Martial Artists

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 1 
Bruce Lee
(The Most Influential Martial Artist of All Time)
Bruce Lee
48
Birthdate: November 27, 1940
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: July 20, 1973

An iconic actor and martial artist, Bruce Lee, in his short life, gained international fame and developed his own form of martial arts, Jeet Kune Do. In films, he debuted as a child actor and became a huge Hollywood star after the release of his last film Enter the Dragon.

 2 
Chuck Norris
(Martial Artist and Actor Best Known for His Action Movies)
Chuck Norris
34
Birthdate: March 10, 1940
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ryan, Oklahoma, United States

A black belt in Tang Soo Do, Brazilian jiu jitsu and Judo, Chuck Norris is an American martial artist, screenwriter and a popular action film star. He has won many martial arts championships. He later founded his own discipline, Chun Kuk Do. He has also written books on martial arts, philosophy, politics, Christianity, plus Western novels and biography.

 3 
Donnie Yen
(Hong Kong Actor, Martial Artist and Action Director)
Donnie Yen
14
Birthdate: July 27, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Guangzhou, Guangdong, China

Donnie Yen is a Hong Kong martial artist, actor, stuntman, action choreographer, director, and producer. He has won several wushu tournaments and is credited for introducing mixed martial arts to mainstream Asian cinema. He is also credited with introducing UFC champion Zhang Weili to MMA. Donnie Yen has won several awards like Hong Kong Film Awards and Golden Horse Awards.

 4 
Jackie Chan
(One of the Most Popular Action Film Stars of All Time Known for His 'Slapstick Acrobatic' Fighting Style)
Jackie Chan
12
Birthdate: April 7, 1954
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Victoria Peak, Hong Kong

Jackie Chan is a martial artist, actor, film director, screenwriter and singer and is known for his acrobatic fighting style, comic timing and innovative stunts in his films, which he performs himself. Rumble in the Bronx, Shanghai Noon and Rush Hour are some of his popular Hollywood films. He has a widespread following in both the Eastern and Western hemispheres.

 5 
Yip Man
(Martial Artist and a Grandmaster of the Martial Art 'Wing Chun')
Yip Man
22
Birthdate: October 1, 1893
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Foshan, China
Died: December 2, 1972

Yip Man was a Chinese martial artist best remembered for teaching martial arts to the famous Chinese American martial artist, Bruce Lee. Yip Man is credited with teaching not only Bruce Lee but also many other students who went on to become martial arts masters. A biographical martial arts film titled Ip Man was inspired by his life and career.

 6 
Dolph Lundgren
(Starred in Rocky IV as The Imposing Soviet Boxer 'Ivan Drago')
Dolph Lundgren
14
Birthdate: November 3, 1957
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Spånga, Sweden

Swedish actor, Dolph Lundgre,n is mainly known as an action hero. He gained recognition with the 1985 Hollywood film Rocky IV and then went on to do many action and thriller movies like Joshua Tree, Showdown in Little Tokyo, Bridge of Dragons, Universal Soldier, Diamond Dogs and The Expendables. He has also directed several films like Missionary Man and Icarus.

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 7 
Tony Jaa
(Thai Martial Artist)
Tony Jaa
12
Birthdate: February 5, 1976
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Surin, Thailand
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
 8 
Iko Uwais
(Indonesian Actor and Martial Artist)
Iko Uwais
8
Birthdate: February 12, 1983
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Jakarta, Indonesia
Height: 5'6" (168 cm)
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 9 
Brandon Lee
(American Actor, Martial Artist and Son of Film Star Bruce Lee)
Brandon Lee
2
Birthdate: February 1, 1965
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Oakland, California, United States
Died: March 31, 1993

The son of the legendary martial artist and actor, Bruce Lee, Brandon Lee followed in his father’s footsteps. Trained in martial arts, he made his film debut in the 1980s and became a successful star in his own right. He was accidentally wounded while filming The Crow and died. The film, dedicated to him, became a hit.

