Top Ten Chinese Kong Fu Stars You Should Know

Cheng Pei-pei

Cheng Pei-pei, Chinese name 郑佩佩, born in Shanghai in 1946, is a well known Chinese kung fu film actress in Hong Kong. In 1963 she became a professional full time actress for the Shaw Brothers after her graduation from the Shaw Brothers Performing Arts Training College.

chinese kung fu star cheng pei-pei

Cheng Pei-pei in the film Flirting Scholar (in the middle)

Film Career

During the years with the Shaw Brothers, Cheng Pei-pei had made more than 20 films, most of them were Chinese kung fu films and went very popular. In 1964 her film 《the Lovers' Rock》 was the winner of the Golden Worrier Prize in that year. In 1966, been a leading actress in the film 《Come Drink with Me》 had gained her national wide fame in China. In 1968, the film 《Golden Swallow》 was another success before she decided to quit her career for a domestic life with her husband after their marriage.

In 1992, a successfully film with Stephen Chow called 《Flirting Scholar》 had brought her back to the stage at the age of 47.In 2000, her excellent performance in the Oscar-winning film 《Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon》 with the famous Chinese director Ang Lee had won her the Best Supporting Actress Award in the Hong Kong Film Awards. In 2014, Cheng Pei-pei’s film with the England actor Ben Whishaw called 《lilting》, won the photography award at the Sundance Film Festival.

Ji Chunhua

Ji Chunhua, 计春华 (pinyin jì chūn huá),born on July 20, 1961,Hangzhou, Zhejiang province in China, is a well-known Chinese mainland kung fu actor. Having learnt martial arts since childhood, Ji Chunhua is a member of professional martial arts group in Zhejiang province.

chinese kung fu star ji chunhua

Film Career

In 1982, Ji Chunhua started his film career by taking a villain role in the film of 《The Shaolin Temple》.  It was a complete success at that time. In the following years, Ji had become a popular supporting actor in Chinese kung fu films. Giving he has a bald head, he always appearing as the negative bald villain in his film works, such as the film 《Red Sorghum》 in 1988, the 《Fong Sai-yuk II》in 1993 and《 the Seven Swords》 In 2005.

Chiu Man-Cheuk

Chiu Man-Cheuk, Chinese name 赵文卓 (pinyin:zhào wén zhuò),born on April 10, 1972 Harbin, Heilongjiang province in China. Born in a martial arts family, Chiu Man-Cheuk has started to learn kung fu at the age of eight. Chiu Man-Cheuk's father was a martial artist, his mother was a professional sprinter who broke the record for being the fastest female sprinter in Harbin. Today, he is a well-known Chinese mainland martial artist, kung fu film actor and a professional martial teacher in the Beijing Sport University. Chiu Man-Cheuk took martial art as his major when was accepted by the Beijing Sport University in 1990.And it was in the same year that Chiu had won the final champion of the National Junior Championship, the final champion of National All-Around Championship, and the National Martial Arts Championship in China. 

chinese kung fu stars Chiu Man-Cheuk and Donnie Yen

Chinese kung fu stars Chiu Man-Cheuk(right) and Donnie Yen(left)

Film Career

In 1992, Chiu Man-Cheuk started his film career by his first film the 《Fong Sai-yuk》.In the following years, by playing the Chinese folk hero Wong Fei-hung in the film 《Once Upon a Time in China》,Chiu Man-Cheuk had earned his national wide fame in China.
In 2001, the film 《Hero Zheng Chenggong》 had brought Chiu Man-Cheuk the nomination of the best leading actor of the Golden Horse Award.
In 2007, Chiu Man-Cheuk starred in the TV version of 《Chat gim》as the role of Chu Zhaonan.
In 2014, Chiu Man-Cheuk starred 《The White Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom》.

