Al

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    Dude, you should have had atleast one Bruce Lee movie.. He tried to make his moves as close to realism as possible… I don’t care how old those Bruce Lee movies are!

    • Nick

      Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

      totally agree with Al, at least one Bruce Lee movie should be on here…as well, where are the Shaw Brothers classics? 5 Deadly Venoms and my personal fave Chinese Super Ninja (known by other names) to name a couple.

      oh and for good times, Gymkata!

    • Eric

      Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

      Don’t get me wrong – I think Bruce Lee is the MAN. That being said, I’m not really excited at the prospect of watching his movies again. I thought Enter the Dragon was kind of slow. Yes, they were far ahead of their time, but nowadays, if I had to pick between a Bruce Lee flick or Fist of Legend… well, that’s easy.

      Never seen anything from the Shaw brothers – will have to check em out!

  • nick viikinsalo

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    Undisputed 2 and 3. Amazing fight scenes, and some pretty amazing wushu stuff. Its about an organzied mafia that puts together a fight tournemant to determine the best prison fighter in the world.

  • jeff mann

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    I know it’s probably not a official martial arts movie But the wrestler starring mickey rourke Is amazing.

    • Eric

      Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

      I’ll have to check that out for sure… I consider Wrestling a martial art…

  • Geoff

    Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

    These are great movies… one of my favorite all time is Ip Man with Donnie Yen. Phenomenal fights seens plus a great storyline, directing, acting, choreography… it has it all!

    Check out the trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi3367437849/

    Geoff

    • Geoff

      Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

      Oh, I forgot to mention it’s inspired by the guy who ended up becoming Bruce Lee’s master.

      Fight seens? heh, scenes. I hate my typos.

    • Timson

      Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

      Good call coach, i gotta stick with geoff: Ip Man is my favorite movie as well…Donnie Yen started practising wing chun months before shooting the movie to be able to play master Ip Man as good as possible….

    • Diego

      Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

      I love the IP Man movies here my top 5
      1) Enter the Dragon- There was Martial arts before Bruce lee
      but after him it was never the same
      2)Return of the Dragon- Bruce lee vs Chuck Norris one of the best fight scenes ever
      3)IP Man series- bout bruce lee’s wing chung instructor evenn better if u even done
      Any wing chung
      4)Ong bak series- tony jaa athleticism & martial skill is amazing not to mention being in great shape
      5)Fist of legend- jet li is tge man
      5) Chocolate- bout an autistic girl who winds up roughing her moms
      old gangster buddies to help pay for her mom cancer meds so great fight scenes
      Its up there with the 1st Ong Bak

    • Eric

      Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

      Actually IP Man is the movie my buddy recommended I watch that I did watch a few weeks ago… To be honest, I was underwhelmed… that’s why it’s not on my list!

      • Geoff

        Reply Reply Thu, May 5, 2011

        You know, if they could make an ultimate Martials Arts movie a la the ultimate Action movie, The Expendables, with a bunch of the greatest action stars of all time. I think I’d be in Heaven.

        It’d have to include at least (of the ones still alive):

        1. Jackie Chan
        2. Jet Li
        3. Donnie Yen
        4. Tony Jaa
        5. Jason Stathom
        6. and Chuck Norris too as the older, wise Master :)

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