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Thread: Top Martial Arts Action Stars!

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    Default Top Martial Arts Action Stars!



    Bruce Lee

    Bruce Lee remains the greatest icon of martial arts cinema, and a key figure of modern popular culture.

    Had it not been for the amazing Bruce Lee and his incredible movies in the early 1970s, it's arguable
    whether or not the martial arts film genre would have ever penetrated and influenced mainstream
    western cinema & audiences the way it has over the past four decades...



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    Jackie Chan


    Apprenticed to the China Drama Academy (or "opera school") by his parents at the age of 6,
    Jackie Chan was rigorously trained in music, dance, and traditional martial arts.

    A visiting filmmaker offered Chan his first (tiny) role as a stunt player. Chan took the part, and soon left
    the Opera to pursue the world of film...



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    Jet Li


    Jet Li started training at the Beijing wushu academy (wushu is China's national sport, largely
    a performance version of various martial art styles) at age eight.

    He won five gold medals in the Chinese championships, his first when he was only 11. In his teens,
    he was already a national coach, and before he was 20 he had starred in his first movie:
    Shao Lin tzu (1979)_ (Shaolin Temple)...



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    Sammo Hung Kam-Bo


    Born in Hong Kong, Sammo Hung's acting career began while he was training in acrobatics,
    martial arts and dance as a child at the China Drama Academy, and he received acclaim for
    his performance with a troupe called "The Seven Little Fortunes." He made his feature film debut
    as an actor at the age of 12...



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    Michelle Yeoh


    Born as Yang Zi Chong in the mining town of Ipoh in West Malaysia in the lunar year of the Tiger,
    she spoke English and Malay before Chinese.

    A ballet dancer since age 4, she moved to London, England to study at the Royal Academy as a teenager.
    After a brief dance career, she won the Miss Malaysia beauty pageant title in her native country and
    the Miss Moomba beauty pageant title in Melbourne...



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    Chia Hui Liu


    Born with the Chinese name of Xian Qi-xi and the English name of Louis Sin, Gordon Liu Chia-Hui
    skipped school to practice the martial arts under the renowned Liu Zhan. Later, in honor of Liu Zhan’s skills,
    Gordon changed his name to Liu and was adopted into the family.

    He initially planned to become a policeman, but at the bequest of his kung fu brother, noted director
    Liu Chia-liang, Gordon Liu became an actor for Shaw Brothers in 1974. With his landmark role in
    The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978) playing real-life monk San Te, he quickly built a name that symbolized
    the Shaolin priesthood.

    The West knows him best for his roles as head of the Crazy 88s in Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Bai Mei in Kill Bill Vol. 2.




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    Donnie Yen


    Martial artist and Hong Kong action star Donnie Yen was born in Canton, China, on July 27, 1963
    to newspaper editor Klyster Yen and martial arts master Bow Sim Mark.

    At the age of four, Donnie started taking up martial arts from his mother who taught him tai chi and
    wushu until he was eleven when he moved to Boston...



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    Sonny Chiba

    Pivotal figure in the 1970s explosion of martial arts cinema as lethal "fists for hire" trouble shooter,
    Takuma (Terry) Tsurugi, starring in the phenomenally popular and ultra violent "The Street Fighter" series
    of action films. Sonny Chiba wasn't a graceful, fluid fighter like screen icon Bruce Lee...




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    Tony Jaa


    Panom Yeerum was born on February 5, 1976, in the northeastern province of Surin, Thailand.

    His parents were elephant herders. Panom watched martial arts films as a young kid and began to
    emulate some of his idols, from Bruce Lee to Jackie Chan to Jet Li. After seeing the Thai action
    film Kerd ma lui ("Born to Fight")...



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    Pei-pei Cheng


    Born in Shanghai, Cheng Pei Pei trained as a ballet dancer. She was abandoned at age 15 and
    forced to fend for herself and her younger sister. Shaw Brothers discovered her in 1963.

    Cheng was groomed to play male characters in opera films until a young director named King Hu
    chose her to star in a new-wave swordswoman film titled Come Drink With Me (1965). It set new standards
    for all wu xia movies to come.

    Director Ang Lee admitted that it was the inspiration behind Crouching Tiger and the reason
    he cast Cheng in it. With Cheng’s subsequent success, she was dubbed the first “Queen of Kung Fu Films.”



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    Biao Yuen

    Yuen Biao is regarded as one of the most acrobatic martial artists ever. Unfortunately, he is
    still underrated and not as popular as other contemporaries such as Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung Kam-Bo,
    and Jet Li even though he is the most critically acclaimed out of all of them and the most talented as well...



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    Toshirô Mifune

    Toshiro Mifune achieved more worldwide fame than any other Japanese actor of his century.

    He was born in Tsingtao, China, to Japanese parents and grew up in Dalian. He did not set foot in
    Japan until he was 21. His father was an importer and a commercial photographer, and young Toshiro
    worked in his father's studio for a time after graduating from Dalian Middle School...



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    JeeJa Yanin


    Described as "the Female Tony Jaa," I can honestly say its fitting. Like Jaa, she does ALL of her
    own stunts and fighting.

    Like Jaa, her films uses little to NO cgi effects and wires, and like Jaa, Jeeja's debut film,
    'Chocolate' is mindblowingly good, especially for long time fans of hardcore wireless Martial
    Arts action. Not to mention they're both from Thailand and work with the same directors. ”

    - Eric-Scissorhands



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    Tak-Hing Kwan

    When he was 13 years old, he joined an entertainment troupe on tour of Singapore.
    During these years he began to study performing.

    In 1932 he debuted in the film "Gor Nui Ching Chiu" ("Sentimental Song of Companions' Tide")
    playing a bit part, shot in San Francisco (USA). Soon he came back to Hong Kong to participate
    in anti-Japanese opposition movement...



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    Philip Kwok


    Although based on five actors (really six) from the Shaw Brothers classic The Five Venoms (1978),
    the “Five Venoms” is a group of actors who worked together to make 20 of the most intricately c
    horeographed weapons films ever.

    The actors were Philip Kwok, the leader, usually playing a good guy; Chiang Sheng, noted for humor
    and using double weapons; Lo Meng, the muscle-and-fists fighter; Sun Chien, the kicker; Lu Feng,
    usually a villain; and Wei Bai, who worked mostly behind the camera because of Tourette’s syndrome.



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