IP MAN: KUNG FU MASTER harks back to Ip’s early days before the Communist Revolution in 1949. Ip, portrayed by Dennis To for the third time as the martial artist who famously tutored Bruce Lee, was then a police captain who was framed for the murder of a ruthless but honorable mobster, and targeted for vengeance by his dangerous daughter. Forced to quit the force, Ip soon also has to contend with the arrival of the Japanese army in Guangzhou.
Dennis To Yu-hang is a Hong Kong martial artist and actor. He started his career as a wushu practitioner and won several awards at various competitions, including a silver medal at the 2002 Asian Games and a gold medal at the 2005 East Asian Games. He became an actor in 2007 and started by playing minor roles in Ip Man (2008), Bodyguards and Assassins (2009) and Ip Man 2 (2010). He is best known for his role as the Wing Chun grandmaster Ip Man in the 2010 film The Legend Is Born – Ip Man.
To started practicing wushu at the age of six in the Hong Kong Wushu Union’s classes. He attended Helen Liang Memorial Secondary School in Sha Tin, Hong Kong. After graduating from school, To joined the Hong Kong Wushu Team and started participating in wushu competitions. In 1999, at the age of 18, To won a gold medal in Changquan at the 1999 World Wushu Championships, becoming the youngest wushu champion in Hong Kong. He also won various medals at the 2001 and 2003 World Wushu Championships. In 2002, he won a silver medal in Changquan at the 2002 Asian Games. In 2005, To, together with Chan Siu-kit and Chow Ting-yu, won a gold medal in duilian at the East Asian Games.
To took part in the Hong Kong leg of the 2008 Summer Olympics torch relay as one of the 120 torchbearers in Hong Kong.
To joined the entertainment industry in 2007. He is an artiste under National Arts Holdings Limited. To made his debut in a minor role in the 2008 film Ip Man, directed by Wilson Yip and starring Donnie Yen, and he also appeared in the sequel Ip Man 2 (2010). Later, in 2010, he was cast as the lead character, Wing Chun grandmaster Ip Man, in the 2010 film The Legend Is Born – Ip Man.
Dennis To Yu-hang probably has his close resemblance to Donnie Yen to thank for winning the titular role in The Legend Is Born: Ip Man. After all, it was Yen’s portrayal of the late Wing Chun master in Ip Man and its sequel that turned the character into a cinematic canon.
At first glance, Hong Kong star To comes off as a younger, leaner Yen. But there is more to the 29-year-old than his comely physique. For one, he is the reigning World Kung Fu Champion.
He is also an expert in numerous kung fu styles, including Wing Chun, which he studied for eight years. Moreover, he is the “grand-student” of Ip Chun, 86, Ip Man’s real-life eldest son. To was also a flame bearer in the 2008 Olympics.