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Bruce Lee Vs Donnie Yen


I am a Bruce Lee fan since my childhood. Although I’ve seen only clips from his movies, his moves never fail to impress me. It’s not surprising why he is crowned by many as the king of martial arts. Nonetheless, Donnie Yen is also a promising martial artist. He may seem shy, which contrary to Bruce Lee’s character, Donnie Yen is not a pushover if we talk about martial arts. I watched his IP man movie series and they were amazing. I know most of you would want to see them team up or fight each other in a movie. The fact that Bruce Lee died a long time ago made this impossible. Disregarding reality, who would win if these two great martial artists face off? Will the lightning kick and punches of Bruce Lee crush Donnie Yen’s impenetrable defense? Can Donnie Yen tame the well-renowned martial arts dragon?

Before the actual fight, let’s first know more about the contenders. Do they really know martial arts or everything we’ve seen on the screen are made up? If yes, what techniques do Bruce Lee and Donnie Yen specialize? Who are their respective masters? How did they train to become successful martial artists? What are their achievements? I know you are interested to know more about them so read on!


Bruce Lee

Real Name: Lee Jun Fan

Height:5 '6

Weight: 145 lbs

Age: He was 32 when he died.

Profession: Actor

Martial Arts Style: Jeet Kune Do


Bruce Lee’s first martial arts instructor was his father, Lee Hoi-Cheun. The technique he introduced was the Wu Style of Tai chi Chuan. However, Bruce Lee felt the need to improve his skills after being beaten by a Hong Kong street gang in 1954. He then came to Sifu Yip Man to learn Wing Chun Gung Fu. He was supervised by Yip’s top student namely Wong Shun-Leung. The training went on until Bruce Lee reached the age of 18. He eventually developed Jett Kune Do which made him famous in the world of martial arts.

Strengths and Weaknesses:

Probably the main strength of Bruce Lee lies on his speed. His lightning kick can catch anyone off guard. Moreover, landing a punch or kick to him seems impossible due to his superhuman agility. In fact, he even needs to lighten up his movements while shooting a film as old cameras just can’t catch up to him. Most of us think that he was born to be a great martial artist yet he always insists that he was able to reach the top through hard work and perseverance. He trains hard and pushes his body to the limit. However, no one is perfect. The only visible weakness that we can observe is his height and reach. Although it won’t matter that much, these factors could be the deciding factor if he faces a much taller enemy with the same speed and agility as him.

Famous Quote:

“Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless - like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”

Bruce Lee in Action

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Donnie Yen

Real Name: Donnie Yen

Height: 5 "8

Weight: 154 lbs

Age: 48

Profession: Actor, Director

Martial Arts Style: Wu Shu, Tai Chi


Donnie Yen’s first martial arts teacher is his mother, who is a well-renowned Wushu and Tai Chi master. His mother was very surprised to see that Donnie mastered the basic principles of these martial arts styles at a young age. Like most youth on his time, Yen was fond of watching martial arts movies. His idols are Bruce Lee, Ti Lung, Fu Sheng, and Jackie Chan. However, he is not a typical martial arts fanatic since he eventually memorizes all the moves and practices them afterwards. He then trained in various martial arts schools with the goal to improve his knowledge and be known in the world of martial arts just like his idols.

Strengths and Weaknesses:

The main strength of Donnie Yen is his great love for martial arts. He is willing to learn every style to add up to his arsenal. He can adapt to any enemy by simply changing his fighting approach. Moreover, his buffed body enables him to overpower an enemy. He is also flexible enough to do any kind of martial arts move. I can’t find any weakness of Donnie Yen other than his predictability. He tends to do the usual styles of martial arts and even copy moves from known martial artists. A wise enemy who does a brief research about him prior the fight could easily counter all of his blows.

Famous Quote:

Martial art is a form of expression, an expression from your inner self to your hands and legs.

Donnie Yen in Action


It was a hot day. A suspicious man slowly approaches a famous restaurant. The security guard was taking his lunch so he entered the establishment with ease. The customers eventually noticed him and were quite alarmed. Some of them even left the place at once. Among the few who remained was Donnie Yen. He was supposed to meet up with his friend on that place. Before Donnie Yen can lift his tea for another sip, the man declared a robbery. The ladies screamed as he pulled out a gun and started aiming it randomly. Donnie Yen was calm and was thinking of a way to somehow immobilize the robber while assuring that no one would get hurt in the process. The robber instructed the cashier to hand over the restaurant’s earnings. Donnie Yen was simply waiting for the right opportunity. The robber made a wrong move by lowering his gun to lift the bag of money. Donnie Yen rushed and grabbed his hand. The robber panicked and started shooting even if the gun was pointed up. After the ammunition was used up, Donnie attacked the robber with his elbow. The direct hit immediately left the robber agonizing in pain on the ground.

