Ip Man

  • Directors: Wilson Yip
  • Producers: Raymond Wong
  • Writers: Edmond Wong
  • Genres: Action, Biography, History
  • Actors: Donnie Yen, Simon Yam, Lynn Hung, Hiroyuki Ikeuchi, Lam Ka Tung

Ip Man is based on the life Ip Man, the grandmaster of Wing Chun martial arts and master of martial arts film superstar Bruce Lee. This film is the first important record of Ip Man’s life. [1]

The film is set in the 1930s in Foshan, a hub of Chinese martial arts, where various schools actively recruit disciples and compete against each other. Although the Wing Chun expert Ip Man is the most accomplished martial artist in Foshan, he is unassuming and keeps a low profile. As an independently wealthy man, he feels no need to accept any disciples and instead spends his days training, meeting with friends, and spending time with his family–although his wife is often resentful of the time he spends on training and discussing martial arts with friends and colleagues. Though not a professional martial artist, Ip is respected due to skills he displays in friendly, closed-door competitions with local masters. Ip Man further enhances his reputation in the beginning of the movie when he defeats an aggressive, rude, but highly skilled Northern master, Jin Shanzhao, thus upholding the regional pride of fellow Southern Chinese stylists and others in Foshan.

The Japanese invasion in 1937 adversely affects the life of everyone in Foshan. Ip Man’s house is overtaken by the Japanese and used as their headquarters in Foshan. Ip Man and his family lose their wealth and are forced to live in a decrepit house. Desperate to earn money, he accepts work as a coolie at a coal mine to support his family. The Japanese leader Colonel Miura turns out to be an enthusiastic martial artist and sets up an arena for Chinese martial artists to compete with his Karate military trainees. Rice is offered as a reward if the contestant wins. When one of his friends goes missing, Ip Man investigates and discovers the matches. At first disturbed by the spectacle, he is further enraged when he sees a Chinese martial artist executed after he loses such a match. In response, he demands a match with 10 Japanese martial artists at once, and defeats them with ease. His skill arouses the interest of Miura, seeks to learn more about Ip Man and see him fight again.

The Japanese soldiers eventually find Ip Man at the cotton mill. Miura tells Ip Man that his life will be spared if he agrees to instruct the Japanese troops in martial arts. Ip Man refuses and challenges Miura to a match instead, which Miura gladly accepts–both because of his love for the martial arts and because he realizes that refusing the challenge will mean a loss of face for the Japanese and an enormous boost of morale for the occupied Chinese. The match between Ip Man and Miura is a public one in the town square. After an intense fight, Ip Man defeats Miura. Just then, Miura’s deputy Sato opens fire at him. This sparks off a scuffle between the Chinese citizens watching the match and the Japanese soldiers. Ip Man is taken away amidst the chaos. It is later revealed that Ip Man survives and manages to escape to Hong Kong with his family. Ip Man sets up a martial arts school later and teaches Wing Chun to several students, among whom include martial arts film superstar Bruce Lee.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *