Yip Man, the master of Wing Chun

Yip Man, also known as Ip Man (1893-1972), was a master of the Wing Chun and the first to teach this style openly. He had several students who later became martial arts teachers in their own right, including Bruce Lee. Most major branches of Wing Chun that exist today were developed and promoted by his students.

Yip Man and Bruce Lee


Yip Man was born in Foshan, Guangdong province in south China. He started learning Wing Chun here When he was thirteen years old. Because of his master’s old age, Yip Man had to learn much of his skills and techniques from his master’s second eldest disciple.

 Chinese Kungfu

At the age of 15 Yip man moved to Hong Kong with help from a relative. At age sixteen, Yip Man attended school at St. Stephen’s College in Hong Kong. It was a secondary school for wealthy families and foreigners who lived in Hong Kong. According to Yip Man’s two sons, while at St. Stephen’s, Yip Man intervened after seeing a foreign police officer beating a woman. The story goes that the Police officer tried to strike Yip Man who used his martial arts to strike the officer down, at which point Yip Man and his classmate ran to school. The classmate is said to have told an old man who lived in his apartment block. Yip Man was invited to see this man and it turned out that the old man was his master’s elder fellow-disciple (and so, by Chinese tradition Yip Man’s martial uncle). After that encounter, Yip Man continued his training lessons from this man.

By the age of 24, Yip Man had returned to Foshan, and his Wing Chun skills tremendously improved. In Foshan, Yip Man became a policeman. He did not formally run a Wing Chun school, but taught several of his subordinates, his friends and relatives.

During the Japanese Occupation(1931-1945), Yip Man went to one of his students’ village house. He only returned to Foshan after the war, to once again take up the job of a police officer. At the end of 1949, he went to Hong Kong again.

Yip Man

In Hong Kong, he opened a martial arts school. Initially, business was poor because his students typically stayed for only a couple of months. Later, some of his students were skilled enough that they were able to start their own schools. Some of his students and descendants compared their skills with other martial artists in combat. Their victories over other martial artists helped to bolster Yip Man’s reputation as a teacher.

In 1967, Yip Man and some of his students established the Hong Kong Wing Chun Athletic Association. In 1972, Yip Man suffered throat cancer and subsequently died on the 2nd of December that same year.

Within the three decades of his career in Hong Kong, he established a training system for Wing Chun that eventually spread across the world.

by Xiao Xiao xiaoxiao@interactchina.com

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Chinese Kung Fu Star—Jet Li

Jet Li was the youngest of two boys and two girls. His father died when he was two years old, leaving the family struggling.

Chinese Kungfu

Before his hit, Jet Li had been selected as a member of “Chinese Martial Art Performance Mission” and traveled around over forty countries on the five continents. Moreover, he had remained the All-around National Martial Art Champion of China for five consecutive years. Today, the unprecedented records created by Jet Li have not yet been broken.

It is Jet Li’s authentic martial arts prowess that enabled his rise to domestic and international fame.


Acting career

Jet Li has successfully developed many Kungfu figures in a number of blockbusters.

Chinese Kungfu

After retiring from wushu at age 17, he went on to win great acclaim in China as an actor making his debut with the film The Shaolin Temple (1982). The film once created an overwhelming craze in Mainland China, and aroused a sensation in international movie circle as well after it was shown in other countries in Asia, Australia and America.

Chinese Kungfu

Jet Li went on to star in many martial arts epic films, of which the most notable are the Once Upon A Time in China series, portraying famous folk hero Wong Fei Hung.

Li’s first role in a Hollywood film was as a villain in Lethal Weapon 4 (1998), but his first Hollywood film leading role was in Romeo Must Die (2000). He has gone on to star in many Hollywood action films, most known were Kiss of the Dragon and Unleashed.

Chinese Kungfu


Views on life and martial arts


Li is a practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism. He believes that the difficulties of everyday life can be overcome with the help of religious philosophies. He thinks that fame is not something he can control; therefore, he does not care about it.

