Greatest Martial Artists in History • Brief Martial Arts


We are all inspired about the greatest martial
artists that ever lived. But did you ever wonder what made them the greatest? How come
they were different from everyone else? In the next 17 minutes, I will answer this question
by briefly looking at the history of the greatest martial artists.
We will start our history by looking at 400 to 190 BC ancient Greece, or more specifically
– Sparta. The Spartans are famous up to this day as creators of one of the first professional
armies, where their warriors were intensely trained from the early age of seven, all the
way up to 20, although their emphasis on military fitness began virtually at birth. All Spartan
infants were brought before a council of inspectors and examined for physical defects, and those
who weren’t up to standards were left to die. Spartan warriors were feared as the most
powerful army in the Greek world and commonly known that one Spartan was worth several men
of any other state. In 480 BC, in the famous battle of Thermopoly, Spartan King Leonidas,
personally lead an army of 300 Spartans and few thousand Greek soldiers into a battle
against a much greater Persian army of more than a hundred thousand. Tactically using
a narrow coastal pass of Thermopoly, also known as “The Hot Gate”, with their extremely
developed battle skills and tactics, Leonidas and his small group was able to hold against
the Persians for more than two days of battle. Eventually, they were killed because of a
local Greek, betraying a secret path to the Persians, which lead to the assault of the
Spartan army from the rear. Having dedicated their lives to the martial way, Spartan warriors
could be easily considered to be as one of the first greatest martial artists of history.
Yet although they were exposed to grueling and sometimes brutal training, not many know
that they were also taught poetry, music, academics and sometimes even dancing and politics.
Each Spartan Warrior followed a strict code of honor and placed emphasis on liberty, equality
and fraternity. To simply put, they had a deeper purpose for developing. They were not
training to be simply brutal fighters, but rather to become pillars for their society.
Support of their community was the source of their passion for constant improving, which
surpassed technical training only and lead them to be extraordinary warriors that are
legendary till this day. To continue our journey, we’ll shift the
attention further East, by looking at 5th century China, or more specifically – the
famous Shaolin Monastery, where Shaolin Kung-Fu has been created. Although it would be hard
to point out the greatest Shaolin Kung Fu master of all time, throughout centuries,
many of them have displayed incredible skills in this martial art. By developing not only
their techniques, but also their bodies and minds, they are famous for being able to withstand
incredible force and demonstrate amazing feats, such as breaking glass with a needle. Many
Shaolin Kung Fu masters have defeated various foreign opponents from Japan, Russia and Europe
in duels, proving the effectiveness of their style, also proving them to be some of the
early greatest martial artists. Yet here we can ask again: where did those skills and
passion for their art come from? Although it is not always confirmed, the creation
of the famous Shaolin Kung Fu is often dedicated to Bodhidharma, an Indian Buddhist monk, that
brought Chan Buddhism to China, which later became known in Japan as the famous Zen Buddhism.
Bodhidharma was a Bodhisattva – a Buddhist term of a person seeking self-fulfillment,
in order to help all sentient beings. It is clear that Bodhidharma was lead by this motivation,
as he spent nearly all his life developing himself in order to help others. Bodhidharma
spent a big part of his life in the Shaolin Monastery. Based on a famous legend, he lived
in a cave next to the monastery for 9 years, where he spent his time meditating while gazing
at a wall and being silent. It was also said, that he was disturbed by the poor physical
shape of the Shaolin monks, after which he instructed them in martial arts techniques
to develop both mind and body, thus Shaolin Kung Fu was born. Shaolin Monks continued
to train Kung Fu, yet also alongside practiced meditation and the teachings of Buddhism.
They dedicated themselves to this path in order to develop themselves and thus, to better
aid others. In other words, they too possessed a deeper purpose for their training and did
not limit it to technique. To further this journey we will continue not
so far from China – to ancient Japan, 10th to 16 th century – where another legendary
class of warriors has originated. Japanese warriors known as the samurai, were famous
not only for devoting their lives to mastering various martial arts, but literary arts as
well. Samurai were expected to be cultured and literate, and admired the ancient saying
“bunbu-ryodo” – or “The pen and the sword in accord”. The Samurai were also taught that
the path of the warrior was one of honor, emphasizing duty to one’s master, and loyalty
unto death. Their devotion was so highly emphsized, that a samurai who has lost his honor or failed
his master, was meant to commit a suicidal ritual known as Seppuku. As in our previous
