Top 5 Martial Arts Movies

What are your top 5 martial arts movies? Here’s my list in no specific order:

  1. Drunken Tai Chi
  2. Tai Chi Master (aka Twin Warriors)
  3. The Karate Kid 
  4. 5 Masters of Death
  5. Best of the Best

I have the fondest childhood memories of Drunken Tai Chi. This one stars Donnie Yen and is a comedy to boot! One of my cousins would often turn down the volume and make up his own dialogue in the movie, which was quite funny. I really love the taiji training sequence, even demonstrating the illusive ‘bird in hand’ technique in which one is so skilled and sensitive that a bird cannot take flight!

Ahh.. Tai Chi Master with Jet Li. This one is awesome how it shows some pretty cool taiji fighting techniques of really using your opponent’s force against them. It shows Jet Li doing some of the Yang 24 form in addition to what appears to be a very stylized wushu version of the Chen 56 competition set.

The Karate Kid.. what can I say about this? I’ve actually written about this movie before.  This is one of those movies that I will always watch whenever it’s on TV even though my wife really hates it! Fond memories of watching Daniel-San doing the crane and overcoming all challenges! Definitely one of those inspirational films.

5 Masters of Death was one of those movies that was always on ‘USA’s Kung Fu Theatre” when I was growing up. The basic plot is about a group of 5 students looking for the traitor of shaolin after the temple gets burned down. All the secret hand shakes, tea ceremony sequences and bad-a$$ style call-outs make this a classic. “Ahh.. I see you’re doing the tiger style. Well, your tiger style is no match for my dragon style!” This is one of those movies that is often sampled in the Wu-Tang Clan albums if you listen closely 🙂

Best of the Best just rocks!  Sure, it contains the cheesy b-actor, Eric Roberts, but he was the bomb in this movie.  This is one of those inspirational dramas that just makes one feel happy. The fight sequences are awesome, the storyline is awesome and definitely a must see!

What are your top 5 Martial Arts movies? Feel free to either comment here or on your own blog with a link back to this original post!

[tags]taiji, random, top5, movies, martialarts[/tags]


About wujimon

taiji, meditation and health
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18 Responses to Top 5 Martial Arts Movies

  1. cindy says:

    I didn’t get chance to see any of the movies but I am sure they are really good.

  2. wujimon says:

    Hi Cindy.
    You should definitely check them out as they are generally widely available.

  3. It’s hard to choose only 5! I’ll have to leave out the samurai movies, and the kung fu comedies. In no particular order:

    1) Fearless (already out on DVD, if you order from Asia)
    2) Drunken Master 2
    3) Ong-Bak
    4) Iron Monkey
    5) Hero

  4. wujimon says:

    Doh!!! I totally forgot about Ong Bak! That movie rocks! Also, drunken master with Jackie Chan versus those japanese guy rocks too!!! Good picks, Chris.

  5. zenmindsword says:

    my choice :-

    a) prodigal son
    b) heroes of the east
    c) ong bak
    d) enter the dragon
    e) shaolin mantis

  6. wujimon says:

    Good picks, ZMS. I’ve added Prodigal Son to my netflix queue! I often recall my cousin mentioning that as one of his favorite picks 🙂

  7. Have you seen The One Armed Swordsman, Iron Monkey, The Lone Wolf and Cub Series, The Blade (1967 classic, not Wesley Snipe Vampire stuff), and the Samurai Trilogy? (How can such a list not include any Kirosawa classics?)

    A list without any Jet Li movies? Check out the Swordsmen trilogy, along with the Once Upon a Time in China Series, also standard classics. (2 other pretty good Jet Li oldies: The Kid from Shaolin, and The Shaolin Temple.)

