Kickboxing is a sport that is used for self-defense, fitness, or for sparring between multiple people. Performed standing up, kickboxing borrows from Muy Thai and Karate and can be a dangerous weapon. In most movies, kickboxing is a powerful tool to help the hero and those around him.
From 1989 to 2008, some movies about kickboxing gained a lot of attention, both as movies that show kickboxing and that tell a story with that kickboxing. From gritty and violent to slightly less so, here are five films that I recommend watching if you enjoy watching films about kickboxing or martial arts.
Ong-Bak and Chok-Dee
In 2003, Tony Jaa starred in Ong-Bak, a film that uses Thai kickboxing to great effect. It not only has action and great stunts it is a callback to older movies from the 1980s. Tony Jaa performed his own stunts and trained for four years in Muay Boran to prepare for his role. Muay Boran is the form martial arts that came before Muay Thai. This is the technical term for the kickboxing used in the film and is held up as one of the first movies of its kind to use this style of fighting.
Released in 2005, Chok-Dee is a French film about a kickboxer who studies Muay Thai. After getting out of prison, he tries to compete in kickboxing competitions. Starring Dida Diafat and Bernard Giraudeau, this is another solid kickboxing film.