Home Celebrities 31 Incredible Facts About Jet Li That Will Blow Your Mind

31 Incredible Facts About Jet Li That Will Blow Your Mind


Jet Li, with his lightning fast moves, can be considered the Kung Fu superstar of our generation. The name doesn’t come easily, as there’s a lot of injuries from all his stunts that till date bother the actor. In fact, there is only one other actor who suffered from as many injuries as Li, and that’s Jackie Chan. Beside all these fights and stunts, he is also known for his great philanthropic activities and his love for his people. Here are some little known facts about the legend that will make you love him more:

  1. Li is a champion martial artist and a Chinese film actor known for lighting fast moves with friendly sense of humor, is one of the most respected figures in martial arts cinema.
  2. He has mastered several styles of wushu, like the Changquan, Fanziquan, Baguazhang, Taijiquan, Xing Yi Quan, ZuiQuan, Ying Zhao Quan and Tanglangquan, apart from mastering wushu’s main weapon, such as Sanjiegun, Gun, Dao, and Jian.
  3. Though he was better known as Jet Li, he was born as Li Lianjie, on April 26, 1963, in Beijing, China, as the youngest of five children to Zhang Feng Lan and Li Qingquan. He has two older brothers and two older sisters.
  4. After he lost his father, at the age of two years, he and his family had to face hardship in life and could not afford for a good school, hence he was enrolled in Beijing Amateur Sports School, where they fed him too.
  5. In 1971 at the age of eight he started to learn wushu, a form of martial arts, as a summer program and was selected as one among the 20 from group of 1000 kids for extensive training. Ironically as a kid his mother never allowed him to swimming or ride a bicycle for that matter any activity that was even slightly dangerous.
  6. At the age of nine he won an award for excellence at the national wushu championships and was given the honor of performing at the opening ceremony of ‘Pan-Asian-African-Latin American Table Tennis Championship. He won the praise of then Premier Zhou Enlai.
  7. He won his first National Championship at the age of 11. As a result, he traveled to more than 45 countries as part of the Beijing Wushu Team, including United States.
  8. At the age 12, he became the All-Around National Wushu Champion, despite accidently injuring his head with his saber during qualifying rounds. He held the national title for five consecutive years, until he retired in 1979.
  9. He winning first place was quite a sensation, because he was so young compared to other two medalists, who were into their mid-to late twenties. During the award ceremony it was a quite a sight with 12 year-olds on the top step of podium was still shorter than other medalists.
  10. During his goodwill tour at the Honolulu International Airport, he happed to see an airplane on the runway with ‘China Airlines,’ and he began yelling ‘Wow! Look, it’s an airplane from China. It was a very sensitive political issue, for the China Airlines, is owned and operated by a Taiwanese company.
  11. The last stop of the U.S. tour was Washington D.C., where he was one of the few selected to perform wushu routines on the White House lawn. After the performance, when President Richard Nixon suggested he be his body guard growing up, Li, replied, ‘no, ‘I don’t want to protect any individual. When I grow up I want to defend my one million Chinese countryman.’
  12. His interaction with President Richard Nixon, was given a patriotic flavor by the Chinese government and he was appointed to the official welcoming committee for subsequent American president’s visit, as a special contributor to Sino-American relations. When Ford and Carter made their visit, he was one of the friendship and goodwill delegates at the airport.
  13. Li retired from wushu at 17 and pursued a film career making his debut with the 1982 film ‘Shaolin Temple,’ a martial art film directed by Chang Hsin Yen. The film became one of the blockbuster of all time and was largely responsible for turning the Shaolin Monastery into a major tourist destination.
  14. After appearing in couple of films he directed his only film till date, the 1986 ‘Born to Defense,’ in which he also starred. He broke his nose during shooting of this film and the scar on his nose stayed on ever after.
  15. Li Married Huang Qiuyan, a Beijing wushu team member and his ‘Shaolin Temple,’ costar in 1987, with whom he has two daughters, Li Si and Li Taini. They divorced in 1990.
  16. In 1988, he tried to enter Hollywood, but due to his English, he was not offered strong scripts. He relocated to Hong Kong, where he was the biggest star of early 1990s Kung-Fu boom.
  17. In 1991, he enacted Wong Fei-hung, the Chinese martial arts master and folk hero, in the film ‘Once Upon a Time in China.’ He also appeared in its two sequels apart from ‘Swordsman II,’ and ‘The Master,’ in between.
  18. Into 1990s, he was ready to retire as he felt burned out and studied Tibetan Buddhism to focus on his spiritual life. But a Buddhist teacher told him he had a responsibility to continue his work.
  19. In 1998, he entered Hollywood with action comedy film ‘Lethal Weapon 4,’ as a villain for the first time in his film career. The director Richard Donner, asked Li, to slow down during action sequences, because he was moving faster than camera shutter speed and it wasn’t registering on film.
  20. He moved to Los Angeles and spent four hours a day with an English Language tutor to prepare for the film Lethal Weapon 4. He went on to star in an action film ‘Romeo Must Die,’ in 2000, along with Aaliyah, the late American singer. It is considered Li’s breakout performance in American film industries.
  21. In September 1999, he married his longtime girlfriend Nina Li Chi, a Hong Kong based actress. As promised to his wife, he took a break to be with his pregnant wife and even turned down a role in the film ‘Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon,’ which became enormously popular martial arts film.
  22. In 2001, he starred opposite Bridget Fonda in ‘Kiss of the Dragon,’ in which he defeats bad guys with tools such as a mop, a bale of laundry, an iron, a billiard ball and with clubs. As the film had adult themes and more graphic than his other films, he warned parents through his website, that the film was not appropriate for children.
  23. After pairing with Jason Statham in ‘The One,’ he returned to China to film the most expensive Chinese movie till date ‘Hero,’ directed by renowned director Zhang Yi Mou. This is the first foreign language film to open at #1 at the United States box office and was nominated for an Oscar in the foreign language film category.
  24. In 2003, he lent his voice-overs in English and Mandarin Chinese for the Sony PlayStation 2 video game ‘Rise to Honor,’ and performed fight scenes using motion-capture technology for the games.
  25. He was named by the People magazine in 2003, as a runner-up in its ‘Sexiest Man Alive.’ Li who spent three months in Asia to learn more about Buddhism, spends for more than an hour-a-day meditating.
  26. According to him the greatest weapon is a smile and the largest power is love, which he tried to convey through his films. The film ‘Hero,’ conveys a nation’s suffering is more important than an individual. In the film ‘Unleashed,’ he shows that violence is never a solution and in ‘Fearless,’ he tells the biggest enemy of a person is himself.
  27. On December 26, 2004, he escaped death narrowly while vacationing in the Maldives, an island in Indian Ocean. He and his four-year old daughter were in their hotel’s lobby, when the massive tsunami struck full of southern Asia.
  28. In 2002, he was presented the ‘Visionary Award,’ by the East West Players. In 2009, he launched his own fitness program, wuji, which combines martial arts, yoga, and
  29. In 2013, he revealed that he suffers from hyperthyroidism and has been dealing with the issue for the past three years. He is under medication to control his heart which is around 130-140 at rest and was advised against any form of exercise.
  30. In philanthropic front he serves as an ambassador for the Red Cross Society of China since January 2006. He has formed his own non-profit foundation called ‘The One Foundation,’ dealing with mental health awareness and suicide prevention apart from disaster relief efforts.
  31. Jet Li Net Worth: $200 Million
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