Top 5 Must-see Martial Arts Movies

keanu-reeves-star-of-the-matrixThe influence of martial arts action sequences has been widespread over the years, not only in the entertainment industry, but also in the artfulness behind this popular style of fighting. Martial arts in films involves a number of fights between movie characters, as well as training sessions and other action scenes. Some movies focus primarily on the action, and others direct attention towards the larger plot and character development. These films offer a unique look into the art of the discipline, specifically how fast and precise movements might be delivered in a battle situation, sometimes with one man taking on many men at once. At the heart of each film is a strong, well-trained fighter who can control his emotions and apply the teachings of his instructor for the greater good of the world around him. There are a number of notable martial arts films that can educate and inspire practitioners of all levels. Here are five that are famous for their jaw-dropping fights and mesmerizing plots.

1. The Seventh Samurai

The first notable movie, The Seventh Samurai, was released in 1954 and directed by Akira Kurosawa. In this film, a veteran samurai recruits six other samurai to assist him in protecting a village that has fallen victim to bandit attacks. The samurais eventually end up in a battle with forty bandits who are attacking the village and must use their skills to fight them off.

2. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon was another box-office hit that topped 100 million dollars upon its release in the United States. Directed by Ang Lee, the movie is actually based off of the fourth novel in a Chinese book series called the Crane Iron Pentalogy. The movie takes place in the early nineteenth century, as two warriors attempt to recover a 400-year-old sword that has been stolen by bandits. In the process, they meet a nobleman’s teenage daughter who has fallen upon troubled times. Not only is this movie action-packed, but it contains an intriguing, ever-growing plot.

3. The Chinese Connection

The Chinese Connection was directed in 1972 by Wei Lo and stars Bruce Lee, Nora Miao and James Tien. The main plot revolves around Chen Zhen, played by Bruce Lee, who returns to China only to discover that his teacher has been murdered. He soon becomes a victim of racism, and must use his martial arts skills to defend himself and solve the mystery of his teacher’s murder.

4. The Matrix

The next movie is noted as another top martial film even though it is not technically about martial arts. The Matrix involves a variety of martial arts fighting techniques as a man battles his overlords in a distorted reality. Although a more westernized version of martial arts, the movie’s intense action scenes were choreographed by martial arts experts.

5. Ip Man

Lastly, there is Ip Man, which is based on the true story of martial arts master Yip Man, who taught both Bruce Lee and Wing Chun.

There are a number of other martial arts movies that have become popular over the years, but some stick out more than others thanks to their unique plots, characters and action sequences. Ultimately, they prove that with hard work, dedication and the right attitude, the art of fighting can be breathtakingly exciting.

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