 10 
Joe Taslim
(Actor and Martial Artist Known for His Films: ‘The Raid’, ‘Fast & Furious 6’ and ‘Mortal Kombat’)
Joe Taslim
7
Birthdate: June 23, 1981
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Palembang, Indonesia

Indonesian actor and martial art expert Joe Taslim is best known for his appearances in the films The Raid: Redemption and Fast and Furious 6. He was previously part of the Indonesian national judo team and had won several championships. He has also played Li Yong in the series Warrior.

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 11 
Ip Chun
(Chinese Martial Artist and Actor)
Ip Chun
7
Birthdate: July 10, 1924
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Foshan, China
 12 
Jet Li
(Actor and Martial Artist Who was All-Around Youth Champion in the National Wushu Competition)
Jet Li
10
Birthdate: April 26, 1963
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Beijing, China

Jet Li is one of the most popular Asian actors to have made it big in the American film industry. A martial artist and former Wushu champion, he won a national championship before retiring from competitive Wushu to focus on his acting career. Also a well-known philanthropist, Jet Li is closely associated with the Red Cross Society of China.

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 13 
Michael Jai White
(The First African-American to Portray a Major Comic Book Superhero in a Major Motion Picture)
Michael Jai White
4
Birthdate: November 10, 1967
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Michael Jai White is an American martial artist and actor. When he portrayed Al Simmons in the film Spawn, White became one of the first black actors to play a major comic book superhero in the history of American film industry. Known for his martial arts skills, White has played leading roles in popular action films like Mortal Kombat: Legacy.

 14 
Morihei Ueshiba
(Japanese Martial Arts Master and Founder of the Martial Art of ‘Aikido’)
Morihei Ueshiba
8
Birthdate: December 14, 1883
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tanabe, Wakayama, Japan
Died: April 26, 1969

Morihei Ueshiba was a Japanese martial artist. Referred to as the Great Teacher, Ueshiba is credited with founding aikido, a martial art which is now practiced around the world. During the course of his career, Ueshiba set up many dojos, including the Aikikai Hombu Dojo, and taught several students, many of whom are celebrated martial artists in their own right.

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 15 
Carlos Gracie
(Martial Artist and Developer of ‘Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu’)
Carlos Gracie
3
Birthdate: September 14, 1902
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Belém, Pará, Brazil
Died: October 7, 1994

Remembered as a pioneer of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Carlos Gracie was enrolled into wrestling classes to channelize his aggression in childhood. He also followed what is known as the Gracie diet. Thirteen of his 21 children have the Brazilian Jiu-jitsu black belt. He and his family developed the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

 16 
Jessie Graff
(American Professional Stuntwoman and Television Personality)
Jessie Graff
13
Birthdate: January 12, 1984
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

Best known for being a top performer on the obstacles show American Ninja Warrior, stuntwoman and TV star Jessie Graff is a black belt in Taekwondo and is well-versed in other forms of martial arts, too. An aerospace engineering graduate, she has also been a competitive gymnast and a pole vaulter.

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 17 
Wong Fei-hung
(Chinese Martial Artist and Physician)
Wong Fei-hung
7
Birthdate: July 9, 1847
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Foshan, China
Died: April 17, 1925

Wong Fei-hung was a Chinese physician, martial artist, and folk hero. Wong is the subject of many television series and films. Between the 1940s and 1980s, Wong was portrayed by Hong Kong actor Kwan Tak-hing in over 70 films which earned Kwan the nickname Master Wong. Wong was also played by Jet Li in Once Upon a Time in China.

 18 
Sasaki Kojirō
(Japanese Swordsman)
Sasaki Kojirō
7
Birthdate: 1575 AD
Birthplace: Fukui, Japan
Died: April 13, 1612

Sixteenth-century Japanese swordsman Sasaki Kojirō was known as the Demon of the Western Provinces because of his skill with the nodachi, a sword that demons used. Known for his signature move, Tsubame Gaeshi, he died fighting Miyamoto Musashi, his arch rival, at what is now known as Ganryu island.

