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10 Greatest Fight Scenes One vs. Many!

Black Belt List
The Black Belt List

Counting down the 10 greatest fight scenes in a martial arts movie, the category ONE vs. MANY. 

In this list, we examine the greatest fight scenes with the twist where the hero fights more than one opponent. To make this top list we had two important criteria: Creativity and Skill.


With the advancement of wires and CGI. It's almost impossible to surprise us these days and yet so many films take it to the next level. Such is the case with the 2022 Academy Award film Everything Everywhere All at Once. Creativity can be more than just the choreography, it's the use of elements and surroundings to make the fight so much more interesting. 

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This is about how flawlessly movements are performed, such as kicking, elaborate hand techniques, grappling locks and throws, and of course the use of traditional weapons, and the ones that go bang! Skill can also be translated to technical perfection. The most important part of skill comes from the person actually performing the technique, thus the reason we love Jackie Chan, Tony Jaa, and Wesley Snipes is because we know they perform their own moves.

One vs. Many from Most Recent to Oldest 

Ke Huy Quan vs. the IRS 
Everything, Everywhere All at Once, 2022

Ke Huy Quan in Everything, Everywhere all at Once

We loved him in Indiana Jones and the Goonies, but he stole our hearts with that leather fanny pack in this Academy Award-winning film. Real-life actor, martial artist, and, yes, fight stunt director Quan started working behind the camera choreographing action sequences.

His first project after graduation came with renowned Hong Kong filmmaker Corey Yuen, who asked him to help with the fight sequences on X-Men (2000). In the unforgettable fight scene that takes place in the IRS office, he amazes us with “Fanny Pack Fu.” The fight scene can best be summed up by a fan who said, “How can someone so adorable be so dangerous?”

Charlize Theron vs. Everyone in the 10 Minute Fight Scene 
Atomic Blonde, 2017

Charlize Theron in Atomic Blonde

We all have to take our hats off to Charlize Theron. This A-list superstar performed most of her own martial arts stunts brilliantly in Atomic Blonde.  In a scene that literally goes for 10 minutes, she pulls out every trick in the book! She kicks, punches, elbows, and knees; you name it, she does it. 

There are so many behind-the-scenes videos of her training and clips from the movie, but treat yourself to the full monty and sit down and watch this masterpiece. Kudos to Sam Hargrave, second-unit director, and stunt coordinator, who both choreographed and shot the scene.

Rama vs. The Machete Gang 
The Raid, 2011

Raid 2011 Poster

This 2011 Indonesian martial arts/action film was written and directed by Gareth Evans and starring Iko Uwais (Indonesian actor, stuntman, fight choreographer, and martial artist). The film follows an Indonesian police squad sent to raid a ruthless drug lord’s apartment block in the slums of Jakarta, only to be surrounded by the criminals forcing them to fight their way through the complex.

Uwais is powerful, creative, and absolutely brilliant in the fight scene against multiple machete assassins. This brutal action film is a must-see. 

Jason Statham vs. the Gang 
Transporter 2, 2005

Jason Statham in Transporter 2

Set in Miami, this movie has everything including slick-back-hair bad guys, beautiful female assassins, and, of course, Jason Statham in prime form. With a little help from legendary fight director Corey Yuen, Jason Statham is spectacular as he faces off against gang thugs. We really get to see his skills that include an impressive display of kicking, acrobatics, and weapon work using a makeshift steel pipe that doubles as a martial arts staff.

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Tony Jaa vs. The Club
On Bak, 2003

Tony Jaa in On Bak

The film that started it all–Ong Bak starring Tony Jaa. In a club scene, Jaa takes on multiple opponents one by one and it is here we are introduced to the original Muay Thai style of Tony Jaa. He puts on a kicking and striking clinic of Muay Thai moves that had previously not been seen in major films. This is the film that started it all and propelled Jaa into stardom.

Wesley Snipes Blade vs. the Vampires
Blade, 1998

Wesley Snipes in Blades

One of the best martial artists on the silver screen is Wesley Snipes. Fans of Blade will agree, he is spectacular when he faces the vampires. We're treated to a masterful display of kicking techniques, Karate hands, a few stylized capoeira moves, and, of course, the use of his blade! All is beautifully done while his sunglasses never leave the face. Now, that's what we call style!

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Jackie Chan Pachinko Gaming Casino  
Thunderbolt 1995

Jackie Chan in Thunderbolt

This is the Jackie Chan we know and love. Acrobatic, quick on his feet, using both his kung fu and gymnastics skills to take on a gang in a Tokyo Casino. The scene gets more interesting when the sumo guy shows up, but true to form, Jackie does not disappoint. The scene goes for more than five minutes, and probably took several months to film but it's worth every second.

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Cynthia Rothrock & Michelle Yeoh vs. a Bunch of Bad Guys
Yes, Madam 1985

Cynthia Rothrock & Michelle Yeoh in Yes, Madam

This film is forty years old and if you haven't seen it it's a must-see. It's the breakout film for both Cynthia Rothrock and Michelle Yeoh who play detectives in this Hong Kong martial arts action masterpiece.

The final scene includes an incredible display of empty hand fighting weapons and some of the most amazing stunts! Swords, staff, spears, lots of broken glass, and hand-to-hand combat that still hold up today. It's the film that launched both careers that continue today.

Steven Seagal Bar Fight 
Out for Justice 

Steven Seagal Bar Fight in Out for Justice 

Quintessential Steven Seagal, ponytail and all. This fight scene displays Seagal in his prime, with the finest moments utilizing multiple disciplines of martial arts including Aikido, Karate Kendo, and Filipino stick fighting. We're even treated to a showdown battle facing Danny Inosantos, appropriately named “sticks.”

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Bruce Lee in the Alley
Return of the Dragon

Bruce Lee in Return of the Dragon

They don't make them like this anymore. Bruce Lee faces off against a gang of stick-carrying thugs who are trying to take over his family's Chinese restaurant in the middle of Rome (where else would it be?) 

Back to the alley, Bruce and his signature white tank top bust out all the moves and signature lines like a dragon whips his tail and, of course, how can we forget two sticks and a chain?

Then the world went crazy for the Nunchaku and the classic line, “We’ll show him Chinese Boxing.”

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