What are Jason Statham's martial arts references

Jason Statham - Martial Arts

Jason Statham is, as the makers of "Expandables" put it, the most important action performer of his generation. According to Fokus-Online, the Englishman does his daring stunts for films like "The One", "War" or "Crank" himself, as befitted an action star in the distant past. The fact that Statham is one of the few actors who implement fight sequences aesthetically and authentically is due to his athletic background. He has learned some martial arts up to this point.

Jason Statham's diving career

Before Statham appeared in "Bube, Dame, K├Ânig gRas" in 1998, he had tried his hand at a professional water tower diver.

  • The Briton was a member of the national team for more than 10 years. In the course of his career he even managed to place in the top 20 in the world rankings. So Statham was "in training" long before he got into the film.
  • Abseil abseiling and daring jumps such as in "The Mechanic" or "Tansporter" benefited from his background as a jumper and his knowledge of jumping techniques.
  • The Londoner also brought an interest in martial arts. Since films like "Chaos", "Killer Elite" and, above all, Statham's career-defining "Transporter" were nourished by a wild mix of different martial arts, the action star, born in 1967, acquired knowledge of several martial arts at once.

Staham's martial arts from Wing Chun to Karate

As a typical one-man army, Jason Statham is repeatedly confronted by his films with a whole pack of adversaries, whom he is supposed to turn off as a cult killer machine.

  • For the breakthrough with "Transporter", Statham learned Wing Chun, similar to Kung Fu, which choreographer Corey Yuen mixed with kickboxing and karate techniques in order to be able to realize particularly effective and interesting fighting sequences.
  • From Wing Chun, lightning-fast chain fists flowed into the fight choreography. While the Statham primarily demanded a coordinated reaction time, the chain-punching technique "Transporter" helped to achieve its cult status.
  • A martial art advisor taught Statham basic knowledge in the aforementioned fighting styles. The Briton also claims to have pursued martial arts in his private life.

Actors who have mastered martial arts are, as you can imagine, rare pearls in Hollywood, so Statham's huge successes in the industry are self-explanatory. But why not a martial arts professional for an action film?

Hollywood's choice between martial artists and actors

When it comes to casting an action film that contains martial arts, Hollywood is always faced with a difficult decision. Martial artist or actor?

  • As Rick Yune, a Tai Chi professional and leading actor in RZA's martial art flick "Man with the Iron Fists", put it in an interview, a good martial artist is not a good film martial artist. It is the thought behind every movement that has to be transported across the screen in order to turn a good fight scene.
  • The fact that Hollywood tends towards casts like Jason Statham has every justification. Statham has never been a professional martial artist, but has always been primarily an actor and as such able to convey emotions and attitudes to an audience.
  • According to Yune, it is not possible to learn that skill, whereas learning martial arts is quite possible for an actor. In the case of Statham, this is also easy due to his high diving background and basic sportiness.

You can now probably understand why Hollywood's casting decision is rarely made for martial arts professionals rather than actors. A final counterexample: Iko Uwais in Gareth Evans' huge hit "The Raid" had never had anything to do with acting before his performance.

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