The Best Martial Arts Movies in Recent Years

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Most people who are interested in martial arts find it helpful watching movies that feature celebrities who are known to be advocates of the specific martial arts they are interested in. How many Bruce Lee, Jet Li, or Jackie Chan movies have become blockbuster movies in the past? The incredible success of most of those movies may be attributed to the huge martial arts following who are keen to learn new techniques featured in the movies.

Some of the best martial Arts movies in recent years are as follows:

Undisputed II: Last Man Standing

Undisputed 2 -- Muay Thai training camp

This 2006 movie is the sequel to the 2002 action film, Undisputed. The 2006 film features Mixed Martial Arts. In the film, George ‘Iceman’ Chambers is framed for possession of cocaine and sent to prison, where he discovers a series of illegal full-contact MMA matches arranged by prison officials for personal profits and at the expense of the fighting inmates. The illegal MMA fight is used as a bargaining chip to get Chambers to fight Yuri, the ruling MMA inmate fighter. In exchange, Chambers will get an expedited appeal and early release. The film showcases various fighting MMA techniques as displayed by both Chambers and Yuri.

Ip Man

Ip Man -- Muay Thai camp Phuket

This 2008 Hong Kong movie is a semi-biographical martial arts film based on the life of Yip Man – a grandmaster of the martial art Wing Chun and master of Bruce Lee. The film features Wing Chun as events in the life of Ip which took place in the city of Foshan during the Sino-Japanese War. Set in the 1930s, the film featured desperate circumstances that forced Ip to use his martial arts skills against the oppressors – the Japanese military soldiers. In the end, the Japanese General Miura, who initially wanted Ip to teach the Japanese soldiers martial arts but Ip refused, was challenged by Ip to a fight which the general accepted not knowing that it would lead to his defeat. The general’s deputy shot Ip while the crowd is cheering his win. The film revealed that Ip survives and escapes to Hong Kong where he establishes his Wing Chun school.

District B13

District B13 -- Muay Thai gym Phuket

This is a 2004 French action film that features “parkour” – also called the “art of displacement” and best described as street gymnastics or the closely related free running art popularized by Jackie Chan in the 80s. The film was set in the ghettos of Paris in 2010 where an undercover cop and ex-thug try to infiltrate a gang in order to defuse a neutron bomb which was planted by the Defense Secretary of France, Mr. Kruger, to blow up B13 in his desire to get rid of the community. B13 or Banlieue 13 is a poor Paris ghetto suburb where authorities built containment wall in order to isolate the uncontrollable B13 community. The bomb did not detonate and Mr. Kruger’s plan was exposed which led to the tearing down of the containment wall and bringing back to B13 the schools and police force.

Ong Bak 3

Ong Bak 3 -- Muay Thai training camp Thailand

This 2010 Thai martial arts film is a follow-up sequel to Ong Bak 2 which features Tony Jaa as Tien, a Muay Thai fighter. The film features Muay Thai and centered around the life of Tien who is captured and almost killed in many circumstances in the film. Tien is rescued and taken back to the Kan Kohne village where he embarks on a rehabilitation regimen with the help of Master Bua. Soon enough Tien is made to face his arch enemy in an epic fight where he won.