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Martial Arts Entertainment

The earliest recorded form of martial arts entertainment is probably when Emperor Huang Di created shuai jiao (Chinese wrestling) in 2000 B.C. as a competitive sport for his troops. History has since recorded how using martial arts and combative sports as a source of entertainment has proliferated around the world. There have been many kinds of spectator competitions wherein men and women have fought each other for fame, trophies, money, employment and freedom.

Today, most people associate martial arts entertainment with media—movies, television, video games and the Internet. Modern martial arts media can probably be dated back to 1790 when the last Chinese emperor, Chien Lung, assembled all the top opera troupes for his birthday. After their acts, Chien Lung picked the best performers to create the Beijing opera, which incorporated more martial arts moves and acrobatics into the operas. Without Beijing opera, there never would have been a Chinese kung fu film industry and no martial arts entertainment as we know it today.

  1. Bruce Lee Movies Bruce Lee Movies

    Bruce Lee is arguably the most influential martial artist in history because he essentially introduced Chinese martial arts to the world. Within a short span of time, he inspired millions to practice martial arts. “Little Dragon” Bruce Lee (aka Cantonese, Lee Jun-fan; Mandarin, Lee Xiao-lung) was born in San Francisco during the Chinese ...

  2. Finding Chuck Norris Finding Chuck Norris

    Since being beaten up by Bruce Lee in Way of the Dragon (1972; aka Return of the Dragon), Chuck Norris has had a successful A- and B-film career. But he’s best known for his 196-episode TV show, Walker, Texas Ranger (1993-2001), the longest-running martial-arts-based program in the history of American television. While ...

  3. Jackie Chan Movies Jackie Chan Movies

    As the second biggest international martial arts movie star of all time, Jackie Chan was initially touted as the next Bruce Lee, but his film-icon status was cemented through his production of kung fu comedies. With his large nose and floppy hair, Jackie Chan quickly became the clown prince of kung fu films. He didn’t replace Bruce Lee, but his ...

  4. Jean Claude Van Damme Movies Jean Claude Van Damme Movies

    Born Jean-Claude Camille Francois Van Varenberg, Jean-Claude Van Damme became the first and only martial arts film star from Belgium and the first European actor to make it big in Hollywood as a martial arts film star. With a kickboxing/karate record of 20 wins and two losses, Jean-Claude Van Damme got his big break in a vein similar to Chuck ...

  5. Jet Li Movies Jet Li Movies

    As the third biggest international martial arts movie star of all time, Jet Li (Mandarin: Lee Lian-jie) was also the first actor from Communist China to conquer Hollywood. Jet Li accomplished this feat by excelling in what at the time was cultural contraband in Communist China—martial arts. For example, Jet Li’s first major cinema ...

  6. Martial Art Movies Martial Art Movies

    The first martial arts film was made in Shanghai in 1905. Ding Jung Shan starred Beijing opera star Tan Xi-pei, and it gave birth to the first of China’s five martial arts cinema genres: wuxia pian. Loosely translated as “martial chivalrous-hero films,” wuxia movies are soaked in traditional tales and legends of superhuman ...

  7. Martial Arts Multimedia Martial Arts Multimedia

    Martial arts multimedia refer to multiple forms of media that are being used to give people access to martial arts entertainment and knowledge. Today, martial arts multimedia mostly encompass the world of electronics wherein combinations of martial arts video, audio, text and images are readily accessible to users via interactive modalities. ...

  8. Martial Arts TV Martial Arts TV

    Although the first TV program to feature a martial arts storyline was a Chinese kung fu soap opera seen on ATV (Asia Television) in Hong Kong in the late 1950s, the first time martial arts were featured on American television was in an early episode of ABC’s series The Detectives (1959-1961). The martial art was karate. Television in ...

  9. Steven Seagal Movies Steven Seagal Movies

    Steven Seagal burst onto the scene with the movie Above the Law. It was the first mainstream American film that featured aikido. Because of its novelty, Above the Law is often considered to be Steven Seagal’s best martial arts fight performance. Since then, Steven Seagal’s career has run the gamut of A- to B-range ...

  10. Tony Jaa Movies Tony Jaa Movies

    Before his breathtaking breakthrough role in Ong-Bak (2003), Tony Jaa started out with a few bit parts in Thailand and as an uncredited Hollywood stuntman. Following Ong-Bak’s success, Tony Jaa instantly went from being a no-name to the biggest name in martial arts cinema. Like Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jet Li before him, ...