Chinese Kungfu

According to Li, everything he has ever wanted to tell the world can be found in three of his films: the message of Hero is that the suffering of one person can never be as significant as the suffering of a nation; Unleashed shows that violence is never a solution and Fearless tells that the biggest enemy of a person is himself. Li thinks that the greatest weapon is a smile and the largest power is love.

About Wushu Li said that he believes the essence of martial arts is not power or speed but inner harmony and considers it a sad development that today’s Wushu championships place greater emphasis on form than on the essence of being a martial artist. He believes Wushu now lacks individuality and competitors move like machines, whereas according to his views Wushu should not be considered a race where the fastest athlete wins. He would like to see Wushu as a form of art, where artists have a distinctive style. Li blames the new competition rules that, according to him, place limitations on martial artists.




Chinese Kungfu

Li has been a “philanthropic ambassador” of the Red Cross Society of China since January 2006. He contributed 500,000 yuan (US$62,500) of box office revenues from his film Fearless to the Red Cross’ psychological sunshine project, which promotes mental health.

Chinese Kungfu

In April 2007, touched by his life-shaking experience in the Maldives when he was close to dying during the 2004 tsunami, Li formed his own non-profit foundation called The One Foundation. The One Foundation supports international disaster relief efforts in conjunction with the Red Cross as well as other efforts, including mental health awareness and suicide prevention. Since the starting of the foundation, Li has been involved with recovery efforts in seven disasters, including the 2008 Sichuan earthquake and Typhoon Morakot in Taiwan.

In September 2010, Jet Li was appointed by the International Red Cross as the first Good Will Ambassador.

by Xiao Xiao @ InteractChina.com

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Chinese Kungfu Star- Jackie Chan

Jackie Chan, born in Hong Kong on April 7, 1954, is an influential and well-known actor and director in China. He is also an international Kungfu film star with great fame and influences in the world.

Chinese Kungfu

Jackie Chan is famous for staring adventure and action films. He has been acting since the 1960s and has appeared in over 100 films. Jackie Chan is widely known for injecting physical comedy into his martial arts performances, and for performing complex stunts in many of his films.


Film Career

Apprenticed to the China Drama Academy (one of the Peking Opera schools), by his parents at the age of 6, Jackie Chan was rigorously trained in music, dance, and traditional martial arts. A visiting filmmaker offered Chan his first (tiny) role as a stunt player. Chan took the part, and soon left the Opera to pursue the world of film. Fellow Opera students Biao Yuen and Sammo Hung Kam-Bo also have careers in film, and the three starred in several films together in the following years and built lifelong friendship. Chan’s talent and enthusiasm soon saw him taking larger and more important roles, graduating first to stunt coordinator, and then to director.

Chinese Kungfu

It is in the early 1970s Chan commenced his movie career and interestingly appeared in very minor roles in two films starring Bruce Lee: “Fist of Fury” and “the Warner Bros”.

Following the death of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, the search was on for an actor who could inspire audiences to the same degree; every young martial artist was given a chance. Chan decided that rather than emulating Lee and thus living forever in his shadow, he would develop his own style of filmmaking. His directorial debut “The Young Master” (1980) was a milestone in martial arts films, being one of the first to effectively combine comedy with action. This set the tone for many of his future films, which combined slapstick humor with high-energy martial arts action. Later producer Robert Clouse lured Jackie to the US for a film planned to break Jackie into the lucrative US market.

Chinese Kungfu

Jackie Chan entered the Hollywood market as early as 1982; but his path to the international market was not smooth. His first film for the international market is “The Cannonball Run”, but failed in office box. He had to return to the Hollywood many years later. The first film for Jackie Chan to enter the international market is “Rumble in the Bronx”, which was shot in 1994. This film was shown in the United States and set a record in box office. His first Hollywood film, Rush Hour, also got high office box revenue and was covered by TIME magazine, laying a solid basis for him in the international film circle. But his next film, Around the World in 80 Day, did not perform well globally. Jackie noted that Hollywood was not his world and only when he returned to Hong Kong could he get his proper environment.

