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Yuen Woo-ping

Yuen Woo-ping Chinese martial arts choreographer and film director

Chinese martial arts choreographer and film director
Yuen Woo-ping
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Chinese martial arts choreographer and film director
Is Dancer Film director Choreographer Actor Screenwriter
From China
Type Dancing Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender male
Birth 1 January 1945, Guangzhou, Guangdong, People's Republic of China
Age: 75 years
Yuen Woo-ping
The details


Yuen Woo-ping (Chinese: 袁和平; pinyin: Yuán Hépíng; born 1945) is a Chinese martial arts choreographer and film director, renowned as one of the most successful and influential figures in the world of Hong Kong action cinema. He is one of the inductees on the Avenue of Stars in Hong Kong. Yuen is also a son of Yuen Siu-tien, a renowned martial arts film actor.

Life and career

Yuen was born in Guangzhou, China. He achieved his first directing credit in 1978 on the seminal Snake in the Eagle's Shadow, starring Jackie Chan, followed quickly by Drunken Master. The films were smash hits, launching Jackie Chan as a major film star, turning Seasonal Films into a major independent production company, and starting a trend towards comedy in martial arts films that continues to the present day.

Yuen went on to work with such figures as Sammo Hung in Magnificent Butcher (1979), Yuen Biao in Dreadnaught (1981), Donnie Yen in Iron Monkey (1993), and Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh in Tai Chi Master (1993), and Wing Chun (1994).

Yuen's works, particularly his action choreography on Fist of Legend (1994), attracted the attention of the Wachowskis, who hired him as the martial arts choreographer on The Matrix (1999). The success of this collaboration, plus his action choreography on the following year's hit Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, made him a highly sought after figure in Hollywood. He went on to work on the Matrix sequels and Kill Bill (2003).

More recent action choreography duties in Hong Kong cinema have included Kung Fu Hustle (2004), starring Stephen Chow, and Fearless (2006), starring Jet Li.

Yuen also choreographed the action sequences in The Forbidden Kingdom (2008), a Hollywood martial arts–adventure film, which was the first film to star together two of the best-known names in the martial arts film genre, Jackie Chan and Jet Li. He worked as a fight choreography consultant on Ninja Assassin (2009).

In late 2010, Yuen released his first film as director since 1996, True Legend, starring Vincent Zhao and Jay Chou.

Yuen went on to work in two south Indian films as a stunt co-ordinator in Enthiran (2010) and I (film) (2014) both were directed by same director S. Shankar.

In 2015, Yuen directed Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny, re-creating many of his signature action choreographies.


As director

Yuen's star on the Avenue of Stars
  • Snake in the Eagle's Shadow (1978) (Cantonese title: Se ying diu sau)
  • Drunken Master (1978) (Cantonese title: Jui kuen)
  • Dance of the Drunk Mantis (1979) (Mandarin title: Nan bei zui quan)
  • Magnificent Butcher (1979) (Mandarin title: Lin shi rong)
  • The Buddhist Fist (1980) (Mandarin title: Fo Zhang luo han quan)
  • Dreadnaught (1981) (Mandarin title: Yong zhe wu ju)
  • The Miracle Fighters (1982) (Qi men dun jia)
  • Legend of a Fighter (1982) (Huo Yuan-Jia)
  • Shaolin Drunkard (1983) (Tian shi zhuang xie)
  • Drunken Tai Chi (1984) (Xiao tai ji)
  • Mismatched Couples (1985) (Qing feng di shou)
  • Dragon Vs. Vampire (a.k.a. The Close Encounters of Vampire) (1986) (Jiang shi pa pa)
  • Tiger Cage (1988) (Te jing tu long)
  • In the Line of Duty 4: Witness (1989) (Huang jia shi jie zhi IV: Zhi ji zheng ren)
a.k.a. In the Line of Duty
a.k.a. In the Line of Duty IV
a.k.a. Yes, Madam 4
  • Tiger Cage 2 (1990) (Xi hei qian)
  • Leng mian ju ji shou (1991)
a.k.a. Tiger Cage 3
  • Last Hero in China (1993)
  • Su qi er (1993)
a.k.a. Fist of the Red Dragon (USA: video title)
a.k.a. Heroes Among Heroes
  • Iron Monkey (1993)
  • Tai Chi Master (1993)
  • Wing Chun (1994)
  • Huo yun chuan qi (1994)
a.k.a. Fire Dragon
  • Jie tou sha shou (1995) (as Jua Lu-jiang)
a.k.a. Iron Monkey 2
  • Hu meng wei long (1995)
a.k.a. Red Wolf
  • Tai ji quan (1996)
a.k.a. Tai Chi Boxer (Hong Kong: English title) (UK: literal English title)
a.k.a. Tai Chi 2
  • True Legend (2010)
a.k.a. True Legend of Beggar Su (Working title)
  • Vigilante: The Lost Order (2013)
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny (2016)
  • Miracle Fighters (2017)

Selected filmography as action choreographer/fight advisor

  • The Bloody Fists (1972)
  • Born Invincible (1978)
  • Drunken Master (1978)
  • Fist of Legend (1994)
  • Black Mask (1996)
  • Lethal Weapon 4 (1998)
  • The Water Margin (1998)
  • The Matrix (1999)
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
  • The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
  • The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
  • Cradle 2 the Grave (2003)
  • Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003)
  • Kill Bill: Volume 2 (2004)
  • Kung Fu Hustle (2004)
  • Danny the Dog (a.k.a. Unleashed) (2005)
  • House of Fury (2005)
  • Fearless (2006)
  • The Forbidden Kingdom (2008)
  • Enthiran (2010)
  • The Grandmaster (2012)
  • Once Upon a Time in Shanghai (2013)
  • Man of Tai Chi (2013)
  • I (2014)
  • Ip Man 3 (2015)


  • Mismatched Couples (1985) as Mini
  • Eastern Condors (1987) as Grandpa Yun Yen-hoy
  • The Wicked City (1992) as Sergeant Kayama
  • The Grandmaster (2013) as Chan Wah-shun
  • Man of Tai Chi (2013) as Man at fight club (uncredited)

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nomination Result Ref
2000 37th Golden Horse Awards Best Action Choreography Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Won
2006 43rd Golden Horse Awards Best Action Choreography Fearless Nominated
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