The most fighting actors
In the movie, everyone gets in different ways. Some study in specialized schools and institutes, others follow on the heels of their parents, actors, directors or producers, while others accidentally catch the eye of film-makers, and they see future stars in them.
But there is a special category of movie roles involving the possession of martial arts. And many famous actors got into Hollywood precisely thanks to serious successes in this field.
Chuck Norris is remembered by many on the series, which went under the name “Cool Walker: Justice in Texas” in our country. Norris’s real name is Carlos Ray, and he was nicknamed Chuck in military service in South Korea, where he went in 1959 with the goal of subsequently becoming a police officer. Chuck did not like to serve, and out of boredom, the guy enrolled in the martial arts section: judo and tansudo (Korean martial art), karate. Three years later, by the end of the service, Norris had already won the black belt.
Soon after returning home, Chuck opened a karate school, which five years later grew into a network with 32 branches, while Chuck himself won and held the title of light heavyweight world karate champion for seven years. Karate, namely actor Steve McQueen, who took lessons at Chuck’s school, and brought him to the film industry. As a result, Norris starred in 33 films and played Cool Walker (1993-2005) for 12 years.
Jean-Claude Van Damme
Van Damme practiced karate from the age of 12, and at 16 he entered the national team of Belgium, and in 1980 became the champion of Europe in karate. Van Damme also did kickboxing. During the wrestling career he spent 22 fights, 20 of which he won. And in the eighties he developed his martial art in sparring with Chuck Norris.
His film career is extensive. Since 1986, he starred in more than 50 films, and the first success came to him after the release of the film “Bloody Sport” (1988), the script of which had been gathering dust on the shelves for two years. From the late 1990s and until 2012, the actor’s popularity has seriously fallen. He was looking for his way in directing, but his projects barely paid off at the box office and caused mixed reviews. The highest grossing film as a result was The Expendables 2 (2012). Vann Damm played the main villain there and was praised by critics, and the Premier France magazine even called him the best villain of 2012.
Stephen started karate at the age of seven. Then he actually lived on the street and participated in every brawl. There, on the street, he accidentally met aikido teacher Kyoshi Isisaki. The meeting changed the life of the future martial artist and actor. Seagal soon became Isisaki’s best student, and at 17 he decided to go to Japan to study with the masters. In 1975, Seagal became the first American to open his own dojo in Japan – a place for training, meditation and spiritual practice. His style in aikido is practical: “If someone attacked, manage to protect yourself.” Efficiency in a street fight, with which, in fact, Segal began his journey into martial arts, is the criterion for the success of his style. But he doesn’t call anyone to “run into”, on the contrary, as in any oriental art, Seagal has such a philosophy: “The best fight that didn’t take place”. Now Stephen Seagal is the owner of 7 dan and the title of Shihan.
Segal got into the film industry in 1982. In Japan, where the film “Challenge” was shot, he was invited to consult on martial arts and stage Japanese fencing. In addition, for extras, students from his school were also invited. And in 1984, the Seagal dojo moved to Hollywood, and the masters began to invite both as a consultant and subsequently an actor.
Mark had no other choice but to become a master of martial arts: his father, Al Dacascos, a martial arts teacher who developed his own style, and took charge of his son’s training with all responsibility. In addition, the mother of Dacascos, Moriko Makvey, was a student of her future husband. Later, a stepmother appeared – Malia Bernal, a true legend of female martial arts, the first woman to appear on the cover of Black Belt magazine.
From the age of 7, Mark participated in numerous competitions, which have accumulated more than two hundred during his entire fighting career, and at the age of 9 he won his first tournament. Mark considers it a matter of honor to teach what his parents taught him and to transfer the knowledge and skills that he received in life from various masters.
Mark’s acting career began in 1985, but all of his scenes were cut from the first film with his participation. Only in 1992 did Mark get a calling as an actor after participating in the film “American Samurai”, and immediately a lot of suggestions fell on him.
In 2016, the directorial debut of Mark “Showdown in Manila” was released in Russia, where Mark and his father Al.
Jet Li started practicing Wushu at the age of 9 at a summer camp. The children there were more likely to have fun than to seriously engage in martial arts, but Jet, more precisely, Li Liangjie (his real name), showed himself capable, and he was urged to continue his studies. Which he did, and two years later he appeared in the national championship and even won the title “Best Master”.