stories, we face again a devotion surpassing just martial arts, and also one focused beyond
personal self, which lead to emergence of some of the greatest martial artists of all
time. There are many samurai throughout history
which are famous for their skill in battle and strategy, but Myamoto Musashi stands out
as one of the greatest duelists and martial artists. Born 1584, he was educated by his
uncle in Buddhism, basic literary skills and also the sword. There are many controversial
stories about Musashi’s oddities, such as that he have rarely bathed or changed his
clothes as well as having suffered from a somewhat disfiguring skin condition. Yet history
agrees about his excellence in the way of sword. Musashi is said to that won his first
duel when he was just 13 years old and continued to travel through Japan, engaging in more
than 60 duels, always undefeated. Yet he did not limit himself to martial arts. Having
mastered the sword, he also spent years studying Buddhism and was an accomplished artist, sculptor,
and calligrapher. Musashi had little concern for his own personal comfort or even his life
and dedicated himself entirely to his development. At the end of his life he also attempted to
transmit his knowledge of self-development and sword by writing a book called the Book
of Five Rings. Here he emphasized that samurai should understand not only martial arts, but
other professions as well. His teachings said: “Think lightly of yourself and deeply of
the world”. This connection of devotion which is not limited
to martial arts was also found in more modern day Japan. The bridge from 19th to 20th century
brought a few different great martial artists. Jigoro Kano, born 1860, early on became interested
in a Japanese martial art known as Jujitsu. Kano’s father was a great believer in the
power of education, and he provided Jigoro with an excellent education, yet being a slim
child, Kano had a strong wish to become stronger. When a family friend told him that Jujitsu
was a good way to develop strength, Kano decided to find a teacher, which was not an easy task.
At the time, Jujitsu was becoming strongly unpopular, due to the decline of the samurai
and the beginning of a new era, yet that did not stop Jigoro’s effort. He started going
to various body therapists, assuming that they should know the martial arts teachers.
Eventually one of the people indeed directed Jigoro to a Jujitsu instructor, which taught
him his knowledge. Yet after mastering Jujitsu, Kano felt that learning technique was not
sufficient, thus he started improving the learned techniques, while also adding an emphasis
on philosophy and self-development. This mix in turn lead to the creation of what is now
known as Judo. Sensei Kano later stated that: “I therefore anticipated that practitioners
would develop their bodies in an ideal manner, to be outstanding in matches, and also to
improve their wisdom and virtue and make the spirit of Judo live in their daily lives.
[…] We should be able to move properly in response to our opponent’s unexpected attacks
and should also not forget to make full use of every opportunity during our practice to
improve our wisdom and virtue. These are the ideal principles of my Judo.”.
Just a few years after Jigoro Kano, in 1868, Gichin Funakoshi was born in Okinawa, a Japanese
island where Karate has originated. He was a weak and sickly child, yet nonetheless his
parents brought him to Karate training, where Funakoshi continued to develop great skill
and strength. In 1922 he moved to Japan, where he stayed in a small room of a dormitory,
doing cleaning and gardening during the day and teaching local students Karate in the
night. Later on, Funakoshi opened his Dojo and continued to introduced karate to the
Japanese. He is considered the founder of Shotokan Karate-Do, perhaps the most widely
known style of karate, and is attributed as being the “father of modern karate”. In addition
to being a karate master, he was an avid poet and philosopher who would reportedly go for
long walks in the forest where he would meditate and write his poetry. During his life, Funakoshi
wrote “The Twenty Guiding Principles of Karate” where he laid out 20 rules by which
students of karate are urged to abide in an effort to “become better human beings”. One
of the principles state: “Apply the way of karate to all things. Therein lies its
beauty.”. During the same time, another renowned martial
artists lived in Japan. Born 1883, son of a landowner, Morihei Ueshiba was a weak, sickly
child and bookish in his inclinations. In his early days he witnessed how his father
was beaten by a group of people. This experience lead Ueshiba to take a promise, that he will
become strong in order to protect people around him. Ueshiba started studying several martial
arts during his early life, and was well known for his physical strength. In 1915 he met
Sokaku Takeda, a master of Jujitsu, and was deeply impressed by his skills. Ueshiba even
built a Dojo in his own house to invite Takeda as a permanent house guest, in order to continually
learn from him. After years of training, he became a master of the art himself. Ueshiba
became famous for his own martial arts skills, which lead to advanced practitioners of different
martial arts coming to train under him. He was so respected, that people referred to
