7 Female Martial Artists You Should Know About
Martial arts may seem like a male-dominated discipline. But that’s far from the truth. There are a lot of very talented female martial artists across the globe. Unfortunately, they just don’t get as much PR as their male counterparts. And so in our own little way of trying to right that wrong in this video, we’ll be discussing 7 female martial artists that you should know about.
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#7. Tess Keilhamer
Tess Keilhamer is well known within the martial arts circle and film industry in the United States as she has starred in several Hollywood flicks. This stunning beauty was born on September 22, 1986, and has since gone on to carve out a moderately successful acting career for herself.
At a very young age, Tess took a keen interest in martial arts. According to her, she was hugely influenced by watching Jet Li, which led her to take Wushu a lot more seriously. Tess was well trained in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and has become an experienced fighter in both arts.
She caught the attention of moviegoers when she starred as Black Canary in the movie City of Scars, an independent Batman movie. She also starred in the action comedy Slug Street Scrappers 2 and the series Super Power Beat Down, where she portrayed the legendary Lara Croft.
#6. Ekaterina Logutova
Ekaterina Logutova is in fact a trained civil engineer and entrepreneur. However, she also has experience working as a fashion model and has featured in several TV shows and commercials. But the reason Ekaterina makes our list is because of her proficiency in martial arts.
A sports lover and an avid supporter of healthy living, Ekaterina is deeply involved with martial arts as she practices Koshiki Shorinji Ryu Karate, Kyokushin Karate, and Lido, with special expertise in the use of the katana sword. So, no, Ekaterina is not a lady you want to mess around with.
When she’s not getting her hands dirty at work or doing martial arts training, Ekaterina loves to pass time going horseback riding, swimming, snowboarding, windsurfing, or simply working out at the gym. In her spare time, Ekaterina uses her social media platforms to share her modeling and sporting activities, while also helping to promote healthy living amongst her followers. You can always catch up with her on Instagram and YouTube.
#5. Jessie Graff
Born to Ginny MacColl on January 12, 1984, Jessie Graff is a professional stunts woman and a supremely talented martial artist. At the tender age of 9, Jessie started doing gymnastics and she was a competitive gymnast for up to 6 years.
Then she ventured into pole vaulting as well, finishing high school as a track team leader. She would later enroll at Georgia Tech, where she studied aerospace engineering. And while at Georgia Tech, Jessie would smash the pole vault record in college sports and would go on to retain that record at the university of Nebraska, where she also went to study theatre.
All along, Jessie was receiving formal training in several martial arts, earning black belts in Taekwondo and Kung Fu. With her martial arts and theatre experience, Jessie Graff was well suited for Hollywood. As such, she would go on to work as a stunt woman in several TV shows and movies including X-Men: First Class, Make It or Break It, Bridesmaids, Night and Day, Bad Teacher, John Carter, and Sons of Anarchy. Jessie also did some stunt work for the CBS CWw series Supergirl and served as one of Gal Gadot’s stunt doubles in Wonder Woman 1984.
#4. Jeeja Yanin
Jeeja Yanin is an actress and a martial artist from Thailand, whose real name is Yanin Vismitananda. Born in Bangkok, Thailand, on March 31, 1984, Yanin lost her father, Pawadol Borirak, when she was just 17. Yanin overcame adversity by turning to martial arts and now she holds a 4th dan black belt in Taekwondo, while also specializing in Muay Thai.
In 2003, Yanin’s acting talents were spotted by thai film director, Prachya Pinkaew, and that kickstarted her movie career. As a result Yanin would make her movie debut starring in the 2008 movie Chocolate. That same year, she would also appear in the movie Raging Phoenix. Since then, she has gone on to star in several movies such as The Kick, Never Back Down, No Surrender, Hard Target, and Triple Threat.
#3. Gina Carano
Gina Carano is one of the most recognizable faces on our list. An american actress and a former mixed martial artist, Carano was a competitor at EliteXC and Strikeforce from 2006 to 2009, during which time she amassed an impressive 7-1 record. Although she was never a fan of the title, Carano’s exploits in Strikeforce led many to call her the face of women’s MMA. She may be too humble to accept the honor of being called the “face of women’s MMA” but at the time, it was a well-deserved title.
In 2009, she and Cyborg became the first women to headline a major MMA event. Thanks to their hotly anticipated Strikeforce bout. Carano would later lose the fight to Cyborg in a defeat that led to her retirement. However, her loss to Cyborg was the only defeat she suffered throughout her professional career as an MMA fighter.
Carano’s foray into MMA began with her involvement in Muay Thai thanks to her then boyfriend and professional Muay Thai fighter, Kevin Ross. Following her impressive 12-1-1 Muay Thai record. Carano was then invited by Jamie Levine to participate in the first ever official female MMA fight in Nevada at World Extreme Fighting. Carano was built to go up against Leiticia Pestova. The match lasted only 38 seconds with Carano emerging as the winner.
After dominating women’s MMA for a few years, following her retirement, Carano turned to the screen, landing her first major role in the 2011 movie Haywire. She also starred in the blockbuster movies Fast and Furious 6 and Deadpool. Carano played the character Cara Dune in the first two seasons of Disney’s hit space Western TV series, The Mandalorian. But following some controversial social media posts of hers, Carano was cut from the series as Lucasfilm, the producers of the series, announced that she would no longer appear in any future Star Wars media.
#2. Rina Takeda
Rina Takeda is a Japanese singer, actress, and martial artist, who holds a black belt in Ryukyu Shōrin-ryū Karate. Takeda took interest in Karate when she was just 10 years old. After she watched her father lose a Karate match, an innocent Takeda swore to avenge her father’s defeat by mastering the art.
At 17, her martial arts skills caught the eye of Fuyuhiko Nishi, the producer of Shaolin Girl and Takeda landed her first role as Kei Tsuchiya in the movie High Kick Girl! She would later go on to star in the 2011 movie Karate Girl. Takeda has now appeared in several movies including The Kunoichi: Ninja Girl, Dead Sushi, Gothic Lolita Battle Bear, Danger Dolls, amongst others.
#1. Juju Chan
At the top of our list is American actress, martial artist, and singer, Juju Chan. Born in Hong Kong, Chan fell in love with martial arts at a very young age and up until adulthood, she continued to master her art. After moving to the United States at the age of 3, Chan began to learn Judo when she turned 10. She would later train in several other martial arts, including Shotokan Karate, Wushu, Wing Chun, Muay Thai, and Taekwondo.
Chan was a part of the Hong Kong Taekwondo Team, winning numerous international championship medals during her stint with the team. She would further establish her martial arts pedigree after winning several Thai Boxing championships. Her martial arts exploits caught the eye of movie producers, leading to starring roles in Netflix’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny and the 2019 film Wu Assassins.
And there you have it, 7 female artists you should know about. We’re sure we introduced you to one or two faces. Thanks for watching this video till the end. We’ll catch you in our next video.
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