Hollywood actors

10 Hollywood Actors Who Are Also Certified Martial Artists

When we think of actors in an action movie, we tend to associate them with over-the-top graphics and stunt doubles. There’s no doubt that Hollywood has a knack for making complete amateurs appear like the real McCoy on the big screen. But there’s a surprising number of actors who aren’t all in style, but who have actually earned their stripes as authentic martial artists. Some of them even make it a point to do their own stunts, refusing to let a stuntman risk his life. These rare breeds of actors remind us that not all roles are fluffy.


ten Jason Statham

The British actor known for his tough, hardcore personality and explosive fighting skills, Jason Statham is more than just a front for the camera. His fighting abilities stem from his athletic background as well as specialized training in martial arts practices such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Wing Chun kung fu, karate, kickboxing, and other disciplines. He began training in martial arts as a teenager and also represented England as a diver in the 1990 Commonwealth final. Being one of the few actors to insist that his fight scenes not are not choreographed, he did it in most of his films, but especially in Crank, The Transporter, The Fast and The Furious, and The Expendables franchisees.

9 Wesley Snipes

As one of the few African American actors to dominate the world of martial arts and action movies, Wesley Snipes has made a legend of his mark as a skilled martial artist. Although his early roles in films like New Jack City (1991), Jungle Fever (1991), and White Men Can’t Jump (1992) didn’t show off his fighting technique, his skills were solid and sharp as a blade (pun intended). From the age of 12, Snipes began training in martial arts and earned a 5th dan black belt in Shotokan Karate as well as training in Hapkido, Kung Fu, Brazilian Jui-Jitsu and kickboxing. His role in Blade immortalized him as a martial arts legend, in addition to other low-budget films focusing more on his fighting skills.


8 Keanu Reeves

Besides his excellent on-screen performances in films like Dracula, Devil’s Advocate, Matrixand John Wick, Keanu Reeves is also said to be one of the most humble and least decorated actors in Hollywood. He is best recognized in modern times for his roles in The Matrix Trilogy and John Wick, both of which are high-intensity action films with multiple martial arts fight scenes. Asked about his expertise in martial arts, he replied: “I have no training in martial arts…I only know the Kung-Fu movie.” However, what he lacks in personal training he makes up for in self-performing stunts. In the Matrix and John Wick franchises, in particular, he does 90% of his stunts, even at age 56.

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7 Jackie Chan

Jackie Chan has presented his martial arts disciplines originating in Hong Kong with the world since the 1970s in kung fu films such as Little Canton Tiger (1973), New Fist of Fury (1976)and Drunken Master (1978). He even worked alongside the legendary Bruce Lee as a stuntman in Fist of Fury and Enter The Dragon. He found success in Hollywood with films like Franchises Police Story, Armor of God 2: Operation Condor, Rush Hour, Who Am I?, The Accidental Spy, Shanghai Noon, The Tuxedo, and a series of other films with other famous Hollywood celebrities. Chan is most appreciated for personally performing all of his stunts, even to the point of near fatality. No risk, no reward I guess.


6 Jet Li

Jet Li’s early mastery of Wushu, or “military martial arts” led him to stardom on the Hollywood screen. He was reportedly discovered by Chinese authorities because of his athletic abilities and was invited to attend the Beijing Sports and Exercise School. His first major film was Shaolin Temple and Shaolin Martial Arts. He rose to international fame when he starred in Romeo Must Die, Cradle 2 The Grave, Lethal Weapon, The Expendables, The One and War to name a few. His speed and agility made him exceptional to work with. Li has performed virtually all of his stunts by himself, but only uses a stunt double for complex action sequences.


5 Jean Claude Van Damme

As a highly skilled and skilled martial artist actor, Jean Claude Van Damme has become a household name with his charming and flirtatious, on-and-off attitude. The Belgian actor is also recognized as a filmmaker and choreographer, performing his own stunts in films like Blood Sport, Timecop, Hard Target and Kickboxer. He is known specifically for his epic splits, which he has featured in his films, as well as in a Volvo commercial where he splits between two moving trucks to show off the accuracy and reliability of news outdoors.


4 Michael Jai White

Michael Jai White is another of the few African American actors to have cemented his role as an action-packed martial artist and is also one of the few who is daring enough to pull off his own stunts. White is also able to wear many hats as he fulfills the roles of writer, director, and producer. He started his martial arts journey at the age of seven and holds black belts in different styles of martial arts like Shotokan, Taekwondo, Kobudo, Goju Ryu and Wushu to name a few. some. His film roles include his portrayal of Mike Tyson in Tyson, The Toxic Avenger Part II, Blood and Bone, Undisputed, Universal Soldier: The Return (alongside Jean Claude Van Damme), and a host of other films. He is also the first African-American to embody a superhero with his role in Spawn.




3 Taylor Lautner

Taylor Lautner may hold the title of Hollywood’s youngest martial artist, but don’t let her age deter you. Best known for his role as Jacob Black in the Twilight film series, he captivates the crowd with his athletic physique as well as his impressive fighting abilities. His interest and natural ability to study the martial arts fighting style of karate from the age of six led him to excel in the discipline. At the age of eight he became a black belt and at twelve he won three gold medals for representing America in the World Karate Association. In 2015, he starred in the action-thriller film Parkour, Tracersin which he personally performed all of his stunts.


2 Steven Segal

Recognized as one of the veterans of the martial arts world, Steven Seagal has distinguished himself as an actor, producer, screenwriter and martial artist. The Michigan native began studying martial arts at a very tender age. He traveled to Japan at age 17 to teach English and hone his martial arts skills, which later earned him black belts in aikido, karate, judo and kendo. He dominated the martial arts movie era of the 90s, with movies like Above the law, hard to killand Under Siegeand later in movies with celebrities like Ja Rule in Exit wounds.


1 Bruce Lee

They say it’s best to save the best for last! Bruce Lee needs no introduction as one of the greatest martial artists of all time. Oddly enough, Bruce Lee never formally studied karate, but you wouldn’t tell by his precise speed and aggressive fighting style. He also has created his own fighting style in 1967 called Jeet Kun Do, which was essentially his own expression of kung fu. Despite his speed, precision, and incredible work ethic, Bruce Lee didn’t perform all of his stunts. This may be due to the fact that he is myopic. But his personal stuntman for his acrobatic moves was Yuen Wah, as well as Jackie Chan who worked as a stuntman in his films.

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Source: Bruce Lee, distract


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