The 9 Best Documentaries About Martial Arts

Sep 21, 2023 | Best Of, Sports

The world of martial arts is an awe-inspiring one. It’s full of incredible stories, intense rivalries, and stunning displays of physical prowess. But it’s not always easy to get a glimpse into this fascinating realm. Fortunately for us, some masterful filmmakers have managed to capture the essence of martial arts in documentaries that provide an exciting window into its culture and history. We’ve rounded up the best documentaries about martial arts to give you an exclusive look at some of the most talented fighters in the world. From Bruce Lee’s legacy to MMA, these films will have you captivated from start to finish!


1. Inner Martial Arts and ZhanZhuang”- DOCUMENTARY by HuJinLing

HuJinLing’s documentary “Inner Martial Arts and ZhanZhuang” is an insightful look into the history of Kung fu, as well as its cultural significance. It provides an overview of this revered martial art from a Buddhist master, whose lifetime of learning and teaching has enabled him to provide viewers with a unique insight into the practice. The documentary shows viewers the micro and macro cosmic orbits from which Kung fu draws its power, providing an understanding of why it has survived and thrived for centuries. Whether you are a seasoned martial artist looking to expand your knowledge or just getting started on your journey, this documentary is a must-see.


2. Martial Arts: The Real Story

Martial arts, known for centuries for its power and mystery, has been shrouded in a veil of secrecy. But through the lens of a camera, we can now explore what lies beneath this mysterious practice. Martial Arts: The Real Story is an eye-opening two-hour special that takes viewers on a journey into the world of martial arts, revealing techniques that were once known only to a select few. From kung fu and tae kwon do to jiu-jitsu and karate, we’ll witness skilled fighters performing various styles of combat.


3. The Bladed Hand | Filipino Martial Arts Documentary | FMA | Artes marciales filipinas Documental

The Bladed Hand – A Unique Look at Filipino Martial Arts This documentary takes an in-depth look at the impact and modern influence of Eskrima/Kali/Arnis, commonly referred to as Filipino Martial Arts.Filmed in Cebu, Baguio, Bacolod, Batangas, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Manila, Moscow, Oakland and San Diego, The Bladed Hand showcases the significance of this art form to global military systems as well as its presence in Hollywood.


4. Budo: The Art of Killing Martial Arts Full Documentary

Budo: The Art of Killing is an iconic 1978 Japanese martial arts documentary produced by Hisao Masuda and funded by the Arthur Davis Company. This cult classic showcases a variety of traditional martial arts such as karate, aikido, kendo, sumo, and judo – all demonstrated by renowned Japanese instructors like Gozo Shioda, Taizaburo Nakamura and Teruo Hayashi. This film is an excellent opportunity to learn about martial arts and its history, but also a chance to admire the skillful techniques that have been passed down for generations. As one of the few documentaries still available today, Budo:


5. HOTSPOTS Martial Arts regions around the world

Travel the world and explore the amazing regions of martial arts with ‘HOTSPOTS: Martial Arts Regions Around the World’. This documentary takes you on a tour of some of the most influential and iconic spots for martial arts. Discover their vibrant cultural backgrounds, history, techniques and more! From Tokyo to Seoul, from Hong Kong to Singapore, from India to Brazil – each region has its own unique flavor and style of martial arts. Explore the history, background, techniques and culture of each destination through interviews with local experts and practitioners. Get to know the origins and development of this fascinating art from different perspectives.


6. Kung Fu: The Hidden Art EP 1 From Killing Skills to Martial Arts

The Chinese martial arts have a long and storied history. Dating back centuries, these disciplines were initially developed for the purpose of improving military skills with cold weapons such as spears, sabers, and bows and arrows. But eventually these techniques migrated from the battlefield to civilian life where they became popular methods of self-defense – primarily unarmed combat that focuses on using the fist.


7. The Martial Arts

For those seeking to gain insight into the world of martial arts, there are an array of documentaries available. From karate and jiu-jitsu to taekwondo and judo, these films offer a glimpse into the diverse cultures and techniques that make up this age-old art. Whether you’re looking for a crash course in martial arts or simply want to expand your understanding of these amazing forms of physical activity, there’s a documentary for you. From the inspiring stories of Bruce Lee to the heart-pounding intensity of martial arts competitions, documentaries provide an in-depth look into the world of martial arts.


8. The Art of Action( The Best Moments Of Martial Arts Movies

The martial arts have been around for centuries, and the stories behind them are filled with passion, dedication, courage, and strength. But there’s something special about being able to witness these incredible feats of athleticism in documentary form – a way for viewers to gain an up-close look at what these practitioners have accomplished through years of practice and dedication. Whether it’s a biopic about a martial arts legend, an exploration into the history of martial arts styles, or a thrilling look at modern-day tournaments and competitions, these documentaries can offer insightful perspectives that will stay with you long after the credits have rolled.


9. How Bruce Lee changed the world

Bruce Lee was more than just a legendary martial artist – he was an icon for generations around the world. His influence and impact spread throughout many different areas of life, from film, music, comedy to athletics. Interviews with those who knew him best reveal how his legacy has resonated through the years. Jackie Chan, star of countless films himself, gives us a peek into the world of Bruce Lee. He talks about his time as a stunt man on Lee’s films, and how these experiences shaped his own career. John Woo and Brett Ratner share their stories of working with Lee, and the lasting effects it had on them both creatively and personally.

Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

David B