For as long as I can remember, I have always had a great fondness and been captivated by martial arts, especially when displayed on the big screen. I know some people think these guys are just actors but I think just about all that will feature in my list are real life martial artists, this is the reason they are able to create such appealing scenes. I have seen hundreds of martial arts films with some great fight sequences and although it was extremely difficult to narrow it down to just ten I have managed to do so. These are just some my personal favourites but I hope you enjoy them and agree on some.
10. Romeo Must Die
This is one of the scenes that made me want to create this list. Jet Li shows why he is one of the most famous martial arts action stars ever in this very cool scene. When Jet steps back through that lattice work surrounded by fire, you know something big is about to go down. Remind me never to fuck with him.
9. Blood n Bone
Michael Jai White is a legitimate black belt in 7 disciplines of martial arts. He fights a guy at the end of this movie who they proclaim is the mma champion of the world. They weren’t far off it though because the actor playing him is Matt Mullins who has won numerous world titles in kickboxing and karate. With these two incredible martial artists how can this scene be anything but awesome? Funny that Bone actually loses this though.
8. The Matrix
This may only be a sparring match, but Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishbourne created one hell of a scene. The Matrix is not like many of the other scenes in my top 10 as it employs the use of many visual effects and obvious wire work but it is still an awesome scene. Honourable mention to Neo’s fight with Agent Smith also.
7. The Protecter
You may think these stunts are fake in this high flying scene, but everything is real. The Mauy Thai master Tony Jaa is a natural star with his gravity defying acrobatics. This was one of the first times I really seen Capoeria showcased and what better person to demonstrate then Lateef Crowder. He is one of the greatest practitioners of the art. Lateef actually injured his achilles tendon in the shooting of this scene and they had to cut it short. Imagine how much better it could have been.
6. Undisputed 3
I found it an effort to add just one fight out of Undisputed 2 and Undisputed 3 as all fights in both movies are brilliant. I however selected Boyka v Dolar. Scott Adkins who has studied numerous forms of martial arts displays these phenomenal skills playing his character Boyka in both films and I particularly enjoyed this battle with Marko Zaror who is also a superior martial artist. Check out both films.
5. The Forbidden Kingdom
It’s Jet Li v Jackie Chan, how can it not be awesome. Jackie playing a drunken immortal and Li playing a silent monk showcase many forms of traditional martial arts and the animal fighting styles. I loved seeing two of my favourite martial arts stars taking on each other. Glad it resulted in a draw.
4. Kiss Of The Dragon
Here I will include a two in one package. Jet Li first takes on an entire dojo of black belts who are armed with fighting sticks. Following this he is confronted by twin brothers. One is Cyril Raffaelli who is a very skilful martial artist and one of the best fight choreographers and parkourist in the world. The other is just a monster. Jet displays his lighting fast wushu skill. This is a great 6 minutes of action.
3. Game Of Death
Although the movie was never completed, the footage shot was some of the greatest I’ve seen. Bruce fights his way to the top of a pagoda where he then has to face his real life Jeet Kuno Do student and NBA legend Kareem Abdul Jabbar. It was Bruce’s intention to showcase how great his formed art really was and I think this scene did exactly that.
Van Damme’s first major role was an absolute classic. Playing the role of real life Frank Dux he makes it to the final of the underground tournament the kumite where he faces ruthless defending undefeated champion Chong Li played by Bolo Yeung. Bolo was 50 years old at the time although you would not know it by looking at his physique. He becomes the first westerner to ever win the tournament.
1. Way Of The Dragon
Easily coming in at number one. Bruce Lee was a master of creating realistic fights and using great camera angles which ultimately changed the way films are shot. When he cast his friend Chuck Norris who was world karate champion at the time and they had a battle in the coliseum, it was destined to be the greatest fight scene ever made.
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