What Martial Arts Does Jackie Chan Know? (Martial Arts Style)

Jackie Chan, the legendary actor and martial artist, is a true master of multiple disciplines. From Southern and Northern style kung fu to Wing Chun, Hapkido, Karate, Boxing, and Taekwondo, Chan has dedicated his life to mastering a wide range of martial arts styles.

With his impressive skills and remarkable physical abilities, he continues to captivate audiences with his on-screen fight scenes. In this article, we will delve into the various martial arts styles that Jackie Chan has mastered throughout his illustrious career.

Key Takeaways

  • Jackie Chan knows and showcases both Southern and Northern style kung fu in his movies.
  • He learned Wing Chun from his friend Leung Ting and demonstrates his Wing Chun skills in movies like 'Rumble in The Bronx' and 'Wheels on Meals.'
  • Jackie Chan learned Hapkido from hapkido grandmaster Jin Pal Kim and showcases his Hapkido skills in movies like 'Police Story 4: First Strike.' He holds a black belt in Hapkido.
  • Jackie Chan has trained in karate and incorporates its principles into his fighting style. He also incorporates boxing and Taekwondo techniques into his fight scenes.

Southern and Northern Style Kung Fu

The Southern and Northern styles of kung fu are two distinct forms of martial arts that Jackie Chan has knowledge of. These styles differ in their techniques and training methods.

Southern style kung fu, also known as Nanquan, was taught to Jackie Chan by master Yu Jim-yuen at the Peking Opera School. It focuses on low stances and short explosive movements, emphasizing close-quarter techniques and economical movements.

On the other hand, Northern style kung fu, also known as Běi pài, also learned at the Peking Opera School, emphasizes wide stances and acrobatic techniques. It places a strong emphasis on powerful kicking techniques and long-distance fighting.

Both styles have played a significant role in Jackie Chan's movies, influencing his action sequences. Southern style kung fu is showcased in films like 'Shanghai Knights' and 'Spiritual Kung Fu,' while Northern style kung fu is featured in movies like 'Dragons Forever' and 'Armour of God.'

The incorporation of these styles enhances the diversity and excitement of Jackie Chan's fight scenes, showcasing his mastery of different martial arts disciplines.

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Wing Chun

Wing Chun is a martial art style that Jackie Chan learned from his friend Leung Ting and taught himself. It has a rich history and origins that date back to the 17th century in southern China. Developed by a Buddhist nun named Ng Mui, Wing Chun was designed to be a practical and efficient form of self-defense.

Wing Chun Techniques and Principles

Wing Chun is known for its unique techniques and principles that set it apart from other martial arts styles. One of the key principles of Wing Chun is the concept of centerline control, which involves maintaining control of the opponent's centerline while simultaneously attacking and defending. This allows practitioners to effectively neutralize their opponent's attacks and strike with precision.

Another important technique in Wing Chun is the use of simultaneous attack and defense. This means that practitioners are trained to attack and defend at the same time, utilizing their movements to both protect themselves and counter-attack.

Wing Chun also emphasizes close-range fighting and quick striking. Unlike other martial arts styles that rely on high kicks and flashy techniques, Wing Chun focuses on efficient movements and close-quarter combat. This makes it particularly effective in real-life self-defense situations where there's limited space to maneuver.

Incorporating these techniques and principles, Wing Chun has become an integral part of Jackie Chan's martial arts repertoire. He's showcased his skills in movies like 'Rumble in The Bronx' and 'Wheels on Meals,' demonstrating the effectiveness and versatility of Wing Chun in action.


Jackie Chan learned Hapkido from hapkido grandmaster Jin Pal Kim and earned a black belt in it. Hapkido is a Korean martial art that focuses on self-defense techniques, throws, joint locks, and strikes. It also includes weapons training.

Hapkido is known for its fluid and circular movements, as well as its emphasis on redirecting an opponent's energy. Jackie Chan's proficiency in Hapkido can be seen in several of his movies from the 1980s onward, such as 'Police Story 4: First Strike'. In these films, he incorporates Hapkido techniques seamlessly into his fight scenes, showcasing his mastery of the art.

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Jackie Chan's black belt in Hapkido demonstrates his dedication and skill in this martial art.


Karate is a Japanese martial art that incorporates striking, kicking, and defensive techniques. Although not as prominent in his repertoire as kung fu or hapkido, Jackie Chan has trained in karate and incorporates its principles into his fighting style. Karate emphasizes powerful strikes and precise movements, which align with Chan's acrobatic and explosive fighting style. While Jackie Chan is primarily known for his use of kung fu and other Chinese martial arts, he has showcased his karate skills in select movies. For example, in the film "The Karate Kid," Chan's character Mr. Han teaches the main character traditional karate techniques. Jackie Chan's ability to adapt and integrate various martial arts styles, including karate, showcases the versatility and depth of his fighting prowess.

Martial Arts Style Training Background Key Principles Movie Examples
Karate Trained in karate Striking, kicking, defensive techniques "The Karate Kid"


Boxing, a popular combat sport that focuses on punches and footwork, is another martial art that Jackie Chan has trained in. Known for its effectiveness as a self-defense technique, boxing has played a role in Jackie Chan's movies as well.

In his films, Jackie Chan has seamlessly incorporated boxing techniques to enhance the authenticity of his fight scenes. Boxing's emphasis on powerful punches and precise footwork has allowed Jackie Chan to execute dynamic and visually captivating fight sequences. Whether it's delivering a knockout punch or evading opponents with agile footwork, Jackie Chan's mastery of boxing adds an additional layer of intensity to his on-screen performances.


Taekwondo, with its emphasis on high kicks and fast, spinning movements, is a martial art that Jackie Chan has also trained in. Here are three key aspects of Taekwondo that are relevant to Jackie Chan's training and movies:

1) Benefits of Taekwondo for self-defense: Taekwondo is renowned for its effective self-defense techniques. It teaches practitioners how to strike with precision and power, while also emphasizing agility and speed. These skills are invaluable in real-life combat situations and have undoubtedly contributed to Jackie Chan's ability to execute impressive fight scenes in his movies.

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2) Taekwondo techniques used in Jackie Chan movies: Jackie Chan has incorporated various Taekwondo techniques into his films. These include high kicks, spinning kicks, and jumping kicks, which showcase his flexibility and athleticism. By integrating Taekwondo techniques into his fight choreography, Jackie Chan adds an exciting and dynamic element to his action sequences, captivating audiences worldwide.

3) The influence of Taekwondo on Jackie Chan's overall martial arts style: Taekwondo's emphasis on speed and agility has influenced Jackie Chan's own fighting style. He combines Taekwondo's dynamic kicks with his background in other martial arts to create a unique and captivating blend of techniques. This fusion allows him to perform impressive acrobatics, fluid movements, and powerful strikes, making him a truly exceptional martial artist onscreen.


In conclusion, Jackie Chan's mastery of multiple martial arts styles, including Southern and Northern Kung Fu, Wing Chun, Hapkido, Karate, Boxing, and Taekwondo, has cemented his status as a legendary martial artist and actor.

With each style offering unique techniques and principles, Chan has demonstrated his expertise in both close-quarter combat and long-distance fighting.

His dedication and hard work have allowed him to create awe-inspiring fight scenes that continue to captivate and inspire audiences worldwide, making him an icon in the world of martial arts cinema.

Mike Williams
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