Forget Mutant Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers and Batman. The real martial arts heroes on TV are residing in programmes where you’d least expect to find them. Let’s take a look at these top 5 TV’s hidden Kung Fu stars.

Top 5 TV’s Hidden Kung Fu Stars

#1 Kung Fu Stars

Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock) – Benedict Cumberbatch/Robert Downey Jr.

Kung Fu Stars
Photo Credit: 2015 BBC One.

We’re so used to TV adaptations of Sherlock Holmes in which the world’s most famous detective uses his superior intellect to outwit his foes, that the sight of Benedict Cumberbatch rolling up his sleeves and dishing out a bit of street justice in the BBC’s most recent Sherlock Holmes adaptation caused all sorts of controversy.

But it shouldn’t really. The character of Holmes in the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories was always a bit of a bruiser and skilled in the art of “Baritsu”. It flourished in the late 1800s and early 1900s in London and was essentially Japanese-Jiujitsu reframed for the Victorian gentleman.

And of course, we can’t forget Robert Downey Jr’s Wing-Chun-inspired turn as Sherlock in the films of the same name.

The BBC’s Sherlock scheduling has been anything but regular, but we hope it will return for a series 5 soon.

#2 Kung Fu Stars

Bronn (Game of Thrones) – Jerome Flynn

Kung Fu Stars
Photo Credit: HELEN SLOAN

Game of Thrones is the massively successful TV adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. It is a sprawling fantasy fiction masterpiece in which you can’t get attached to any character for too long. Because they’ll end up either roasted alive, thrown to the wolves or shot through the heart with a crossbow bolt.

In the story Bronn is a mercenary who has teamed up with fan-favourite Tyrion Lannister. He has so far avoided evisceration on several occasions due to his unconventional fighting style. In an age where Knights rely on the code of Chivalry to settle their disagreements, Bronn is free to pursue a more straightforward, no-nonsense, method of dispatching his foes. As you can see the clip where Bronn fights Ser Vardis Egan in Game of Thrones, series 1, episode 6:

Game of Thrones series 7 is set to premiere in July, 2017. We’re looking forward to Bronn getting a few more chances to prove his metal before his inevitable doom.

#3 Kung Fu Stars

Michonne (The Walking Dead) – Danai Gurira

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Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

There’s nothing cooler than a dreadlocked, female, black samurai with two slave zombies on chains walking through a spooky forest in a zombie apocalypse. Well, there might be, but if there is we can’t think of it right now. Michonne from The Walking Dead has survived the zombie outbreak that has wiped out most of the earth’s inhabitants by becoming best friends with a deadly Katana, which she uses skillfully to dispatch the walkers:

The Walking Dead returns for an 8th season in October, which promises to be all out war between our heros and the Saviours. Let’s hope Michonne can keep her head until then.

#4 Kung Fu Stars

Kerry Loudermilk (Legion) – Amber Midthunder

Kung Fu Stars
Photo Credit: FX Networks

Legion, the tale of a band of lesser known mutants from the X-Men universe, turned out to be a surprise hit when its first series debuted this year. It’s full of the kind of slowmotion martial arts ballet sequences that the Matrix help bring into the mainstream. Due to the frequent body swapping (yes, really) it’s hard to pin down one particular character as the best of the bunch when it comes to fisticuffs. But we think we’ll plum for Kerry Loudermilk because she trains her techniques on a Wing Chun dummy.

Kerry’s kick-ass Kung Fu mutant from the X-Men universe who shares a body with a man called Dr Cary Loudermilk. Here you can see her putting her training to good use:

#5 Kung Fu Stars

Colleen Wing (Iron fist) – Jessica Henwick

Kung Fu Stars

Finally, we’re going to cheat a bit and dip into an actual martial arts show – Iron Fist. But only because the show produce a surprise action star. Iron Fist came in for a bit of a kicking from the critics because it missed the chance to cast an Asian actor in the lead role, but it was actually Jessica Henwick, playing Colleen Wing, that turned out to be the star of the show anyway. Colleen Wing is Iron Fists girlfriend/sidekick, but is no slouch in the ass-kicking department, staring in some of the most memorable fight scenes of the whole series:

Iron Fist, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage are teaming up for a Defenders series later in the year. And you can expect Colleen Wing to show of more of her exceptional martial arts skills.

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