The fight scenes in American Assassin were superbly choreographed throughout the entire film. It is not only a mindless action film; it also has some excellent martial arts and fighting scenes. The lead actor, Dylan O’Brien, received training in various martial disciplines for this film.

The martial arts shown in American Assassin are Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Krav Maga, Boxing, and Muay Thai. Roger Yuan, a well-known experienced fight trainer who has trained actors like Jackie Chan and Daniel Craig, provided one-on-one training to Dylan O’Brien throughout his preparation for the movie.

This article will provide additional information on the many styles of martial arts depicted in the film and the training and preparation the lead actor has undergone. Keep reading!

kind of martial arts were in american assassin

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a type of martial art that focuses on “grappling” holds and moves, like chokes and moving joints. Jiu-Jitsu was made so that smaller and weaker people could defend themselves against or even beat a bigger, stronger person. Most of the Jiu-Jitsu techniques in this movie are various throws, sweeps, and positional grappling.

You can watch this video to see the different Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu moves in action in some of the movie’s fight scenes:

Krav Maga

Krav Maga is a form of martial arts that combines Boxing, Judo, Jiu-jitsu, and Aikido. It’s considered an essential part of training for the US military and law enforcement agencies and is one of the most popular self-defense martial arts to learn.

In the movie, the actors sometimes use suppression methods and forceful hitting tactics to prevent a dangerous altercation. Joint locks and various grabs are used to exert control over the attacker.

Here’s another video you may watch to see another fight scene from the movie:


Boxing is recognized as one of the oldest and most famous forms of martial art in history. It has been practiced and improved upon for thousands of years. It forms a highly effective striking strategy by combining head movements, footwork, and punches into a single system.

Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, and Manny Pacquiao are just a few of the most famous boxers the world has ever seen. Anyone who watches a high-level boxer in the ring is constantly amazed by their strength, speed, and technical skills.

Muay Thai

In Muay Thai, people fight with punches, elbows, knees, and kicks. This makes it different from stand-up fighting sports like boxing (which only uses punches) and karate (which uses punches and kicks). Muay Thai originated in Thailand but is now practiced worldwide.

The following video is a clip taken from one of the scenes in the movie. In it, the main character practices boxing and Muay Thai to hone his fighting skills:

The Trainer: Roger Yuan

Roger has a lot of experience with different types of martial arts and unique training styles. He has trained actors like Michelle Pfeiffer for her role as Catwoman in Batman Returns, Keanu Reeves for 47 Ronin, and Daniel Craig for Skyfall.

Aside from American Assassin, he has also choreographed action for films such as X-Men: First Class, 47 Ronin, Skyfall, etc.

The Trainee: Dylan O’Brien

Dylan O’Brien played the role of Mitch Rapp in this movie. According to Roger Yuan, Dylan is a quick learner and very meticulous about his moves and techniques. While training for and filming the American Assassin, Dylan was actually still recovering from serious injuries he got in an accident while making his last movie, The Maze Runner: The Death Cure.

The Training

Dylan started training with Roger Yuan in Los Angeles two months before the actual filming of the movie. Dylan had never trained to fight before, so Roger helped him learn everything from scratch.

Roger is a very skilled martial artist, and he taught Dylan how to fight in different styles. He trained Dylan a lot in basic boxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and other forms of martial arts. They also worked on speed and movement every day at the gym.


Overall, American Assassin was perhaps one of the most realistic fighting movies that one could hope to see. It seems as though the makers devoted a significant amount of time and energy to researching various forms of martial arts and then putting what they learned into action on the big screen.

The movie also showed the importance of these martial arts—and how using them together could work really well. Through awareness, practice, and patience, you too can start to use these in your own everyday life as a means of self-defense or enjoyment.

american assassin poster