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Old 02-13-2020, 03:11 PM #1
famicommander famicommander is offline
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Default Hollywood tough guys who were actual fighters

By "actual fighter" I don't necessarily mean a pro, but someone who at least studied practical martial arts.

Practical martial arts include:
Boxing
Kickboxing (including Muay Thai, Savate, Lethwei, Sanda, etc)
Wrestling (academic/folk, freestyle, Greco-Roman, sambo, Catch, etc)
Grappling (Brazilian or Japanese Jiu-Jitsu, Judo)
MMA or pankration (obviously)
Full contact Karate or Taekwondo

As opposed to fantasy-based martial arts, which are more or less dance:
Aikido
Capoeira
"McDojo" Karate or Taekwondo (only focused on forms or one/three step point sparring and not actual fighting)
Traditional Kung Fu forms like Wing Chun, Tai Chi, Wushu, etc

Real fighters include

Jean Claude Van Damme:
-former pro full contact kickboxer (18-1-0 record)
-former semicontact kickboxer (44-4-0 record)
-2nd degree black belt in Shotokon Karate
-also studied Muay Thai and Taekwondo
-fought in numerous full contact Karate tournaments
-former bouncer

Mr T:
-City championship level high school wrestler
-amateur boxer (he was discovered by Stallone fighting in a strongman boxing competition for bouncers)
-studied martial arts since early childhood
-former bouncer and personal body guard
-former army and military police
-received a tryout for the Green Bay Packers (not fighting but still tough as hell)

Michael Jai White has trained in:
-Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
-Japanese Jujutsu
-Shotokon Karate
-Taekwondo
-Goju-Ryu Karate
-Tang Soo Do Karate (a Korean variant of Japanese Karate)
-Kabudo (weapons based Japanese art)
-also some fake stuff like Kung Fu

Chuck Norris:
-Black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
-Black belt in Judo
-Black belt in Tang Soo Do Karate
-Former US Air Force, received 5 medals and fought in Korean war
-Fought numerous full contact Karate tournaments

Mickey Rourke:
6-0-2 pro boxing record
27-3-0 amateur boxing record

Fake as hell: Steven Seagal. Can't believe Silva even gave this clown the time of day. Aikido is a 100% cooperative martial art. It's fancy dancing with no real sparring and has no relationship to anything that happens in a real fight.

Any other real or fake Hollywood tough guys you know?
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Old 02-15-2020, 11:26 PM #2
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Jackie Chan?

Bolo Yeung?
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Old 02-16-2020, 01:47 PM #3
famicommander famicommander is offline
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Jackie Chan?

Bolo Yeung?
Chan studied numerous martial arts both real and fake, but to my knowledge he was never in any real fights.

Bolo Yeung is a kung fu practitioner and a bobybuilder. He never studied any practical martial arts that people use for real fighting or even sport competitions.

What separates a "real" martial art from a fake one is whether or not they pressure test their techniques with full resistance, free form sparring.

Most forms of kung fu just practice movements without any context.
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Old 02-16-2020, 03:02 PM #4
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Dolph Lundgren was pretty legit too.
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Old 02-16-2020, 03:29 PM #5
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Dolph Lundgren was pretty legit too.
That's another good one. He trained in boxing, judo, Goju-Ryu Karate, and kyokushin karate (2nd degree black belt). He fought in and won many full contact kyokushin tournaments (they allow kicks to the head and body but not legs, punches to the body but not face). He also worked as a bouncer and personal bodyguard.

He fought a UFC fighter (Oleg Taktarov) in a real boxing match (he lost, but he didn't look completely out of place).
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Old 02-16-2020, 06:06 PM #6
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Originally Posted by famicommander View Post
That's another good one. He trained in boxing, judo, Goju-Ryu Karate, and kyokushin karate (2nd degree black belt). He fought in and won many full contact kyokushin tournaments (they allow kicks to the head and body but not legs, punches to the body but not face). He also worked as a bouncer and personal bodyguard.

He fought a UFC fighter (Oleg Taktarov) in a real boxing match (he lost, but he didn't look completely out of place).
He had one Karate match where he knocked a guy out with a knee to the face. It was brutal.

It's no longer on youtube and I can't find it anywhere.
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Old 02-16-2020, 07:13 PM #7
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Gene Lebell was legit. He even put Seagal to sleep (and made him shat his pants).

Lebell wasn't a superstar, but appeared in tons of movies, usually as a stuntman or fight coordinator.
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Old 02-16-2020, 07:19 PM #8
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Motown's Berry Gordy was a 12-3-2 pro featherweight in the 1940s. Believe he was a Detroit Golden Gloves champ as an amateur although idk his amateur record.
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Old 02-17-2020, 06:26 PM #9
Anthony342 Anthony342 is offline
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He had one Karate match where he knocked a guy out with a knee to the face. It was brutal.

It's no longer on youtube and I can't find it anywhere.
Your gif just reminded me that it was mentioned on the 30th anniversary Rocky DVD that Burt Young did some amateur boxing.

I have no idea what his record was or how many fights he had though. Too bad people still thought the fight scenes weren't that convincing. I always liked them myself since the story was more important anyway.

Didn't Bruce Lee have some not so notable amateur boxing matches as well? Oh yeah and Don "The Dragonfly" Wilson as well was a kickboxer as well as Benny "The Jet" Urquidez, credited as the first kickboxer to wear pants and make it famous, who appeared in a lot of fights scenes, some with Jackie Chan.

I used to think Cat Sassoon was some martial artist, but it turns out she was just some hot model and actress that was the daughter or Vidal Sassoon that did a couple of Bloodfist movies with Wilson and starred in a martial arts movie of her own where she got naked called Angelfist.

The guy used as Vigo the Carpathian on Ghostbusters 2 was also some kind of boxer, as well as the big guy in Superman 2 that didn't talk in the movie with the big mustache.
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Old 02-18-2020, 03:44 PM #10
famicommander famicommander is offline
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Didn't Bruce Lee have some not so notable amateur boxing matches as well? Oh yeah and Don "The Dragonfly" Wilson as well was a kickboxer as well as Benny "The Jet" Urquidez, credited as the first kickboxer to wear pants and make it famous, who appeared in a lot of fights scenes, some with Jackie Chan.
It has been claimed that Bruce had an amateur boxing match back in Hong Kong but there's no actual record of it.

There are zero recordings of Bruce Lee in a real fight. The closest we have is some demonstration sparring at a 1967 martial arts tournament.

The entire reason Bruce Lee developed his own fighting style, Jeet Kune Do, is because he got into a real fight and found that most of what he practiced in Wing Chun Kung Fu is worthless.

So at the very least he studied other martial arts, because Jeet Kune Do explicitly lifts several techniques from boxing, Judo, kickboxing, and others.

And Bruce instructed some martial artists who later became good fighters.

One of the basic principles of Jeet Kune Do is "take what is useful, discard the rest" and that is one of the principles that helped define mixed martial arts.

So Lee was a legendary and influential martial artist who at the very least studied how to use martial arts in a real fight, but we can't call him a fighter because we don't have any records of him in real fights.
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