Jackie Chan endured many years of long, hard work and multiple injuries to establish domestic and international success. As a cultural icon, Chan has been referenced in various pop songs, cartoons, and video games.

Jackie Chan prepares to slide down the side of a high rise building in New Police Story
Chinese Kungfu
Jackie Chan at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival
Chinese Kungfu


Music Career and Philanthropy


Jackie Chan had vocal lessons whilst at the Peking Opera School in his childhood. He began producing records professionally in the 1980s and has gone on to become a successful singer in Hong Kong and Asia. He has released 20 albums since 1984 and has performed vocals in Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese, Taiwanese and English. He often sings the theme songs of his films, which play over the closing credits.

Chinese Kungfu

Chan is a keen philanthropist and a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, having worked tirelessly to champion charitable works and causes. He has campaigned for conservation, against animal abuse and has promoted disaster relief efforts for floods in mainland China and the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. In June 2006, he announced the donation of half his assets to charity upon his death, citing his admiration of the effort made by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates to help those in need.


Personal life


In 1982, Jackie Chan married Lin Feng-Jiao (aka Joan Lin), a Taiwanese actress. That same year, the two had a son, singer and actor Jaycee Chan.

Jackie Chan speaks Cantonese, Mandarin, and English fluently, and also speaks some German, Korean and Japanese, as well as a little Spanish.

In 2009, Chan received an honorary doctorate from the University of Cambodia.

by Xiao Xiao @ InteractChina.com

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Bruce Lee

Born in 1940 and died in 1973, Bruce Lee was a world-renowned Chinese kungfu master and kungfu movie actor, as well as the creator of Jeet Kune Do. He made remarkable contributions to martial arts and movies. Various magazines and special journals were simultaneously published in countries and regions like America, Japan, the UK, Hong Kong and Taiwan to commemorate Bruce Lee and honored him as “the most effective Chinese Kungfu promoter”.


Brief Introduction

Chinese Kungfu

Lee was born in San Francisco to parents of Hong Kong heritage but was raised in Hong Kong until his late teens. Lee immigrated to the United States at the age of 18 to claim his U.S. citizenship and receive his higher education. It was during this time that he began teaching martial arts, which soon led to film and television roles.




Chinese Kungfu

His Hong Kong and Hollywood-produced films elevated the traditional Hong Kong martial arts film to a new level of popularity and acclaim, and sparked a major surge of interest in Chinese martial arts in the West in the 1970s. The direction and tone of his films changed and influenced martial arts and martial arts films in Hong Kong and the rest of the world, as well. He is noted for his roles in five feature-length films: Lo Wei’s The Big Boss (1971) and Fist of Fury (1972); Way of the Dragon (1972), directed and written by Lee; Warner Brothers’ Enter the Dragon (1973), directed by Robert Clouse; and The Game of Death (1978), directed by Robert Clouse.


Wing Chun


Chinese Kungfu Chinese Kungfu

The largest influence on Lee’s martial arts development was his study of Wing Chun. Lee began training in Wing Chun at the age of 13 under the Wing Chun teacher Yip Man in 1954, after losing a fight with rival gang members. Yip’s regular classes generally consisted of the forms practice, sticking hands drills, wooden dummy techniques, and free-sparring. There was no set pattern to the classes. Yip tried to keep his students from fighting in the street gangs of Hong Kong by encouraging them to fight in organized competitions.




Lee is best known as a martial artist, but he also studied drama and philosophy while a student at the University of Washington. He was well-read and had an extensive library. His own books on martial arts and fighting philosophy are known for their philosophical assertions, both inside and outside of martial arts circles. His eclectic philosophy often mirrored his fighting beliefs, though he was quick to claim that his martial arts were solely a metaphor for such teachings. He believed that any knowledge ultimately led to self-knowledge, and said that his chosen method of self-expression was martial arts.

The following quotations reflect his fighting philosophy.

“Be formless… shapeless, like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You pour water into a bottle; it becomes the bottle. You put water into a teapot; it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow, or creep or drip or crash! Be water, my friend…”

“All types of knowledge, ultimately leads to self knowledge”

“Quick temper will make a fool of you soon enough”

“I always learn something, and that is: to always be yourself. And to express yourself, to have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate him”.

