It seems every couple of years we get a martial arts underdog teen movie. Though we don’t seem to have had one for a while?

We had the Karate Kid in the 80s, I’m not sure if we had one in the 90s (comment below if you know of one, I’d be genuinely interested), and in the 2000s we had Never Back Down, which was basically an MMA updated retelling of the Karate Kid.

In the 2010s, I don’t think we’ve had one, I don’t really count the Smith family remake of the Karate Kid since the kid didn’t learn Karate, he learned Kung Fu. Despite that though it was a pretty good movie and a great performance by Jackie Chan as Mr. Miyagi.

Anyway, back on topic, we need an underdog martial movies for this decade. Since the 80s was about introducing Karate to the cinema-going public and Never Back Down was about showing off MMA, I think we need to delve into the nerd world for another fighting style to show off.

Here are four, that I think we make a great basis for a good movie.

Taijutsu from Naruto

I know Taijutsu is a general term for combat skill, though I’d kind of like to a martial art movie where maybe somebody in the real world tried to put what Rock Lee did into practice.

Since the style is so flashy how would they do it? Who would teach them? Would they embrace the Spring of Youth?

Mecha Pilot

Yeah, I know this one is a real long shot, but I don’t think I’ve ever watched a Mecha anime or manga that doesn’t involve some sort of hand to hand combat.

Since your average anime pilot does it so much, some sort of skill must be required and out of that, a fighting style must develop including effective techniques. That’d work, right?


I know Jedi is supposed to be more of a religion but there is a combat element to their lifestyle. Obviously, you have the whole lightsaber thing, but there seems to be hand to hand element to it.

I know in the expanded universe a young Obi-Wan was a clumsy young Jedi who struggled to master that art of a lightsaber. Maybe that should be where the Obi-Wan spin-off should go?

Jo-Lon from A.T.O.M

I guess I’ll need to give you a second to look up A.T.O.M on Wikipedia..? OK was that long enough? So the lead character, Axel is the master of the martial art Jo-Lon, a Dragon Ball Z style combat system.

Yeah, I know it’s an obscure one, but it’d be kind of interesting to see on screen I suppose? Since I doubt we’ll see another live-action Dragon Ball for a long time.

Have I missed any? Why don’t you let us know in the comments!

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