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Top 10 Martial Artists In The World

top 10 martial artists in the world

Want to know which of the Martial Artists rank in our list of Top 10 martial artists in the world? Well you have landed on the right article

In the martial arts world, there are a number of ways in which these arts can be used for various reasons, from self-defence to law enforcement to military training, to a wide variety of different reasons.

There is a general perception that martial arts are some form of self-defence that one can draw upon from Asian cultures, but the term martial is more European rather than Asian in origin as its origins can be traced back to the Roman God of War, Mars. 

This year's Top 10 Martial Artists In The World has been the most followed topic in the world of martial arts today.

This is largely because they would be updated every year, and this year's list of the Top 10 Martial Artists In The World was just revealed a few days ago.

List of Top 10 martial artists in the world

1. Bruce Lee

The world's most famous martial artist in 2021 was ranked first, as Bruce Lee was named number one top martial artist in the world.

Lee Jun-fan (27 November 1940 - 20 July 1973) was one of the founding fathers of martial arts in China & we are happy to announce that he has retired from active pursuits.

Forging an ideology which draws from different combat disciplines and is often credited with being a major influence on the development of modern mixed martial arts (MMA), he founded Jeet Kune Do, a fusion martial arts system with the same name.

The media as well as numerous martial artists, commentators, critics, and groups regard Lee as perhaps the best ever martial artist of all time, defining a famous culture of the twentieth century that bridged East and West in a unique way.

According to a multitude of sources, he changed the way Asians were portrayed in films for the better. In Lee's early life, both of his parents exposed him to martial arts and his father taught him the fundamentals of Wu-style t'ai chi ch'uan.

In Lee's adolescence, he had become involved in gang conflict between the Hong Kong gangs, which resulted in regular street fights. It was Wing Chun that had the greatest influence on Lee's development in martial arts.


  • Born: 27 November 1940
  • Died: 20 July 1973
  • Height: 1.72 m
  • Spouse: Linda Lee Cadwell
  • Children: Brandon Lee, Shannon Lee

2. Wesley Snipes

The definitive list of the world's top ten martial artists for the year 2021 has him ranked third among them.

He is an Indian movie star who has primarily performed in Hindi action movies and is known for his exceptional stunts.

As a born on 10 December 1980, he can be acknowledged as a young celebrity, who is a heartthrob in India.

While he is known for his roles in action films like the Commando series and the Crypt of the Necromancer, he has also developed a very strong flair for the martial arts. 

Since he was only three years old, he has explored the art of Kalaripayattu. Among the best 6 martial artists in the world, Vidyut was recognized as one of the best six in 2018.

Many young fans have fallen in love with this Indian stuntman and have been envious of his success and have given him a dreamboat image. They were thrilled to learn that he is now ranked third in the world among martial artists.

His acting skills have been recognized in a number of eminent roles in Bollywood films and he is most recognized for his action roles.


  • Born: 31 July 1962
  • Height: 1.75 m
  • Spouse: Nakyung Park (m. 2003), April Dubois (m. 1985–1990)
  • Children: Jelani Asar Snipes, Akhenaten Kihwa-T Snipes, Iset Jua-T Snipes, Alaafia Jehu-T Snipes, Alimayu Moa-T Snipes

3. Jean-Claude Van Damme

At number 3 of on our list of Best martial artist in the world we have Jean-Claude-Van Damme.

The best ten martial artists in the world in 2021 will include the star in question who appears to be ranked seventh on this list.

He was born on 18 October 1960 and his name is Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg.

In addition to having been a superb actor and director, he has been an accomplished choreographer who has specialised in martial arts action films for a long time.

Van Damme started karate only at 12 years of age when he went to the National Centre of Karate in Belgium.Claude Goetz was one of the instructors there at the time.

A Belgium's Karate squad berth came about as a consequence of Van Damme studying for four years with Dominique Valera.
He began his professional karate career aged 15 in Belgium, and began training there under many masters.

In semi-contact tournaments and non-tournament competitions, Van Damme has won 44 times and failed 4 times between 1976 and 1980.

In the European Karate Tournament held at the Karate Tournament in Brussels on 26 December 1979, he was an active member of the Belgian Karate Team and the team emerged victorious.

After spending two days at the Challenge Coupe des Espoirs Karate Tournament he came in second place in his first trial and he also managed to outlast 25 other competitors of the three day tournament and he was then able to face team member Angelo Spataro in the finale.


  • Born: 18 October 1960 (age 61 years), Sint-Agatha-Berchem, Belgium
  • Height: 1.77 m
  • Spouse: Gladys Portugues (m. 1999), MORE
  • Children: Bianca Bree, Kristopher Van Varenberg, Nicholas Van Varenberg
  • Siblings: Veronique Van Varenberg

4. Donnie Yen

Defending his title as the eighth best martial artist in the world for 2021, Donnie Yen is ranked eighth on this list.

