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The Top 10 Movie Martial Artists of today

Updated on February 20, 2013

Seriously, how can you know for sure?

The top martial arts movie stars currently pumping out movies these days are ranked pretty much entirely on the opinion of the viewers.

While some make vastly more money than others (Donnie Yen scraped in well over 30 million USD last year!), money isn't a reliable factor. With some countries having bigger martial arts movie industries than others, pumping out more and more movies instead of fewer higher quality movies - as I said, a matter of opinion.

So here are my views on who the top guys in the industry are! (no particular order)

Donnie Yen

Donnie Yen seems to pump out movie after movie of top notch action. For the last 30 years he's been in the game with flicks like Line of Duty and Iron Monkey before making even more noise with movies like Kill Zone or (SPL), Flashpoint, Ip Man 1 & 2 and most recently Dragon (aka WuXia).

He's Hong Kongs top martial arts star, and Hong Kong is on top of the industry. You can't look past Donnie!

Check out Ip Man or Kill Zone to see his very best stuff!

Scott Adkins

You can just hear the crowd: BOYKA! BOYKA! BOYKA!

With Undisputed 2 & Undisputed 3 gaining an almost cult like following, Scott Adkins and his fantastic onscreen ability have won him top movie roles in films like The Expendables 2 and Universal Soldier: Day or Reckoning.

He is one of the few primarily English speaking martial arts movie stars out there making a name for himself as one of the best in the industry, with the only other big name being also from Undisputed....

Michael Jai White

As mentioned above, Michael Jai White exploded into Martial Arts movie stardom with Undisputed 2, but made a lot of noise in his next movie Blood and Bone.

Michael Jai White is a big guy, lots of muscle and yet can still perform the most impressive moves with quick speed along with some of the best in the industry. Not bad for a guy over 40!

Tony Jaa

When the world received Ong Bak, they had no idea what they were about to see!

No Wires, No CGI was the call of the day, and fans everywhere who were sick of the 'Crouching Tiger HIdden Dragon' style of wire work rejoiced. He then followed up with The Protector and 2 Ong Bak sequels.

Soon he'll be releasing The Protector (or Tom Yum Goong) 2. So I can't wait!

Iko Uwais

Merantau was a big movie for Indonesia, but The Raid was absolutely epic!

Iko Uwais was discovered for his charisma and martial arts ability and one the strength of one movie became a big name in the inbdustry, whiel the Raid cemented him as one of the most exciting, giving Indonesia some cred on the world wide martial arts movie arena.

Yet to turn 30, we can expect to see a lot of big and fantastic things from this guy!

Jackie Chan

He's still pumping out movies, and still on top!

After a line of comedies in the United States, it's good to see Jackie Chan working in Hong Kong again creating what i believe to be martial arts films of far superior quality.

He's only got a handful of years left so treasure what Jackie has to offer, he won't be making movies forever!

Jacky Wu Jing

This name could be a little wavering.

Wu Jing has been responsible for some tremendously awe inspiring fight scenes from movie slike Fatal Contact and Kill Zone. He has a massive fan following yet for some reason is underutilised and a little underrated.

Get behind this because he's one of the best the industry has to offer.

Yanin Jeeja

Chocolate was another Thailand hit, followed by Raging Phoenix. Now Yanin is going to join forced with Tony Jaa in The Protector 2. So many exciting things are coming.

More interesting is she would have to be the biggest female name in the game right now and also is still quite young. Yanin's future looks pretty exciting to me!

Jet Li

Another golden name in Hong Kong cinema. Like Jackie, Jet has moved on from Hollywood to go back to making, (once again, just my opinion) higher quality films in Hong Kong - although his US films weren't too bad either.

Jet Li still pulls a crowd and will forever be one of the industries biggest names. For now soak him up while you can because he's over 50 and only has a limited number of years left in this physically demanding industry also.

Jason Statham

I wrote this last because this can be a shaky one also.

Look at the Transporter movies and you'll see a feast of Martial Arts awesomeness. but Jason Statham is more of an overall action man aswell. He's one of the biggest names in action movies period, so you can't ignore his ability on screen.

With the success of the Expendables movies, I hope to see a lot more fighting coming from Jason because his style is slick and exciting!


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    • wademcmaster profile image

      wademcmaster 5 years ago from Australia

      He's pretty damn awesome :)

    • dailytop10 profile image

      dailytop10 5 years ago from Davao City

      Tony Jaa is my favorite. Great list. Muai Thai FTW hahha

    • wademcmaster profile image

      wademcmaster 5 years ago from Australia

      Thanks guys! I agree, they make the type of movies you can watch over and over again :)

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      i love donnie yen and jet li kungfu. Their are beautiful martial arts. Unlike jackie Chan, Locally, we call him Monkey Kungfu! Wonderful hub

    • nighthag profile image

      K.A.E Grove 5 years ago from Australia

      I have to admit that martial arts movies are one of my biggest guilty pleasures, so I loved going through this list thanks for giving this talented folk some recognition for the marvelous work they create :)