GAGers: Who do you think was/is the greatest martial artist in history?

And explain why you chose your answer.

In my opinion I think Fedor Emelianenko is the greatest professional martial artist of all time. Without getting into a full fledged essay: he's a 6 time national and 4 time world Russian Sambo champion, went undefeated for 8 out of his 12 year MMA career, and was regarded by many other professional fighters (even Chuck Norris himself) as the greatest mixed martial artist of all time.

  • Bruce Lee
    Vote A
  • Chuck Noris
    Vote B
  • Muhammad Ali
    Vote C
  • Hélio Gracie
    Vote D
  • Anderson Silva
    Vote E
  • Other (Specify)
    Vote F
Select a gender to cast your vote:
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The reason why I listed those fighters in the poll options wasn't because I think they're the best, but only because they're among the most well known and have been universally recognized for their skill.


Most Helpful Guy

  • Some of these aren't even martial artists, their boxers lol, not exactly in the same area.

    I will be going by the traditional definition of it in Japan which relates to weapons and hand to hand and I will be going not just by fighting records but how they trained, the condition of their bodies, their strength, speed, stamina all of it.

    Hand to hand

    Bruce Lee

    Chuck Norris

    Ip Man

    Wong Shun Leung

    Wong Fei-hung

    My overall most of my respect and in my opinion the best fighter in hand to hand goes to.

    Master Masutatsu Oyama the God Hand

    Kensei or Sword Saints

    Miyamoto Musashi

    Tsukahara Bokuden

    Ito Ittosai Kagehisa

    Yagyu Hyogonosuke

    Higaonna Kanry

    Chojun Miyagi

    For those of you who do not know what a Kensei or Sword Saint

    In the Japan which valued swordsmanship, one of truly exceptional skill was oft honored with the title of "Kensei" or "Sword Saint". This implied not only a high degree of skill in the sword art, but also one of a high degree in moral perfection as well. Many were the founders of popular schools of swordsmanship. This title was very rare.

    The list above is of some of the more well known ones.

    Most of my respect and as the best warrior in swordsmanship goes to Miyamoto Musashi

    • Boxing is still a martial art. Just because it isn't from Asia doesn't mean that it's not a martial art. Also, the only boxer I listed was Muhammad Ali.

    • Show All
    • Kempo, a martial art style that combines the Five Animals of Shaolin Kung Fu, Tiger, Crane, Snake, Leopard, and dragon the hard-hitting linear explosiveness of traditional Karate, as well as the power of Western boxing and the felling and grappling arts of Jujutsu, Chin Na, and Mongolian wrestling.

      Wing Chun a Chinese martial arts revolving around hitting an opponent so quickly and with so many punches that no matter how strong of a defense they have you will eventually whittle them down to the point were they can not defend against you.

      And I believe that is it, if I remember something that I didn't put down I'll put it up later on.

    • Lol I just realized I put Chojun in the wrong spot he should be with the hand to hand guys not sword saints lol.

Have an opinion?

What Girls Said 3

What Guys Said 10

  • Ali wasn't a martial artist. I don't even think he ever trained in martial arts

    I chose bruce lee

    • I consider boxing to be a martial art, and Ali is a universally known boxing legend.

  • Hell even Alfred Hutton could make a mockery of that lot.

    I would probably say.. Fiore de'i Liberi. If only because I think he would rip everyone on that list appart.

  • Miyamoto Musashi

    Greatest Samurai that ever lived

  • I like Andy Hug lol he was a kick boxer back in the day and had a killer axe kick he is my favorite although I voted Bruce lee as the greatest

  • In pure martial arts terms I only know Bruce Lee

  • Wong FEI hong

  • Well Ip Man was better than Bruce Lee and I've seen footage of Wong Shun Leung making Bruce Lee his bitch so yeah...

    • True, I also think Ip Man is better (since he was Lee's teacher). I only listed Bruce Lee because of both his skill and the fact that everyone knows or at least has heard of him at some point. Not everyone knows who Ip Man is.

    • Yeah I am certified in JKD.

  • It's hard to point one. These are good choices. But there are others that could be there as well:

    Mas Oyama, Semmy Schilt, Royce Gracie, Masahiko Kimura...

  • there are so many that we don't even know about that would probably kill all of these guys with a blow.

  • Bruce Lee did push-ups with two fingers. No way to beat that.