View Full Version : what does everyone think of these ma actors?

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07-10-2003, 03:46 PM
what are your opinions on these martial art actors and do you think they are really legit in terms of good/decent martial artists?

chuck norris

dolph lundgren

jeff speakman

mark dacascos

cynthia rothrock

richard norton

don "the dragon" wilson

07-11-2003, 06:41 AM
I don't know too much about Lundgren. The others have either ring experience, legit ranking, are life-long students or some mix of all of the above.

As actors, Mark Dacascos was fantastic in "Brotherhood of the Wolf". Norton and Rothrock have a large body of work in Hong Kong Cinema. Norris may have been the most successful financially with his television series "Walker Texas Ranger" and his action film career.

My own personal opinion is Dacascos is the best actor of the bunch. While all are past their "fighting prime" I would speculate that either Norris or Norton would be the best fighters.



07-11-2003, 07:06 AM
what are your opinions on these martial art actors and do you think they are really legit in terms of good/decent martial artists?

chuck norris

dolph lundgren

jeff speakman

mark dacascos

cynthia rothrock

richard norton

don "the dragon" wilson
I like to practice with good/decent martial artists.

The people I watch in movies I prefer to be good/decent actors.



07-11-2003, 11:47 PM
I don't know too much about Lundgren.

This is all from memory but I'm too lazy to search the web and check what I remember right now.

IIRC Lundgren was on a full ride scholarship to a prestigious university for chemistry or chemical engineering or some such thing. He was also competeing in karate tournaments. It was while competeing that he was noticed by singer Grace Jones and was approached to be one of her body guards. He apparently then parlayed that into his own movie career.

Or maybe I dreamed all that :confused:


07-21-2003, 02:52 AM
chuck norris

- got his big break in one of bruce lee's film. made some ok movies.. apparently a good karateka in his time. his biggest contribution yet might be his jeans with the hidden splits.. so that you can do high kicks without ripping em apart. Plus he tries to portray good attitude in his tv show.

dolph lundgren

amazing guy who actually jumped 6 feet over a moving car in 'big showdown in little tokyo'. No FX.. but the real thing. Has a genius IQ apparently... looks slow though.

jeff speakman

- who?

mark dacascos

- great in brotherhood.. but have you seen him in crying freeman? amazing likeness to the manga character. apparently MA is big in his family.

cynthia rothrock

hey.. one of the first MA chicks in the movies.. fun whilst it lasted.

richard norton

- ermm who?

don "the dragon" wilson

- saw him as extras - jacky chans film being one of em. kinda ok i guess.. but maybe he looks like the typical bad guy.

Dave Miller
07-21-2003, 08:49 AM
The only one with whom I have any familiarity is Chuck Norris, who was a 6X world champion when he was competing. In his day, he was one of the best fighters in the world.

When I was studying fighting arts, one of the lessens I learned is that there are two broad categories of techniques or types of fighting: movie fighting and what works in the real world. About 90% of the stuff you see in the movies would get you killed if you actually tried it on the street. Bruce Lee once commented that in a real fight he would never kick above the waist.

Just a thought...

07-21-2003, 11:33 AM
Chuck Norris, who was a 6X world champion when he was competing. In his day, he was one of the best fighters in the world.


From his Official Web Site (http://www.chucknorris.com/)
In 1997, Chuck achieved another milestone in his life by being the first man ever in the Western Hemisphere to be awarded an 8th degree Black Belt Grand Master recognition in the Tae Kwon Do system. This was a first in 4,500 years of tradition.

I once saw some video of Norris hitting a bag. No special effects or film speed ups. He was able to do a left jab, right spinning back-fist combo with incredible power almost faster than I could see it.


From the web page for his fan club (http://www.pailum.org/DonWilson/)
Don "The Dragon" Wilson is hands down the greatest kickboxer of all time. He has won 10 world titles in 3 different weight divisions, something no other fighter has accomplished. Never backing down from a challenge, Don has fought champions all around the world, in Hong Kong, Japan, Italy, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Thailand, Las Vegas and countless other locations.


