Previously I posted My Favorite Female Martial Artists so now I want to give you my favorite male martial artists. These men are very popular so I won’t take up space by repeating the usual facts. Instead, I tried to find some fascinating and lesser known facts about each. Enjoy!
1. Donnie Yen – (Yen Ji-dan) Hong Kong actor, film director & producer, action choreographer.
World Wushu Tournament medalist
Raised in Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Best known for the Ip Man movies, along with Wing Chun, Hero and Shanghai Knights
“When you watch my films, you’re feeling my heart.”
Donnie Yen as Ip Man
For more on Donnie Yen, check out his website: www.donnieyen.asia
2. Bruce Lee – (Lee Jun Fan) credited with making the martial arts film genre popular in the Western cinemas.
Born in the year of the dragon (1940) at the hour of the dragon (between 6 & 8 am).
Won a major dance championship in Hong Kong.
Studied philosophy at Seattle, Washington, USA.
Made animal sounds when he fought to unnerve his opponents.
Received his formal training in Wing Chun from the legendary Ip Man (Check out my post Could Bruce Lee Owe His Fame to 2 Females? )
When he died, almost 30,000 fans filed past his casket in Hong Kong. A smaller ceremony was held in his hometown of Seattle and among his pallbearers were Steve McQueen, James Coburn and Dan Inosanto.
Bizarre circumstances surround his death, then his son, Brandon Lee died somewhat mysteriously while filming, The Crow (1993).
“Empty your mind. Become formless and shapeless like water. When water is poured into a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Be water, my friend.”
For more on Bruce Lee, check out his website: www.brucelee.com
3. Jackie Chan – (Chan Kong-sang) created his own style of film making combining his love for slapstick humor with his high-energy martial arts action.
Major recording star in Asia with twenty albums out. Often sings the theme songs from his movies. Click here to hear him sing the theme song from Policy Story and The Myth.
Holds two Guinness World Records – one for record of most credits in one movie and one for most stunts by a living actor.
Had an animated series, Jackie Chan Adventures, and numerous video games.
Very involved with charity and human suffering.
“If everyone does some good, think of what a good world this will be.”
Check out his website: www.jackiechan.com
4. Jet Li – (Li Lianjie) his career took off so quickly they began calling him Jet Li.
Won his first Chinese national championship in Wushu when he was 11.
Turned down the role of Chow Yun-Fat in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) because his wife was pregnant and he promised he would not make films until she had the baby. (Let’s hear it – Ahhh, how romantic)
Was in the Maldives when the tsunami hit after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. He injured his foot while guiding his family to safety.
“Love is more powerful than kicking ass.”
Sources: http://www.imdb.com and http://www.brainyquote.com
So those are my favs. Tell me who are your favorite male martial artists?
Hong Kong Treasure – A deadly Philippines typhoon stole Annie’s memory. Now, can a handsome Chinese stranger save her from the danger she has forgotten?
To read an excerpt: Hong Kong Treasure
Coming soon from Assent Publishing!