Ip Man vs Ong Bak | Wing Chun vs Muay Thai

Reading time: 9 minutes

Donnie yen as Ip Man vs Ong Bak, interpreted by Tony Jaa.
Once again we've put together another enthralling match-up. This time around we're pitting Donnie Yen's Ip Man up against Tony Jaa teeing in the hit movie series Ong Bak.

This video was made by Brutal TV. Don't forget to visit their channel.

Ip Man vs Ong Bak

So who do you think would come out on top in a fight between these two characters? Let's find out. Let's turn our attention to this super fight: Ip Man and Ong Bak are two of the most loved martial arts movies of all time, starring Donnie Yen and Tony Jaa respectively. Two equally talented actors and martial artists in this hypothetical match-up. We'll be considering the characters that both men portrayed in these movies and their abilities within the context of their plots to determine who would come out on top in this fight.

Ip Man vs Ong Bak | Wing Chun vs Muay Thai

Ip Man

Said, let's meet Donnie Yen's Ip Man, the character Ip Man is based on a real-life person named Ip Man, also known as Yip Man. He was a master teacher of Wing Chun and he was no ordinary teacher. Ip Man is noted for being the martial arts teacher of the legendary Bruce Lee.
In the first Ip Man film released in 2008, we see Ip Man as a renowned martial arts teacher who refuses to take any more disciples. He is also distant from his family. However in 1937, following the Japanese invasion of China, Ip Man is forced to fend for his family as a coal miner.


Ip Man japanese invasion

He later learns of fighting matches staged by the Japanese between their Karate fighters and the former martial artists of Ip Man's native Foshan. In one of the duels, Ip Man's friend loses his life. In anger, Ip Man launches a vengeful spree destroying 10 Japanese karatekas. His demolishing job draws the attention of the Japanese general Miura. The general captures Ip Man and challenges him to a fight for his freedom: if Ip Man wins he would be freed, otherwise he would become a martial arts teacher for the Japanese military.

General miura from the film Ip Man

The next day, Ip Man beats the general and he supposedly dies. He then manages to escape with his family to Hong Kong. Donnie Yen portrayed Ip Man in the 2008 movie resulting in a critical and commercial box office hit. The Hong Kong actor was well suited for the role, being a martial artist himself. Yen is well versed in several martial arts including Tai Chi, Boxing, Kickboxing, Jeet Kun Do, Hapkido, Taekwondo, Karate, Muay Thai, Wrestling, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Judo, Wing Chun, and Wushu. Oh yes, the dude is an all-around martial artist, and his interest in martial arts stems from his family. His mother Bow-sim Mark was a Tai Chi grandmaster and an internal martial artist.

Ip Man vs General Miura

Donnie Yen

At a young age, Donnie Yen began to experiment with various martial art styles, and at the age of 9, he focused his training on Kung Fu. At 14 he dropped out of school and began practicing Wushu, although yen and his family had settled in the USA. His parents sent him to Beijing on a four-year training program with the Beijing Wushu team. He currently holds a sixth-degree black belt in Taekwondo, a black belt in Judo, a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and a series of gold medals and Wushu competitions.

donnie yen in chinese martial arts demonstration

Yen is one of Hong Kong's top actors and one of the highest-paid actors in Asia. The character Ip Man, played by Yen, is considered to be the best martial art master in Foshan and he possesses unmatched skill in Wing Chun. Ip Man is extraordinarily fast, agile, and has lightning-fast reflexes despite his small size. He possesses lots of physical strength and durability to fight against any larger and more physical opposition.

Ong Bak

The film Ong Bak tells the story of a man called Tien, who lived in a small and peaceful village. Then, one day the head of a sacred statue of Buddha, called Ong Bak, was stolen by a drug dealer. Tien took it upon himself to track down this drug dealer all the way to Bangkok and bring back the sacred head of Ong Bak. Tien, a martial artist himself, well skilled in the art of Muay Thai, arrives in Bangkok funded by the contributions of his village people. In Bangkok, Tien showcases his excellent fighting skills on his way to tracking down the head of Ong Bak he teams up with his cousin Humlae, who ultimately sacrifices himself to help Tien complete his mission. In the end, Tien returns the head of Ong Bak to his village as he is received with much fanfare.

Tony Jaa in Ong Bak

Tony Jaa portrays Tien in the movie revealing his role as a Muay Thai fighter. The project was deer to Tony Jaa as he himself is a Muay Thai martial artist. For the movie, Jaa was choreographed by his mentor and veteran director Panna Rittikrai. Jaa grew up learning Muay Thai at the age of 10. When he turned 15 he requested to become a protege of Panna and that was when his devotion to Muay Thai began.
Under the instruction of Panna Rittikrai, Ja was enrolled at the Maha Sarakham College of physical education where he graduated with a bachelor's degree. He would later work for Panna Rittikrai as a stunt man for over 14 years.