him as O’Sensei – translated as “the great teacher”. Yet Ueshiba did not limit
himself to martial arts. He also went under a regime of spiritual training, regularly
retreating himself to the mountains and performing purification meditation under heavy waterfalls.
He was deeply concerned about other people and decided that a new martial art, based
not only on technical skills, but also on self-development is necessary, thus he created
Aikido. Morihei taught that: “Life is growth. If we stop growing, technically and spiritually,
we are as good as dead.” Another great Karate master who was famous
for his strength and skill lived in the early 20th century Japan. Masutatsu Oyama, commonly
known as Mas Oyama – was born 1923 in South Korea. He began studying Chinese martial arts
at age of 9 from a Chinese farmer who was working on the farm. One story of Oyama’s
youth involves his first teacher giving young Oyama a seed which he was to plant; when it
sprouted, he was to jump over it one hundred times every day. As the seed grew and became
a plant, Oyama later said that he was able to jump between walls back and forth easily.
In 1938, Oyama moved to Japan, where in 1946 he started learning Shotokan Karate, from
the second son of Gichin Funakoshi. Mas, later on became so devoted to Karate, that he retreated
to mountains for fourteen months where he spent all his time training in isolation,
followed by a second time, which lasted 18 more months. Oyama became so strong, that
he did not only defeat various rivals, but was also able to fight and kill live bulls
with his bare hands, sometimes even snapping their horns at the end. In 1957, he created
his own Karate style known as Kyokushin, which emphasized grueling training and full contact
practice fighting. Yet as our previous great martial artists, Oyama also emphasized self-development.
He was highly influenced by Musashi’s “The Book of Five Rings” and even wrote over
80 books himself. He was passionate about sharing his knowledge and taught that “Although
it is important to study and train for skill in techniques, for the man who wishes to truly
accomplish the way of budo, it is important to make his whole life in training and therefore
not aiming for skill and strength alone, but also for spiritual attainment.”.
As we move further, our attention shifts to the West, where some of the greatest martial
artists also lived their lives. Born 1913, a Brazilian child named Helio Gracie was frail
and sickly. When his brother learned Jujitsu and shared it with his family, Helio wasn’t
allowed to be a part of the training, which involved actual fighting, as he was to fragile.
Instead, he stood aside and tried to understand the mechanics by watching. Faced with this
physical problem, he started developing techniques, which were not based as much on strength,
but rather on skill and became so good at this, that when he was 18 he was given his
first no-holds barred fight against a boxer, which lasted less then a minute as Helio choked
his opponent out. Helio and his brothers continued to develop his techniques what lead to the
creation of Brazilian Jujitsu. Yet this style would probably have not developed, if it was
not for the passion of Helio to give a chance for the weaker to win against the strong,
by creating a martial art, not based on strength. He saw this development surpassing martial
arts and being also a development of character. As he once said: “Jiu-Jitsu is like a philosophy.
It helps me learn how to face life.” As we move further in time, no list of greatest
martial artists of the West could suffice without Bruce Lee. Bruce was born 1940,
at the Chinese Hospital, in San Francisco’s Chinatown. According to the Chinese zodiac,
Lee was born in both the hour and the year of the Dragon, which according to tradition
is a strong and fortuitous omen. Indeed, it did seem to be true for his althought short,
yet highly influential life. After Lee’s birth, his family moved back to Hong Kong,
where he spent his childhood. In 1957, after losing several fights with rival gang members
– Lee began training in Wing Chun Kung Fu, under a master named Yip Man. After a year
into his Wing Chun training, most of Yip Man’s students refused to train with Lee after they
learned of his mixed ancestry, as the Chinese were generally against teaching their martial
arts techniques to non-Asians. However, Lee showed a keen interest in Wing Chun, and continued
to train privately with Yip Man himself. Despite his training, Lee often got involved into
street fights, which lead his father to the decision of sending him back to United States
to pursue a safer and healthier life. In 1959 Lee began teaching Chinese martial arts to
all people of different race and cultural background. In 1961, Bruce started studying
drama in University, where he also studied philosophy, psychology, and various other
subjects. In 1964, after an impressive public demonstration of his martial arts skills,
Lee was invited for an audition to a television show and was chosen to play the sidekick of
a hero in a show called “The Green Hornet”. This brought him enough attention, that some
years later Lee started playing main roles and getting more attention in the film industry,
eventually becoming a super-star. With the combination of his martial art skills and
