Top 10 Martial Artists in Cinema
Fact: Martial arts movies are awesome. Whether they include amazing wire-fu acrobatics or lousy dubs with ridiculous techniques, there’s something about them nerds crave (probably the part where people get punched in the face really hard). Sure, there are a lot of terrible ones out there, but for some reason we still love them.
With that in mind, we decided to tackle a list that’s been argued to death by bros in the dark corners of bars and even darker corners of frat houses. However, we’re here to deliver a little honor (very little) by putting together a list of our favorite martial arts actors. The only rule was that a person had to have a foundation in martial arts before becoming an actor (to help legitimize his skills). While some of the people on this list are no-brainers, we threw in one or two curve balls to shake things up, and we made sure to take into account a star’s cinematic presence as well as his actual abilities. We’re sure that this is going to be a controversial list, but that’s never stopped us before. So make sure you stretch, because this week’s list is about to come at you, bro.
10. Michael Jai White
Styles: Shotokan, Tae Kwon Do, Kobudo, Goju Ryu, Tang Soo Do, Wushu and Kyokushin.
Best Known for Spawn, Black Dynamite and The Dark Knight
He just looks like he wants to break you.
Michael Jai White has been kicking butt and taking names since the early 90s, but it wasn’t until his mind-blowingly awesome movie Black Dynamite that we began to take notice of him. Upon further inspection, we discovered that the guy owns. While he might have a habit of appearing in awful movies, he’s always the coolest guy in them (and to be honest this list really isn’t geared towards films that make a significant contribution towards cinema). After his appearance in the short lived web series Mortal Kombat: Legacy we knew that this was a guy to keep an eye on. While he’s still yet to hit it big and make a house hold name for himself, we wanted to do our part by making his presence known, which is why he’s the perfect contender to kick off our list.
9. Ray Park
Style: Northern Shaolin Kung Fu and Kickboxing
Best Known for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and X-Men
Don't worry, Ray, we'll get your lines in a voice over later on.
You might remember Ray Park from a number of different roles where he had to wear a bunch of makeup and wasn’t allowed to talk (Headless Horseman, Snake Eyes, Darth Maul, etc.). We remember him as the guy who delivers impressive, high-kicking action everywhere he goes and is quickly becoming one of our favorite action stars. Sure, he’s been given lines in movies before, and those movies might not have been very good, but we have faith that soon he’ll get a chance at a real speaking part someday, or maybe even a monologue… In a good movie. Until then, we’re just going to have be satisfied with him being the awesome silent type, which we’re not too broken up over. Still, he’s someone to watch out for in the future.
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