In a lifetime comprising a mere 32 years but thought by many to be the ‘Greatest martial artist of the 20th Century’, Bruce Lee revolutionized the world of martial arts through his profound teachings and philosophy, and created a legacy through his work in motion pictures, that has evolved into a Legend. To those involved in martial arts, the years from 1972 to 1975—the height of Lee’s popularity—are often cited as the Bruce Lee era.

by Xiao Xiao @ InteractChina.com

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The Top 10 Chinese Kung Fu Stars

In the history of Chinese film and television, there are many world-famous martial arts actors, who not only have excellent acting, but also have a solid foundation of the martial arts. People can really marvel at and admire the charm of Chinese martial arts from their marvelous works.

Below are the top 10 Chinese Kung Fu stars ranking, for your reference only.


No.10 Jason Wu 吴京

Chinese Kungfu

Jason Wu (吴京), hailed as Kung Fu boy, began to act in films and televisions from the year 1995. He started to learn and practice Kung Fu in sports school of Beijing when he was six years old, and he has won the champion of national martial arts competition. Jason Wu has acted in many televisions and some action movies, presenting skilled Kung Fu and impressing audiences a lot.

Jason Wu’s Movies and televisions: Tai Chi Master《太极宗师》, S.P.L.《杀破狼》, Seung Chi Sun Tau《双子神偷》


No.9 Ha Ling Chun 元彪


Chinese Kungfu

Ha Ling Chun (元彪), an action actor in Hong Kong , began to act in films and televisions at the age of ten. He has presented a number of well-known and excellent movies and televisions, among many of which, he cooperated with Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung. Ha Ling Chun has won the best Martial arts direction in Taiwan ‘s Golden Horse Awards.

Representative Movies and televisions: Enter the Dragon《龙争虎门》, Hand of Death《少林门》, Game of Death《死亡游戏》, Enter the Fat Dragon《肥龙过江》, Knockabout《杂家小子》, The Young Master《师弟出马》, Project A《A计划》, Wheels of Meals《快餐车》, Once Upon a Time in China《黄飞鸿》, A Man Called a Hero《中华英雄》, Dragon from Shaolin《少林七金刚》


No.8 Sammo Hung 洪金宝


Chinese Kungfu

Sammo Hung (洪金宝) is a humorous action movie actor, and he has had wonderful performances in many Kung fu comedies. Besides being actors, Sammo Hung has succeeded in working as the guidance of the martial arts and director. He has won the Best Actor in a Leading Role Award in Hong Kong Film Awards and in Asia Pacific Film Festival. Sammo Hung has cooperated with Jackie Chan in many films, giving excellent performances.

Representative Movies: Wheels on Meals《快餐车》,Dragon Forever 《飞龙猛将》,Project A《A计划》,Millionaire’s Express《富贵列车》,Eastern Condors《东方秃鹰》


No.7 Michelle Yeoh 杨紫琼


Chinese Kungfu

Michelle Yeoh (杨紫琼) is an international female action star famous at home and abroad. She has acted in many famous movies, acting as female knight-errant, showing her authentic Chinese Kung Fu. Her beauty, acting skills and skilled Kung Fu impress people a lot.

Representative Movies and televisions: Butterfly & Sword《新流星蝴蝶剑》,The Heroic Trio《东方三侠》,Esay Money《通天大盗》,Holy Weapon《武侠七公主》,Reign of Assassins《剑雨》, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon 《卧虎藏龙》.


No.6 Chiu Man-Cheuk 赵文卓


Chinese Kungfu

Man Cheuk Chiu (赵文卓) is a stylish man of strong build who is famous at home and abroad for his high-level Kung Fu and hearty personality. Man Cheuk Chiu has a good command of sword, spear and Chinese boxing. He is very skilled with over 300 kinds of fist positions, such as shadow boxing. He won a national martial arts championship in the year 1991.He has pursued a career in acting since the year 1992, and has presented marvelous performance in Kung Fu films and television programs. Man Cheuk Chiu was nominated the best actor in Golden Rooster Awards for his Sino-Dutch War 1661, and his movie True Legend got the best Asian action movie award.

