Most Influential Martial Artists


The Top Ten

1 Morihei Ueshiba

Morihei Ueshiba (December 14, 1883 - April 26, 1969) was a martial artist and founder of the Japanese martial art of Aikido. He is often referred to as Kaiso "The Founder" or Ōsensei "Great Teacher".

The son of a landowner from Tanabe, Ueshiba studied a number of martial arts in his youth, and served in the Japanese Army during the Russo-Japanese War. After being discharged in 1907, he moved to Hokkaidō as the head of a pioneer settlement ; here he met and studied with Takeda Sokaku, the founder of Daitō-ryū aiki-jūjutsu. On leaving Hokkaido in 1919, Ueshiba joined the Ōmoto-kyō movement, a Shinto sect, in Ayabe, where he served as a martial arts instructor and opened his first dojo. He accompanied the head of the Ōmoto-kyō group, Onisaburo Deguchi, on an expedition to Mongolia in 1924, where they were captured by Chinese troops and returned to Japan. The following year, he experienced a great spiritual enlightenment, stating that, "a golden spirit sprang up from the ...more - Toshin

2 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.

I don't think anyone will ever match the skills of Bruce Lee. He proved in his tragically short life that he was a Leegend. - SevenTreeTool

He was the inspiration behind my brother being a 2nd degree black belt in Lau Gar Kung Fu. - Britgirl

3 Jackie Chan Jackie Chan Chan Kong-sang known professionally as Jackie Chan, is a Hong Kong martial artist, actor, film director, producer, stuntman, and singer.
4 Yip Man
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.
6 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.
7 Gichin Funakoshi
8 Rorion Gracie
9 Chōjun Miyagi
10 Kanō Jigorō

The Contenders

11 Mas Oyama
12 Gene LeBell

Taught Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris, Excellent Judoka. Also choked out Steven Seagal

13 Manny Pacquiao Manny Pacquiao Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao is a Filipino professional boxer and politician, currently serving as a Senator of the Philippines. He currently ranks #4 in BoxRec's ranking of the greatest pound for pound boxers of all time.
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