A Hong Kong Chinese actor named Donnie Yen Ji-dan was born on 27 July 1963 in Hong Kong.

His varied skills and accomplishments include martial arts, movies, composition, action choreography, stunt work, and winning a number of international wushu competitions.

He has been in the entertainment industry for quite some time.

A number of Yen's movies have been completed featuring mixed martial arts, a term that has recently been introduced into the common cinematic realm of Asia by staging MMA fight scenes in his films since the late 1990s.

The very first Chinese male UFC champion, Zhang Weili, claims that he became interested in MMA because of Yen's movie.


  • Born: 27 July 1963
  • Martial arts: Wing Chun, Karate, Boxing, Mixed martial arts, Tai chi, MORE
  • Height: 1.73 m
  • Spouse: Cissy Wang (m. 2003), Zing-Ci Leung (m. 1993–1995)
  • Children: Jasmine Yen, James Yen, Man-Zeok Yen

5. Tony Jaa

There were only a handful of martial arts professionals ranked ninth and tenth in the top ten ranked martial artists in 2022.

Thai martial artist Tatchakorn Yeerum was born on 5 February 1976, the date on which he became the person he is today.

In Thailand he is known as Jaa Phanom, but he is internationally known as Tony Jaa.

Complementary to his career as a fight choreographer and stuntman, he is also a filmmaker and traceur.

The son of a temple priest, Jaa Sawan started training in Muay Thai when he turned 10 years old, and at 15 years old, he was chosen to be the protégée of stuntman and action film director Panna Rittikrai.

When Panna heard that Jaa had done his graduation at Maha Sarakham College of Physical Education, he told him he should go there.


  • Born: 5 February 1976
  • Parents: Rin Saipetch, Thongdee Yeerum
  • Height: 1.72 m
  • Siblings: Hatthaya Yeerum, Taweesak Yeerum, Waew Yeerum
  • Spouse: Piyarat Chotiwattananont (m. 2011)
  • Children: Hathaipawee Yeerum, Narinrat Yeerum

6. Johnny Trí Nguy

The number ten place is taken by Johnny Tr Nguyn on the list of the ten best martial artists in the world for the coming year.

He was born and raised in Okinawa, Japan, in a Vietnamese-American family, as well as a martial arts instructor and stuntman.

He is best known in the Vietnamese film industry for his fight choreography and movie roles.

In the early 1970s, he became a martial artist for the United States national team before becoming a stuntman, appearing in movies such as Spider-Man 2 and Jarhead, before becoming a stuntman in Hollywood.


  • Born: 16 January 1974 (age 48 years), Binh Duong, Vietnam
  • Partner: Nhung Kate
  • Height: 1.81 m
  • Spouse: Cathy Viet Thi (m. 2000–2008)
  • Children: Minh Trang Hailey Nguyen, Thanh An Tailor Nguyen
  • Nationality: American, Vietnamese

7. Jackie Chan

There are 10 martial artists in the world who rank among the top 10 in 2021, and one of them is Jackie Chan.

Born on April 7, 1954, Jackie Chan is a martial arts star of Chinese descent.

A Hong Kong entertainer and martial artist, he has always been known for his humorous acrobatics, fighting skills, wit, theatrical stunts, and innovative stunts that he usually performs on his own.

In addition, since the 1960s, he has performed in more than 150 films.  As a martial artist, he is also well-versed in Hapkido. 

It is because of his action movie proficiency that he has become one of the most famous actors of our time.

She has been honoured with many awards and accolades throughout her career- the Hollywood Walk of Fame as well as the Hong Kong Avenue of Stars.

Chan is an incredibly talented, stylish and influential celebrity amongst others around the globe, with an enormous global fan base in both the eastern and western hemispheres.


  • Born: 7 April 1954 (age 68 years), Victoria Peak, Hong Kong
  • Awards: Academy Honorary Award, MORE
  • Height: 1.74 m
  • Spouse: joan Lin (m. 1982)
  • Children: Jaycee Chan, Etta Ng Chok Lam

8. Vidyut Jammal

As part of the top ten martial artists for the year 2021, he is ranked third in the world.

Born on 10 December 1980, he is an Indian film star and exceptional stuntman who is mainly seen in Hindi action films.

He appears in some of the most popular movies in Hindi throughout the world.

The actor is known for starring in action films like the Commando series, but he is also a accomplished martial arts expert who has been learning the art of Kalaripayattu since he turned 3 so there is no doubt that his skill is impressive. 