Meanwhile, Bruce Lee was near the restaurant and heard about the commotion. He was just assigned as a policeman in the district so the excitement to fulfill his duty was overwhelming. Upon entering the restaurant, he saw a fit man holding a gun. It was Donnie Yen. Bruce Lee was not aware of the situation. Donnie Yen was also holding the bag of money and was about to give it back to the cashier. Bruce Lee’s first impression about Donnie Yen was totally wrong so he immediately made his move with a swift flying kick aimed on Donnie’s face. Donnie was shocked about the police man’s behavior. He tried to explain but Bruce Lee was very eager to put him on the ground. Furious punches and kicks come after. With lightning speed attacks, Donnie Yen can do nothing but block them. He fights back with a few counter attacks yet the speed of Bruce Lee overwhelms him. The battle was long and intense. Both of them ended up exhausted. Bruce Lee made a lot of attacks which used up all of his energy while Donnie Yen was battered as he tried to block all of them. It’s now a test of endurance. Donnie Yen positioned for his last attack and so is Bruce Lee. In an instant, the two of them made their move. The people around them were silenced and amazed by their martial art skills. In the end, Donnie Yen was on the ground. Bruce Lee connected first due to his lightning speed. However, Donnie Yen’s counter attack injured him as well. Bruce Lee can barely stand yet he was still able to cuff Donnie Yen. In the police precinct, Donnie Yen explained his side and Bruce Lee apologized for his reckless actions. Their meeting may not be pleasant yet the two great martial artists turn out as great friends in the end.

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It would be a tie on May 20, 2015:

I think Donnie Yen wouldn't go down as easy as the writer says. He makes it look like Donnie would continuously be on the receiving end and Bruce Lee would be the one doing all the damage.

I think Donnie is versatile enough and is not at all slow. He's fast enough to block Lee's attacks and clever enough to make some moves himself.

Although in the situation described, he would probably not want to hurt the cop without first trying to get him to listen. So when they would parry and exhaust each other out, Donnie would yell out to him that he got it all wrong and that the bad guy is already on the ground and that he was only trying to help. Bruce would apologise for his hasty behaviour and the fight would be over without a clear victor or loser.

Bob on September 03, 2013:

I don't think bruce lee is 5 6, he is actually 5 7 or 5 7.5.

Donnie yen would lose though if you compare a 33 years old bruce lee vs a 48 years old donnie yen because the younger you are, the more endurance you will have. A chinese proverb said that "Fist is afraid of youngsters."

I gotta say donnie yen's kick is very strong.

watch this to know more about donnie yen when he was in his early 20s.

yen-ipman on August 10, 2013:

ipman trained bruce lee

shin_rocka04 from Maryland on January 23, 2013:

I think Bruce would win simply because his art Jeet Kune Do is built on efficiency. He would conserve a lot more energy in his movements and only really go the distance when he felt he was going to connect. I think Bruce would read out his opponent more and let him make the first move and have the unpredictability factor on his side. Donnie Yen would still be a tough match and it wouldn't be a landslide. However, I think he would b ea bit too textbook to really get the upper hand. Bruce also used psychological warfare such as his screams and his presence to kind of get into the person's head. You gotta think about those factors as well. If this was a fight in their prime, I think Bruce would have a slight edge.

Alma Cabase (author) from Philippines on January 22, 2013:

But Donnie Yen is not a pushover so we really can't say that Bruce will emerge victorious for sure. Donnie Yen was able to master various forms of martial arts at a young age so talent is obviously there.

"Yen Beats Lee" Is wrong on January 21, 2013:

Bruce practiced an array of martial arts... Lee was more physically fit than him..And is faster, Stronger, And has more energy.

Donnie Yen wins on December 15, 2012:

I agree with the other comment; Donnie is simply much more versatile, and he is also very physically fit (of course). Although Bruce Lee's speed and strength can be considered unmatched, Yen would know his style, and he has "impenetrable defense".

Yen Beats Lee on October 18, 2012:

I think your wrong. I know you think Bruce Lee's speed wins out against Donnie Yen, but in a fight between the two Donnie Yen wins. My reasoning for this is the fact that like you said Donnie Yen is very versatile in his martial arts and has studied many different kinds of martial arts INCLUDING Bruce Lee's. This gives him a clear advantage. Not only does he know the techniques and moves of the opponent he also has a vast array of other techniques that he could use to counter Bruce Lee's

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