Top 10 Muay Thai Martial Arts Movie Fights

Power is an essential component of every martial art in existence, and Muay Thai exemplifies martial arts power and endurance to an insane level. The ancient art of Muay Thai is also known as “The science of the eight limbs”, due to Muay Thai fighters’ priority on conditioning their fists, feet, elbows, and knees to their maximum potential.

Indeed, Muay Thai training also turns limbs into truly lethal weapons of war with Muay Thai fighters hardening their bones to land with the impact of solid steel. And, of course, martial arts movie filmmakers have never failed to overlook the might of Muay Thai

For decades, Muay Thai has been utilized as a powerful and beautiful cinematic martial art, with the great Tony Jaa helping to launch it into the mainstream with the 2003 classic “Ong Bak: Muay Thai Warrior”.

There have also been countless other outstanding Muay Thai fight scenes in martial arts films. This can only mean it’s time for another KFK countdown list, readers. So, without further ado, here in descending order, are the Top 10 Muay Thai Martial Arts Movie Fights!

10. The Soccer Game – “Vengeance of an Assassin”

Soccer might be the world’s most popular sport, but not until Panna Rittikrai’s final action spectacular, 2014’s “Vengeance of an Assassin”, did a game of soccer carry the kind of full contact power of a Muay Thai match.

“Vengeance of an Assassin” is full of all kinds of amazing stunts and fights, but it literally kicks off in more ways than one with a soccer game inside of an old warehouse between two teams headed up by the movie’s sibling protagonists Thee (Dan Chupong) and Than (Nantawooti Boonrapsap).

The goal is to gain control of the ball and the rules are essentially that of any standard Muay Thai match.

All on its own, the opening Muay Thai soccer war in “Vengeance of an Assassin” is a masterclass of Muay Thai action and flashy aerial stunt work that gets the movie going at 100mph right out of the gate.

Panna Rittikrai sadly left the world too soon, but no one can argue that his final gift to global action fans showed why he remains revered as the Yuen Woo-ping of Thai martial arts flicks.

9. Kham vs. No. 2 – “Tom Yum Goong 2”

After a three-year hiatus from movies, Tony Jaa made his long-awaited return in 2013’s “Tom Yum Goong 2”, and right at the same time, Marrese Crump made his big break as the movie’s cocky, spin-kicking villain No.2.

Both Tony and Marrese are students of the late Thai action movie maestro Panna Rittikrai, and their mutual training lineage brings everything fans could possibly want to Kham and No.2’s extended final battle.

While Tony and Marrese’s shared Muay Thai mastery is the basis for their battle, they also augment it with techniques from other styles, including the semi-mythical, American fighting style 52 blocks.

Never can it be said that Tony Jaa didn’t come back to martial arts movie making with both guns blazing, or that Marrese Crump didn’t begin with the same attitude!

8. Zen’s Final Showdown – “Chocolate”

Jeeja Yanin made a rollicking martial arts movie debut with 2008’s “Chocolate” as the autistic heroine Zen, who becomes a self-taught Muay Thai warrior by absorbing “Ong Bak: Muay Thai Warrior” from her TV set!

Zen’s skills are put to the test when she must fight gangsters to save her family, with her biggest challenge coming in the blistering final fight of “Chocolate” with Zen fighting an entire gang first in a vacant building and then on the balconies outside of it.

“Chocolate” brings the mindset of an ‘80s-era Jackie Chan movie to its fight sequences and especially to its finale, where the hits land with maximum power, the stunts are as death-defying as they come, and all the blood, sweat, and tears that went into them are fully captured in the end credit outtakes.

For Muay Thai action fans, the fight finale of “Chocolate” is as sweet as its namesake with every bit the impact of “Ong Bak”.

7. Ting’s Fight Club Battles – “Ong Bak: Muay Thai Warrior”

Tony Jaa broke out with one of the 21st century’s definitive martial arts films, “Ong Bak: Muay Thai Warrior”, and helped make Thailand a new mecca for martial arts fans, to boot.

“Ong Bak” cashes into the long-standing concept of an underground fight club in one of its central fight scenes, which is really three fight scenes in one of Tony Jaa’s Ting facing a hulking, potty-mouthed bruiser, a fast-moving kicking machine, and an opponent who simply smashes whatever he can grab on him.

“Ong Bak” is undeniably packed with nothing but insane Muay Thai battles, and it is equally unequivocal that the movie’s fight club sequence helped make “Ong Bak” a title synonymous with the best Muay Thai action around.

6. Kham vs. 50 Opponents – “Tom Yum Goong”

Tony Jaa’s 2005 follow-up to “Ong Bak”, “Tom Yum Goong”, introduces a grappling-centric variation of Muay Thai known as Muay Kodchasaan (which translates to “Elephant boxing”), with the movie serving up some of the most unique Muay Thai fight scenes yet.

The real show-stealer, though, is the sequence of Tony Jaa’s Kham taking down 50 enemies one-by-one with the grappling maneuvers of his art.

By the end, you’ll probably feel sorry for Tony’s vast assortment of opponents who have had their legs, arms, ankles, elbows, and shoulders snapped like twigs.

Tony’s 50-man smackdown in “Tom Yum Goong” remains both one of the best Muay Thai and one-man-vs-many fight scenes ever assembled, and even includes a quick blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance by Dutch kicking extraordinaire Ron Smoorenburg (who later faced Tony in a one-on-one rematch in “Triple Threat”!)

