Yeah, Just Who is the Best Martial Artist?
This has got be one of the most interesting questions in martial arts history. When it comes to the big three of the martial arts cinema, who is the best martial artist: Bruce, Jackie, Jet? Each of the three, after all, has legitimate claim to the throne of best martial arts star of all time.
Three martial artists that, through incredible physical and emotional effort, made it to the top. Each of these three men went on an entirely different route to the top. In analyzing the three contenders we must consider several fields.
The first thing to be analyzed is who made the most money at the box office? The second thing to be considered is how good were they? The third thing to be considered is can they really use what they know.
In dollars at the box office it appears that Jackie Chan is the winner. This is based on the fact that he has made more movies and been popular longer than Bruce or Jet. It is also based on the fact that his movies have been bestsellers in the orient for decades before he was ever discovered in the west.
As to how good they were, Jet seems to have a distinct edge. He was selected from millions of students across China as a physically superior person. He was also trained for more hours per day than either Bruce or Jackie.
As to who is the most effective self-defense artist, I would have to go with Bruce. Bruce developed an art specifically for the movies, but he also spent a great deal of time searching for pure, practical usage. He spent a good portion of his life inventing that purely combative art…Jeet Kune Do.
So, it appears that we have a tie. Jackie Chan, Jet Li, and Bruce Lee have each managed to have one win. Well, considering the incredible quality of the three, perhaps that is to be expected.
Of course, there is one last item to be considered before we close the book on this question of Bruce, Jackie, and Jet. Being the best, in anything, is fleeting, for there is always somebody who is better. Time passes, new generations make their appearance, new stars arise with even greater abilities…and has anybody ever heard of Tony Jaa?