Yuen Woo-ping

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Yuen Woo-ping
Yuen Woo Ping.jpg
Yuen Woo-ping at the Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas in 2010 at the premiere of True Legend
Born (1945-01-01) 1 January 1945 (age 77)
AwardsHong Kong Film AwardsBest Action Choreography
1993 Once Upon a Time in China II
2001 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
2005 Kung Fu Hustle
2007 Fearless
Professional Achievement Award

Hong Kong Film Critics Society AwardsSpecial Achievement Award
2000 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Golden Horse Awards37th Best Action Choreography
2000 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Chinese name

Yuen Woo-ping (Chinese: 袁和平; pinyin: Yuán Hépíng; alias: Yuen Wo-ping; born 1945) is a Hong Kong martial arts choreographer and film director who worked in Hong Kong action cinema and later Hollywood films. He is one of the inductees on the Avenue of Stars in Hong Kong. Yuen is also a son of Yuen Siu-tien, a martial arts film actor.

Life and career[edit]

Yuen was born in Guangzhou, Guangdong, China. With a support of Ng See-yuen, 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 following two decades.

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, Jay Chou and David Carradine (in a minor role).

Yuen went on to work as stunt co-ordinator in two South Indian films, Enthiran (2010) and I (2014), both directed by S. Shankar.

In 2015, Yuen directed Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny, re-creating many of his signature action choreographies.[1]

The annual and highly anticipated Hong Kong International Film Festival was held for its 45th edition in April 2021. Yuen is one of the six veteran Hong Kong filmmakers who directed local director Johnnie To Kei-fung’s highly anticipated anthology series Septet: The story of Hong Kong. The other filmmakers include Sammo Hung, Ann Hui On-wah, Patrick Tam, Tsui Hark and Ringo Lam. The short files were shot entirely on 35mm film with each of them touches on a nostalgic and moving story set across different time periods, with every one acting as an ode to the city.[2]


As director[edit]

Yuen's star on the Avenue of Stars
a.k.a. In the Line of Duty
a.k.a. In the Line of Duty IV
a.k.a. Yes, Madam 4
a.k.a. Fist of the Red Dragon (USA: video title)
a.k.a. Heroes Among Heroes
a.k.a. Fire Dragon
  • 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
a.k.a. True Legend of Beggar Su (Working title)

Selected filmography as action choreographer/fight advisor[edit]


Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nomination Result Ref
2000 37th Golden Horse Awards Best Action Choreography Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Won [4]
2006 43rd Golden Horse Awards Best Action Choreography Fearless Nominated [5]


  1. ^ "The Matrix martial arts choreographer Yuen Woo-ping on a lifetime in film, Jet Li's power and drunken kung fu". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  2. ^ "Must-watch Chinese film premieres at the 2021 Hong Kong International Film Festival". igafencu.com. 2021-04-07
  3. ^ Kevin Ma (November 12, 2015). "Yuen Woo-ping, Tsui Hark remake Miracle Fighters". Film Business Asia. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  4. ^ (in Chinese) Golden Horse Awards official homepage 37th Golden Horse awards winners and nominees list Archived December 3, 2013, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 2011-05-21
  5. ^ (in Chinese) Golden Horse Awards official homepage 43rd Golden Horse awards winners and nominees list Archived September 28, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 2011-05-21

External links[edit]