Martial arts have always held a special place in the world of entertainment, captivating audiences with their dynamic and awe-inspiring techniques. While many Hollywood actors are renowned for their acting prowess, some have also dedicated themselves to mastering martial arts. The American Taekwondo Association (ATA) has produced several famous actors that have remarkable proficiency in martial arts and have honed their acting skills to make it big on the big screen. Let’s take a closer look at some of these talented individuals who’ve seamlessly blended their love for acting with their passion for martial arts.
No discussion of martial arts in Hollywood would be complete without mentioning Chuck Norris. A true martial arts legend, Norris holds a black belt in multiple martial arts disciplines, including Taekwondo. Chuck Norris was friends with ATA’s founder, Eternal Grand Master H.U. Lee, and has attended many ATA events in the past. He is an iconic figure in the world of martial arts and his legacy continues to inspire aspiring martial artists worldwide.
Mike Moh’s list of credits includes acting alongside Jackie Chan, being a real-life Street Fighter video game character, being an Inhuman in the MCU, and starring as Bruce Lee in a Quentin Tarantino movie. Master Moh is also a legitimate martial artist being one of ATA’s best master instructors and owning multiple martial arts facilities.
A second-degree black belt in ATA Martial Arts in Texas, Noah’s breakout role was as Aang in M. Night Shamaylan’s The Last Airbender. Although the movie may have been met with mixed reviews, Noah’s performance was rock solid. He followed that movie up with a starring role next to Harrison Ford in Cowboys and Aliens.
Honorary black belts have been bestowed on Bill Clinton, Jaleel White (Family Matters’ Urkel), and NBA Orlando Magic superstar guard, Anfernee ‘Penny’ Hardaway.
ATA Martial Artists have worked hard behind the scenes too giving you some of the most action-packed moments in your favorite Hollywood blockbusters and you didn’t even notice it. Jaden Smith’s stunt double in The Karate Kid, Gal Gadot’s stunt double in Wonder Woman, and stunts in Logan and the Daredevil Netflix series were all performed by ATA Martial Arts students. Even background dancers in Usher videos have an ATA Martial Arts background.
ATA Brand Ambassadors are getting in on the action too. Ethan Fineshriber is a Youtube sensation and has teamed up with the Ninja Kidz. Currently, one of the ATA brand ambassadors is working her way up the ranks in Tinseltown and is a rising star, Channah Zeitung. She has been in 2 Dan Schneider produced Nickelodeon shows and starred next to Robert England, Mr. Freddy Kreuger himself, in the Netflix film, Natty Knocks.
ATA has Power Rangers too! Mike Chat has tons of acting credits and stunt work to his name but is most known for his role as Chad Lee, the blue Power Ranger, in Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue. The current iteration of the Power Rangers team, Dino Fury, features Pink Ranger, Hunter Deno, who trained in ATA as a child.
UFC fighter, Anthony “Showtime” Pettis got his start in martial arts with a Taekwondo base in schools down in Florida. He even used Taekwondo’s famous jump round kick to knock out an opponent.
The ATA connection reaches far and wide as NFL players, PGA golfers, actors, rappers, and famous singers such as Shakira and Carrie Underwood have brought their children to ATA Martial Arts schools.
As fans continue to appreciate their performances on screen, they also admire the dedication and discipline these actors have demonstrated in their martial arts pursuits. Their legacy serves as a testament to the enduring appeal and power of martial arts in the world of entertainment. The discipline, focus, and physical grind that it takes to become a black belt may lead you down the path to starring in stunt work, TV, and blockbuster motion pictures. The dedication and perseverance to achieve both goals go hand in hand. Perhaps your journey to black belt may lead you to a starring role of your own.