Jason Wu

Jason Wu Chinese name 吴京(pinyin wú jīng),born in 1974 in Beijing, is a Chinese martial film actor and director. He is a Manchu ethnicity as well. Born in a martial arts family with both his father and grandfather are martial artists, Wu Jing was sent to kong fu school at the age of only six. Oddly enough he learned kung fu in the same school and from the same master as jet li’s which is the Beijing Shichahai Sports School.In 1994 wu jing won the sparring champion in the national level martial competition.

chinese kung fu star wu jing

Wu Jing in his film the 《Wolf Warriors》

Film Career

Wu Jing started his film career in 1995, since then he has appeared in numerous martial TV series and action films.
In 1998, Wu starred in the TV drama 《Tai Chi Master》. 
In 1999, Wu got national wide fame by starring the popular TV series 《Xiao Li's flying knife》. In 2007, the film virtue of men had brought Wu Jing the best supporting actor nomination for the Golden Horse Award in Taiwan film festival.
In 2013, Sohu Fashion had awarded Wu Jing the prize of annual male fashion star.
In 2015, Wu Jing’s self directed and acted film the 《Wolf Warriors》 had been released. With a final ticket box worth 525 million RMB, the《Wolf Warriors is the most successful film that Wu Jing has ever directed so far. It has also brought him the award of Best Screenwriter and Best Fresh Director.

Michelle Yeoh

Michelle Yeoh, Chinese name 杨紫琼 (pinyin yáng zǐ qiòng), born on August 6, 1962 in Ipoh Malaysia at a Chinese descendent family, is a famous Chinese Malaysian actress and film producer. Born in a wealth family, Yeoh had started to learn ballet at the age of four years old. She has began to perform on stage since she learnt ballet. During her teenager time, Yeoh had represented Malaysia to attend the diving competition as well. After graduated from the Royal Academy of dance, Yeoh won the Miss Malaysia beauty pageant. Since then, Michelle Yeoh has began appearing in TV commercial and films.

Michelle Yeoh in teh film 《Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon》

Michelle Yeoh in teh film 《Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon》(right)

Film Career

In 1985,by starring the film series of《Huang Jia Shi Jie》, Yeoh had successfully became a martial art actress. In 1988, she retired after married to the Hong Kong billionaire Dickson Poon.
In 1992, Yeoh got back on the stage by co-leading the film 《Police Story 3: Super Cop 》with Jackie Chan.
In 1997, Yeoh had gained her fame in Hollywood by her excellent performance in the James Bond film 《Tomorrow Never Dies》.
In 2001, the role she carried as Yu Xiulian in the film《 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon》 had brought her nomination of the Best actress of British Academy Film Awards. The film was also the Oscar winner and the Golden Globe's Best Foreign Language Film Award winner at that year. 
In 2014, Yeoh starring acted the film《Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2》.
In 2009, Michelle Yeoh was ranked by the People magazine as one of the 35 Screen Beauties of all time.
In 2012, Michelle Yeoh received the Medal of the French’s highest honor from President Sarkozy.

Yuan Biao

Yuan Biao, Chinese name 元彪 (pinyin yuán biāo),born on July 26, 1957 in Kowloon, Hong Kong China, is known as a Chinese martial art actor and instructor. Yuan Biao started to learn Beijing Opera at China Drama Academy at the age of seven in 1964.Together with Sammo Hung, Jackie Chan, Corey Yuen, Yuen Wah, Yuen Tak and Yuen Miu, Yuan Biao is one of the "Seven Little Fortunes" performing group in Hong Kong.

Chinese kung fu stars Jackie Chan,Sammo Hung and Yuan Biao

Chinese kung fu stars Jackie Chan,Sammo Hung and Yuan Biao(right)

Film Career

In the early 1970s, Yuen began work as a stuntman and took part in many Bruce Lee’s film such as 《Fist of Fury》《Enter The Dragon》and《Way of the Dragon》.In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Yuen began working more frequently as an actor together with Sammo Hung and Jackie chan.

In 1980, Yuan Biao took a role in Jackie Chan’s film《the young master》.
In 1979,by starring the film《Knockabout》,Yuan Biao became known by more and more people. In 1983, the film《Prodigal Son》had brought Yuan Biao the Best martial arts instruction Award at the Golden Academy Film Festival in Hong Kong. And the film 《Program A 》had won him another success in the same year.
In 1993 Yuan Biao won another Best martial arts instruction Award at the Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan in the film 《New Dragon Gate Inn》.

