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23 Celebrities That Have Practiced Martial Arts

Updated on June 19, 2015
Super model Gisele Bundchen doing a high kick.
Super model Gisele Bundchen doing a high kick. | Source

This includes people who no longer practice martial arts or who are no longer alive since some of these people are surprising like 2 presidents of the United States and 2 kings. I was practicing martial arts and yoga when I was age 12, but I no longer practice martial arts that much. This was written on January 22, 2012.

Also it is funny that this should include dead people since I just saw an article saying that 953 dead people voted in the 2012 Republican Primary Election in South Carolina! I also have an article about 29 Celebrities That Do Meditation and also 23 Celebrities That Do Yoga . Some of the people overlap in them and super model Gisele Bundchen is in all 3 of them.

1. Ex-President Bill Clinton: He is also in another article where he did yoga with his wife Hillary when they were in law school. Bill Clinton is a vegan now to preserve his heart health. He used to do Taekwondo or Tae Kwon Do.

2. The king of pop Michael Jackson: He used to practice kung fu.

3. Ex-President Theodore Roosevelt: He practiced judo and ju jitsu.

4. King of Rock and Roll or The King Elvis Presley: This guy was a martial artist. Elvis Presley started with Shotokan karate and then got a black belt in Chito-ryu. He also became a student of Ed Parker who taught Kenpo karate or Kempo karate that comes from China.

5. Jennifer Aniston: She needed to learn karate to protect herself from her husband Brad Pitt, who would beat her unmercifully. Just kidding! That is a joke. She learned a style called Budocan that was suggested by her Friends ' co-star Courtney Cox.

6. Courtney Cox: She has been practicing karate for many years (see above).

7. Robert Downey Jr: He has been doing a great job playing comic book superhero Iron Man . He is training in kung-fu and may become an instructor of it.

8. Jody Foster: She has trained in karate and kickboxing.

9. Mel Gibson: This guy is a great actor. He has played in all 4 Lethal Weapon movies. He also played in the movie Braveheart . He practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Tai Chi Chuan. There seems to be an inconsistency about whether these words are capitalized or not. Some proper names become common words like Google and "he googled it."

10. Madonna: She practiced karate. Her former husband, Guy Ritchie, was a black belt in karate.

11. Jessica Alba: She does tae-bo and other martial arts. She also does her own stunts. She played a comic book superhero known as the Invisible Girl in 2 Fantastic Four movies.

12. Wesley Snipes: I am a big fan of his. He is a black actor and has been in some great action movies like the Blade movies where he plays a vampire killer. He is in federal prison right now because of the IRS. He is a tax protester. The IRS is the most feared part of the government. The black boxer Mohammad Ali was also put in federal prison for refusing to fight in the Viet Nam war.

Ron Paul is a candidate in the 2012 Republican Primary Election right now. He wants to bring all the troops home which will cut government spending. Then he wants to get rid of the IRS and federal income tax. This tax did not exist before 1913 and was introduced as a tax to pay for World War I. So if he does this, then maybe Wesley Snipes can come home to his wife and his 3 pre-teen children.

13. Sarah Michelle Gellar: She was in the series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The woman who played this part in the movie was Kristy Swanson. I did not include her in the list since I do not think that she is that famous. But I am a big fan of hers because I think that she is gorgeous looking. So she is not one of the 23 so she is a bonus. Kristy Swanson has practiced taekwondo and kickboxing.

Sarah Michelle Gellar has a black belt in taekwondo and she has studied kickboxing, street fighting and gymnastics.

14. James Caan: He has trained with "Tak" Kubota for nearly thirty years. He is a 6th degree black belt in karate. Each degree of black belt is like getting a whole new belt. In other words the difference between a brown belt and a black belt is like the difference between a 1st degree black belt and a 2nd degree black belt.

15, Gisele Bundchen: She is the supermodel that does kung-fu, meditation, yoga and ballet.

