Friday 5ive: 5 of the Cheesiest Martial Arts Movies You Can Watch On YouTube Right Now

By: Albert Miller – It’s been said that you won’t know where you’re going until you’re sure of where you’ve been. I couldn’t agree more. This year has been a whirlwind of sea change, of uprisings and upheavals. I have a theory about years that end in the number seven; it’s mostly insanity and superstition, but the thought is that years that end in the number seven are years of change and uncertainty. In times of change and uncertainty, it’s best to be reminded of the mission and to soldier on.

This week for the Friday 5ive, I’m soldiering on by sharing with you five of the cheesiest (and my favorite) martial arts movies that you can watch on YouTube right now. Let me be extremely clear, without movies like these, I would not be doing what I’m doing right now. These movies have bad acting, terrible plots, but some of the most inspiring athleticism and choreographed combat a man can ask for.

Note: This list is purely opinion, and in no way definitive.

No. 5: King of the Kickboxers (1991)

Starring: Loren Avedon, Billy Blanks

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 57% / IMDB.Com Rating: 5.9/10 Description: A cop goes undercover in Thailand to avenge his brother’s death in this martial arts film.

No. 4: No Retreat, No Surrender (1986)

Starring: Kurt McKinney, Jean Claude Van Damme

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 53%  / IMDB.Com Rating: 5.6 / 10

IMDB.Com Description: Jason Stillwell, a Bruce Lee fan, is beaten numerous times and trains from the ghost of Lee. Jason then must use his newly acquired skills to save Seattle from a crime syndicate, whose top martial artist is the deadly Ivan. – Written by Albert Valentin

No. 3: Only the Strong (1993)

Starring: Mark Dacascos, Geoffrey Lewis

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 0% / IMDB.Com Rating: 6.7/10

IMDB.Com Description: Ex-Special Forces soldier Louis Stevens returns to Miami to find his former high school overrun by drugs and violence. A master of the Brazilian martial art, capoeira, Stevens pledges to straighten out a dozen of the school’s worst students by teaching them this demanding and highly-disciplined fighting style. Slowly, his program begins to work, giving the students new hope and purpose. But the local drug lord, himself a martial arts expert, vows to stop Stevens’ positive influence. Now Stevens must fight to save his own life, as well as the lives of his rebellious young students. (Written by: Anthony Pereyra)

No. 2: The Perfect Weapon (1991)

Starring: Jeff Speakman, Mako

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 40% / IMDB.Com Rating: 6/10

IMDB.Com Description: Jeff, a young delinquent, is enrolled by his father in a kenpo school, in the hopes of teaching the boy some self-discipline. Years later, Jeff’s mentor, Kim, is being threatened by one of the Korean mafia families. Jeff tries to help his old friend, but is too late to prevent Kim’s death at the hands of an unknown hitman. Vowing revenge, Jeff takes on all of the families, using his martial arts skills to find the man who killed his friend. – Written by Jean-Marc Rocher

No. 1: Ring of Fire (1991)

Starring: Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Maria Ford

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 36% / IMDB.Com Rating: 5/10

IMDB.Com Description: L.A.’s Chinatown is disrupted by the cross-town rivalry between two kickboxing clubs, as the competitive sport is catapulted from the ring of a gymnasium to a ring of fire.

Thank you for joining us this week; until next time: Fights, Cameron, Action!