Representative Movies: Once Upon a Time in China 4 《黄飞鸿四-王者之风》, Once Upon a Time in China 5《黄飞鸿五-龙城歼霸》, The Blacksheep Affair《碧血蓝天》, Sino-Dutch War 1661《英雄郑成功》, True Legend《苏乞儿》, Green Snake《青蛇》


No.5 Donnie Yen 甄子丹


Chinese Kungfu

Donnie Yen (甄子丹), born in a martial arts family, is the idol of numerous young people for his wonderful Kung Fu and good shape. He is a martial arts generalist who can digest Chinese and western martial arts. Donnie Yen has given perfect performances in many Kung Fu movies for both his Kung Fu and outstanding acting skills.

Donnie Yen’s Movies: Hero《英雄》,Tiger Cage II《洗黑钱》,Iron Monkey《铁马骝》,IP Man 1《叶问1》, IP Man 2《叶问2》S.P.L.《杀破狼》,Legend of the Wolf《战狼传说》


No.4 Bruce Leung 梁小龙


Chinese Kungfu

Bruce Leung (梁小龙) can be ranked as one of the most famous and influential Kung Fu stars in the eighties. Since the year 1973, he has acted in more than 70 action movies and a series of televisions.

Representative Movies and televisions: Chen Zhen 《陈真》, Blow Up 《怒火风云》, Kung Fu Kids Break Away《三毛流浪记》, Story Of Drunken Master《醉侠苏乞儿》, Shaolin Fighters《少林拳》,Big Boss《唐山二兄》


No.3 Jet Li 李连杰


Chinese Kungfu

Jet Lee is famous for his authentic Shaolin Kung Fu. He has acted as many degage righteous chivalrous men in lots of famous films. Jet Lee has won the best actor in the 27th Hong Kong Film Awards, and won 2008 You Bring Charm to the World Award.

Jet Lee’s Movies: The Shaolin Temple《少林寺》,Hero 《英雄》, Black Mask《黑侠》,Fist of Legend《精武英雄》,The Defender 《中南海保镖》,The Tai Chi Master《太极张三丰》,The Kung Fu Cult Master《倚天屠龙记之魔教教主》,Dragon Fight《龙在天涯》,Swordsman Ⅱ《笑傲江湖之东方不败》,Dragons of the Orient《东方巨龙》


No.2 Jackie Chan 成龙


Chinese Kungfu

Jackie Chan (成龙) is an outstanding martial artist famous across the world, whose films are loved by audiences of all ages. His breathtaking action, excellent driving skills and unique humor impress people a lot. Many of Jackie Chan’s movies can be ranked as Hong Kong ‘s biggest-grossing movies.

Jackie Chan Movies: Drunken Fist《醉拳》, Rumble in the Bronx《红番区》, Rush Hour《尖峰时刻》, Police Story 《警察故事》The Young Master《师弟出马》, Project A《A 计划》, Armour of God《龙兄虎弟》, City Hunter《城市猎人》, Who am I《我是谁》, The Accidental Spy《特务迷城》, Around the World in 80 Days《环游世界八十天》, The Karate Kid《功夫梦》.


No.1 Bruce Lee 李小龙


Chinese Kungfu

Bruce Lee (李小龙), a great master of Chinese martial arts, is also a famous and influential action movie actor both at home and abroad. As the pathfinder of action movies, Bruce Lee disseminated Chinese Kung Fu to the whole world. Bruce Lee is the first Chinese who goes to Hollywood, pushing forward the development of martial arts and action movies.

Bruce Lee Movies: Fist Of Fury《精武门》, Enter the Dragon《龙争虎斗》, Fists of Glory《唐山大兄》, Game of Death《死亡游戏》, The Way of the Dragon《猛龙过江》

There are various rankings by different sources though. Here is another ranking from youtube video for your reference.

by Xiao Xiao @ InteractChina.com

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