Southeast Asian Martial Arts: In the Movies

To many people, the Southeast Asian arts may seem obscure and exotic.  But if you know where to look, you will see its influence in many movies and in the media.  Filipino kali has appeared extensively in movies such as Mission Impossible, Hanna, The Hunted, and the Jason Bourne movies.  Less well known, various forms of Indonesian pencak silat and Malaysian silat have appeared in movies like The Raid, The Princess of Mount Ledang, and Merantau.  While Thai krabi krabong (and empty hand Muay Chaiya and Muay Boran) has been very popular in Tony Jaa’s various movies such as Ong Bak 1,2 and 3, and The Protector.

These martial arts have crept into media like the National Geographic Fight Science and Discovery Channel’s Fight Quest series.

Many of those appear here and can be checked out through YouTube.

Kali/Arnis/Eskrima in the Movies