Most people mainly focus on famous male experts when it comes to martial arts. However, there are lots of professional female martial artists.

Female martial artists have also proven to be as competent in the fighting art just as men, if not more. Here is a look at some of the famous female martial artists.

1. Gina Carano

Gina Carano is one of the all-time best female fighters. She was considered the face of women’s mixed martial arts at one time.

Her good looks and talent saw her rise into an accomplished actress, featuring in popular action films such as ‘Deadpool’ and ‘Fast & Furious ‘.

Gina started her career in Muay Thai and later got into the cage where she combated female fighters such as the popular Ronda Rousey.

Although she is currently concentrating on the film industry, she can boast of only losing one fight throughout her career.

2. Cris Cyborg

Cris Cyborg is the popular female martial artist that ended the reign of Gina Carano in 2009, rising to be the new face of women’s MMA.

She started her MMA career by losing the first fight through submission but went on to have one of the most remarkable winning streaks of twenty fights, winning three belts.

While fans never got to witness the most hyped fight between Cris Cyborg and Ronda Rousey, we experienced one of the biggest fights between Cyborg and Amanda Nunes. She lost her first fight in over thirteen years but still went on to win other belts.

3. Ronda Rousey

Ronda Rousey took the martial arts industry by storm, and we can easily say that a mixed martial artist would not be where it is without her.

Rousey started as an Olympic Bronze medalist in Judo and quickly became popular by submitting her opponents through the first-round armbars.

She generated huge numbers forcing the UFC president to create a women’s MMA division. Ronda Rousey is the only female fighter ever to sell more than a million pay-per-views on cards repeatedly.

Ronda also got into an action movie career in the famous ‘The Expendables 3’ followed by others. Starting young and consistently pushing to great heights, Ronda Rousey remains one of the greatest martial artists in history.

4. Keiko Fukuda

Although Keiko Fukuda died in 2013, aged 99, her impact on the female martial industry, particularly Judo, can never be forgotten.

She was born in 1914 in Japan, a period when women were not engaging in martial arts. However, with Fukuda’s grandfather being a Jiu—Jitsu, and samurai master, she felt a great connection with learning martial arts.

Keiko Fukuda worked hard to break the social barriers against female martial arts. She rose to higher ranks in Judo than what women would previously hold. Ultimately, she prepared women to attain great heights and succeed in martial arts.

5. Cynthia Rothrock

Cynthia Rothrock is a popular name in the world of martial arts. she is one of the high achievers in martial arts, retiring as an undefeated world champion for five years.

She attained seven black belts and sashes in taekwondo, Eagle Claw, Tang Soo DOO, Kung Fu, and Shaolin.

Cynthia Rothrock was the first woman to feature in a martial arts magazine, and she is in the Black Belt Hall of Fame along with Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee.

She has also had an incredible film career starring in over 60 movies. Her achievements are inspiring to any martial artist.

6. Zhang Ziyi

Zhang Ziyi was the lead female artist in the film,’ Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, the most popular foreign language film.

With Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi produced great techniques and skills in the film and has since become an icon in female martial arts.

She played a role with popular martial actors like Jet Li and Jack Chan. Ziyi has also starred in films such as ‘House of Flying Daggers’ and ‘Memoirs of a Geisha.’

7. Karen Sheperd

Karen Sheperd is another famous female artist who has had great success in both martial arts and film acting.

As a martial artist, she has achieved a lot of milestones, including being a WKC Gold medalist, Two times US open Karate champion, and a hall of fame entry in the black belt and martial arts history museum.

Karen was on the front line in leading a movement to establish a Female Black Belt title. As a movie star, she has taken part in many films, including the popular TV series, ‘Hercules, the Legendary Journeys,’ Cyborg 2, Righting Wrongs, and other action movie roles.

As a pioneer martial artist, Karen Sheperd deserves mention among the legendary female martial artists.


These are some of the most famous female martial artists. Any other things we have left out? Hope not, anything can change anyway.

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