We are going to continue with our list of modern day martial arts action actors we think embody some of the traits of our beloved old school legends. The Martial Arts film genre is one of the most popular film genres and one can see the influence in action movies, superhero movies, and fight scenes in TV shows such as Arrow and Agents of Shield. Below are some other stars we should be on your watch list.
Phillip Ng is a Chinese-American martial artist, actor, stuntman, fight scene director, and co-star of several movies and the star the excellent Once Upon a Time in Shanghai, a remake of Chang Cheh’s Boxer from Shangtung. Phillip has real life skills in Choy Lee Fat, Wing Chun, Hung Gar and several other disciplines. He has charisma and is definitely one to look out for.
Andy is another Chinese-American making waves in the Hong Kong action industry. Andy had the pleasure of fighting with Jackie Chan in New Police Story film, Donnie Yen in Special ID, and was the villain in True Legend (opposite Vincent Zhao). He studies Wing Chun (with Phillip Ng whom he co-stars with in Once Upon a Time in Shanghai) and has trained in Muay Thai. Andy has a strong onscreen presence and good physical skills to make his fights look brutal and believable.
Known for her breakout performance in Chocolate, her great fight scenes in The Kick and Raging Pheonix ,Taekwondo black belt JeeJa Yanin has excellent kicking skills, work ethic, and tons of potential. She is a good actress to boot and performs many of her stunts. She rivals Tony Jaa ( and even fights him in Tom Yum Goong 2) and is on my watch list.
Crump is a highly skilled martial artist who made has trained in styles such as Capoeira, Filipino Kali, Karate, Kung Fu, and Muay Thai. He was mentored by Thai legend Panna Rittikrai and is good friends with Tony Jaa. Marrese has appeared in The Wrong Side of Town, Tom Yum Goong 2, and is scheduled to be in the upcoming King of the Iron Fist Tournament. Marrese’s upside is high and we look forward to watching more of his work! Be sure to check out his action reel Formless (directed by The RZA).
Always a supporter and lover of old school Kung Fu movies, the face of the highly successful hip hop mega group Wu Tang Clan is another to watch. His directorial debut Man with the Iron Fists was solid ( yes it had its flaws), he will re-appear as the Blacksmith in the sequel Man with the Iron Fists: Sting of the Scorpion, fought Tony Jaa in Tom Yum Goong 2, trains in martial arts ( Shaolin style, of course). The RZA’s star is on the rise and he is another to keep on your look-out list.
Michael Jai White
Black Dynamite himself Michael Jai White is another favorite of the Film Fan Dojo. Michael is a legitimate martial artist and holds 8 black belts in various styles such as Kyokushin Karate, Tae Kwon Do, (ITF and WTF), Shotokan Karate, Goju Ryu, and Tang Soo Do. He has appeared alongside JCVD, Scott Adkins, Tony Jaa ( the upcoming Skin Trade), Michelle Yeoh, and a host of others. He has acted in martial arts films such as Never Back Down 2, Blood and Bone, Universal Soldier 2, Undisputed 2, just to name a few. Michael is going to be seen in the upcoming Falcon Rising, a movie set to showcase his skill set like no other. With his looks, skills, and the ability to do comedy ( Black Dynamite is a classic) Michael is on the verge of a major career thrust. Keep him on your watch list!