All 11 Movies Featuring Ip Man in Order (Including Spinoffs)

ip man movies in order
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Martial arts grandmaster Ip Man is known as the grandmaster of the Wing Chun fighting style and, more popularly, as Bruce Lee’s former master. Donnie Yen’s portrayal as Ip Man in ‘Ip Man’ (2008) would kick start a series of movies, sequels, and spin-offs revolving around the life and times of the iconic grandmaster. 

Director Wilson Yip and actor Donnie Yen started the franchise only for Director Yuen Wo Ping to create a spinoff franchise with ‘Master Z: Ip Man Legacy.’ Director Herman Yau ventured into his own ‘Ip Man’ franchise with ‘The Legend is Born: Ip Man’ (2010) and its sequel,’ Ip Man: The Final Fight.’ Due to the complicated state of all movies with Ip Man, we decided to bring you a comprehensive watch order.

Editor’s Note: This watch order was updated in October 2023 and features an up-to-date list of all Ip Man portrayals across various movies.

All movies featuring Ip Man in release date order

If you’re not interested in proper chronology and just want to watch the ‘Ip Man’ movies in the orders they were released in, we have you covered:

  1. ‘Ip Man’ (2008)
  2. ‘Ip Man 2’ (2010)
  3. ‘The Legend Is Born: Ip Man’ (2010)
  4. ‘Ip Man: The Final Fight’ (2013)
  5. ‘The Grandmaster’ (2013)
  6. ‘Ip Man 3’ (2015)
  7. ‘Master Z: Ip Man Legacy’ (2018)
  8. ‘Ip Man 4: The Finale’ (2019)
  9. ‘Ip Man and Four Kings’ (2019)
  10. ‘Ip Man: Kung Fu Master’ (2019)
  11. Ip Man: The Awakening (2021)

Are all movies featuring Ip Man connected? What’s the best way to watch them?

While the majority of the Ip Man movies are part of the same franchise, there are some that are standalone or part of separate franchises. The core ‘Ip Man’ franchise, initiated by Director Wilson Yip and actor Donnie Yen, includes ‘Ip Man’, ‘Ip Man 2’, ‘Ip Man 3’, and ‘Ip Man 4: The Finale’. There’s also a spin-off, ‘Master Z: Ip Man Legacy’ (2018), directed by Yuen Wo Ping.

However, Director Herman Yau created a separate franchise with ‘The Legend is Born: Ip Man’ and its sequel ‘Ip Man: The Final Fight.’ These films are not directly connected to the Wilson Yip/Donnie Yen series.

Additionally, there are standalone films like ‘The Grandmaster’ and ‘Ip Man and Four Kings’ that are not part of any specific franchise but feature the character Ip Man. Based on everything, the proper watch order would be based on the in-franchise chronology.

Movies featuring ‘Ip Man’ in chronological order

The following order will be separated into respective franchises since there are several of them featuring the same character that isn’t necessarily part of the same continuity. The last stand-alone movies can be watched in any order whatsoever.

The main franchise:

  1. ‘Ip Man’ (2008)
  2. ‘Ip Man 2’ (2010)
  3. ‘Ip Man 3’ (2015)
  4. ‘Master Z: Ip Man Legacy’ (2018) – spinoff but takes place after ‘Ip Man 3’
  5. ‘Ip Man 4: The Finale (2019)

Herman Yau franchise:

  1. ‘The Legend is Born: Ip Man’ (2010)
  2. ‘Ip Man: The Final Fight’ (2013)

Standalone movies only featuring Ip Man

  1. ‘The Grandmaster’ (2013)
  2. ‘Ip Man and Four Kings’ (2019)
  3. ‘Ip Man: Kung Fu Master’ (2019)
  4. Ip Man: The Awakening (2021)

1. ‘Ip Man (2008)

Ip Man Movies in Order: The Complete Legacy

In 1930s Foshan, China, Ip Man’s peaceful life was disrupted by the Second Sino-Japanese War. After witnessing the execution of a friend, Ip, facing scarcity, works in a coal mining factory, ultimately challenging and defeating 10 Japanese fighters, refusing an enlistment offer from General Miura. In the ensuing town center duel, Ip triumphs but is shot by Miura’s second-in-command, leading to a chaotic escape to Hong Kong with his family.

2. ‘Ip Man 2 (2010)

Ip Man Movies in Order: The Complete Legacy

Following the first film, Ip Man relocates to Hong Kong with his family, aiming to establish a new life by teaching Wing Chun. After overcoming challenges from local masters, including a draw with Master Hung, Ip opens his own school. Tragically, Master Hung is fatally beaten in a boxing competition, leading Ip to avenge him by defeating the boxer, Miller, and delivering a speech promoting mutual respect between races and cultures.

