The 10 Most Important Martial Arts Kicks Of All Time

If you watched Enter the Dragon, and we’re just going to go ahead and presume you have, we know you remember Bruce Lee’s terrifying kick to the side of Han’s head.

While that’s one of the most well-recognised kicks in martial arts movies, there’s a few mort out there that are unmissable.

It’s hard to pick just one kick or in some cases series of kicks out of all the complex, carefully choreographed fight scenes in the movies we love, but we decided to give it a shot anyway. Here are some of the strongest, fanciest, and most memorable kicks we’ve seen at the movies.

Ong Bak

Tony Jaa ends this fight with one awesome kick in less time than it took you to read this.

Enter the Dragon

At the end of Enter the Dragon, as Han (Kien Shih) tries to escape, Bruce Lee chases him into his underground hall of mirrors. While the entire scene is memorable, this speed-of-lightning kick to the head from Bruce Lee is our favourite.

Enter the Dragon

Bruce Lee deliver two awesome kicks to O’Hara (Robert Hall), Han’s bodyguard, as well. The first is when O’Hara grabs his leg, and Lee does a flip of sorts and kicks him the in the face. The other is the kick that ends the fight and that sent Hall to the hospital.


After Chong Li’s character blinds Jean Claude Van Damme, he uses his early training to force Li to surrender. Only after three awesome kicks to the face of course. Though you’ve definitely seen this kick in many of his movies.

Tan Tao Liang

Tan Tao Liang was known for his signature kick, a hop and kick a few times in a row,  that you’d see a lot of at the end of The Invincible Kung Fu Legs. We couldn’t find the one we were looking for. But here’s a cool montage of his kicks and an interview with the man himself.

Donnie Yen

In this scene from Iron Monkey, Donnie Yen fights Shaolin disciples and we get to see one of his signature kicks. Pretty much everything from the 1:20 – 1:55 mark is awesome, but watch him split, kick two guys, and then kick a third straight on before he lands on the ground.

Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Stars

A signature Yuen Biao kick in Twinkle Twinkle, Lucky Stars. The movie’s puerile humour can be a drag, but Yuen Biao, Jackie Chan, and young Michelle Yeoh (this is one of her first movies) makes this movie worth a watch.

Gina Marcano

While I wasn’t a fan of Haywire, Gina Marcano’s powerful kick that sent Michael Fassbender through the door was so strong on screen, it had everyone at the cinema jerk back and wince. It’s around the 1:20 mark.

Drunken Master 2

OK, we cheated. This isn’t just one kick, it’s all the kicks by Ken Lo, Jackie Chan’s former bodyguard. We didn’t know it was possible for legs to move like that.

Best of the Best

We couldn’t find a video, but here’s a screengrab of this kick from Best of the Best, when Philip Rhee kicks a pad that is intended to measure the strength of his kick. At the end of the movie he has the opportunity to use it to kill the man who killed his brother, but he decides not to.

best of the best

Add your favourites in the comments section below.

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