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The Best Martial Arts Movies Worth Watching

Are you a fan of martial arts movies?

If so, you are going to love this list of the best martial arts movies of all time that is worth watching.

These films are some of the most action-packed and thrilling ever made, and they are sure to get your heart racing and entertained.

I must have watched over 100s of Kung Fu movies in my time and these are the most recommended ones that will keep you on the edge of your seats with these high packed explosive kick-ass movies.

So sit back, relax, and prepare to watch the list of movies I recommend just for you.

Magnificent Butcher (1979)

Hong Kong action legend Sammo Hung stars as Lam Sai-wing, the mischievous student of Wong Fei-hung. When Lam accidentally befriends the only son of notorious Master Kao, he finds himself framed for a brutal murder. Soon, Lam’s on the run from Master Kao, with his life on the line.

The film features a classic scene, in which Hung defends himself with skill and humour while simultaneously completing a piece of calligraphy.

A classic entertaining movie for those who love old school Kung with different styles.

The Prodigal Son (1981)

Hong Kong action stars legend Yuen Biao and Sammo Hung.

The film tells the story of Yuen Biao stars as Leung Chang, the son of a wealthy man who is half-heartedly studying kung fu. Leung Chang’s lack of expertise forces his father to pay people to lose to him in fights. After Leung Chang discovers that his father has been deceiving him, he becomes inspired to study martial arts (wing Chun) more seriously and attempts to convince a kung fu expert to take him on as a student.

Another action packed with amazing cool scenes of calligraphy while doing Kung Fu.

Highly recommended.

Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow (1978)

Hong Kong action stars legend Jackie Chan.

An orphan (Jackie Chan) who has been raised at a kung fu school, where he is treated as little more than a dogsbody and practice target for the students, has a life-changing experience after helping an old peripatetic beggar.

Another action packed classic movie with phemomenal kicking skills of TKD star Hwang Jang-lee.

Worth watching!

Shaolin vs. Lama (1983)

Hong Kong action stars legend Alexander Rei Lo.

Skilled fighter Sung Li Ting is looking for a Kung Fu master who can beat him in battle and teach him new techniques.

Shaolin monk Shao Si Yer introduces Sung Li to the Shaolin teachings, but Sung Li is not allowed to enter the school until the return of a Lama monk who stole a secret scroll containing every known fighting style from the monastery 12 years earlier.

This is probably one of the best Shaolin Kung Fu movie of all time.

Enter the Dragon (1973)

Hong Kong action stars legend Bruce Lee.

One of the greatest martial artist of all time and this one certainly doesn’t need any introduction.

This movie is about a Shaolin (Bruce Lee) martial artist travels to an island fortress to spy on an opium lord – who is also a former monk from his temple – under the guise of attending a fighting tournament.

The fighting scenes are just simply awesome, especially the use of nunchucks.

Definitely worth watching!

Drive (1997)

Action movie pack starring Mark Dacascos.

This movie starring Dacascos show us what he’s capable of as a martial artist and performer.

He plays a human experiment named Toby Wong, who has been genetically engineered to move and think faster, and be the ultimate weapon.

He goes AWOL, and the corporation that “made” him has put a bounty on his head.  Eventually, the corporation sends a more-high-tech super soldier after them, and that leads to the last of many incredible fight scenes.

This is like rush hour version but before rush hour came out.

Another great movie to watch.

Police Story (1985)

Action movie pack starring Legendary Jackie Chan

A kung-fu policeman (Jackie Chan) must protect a female witness (Brigitte Lin) from a Hong Kong drug lord for whom she used to work.

Police Story contains many large-scale action sequences with elaborate, dangerous stunts performed by Jackie Chan and his stunt team, including car chases, Chan hanging off a speeding bus, parkour-like acrobatics, and a shopping mall fight with shattering glass panes, leading up to Chan sliding down a pole with exploding electric lights as he falls to the ground.

Seriously impacted with high action fight scenes and stunts that will put Hollywood actors to shame.

Armour of God (1986)

Another Hong Kong action-comedy written and directed by Jackie Chan, who also starred in the film in the lead role.

The film combines Jackie Chan’s explosive martial arts scenes, comedy and stunts with an Indiana Jones style adventure film theme and is deemed a cult classic.

