The Most Famous Karate Practitioner: A Definitive Ranking

Choose the practitioner you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Jun 16, 2023 10:18 (Updated on Dec 2, 2023 23:42)
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinion shapes the rankings! Today, we're diving into the captivating world of Karate and its legendary practitioners. The ancient art of Karate has produced countless masters, but who among them stands at the pinnacle of fame and recognition? That's where you come in! We've put together a list of the most iconic Karate practitioners for you to rank and vote on. Will it be the legendary Bruce Lee or the versatile Chuck Norris who claims the top spot? Or perhaps someone else who's equally deserving but often overlooked? Don't see your favorite Karate master on the list? Worry not, as you can also suggest a missing option! So, gear up and get ready to strike a blow for your favorite Karate legend as you join us in creating the ultimate ranking of the most famous Karate practitioners. Let the battle begin!

Who Is the Most Famous Karate Practitioner?

  1. 1
    Bruce Lee
    National General Pictures · Public domain
    Bruce Lee is considered one of the most famous martial artists in the world, known for his skills in various forms of martial arts, including karate. He was an actor, filmmaker, and founder of Jeet Kune Do, a hybrid martial arts system.
    Bruce Lee in other rankings
  2. 2
    Chuck Norris
    Staff Sgt. Tony Foster · Public domain
    Chuck Norris is a legendary martial artist, actor, and former professional fighter, best known for his karate skills. He has earned numerous titles in various martial arts competitions and is the founder of the Chuck Norris System, a martial arts discipline.
    Chuck Norris in other rankings
  3. 3
    Mas Oyama
    日本スポーツ出版社 · Public domain
    Mas Oyama was a Japanese karate master who founded the Kyokushin Karate discipline. He is known for his incredible strength and the development of the "100-man kumite," which is a test of endurance and skill against 100 opponents.
  4. 4
    Gichin Funakoshi
    Gichin Funakoshi · Public domain
    Gichin Funakoshi is the founder of Shotokan Karate, which is one of the most popular karate styles in the world. He was a Japanese martial artist and philosopher who popularized karate in Japan and later around the world.
  5. 5
    Chojun Miyagi
    Nakasone Genwa · Public domain
    Chojun Miyagi was a Japanese martial artist who founded the Goju-ryu Karate discipline. He is known for his unique blend of hard and soft techniques, which is a hallmark of Goju-ryu Karate.
  6. 6
    Tatsuo Shimabuku was a Japanese martial artist who founded the Isshin-ryu Karate discipline. He is known for his unique approach to karate, which integrates traditional Okinawan techniques with modern innovations.
  7. 7
    Kenji Tomiki was a Japanese martial artist who founded the Tomiki Aikido discipline, which incorporates karate techniques. He is known for his contributions to the development of modern martial arts and his emphasis on practical self-defense techniques.
  8. 8
    Hirokazu Kanazawa is a Japanese karate master who has won numerous championships and is a founder of the Shotokan Karate-do International Federation. He is known for his technical precision and his dedication to the traditional karate principles.
  9. 9
    Hironori Otsuka
    HistoryTuan · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Hironori Otsuka was a Japanese martial artist who founded the Wado-ryu Karate discipline. He is known for his unique approach to karate, which incorporates elements of Jujutsu and other martial arts.
  10. 10
    Choshin Chibana was a Japanese martial artist who founded the Kobayashi-ryu Karate discipline. He is known for his dedication to preserving the traditional Okinawan karate techniques and his emphasis on the spiritual aspects of martial arts.

Missing your favorite practitioner?


Ranking factors for famous practitioner

  1. Achievements
    The athlete's record in competitions and championships is an important consideration.
  2. Technical Skills
    The athlete's mastery of Karate techniques and their ability to apply them in real-life situations.
  3. Influence
    How much of an impact the athlete has made in Karate, both within their own country and internationally.
  4. Popularity
    How well-known the athlete is, both within the Karate community and among the general public.
  5. Legacy
    The athlete's contribution to the development of Karate and their influence on future generations of practitioners.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous Karate practitioner. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or practitioner is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 228 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each practitioner once every 24 hours. The rank of each practitioner is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most famous karate practitioner

Karate is a martial art form that originated in Okinawa, Japan, and has gained global popularity over the years. It involves a combination of punches, kicks, knee strikes, and open-hand techniques, making it a highly versatile form of self-defense. Karate practitioners are known for their discipline, focus, and physical prowess, which has earned them a reputation as some of the most skilled fighters in the world. Many famous figures, including Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee, and Jackie Chan, have helped popularize karate through their movies and TV shows, making it a widely recognized and respected form of martial arts. Today, there are countless karate schools and competitions worldwide, attracting enthusiasts from all walks of life who seek to master this ancient art form.

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