charisma, he had a strong influence on both martial arts and the genre of martial arts
films. Yet he did not limit himself to physical technique only. Lee himself was well-read
and had an extensive library. He was influenced by teachings of Taoism, Jiddu Krishnamurti,
and Buddhism. In 1967 he developed a martial art which he called Jeet Kune Do, governed
by a philosophy of self-development. Bruce Lee said himself that: “Too much time is
given to the development of skill and too little to the development of the individual
for participation. … Jeet Kune Do, ultimately is not a matter of petty techniques but of
highly developed spirituality and physique.”. Born in the same year and also a friend of
Bruce Lee, although today Chuck Norris to most is known as a form of humor, he was actually
a highly influential and prominent martial artist. As a child, he was nonathletic, shy,
and scholastically mediocre. His father, went on alcohol drinking binges that lasted for
months at a time. Embarrassed by his father’s behavior and the family’s financial plight,
Norris developed a debilitating introversion that lasted for his entire childhood. Yet
in 1958 he joined the United States Air Force where he became interested in martial arts,
which helped him in his development. After he discharged from the military in 1962, he
continued to train and teach Karate, while also participating in tournaments. Although
he had a varied beginning, experiencing both winning an loosing – in 1968, he won the Professional
Middleweight Karate champion title, which he held for six consecutive years. In 1969,
he won Karate’s triple crown for the most tournament wins of the year, and the Fighter
of the Year award by Black Belt magazine. Chuck has also received a black belt in Brazilian
Jujitsu and made history in 1990 when he was the first Westerner in the documented history
of Tae Kwon Do to be given the rank of 8th Degree Black Belt Grand Master. Yet his passion
to martial arts was also not limited to technique. During his life Norris created his own style,
“Chun Kuk Do”, translated as “The Universal Way”, which gave great focus to self-development.
He was also known as a philanthropist, political activist and a devoted Christian and wrote
several inspirational books. His determination that lead him to learn martial arts was also
present in all of his life. To quote Chuck: “ I’ve always found that anything worth
achieving will always have obstacles in the way and you’ve got to have that drive and
determination to overcome those obstacles on route to whatever it is that you want to
accomplish.” Our last story, although arguably calling
a boxer – martial artist, is about a man who brought boxing to the next level. Muhammad
Ali, born 1942, showed at an early age that he wasn’t afraid of any bout—inside or outside
of the ring. At the age of 12, Ali had his bike stolen, and told a police officer, that
he wanted to beat up the thief. The police officer, who was also boxing coach, suggested
that Ali should first learn how to box. Thus his career began. Ali showed great skills
and performance in matches, winning almost all of his fights, including the Light Heavyweight
gold medal in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome and in 1963 the heavyweight champion
of the world title. Ali was known for his lightning speed and fancy footwork. Yet Muhammad
also shown interest in various other subjects. He was concerned about religious freedom and
racial justice, which led him to join a controversial movement for the rights of African American
people, called the “Nation of Islam”. This lead him to resist his draft to serve
in the Vietnam War, what created various difficulties in his life, yet was an inspiring example
for many. In later years he also became involved in philanthropy raising various funds for
developing countries and on other needs, thus going beyond his fighting skills. When he
opened the Muhammad Ali Center in his hometown he said: “I wanted more than a building to
house my memorabilia. I wanted a place that would inspire people to be the best that they
could be at whatever they chose to do, and to encourage them to be respectful of one
another.” Most of us are so concerned about becoming
good at martial art techniques, that as soon as we learn it, we stop, because we have no
greater inspiration to go further. Yet looking at the examples of the greatest martial artists,
it becomes clear, that the greatness of martial art skills does not end at physical development.
Each of the great martial artists, through all of history, saw a deeper reason for their
training. They had a concern for more than themselves and became devoted to master various
abilities and arts to aid others in their development. When they learned their techniques
– they did not stop. Their passion for greater goals lead them to go further than anyone
else. They devoted themselves to becoming the best they can be, thus becoming masters
not only in martial arts, but also in life. Which martial artist do you think was the
greatest in history? Click on the image or on the links bellow to vote. Also, what do
you think makes the greatest martial artists? Join a discussion in the comments. If you
liked the video, click to subscribe to know when the next video like this one will come
out. This is Sensei Rokas, and see you on the virtual mat again soon.