Donnie Yen

donnie yen

Donnie Yen(甄子丹),known as a famous actor , director and a martial artist instructor in   Hongkong Chinese, was born on July 27, 1963 in Guangdong, China in a martial master family. During the time of his 2 year old and 11 year old , Donnie Yen has been taken to Boston America to live.His mother is a martial artist, founder of the Chinese Martial Arts Institute. Father Zhen Yunlong, is an international Chinese newspaper editor in Boston, he can play the violin and erhu( a traditional Chinese instruments). Donnie Yen also studied classical piano and loved Chopin, which became another source of inspiration in his life.
Film Career 
In 1982, Donnie Yen returned to the United States after he had studied Gong Fu in Beijing China. It was in the same year that Donnie Yen won the champion of the martial arts in the United States. 
In 1992, Donnie Yen had starred in the film 《New Dragon Inn》《新龙门客栈》and 《Huang Feihong 2》《黄飞鸿之二:男儿当自强》and with the excellent performance in 《Huang Feihong 2》,Donnie Yen was nominated for the Award of the best supporting actor in Hongkong Academy Film Festival.
In 1995, Donnie Yen played the role of Chen Zhen in the TV series of the《Fist of Fury》and it was during that time, Donnie Yen had starred to go quite popular among the mainland Chinese people.
In 2009, Donnie Yen won the title of the best actor of the sixteenth Beijing Film Festival by virtue of the movie《Ip Man》《叶问》.
In 2015, by virtue of the movie《Last Of The Best》《一个人的武林》,Donnie Yen won the award of best action design at the thirty-eighth Hongkong Movie Awards . 

Jet Li

jet li
Jet Li (李连杰), is one of the most well-known Chinese martial artist in china. Jet li is known as a film actor, producer, martial artist and a businessman.
On April 26, 1963, Jet Li was born in Beijing in an ordinary employee family, being the fifth child of this family he has two sisters and two brothers . In 1965, Jet Li was selected by the coach Wu and entered the Beijing Shichahai sports school began to learn martial arts. In the national wide Chinese Wushu competition in 1972, Jet Li won the award of outstanding performance. in the National Games Wushu competition in 1975, Jet Li won the won the all-around champion. In 1979, years of hard practicing and injury had forced him to quit the Wushu feild.
Film Career
Jet li’s first movie the "Shaolin Temple"《少林寺》In 1982 the, had created a brand new box office record in mainland Chinese film industry. In 1991, his action movie 《Huang Feihong》 《黄飞鸿之壮志凌云》had made his fame in China.since then jet li had gained more and more attention as his lovie relesed over the years. In 1995, Jet Li won the  Golden Horse Prize and the special prize of mainland artist in the thirty-second Taiwan Film festival.From 1998, Jet Li has released his first movie in Hollywood which was called the《 Lethal Weapon 4》《致命武器4》.In 2001, he had served as the producer of the action movie called 《Invincible 》《变种元素》. In 2002 , Jet Li had been selected as the cover man of the  "Time" Magazine for his excellent acting in the martial movie called《 Hero 》《英雄》.
In 2011, Jet Li had established the Taiji zen international culture development co., LTD together with Jack Ma.In 2013 at the "Chinese martial arts" thirty year awards ceremony, he won the " award of the most influential martial artist in china over the past 30 years " . 
Jet Li has also attached much care for the public welfare. In 2014,jet li was ranked second on the Chinese charity celebrity list by "Chinese philanthropist".

Jackie Chan

jackie chan
Jackie Chan,or Chan Kong-sang,  (陳港生) was born on 7 April 1954 in Hongkong, known as a professional Hongkong martial artist, movie producer,director and also a singer. He has already appeared in over 150 movies in his over 60 years of his professional life.