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3. ‘Ip Man 3′(2015)

Ip Man Movies in Order: The Complete Legacy

Set in 1959 Hong Kong, Ip Man, prompted by a local triad threat to his son’s school, defends the institution with the help of Tin-Chi. Discovering his wife’s cancer diagnosis, Ip confronts the orchestrator, an American boxer named Frank, who agrees to spare the school if Ip can endure a three-minute fight, resulting in a draw and Frank honoring his promise. Tin-Chi later challenges Ip to a duel for the title of Wing Chun Grandmaster, but after defeating Tin-Chi, Ip imparts the value of family over competition.

4. ‘Master Z: Ip Man Legacy (2018)

Ip Man Movies in Order: The Complete Legacy

After losing to Ip Man, Tin-Chi leads a low-profile life in Hong Kong, running a grocery store. When he intervenes in a fight with a local drug dealer to save an opium addict, his house is set on fire, leading him to work at the Gold Bar and get entangled in a conflict with the crime syndicate. In the end, Tin-Chi, with the help of Julia’s brother Fu, exposes the syndicate’s drug operation, defeats the antagonist Davidson, and regains confidence in using Wing Chun for positive purposes.

5. ‘Ip Man 4: The Finale (2019)

Ip Man Movies in Order: The Complete Legacy

In 1964, after discovering he had throat cancer, Ip Man traveled to San Francisco seeking academic opportunities and confronted tension with Grandmaster Wan over Bruce Lee’s Wing-Chun school. Amidst conflicts involving a US Marine advocating Chinese martial arts, Ip returns to Hong Kong, defeats the antagonistic Sergeant Geddes, and, in 1972, passes away at the age of 79, leaving a legacy demonstrated through a filmed Wing Chun demonstration with his son.

6. ‘The Legend is Born: Ip Man (2010)

Ip Man Movies in Order: The Complete Legacy

This is the first movie in Herman Yau’s continuity and marks the beginning of a new timeline, it’s not connected to previous movies. In 1905, young Ip Man learns Wing Chun in Foshan, engaging in a love triangle with his adopted brothers Tin-Chi and Mei-wai. After studying in Hong Kong and learning an improved style from Master Bik, Ip returns to Foshan to discover Tin-Chi’s betrayal as a Japanese undercover agent involved in murder and smuggling, leading to a confrontation where Ip saves his mentor and exposes the Japanese activities.

7. ‘Ip Man: The Final Fight’ (2013)

Ip Man Movies in Order: The Complete Legacy

In 1949, suffering from chronic gastric pain, Ip Man moved to Hong Kong, teaching Wing Chun and navigating life challenges, including his wife’s death. Amidst his struggles, he develops a relationship with singer Jenny, intervenes to protect his student from a mob boss named Local Dragon, and concludes with a poignant scene of Ip practicing Wing Chun on a wooden dummy, captured by his son on camera, juxtaposed with actual footage of the real-life Ip Man doing the same.

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Where to watch movies featuring Ip Man?

Not all Ip Man movies can be found just about anywhere, and to watch every single one of them, you will have to visit quite a few streaming services. Here’s the full guide:

MovieWhere to Watch it
‘Ip Man’ Apple TV, Peacock, Netflix
‘Ip Man 2’ Netflix
‘The Legend Is Born: Ip Man’Disney+, Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video
‘Ip Man: The Final Fight’ Amazon Prime Video, Peacock
‘The Grandmaster’ Apple TV
‘Ip Man 3’ Peacock, Apple TV
‘Master Z: Ip Man Legacy’Peacock, Apple TV
‘Ip Man 4: The Finale’Apple TV
‘Ip Man and Four Kings’N/A in West
‘Ip Man: Kung Fu Master’Hulu, Apple TV
‘Ip Man: The Awakening’Peacock, Apple TV

Will there be more Ip Man movies?

In April 2019, it was announced that Max Zhang would reprise his role in a sequel to ‘Master Z: Ip Man Legacy,’ with a reported budget of $13 million, notably lower than the first film’s $28 million budget. Subsequently, on May 18, 2023, a new installment titled ‘Ip Man 5’ was revealed by Mandarin Motion Pictures at the Cannes Film Festival, accompanied by the release of a poster shared by Donnie Yen on his Instagram.

As far as Chinese production of the movies goes, we really don’t have any information but we will update this as soon as something is known.

Have something to add? Let us know in the comments below!

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