Jackie Chan vs Jet Li: Who would win?

Jackie Chan and Jet Li are two of the greatest martial arts actors to ever grace the silver screen. According to Today, the two are actually very good friends, and even fought each other in 2008's Forbidden Kingdom, where Li's stock "serene monk" character faced off against a version of Chan's famous drunken master archetype in a battle of moves so intense that the director actually asked them to slow down. That fight ended in a draw, because of course it did. But who would win if the two martial arts legends squared off for real? Would it be a quick, one-sided thing or an epic showdown that would last for hours? Let's figure it out! 

The tale of the tape tells us that Chan has a bit of a size advantage, as Celebheights estimates him at somewhere between 5'7" and 5'8", while Jet Li is a little over 5'5". However, Biography tells us Chan was born in 1954 and Li in 1963, making the smaller man significantly younger, and therefore at least theoretically fitter. So, to make things fair, let's divide our dream match to two separate rounds: One where Chan and Li face each other in their physical prime, and one where they fight as older men. 

Young Jackie Chan vs young Jet Li: Who would win?

The match between Jet Li and Jackie Chan at their absolute peak would quite likely come down to their training. As Biography tells us, Jackie Chan has studied martial arts since the age of seven, and he was once considered the most likely successor of Bruce Lee himself. However, a lot of Chan's physicality and acrobatics also come from the rigorous, decade-long drama and acrobatics training he received at his alma mater, the Chinese Opera Research Institute in Hong Kong. He eventually picked up hapkido, which Hammerhead MA tells us is still his only "official" martial arts training. Chan's master initially had some reservations about his kicks, but the star eventually mastered the style through sheer hard work and acquired a black belt. 

Jet Li, as Biography notes, is a different beast. He started his martial arts training at age eight, won a national championship three years later, and toured the globe with the Beijing Wushu Team. He was so good that in the 1970s, he held the All-Around National Wushu Championship for five years in a row. That's a pretty amazing pedigree, though it doesn't necessarily make Li an invincible warrior — as Neurologica Blog points out, Wushu practitioners rarely see success against MMA fighters. Still, Li's onscreen take on his martial art is notoriously aggressive which, combined with his multiple real-life martial arts championships, could be enough to win Round One against the less formally-trained, more laid-back Chan.

WINNER: YOUNG JET LI

Old Jackie Chan vs old Jet Li: Who would win?

This one is significantly easier to determine because Jet Li, unfortunately, isn't kicking all that high at an advanced age. According to South China Morning Post, his accumulated injuries have caught up with him, and he has been suffering from hyperthyroidism since 2010. He is in pain, and also taking medication to "control his heart beat," which has made him overweight and unable to exercise properly.  

Jackie Chan, on the other hand, literally fought Li onscreen when he was the age Li is now. Although he has his own laundry list of injuries, he's still making physically demanding movies with elaborate fight scenes in his sixties. So, yeah, we feel it's safe to say that Round Two goes to elderly Chan. Hey, looks like it's yet another draw between the two!

WINNER: OLD JACKIE CHAN