Though born in Hongkong, he was grew up in Australia. Jackie Chan was a very naughty kid when he was young, been kept getting himself involved in street fights, he failed his first year in primary 1961, Jackie Chan had returned to Hongkong and taken by Yu Zhanyuan as his martial student for further acting skills improvements.during at that time, he was known as his art name Yuan Lou(元楼). In 1982, Jackie Chan married  a Taiwanese actress called Joan Lin who was introduced to him by a friend and soon Their son Jaycee Chan was born.his son Jaycee Chan is now know as a singer and actor as well.

Film Career
In 1971,Jackie Chan had entered the movie industry by taking a leading role in the movie《new fist of fury》 .in 1980, movie《The Young Master》(《师弟出马》)which was both directed and acted  by Jackie Chan himself had won the title of best seller movie of the year in Hongkong .Since then, lots of other quality movies acted by him had been released out constantly over the years, Jackie Chan has stared to earn his big fame in Hongkong and Asia.In 1995,by the success of the action movie《Rumble in the Bronx》(《红番区》),Jackie Chan has been notice by more and more Hollywood film makers and his fame had become worldwide gradually. In 1998, the movie 《Rush Hour 》(《尖峰时刻》)had gain his fame in Hollywood for Jackie Chan, and the《 rush hour 2 》(《尖峰时刻2》)later in 2001, had even created a new box office record among all the other Chinese movies over the years.

Awards and Honors
In 2010, Jackie Chan won the Award of outstanding Achievements at the fifty-fourth Asia Pacific Film Festival.
In 2012, Jackie Chan was named as among "the 20 greatest action movie stars in the history of the world" by the New York Times of the United States.
In 2013 ,with the successful of the action movie《 Chinese Zodiac》《十二生肖》, Jackie Chan had won the Best action design award at the thirty-second Hongkong Film festival.  
In 2016 ,Jackie Chan won the lifetime achievement award at the Oscar Academy Award
In 2015, Forbes magazine estimated his net worth to be $350 million. Till 2017, the box office value of all the movies Jackie Chan had acted, had been counted up to more than 20 billion yuan.
Music Career and Charity
Apart from his successful movie career, Jackie Chan is also a processional singer in Hongkong and Asia. Jackie Chan had vocal lessons while he was at the Peking Opera School during his childhood.  
Jackie Chan is also a quite good heart and a very generous man.Over the years ha has been donating money to charities to help 2004, he had served as the Goodwill Ambassador United Nations Children's Fund. In 2006,Jackie Chan had been selected as the Ten Charity Stars by "Forbes magazine".

Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee was born on November 27, 1940, in San Francisco's Chinatown. He was a famous martial artist, actor, philosopher, filmmaker, founder of the martial art Jeet Kune Do and most of all the most well-known Chinese kung fu movie star in both Hollywood America and Hong Kong China during the 20 century. He was also considered to be the most influential martial artists of all time. Though born in America , Lee was taken back to hong kong after just months old.His Chinese name is Lee Jun-fan (李振藩), his father, Lee Hoi-chuen, was a leading Cantonese opera and film actor and his mother Grace Ho, was from one of the wealthiest and most powerful clans in Hong Kong. Though the young Bruce Lee grew up in an affluent and privileged family, his neiboughood was overcrowded and often set in danger at that time as a British colony. Leraned that Lee was often involved in street fights during school time,  Lee Hoi-chuen had decided to give him proper martial training.

bruce li
Bruce Lee with his families when he was a child

Wing Chun

In 1957,Bruce Lee started to take lessons of Wing Chun when he was 16 years old under the Wing Chun teacher Yip Man,a great Wing Chun master who has been turned out  had a great influence on Bruce Lee’s Gong Fu development later in his life. Yip Man, Chinese name  叶问(Ye Wen in pinyin), is a Cantonese Wing Chun master. He was one of the most respected martial master in modern Hongkong history, a leading man in martial fields in Hongkong and also the first Wing Chun master who has ever succeed in presenting Wing Chun onto an international stage. Having a wise teacher, Bruce Lee was still allowed to keep practicing Tai Chi which was taught by his father, and also not restricted to just practice only in the classroom but also practice with other students of other martial style clubs. Yip man's regular classes mainly consisted of the forms practice, chi sao (sticking hands) drills, wooden dummy techniques and free-sparring.