Jackie Chan came the closest he had ever been to death in this film during a relatively routine stunt, he leaped onto a tree from a ledge, but the branch he grabbed snapped, sending Chan plummeting and cracking his skull.

Another fantastic movie worth worthing.

Warriors Two (1978)

1978 Hong Kong martial arts film written and directed by Sammo Hung, who also co-stars in the film.

This another fantastic martial arts movie is about a bank cashier discovers a plot to kill the mayor.

His attempt to warn the mayor is foiled, and he almost gets killed, but a mumbling Shaolin disciple rescues him and takes him to his master to teach him a formidable form of kung fu.

Plenty of kick-ass Kung Fu fighting scenes using Wing Chun and sticky Mantis martial arts styles.

Drunken Master (1978)

Hong Kong martial arts comedy film directed by Yuen Woo-ping, and starring legendary Jackie Chan.

Unable to see eye to eye with his father, completely broke and with nowhere else to turn, young Wong Fei-Hung (Jackie Chan) grudgingly accepts the tutelage of Su Hua Chi (Siu Tien Yuen), a notoriously intoxicated martial arts master.

Su Hua Chi teaches Wong the techniques of Drunken Boxing, an unusually fluid fighting style. Wong is then forced to put his new skills to the test when his father is targeted by deadly assassin skilled Thunderleg (Hwang Jang-lee), who has never lost a fight.

Another actioned packed movie with plenty of fight scenes that is entertaining to watch.

Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior (2003)

Thai martial arts legend starring Tony Jaa

This movie is based In Thailand, it is about the most precious Buddha statue stolen from the temple.

Luckily the small town also has a very skilled fighter in the form of Ting (Tony Jaa), who sets out on a quest to recover the cherished figure.

His journey leads him to Bangkok, where he must wrangle the statue from Don a volatile drug dealer.

For this, he must defeat crime lord Komtuan’s men, in order to retrieve it back to his village to restore vitality.

This action packed movie is crossed between Jet Li and Jackie Chan all performed by this one man Tony Jaa.

Fist of Legend (1994)

Hong Kong martial arts legend starring Jet Li.

The movie is about a Chinese martial artist Chen Zhen (Jet li) back in 1937 returns to Shanghai to find his mentor and teacher is dead and his school is harassed by the Japanese.

Chen challenges Japanese master Ryuichi to a fight and easily defeats him.

This raise suspicious that his master was set up so Chen has an autopsy performed on his dead teacher.

This leads to a massive fight at the end with the Japanese military general officer who is an expertise in karate.

Highly explosive fighting especially the duel scene at the end between Chinese and Japanese fighters.

Iron Monkey (1993)

Hong Kong martial arts film starring legendary Donnie Yen.

In a desperate and unjust land, where government corruption rules the day, only one man has the courage to challenge the system and fight back.

They call him “Iron Monkey.” Under the shadow of night, in the silence before dawn, he fights to give hope to the poor and the oppressed.

Although no one knows his name and no one knows where he comes from, his heroism has made him a living legend to the people and a wanted man to the powers that be.

Plenty of cool fighting scenes and entertainment.

Wheels on Meals (1984)

Hong Kong martial arts film starring legendary Jackie Chan.

Two Chinese friends, who operate a food truck in Barcelona, Spain, use their martial arts expertise to help their private investigator friend protect the pickpocket Sylvia, who’s been targeted by a ruthless gang.

There’s action and humour galore in the streets of Barcelona in this adventure comedy.

The mayhem ends up with a battle in the castle hideout of an evil gang.

Again another action packed Kung Fu movie that is worth watching as it has plenty of entertainment and comedy.

Hitman (1998)

Hong Kong martial arts film starring legendary Jet Li.

The movie is about Tai Feng (Jet Li) a hitman or the contract killer with a conscience.

Allowing his personal sense of justice to guide him, Feng never carries out a killing he feels to be morally wrong.

When his agent Sam collaborates with him on the theft of billions from local mobsters, it is up to Feng to use his martial arts skills to save both his friend and the money.

They track down the assassin of a sleazy Japanese businessman where they fight to death.

Another great action packed movie that is entertaining to watch and easy watching.

Knockabout (1979)

Hong Kong martial arts film starring legendary Yuen Biao & Sammo Hung.

Its about two brothers and small time crooks Yipao (Yuen Biao) and Taipao convince a martial arts expert to take them on as students, completely oblivious to his sordid past.

