Ip Man actor Donnie Yen got his fans excited on Wednesday night (July 29) when he uploaded photos of his younger days, training in 1980.
57-year-old Donnie posted a video of him at 16, showing off martial arts moves at The Chinese Wushu Research Institute in Boston. The centre was founded by his mother, tai chi grandmaster Bow Sim Mark in 1976. Judging by the video, Donnie looked like a star even before he debuted in showbiz in 1984. Donnie captioned the post by saying that he was a kid that was always “curious, inspired and hungry [to learn]”.
“I wanted to learn any and all styles of martial arts!” the father-of-three exclaimed. “When I was invited to Beijing [in] 1980 by The Beijing Wushu team, I packed my bags and went! I went there for a month and a half, then went back later for a total of over a year. This was demonstrated in my mother’s school in Boston Chinatown, [which] at the time was called The Chinese Wushu Research Institute. I was 16 yrs old. Oh, there’s no iPhone, iPad, computers, just dedication to what you love!”
On July 26, Donnie posted another throwback post on Instagram featuring a video of him showing kung fu moves on stage when he was 11.
He thanked his mother for introducing him to the performance of martial arts. “It was [the] good old ’70s, [I] just started kungfu training from my mother [and] she put me on stage! I think I was 11 years old and [had] major stage fright! The journey began!” he reminisced, adding that his mum, who’s now 78, is “widely regarded as one of the most influential martial artists of the 20th century”.
The videos quickly gained traction and had fans gushing about how Donnie “already had it at 16 years old”. At the age of nine, Donnie started learning kung fu and he learned Wushu at the age of 14 after quitting school. The following year he went to Beijing to train with the Beijing Wushu team for two years as his mother had concerns about his increasing interest in free sparring.
Donnie also picked up taekwondo at the age of 16. As of today, he also has a number of other disciplines under his belt such as taichi, boxing, kickboxing, hapkido, karate, muay thai, wrestling, judo and wing chun. /TISG
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At the time when living in Boston, I have always been a curious, inspired and hungry for learning kid, I wanted to learn any styles and all styles of martial arts! When I was invited to Beijing (1980)by The Beijing Wushu team, i packed my bag and went! I went there for a month and a half, then went back later for a total of over a year. This was demonstrated in my mother’s school @bow_sim_mark in Boston China town, at the time was called The Chinese Wushu Research Institute, I was 16 yrs old. 🙏 Oh, there’re no IPhones, iPads, computers, just dedication to what you love!😊 #bowsimmark #甄子丹 #martialarts #kungfu