There’s your eye-pleasing hand-to-hand martial art combat grounded in reality. Then there’s martial arts that can destroy galaxies.
Either way, they have always been a major part of the anime culture.
And since a huge portion of action anime is either inspired by or contains the usage of martial arts, there are a large number of characters that use this art.
In this list, we are going to look at some of the best, most badass anime martial artists.
1. Garou (One-Punch Man)
One-Punch Man is a superhero show filled with people who can use powers, robots, and other bizarre things. Somehow one of the main antagonists of the story uses the good-old martial arts (well superpower martial arts to be precise).
Garou is a highly-skilled fighter who uses his brain & instincts to take advantage of weaknesses in his opponent. He then evolves to become stronger & stronger.
Garou’s goal is to become a monster despite being a normal human, but through his martial arts & extreme willpower, he is slowly but surely reaching his goal.
2. Mamoru Takamura (Hajime no Ippo)
When a character from a boxing anime is able to knock out a bear, you know he is special.
Takamura is the deuteragonist of Hajime no Ippo & the one who influenced the protagonist to start boxing.
Takamura is the badass overpowered guy of the show. Eery time he boxes, it feels he’s going to kill his opponent with his powerful lethal punches.
Sometimes you even feel bad for his opponents.
3. Tien Shinhan (Dragon Ball)
Tien is nowhere near the top 10 strongest characters in the Dragon Ball verse. Even still, when it comes to pure skills, he’s one of the best.
Tien has devoted his entire life to learning & teaching martial arts.
Even when he’s not fighting monsters or saving earth he still keeps training because of his love for the art form.
4. Yu Mira (The God Of High School)
The 25th master of the Moonlight Sword, Yu Mira’s goal is to protect her family’s martial arts Moonlight Sword, so naturally, she’s devoted to it.
At the beginning of the story, she relies mostly on brute force but she slowly starts improving her techniques & skill.
Basically she gets better in the way of the sword & of course gets power upgrades too.
5. Rock Lee (Naruto)
Rock Lee lacked the skills to use ninjutsu & genjutsu, which were the main power source for most of the ninjas in Naruto.
Rock Lee makes up for it by increasing his taijutsu stats to the max.
Taijutsu is a skill where a ninja uses their body to fight. The more effort you put the stronger this skill will be, so much so that you can manage to defeat ninjas who basically use magic with just some punches & kicks.
6. Mugen (Samurai Champloo)
Mugen might be one of the most unorthodox samurais you’ll find in fiction.
He fights using his instincts & adapts to his opponent’s fighting styles, which allows him to fight evenly with even the most skillful samurais in the story.
7. Izumi Curtis ( Alchemist: Brotherhood)
The master of our main characters Edward & Alphonse, Izumi is extremely skilled in hand-to-hand combat.
Along with her skill, she’s also physically strong, which helps Izumi to take out strong opponents.
Izumi was able to defeat bears, knockback Sloth & even scare away Greed, one of the Homunculus.
8. Isaac Netero (Hunter x Hunter)
While many characters in
Netero founded the Shingen-Ryu style of Kung-fu and he easily defeated most of the opponents he fought against.
Meruem was able to finally make Netero go all out and in this fight, Netero used his skills to show why he’s the chairman of the Hunter Association.
9. Master Roshi (Dragon Ball)
Roshi is the master of Goku & Krillin, he’s the one who taught them basic martial arts.
While both of them have surpassed their master, we can’t underestimate the experience Roshi has in martial arts.
In the universal survival saga of
10. Annie Leonhart (Attack on Titan)
Annie brought a lot of dynamic to the previously meat head titan fights when she started using martial arts in her titan form.
Because of her, Eren was forced to start using some brain in titan fights too.
While as a soldier she might’ve not matched up to the Ackermans, she was leagues above other ordinary soldiers when it came to hand-to-hand combat.
11. Sakata Gintoki (Gintama)
Gintoki is a retired samurai war veteran who takes down supernatural creatures, aliens & other samurais with his trademark wooden sword.
Most of the main characters in
Gintoki still somehow manages to be overpowered.
12. Yoruichi Shihouin (Bleach)
The Flash Goddess of
She was easily one of the fastest characters in
While her attack power wasn’t top tier, she was able to be extremely useful because of her speed.
