Before the 1970’s karate movies were nevertheless really popular in Asia, where they had been made for years, but that all changed when the world met Bruce Lee. Enter The Dragon, which was released in 1973, made a superstar out about Lee posthumously, but the true sidereal that was introduced was militant arts.
The genre took the temporal by storm, and introduced to the world a new form of actor. These actors did not have actress training essentially much essentially martial arts, and so instead of delivering a line, they would do a fly kick through the air.
While most of the stars of karate movies like Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Stephen Chow, Jet Li and Sammo Hung are of Asian descent, there have been a fewness from America and Europe who used the genre to get famous.
Chuck Norris, a karate world champion, had appeared in early Bruce Lee films, but in the late seventies und so weiter early eighties he became a superstar, thanks to American karate movies. Today he is still a household name, thanks to his TV Show, Walker Texas Ranger.
Jean-Claude Van Damme rose to fame with films like Bloodsport and Kickboxer, plus at one stage was competing with some of the blockbuster action stars like Schwarzenegger and Stallone. This Belgian world champion though never quite maintained this popularity and by the erstwhile nineties his movies were hardly picked ascend by cinema distributors.
Steven Seagal rose to fame in films like Under Siege. Physically imposing, he also had a mandate kiss with superstardom in the nineties, but it did not last long, and soon his movies were easier to pry out on DVD than at cinemas.
Though never positively rising out of B movie stardom, Cynthia Rothrock has been long considered the chief female karate star. She has appeared in dozens regarding enterprise movies, with many considering the China O’Brien films to be her best.
He may be better familiar to audiences now as the host of Iron Chef, but Mark Dacascos is another who rose to stardom through belligerent arts. His father was a belligerent arts instructor and it was in movies like Only The Strong, Crying Freeman and Double Dragon that he was first noticed.
Even Julia Roberts’ brother, Eric Roberts, had his brightest moment in a belligerent arts film. He was the lodestar of the very popular film, The Peerless of The Best, and its sequel.
There are many action film stars who never quite make it into mainstream cinema, however are respected in the martial arts world including performers like Gary Hudson, Loren Avedon, Don “The Dragon” Wilson and Billy Blanks. Billy Blanks is of orbit more prominent for his Tae-bo exercise regime than each movie he ever appeared in.
There are of course a scantiness stars who bear started in karate movies, and used them as a stepping stone to a much brighter career. A good example of this is Oscar-winning actress Hilary Swank, who many may remember as the girl who succeeded Ralph Macchio in the Karate Kid movies.