You’ve probably been thinking of seeing the Ip man movies in order but don’t know how to. This article keeps you on the right track.
The IP man movie is based on the life of IP Man (Donnie Yen), the grandmaster of Wing Chun, who subsequently served as Bruce Lee’s teacher and mentor.
In the 1930s, just before the Second Sino-Japanese War started, Ip Man is set in Foshan, a center of southern Chinese martial arts.
Racial animosity, nationalistic conflict, and warfare nearly destroy China during the war. Ip Man rose above these ashes like a phoenix, defying an empire and giving China hope.
IP Man, a Best Picture and Actor winner, is one of the greatest martial arts films ever made!
How Many IP Man Movies Are There?
Altogether there are four main Ip man movies; they are:
- Ip Man (2008)
- Ip Man 2 (2010)
- Ip Man 3 (2015)
- Ip Man 4: the finale (2019)
How Do I See Ip Man Movies In Order?
The following is the right way to see the Ip man movies in order.
Ip Man (2008)
In Foshan, China, around the 1930s, Ip Man lives modestly in a mansion-like home alongside his wife and daughter. There came the second Sino-Japanese war, which turned things upside for the Ip man. To support his family, he starts to work in a coal mining factory as food becomes scarce. During a martial arts display in exchange for food, he witnesses the execution of his friend by the Japanese army.
Filled with anger and fury, Ip challenges ten soldiers and defeats them. After witnessing Ip’s victory, the head of the Japanese army – General Miura offers to engage him to train his soldiers. Ip rejects the offer, and a fight between himself and the General takes place in the town center.
Miura’s second in command shoots Ip in the shoulder after he wins the fight against the General. Upon this act, there was a tussle between the Chinese crowd and Japanese soldiers. It was during this that Ip man, alongside his family, with the help of a friend, escaped to Hong Kong.
Ip man 2 (2010)
The second installment of the Ip man movies in order sees Ip man planning to start life afresh by teaching Wing Chun after escaping Hong Kong. With this in mind, he organizes a small group of students. During this, he met Master Hung, a local martial arts master.
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Hung told Ip that he must take on challenges from the local Masters and defeat them within a specific period for him to teach martial arts in Hong Kong. This did Ip do, defeating every Challenger and ending with a draw in a fight with Master Hung. After acknowledging his skills, Hung allows Ip to open his own martial arts school.
In addition, Hung became part of a boxing competition to promote Chinese martial art. During a fight with Twister, the event’s star boxer, he’s beaten to death.
Later in the movie, Ip challenges Miller to a duel, which Miller wins. After the battle, Ip makes a speech to the western and Chinese audiences and media, calling for understanding amongst various racial and cultural groups.
Ip Man 3 (2015)
Again we see Ip Man and his family living moderately in the city of Hong Kong.
There was a time when a local triad leader sought to purchase the land that houses the school Ip’s child attends. As soon as he learned about this, Ip swore to protect the school. With the help of Tin-Chi, he battles with the triad until the arrival of the police.
Ip confronts American fighter Frank after realizing he is the mastermind behind the triad’s schemes. Frank says If Ip can hold him off in a fight for three minutes, he’ll leave the school alone. Frank keeps to his word as the battle ends in a tie.
To determine who the real Grandmaster of Wing Chun is, Tin-Chi organizes his martial arts school and challenges Ip to a fight. After the loss of Tin-Chi, Ip advises him that family time is more important than competition. Sadly, Ip discovers his wife, Wing-Sing, is down with cancer.
Ip Man 4: The Finale (2019)
In 1964, Ip Man left for San Francisco in quest of academic possibilities after learning he had throat cancer. The president of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, Grandmaster Wan, was furious when his pupil Bruce Lee opened a Wing-Chun school.
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Meanwhile, Barton Geddes, an Army Sergeant, is persuaded to include Chinese martial arts in their training for hand-to-hand combat by a US Marine who is also Lee’s student. Colin Frater, a Marines karate instructor, is sent by Geddes to compete against the association’s grandmasters.
Although he initially dominates most of them, Ip severely beats him. Geddes issues an arrest warrant for Wan after spotting Frater at the hospital and engages Wan in combat at the Marine camp.
Other Ip Man Movies
While there are only four installments in the IP man movies in order, there have been other movies with the same name. Below are other Ip man movies that are not part of the main movie franchise. They are spin-offs from other producers that revolve around the great grandmaster’s times and life.
Master Z: Ip Man Legacy – (2018)
While attempting to save an opium addict (Nana) and her friend Julia, Tin Chi gets into a battle with the neighborhood drug dealer Tso Sai Kit. Here, Tin Chi regains his confidence in using Wing Chun as he fights and defeats Davidson.
The Legend is Born: Ip Man – (2010)
This movie is set in 1905 and focuses on a young IP man who learns Wing Chun from Master Shun’s academy alongside his adopted brother Ip Tin Chi. After the death of Master Shun, IP heads to study in Hong Kong, where he meets Master Biko, from who he learns a different and advanced Wing Chun style.
Ip Man: The Final Fight – (2013)
In the year 1949, IP man battles against the ups and downs of life- his wife’s death and suffering from chronic gastric pain. He then travels to Hong Kong, where he organizes new students to teach them Wing Chun.
At the end of this movie, we see Ip’s son recording his father on camera as he practices Wing Chun on a wooden dummy.
The Grandmaster – (2013)
A grandmaster from Northern China (Gong Yutian) announces his retirement and appoints an heir. This poses a threat to Ip’s peace because he represents the southern Masters, challenges Gong to a fight, and wins. Young Bruce Lee enrolls to study with Ip after the success of his Wing Chun school.
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Ip Man and Four Kings – (2019)
In the 1950s, a local martial arts grandmaster, Master Fang, investigates his sister’s disappearance. Upon finding that Zheng is behind it, he is murdered.
Ip is framed for the death of Master Fang and imprisoned.
He then escapes from prison and goes on the search to take down the Four Heavenly Kings (heads of alcohol, catering, prostitution, and gambling syndicates). He locates Zhengs hideout and defeats the whole team.
Ip man 4 – is it the last one?
In 2019, Wilson Yip and Raymond Wong released the martial arts movie Ip Man 4: The Finale. It is the fourth and last installment in the Ip Man movie series, which is largely based on the biography of the same-named Wing Chun grandmaster and stars Donnie Yen in the lead role.
How many films starring Ip Man are there?
Ip man (2008), the first installment in the series, was followed by Ip Man 2 (2010), Ip Man 3 (2015), and Ip Man 4: The finale (2019). Wilson Yip, Edmong Wong, and Raymond Wong contributed to the writing, production, and directing of the four main movies.
Is Ip Man based on a real-life event?
The 2008 martial arts biopic Ip Man is based on the life of Ip Man, a legendary Wing Chun martial arts master and Bruce Lee’s instructor. The movie concentrates on IP’s life experiences that are supposed to have taken place in Foshan during the Sino-Japanese War.
The entire Ip man movies – the main four or the other spin-offs are a must-watch, especially if you’re a lover of martial art films. Although the Ip man movies are not all connected sequentially, it is best to watch the main four in order. After then, you can see the others as standalone movies.
Now that you know how to see the IP man movies in order, go ahead and see them as you’ll surely have a good time watching them.