91 thoughts on “Greatest Martial Artists in History • Brief Martial Arts

  1. I know this is still fairly recent, but Rickson Gracie is my favorite martial artist in history. He was the best out of all of his brothers and had crazy athletic prowess. He's like the Bruce Lee of the BJJ world

  2. wth, why did they all learn something about art while there were martial artists and why do i learn to draw. and why are they meditating and go for long walk… and why do i the same things while i'm learning to improve my martial art skills. i love this video, and these quotes are awesome. thanks for making the video, hope you will do more of them.

  3. If you're trying to get in shape or want actual practical fighting knowledge, learn MMA…How can it be argued that a well rounded fighter versed in all of the best techniques from ALL traditional martial arts (MMA) isn't the best? How can knowing what works from all styles not beat a one dimensional fighter? 99% of the time it works better than any one traditional art, please someone explain to me how this is not correct. Just because you've wasted your life on Akido and don't want to admit that without a person letting you do those useless moves, it wouldn't happen in a real fight. Be humble, admit that learning only one aspect of fighting is plain silly in a real world application, and I hold belts in Karate, a sash in Kung Fu, Japanese Jiujitsu, and had instruction on "American street fighting" I know, its retarded, and JKD, before I smartened up after seeing time and time again that it wasn't practical. For discipline…for fitness….100% yes they work, and unless your attacker can't throw a punch, or grapple, then they may work as well, but we have to assume that an attacker does know what they are doing. Oh, and if they have a gun, your "karate gun defence class" will get you and whoever you're with KILLED. If there are no MMA classes in your area, take boxing or kickboxing and wrestling or BJJ.

  4. Sparta was brutal not so high and mighty, Persia under Cyrus before Xeres was enlightened. You forgot to mention the Africans expressly the Punicians or Ethiopians who was never colonized.

  5. I believe that you should not see Japan n China master only, Asia not just Japan n China.. look for the history of Hang Tuah From Malaysia Or anyone from Indonesia (i don't who coz im not Indonesian) And Ayutthaya Fighter from Thailand also..

  6. Your research on Spartans was wrong. You should check your sources before posting. The REAL spartan history is out there..

  7. love your content but it will more perfect if the source from real historical fact not from movie and actually martial art was developed in every civilization since ancient time even before ancient Babylon.

  8. great video man Great content, i would add 1 or two more masters tho. Choi Yong Sool ( Hapkido founder ) and Nai Khanomtom ( Burmese Muay Boran – Muay Thai ) great content man stay on that jurny

  9. This a good video, but sorely missing the influential Chinese martial artists like Hung Se Quan, Ip Man and others who forwarded the cause of Chinese martial arts and martial arts in general. The two I named alone are two of the most influencial martial artists in history. There should also be some mention of the Capoeira masters. Capoeira has shown itself strong in MMA matches.

  10. all these legends all this nonsense….. fighting is not complicated …. its simple and almost everytime the most vicoius vins becauuse they have no limits on hurting someone….. i train aikido because the same reason people dance.. i literally dont have any reason why i enjoy it … my only explenation is my brain is stimulated so i like it.. .. ther eis absolutely no reason for me to justify why aikido is this or that…. aikido is aikido and i love it…. it doesnt need to satisfy any other need or demand nor do i do it for others ….. if people say its useless they are wrong because i enjoy it!

  11. The amount of champions and fights won it's hard to overlook the Gracies as the most successful martial artist of all times. Unless there's someone i'm unaware of.

  12. So basically a movie figures and 20th c. modern martial artists list…
    No Jean-Louis Michel, no François de Montmorency-Bouteville, no Salvator Fabris, no James Figg, no Chevalier de Saint-Georges, no Kamiizumi Nobutsuna, no Tsukahara Bokuden, no Sakakibara Kenkichi, no Nakayama Hakudo, no Kunii Zenya…

    Instead we have spartans, monks, Ali, Bruce Lee, the classical three gendaï budo founders which is basically the sort of people that everybody who is barely into martial arts knows about. It looks like a youtube list that made its research with other youtube lists…

  13. Sorry if I am wrong but do you think it was OK for the Spartans to practice infanticide? If so, why? Just curious. No offence is intended in any way at all.

  14. You forgot our President Teddy Roosevelt. The first american mixed martial artists. First to earn a brown belt in judo. Did catch wrestling. Rough and tumble. And boxing.

  15. good video, i love how you acknowledged the international nature of martial arts (as too many think it's a purely asian thing) but i think you could have gone further on this: shaka of the zulu was someone you missed. he was a south african chief, who invented a new weapon (the short spear) to be used in his tribes national martial art of zulu stick fighting. he used that and changes in the zulus millitary stratigys to hunt elephants and even defend against the british army in WW1

  16. Loved it, but sadly you missed a whole part of the world, Europe! Not to mention precolonial Latin American martial arts.

  17. Everyone is born a helpless baby 👶! Society “needs” the story of the weak becoming strong as we have weaknesses. In reality all great fighters are born strong naturally, the strength of the mind develops first. Than the body.

    The truly weak will never develop, never.

    Few are truly strong. The rest can only imagine and chastise those who are strong as weak minded. Fact the weak will remain weak, and strong develop within themselves. Weak men are criminals, convicts and are just plain cowards. Which comprises of 99% of the present U.S. population. For only 1% choosing to serve in the Armed Forces to protect this country as a personal responsibility.

    Despite what all may say. Cowards never serve in the Armed Forces. (Barring physical limitations). They lack the need to protect and take personal responsibility for the safety of their communities. Not judging. That’s just fact. If everyone was strong there would be no leaders.

    Cowards want us to believe they are able to man up. But we all know. A coward is a coward…

    A true Martial Artist goes beyond training and the ring. We actually go to war as the Martial Arts truly was intended for. Self defense is Insurance policy bullshit. Otherwise you’re just a Paper Tiger…

  18. How on earth can you mention the Gracies without mentioning Maeda who taught the Gracies? Did you not know about him? Also the Gracies didn't "create" anything. They simply adjusted/refined techniques handed down to them and focused on ground work(which also was not unique). Also when you say " this style would not have developed without Helio" Are you not aware that Kosen Judo has been in existence since before BJJ. Are you not aware of Fusen Ryu Jujitsu witch was a ground fighting style that predates even Judo? Do some research next time you do a list like this, youre perpetuating a lie and entrenching ignorance of martial arts history. I expect better from someone who is supposedly looking for Truth. Do better Rokas.

  19. You should make a video about some choy li fut (one or the best Kung Fu styles) masters they have awesome story's from Chan hung the founder of choy li fut and to Lau bun who imigrated to America through Mexico and fought his way all the way North to San fransico. You can message me for some history of you want

  20. I am the Greatest Martial Artist. I created the Death Breath, which I store in my lower lung lobes and expel by coughing or getting hit there. My opponent is knocked out at least if I control the release, or killed outright if they hit me too hard and I ooofff in their faces(s). Thus I win all fights, even against a mob of opponents. For more info: http://www.deathbreath.com

  21. I’ve gotta say something about the Spartans. They were not better fighters than the other states, they were very average. They didn’t undergo insane military training. Sure, they went through the Agoge from a young age, but it’s more like a school than a boot camp. Military training was included, but wasn’t a specific focus. It was like high-school gym class. Sparta was able to conquer other states, because they had a massive standing army compared to their population. Their troops were not more skilled than the other states usually, but more numerous. Thermopylae is often credited to the 300 Spartans, but there were like 7000 Greeks there. And they still lost. The battle of Marathon was greatly outnumbered Athenians against the same enemy, and the Athenians won, but get no credit. The Battle of the Champions (a different battle) was between Sparta, and the Greek state of Argos. Both sides sent 300 of their best hoplites (Greek warriors) to fight, instead of the entire army. The Argives had 2 men remaining, while the Spartans had one, and he only lived because he was so badly injured, the Argives thought he was dead. I want to annihilate this myth of Spartan military prowess, it’s not true. No matter what Sparta says.

  22. The founder of BJJ wasn't a Gracie, it was Count Combat a no holds bar founder, and BJJ was heavily influenced by French Kickboxing early on: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitsuyo_Maeda Ali and Oyama were serious… but this video seems like it's more about martial arts celebrities than it is about martial artists who contributed to martial arts.

  23. the greatest martial artist is still the gold medallist in a row of three golden medals in judo … master yasuhiro yamashita

  24. All these men are AWESOME, I owe them everything, because of them and all the people that I have trained with I have had a great life, people in the military and Martial Artists are the best. Thankyou to all of you my brothers and sisters.

  25. Samson is the greatest warrior. He got his superhuman strength from
    Jesus Christ God of gods. Samson killed 1000 armed warriors with the jaw bone of a ass. He once rip away a huge city gate and carry it on top of a hill.
    Repent martial artist John 3:16.
    Captain Jesus
    END OF LINE

  26. A martial art by definition is the skill to cope with 2 or 3 attackers at nearly the same
    time . Boxing Wrestling and Judo is not a martial art. It is Combative form of fighting. Bruce Lee classified these form of fighting as a combative form. Not a martial art.
    Captain Jesus
    END OF LINE

  27. The answer is:……..nobody….
    The best does not exist. We cannot compare them at all.
    But I can say that I mostly adore a fighter who can fight without weapons and can adapt himself to his opponent.
    A person whom will improve himself and grow.
    The best fighters don't always fight…
    I don't like soldiers/army's like Samourai or Ninja's because they fight dirty and use all kinds of weapons. It's simply not fair.

    Oh yeah, I love and admire Bruce Lee, Yipman, Daredevil, Charles Bronson and Kwai Chang Caine…;)
    Where is Steven Seagal in this…;) Oh what did I hear somebody shout Van Damme?..:(

  28. There are no real Shaolin (Simlun) monks any more than there are "ninja" (shinobi) or samurai. Period. They've been long gone as is most of the higher skills they knew. It's just post Mao era wushu BS and empty form sets with some dudes practicing hard MOSTLY EXTERNAL training and conditioning with very little true internal mechanics real Simlun fighting monks were ONCE trained with. Some of the quicker learned, but far lesser "Fire School" mechanics remain among a few – re-interpreted or passed down in VERY DEGRADED forms. The REAL Shaolin fighting monks were gone when the foreign Manchurian Q'ing dynasty WITH ARTILLERY, GUNS etc.ruled – AT LEAST over 150 years ago – except for MAYBE some low grade stragglers that weren't taught MUCH OF THE DEEP INTERNAL MECHANICS AND KNOWLEDGE by then. And they were commoners and Tongs that hardly had full art transmissions and still held back much of what they knew most of the time til it became the VASTLT inferior "Kung Fu" moderns know today.

    Original traditions were lost in fairy tale, and a relative few poorly interpreted and re-transcribed writings – most which were destroyed long ago. Some of the deeper Taoist "neijia" internal traditions remained a while longer but are mostly gone too. Baguazhang's Cheng Ting Hua, Yin Fu, etc., FIRST COUPLE Yang taiji chuan generations, hsing i DEEP internal mechanics guys etc made it into the 20th century. But MOST of even the better ones were LONG GONE by 1970's, some MAYBE straggling into the early 1990's as a couple 90 year olds with no interest in public attention before DEATH, somehow surviving Mao's ruthless CULTURAL REVOLUTION… A few B minus level TRUE NEIJIA LAOSHI remain but even they won't teach THE HIGHER STUFF of what they know, last I checked. except TO 1 or 2 "closed door disciples" maybe. Fan boys eat this modern day "Shaolin" BS up however. And Bodhidarma had nothing to do with bringing martial arts to China. Only amateurs and ignorants keep passing down that propaganda the Buddhists and romanticists spread for their own reasons in China. Complete nonsense. Aikido guy – if you were a knowledgable student of martial history – you'd know that. But I guess authentic Chinese martial history is way out of your field. Sorry but true.

  29. Thebagman17 I see you lack understanding on how to classify martial arts. As for you weapon advantage belieif. Remember this Thebagman 17 the man who is more skilled with a 38 hand gun will kill a man using a 44 magnum so much for you Weapon Advandage Philosophy. Sure you can fight. I don't teach people to fight.Any one can fight bad or good. I teach my students to kick ASS and kick it so good till I can't kick it no more. military it means using weapons to Terminate your enemy and it
    is called The plan of attack or strategy. Fighting with weapons in the military is not called martial arts its called war. It may interest you to know the U.S. military in the 60s was trained by karate masters from Japan to teach the combat soilders to kill more effective with empty hands.
    Your bias approach to fighting bagman is saying 2 things wrong. 1 boxing judo you mention is better. If that is true why then one of the greatest army on the planet
    The United States Army did not settle for boxing and judo but get karate training ?
    Martial artist trained soldiers of major nations and even minor countries to turn the human body into a weapon and any external weapons is just a part of them selves. Yes Bruce Lee would easily kick your ass on his worst day.

    2 you are a arrogant foolish man Thebagman 17. You are deluded if you believe you stand a chance against
    Bruce Lee Ha Ha Ha. Yes Thebagman 17 Bruce Lee would easily kick your ASS on his worst day while you try you close quarters attacks. you would not touch him because he kicks too fast for you to even see it coming. But you will see the light at the end of that long dark tunnel. And Thebagman 17. You are not paying close attention to what I wrote in my first comment. I wrote at nearly the same time you defend your self. NOT THE SAME TIME.
    Martial Arts is call martial arts because the schools don't use guns. They use chucks swords knife etc except fire arms.The term martial art is not use by police officers when they get their fire arm training.
    REPENT bagman 17 John 3:16.
    Captain Jesus Incarnate Son of Jesus Christ God of gods.
    END OF LINE

  30. What about many traditional African martial arts that, I would say at least, would definitely come before Sparta's existence
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uAo92y7pdko
    🎥 How many fighting styles does Black Panther know in Avengers …

  31. Brain Elkins this means every novice in a street fight is a martial artist. Then why go to a martial arts school ? why are boxers not call martial artist ? why is mike tyson called former heavy weight champion of the world and not
    the karate champion of the world ? The dictionary writer is not a martial artist he gave his own view on the subject of martial arts and did not ask a master of martial arts what does martial art mean ? remember that Brain.
    One more thing REPENT brian John 3:16.
    Captain Jesus Incarnate Son of Jesus Christ God of gods.
    END OF LINE

  32. Bodhi dharma,bcoz of him the kung fu is developed and he is from india.The earliest martial arts is kalaripayattu originated in India and masters from india went on to china to spread the martial art skills. Anyways LEE JUN FAN is my favourite.

  33. Well, that´s a great summary of key figures, I might not have mentioned this except that you called the Korean art in which Chuck Norris atteined 8th degree status in 1990 (he has since been promoted to 9th degree TaeKwonDo..Granted these arts were at the time of Norris´s competitive years simply called "korean karate" But the name of his styke was not Tang Soo Do , now renamed Soo Bahk Do which I happen to practice.
    The founder of TSD/SBD was Hwang Kee, he shared a similar vision as those you mentioned here for his art as a way to peace, through a "philosophy of action". Surel he has his place among the great grandmasters , as well as General Choi, father of TaeKwonDo (which I also happen to have trained in to black belt level). What sets such people apart from the rest are their visions of what they are creating, a vision that transcends mere skill..

  34. my top 5 best martial artists. 5. Chuck Norris 4. Jackie Chan 3. Donnie Yen 2. Jet Li Honorable mention for 1. Yip Man. 1. Bruce Lee!

  35. I think all these people are great in their own way as well as how they inspire and motivate people to practice martial arts for a variety of reasons

  36. I am interested in your content but this combination of quick monotonous speech is untolerable. And when there are german subtitles the errors are a third destructive factor because there are too much.

  37. If Oyama really hurt the Bulls then all his training was for nothing. Cruelty to animals has no part in the philosophy of Martial Arts,

  38. At the beginning of your video you mentioned the Spartans as the best warriors of there time. This is incorrect, the Spartans were good warriors but they weren’t bred for war basically everything you said about them is wrong. That is called the Spartan myth because Spartans used there political power make it seem like they the greatest. But they weren’t the greatest army of the time nor did they have any advanced martial arts. Plus the Spartans had reinforcements in the thousands from the other Greek City’s the Spartans just took all credit for the battle of Thermopylae.

    Other than that good video.

  39. I believe someone like Jon Jones belongs on here for he has proven himself to be a fearsome, skilled and dangerous fighter. We also have a lot more proof of his fighting capabilities with his only being by disqualification of 12 to 6 elbows on Matt hamill

  40. Funakoshi popularized karate but was not the best or particularly notable beyond that. I would look at Itosu or Higaonna. Motobu is also interesting. Your understanding of karate is superficial.

  41. Fun fact one of the earliest recorded “mixed martial artists” in United States History was President Theodore Roosevelt who started train in boxing from a young age because of being bullied and overall frail health. From there he also picked up wrestling. It’s been said that the President while he was in office would invite champions from both sports to spar with. He later started training in Jujutsu, when he was exposed to it in Japan. It’s rumored that he might have even practiced a throw on Howard Taft.

  42. It seems like in real life Kickboxing and Wrestling or Boxing and Judo make you an unstoppable force in the streets for self defense. I wonder if Capoeira is also effective because even though Capoeiristas don't make contact during the roda, those kicks do look like they would easily knock somebody out

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