 19 
Sonny Chiba
(Japanese Actor and Martial Artist Known for His Role in the 1974 Film 'The Street Fighter')
Sonny Chiba
9
Birthdate: January 22, 1939
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Fukuoka, Japan
Died: August 19, 2021

Sadao Maeda, better known as Sonny Chiba, was initially a talented gymnast, aspiring to be part of the Japanese Olympic team, though a back injury ended his sports career. Trained in martial arts, he later soared to fame with movies such as The Street Fighter. He died of COVID-19 at age 82.

 20 
Mas Oyama
(Founder of ‘Kyokushin Karate')
Mas Oyama
8
Birthdate: June 4, 1923
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Gimje, Zenra-hoku Prefecture, Korea
Died: April 26, 1994

Legendary Japanese karate master Mas Oyama, who founded Kyokushin Karate, was known by his fans as The God Hand. Known as someone who had fought bears and bulls with his bare hands, he was also an actor and author. Following his death, he was declared a God by a Japanese religion.

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 21 
Cung Le
(Actor & Mixed Martial Artist Known for His Role in the 2012 Film ‘The Man with the Iron Fists’)
Cung Le
3
Birthdate: May 25, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Cung Le is a Vietnamese-born American actor, retired kickboxer, Sanshou fighter, and mixed martial artist. He has competed in popular promotions, such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). A former International Kickboxing World Champion in the Light Heavyweight division, Cung Le has an impressive record of 17–0 in kickboxing. He is also a former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion.

 22 
Frank Dux
(Canadian-American Martial Artist and Fight Choreographer)
Frank Dux
10
Birthdate: April 6, 1956
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada

Frank Dux is a Canadian martial artist and fight choreographer. He began his training in ninjutsu as a teenager. He claims he served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve for a few years and was awarded the Medal of Honor; however, this claim is disputed. He later founded his own school of ninjutsu called Dux Ryu Ninjutsu. 

 23 
Wu Jing
(Chinese Actor, Director and Martial Artist)
Wu Jing
3
Birthdate: April 3, 1974
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Beijing, China

Wu Jing is a Chinese martial artist, actor, and director best known for playing important roles in martial arts films like Fatal Contact, Tai Chi Boxer, and the SPL films. Widely regarded as one of the most bankable Chinese actors of all time, Wu Jing has been featured in the Forbes China Celebrity 100 list on a couple of occasions.

 24 
Benson Henderson
(American Mixed Martial Artist and Former UFC Lightweight Champion)
Benson Henderson
7
Birthdate: November 16, 1983
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

Benson Henderson is an MMA fighter who has competed in promotions like WEC and UFC. A former UFC Lightweight Champion, Henderson currently competes for Bellator MMA in their Lightweight division. Henderson is also a former WEC Lightweight Champion. In 2012, he was named Fighter of the Year by ESPN. He also won Fighter of the Year Bazzie Award in 2012.

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 25 
Gordon Liu
(Chinese Actor and Martial Artist Known for His Role of 'San Te' in 'The 36th Chamber of Shaolin')
Gordon Liu
5
Birthdate: August 22, 1951
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Guangdong, China

Gordon Liu is a Chinese martial artist and martial arts film actor best known for his portrayal of San Te in the 1978 Hong Kong kung fu film The 36th Chamber of Shaolin. He then went on to appear in popular films like Kill Bill: Volume 1. Gordon made his Bollywood debut in the 2009 film Chandni Chowk to China.

 26 
Cynthia Rothrock
(American Martial Artist and Actress)
Cynthia Rothrock
6
Birthdate: March 8, 1957
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Wilmington, Delaware, United States

Cynthia Rothrock was not just a mixed martial artist but has also acted in various martial arts films. The Black Belt Hall of Famer began training in martial arts at 13 and eventually ended up being one of the first women martial artists to be featured on the martial arts magazine covers.

