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10.3k voters

The All-Time Greatest Martial Arts Actors

Updated April 27, 2021 60.9k votes 10.3k voters 422.5k views188 items

List RulesVote up your favorite film fighters of all time!

This list of the all time greatest martial arts actors (and actresses) is ranked by kung fu fans worldwide. Anyone can vote on the best martial artists here, which means these actors are truly fan favorites. Whether they have magical screen presence or just the physical abilities to make your jaw drop, these famous actors represent the best in kicking butt.

Though the genre of martial arts films is also occasionally known as "kung fu films," the term in fact only refers to a subset of Chinese martial arts, and can also apply to a variety of traditional practices not directly related to self-defense. (Wushu is the more accurate blanket term for Chinese martial arts and fighting techniques.) The performers on this list practice a variety of martial arts traditions and styles, including the "Jeet Kun Do" techniques innovated by people like Bruce Lee, the Muay Thai style of Tony Jaa, or the traditional karate employed by Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Who are the best martial arts actors of all time? These performers also represent a variety of nationalities, including Chinese, Japanese, Thai and American actors. Vote up your favorite martial artists below, and then check back to see if they topped our list! 

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  • 1
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    Bruce Lee

    Chinatown, California

    Credits (Film)Enter the Dragon, Limitless, Fist of Fury, Return of the Dragon, The Big Boss

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  • 2
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    606

    Jackie Chan

    Victoria Peak, Hong Kong

    Credits (Film)Kung Fu Panda, Rush Hour, Enter the Dragon, Around the World in 80 Days, Rush Hour 2

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  • 3
    2,408
    559

    Jet Li

    Beijing, China

    Credits (Film)The Expendables, The Expendables 2, Hero, Lethal Weapon 4, The Expendables 3

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  • 4
    1,806
    495

    Donnie Yen

    Guangzhou, China

    Credits (Film)Blade II, Hero, Ip Man, Ip Man 2, Shanghai Knights

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  • 5
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    Tony Jaa

    Phanom Dong Rak District

    Credits (Film)Furious 7, Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior, The Protector, Ong Bak 2: The Beginning, Ong Bak 3

  • 6
    810
    284

    Chow Yun-Fat

    Lamma Island, Hong Kong

    Credits (Film)Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Killer, Hard Boiled

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  • 7
    1,366
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    Jason Statham

    Shirebrook, Derbyshire

    Credits (Film)Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, The Expendables, Fast & Furious 6, The Expendables 2

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  • 8
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    Bolo Yeung

    Guangzhou, China

    Credits (Film)Enter the Dragon, Bloodsport, Double Impact, Millionaires Express, All Men Are Brothers

  • 9
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    357

    Sammo Hung

    Hong Kong

    Credits (Film)Enter the Dragon, Around the World in 80 Days, Ip Man 2, The Victim, Come Drink with Me

  • 10
    1,013
    484

    Michelle Yeoh

    Ipoh, Perak

    Credits (Film)Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Sunshine, Kung Fu Panda 2, Tomorrow Never Dies

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  • 11
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    Brandon Lee

    Oakland, California

    Credits (Film)The Crow, Showdown in Little Tokyo, Rapid Fire, Kung Fu: The Movie, Laser Mission

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    Scott Adkins

    Sutton Coldfield, United Kingdom

    Credits (Film)X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Bourne Ultimatum, The Expendables 2, Zero Dark Thirty, The Pink Panther

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  • 13
    546
    212

    Iko Uwais

    Jakarta, Indonesia

    Credits (Film)The Raid: Redemption, Merantau, Man of Tai Chi, Berandal, The Raid 2

  • 14
    1,168
    571

    Michael Jai White

    New York City, New York

    Credits (Film)The Dark Knight, Black Dynamite, Why Did I Get Married?, Spawn, Why Did I Get Married Too?

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  • 15
    449
    163

    Robin Shou

    Hong Kong, China

    Credits (Film)Mortal Kombat, Death Race, Beverly Hills Ninja, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

  • 16
    1,500
    862

    Jean-Claude Van Damme

    Brussels, Sint-Agatha-Berchem

    Credits (Film)The Expendables 2, Kung Fu Panda 2, Bloodsport, Timecop, Last Action Hero

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  • 17
    353
    161

    Zhang Ziyi

    Beijing, China

    Credits (Film)Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hero, Rush Hour 2, Memoirs of a Geisha

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    318
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    Keanu Reeves

    Beirut, Lebanon

    Credits (Film)The Matrix, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, The Matrix Reloaded, Point Break

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  • 19
    1,542
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    Chuck Norris

    Ryan, Oklahoma

    Credits (Film)The Expendables 2, DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story, The Delta Force, Return of the Dragon, Missing in Action

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  • 20
    471
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    Yuen Biao

    Castle Peak Road, Hong Kong

    Credits (Film)Enter the Dragon, Shanghai Noon, Once Upon a Time in China, The Legend Is Born – Ip Man, The Game of Death

  • 21
    807
    463

    Wesley Snipes

    USA, Florida

    Credits (Film)Blade, Blade II, Blade: Trinity, Major League, New Jack City

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    448
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    Mark Dacascos

    Honolulu, Hawaii

    Credits (Film)Brotherhood of the Wolf, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Cradle 2 the Grave, Double Dragon, I Am Omega

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  • 23
    320
    144

    Phillip Rhee

    Seoul, South Korea

    Credits (Film)The Kentucky Fried Movie, Best of the Best, Best of the Best 2, Best of the Best 4: Without Warning, Best of the Best 3: No Turning Back

  • 24
    428
    220

    Chia Hui Liu

    China, Foshan

    Credits (Film)Kill Bill Volume 1, Kill Bill Volume 2, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, Executioners from Shaolin, The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter

  • 25
    719
    342

    Philip Ng

    Hong Kong, China

    Credits (Film)New Police Story, Bodyguards and Assassins, Once Upon a Time in Shanghai, House of Fury, Undercover Hidden Dragon