One of the most well known and prolific martial artists of all-time is Jet Li. Jet Li, whose real name is Li Lianje, was born in Beijing, China in April of 1963. Li began his martial arts career at a very young age and began to show his master of the martial arts when he was only 8 years old. At that age, Li began to stand out at summer courses that were dedicated to the sport of wushu, which is a non-sparring martial art.
Jet Li’s success in the summer camps landed him a spot on the Beijing Wushu Team, which is a martial arts group that competed in the All China Games. While on the Beijing Wushu Team, Li turned into one of China’s greatest martial artists. Throughout his young career, Li won 15 gold medals and 1 silver medal at the Chinese Wushu Championships. Beyond wushu, Li has mastered and learned several other forms of martial arts. These include changquan, fanziquan, xingyiquan, and ying zhao quan.
While a member of the Chinese National Wushu Team, Li performed in front of United States President, Richard Nixon. After the performance, the impressed Nixon asked Li to be his personal bodyguard. Li’s response, which gained him national respect and fame, was that he was far more concerned with defending the people of China than just one man.
Li’s fame inside and out martial arts naturally led him to become a martial arts film star. Li began his acting career in 1982 and he starred in many different Chinese martial arts and action films. In the late 1990’s Li took his acting career to American films, when he starred in “Lethal Weapon 4,” alongside Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. Li has starred in other various successful American films including “War,” “Kiss of the Dragon,” and “Fearless.”