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 27 
Li Ching-Yuen
(Chinese Herbalist and Martial Artist)
Li Ching-Yuen
5
Birthplace: Chongqing, China
Died: May 6, 1933

Li Ching-Yuen was a Chinese martial artist, herbalist, and tactical advisor. Li Ching-Yuen, who is believed to have lived off a diet of rice wine and exotic herbs throughout his life, is best remembered for his extreme longevity claim. According to his claim, Li Ching-Yuen lived for 250 years, although gerontologists consider that to be a myth.

 28 
Jim Kelly
(American Athlete, Martial Artist and Actor)
Jim Kelly
0
Birthdate: May 5, 1946
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Paris, Kentucky, United States
Died: June 29, 2013

Athlete and martial artist Jim Kelly won hearts with his Afro hairstyle and his roles in action film such as Enter the Dragon and Black Belt Jones. Apart from films, he also excelled in karate, winning contests such as the International Middle Weight Karate Championship. He has also played professional tennis.

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 29 
Wong Jack Man
(Chinese Martial Artist)
Wong Jack Man
3
Birthdate: 1941 AD
Birthplace: Hong Kong
Died: December 26, 2018

Chinese martial artist Wong Jack-man is best remembered for his duel with Bruce Lee in 1964. The duel was mired in controversy, as it was held privately in Oakland. There are different accounts of the fight, and Wong released his own version in the Chinese newspaper Chinese Pacific Weekly.

 30 
Daniel Bernhardt
(Swiss Actor, Model, and Martial Artist Best Known for His Role as ‘Kirill’ in ‘John Wick')
Daniel Bernhardt
3
Birthdate: August 31, 1965
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Worblaufen, Switzerland

While he initially studied architectural design, Daniel Bernhardt also co-owned a martial arts center with his brother. He later worked as a model in Paris, before stepping into films. Known for his roles in action films such as the Bloodsport franchise, he was later seen as Agent Johnson in The Matrix Reloaded.

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 31 
Yayan Ruhian
(Indonesian Martial Artist and Actor)
Yayan Ruhian
2
Birthdate: October 19, 1968
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Tasikmalaya, Indonesia
Height: 5'2" (157 cm)
 32 
Jigoro Kano
(Japanese Educator, Athlete, and the Founder of Judo)
Jigoro Kano
0
Birthdate: December 10, 1860
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hyogo, Japan
Died: May 4, 1938

Legendary Japanese athlete Jigoro Kano is remembered as the founder of judo. A fine educator, he had also had a 23-year stint as the principal of 2 schools, which later became the University of Tsukuba. He was also the first Asian to be part of the International Olympic Committee.

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 33 
Rener Gracie
(Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Practitioner)
Rener Gracie
9
Birthdate: November 10, 1983
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Torrance, California, United States

Part of the Brazilian Gracie family that has pioneered the its own form of martial arts, Rener Gracie has a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He has also co-created the Gracie University martial arts curriculum and owns Quikflip Apparel. He is married to three-time WWE Divas Champion Eve Torres.

 34 
Phillip Rhee
(American Martial Artist, Actor, Director, Screenwriter, and Film Producer)
Phillip Rhee
6
Birthdate: September 7, 1960
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Seoul, South Korea
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
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 35 
The Great Gama
(Amateur wrestler)
The Great Gama
2
Birthdate: May 22, 1878
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Amritsar
Died: May 22, 1963

A world-renowned Indian pehlwan, or wrestler, Ghulam Mohammad Baksh Butt competed using the ring name The Great Gama. Also known as Rustam-e-Hind, he remained undefeated over an illustrious career of almost 5 decades and even saved many Hindus during the communal riots at the time of the Partition of India.