Tony Jaa Training

For the movie, Ong Bak Jaa and Rittikrai were looking to bring Muay Thai to the mainstream. The duo struggled to raise money to produce a demo reel for the movie, but somehow they pulled it off. Ong Bak became a worldwide hit and it launched Tony Jaa into stardom, drawing comparisons between him Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and Jet Li.

Ip Man vs Ong Bak

Donnie Yen and Tony Jaa

Now that we have met our two characters and the superstars behind them, let's get into the real business.
To determine the outcome of this fight we will judge the characters Ip Man and Tien as acted by Donnie Yen and Tony Jaa across four major categories:

  • Fighting Pedigree
  • Physique
  • Skill
  • Improvisation

For each category, we'd award a maximum of 10 points to each fighter and in the end, the fighter with the higher cumulative points will be declared the winner. So, let the fight begin.

Fighting Pedigree


Ip Man trained Bruce Lee, that's pretty much all that needs to be said. This Man is a martial arts legend and there's no way Tien usurps him here more. So, Donnie Yen brings his immense wealth of martial arts into the character, delivering a performance for the ages.
Without much ado, Yen wins this round: it's an impressive 9 points to Ip Man and a modest 7 for Tien.


Donnie Yen training

Tien is a highly skilled individual and he displays his Muay Thai skills with aplomb. Tony Jaa also does justice to the role as his natural Muay Thai training evidently comes to the fore. However, it would take a lot of work to dislodge Donnie Yen and his Ip Man character in the skill department.
Ip Man demonstrates an array of techniques that are simply unparalleled. Again, Ip Man scores a 9 and Tien comes closer with 8.


Tony Jaa body

Tony Jaa (Tien) stands at 5 feet 8 inches and weighs 60 kilograms, all of which is lean muscle thanks to his athletic build.
Donnie Yen's Ip Man also stands at 5 feet 8 inches but, weighs 68 kilograms, eight more kilos than Tony. Both actors have the athletic physique ideal for any talented martial artist. We'll call it a tie here: 8 points to both of them.


Tony Jaa in Ong Bak

Ip Man is a supremely talented fighter, with incredible speed and reflexes and an uncanny ability to use his environment to his advantage. It definitely gives him the edge over Tien and gives him the win. In this category: it's 8 points to Ip Man and 7 to Tien.

The Verdict

The verdict, with 34 points our winner is Donnie Yen's Ip Man who outdoes Tony Jaa's and Tien's 30 points.
Do you agree with our verdict? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published

Thank you. Your comment will be approved shortly.


Charlie Sparks
Wow! Ip Man and Ong Bak going toe to toe, such a thought tickles my matial arts fancy! Truly, an epic clash of Wing Chun gentleness and Muay Thai bruality, can't pic a favorite!๐Ÿ˜„

Reply to Charlie Sparks


Your email address will not be published

Thank you. Your comment will be approved shortly.

Charlie Jenkins
Wow, what a match-up! It's like choosing between pizza and ice cream. Love Ip Man's finesse in Wing Chun, but Ong Bak's power in Muay Thai also rocks!

Reply to Charlie Jenkins


Your email address will not be published

Thank you. Your comment will be approved shortly.

Liam Thompson
What a read! Who needs Marvel when we've got Ip Man & Ong Bak throwing down! Hang on, gotta make popcorn for this imaginary clash. #MayTheBestFistWin!

Reply to Liam Thompson


Your email address will not be published

Thank you. Your comment will be approved shortly.

Daisy O'Connor
Whoa! This was as exciting as trying to ride a unicycle on a tightrope! Ip Man's Wing Chun and Ong Bak's Muay Thai are like rock and paper of martial arts. Punches and kicks flying left and right, can't decide who's superior. Letโ€™s call it a tie, shall we? ๐Ÿ˜‚

Reply to Daisy O'Connor


Your email address will not be published

Thank you. Your comment will be approved shortly.

Lucas Bennett
Woah, from Wing Chun's silky smooth kicks to Muay Thai's raw power, this is truly East meeting its beast! It's like trying to pick between pizza and burgers, impossible! ๐Ÿ˜‚ #TeamMartialArts

Reply to Lucas Bennett


Your email address will not be published

Thank you. Your comment will be approved shortly.

Fred cairns
I know ip man was going to win before I even watched it,ip man in my eyes is a legend himself without Bruce Lee always being brought up, don't get me wrong I love Bruce Lee but ip man fought for his people, Bruce Lee was a great fighter but a bit he would have been nothing without ip man's training.

Reply to Fred cairns


Your email address will not be published

Thank you. Your comment will be approved shortly.


* indicates required
You May Like