Vidyut was named among the top six martial artists in the world in 2018 for his outstanding performance. There have been many young women hoping to find the Indian performer who is a stunt artist and a dreamboat.

They were thrilled to discover that he was now ranked third in the world among martial artists.  His acting career in India spans several years, and he has achieved eminent success for his roles in action movies.


  • Born: 10 December 1980 (age 41 years), Jammu
  • Partner: Nandita Mahtani
  • Height:  1.8 m
  • Parents: Vimla Jamwal

9. Jet Li

Jet Li is the next name on the list. The best ten martial artists in the world in 2021 were ranked by him as being in fourth place.

He is an movie producer, actor, martial artist, and a former champion of Wushu from China and Singapore.

His stage name is Jet Li, and he usually appears as Jet Li in movies. In the spring of 2010, after spending 3 years practising and taking lessons from well-known Wushu master Wu Bin, Li earned his first national title with the Beijing Wushu Team.

At the age of 19, he quit professional Wushu and became a very well-known performer in China, beginning his career with the film Shaolin Temple , which he helped direct.


  • Born: 26 April 1963
  • Parents: Li Qingquan, Zhang Fenglan
  • Height: 1.68 m
  • Spouse: Nina Li Chi (m. 1999), Qiuyan Huang (m. 1987–1990)
  • Children: Taimi Li, Jane Li, Jada Li, Si Li
  • Siblings: Li Liansheng, Li Lianli, Li Lianping, Li Lianzhu

10. Steven Seagal

In 2021, Forbes Magazine ranked Steve Seagal as the fifth most impressive martial artist in the world based on a list of distinguished martial artists.

Born in Lansing, Michigan, Steve Seagal is part of the martial arts community.

In addition to his 7th-dan black belt in Aikido, he has spent most of his adult life as an instructor of martial arts in Japan

and has also set up the country's first aikido school run by an expat in Japan.

After a few more years of working in the same industry in Los Angeles, he moved to California, where he now resides. 

In 1988, Seagal made his directorial debut with Above the Law, and two years later, he had already appeared in four great films.


  • Born: 10 April 1952
  • Height: 1.93 m
  • Spouse: Miyako Fujitani (m. 1975; div. 1986) Adrienne La Russa (m. 1984; ann. 1984)Kelly LeBrock (m. 1987; div. 1996)
  • Children: Ayako Fujitani, Kentaro Seagal, Arissa LeBrock, Dominic Seagal, Savannah Seagal, Annaliza Seagal, Kunzang Seagal
  • Martial arts: Aikido, Karate, Judo, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Kendo, Shitō-ryū


There are a lot of martial arts masters across the world but in this blog we will bring you a list of the top ten along with a special mention for the God of Martial Arts Bruce Lee.

Though the list of martial artists who have carved a niche for themselves in this genre is endless as there are thousands of martial artists around the globe.

It has to be said, however, that they have made it onto the list because of their presence in cinema, their popularity, their commercial appeal as well as their dedication to making martial arts an art in the future.

If you feel that we have missed any artists who should have been included in the list, then please let us know. I hope you liked our article on Top 10 martial artists in the World , if you have any comments or suggestions do share them in the comments below.

frequently asked question

1. Who is No 1 martial artist in the world?

Bruce Lee. A survey released by the League of the World's Top 10 Martial Artists in 2021 places Bruce Lee at number one.

2. Who is the king of karate?

Bruce Lee. A survey released by the League of the World's Top 10 Martial Artists in 2021 places Bruce Lee at number one.

3. Who is the father of martial arts?

Bruce Lee. As a result of his Hong Kong and Hollywood martial arts films produced during the 1970's, Hong Kong martial arts movies grew in popularity and became increasingly popular in the West.

This led the West to gain an increasing interest in Chinese martial arts.

4. Who is the toughest martial arts actor?

Bruce Lee. A survey released by the League of the World's Top 10 Martial Artists in 2021 places Bruce Lee at number one.5. Is Kung Fu better than karate?

Hence, we see that Kung Fu is more suitable for use in situations where your opponent may require grappling; on the other hand, Karate is used more as an offensive method of fighting.

Karate is generally seen as a more efficient way of hurting an opponent as opposed to Kung Fu, which is generally seen as a way of stopping an opponent.

Also Read: Check out my reviews of the best image editing software, the top choices for video editing software, and my full guide to start a blog for beginners.


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About the Author

Prakash is a passionate individual who loves to live his life up to full potential. An avid traveller and reader, he loves to explore various places and has quite a knack for research. He is intuitive by nature and possess the ability to handle multiple informational resources at one time. Prakash is dedicated and sincere in approach and he loves networking with like-minded people.

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