16. Forest Whitaker: He is an Oscar winning movie actor and a black belt in karate.

17. Rachel Evan Wood: This young actress has a black belt in taekwondo and is a trained dancer.

18. Jean-Claude Van Damme: He was a professional kickboxer, full-contact karate fighter and bodybuilder. That was his ticket into becoming an actor. He has been training since age 10. After becoming very successful he became depressed. He went to a naturopathic physician who tried to find the cause of this. He was no longer training anymore and the doctor got him to start training again. That cured his depression.

I know a medical doctor who had some terrible things happen in his life. He got depressed but found that doing karate helped him with it. Yoga and meditation also help with depression. My article about the Benefits of Yoga has a part about 6 yoga poses for depression and anxiety.

19. Chuck Norris: He has become legendary on the internet with all these funny myths about him. He was a champion in karate fighting in tournaments. The one Korean martial art that is popular is taekwondo or Tae Kwon Do. The other Korean karate is Tang Soo Do. Chuck Norris is a 9th degree black belt in Tang Soo Do.

20. Jackie Chan: He was training in martial arts and acrobatics in Hong Kong since a young age. He has made over 100 movies while doing all of his own stunts. He was in 2 Bruce Lee movies.

21. Bruce Lee: Kung-fu is like Chinese karate and there are many different styles. Bruce Lee started training in Wing Chun kung fu or Wing-Chun kung-fu. It uses moves where you cause a person's arms to get tied up. Imagine a boxer without gloves. Then he grabs the arm that someone jabs with and punches him. He started with that and then learned every martial art so he could take the best out of all of them and create his own style, Jeet Kune Do-- the way of the intercepting fist. Kung fu does not have belts and he did not fight in tournaments.

But many believed he was the best fighter in the world and he did a demostration at a karate tournament. He would do his one inch punch by putting his fist 1 inch away from a pad on someone's chest and then punching it. See the video below for the one time he did it at a karate tournament. They never allowed him to do it again since the guy he did it on was permanently injured. He learned a way to punch someone in the chest or abdomen and cause internal injury.

He then went on to make some awesome movies. I suggest that all martial artists watch his first 3 movies. He was working on a 4th one when he died and they finished it for him. In one movie he fights Chuck Norris at the end, Return of the Dragon . He died after using a prescription painkiller that was prescribed for the woman that he was with. His son, Brandon Lee also died at a young age when he was accidentally shot while making a movie. Before making his movies, Bruce Lee played Kato in the TV series The Green Hornet . They are also worth watching. He had to slow down his moves since he moved too fast for the camera to pick up.

22. Steven Seagal: He went to Japan at age 17 to learn acupuncture, Zen meditation and aikido. Aikido is a unique martial art that is mostly defensive using arm locks and throws. The guy who created it went into a room with dozens of martial artists who were all supposed to kick him or punch him and no one could touch him. The Steven Seagal films are amazing to watch, especially the earlier ones.

One movie is called The Glimmer Man . It had Steven Seagal and his police partner Keenan Ivory Wayans who is black. He and his brothers were very funny in the TV series In Living Color . They had on it a really goofy guy that no had heard of by the name of Jim Carrey. He went on to be one of the highest paid actors.

So here are 2 funny scenes in that movie. The black cop was in a Chinese herbal shop with the white cop (Wayans and Seagal). Wayans is sniffling from allergies. Seagal gives him a powder to suck on and he feels better. He then asks what it is and Seagul says that it is deer penis and Wayans spits it out. Then later in the movie he is sniffling and a guy asks him if he has a cold. He says "No, I just need to suck some deer penis!"

23. Jet Li: I am taking this right out of my article about celebrities that do meditation. He is a Buddhist. According to Men's Health magazine (September 2004), Jet Li is the only five-time national wushu (martial arts) champion of China. Because of this, China has declared him a national treasure. He meditates at least one hour a day and has meditated 14 hours in a day.

Tony Jaa is not that famous but he is the most amazing movie star to watch. He has astounding acrobatics/gymnastic moves and was trained in Thai kickboxing. He has made some great martial arts movies that are very unique. Below is a short martial arts demo by him showing the unique things that he can do. Watching him, you can see why a martial art is called an art.

Tony Jaa Halftime Show

At the end of this video, Chuck Norris explains how Bruce Lee died


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