From an unauthorized web site (http://www.darkseid.com/dolph/)

Dolph Lundgren grew up in Stockholm, Sweden, where he attended the Royal Institute of Technology. He also lived in Nyland, in Kramfors Sweden, as a teenager. Spending time abroad in the U.S. on various academic scholarships, he attended Washington State University and Clemson in South Carolina. He received a master's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Sydney, Australia in 1982 (where he bused tables and worked as a bouncer at Icabod's Cafe) and the next year was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to MIT.
A world-class athlete and winner of several international karate competitions, Lundgren took up martial arts at 14 and is now a 3rd dan in Kyokushin karate and attends the Swedish Kyokushin camps yearly. In 1980 he became a master in European kickboxing. His accomplishments in the sport include being the captain of the Swedish full-contact karate team and the winner of the European Heavyweight Full-Contact Karate Championship in 1980 and 1981, as well as the Australian heavyweight division title in 1982.

From the American Kenpo Karate Systems webpage (http://www.akkskenpo.com/jeffspeakman.htm)
Currently Jeff holds a 7th degree black belt in Japanese Gojo-Ryu and a 6th degree black belt in American Kenpo Karate. As head and founder of the American Kenpo Karate Systems (AKKS) organization which includes over one hundred thirty schools worldwide

Must go now. Maybe more later if I feel like digging on the web ;)


08-25-2003, 12:19 AM

08-25-2003, 08:12 AM
I love the action flix genre. I would rather watch a good martial artist as a bad actor, than a good actor as a bad martial artist. Its just entertainment, not to be taken too seriously.

08-25-2003, 11:27 AM
I did not know Taekwando had been around 4500 years. That seems like an odd statement. I believe Norris' style is Tang Soo Do. So which organization awarded him 8th degree?

08-25-2003, 08:41 PM
I just cut and pasted it dude ;), but I did wonder the same thing on both accounts.


09-22-2003, 10:41 AM
I like Taylor's comment, Jet Li is certainly fun to watch. VERY fast. Supposedly they had to ask him to slow down in the movie Lethal Weapon IV 'cause he was beating the stuffing out of Mel Gibson. Who knows about the truth in these rumors though. One thing that I've heard is that he won overall champion in 5 consecutive Wushu tournaments.

The Wushu folks are fun to watch, very flashy and exciting. Not sure how practical those fancy moves would be, but they sure as anything look impressive, at least to lil' old me anyway.

I think with all the Follywood stuff, it's quite possible that what we're seeing an actor do in a movie might not be indicitive of that person's actual practices. The Bruce Lee comment that was brought up, which I read in a few places as well, about how in an actual situation he'd never kick above the waist. Flash sells, so that's what's done in the movies I guess. We could certainly shake the jar by pondering over what Steven Seagal does. Some say he's the real deal, others say no. Some say he's the real deal but it's not real Aikido. Some say he's a jerk, others say no. Some (ok, more than some) say he's a terrible actor. Me, I've never met the guy. But I think digging a little deeper like Bronson Diffin did might give a better idea of what these movie martial artists might actually be capable of in real life. I just shrug and try to enjoy the movie.

Interesting thread!

Upstanding Dragon
10-02-2003, 03:35 PM
Chuck Norris

Nice guy :) very legit martial artist, I believe now he's studying Machado Jiu Jitsu along with his Tang Soo Do.

He's a very humble guy, good natured.

Only remember seeing him in Way of the Dragon... very hairy then haha, apart from that not a lot, an old film called Silent Rage (I think), and his Walker Texas Ranger show.

Not a great actor, he admits himself, he said once, when talking about Elvis studying Kempo, "Elvis is as good as Karate as I am at acting"


Dolph Lundgren

Yeah, another good legit martial artist I would say, really good Kyokushinkai fighter, I've heard. I think he's pretty good, really liked Showdown in Little Tokyo, and Rocky IV.

Jeff Speakman

Don't know this person, heard about him, was he in a film based on Kempo?

Mark Dacascos

Fantastic! great well rounded martial artist, his father is very well known, Al Dacascos, founder of Wun Hop Kuen Do, yeah, very much into martial arts, Wing Chun, Capoeira among others, good gymnastic ability as well.