  8. zenmindsword says:

    Why I like Prodigal Son? Few years back we had dinner with Sammo Hung and asked him which was his favorite movie. Guess? Some nuggets of info. The late Lam Cheng Ying who played Leung Yee Tai was a real life Wing Chun practitioner. Sammo also learned WC for the movie but jazzed it up to make it looked more dramatic. He demo the bong sau and and he is still fast!!! He also mentioned that during the filming of LA Law he had a wooden dummy installed downstairs so that he could play with it each time he came down. He said someone wanted to test him out and he gave the guy pain with the dummy techniques. If you had been following LA Law you might have noticed that he was showing off WC in the series. Sammo was working on showing taiji in the new season when LA Law was cancelled

  9. wujimon says:

    I’ve seen the samurai movies you mentioned, but for some reason, I”m not too fond of samurai movies. A lot of them tend to move too slow for my liking.

    My #2 pick is a Jet Li movie. It’s the one where he learns taiji 🙂

    Thanks for the background on Sammo Hung 🙂 I never followed the series but it’s interesting none-the-less. I’m just awaiting for the movie to arrive 🙂

  10. Pingback: The Best of Kung Fu Cinema: Fight Choreography - Martial Development

  11. craigy says:

    1, ong bak
    2, fearless
    3, fist of legend
    4, enter the dragon
    5, blood sport , based on the true story

  12. wujimon says:

    Hey Craig. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen Fearless, but will definitely do so when it comes out on video. Good picks, Blood Sport is also one of my favs. I swear, I could probably recite every line in that movie..

    “Tanaka.. you don’t look like Tanaka.” 🙂

  13. G. Michael Reynolds says:

    Good ol’ Bloodsport. Yanno, I actually attended a small seminar (like 15 people) put on by Mr. Dux himself when I was a kid.

    “That would make you Frank Ducks!”

  14. Chuong says:

    The Odd Couple
    Warriors Two
    The Prodigal Son

    These 3 all all old-school must-have for fans of Chinese MA movies.

    I also like the Doug Rogers Judo Documentary…LOL

  15. Mike Ferruggia says:

    Two Steven Seagal flicks, Belly of the Beast and Out for a Kill; in the first, he kills the bad guy with a tai chi ward off/push from Yang Style that sends him flying across the room; and he uses a lot of tai chi esque techniques throughout both movies. Any of the Saturday 3 o clock kung fu movies, especially when guys use the restaurant bench as a weapon; Bruce Lee in the movies where he’s at the ice factory, Bourne Identity/Supremacy, and special mention to Frank Sinatra in the Manchurian Candidate for the fight scene in the hotel room–vicious!

  16. It never ceases to amaze me, how little they knew about the effects of nuclear fallout and radiation!

  17. Akira Hojo says:

    1. Ip Man / Prodigal Son (Sammo Hung choreographed both movies)
    2. Drunken Master 2 (classic Jackie Chan with Ti Lung in it)
    3. Once Upon a Time in China 2 (first Jet Li vs. Donnie Yen)
    4. A Chinese Odyssey 1 & 2 (Stephen Chow as the Monkey King – awesome!)
    5. Anything with Ninjas or Samurais in it (gotta love those cheeky ninjas). Lonewolf and Cub were classic!

  18. C-MAN says:

    Ive seen some good flicks and I cant possibly bust only 5 favorites so I’ll be the oddball and give 10

    1. Iron Monkey
    2. Fist of Legend (jet li)
    3. The Protector/Ong Bak 1 & 2
    4. Flash Point
    5. Twin Warriors
    6. Seven Swords
    7. Ip Man 1, 2, 3
    8. The Legend 1 & 2 (jet li)
    9. all the Once upon a time in China’s (jet li)
    10.Undisputed 2 and 3

    and because I’m a real odd-ball I’ll give you the next 10
    11. Chocolate (jija yanin)
    12. Raging Phoenix (jija yanin)
    13. Bangkok Adrenaline
    14. Legendary Assassin
    15. Fatal Contact
    16. Painted Skin
    17. Reign of Assassins
    18. True Legend
    19. Champions
    20. Fist of the Red Dragon

    All good plots, good actors, and most of all Great Fu

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