Brothers Yipao and Taipao begin to train in Martial Arts under an expert, only to learn that he’s a wanted criminal.

After Taipao is killed, Yipao enlists the help of a beggar who excels in Kung-Fu to seek revenge of his brothers death.

Another movie worth watching for those who like old school Kung Fu that is also action packed.

Project A (1983)

Hong Kong martial arts film starring legendary Jackie Chan, Yuen Biao & Sammo Hung.

The movie is about fighting against pirates at the turn of the 20th century, the Hong Kong navy are failing miserably.

It is up to Sergeant Lung (Jackie Chan) to take matters into his own hands.

Jackie Chan treats his audience to a fun-filled, action-packed motion-picture experience, which shows him at his most reckless and brilliant.

The classic Buster Keaton stunts performed by Jackie are simply jaw dropping.

Mr Nice Guy (1997)

Hong Kong martial arts film starring legendary Jackie Chan.

The movie is about a chef (Jackie Chan) accidentally gets involved with a female news reporter who filmed a drug bust that went awry, and is now being chased by gangs who are trying to get the video tape.

Plenty of action and lots of cool stunts by Jackie that will curl your toes.

Highly recommended.

Legend of a Fighter (1982)

Hong Kong martial arts film starring Bryan Leung Kar-yan.

Bryan Leung is portrayed as the historical figure Fok Yuen-kap in this action film.

Fok Yuen-kap was born weak and susceptible to illness. Fok Yuen-kap had asthma at an early age and contracted jaundice, his father discouraged him from learning martial arts as he felt he was too weak to learn Kung Fu.

His Father hires a tutor from Japan, to teach his son Fok academics and moral values.

Fok grows up learning martial arts secretly watching his father and is challenged by a Japanese fighter to a duel.

Another highly entertaining movie with a fantastic ending that will leave you wanting for more!

Fist Power (2000)

Hong Kong martial arts film starring legend Vincent Zhao.

Brian Cheuk (Vincent Zhao) a security specialist and martial arts teacher, visits his family in Hong Kong and helps to send his nephew to school.

Shortly after that, a disgruntled former British marine, takes the students hostage and plants bombs around the school.

He demands that his son be brought to him in exchange for the hostages.

The journey is filled with danger and excitement as both the police and the thugs – including a hired killer – are out to get them.

Best of the Best (1989)

USA martial arts movie starring Eric Roberts.

Best of the Best tells the story of Alex Grady (played by a peak-era Eric Roberts), an aging karate champion with a nagging shoulder injury who is given a second chance at glory by virtue of being selected team from the United States is going to compete against Korea in a Tae Kwon Do tournament.

The team consists of fighters from all over the country – can they overcome their rivalry and work together to win?

Great American movie with plenty of action at the end of the movie.

No Retreat, No Surrender (1985)

USA martial arts movie starring Kurt Mckinney & Jean Claude Van Damme.

Jason (Kurt Mckinney) a Bruce Lee fan, sees his karate instructor/dad beaten by martial art thugs.

They move to Seattle where, after humiliations, Jason keeps his interest in practicing karate at home in his garage.

After being trained by a Bruce Lee’s ghost, he now can defend himself and others against thugs and takes the opportunity to get his revenge.

Another classic movie which is fun to watch and really does take you back into the 80s with this action pack fight scene at the end.

Kickboxer (1989)

Icon 80s American martial arts movie starring Jean Claude Van Damme.

Kurt (JCVD) decides to go in search of a kung fu master when his brother, Eric, is paralysed during a Thai fight.

While training himself to avenge Eric’s defeat, he finds himself trapped in a criminal intrigue.

This sets Kurt on a journey of new discovery to learn the unorthodox methods needed to take on the invincible Thai killer and become the legendary Bak Shung: The White Warrior.

Another fantastic iconic 80s movie that is worth watching once in your life time.

The Karate Kid (1984)

The Karate Kid is an American martial arts 80s movie franchise starring Ralph Macchio.

The movies follows the journey of a teenager boy Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) who is being bullied.

He thus began to study martial arts in order to defend himself studying karate under a Japanese teacher who did not speak proper english.

This is a journey where he build a close bond with his karate mentor/instructor which brings him courage and friendship.

This is another classic great movie where everyone has been through a bullying phase and rise to the triumph.

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