Best Martial Artists of All Time

whitewolf777

The Top Ten

1 Bruce Lee Bruce Lee Bruce Lee was a Hong Kong American martial artist, action film actor, martial arts instructor, philosopher, filmmaker, and the founder of Jeet Kune Do.

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. - apoakspos

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.

Way rovers good he can even take on 900 Guzman today!

V 472 Comments
2 Yip 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?

He is the original master and without him Bruce Lee would not have evolved the way he did

V 153 Comments
3 Jet Li Jet Li 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.

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

His fighting techniques were excellent as he practiced martial arts for many years

V 57 Comments
4 Jackie Chan Jackie 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

He the best

V 135 Comments
5 Chuck Norris Chuck Norris Carlos Ray "Chuck" Norris is an American martial artist, actor, film producer and screenwriter. He was born in March 10, 1940, in Ryan, OK. He is famous for mostly starring in western and action movies.

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...

HE WAS TO FAST!

I absolutely agree that Chuck Norris was the greatest competitive martial artist of all time. His professional fighting career of 183-10-2, and verified 30 tournament wins against the best in the world will not be bested, ever. He and Bruce Lee trained under the same instructor, who, in his own words stated "if Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris ever fought in a sanctioned world championship, Bruce would have a major disadvantage with the powerful punches of Mr. Norris, and Mr. Lee did not have the knock out power."

V 56 Comments
6 Donnie Yen

He's Donnie yen enough said.. They even allowed him to play Bruce lee master come on now

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.

Donnie yen should be higher than chuck Norris and jackie chan based on martial art skill, but Jackie chan will still be better in general as he has better success in the film industry and has mastered many arts. Chuck Norris Is good but not as good as both Donnie and Jackie and is only known by his participation in the movie return of the dragon which still needed Bruce lee's help to get into... so to conclude Donnie yen should be higher than both chuck and Jackie.

He is the best.

V 62 Comments
7 Jean-Claude Van Damme Jean-Claude Van Damme Jean-Claude Camille Fran├žois Van Varenberg, professionally known as Jean-Claude Van Damme and abbreviated as JCVD, is a Belgian actor, martial artist, screenwriter, film producer, and director best known for his martial arts action films.

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

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

BEST KICKS EVER!

V 25 Comments
8 Tony 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. - Alexdenton5

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!

I thinked tony jaa on top 5 and buce lee
at around 30 or 40 place certrianly

V 56 Comments
9 Steven Seagal Steven Seagal Steven Frederic Seagal is an American actor, film producer, screenwriter, film director, martial artist, Aikido instructor, musician, reserve deputy sheriff and entrepreneur.

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!

I'M IMPRESSED BY HIS TECHNIQUE AND THE FACT THAT HE IS A TALL MAN PERFORMING HIS CRAFT SO DYNAMICALLY AND JUST IMPRESSIVE AND FLUENT. I WRESTLED FOR MANY YEARS AND TAUGHT SELF DEFENSE/JUDO IN COLLEGE. BOYAH!

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.

not bad

V 34 Comments
10 Anderson Silva Anderson Silva

Even though he is one of the all time greatest UFC fighters, there are many other people I would pick over him to make the all time list of martial artists. Not taking anything away from his abilities in the ring, but against a true martial artist he would more than likely get his butt kicked. Just my opinion

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)

Well I would say this is another poster I would say the only way to settle something like this is the actually have this in online battle the last one standing would be the one that would beat who but doesn't matter I am done and I am happy

The guy who said Bruce Lee is just a movie star and not a "martial arts fighter" has to be the most ignorant human to ever mumble the words "martial arts"..

V 12 Comments

The Contenders

11 Michael Jai White

Let's talk about Bruce like I said I watch many of his movies and only one thing is to a fact I'll just gonna posters he was in a fight and he told his wife not to worry I'll beat this guy under a minute and again I quote he did he want in 30 seconds I think that's more impressive than this guy speed his speed maybe fast but 30 seconds is 30 seconds

Honestly, who generated this list and basing on which criteria to have some of these guys so misplaced?

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.

This guy is confidence enough to say he would beat Bruce lee and all the edpendables. Legend

V 20 Comments
12 Georges St-Pierre

While most people voted for movie stars, I am going to vote for someone who has proven real fighting experience. Bruce Lee may be one of the most influential martial artists of the modern era and was clearly skilled, but he just does not have enough documented fights for me to consider him the absolute greatest.

