Is Chuck Norris really all that good a martial artist?

OK, admittedly, I don’t have much to go on. I’ve seen parts of a couple of his movies and a few episodes of Walker: Texas Ranger. But, fight scene-wise, he doesn’t really seem to have it altogether. It seems like just about every move he makes seems… staged. Not even well-choreographed. It looks like he has to stop and think for just a split second about every punch and kick he throws. He appears to have a form memorized for the scene and is just walking through it.

OK, somethingth degree black belt and all that, but really, wouldn’t someone who really had his shit together as a martial artist be able to make a fight scene look like a real fight? Bruce Lee always managed to. No matter how many times I see Enter the Dragon, I still half expect to see him get killed because he looks so natural in the scenes a viewer can really believe he is actually fighting for his life. Norris, well, he just doesn’t seem all that well connected to his own body to really flow.

I wonder what he’d be like in an actual fight with someone who had about equal training?

Keep in mind that the man is in his mid-60s. And yes, he is one of the best in the world.

Well, keep in mind that when Walker, Texas Ranger went on the air, Norris was 53, and 61 by the time it was cancelled.

Even putting aside the effects of age, martial artists don’t train how not to hit people (well, putting aside all that Zen crap about not getting into fights in the first place). Hollywood fights are heavily choreographed, and unless you’re willing to spend a few weeks getting a particular fight sequence down (and the schedule of television production makes this impossible), it’s never going to look perfectly smooth, and Norris was simply never that good an actor to begin with.

Norris does tell an amusing story, though, about playing a bad guy in a Dean Martin movie called The Wrecking Crew. Norris was supposed to spin kick, just missing Dean who was supposed to duck. On the first take, Norris accidentally nailed Dean in the shoulder, sending him flying. On a subsequent take, which got into the movie, Norris deliberately aimed so high that his foot passed about three feet over Dean’s head, and probably would have missed even if Dean hadn’t ducked.

Chuck Norris was a phenomenal martial artist in his prime. He was, however, never a gifted actor. I think you’re seeing a combination of age and “still not a great actor” catching up to him.

There was one movie where he had an incredible fight scene as a bad guy against Bruce Lee…anyone remember which Bruce Lee movie it was? Enter the Dragon?

I heard an anecdote that I’ve always liked:

when Chuck Norris was asked his opinion of the then-new 1970’s T.V. show “Kung-Fu” star David Carradine, he supposedly quipped

“well, his karate’s about as good as my acting”

I love that guy.

7 times US Karate champion, then makes movies. Yeah, I’d say he’s pretty good.

Yes, Chuck Norris is one hell of an accomplished martial artist…

His skills as an actor are quite debatable, though. Don’t judge his martial arts ability by what you see in a choreographed TV show. He is also getting up there in age, but moves damn well for a 20 year old, let alone a senior citizen.

And the Chuck vs Bruce fight was “Return of the Dragon” (american title) and is easily one of the 5 greatest fight scenes ever put to film.

Return of the Dragon. You get to see Chuck Norris at the top of his young (and hairy) form. He throws this spin kick in it that’s so fast it has to be seen to be believed. If they did that now, they’d have to use CG. :slight_smile:

So, yeah, I’d say that he is pretty good. :wink:


I guess that’s a word you could use, if the debate is over whether Norris is the worst actor of all time, or is just among the bottom 10.

On a related note, has anyone seen Conan O’Brien’s “Walker, Texas Ranger” lever? It’s pretty damn funny.

So, I guess we’ve established the fact that Norris can fight, but can’t act.

I still think that if Bruce Lee were still alive, he could mop the floor with Chuck Norris, though.

And, dammit, Bruce Lee could act, too.

I’d say he’s still a better actor than Jean Claude VanDamme or Steven Segal.

Peggy Lee could mop the floor with Chuck Norris.

Hell, Pinky Lee could take 'em.

Even Sara Lee could make him cry like a school girl.

Funny how a Bruce vs Norris matchup always comes up when discussing either one. :smiley:

For what it’s worth, Norris did teach Bruce how valuable kicking was in a fight. Until then, Bruce was convinced that in a fight you would be in a disadvantage if you kicked higher than waist level. There is a story that they had met after an exhibition, and got into a little discussion over this. They stayed up all night in the hallway to their hotel showing off, and teaching each other stuff, becoming friends in the process.

Anyways, chalk me up on the Bruce beating Norris.

PS: I actually think Firewalker was a better movie because of Norris’ acting. Sometimes his campy acting makes a movie better.

From the above url:

Huh? How is Walker, Texas Ranger a Christian program?

Yeah, and he can fight, too!

Have you even read the rest of the thread? The man’s got credentials that state that he’s one hell of a martial artist. So you don’t like Chuck Norris. Fine. Your statements here have no basis in his actual abilities. For a senior citizen, he’s still in great shape, and could probably make most current action movie stars run home with their tails between their legs if he wanted to.

Sorry to disagree but the evidence shows that in their prime, Chuck beats Bruce.

I’m a big fan of Bruce Lee, by the way, but…

Aside from the nifty moves, please cite the full-contact, titles that Bruce Lee has won in Martial Arts competition.

Same number as Chuck - zero. All of Norris’ titles werre no-contact.


I like Norris too, but Norris himself said that Bruce was a more complete fighter. A lot of his accomplishments were in a structured event. Ever see how those same fighters fare in a non-structured event, like WFC?

Love it

I’m gonna guess that Mockingbird was joking, playing on the last name “Lee.”

Sir Rhosis