Best Martial Artists of All Time


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The Top Ten

Bruce Lee
Anyone who disputes Bruce Lee as the best martial artists is a fool. He trained harder, longer and smarter than anyone. I always seem to run into people trying to tell me that Bruce wasn't a real fighter and he would get his ass handed to him in a real fight. If those people, who's willingness to give an opinion increases along with their ignorance on a subject, were to read a book or two or watch interviews with people who have fought Bruce and watched him fight, they would surely realize how stupid it is to claim that.


I agree Bruce Lee is the best of all time no one can come close to Bruce Lee
I beileve you're right! People are stupid about Bruce lee and they will get there butt kicks of him. Also people people can't beat him. Even there is nobody in this world today that can kill a man in so many different ways like Bruce Lee can. Also he more faster than any human can be! Nobody can kick like Bruce lee can. Bruce lee can kick a man by making him flying in the air! If guys mess with him when he's alive today don't looked at his face becasue he will hurt you so bad that you will cry to your mommy!
He expressed his Martial arts and didn't believe in styles. He developed his unique style according to street fight and differentiated himself from others. He feels and do his martial arts stuffs. So he is best.
[Newest]I like Bruce Lee very much
More comments about Bruce Lee

2Jackie Chan
He must be the second because he surpass every single human..
Jackie chan should be second! I'm surprised that he's fifth.
Jackie Chan shou be second becuase his fight syle is really good such as drunken master
[Newest]The martial artists that inspire others and the man who give a big name to martial arts

3Jet Li
For me, Jet Li should be on top of the list, and this is my reasons as to why. He transformed the image of Hong Kong movies into real interesting movies to watch. He took on the role of acting, real acting mixed with martial arts, that's something that movie directors in china never understood. They initially thought martial arts movies were just about fights, running and kicking. When Jet Li stars, he mixes all that, but most importantly, and I think he learned this from American Movies, he knew he had to be a good actor, with good writer to connect with the viewers and get the viewers to like you. His best movies were "Once upon a time in china I" and "Fist of the Legend, " I can watch those two movies for ever and never stop liking them
Li Lianjie, better known by his English stage name Jet Li, is a Chinese film actor, film producer, martial artist, and wushu champion who was born in Beijing. He is a naturalized Singaporean citizen. Jet Li, is an amazing martial artist and should be recognized a lot more than 3rd place. After three years of intensive training with Wu Bin, Li won his first national championship for the Beijing Wushu Team. After retiring from Wushu at age 19, he went on to win great acclaim in China as an actor making his debut with the film Shaolin Temple (1982). He went on to star in many critically acclaimed martial arts epic films, most notably the Once Upon A Time In China series, in which he portrayed folk hero Wong Fei-hung. As a member of the team, he received wushu training and went on to win fifteen gold medals and one silver medal in Chinese wushu championships, where, despite his young age, he competed against adults. The guy is a legend!
Jet Li is the best martial artist ever. I watched Bruce Li movies and I truly liked him, I just think jet li moved the whole industry to a new level, people should realize that and start respecting this guy while he's still around. For me he's a genius, just like Albert Einstein
[Newest]He is the best living legend in my opinion. His moves and skills are incredible

4Yip Man
Ip man should be number 1. He taught Bruce lee has first art. Wing chung. If you look at his stuff then you would know who is the only GRAND MASTER their was. You movie people have no clue on real arts.
It's a shame that people compare these movie Martial Artist to someone like YIP MAN. Who has done things in history. Wing Chung is an up close combat offense/defense Martial Art Technique. Why he's not number one is insane and being number #6 is a slap in the face...
Yo man this guy is the strongest
He taight bruce lee. He literally spread wing chun.
All the the other people on this list are actors. They may have won some titles but yip man fought the japanese martial artists and always won. He should be first
An why isn't mike tyson on the list?
[Newest]Yip man the best cause he taught Bruce lee lol
More comments about Yip Man

