The Martial Arts Movie is the cinematic genre mainly created in East Asia (especially Hong Kong) often being action showcases with martial-arts styles. Similar to traditional {{Wuxia}} but where most Wuxia uses more extreme SupernaturalMartialArts and HighFantasy settings, the Martial Arts Movie more often take a more LowFantasy with the occassional CharlesAtlasSuperpower approach. They usually feature exaggerated and highly-stylized presentations of traditional fighting techniques and [[SwordFight swordplay]] along with other weapons, but the action set pieces and the focus remain on characters using GoodOldFisticuffs, displays of MartialArtsAndCrafts and/or being a ImprobableWeaponUser.

This style is strongly based in conventions drawn from traditional Chinese theater, ballet, and acrobatic performances, and is accepted by the audience for which most of the films were made. During the 1970s, with the rise of BruceLee and other the films started to gain traction in various other countries, leading to numerous HongKongDub films being brought over to various parts of the world.

The boom in popularity throughout the 70s and 80s internationally also lead to numerous films elevating the careers of Asian action stars such as JackieChan and JetLi, but also other action stars from different countries that notables include Creator/JeanClaudeVanDamme, Creator/StevenSeagal, Creator/SonnyChiba and Creator/ChuckNorris.

Compare with HeroicBloodshed, which often features stories set within the modern time frame usually around cops and gangsters and has the action centering on [[GunFu gun battles]]. Or ChopSockey, where the stereotypical elements of classic films such as HongKongDub or ArtisticLicenseMartialArts are played for laughs.

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!!Common subtropes and related tropes:

* ActionGirl: Several of the modern movies, may feature one.
* ArrogantKungFuGuy
* BackToBackBadasses
* BadassInANiceSuit
* BadassLongcoat
* BareFistedMonk
* BashBrothers
* BastardUnderstudy
* BloodBrothers
* BloodlessCarnage: Sometimes averted but normally, blood and gore are not featured heavily.
* BruceLeeClone
* CharlesAtlasSuperpower
* CoolOldGuy
* CoolOldLady
* DangerousForbiddenTechnique
* DarkActionGirl
* DragonsUpTheYinYang
* DrivenByEnvy
* DuelingDojos: Often a standard in movies set during historical periods.
* FacelessGoons / {{Mooks}}
* FauxActionGirl: Not every female that seems like a ActionGirl will get the chance in some of the movies.
* GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff: The movies are remembered as kitschy in much of the Western world... but they were huge among urban African-Americans. As discussed [[http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/columns/moviebob/10023-Enter-The-36th-Chamber here]] by Moviebob and [[Music/WuTangClan The RZA]] (maker of the GenreThrowback ''TheManWithTheIronFists''), a combination of cheap dubs playing in inner-city grindhouse theaters and the themes of many such movies (downtrodden commoners studying secret techniques to fight back against The Man) resonating with lower-class minority youth helped make such films into {{cult classic}}s within black America.
* HeroesFightBarehanded
* HonorBeforeReason
* ImplausibleFencingPowers
* ImprovisedWeapon: JackieChan and SammoHung films often featured at least one per production
* InASingleBound
* InterestingSituationDuel: A standard among many modern films in the genre.
* LadyOfWar
* MartialPacifist
* MasterApprenticeChain
* MasterSwordsman
* MentorOccupationalHazard
* OldMaster
* TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou
* PunchedAcrossTheRoom
* APupilOfMineUntilHeTurnedToEvil
* RivalTurnedEvil
* SuperFlyReflexes
* ThreePointLanding
* TrainingFromHell: Very much a standard in many classic martial arts films
* UnnecessaryCombatRoll
* WaxOnWaxOff
* WaifFu
* WireFu
* WorthyOpponent

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!!Film examples include:

* ''Film/{{The 36th Chamber of Shaolin}}''
* ''Film/ArmorOfGod a.k.a Operation Condor''
* ''Film/TheBigBoss''
* ''Film/BlackBeltJones''
* ''Film/BlindFury''
* ''Film/BloodAndBone''
* ''Film/{{Bloodfist}}''
* ''Film/{{Bloodsport}}''
* ''Film/{{Chocolate}}''
* ''Film/CircleOfIron''
* ''Film/CityHunter''
* ''Film/DragonTigerGate''
* ''Film/DrunkenMaster''
* ''Film/DuelToTheDeath''
* ''Film/EnterTheDragon''
* ''Film/{{Fearless}}''
* ''Film/FistOfFury''
* ''FistOfLegend''
* ''Film/FiveDeadlyVenoms''
* ''FiveFingersOfDeath''
* ''Film/ForcedVengeance''
* ''Film/TheGuillotines''
* ''Film/IpMan''
* ''Film/TheKarateKid'' series
* ''Film/{{Kickboxer}}''
* ''Film/KissOfTheDragon''
* ''Film/KungFuGenius''
* ''Film/TheLastDragon''
* ''Film/LegendaryAssassin''
* ''Film/{{Lionheart}}''
* ''Film/ManOfTaiChi''
* ''Film/TheManFromHongKong'' - joint production with Australia
* ''Film/TheManWithTheIronFists''
* ''Film/MasterOfTheFlyingGuillotine''
* ''Film/MiamiConnection''
* ''Film/NoRetreatNoSurrender''
* ''Film/TheOctagon''
* ''Film/OnceUponATimeInChina'' series
* ''Film/OngBak'' series
* ''OnlyTheStrong''
* ''Film/TheQuest''
* ''Film/RagingPhoenix''
* ''Film/TheRaid : Redemption''
* ''Film/TheRaid2Berandal''
* ''Film/RumbleInTheBronx''
* ''Film/ShaolinAndWuTang''
* ''Film/SoClose''
* ''Film/TheStreetFighter'' series
* ''Film/TaiChiZero'' series
* ''TomYumGoong''
* ''Film/WayOfTheDragon''
* ''Film/WheelsOnMeals''

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!! Actors well-known for martial arts movies include:
* JackieChan
* Creator/ChengPeiPei
* SammoHung
* BruceLee
* JetLi
* MichelleYeoh
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