13. Shoto Aizawa (My Hero Academia)
Shoto Aizawa aka Eraserhead has one of the most broken quirks in the entire story, the quirk that allows him to erase other people’s quirk.
But after erasing his opponent’s quirk, his combat skills is what makes him even more dangerous.
He’s able to hold his own against some super villains without even using his quirk.
14. Krillin (Dragon Ball)
Krillin is arguably the strongest human in the Dragon Ball franchise but when it comes to raw strength he couldn’t hold a candle to most opponents.
He still manages to give them a lot of trouble & sometimes even defeat them because he’s highly skilled in martial arts.
He can strategize to dodge/block his opponent’s lethal attacks and manage to land some blows of his own.
This is the reason even Goku took him seriously in
15. Speed o’ Sound Sonic (One-Punch Man)
Speed o’ Sound Sonic has turned into a joke character because he tries to challenge the protagonist again & again (& of course gets easily defeated).
He’s still a pretty strong character if you compare him to other heroes & villains.
Sonic is a veteran ninja, extremely skilled in his art & every time he gets defeated he’s able to drastically improve.
He has arguably become as strong as some of the S class heroes.
16. Jin Mori (The God Of High School)
Jin Mori is a Renewal Taekwondo specialist, a martial art based on real Taekwondo.
He was able to win
As the series progresses Jin gets insane superhuman abilities but still proficiently uses martial arts.
17. Takasugi Shinsuke (Gintama)
Shinsuke is one of the very few samurais in
Shinsuke & Gintoki were trained together by the same master & they had several duels throughout their childhood.
Neither of them was able to truly overpower the other.
18. Ling Yao (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)
Ling is an expert in Xingese styles of martial arts & is also a skilled swordsman.
In the world of
He becomes even more dangerous when he fuses with the homunculus Greed. In this form he gains regeneration capabilities & a super-strong body.
19. Might Guy (Naruto)
Just like Rock Lee, Guy lacked the skills to use ninjutsu & genjutsu but was able to make up for it using taijutsu.
Might Guy didn’t just manage to ‘hold his own’ using his taijutsu but was able to become one of the strongest characters by the end of the series.
He’s given even overpowered Godly characters like Madara a lot of trouble.
20. Jin (Samurai Champloo)
Unlike the other main character of the show Mugen, Jin is a very disciplined samurai. He doesn’t rely much on his instincts, rather he relies on his technical skills & learnings from his dojo.
As the series goes on, Jin learns more & more about the way of the sword, both in technicality & philosophy, resulting in him becoming an even more elite samurai.
21. Jinbei (One Piece)
The knight of the sea Jinbei is extremely proficient in Fish-Man Karate, a skill used primarily by the Fish-Men of the
He can go toe to toe with characters who have insanely powerful devil fruits & Haki using this martial art.
22. Bang (One-Punch Man)
Bang aka Silver Fang is the 3rd highest ranked S-class hero of the Hero association & he reached this position because of his self-made martial art: Water Stream Rock Smashing Fist.
Bang both practices & teaches this art, one of the story’s primary antagonists Garou was trained by Bang.
Despite his old age, Bang manages to serve humanity & be a nightmare for the supervillains.
23. Maki Zenin (Jujutsu Kaisen)
In a way, Maki is the Rock Lee/Might Guy of
But she makes up for it by having superhuman physical prowess & being skilled in using cursed weapons.
While we don’t know if she is proficient in any particular martial arts, she definitely incorporates some of it in her combat.
24. Sasaki Kojiro (Record of Ragnarok)
Sasaki Kojiro is Humanity’s representative in the fight against Poseidon.
Sasaki Kojiro’s character is based on one of the most renowned samurais in Japanese history, Sasaki Kojiro. Naturally, the Record of Ragnarok’s Sasaki Kojiro is one of the most skilled martial artists on this list.
With the help of a divine Katana, phenomenal skills & life experience, Sasaki Kojiro manages to surpass Poseidon in combat.
25. Son Goku (Dragon Ball)
We are ending this list with none other than the protagonist of the Dragon Ball franchise and easily one of the most iconic martial artists in all of fiction… Son Goku.
Goku was a prodigy when it came to his martial arts skills since the og Dragon Ball, going toe-to-toe with other legendary martial artists in the verse.
Some might think he was able to defeat his opponents because of his raw strength being relatively higher.
That said, even in