To me, the greatest unarmed martial artist of all time is Georges St-Pierre (GSP), because he embodies all of the qualities of a true martial artist to their fullest extent while being one of the most skilled fighters to have ever stepped into the octagon. He was always humble about his abilities, and very upfront about the fact that he was afraid. You can see this in any of his interviews - he often states that he is afraid to fight his opponents, knowing how skilled they are. He also embodied the true martial artist in his work ethic, constantly perfecting his technique, relentlessly trying to improve. Studying under Freddie Roach and other top-level trainers and ...more

A worthy fighter of many matches and styles whom excelled at his craft.

He wouldn't beat fedor

A smart fighter careful and cautious that's how he ranked to the top of mms.

V 1 Comment
13 Helio Gracie

Changed martial arts forever

He just made it so I have to train to beat annoying BJJ guys who can't fight standing up. JKD and Ninjutsu for the win again..

14 Bodhidharma

Come on this guy is overall the best and the greatest martial artist ever

Bodhidharma did infact bring his teachings of martial arts from India to Japan, but there are NO know records of his success in any battle or any one to one practice fight under student training, To say he is the greatest maybe true in one part, but with every generation we grow stronger and faster, "PROOF? " Well just look at how fast linford Christie ran the 100 meter sprint, in the height of his career, then look at how fast Usain Bolt has done it. It no different with Bruce lee learning from Ip Man. Lee as a younger generation martial artist superseded both his grandmaster Ip Man, and his Great Great Grandmaster Bodhidharma. He then became THE WORLDS BEST MARTIAL ARTIST OF ALL TIME! STANDARD!

He is the god of martial arts. He brought the art from India to China. He is Jesus, shiva, Buddha and allah of martial arts.

Bodhidharma is best sadu

V 22 Comments
15 Bill "Superfoot" Wallace

A true sportsman and a great teacher. I've seen Bill "hold back" not to make his opponent look bad.

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

I HAVE MET MR WALLACE AND WITH HIS KNEE INJURY AND WHAT HE DID WITH JUST HIS LEFT LEG IS PHENOMENAL, PLUS HE SI AN EXCELLENT INSTRUCTOR AND HAS A GREAT SINCE OF HUMOR.

16 Keith Black

You are the best

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? - that1guysfrend

17 Fedor Emelianenko Fedor Emelianenko Fedor Vladimirovich Emelianenko is a Russian heavyweight mixed martial artist, sambist, and judoka, currently competing for Rizin Fighting Federation.

In his prime nobody could compare, it's quite evident & we may never see another fighter than took on all challenges & came out on top for decades.

Take into account the size of some of his competitors & their pedigrees so the competition he faced was very high & he fought through injuries too.

Russia sure knows how to breed champions just look at what they're doing to the boxing world, it's hard for the Russians to get fights.

Undefeated for decade, fought and won with other martial arts champions - plus his personality and calmness

In my opinion he could beat anyone on Earth today

Orthodox power

V 4 Comments
18 Royce Gracie

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.

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.

If he were to get his hands on anyone. He would win.

He will stuck on u like glue

V 1 Comment
19 Scott Adkins

A lot of people here deserve first place or close but come one 20th place for Scott adkins that is very unrealistic how come it's always whoever looks best wins? No matter the competition I'm pre sure they did not include all aspects of fighting

He must be in the 1st rank
He is the best of all

This list seems to be film orientated. Had white, has and Adkins HAVE to be in top five. For skill, speed and how the arts have developed I put jai white just in front of Adkins for first place. Lee was amazing in his day, THE pioneer but to watch his live action skills against these two week they just don't compare

he is good

V 41 Comments
20 Jacky 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.

Really? No. 18? Wu Jing (Jing Wu or Jacky Wu) is a wushu champion and should be 7 or 8.

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List StatsUpdated 23 Aug 2017

5,000 votes
148 listings
5 years, 261 days old

Top Remixes (18)

1. Bruce Lee
2. Yip Man
3. Jet Li
animegaurdian
1. Anderson Silva
2. Georges St-Pierre
3. Fedor Emelianenko
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1. Bruce Lee
2. Yip Man
3. Bodhidharma
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