5Chuck Norris
I will be honest, I'm torn between Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris, they are both my favorite martial artists, sadly, Bruce Lee died when I was only three years old so he was just a little before my time in a way. I grew up on Chuck Norris movies, and I absolutely love him in Walker, Texas Ranger. Chuck is an awesome person in real life and he has given back as much as he ever got from his career. Chuck Norris is a prime example of what a person can do with there life if they only have the courage and determination to follow their dreams. Bruce Lee thought enough of Chuck Norris to ask him to star in one of his movies with him and like Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris worked and trained hard to to become one of the best martial artists of his time. Even at 74 years old now, I still wouldn't mess with Chuck Norris laugh out loud.
I say chuck Norris because the way I see it he was the only man to go head to head with Bruce lee in a fight. also I know if it was any of these martial art guys like Jackie Chan or Jet Li They wouldn't try to fight against Bruce Lee they would for sure run. So what I Know is it took Chuck Norris great pride and courage to stand up and fight Bruce Lee and plus get a broken arm and leg and still got up and tried to fight back with a broken leg and arm Bruce Lee did to Chuck Norris. So that's what I know. he should be considered the number one martial art guy. also after all Bruce Lee was the top but, I say Chuck Norris should take 1st place even though Bruce Lee is dead or put them as number 1 fighters and either way Chuck Norris is the best master skilled fighter in Walker Texas Ranger.
Simply put, it would have been am incredibly close match. Bruce Lee had speed, Chuck was more known for his strength. Bruce was a street fighter and Chuck was a competition fighter. Both of their achievements are practically unobtainable. I would have loved to have seen them fight though it sadly never happened. Return of the Dragon was a movie. Bruce Lee told Chuck Norris when he offered him the role that he was the star of the movie and that he would win. It wasn't real, people.
Chuck said that he probably couldn't beat bruce lee he was to fast...

[Newest]Quietly carries a big wallet! No need to tell people he's great like Seagal and Van Damme.

6Donnie Yen
Donnie Yen, or Ipman should me ranked second or third because he was the best martial artist ever due to his resilience to keeping china's title.
He's Donnie yen enough said.. They even allowed him to play Bruce lee master come on now
Most entertaining and talented I've seen out of martial arts movies. I respect bruce lee, ip man, and jackie chan, etc.. All are awesome! But for present day, donnie yen really pulls it off. All is amazing to me! Amazing job to all!
[Newest]He should be there just below Jet Lee

7Tony Jaa
We have all seen his great stunts, form and technique when it comes to fighting I say at least in the top 5, all he has to do is prove himself.
Tony jaa is better than chuck Norris and jackie chan. He can produce amazing stunts and martial arts, I think he should be in second place.


Tony Jaa is a man will rise of our generation... those martial artist (which is Jackie Chan, Jet li, Chunk Norris) all those martial artist are getting old, and Tony Jaa is going to be the number one martial art super star of this generation!
[Newest]All time favourite of all age groups.

8Jean-Claude Van Damme
Van Damme was a great martial artist but research guys like Miyamoto (book of five rings) the undefeated samurai. Steven Seagal should of been before Jean Claude Van Damme. The only american at that time to ever teach Aikido in Japan
Van Damme WAS ok. He actually fought in karate competitions but he was also a skilled gymnast. This gave him the flexibility and agility that he used in movie performance. During his prime time in movies, Van Damme wasn't even a black belt.
His the best an steven seagal or don the so called dragon wilson doesn't have a chance with van damme even if van damme gave him one.his always been my hero an role model that's the reason why I took up martial arts
[Newest]I like his martial art's style! For being in his 50's, he still can kick butt!

9Steven Seagal
Okay well honesty I like Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, and Jackie Chan I do, but I have no choice but to be reasonable because Steven Seagull was in the U. S Marines so he was in really intense training! Also he learned one of many great martial arts known as Aikido which is badass! If you watch some of his movies you'll see where I'm getting at!
His style is very different. He seems quite cool but could be very dangerous anytime. Number 9 does not suit him, he should within top 5.
[Newest]He's a fine martial artist... I'd like to learn his oriental style. He studied in the Orient...

10Anderson Silva
Everyone else voted for a movie star. I voted on someone who actually proves his skills for a living laugh out loud! Bruce Lee is cool but he is a movie star not a martial arts fighter. And for everyone who keeps saying stuff like "there's a difference between a competition with rules and the street" do you really think that mma fighters aren't trained with techniques to fight dirty? MMA fighters also have unmatched athleticism for any other martial arts style... They do it for a living.
While you trying to compare Anderson silva to bruce lee ask yourself who the first mixed martial is, I think it was bruce lee, as a matter of fact I know it was bruce lee ( do your homework) Anderson silva is good I like his style unpredictable right?.. Yonder where he got it from um maybe bruce?... ( BROKENRTHYME)
Anderson silva is one of the top 3 martial artist of all time just watch his fights and look and his fight record and training

The Contenders

11Michael Jai White
Honestly, who generated this list and basing on which criteria to have some of these guys so misplaced?
He is a seven black belts holder in seven games.
Put any of them in a ring and Michael Kai white has the speed accuracy strength and knowledge In my opinion he would beat them all.
[Newest]Its true but I think he would be second or third best

12Bill "Superfoot" Wallace
5 times world champion does not come from nothing. I met Bill he is extremely fast.
I met this guy and he's a idiot

13Scott Adkins
He must be in the 1st rank
He is the best of all
Scott Adkins is black belt in TKD, Kickboxing and has trained many styles, and besides being 75 kilos and 175 centimeters, he is extremely fast, strong, agile and is able to tricks
In his many movies he has shown great proficiency in hand-to-hand combat and is, in my opinion, the Bruce Lee of England
[Newest]He is the most complete fighter in the world

Come on this guy is overall the best and the greatest martial artist ever
I looked him up and I don't think he is a martial arts
He has power elements

15Georges St-Pierre

16Jacky Wu
He is bad ass fighter especially in invisible target
He is one of the best and unique martial artist. some people call him new jet lee but he was to good than jet lee his move's are so cool but fatal. He must be in top 5.

17Keith Black
Honestly I think keith black is the greatest martial artist in the world. He can kick anyones but who ever steps up to him... Ain't that right tyler?


18Mike Tyson
Please understand that a man his size 5'9 210 generates more power than a tall man on top of that he fought in a peek a boo look at the fight is that a phone in the people all of them on the custom auto world champion boxing is a martial art just like wrestling

19Fedor Emelianenko
Undefeated for decade, fought and won with other martial arts champions - plus his personality and calmness
What do you need to say aboput this guy

20Joe Louis
Boxing is a martial art, as is Wrestling, it is not the top ten MMA fighters but Martial art fighters, hence whoever put Joe Louis on was entitled to do so
There is a reason that there is a hockey stadium named after him
God you are one ignorant bastard. There was a Joe Lewis who wad a great karate champion. Also Joe Louis the boxer could of knocked Tyson on his ass any day.
Boxing is not a martial art... MMA is not a martial art just because its names says it... Wrestling... come on... that is not a martial art neither... Get on the facts, WHAT A MARTIAL ART IS...
[Newest]A great martial artist who died too soon.

21Bolo Yeung
Bolo Yeung is a great actor/martial artists. He plays a great villain and he's even played in films with Bruce Lee. I love him as Chong Li in Bloodsport!
Bolo has a long hstory in martial arts, he has a well built body that can give him an upper hand against his enemies. Not all body builders have flexable body like that of Bolo. He should be on number 3 or 4

22Ed Parker
Founder of American kempo enough said. R.I.P
One of the worlds real true grand-masters of the martial-arts!
Trained Bruce Lee in American Kenpo of which he was the only true 10th degree GM... Should be in the top 10 for sure.

23Maurício Rua

24Don "The Dragon" Wilson
Greatest kick boxer of all time.10 times world champion. The Ali of kick boxing. Friend to and instructed by bill Wallace. Both were undefeated champs.
I met Don, a 11 times world champion last week in Vegas... He is 60 years old and looks 45. He is in fantastic shape and a great person to talk to.
Consistently beats Thai kickboxers at their home turfs at their game throughout his kickboxing career.

25Nato Ficarra
Unbeaten in 120 fights... Says it all really,
Superb martial artist even at 46 nato ficarra is still regarded as one of the best
Watched nato ficarra fight the mighty 6 foot. 5 Mickey Roades one of the best fights ever, ficarra was superb great Kung fu and karate combined

26John Liu
Why is van damme not on the list

27Marko Orlovic
Psycho fighter, throws punches in bunches, master of the spinning back kick. Heard he can fall asleep standing up using ultimate balance control
Future UFC champ... Crazy fighter
100% The best ever.

28Sammo Hung
Sammo hung is a strong martial artist

Because he is a super sayian and has a tail
Goku is not real, he just a character in DBZ.

30Jason Statham
What about Jason Statham?
A martial artist has a chance of being better than others when they know more than one art. This is world of mixed martial arts. So I would say Statham fits the bill
Jason statham is one of the best. Hé should be in top 10.
[Newest]Yeah he should be in the top ten

31Royce Gracie
Royce gracie is one of the greatest grapplers this world has seen in ages. There's something to say about a man who fights for pride and glory for 20 years. He asks for no recognition just better yourself. I see a lot of actors in the top spots. I guess being popular makes you better than other true artists.
He is the first person to demonstrate the power of Jujitsu over most other martial arts styles. He defeated opponents from multiple styles who were much bigger and stronger than himself. Pound for pound one of the best fighters of all time.
The gracies have won against pretty much any martial art, like judo, karate, kung fu, tkd, hapkido, and more, I think Royce should be towards the top.

32Yuen Biao

33Jim Kelly
Jim kelly is a world champion and a amazing fighter Afroes for life
A great underrated martial artist
The best hands down

34Dan Inosanto
Dan should be in the top 10, not only was he Bruce Lee's student, he even taught Bruce certain things, he has also coriagraphed lots of martial arts films such as Out for justice etc. He is also a master at Filipino escrima, so for this reason I think he should be in the top 10
One of the most committed and knowledgable martial artists of all time.definitely should be in top 5.
Guro Dan is a Doctor of Martial Science!


36Frank Dux
Still got world records
The respect of your peers speak volumes
He was the first Westerner to win the kumite and he still holds at least four world records. Jean-Claude Van Damme is good but the real Fran Dux is better.

37Masutatsu Oyama
Of course the best martial artist of all time is probably some shaolin monk we've never heard of before, but I think that of all those we do know of, Oyama is closest to their level of fighting. He was a martial arts legend who had a strong work ethic and who defeated many of his opponents in a matter of a few seconds. Not only did he defeat humans, but bulls as well. I believe Mas Oyama should at least be one of the top three
I'm shocked he isn't more recognised he pompously challenged other styles to prove he was the best and always won.
Oyama should definitely be top ten I can't believe it he is a proven fighter he challged other masters and dojos to prove his style of karate and prove he was best and always won. I agree bruce number 1 but look up oyama he is s legend. Its not about how many styles you know its about how good you are and have you proved yourself. Oh an belts mean nothing.
[Newest]Oyama had over 200 fights... All ended in the first round... All by knock out

38Vidyut Jamwal
Bruce Lee of India
He is master in many arts and even a fearless stuntman.
Smart hero nothing like him

39Bren Foster

40Andy Norman
Andy Norman is a beast and is the creator of the most effective reality based street defense the world has ever seen. He should be in the top 10 for what he has given to the world.
This guys a genius with a true handle on the predator/ prey situation on today's streets, very humble guy but an awesome martial artist
Bruce Lee should be number 1 you can't get around that. Rickson Gracie should be number 2, undefeated of course. Helio ad Carlos Gracie should tie for 3. Rolls and Royce should tie for 4. Andy Norman should take 5.

41Benny Urquidez
This man is a LEGEND! He should be in the first 10. He is undefeated world champion. Won all his professional fights with record of 63-0-1. He is the best opponent to Jackie Chan in his movies like "meals on wheels".
Benny The Jet Urquidez!

42Ray Park
Check out his moves in GI Joe as snake eyes

43Rashid Naseem

44Lyoto Machida

45Yi Long
Shaolin munk and Worlds best fearless fighter

46Gary Daniels

47Dwayne The Rock Johnson
How is he on here he is not even a martial artist
How is a fake ass wrestler on this list
He is not a martial artist what the hell
Cool actor though

48Sho Kosugi
A Japanese actor/martial artist who usually plays a ninja. He and Bruce Lee are my favorites. He's a badass and I love him! I think it's cool that he plays in a few movies with his own sons, Kane and Shane. Go Sho!

49Chris John
Indonesian boxer, world featherweight champion. Undefeated in 51 games. For me, this is the real UNDISPUTED

50Huo Yuanjia
Yip man was not ths only grandmaster because Huo Yuanjia was one way before him. Huo was considered a hero in china for defeating foreign opponents...a true hero.
Who ever posted this knows their fighters.. He is no doubt the greatest of all his fight record speaks for itself

51Ehsan Shafiq

52Wesley Snipes
He Is Awesome In All The Blade movies
Wesley snipes is the best n should be graded top five because of his martial arts
What how is he rank higher than manny paquiao

53Dolph Lundgren

54Musashi Miyomoto
Fought over 60 dukes to the death and never lost. The greatest samurai of all time as well as the greatest warrior of all time.
Cuts everyone else to ribbons! Undefeated in duels to the DEATH! No refs or tap outs here boys laugh out loud

55Jigoro Kano
Mr. Kano codified and modernized Japanese JiuJitsu, creating Judo. He helped promote Karate. Without Jiguro Kano Brazillian JiuJitsu would never have existed.

56Aaron Duncan
He is a beast in fighting, His training is to the extreme. Why isn't he on this list?

57Jeeja Yanin
The actress of movies such as chocolate, raging phoenix

58Brock Lesnar

59Iko Uwais
How is he not higher? Probably because he's only been in foreign films and people don't know who he is. Watch one scene from any of his movies and see why he should at least be in the top five.
This martial from Indonesian
Iko Uwais is my favorite as he is better than Bruce lee a lot of the stories about Bruce lee are a mith

60Rick Young

61Helio Gracie
Changed martial arts forever

62Tony Young

63Ernie Reyes
He is a part of the black belt hall of fame

64Laurent Buson

65Babu T Raghu

66Jose Rodriguez

67Orned "Chicken" Gabriel

68Lahiru Devinda
He is the best of Sri Lanka

69Gordon Liu

70Mikio Yahara
8th Dan Shotokan. Once competed in jka karate tournament after being in a knife fight with yakuza.

71GM Yuli Romo
His deep understanding about human biomechanics,
The Filipino combative art and history have made him one of
The most innovative and creative Filipino masters. Witnessing this
Man manipulate his body to move in, out and around a
Complicated combative situation with an uncanny sense
Of timing and accuracy is a sight one would never forget.
This is why practitioners would fondly describe him as
Legendary, genius, out-of-this-world.
GM Yuli Romo is the top blade in the world.
A privilege to be his student.

72Daniel O'Neill
Why is van damme not on the list

73Raymond Daniels
An amazing points fighter that certainly deserves to be on this list.

74Li Shu Wen
He should be number 1. He never lost a fight even when he got old. I think that he would be stronger then bruce lee cause he trained not for show. He trained to survive

75Moses Powell
First /second in the West with Victor Moore who fought them all and also blocked Bruce Lee's "speed punches"
Best in the West

76Sapok Biki

77Takayuki Kubota
Some Kubota has trained many champions and still trains daily ha appeared in Hollywood movies and is a TRUE martial arts master

78Leo Fong
Leo Fong was born in Canton, China. He immigrated to the United States at the age of 5, and settled in Widener, Arkansas with his parents. He graduated with the B.A. degree in Physical Education from Hendrix College, Conway, Arkansas; Master of Divinity degree from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas; and a M.A. degree in Social Work from California State University, Sacramento, California.
A lifelong fitness and martial arts practitioner, Mr. Fong holds Black Belts in Karate, Tae Kwan Do, and Arnis, Filipino Stick Fighting Art. He is a former Collegiate Boxing Champion. Among some of his teachers are Bruce Lee in Jeet Kune Do, Remy Presas in Modern Arnis, Angel Cabales in Serrada Escrima, Weight Training and Body Building under former Mr. Universe Bill Pearl.

79Daniel Bernhardt

80Jon Foo

81Darren Shahlavi

82Cyril Raffaelli

83Chuck Zito

84Wong Fei-hung
Courageous and respected fighter and also a part of Chinese and Shaulin History, More storied should be told about him I am currently just scratching the surface about his life and training, One of the last Monks to leave Shaulin at the turn of the century. Many great techniques died with him

85Wally Jay
Most people haven't heard of him. He was the only 9Dan in the world for over 20 years. I'm repulsed to see that Jackie Chan and Jet Li are in the top three. Jean Claude van Damme is a damn gymnist, not a high ranking martial artist! Also, we do not have enough real-life footage to assess Bruce Lee. Some people draw their conclusions from fiction, though Bruce Lee's legacy does seem to hold the most weight.


87Gene LeBell
Known at one time to be considered by other marital artists such as Bob Wall and Chuck Norris as "The toughest man alive".

88Ronda Rousey
If you don't know Ronda, you have been living under a rock.

89Donn F. Draeger
The late Donn F draeger wasrecognized as one of the worlds leading martial artists. I was not a movie star but he did extensive research in Asia and wrote many books, He is worth considering.

90Freddie Estrella
Dominican fighter excellent street fighter studied boxing wrestling karate and tai chi. Seen some of his fights why this man doesn't have a deal is beyond me

91Rob Van Clief

92Gerard Gordeau

93Chad Jones
4th degree kenpo, 4th degree tai-kwan-do, and current student of Brazilian jujitsu. 6 time undeafeted in AZ Marrs compition. All this in his 30s. Studied under Master DePalma and Grand Master Sillva. I will not say he is the greatest of all time but he sure makes this list.

94Rocky Marciano
Marciano was the best boxer of all time, hands down.
Even Ali admits that's both at there best he would of lost.

95Paul Lyons

96Hitukazu Kanazawa
1st all Japan karate champion. Won with literally one hand (his right hand was broken).

97Talayuki Mikami
2time all Japan karate champion. Tied with Hirokazu Kanazawa, the only man to do that. 9th dan Shotkan karate.

98Naka Sensei
All Japan karate champion. In the movies:Blackbelt, high kick girl and Karate girl.

99Kemosuike Enoeda
The Tiger of Shotokan. All karate champion.

100Masahiko Tanaka
8 time all Japan karate champion.

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This list was created 3 years, 134 days ago and has been voted on over 2,000 times. This top ten list contains 125 items, has been remixed 14 times and has been blogged about 1 times.

Updated Sunday, April 19, 2015

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