Cynthia Rothrock

Not too sure about her, think she was a martial artist before she got into films... only ever seen her in Police Assassins (In the Line of Duty).

Richard Norton

Only ever seen him in Jackie Chan's City Hunter, legit martial artist, kickboxing I think, and some Filipino stuff.

Don "The Dragon" Wilson

Upstanding Dragon
10-02-2003, 03:37 PM
Don "The Dragon" Wilson

Very good Kickboxer, lot of heart! very versatile, remember seeing him in films, but can't remember which... Ring of Fire maybe? or was that Billy Blancs?

hmm, more of a Hong Kong Action fan :)

Like Western martial arts films as well, but mainly the older ones, 80's MA stuff :)


Kensho Furuya
10-02-2003, 04:47 PM
Some others might deserve an honorable mention here: Fumio Demura (Shito-Ryu), Kiyoshi Yamazaki (Karate), Tak Kubota (Karate), David Carradine, Treat Williams, Brandon Lee (Bruce Lee's son), veteran actor S. Hayakawa (Wagon Train tv series), Carter Huang (Kung Fu-Big Trouble in Little China), James Lew, Jess Imada (argubly the most succesful of all, but mostly in stunt-work), Gerald Nakamura, Gary Daniels (North Star, Gold Harvest), Ark Y. Wong (Kung Fu), Joe Lewis (Full contact), Bill "Superfoot" Wallace, Eric Lee (Kung Fu) and many, many more. Btw, trivia point-veteran actor, James Cagney was proficient in Judo. Peter Lorre used some Judo in his "Mr. Moto" films. Non-related: Rudolph Valentino was an avid Samurai sword collector. Probably many more "ma" actors, if a rattle my old brain some more. Who have I forgotten? Donny Yen (Iron Monkey, Highlander) was raised in Boston, stayed at my dojo when he was about 14 yrs old after his training in China, I think he is an American citizen. . . .

Some actors, I have trained in Aikido off and on are Dick Cavett, Don Diamante (Young & Restless), Nick Mancuso, George Takei (Startrek), Jeffrey Meek (the Raven), Bruno Campos (Jesse), Morgan Weisser (Lost Boys, X-Files, Kim Kahana (stunts, Man from Uncle, Bonanza, Soylent Green-a long time ago!), Matt Glave (ER), some others, I think. . . . .

10-02-2003, 06:45 PM
I never knew dolph lundgren did martial arts. As for most of them (drascos et al.) I have seen some of their movies, and have been bothered by huge gaping plot holes more than anything. Yeah, it's nice to see some flashy moves, but at least try to keep the story going.

Kensho Furuya
10-02-2003, 07:24 PM
Good martials and a good plot - with decent acting? That is a tall order, indeed!

Early Samurai chambara films were adopted from popular novels written by competent authors who specialized in historical novels and period pieces. I think the early Kung-fu movies were also adapted from popular kung fu novels. I don't think we have this genre of martial arts novels by skilled or competent authors in our popular literature today. . . . Many of these movies are often a matter of a screen writer throwing everything into the pot, with emphasis on "action," and only a semblance of a plot. More often than not, it is not a matter of an actor getting into the story or theme of the movie, it is more the movie centering around the particular personality and skills of a martial artist.

Among one or two of the top paid martial artist-actors in the business today, in their early years, were only given a few or no lines, because the director didn't feel they could handle it. I remember, many, many years ago, one martial artist-actor was to give his first love scene but decided he would rather lock himself up in his trailer for several hours, until he was finally convinced to continue working - the love scene was deleted. . . . . . Sometimes, I think we just have to accept the fact that these "ma" actors are on the screen for their fighting abilites and not so much their acting skills and just be sympathetic and forgiving of them and give them the benefit of the doubt. . . . . Some even notoriously "bad" ma movies are among my favorites, just because I get a kick out of them . . . . For great acting or a movie with depth or at a level of fine art, I go somewhere else.

10-03-2003, 09:43 PM
Bruce Lee? Bruce Le? Bruce Li? Jet Li? Nah. Bolo Yeung: