Yuen Woo-ping

Yuen Woo-ping

Yuen Woo-ping at the Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas in 2010 at the premiere of True Legend
Background information
Chinese name 袁和平
Pinyin Yuán Hépíng (Mandarin)
Jyutping Jyun4 Wo4ping4 (Cantonese)
Origin Hong Kong
Born (1945-01-01) 1 January 1945
Guangzhou, Republic of China
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Yuen.

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
AKA In the Line of Duty
AKA In the Line of Duty IV
AKA Yes, Madam 4
AKA Tiger Cage 3
AKA Fist of the Red Dragon (USA: video title)
AKA Hero Among Heroes
AKA Fire Dragon
AKA Iron Monkey 2
AKA Red Wolf
AKA Tai Chi Boxer (Hong Kong: English title) (UK: literal English title)
AKA Tai Chi 2
AKA True Legend of Beggar Su (Working title)

Selected filmography as action choreographer/fight advisor


Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nomination Result Ref
2000 37th Golden Horse Awards Best Action Choreography Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Won [2]
2006 43rd Golden Horse Awards Best Action Choreography Fearless Nominated [3]


  1. Kevin Ma (November 12, 2015). "Yuen Woo-ping, Tsui Hark remake Miracle Fighters". Film Business Asia. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  2. (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
  3. (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
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