 36 
Robert Wall
(American Actor and Martial Artist)
Robert Wall
3
Birthdate: August 22, 1939
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: San Jose, California, United States
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
 37 
Ip Ching
(Hong Kong Martial Artist)
Ip Ching
3
Birthdate: July 7, 1936
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Foshan, China
Died: January 25, 2020

Ip Ching was a Hong Kong martial artist best remembered as a Grandmaster of the famous Ip Man family of Ving Tsun Kung Fu; he was only one of five Grandmasters of the family. Ip Ching and his brother Chun served as Wing Chun consultants for the film Ip Man 3 in which the former was portrayed by Jim Liu.

 38 
Nicholas Tse
(Hong Kong Actor, Martial Artist and Chef)
Nicholas Tse
0
Birthdate: August 29, 1980
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: British Hong Kong
Known as "Hong Kong’s Bad Boy," Nicholas Tse, son of legendary actors Patrick Tse and Deborah Lee, has had a colorful career, peppered with music, movies, and martial arts. He is also a cook and an entrepreneur, though his Hong Kong bakery has closed down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
 39 
Yuen Biao
(Hong Kong Actor, Martial Artist and Stuntman)
Yuen Biao
4
Birthdate: July 26, 1957
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Castle Peak Road - Ting Kau, Hong Kong
 40 
Prateik Babbar
(Indian Actor and Martial Artist)
Prateik Babbar
3
Birthdate: November 28, 1986
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
 41 
Robin Shou
(Hong Kong-American Actor & Martial Artist Known for His Role in the Film ‘Mortal Kombat’ as ‘Liu Kang')
Robin Shou
4
Birthdate: July 17, 1960
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hong Kong
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 42 
Hector Lombard
(Cuban-born Australian Bodybuilder, Mixed Martial Artist, and Former Olympic Judoka)
Hector Lombard
2
Birthdate: February 2, 1978
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Matanzas, Cuba
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
 43 
Yuen Wah
(Hong Kong Action Film Actor and Martial Artist)
Yuen Wah
2
Birthdate: September 2, 1950
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hong Kong
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
 44 
Joe Lewis
(American Martial Artist, Actor, Karateka, and Kickboxer)
Joe Lewis
3
Birthdate: March 7, 1944
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Knightdale, North Carolina, United States
Died: August 31, 2012
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 45 
Sho Kosugi
(Japanese Martial Artist and Actor Known for His 'Ninja' Roles in 1980s Film 'Revenge of the Ninja)
Sho Kosugi
2
Birthdate: June 17, 1948
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Minato, Tokyo, Japan

Apart from being a martial artist, Sho Kosugi was also one of the best actors of the Japanese ninja craze of the 1980s. The son of a fisherman, he had begun learning martial arts at age 5. Nicknamed The Visible Ninja, he later impressed audiences in films such as the Cannon ninja trilogy.

 46 
Teddy Riner
(French Judoka)
Teddy Riner
3
Birthdate: April 7, 1989
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Les Abymes, Guadeloupe, France
Height: 6'8" (203 cm)
 47 
Dan Inosanto
(American Martial Artist and Actor)
Dan Inosanto
2
Birthdate: July 24, 1936
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Stockton, California, United States
Height: 5'6" (168 cm)
 48 
Rolls Gracie
(Brazilian Martial Artist)
Rolls Gracie
2
Birthdate: March 28, 1951
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Died: June 6, 1982
 49 
Philip Ng
(American Actor, Martial Artist and Action Choreographer)
Philip Ng
5
Birthdate: September 16, 1977
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hong Kong
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
 50 
Eddie Bravo
(Martial Arts Instructor, Podcaster and Stand-up Comedian)
Eddie Bravo
8
Birthdate: May 15, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Santa Ana, California, United States

Born Edgar Cano, martial arts instructor Eddie Bravo later took up the last name of his stepfather. A black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, he has also launched the grappling tournament Eddie Bravo Invitational. He also developed his own signature style of martial arts, known as the 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu.