When you walk out of cinema after watching a martial arts film, there is never a doubt in your mind about protagonist’s martial arts skills. It’s true that some of them have martial arts background but some of them haven’t ever been to martial arts school. You might have questions like what did they do to become so deadly? How did they look so expert on screen? You want to know how these martial arts stars train. Here are some crazy facts.
- Many artists have learned martial arts for their movie roles.
- Jackie Chan does his own stunts.
- Many film artists have hired professional martial artists as trainers.
- Sometimes martial arts film stars take some performance enhancing drugs for demanding action sequences.
- They can get in shape or out of shape within days to meet role’s requirements.
- All of them go to the gym daily.
If you think these facts alone can’t make a martial arts superstar, here is how these artists are able to deliver mesmerizing kung fu performances on screen.
Martial arts background
When you see Bruce Lee kicking off his opponents in Enter the Dragon, you think this guy should be a pro in real life to do it with such perfection in front of camera. True, some of the most famous martial arts film heroes have had professional training before they appeared as movie stars.
For example, the little dragon Bruce Lee started his martial arts learning at home with Tai Chi. Soon he was learning fencing from his elder brother who was a professional. He also learned karate and boxing at high school. In fact, he was a boxing champion at his school. When he came to the US, he founded Jun Fan Kung Fu, Jeet Kune Do, Judo and Kali. He also spent time learning Wing Chun from the famous Ip Man.
Bruce Lee wasn’t the only one with a background in martial arts. Jackie Chan, Jet Lee, Van Damme, Wesley Snipes, Jason Statham and various other martial arts heroes have learned martial arts as professionals.
Strong work ethics
Unlike romantic protagonists, martial arts film stars are tough on work ethics. Whatever their training schedule, they never skip.
They have to learn lines and it’s difficult by every stretch of imagination. Once they memorize, they have to work on delivery and emotion. It requires strong work ethics to deliver a good performance on screen when your strength is action.
Many martial arts protagonists have spent a disciplined lifestyle where they’d get up early, take a healthy breakfast, spend time in gym and work on their acting skills. Since majority of these actors have been actual martial artists, they kind of have it in their DNA.
Keanu Reeves who always has a stunt double has an incredibly disciplined lifestyle. If you look at some of his action sequences on-screen, you’d know that this guy trains really hard despite not being a martial artist. Think of them who do their own stunts in martial arts films? Think about how they’d be training if a Hollywood action hero has to live a disciplined life to inspire his audience.