The most versatile Martial Arts actor

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Midnight-shadow, Nov 19, 2016.

  1. Midnight-shadow

    Midnight-shadow 3rd Black Belt

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    Most Martial Arts actors have a signature style that they are best known for, but who do you think is the most versatile when it comes to using different styles, and using them well? For me it's Donnie Yen who has shown he can do a great variety of Southern Chinese styles, as showcased here:



    Just in this one clip we have Hung Gar, Wing Chun, Muay Thai, Southern Dragon, Mantis and Crane. I don't know any other artist that does all of those in a single fight (perhaps Jet Li).
     
  2. KangTsai

    KangTsai 2nd Black Belt

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    Mate just because he throws a flying knee doesn't mean it's muay Thai. No one is really "versatile" per se. They can either be very generic or highly specialised.
     
  3. Midnight-shadow

    Midnight-shadow 3rd Black Belt

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    Well let me put it this way, I don't know any chinese martial art that uses a flying knee, so it was probably inspired by muay thai. Why can someone not be versatile?
     
  4. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    They are actors not martial artists, they will do, like dancers, the moves that are choreographed for them. Those choreographers will only design moves that look good on film, they aren't bothered by styles so much as the impact they make on the screen.
     
  5. Kickboxer101

    Kickboxer101 Master Black Belt

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    Like has been said for movies the main actor is normally not the choreographer even if they are a good martial artist even Bruce lee didn't do his own fights until later on and the choreographer will show flashy moves not realistic ones.

    Personally though I'd say Michael jai white is the most versatile. The guy has a black belt in 8 different martial arts and trains with professional boxers and mma fighters and in his movies he uses a combination of karate, kickboxing, boxing, Muay Thai and jiu jitsu
     
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  6. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Sure they can. They are actors, and don't have to have great skill in each art - just learn a few fairly iconic moves well enough to complete them in choreography. Those who are best at quickly learning to work with choreography from other styles will be the most versatile.
     
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  7. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Any time I see "black belt in 8 different martial arts" I get suspicious. It's not impossible, but highly unlikely unless many of those are from arts that use the black-belt-as-starting-point approach, which may mean he has 1-2 years of training in those.
     
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  8. KangTsai

    KangTsai 2nd Black Belt

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    Unless it's one of those tacticool krav maga fight scenes. I respect them but I don't like them.
     
  9. Kickboxer101

    Kickboxer101 Master Black Belt

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    Well he's 49 years old and has been doing martial arts since he was 4 so it's not unrealistic to think it especially since he's an actor and doesn't work full time so he can train more often than a regular guy and the styles he has it in do have a lot of similarities so wouldn't take as long to learn each one as if he was a total beginner of each
     
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  10. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Since many arts take at least 5-7 years to get to BB, that's still a lot of time spent studying multiple arts. Not impossible, but the people I've met who claim anything even close to that many have at least one or two ranks that I'd classify as questionable.
     
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  11. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    Of the actors doing martial arts in the Hong Kong Movie industry today Many of them say Donnie Yen is a serious martial artist. He is quite well trained and not just doing the dance

    Donnie Yen - Martial arts history, style and philosophy
     
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  12. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    However the scene fights are still choreographed whether by him or someone else, and it will be done to look good rather than be practical so in many ways it doesn't matter for the screen whether he's a martial artist or not. it's the thing about the film industry, you don't have to be a martial artist to portray one, just be able to move like one which of course is acting.
     
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  13. Kickboxer101

    Kickboxer101 Master Black Belt

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    Like i said training since he was 4 he's 49 now that's easily enough time, plus if he was training more than 1 style at a time and he's not a fraud because recently he trained at jacksons gym and coached a few classes and all the guys there said they learnt a lot from him and bas rutten said jai whites got amazing technique
     
  14. Midnight-shadow

    Midnight-shadow 3rd Black Belt

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    I get what you are saying and you are right that a lot of it is down to the choreography with the actors just going through the motions. That said, you can still tell the difference between those actors who have studied the Martial Arts before going to the big screen, and those who don't. There is a fluidity that comes with having practised a style for years compared to a few weeks rehearsing the movements for a film. Just look at the difference between the Bourne and Matrix films compared to films like IP Man and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The fights in the western films are very clunky compared to the eastern films, and that comes purely down to the actors, not the choreography. As a side note, those who have practised the Martial Arts for years are able to do more without relying on wires and CGI. One of the reasons why Ong Bak was such a huge hit was because Tony Jaa was able to do all those stunts and moves without the use of wires and CGI to help him. This made the action sequences a lot more real and believable than some other films.
     
  15. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Just because someone has effective technique, that doesn't validate all of their ranks. Nor does it being improbable make any of their ranks questionable. I never called him a fraud - I said having that many ranks raises a flag for me. You're working very hard to defend against an attack I didn't make.
     
  16. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I think the difference you're seeing is more attributable to the styles highlighted and knowing what appeals to the audience. US audiences seem to react well to hard-hitting, brawl-type fighting.
     
  17. Kickboxer101

    Kickboxer101 Master Black Belt

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    I'm simply stating facts I'm not defending anything I'm simply having a discussion. I don't care if you think it's questionable or not if that's your opinion then cool no arguments about I was simply stating how it could be possible
     
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  18. Kickboxer101

    Kickboxer101 Master Black Belt

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    Thing is though the Bourne movies while the fights are terribly shot the moves and tone of the fights are much more realistic than say ip man or crouching tiger. Asian martial art cinema relies more on fancy stuff whereas now days with things like Bourne and the Craig era bond movies the fight moves are more simple but more realistic to a real fight, It just depends on what you like watching I don't like the shaky cam stuff because you can't see it but I like the effectiveness of their moves and I don't like all the flying through the air summersault kick stuff but I do like how they shoot it so you can see it properly
     
  19. Mdwilson

    Mdwilson Yellow Belt

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    Ok, I'll play.. I was thinking Chuck Norris.
     
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  20. Midnight-shadow

    Midnight-shadow 3rd Black Belt

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    I've always wondered if the shaky cam stuff was purely a method to hide the incompetence of the actors, or if they genuinely believe it looks good like that.123
     

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