5. Payu and Jaka vs. Collins – “Triple Threat”

Triple Threat” is every martial arts fan’s dream come true of an ensemble of martial arts movie legends coming together to kick butt for 95 minutes, and talk about delivering on that promise in its finale!

The final showdown of “Triple Threat” mixes and matches the heroes of Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, and Tiger Chen against the villains of Scott Adkins, Michael Jai White, and Michael Bisping, with Tony Jaa bringing all the Muay Thai elbow and knee power to his duel with Scott Adkins.

Even better, Iko Uwais drops in for round one to add some Silat to the action, and it’s simply an unhinged blast of spinning kicks, elbow strikes, and backflips before Tony and Scott face-off in the movie’s final one-on-one – the icing on the cake being Tony’s deliciousness snarky one-liner with a dark double meaning.

4. Kurt Sloan vs. Tong Po – “Kickboxer”

What “The Karate Kid” did for Karate in the ‘80s “Kickboxer” did for Muay Thai in the same decade, helping propel Jean-Claude Van Damme to stardom in his portrayal of kickboxer Kurt Sloan, out to avenge his brother’s brutal defeat to the merciless Tong Po (Michel Qissi).

“Kickboxer” also raises the risk-factor of Kurt and Tong Po’s final showdown through the roof with the hero and villain fighting with gloves coated in broken glass.

The power and strength of Muay Thai consistently lends itself to some of the best martial arts movie fights, and with Van Damme’s signature splits and helicopter kicks, Kurt Sloan’s epic match with Tong Po is a thrilling and inspiring Muay Thai fight scene reminding fans around the world to, as Stan Bush would say in the song above.

3. Chatchai and Chi Kit vs. Ko Chun – “SPL II: A Time for Consequences”

Hong Kong-style and Thai-style action are both awesome individually, and finally the world got to see the two combined in Cheang Pou-Song’s 2015 martial arts powerhouse “SPL 2: A Time for Consequences” (aka “Kill Zone 2”).

Bringing Tony Jaa’s Chatchai and Wu Jing’s Chi-kit together first as foes then as allies, “SPL 2” culminates in a finale worthy of “The Raid” with the two first battling the henchmen of corrupt prison warden Ko Chun (Max Zhang) before teaming up against the big boss himself.

“SPL 2” marked Tony Jaa’s debut in a Hong Kong action movie, and he brings all of his wild Muay Thai power from his “Ong Bak” and “Tom Yum Goong” movies to the mile-a-minute style of Hong Kong martial arts fights in a blazing Muay Thai-Wushu combo – earning the finale of “SPL 2” a spot on the best Muay Thai movie fights list with ease!

2. The Final Battle – “Born to Fight” (1984)

Long before Thailand became one of the hottest martial arts movie territories on the planet, Panna Rittikrai was laying the groundwork with his low budget but extremely high impact martial arts flicks like 1984’s “Born to Fight”.

With all the highly refined fight choreography and stunt work of an in-his-prime Jackie Chan movie, “Born to Fight” culminates in a literally fiery Muay Thai showdown of Panna and his friends standing their ground against the villainous gang of the movie.

“Born To Fight” didn’t really start getting its due internationally until Tony Jaa’s breakout (who, as the DVD quotes him, was “inspired to pursue a dream” by the movie) and the excellent 2004 “Born to Fight” remake.

With the Muay Thai magic on display in the final showdown of “Born to Fight”, it would have been a genuine tragedy for it to slip through the cracks everywhere outside of Thailand, and thankfully, the outcome has been very much the opposite for the Muay Thai masterpiece with a masterful finale that is “Born to Fight”!

…and in at no.1 is…

Ting vs. Saming – “Ong Bak: Muay Thai Warrior”

The final showdown of “Ong Bak” pits Ting against the nefarious Saming after their earlier ring match in the movie, and it does not disappoint in wrapping the movie up with a shin-kicking, knee-thrusting, and quite literally skull-splitting Muay Thai smackaroo.

The final showdown of “Ong Bak” is one of the sort so confident with itself that it repeatedly delivers instant replays of the hardest hits and flashiest money shots.

Elevating the fight even further is the sheer variety of elbow and knee techniques Tony breaks out, ending “Ong Bak” on just the kind of unforgettable Muay Thai showdown it deserves – and earning it, at KFK, the title of the greatest Muay Thai movie fight scene!

So there we have it folks, KFK’s rundown of the Top 10 Muay Thai Martial Arts Movie Fights!

Did any of your picks make the list? What are some of your favorite Muay Thai-centric martial arts movie fights? Let us know in the comments below, join in the conversation/share this on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter & Instagram!

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Brad Curran

From the earliest days of childhood, Brad Curran was utterly fascinated by martial arts, his passion only growing stronger after spending time living in the melting pot of Asian cultures that is Hawaii. His early exposure developed into a lifelong passion and fascination with all forms of martial arts and tremendous passion for action and martial arts films. He would go on to take a number of different martial arts forms, including Shaolin Ch'uan fa, Taekwondo, Shotokan Karate and remains a devoted student, avid and eager to continue his martial arts studies. Brad is also an aspiring writer and deeply desires to share his love for martial arts and martial arts movies with the world!

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