bruce li

Bruce Lee with Yip Man

Jun Fan Martial Club

In April 1959, Lee Hoi-chuen had decided to send Bruce Lee back to the United States as Lee kept stirring up street fights in Hongkong and got warned by his teacher in high school. Therefore, at the age of 18, Bruce Lee had steppede on the same land of the country where he was born in the first place. Lee stayed in San Francisco to finish his education and later at the University of Washington, at Seattle. It was during his time in the University of Washington that he began teaching martial arts in a martial club which found by lee himself during his spare time in studies. Soon his technique got quite popular among students and many had come to learn some Gong Fu . And among them there was a female student who named Linda Emery , an admire and a student of him at the same time, had become his wife in August 1964.Lee had two children with Linda Emery, Brandon Lee and Shannon Lee .
bruce li
Jun Fan Martial Club

Martial Arts Career

English Name     Chinese Name                Year           
《Marlowe》 《丑闻喋血》 1969
《The Big Boss》 《唐山大兄》 1971
《Fist of Fury》 《精武门》 1972
《Way of the Dragon》 《猛龙过江》 1972
《Enter the Dragon》 《龙争虎斗》  1973
《Game of Death》 《死亡游戏》 1973
《The Real Bruce Lee》 《真正的李小龙》  1979

bruce li flims
Bruce Lee's flims

Jeet Kune Do

In 1967,at the age of 27,Bruce Lee created a unique martial type called Jeet Kune Do in the united states.The Jeet Kune Do was considered to a rather modern Chinese Gong Fu which had combined essence of all-round Kickboxing technique into a self-protection street fight martial technique. Lee’s idea was to abandon the traditional forms and patterns and trust yourselves, that was the term Lee emphasize what he used to call "the style of no style". Lee applied both eastern and western philosophy to his martial arts. Jeet kune Do was an important part of Bruce Lee’s Gong Fu , but not all.
bruce li
Bruce Lee


In 1973, when Lee had returned to Hongkong Kowloon Tong to finish the filming of the Game of Death, Lee suddenly died  on July 20. The official conclusion of his death was that” it was caused by an acute cerebral edema due to a reaction to compounds present in the combination medication Equagesic”. Death at such a young age of just 32, it was not only a great loss to millions of his fans all over the word but also a great loss of the martial movie industry at time time as well. 

There were numerous rumors appeared in the media about his death at that time. His iconic status, untimely properties and years of highly intensified martial career, all of these factors has cast a mysteries cloud on his death which including murder or even curse .On 31th of July ,1973,Lee was buried in Lake View Cemetery in Seattle,the same place where his son Brandon Bruce Lee (李国豪)was buried twenty years' later in 1993 .Today , years after his death, millions of his fans come there to memorialize him still. Many awards were given to him in memorialize of his excellency and legendary life achievements.
bruce li
Bruce Lee and his son's tombs

Awards and Honors

Bruce lee was the founder of the Jeet Kune Do and Jun Fan Gung Fu, the most well known martial movie star who had renewed the presents of  Chinese Gung Fu in Hollywood. Considered to be one of the top ten best martial artists over the time by the 《Black Belt》 of America and named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century, holder of the "martial arts film superstar Award" of the China Wushu association,owner of the Lifetime Achievement Award in Hongkong Film Awards,Bruce lee was truly one of those who well-deserved all the titles on his crown.


Apart from making movies, Bruce Lee was also set his mind studying many other type of Gung Fu Even today, many martial amateurs and his fans would still be reading his books about martial learning about Gong Fu memorialize him . Below are some of his books:《Chinese Gung Fu》,《Wing Chun Kung Fu》,《Bruce Lee’s Fighting Method:Self Defence Techniques》,《Bruce Lee’s Fighting Method:Basic Training》,《Bruce Lee:Words of the Dragon》,《Bruce Lee:Tao of Gung Fu》,《Bruce Lee:Jeet Kune Do》.


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