Top 10 Donnie Yen Moments

Born July 27th 1963 in Guangzhou, China, Donnie Yen is a Chinese martial artist famous for being an action star in Hong Kong. While he has appeared in many movies with other popular actors, Yen is most well known for his role in "Ip Man." As the title character, he played one of Bruce Lee's masters and simultaneously helped popularize the martial art called Wing Chun. Join as we count down our picks for the top 10 Donnie Yen moments.

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He helped popularize the Chinese martial art of Wing Chun. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 Donnie Yen moments.

For this list, we’ve decided to stick to one moment per movie.

#10 – Iron Monkey and Wong Kei-Ying versus Hin-hung: “Iron Monkey” (1993)

When the Iron Monkey teams up with Yen’s Wong Kei-Ying against the evil governor Hin-hung, a visually stunning and carefully choreographed fight atop burning bamboo poles sets the stage for the film’s climax. The martial artists combine balance, grace and coordination while literally playing with fire. Portraying the father of a Chinese folk hero, Yen shines with his excellent teamwork skills and adept wirework abilities.

#9 – Battle of the B-Boys: “Mismatched Couples” (1985)

Yen is an actor, martial artist, director, producer, and action choreographer, so it’s clear that he’s multitalented. But did you know he can break dance too? While there are martial arts in this Yuen Woo-ping-directed comedy, it’s the young Yen’s breaking, popping and locking that steal the show. Just check out his character Eddie’s battle against Kenny, which is filled with tacky dance music and cheesy dance moves!

#8 – Nameless versus Long Sky: “Hero” (2002)

What do you get when you put two wushu champs together in a historical martial arts piece? Beautiful gravity-defying swordplay presented among a traditional Chinese backdrop and mood-setting music. Exhibiting both style and grace as the assassin dubbed Long Sky, Yen proves he’s a fitting and challenging foe to Jet Li’s Nameless, despite his limited screen time.

#7 – Wong Fei-hung versus General Nap-lan: “Once Upon a Time in China II” (1992)

Who knew bamboo poles were such good weapons? Light, powerful and versatile, these sticks determine the ultimate victor during the climactic final battle. As Chinese folk hero Wong Fei-hung, Li seals Yen’s General Nap-lan’s fate, despite a weapon change and some impressive whipping action. Thanks to such star power and action scenes, the “Once Upon a Time in China” sequel grossed more at the Hong Kong box office than the original.

#6 – German Defeat in World War I: “Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen” (2010)

In this sequel to Jet Li’s “Fist of Legend,” Yen takes on Bruce Lee’s famous role of the highly skilled martial artist Chen Zhen. During the opening sequence, Chen takes it upon himself to avenge a friend’s death while in the midst of World War I. What follows is a parkour-infused rampage that has Yen swinging on cables and unforgivingly slicing up his German targets on the battlefield.

#5 – Fung Man-Hin versus Monkey Style Fighter: “The New Big Boss” (1997) (original title: “Legend of the Wolf”)

If you want frantic, non-stop action, with a little dose of acrobatics, look no further. While the movie is packed with fast-paced martial arts and impressive prop work, it’s this raw, man-to-man combat in the forest that takes our – and Mak Wei-cheung’s – breath away. Are those bones or trees being crunched? Who cares? All we know is Yen and the man with the eagle claw put on a helluva fight!

#4 – Ma Kwun versus Wong Po: “Kill Zone” (2005) (original title: “SPL: Sha Po Lang”)

Despite the heart-pounding baton versus knife duel between Yen’s Ma Kwun and Wu Jing’s Jack, it’s the final face-off against Sammo Hung as ruthless triad boss Wong Po that makes our list. Considering his age and size, the older martial arts legend more than holds his own against Hong Kong’s biggest action star. This forces Yen to pull out all the MMA-charged stops to try to bring his opponent to justice.

#3 – Detective Sergeant Ma versus Tony: “Flash Point” (2007)

Yen blends his combat sport expertise with the grappling techniques of mixed martial arts to choreograph the gritty and vicious bouts in this film. As Detective Sergeant Ma, his most memorable fight has him going head-to-head against Collin Chou’s Tony. While the triad member comes close to proving he’s Yen’s equal during the match, once the leather jacket’s gone, all bets are off.

#2 – Round Table Fight scene: “Ip Man 2”

Reprising the role of Ip Man, Yen is challenged by several martial arts masters after he opens a Wing Chun school in Hong Kong. What ensues is a stunning fight that requires precise choreography and skill. With lots of close-up one-on-one action and rapid-fire moves, this balancing act keeps Yen and the masters on the edge of the round tables while we’re on the edge of our seats.

#1 – 10 Black Belts Fight Scene: “Ip Man” (2008)

As the real-life Wing Chun grandmaster known for teaching Bruce Lee, Yen delivers an earnest and intense portrayal of “Ip Man” during the Sino-Japanese War. Here, he demonstrates a graceful yet brutal fighting style against ten karate practitioners. His rapid punches and skillful counter attacks are enough to bring out the fear in the tenth karateka, though this does little to prevent Yen from beating his face to a bloody pulp.

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