The Best Martial Artists in History People In Sports
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The Best Martial Artists in History

51,916 views 66 items 13,286 votes 2,055 voters 20 followers 13reranks
The best martial artists in history are some of the most successful, most famous and toughest fighters to ever compete. These tough guys are UFC champions, movie stars and icons in the fighting world. Whether you're a fan of the Chinese greats like Bruce Lee, the MMA front-runners like Chuck Liddell or anywhere in between, it's hard to argue that all of these men are highly skilled in their various disciplines.

Martial arts is one of the widest classifications for combat sports out there. Typically, martial arts describes fighting styles originating in Asia but can describe everything from activities containing strike attacks like tae kwon do, karate, kung fu ad capoeira to grappling activities like judo, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and even sumo wrestling. It is perhaps the wide range of disciplines that makes mastering martial arts so difficult.

Action movie fans may enjoy seeing stars like Jackie Chan and Jet Li compete on the silver screen but some may not know that before these talented men were Hollywood favorites, they were leaders in the Chinese martial arts world. Bruce Lee is arguably one of the best martial artists ever and helped the sport gain popularity. In part, Lee opened the door for tough guys, such as Jean-Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris, to become some on-screen martial arts legends.

But there's much more to martial arts than what you see in movies. In modern times, the UFC, or Ultimate Fighting Championship, is the largest mixed martial arts (MMA) company in the world and is home to some of the best MMA fighters to ever compete. UFC Hall of Fame members such as Randy Couture, Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrocks have inspired younger fighters like Anderson Silva, Georges St. Pierre and Fedor Emelianenko to become some of the toughest professional fighters ever.

Is it fair to compare Bruce Lee to Anderson Silva without having the two men compete head to head? Maybe not but that's where you come in, folks. Tell us which fighters you think are the best in history by voting for your favorite, adding those not listed and re-ranking this list your way below!

List Criteria: Only Martial Arts stars, MMA is fine. No boxers nor fictional characters

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  1. 51
    Up 28
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    1931 More
    31
  2. 52
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    1931 More
    30
  3. 53
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    often listed
    Mark Coleman

    1964 More
    29
  4. 54
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    No image

    George St Pierre

    29
    added by: JohnHernandez
  5. 55
    Up 28
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    Michael Jai White

    28
  6. 56
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    No image

    Don the Dragon Wilson

    28
  7. 57
    Up 18
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    often listed
    Dan Severn

    1958 More
    28
  8. 58
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    No image

    Bart Vale

    28
    added by: JonasAristondo
  9. 59
    Up 12
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    often listed
    Daniel Larusso

    28
  10. 60
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    No image

    new! Al Tracy

    27
    added by: JonasAristondo
  11. 61
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    Prasanna Lanka Thalpa

    27
    added by: UshanIndeewara
    He is a cheaf instructor and founder of yoga budo. the best matial artist in srilanka .  ... more
  12. 62
    Up 20
    Down 68

    controversial
    Tito Ortiz

    1975 More
    26
  13. 63
    Up 10
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    controversial
    Alistair Overeem

    1980 More
    26
  14. 64
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    25
  15. 65
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    22
  16. 66
    Up 12
    Down 109

    controversial
    Kimbo Slice

    1974 More
    18
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