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Introduced in Ip Man 1
Ip Man (Master Ip)
The titular character. Ip is a Wing Chun master whose house was seized by the Japanese. Played by Donnie Yen
Ip Man's wife, played by Lynn Hung. She disapproves of her husband always fighting and wants him to spend more time with his family. She has two sons: Ip Chun, played by Li Chak, and Ip Ching, born at the end of the second film.
A martial artist teacher who had a friendly fight with Ip. Played by Chen Zhihui.
Ip's friend who runs a teashop. Played by Xing Yu.
- Hot-Blooded: Deconstructed; his passionate hate against the Japanese ended up getting him killed by Miura (who didn't want to kill him in the first place).
- Too Dumb to Live: Despite the fact that he was severely injured against Miura, he continued to go on against him and ended up beaten to death.
Sha Dan Yuan
Lin's brother. Played by Wong You-nam.
A businessman who owns a cotton mill being plagued by Jin's bandits. His family flees to Hong Kong with Ip Man's family but he is shot in the head by a Japanese soldier. This causes him to forget his family and friends, thinking that everyone he sees is Japanese.
A martial artist master from the north who came to Fo-shan. Played by Louis Fan.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy
- Badass Longcoat: Justified; it's cold up north.
- Blood Knight - Though more to prove his name than out of pure bloodlust, mind.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Not in the first movie, mind you. But having the arrogance knocked out of him allowed him to find love and build a happy family by the second film, something he has come to thank Ip Man for.
- Doting Parent: Having an adorable little girl is yet another incentive to turn away from a life of violence.
- Easily Forgiven: He had been involved in Ip's life three times in the first movie: first he challenged him to a duel and accidentally smashed up his house (and attacked Ip with a sword), then he had become a bandit and tried to beat and rob the factory Ip was helping at. Finally, he gave Ip's location to the Japanese who were hunting him. Yet when he reappears in the sequel, he's greeted as an old friend.
- Handwraps of Awesome: in the beginning of the first movie, he has his right hand wrapped up. Appropriately, his style is much more brutal and powerful than anyone he faces... until he reaches Ip Man.
- Heel-Face Turn
- Henpecked Husband: Even though he accuses Ip Man of being one in the first film, he becomes one himself in the second.
- Jerkass: In the first movie.
- Karma Houdini: See Easily Forgiven. He never pays for the various misdeeds of his youth.
- Love Redeems: "Thank you for knocking some sense into me all those years ago. Now that I'm married, I'm a responsible man with a family now!!"
- Proud Warrior Race Guy
- Smug Snake: Also in the first movie.
A police inspector in Fo-Shan. When the Japanese occupied China, he became a translator for them. Played by Lam Ka-tung.
The Japanese general in Fo-Shan who was also a martial arts enthusiast. He often took Chinese martial artists to his building to fight against their Japanese counterparts. Played by Hiroyuki Ikeuchi.
- Anti-Villain: He respects Chinese martial artists as brother warriors, and would rather have them be integrated into the Japanese Empire as such rather than killed as enemies.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: He turned out to be much more of a skilled martial artist then the other Japanese ones.
- Badass: Gave Ip more of a challenge than ten of his men.
- Blood Knight: He was driven by his desire to pit the Chinese martial artists with the Japanese ones.
- Big Bad: Of the first movie.
- Doesn't Like Guns: He forbids Sato from bringing a gun into his dojo, which he considers a place reserved for "martial spirit."
- Honor Before Reason
- Noble Demon: Despite being the antagonist, he threatened to kill Sato for shooting Liu in the arena. He was also baffled when Lin would rather die against him than surrender.
- Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Spends his time practicing karate and fighting local martial artists rather than anything you'd expect a general to actually do during a war.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: And an honorable one at that.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Of an invading tyranny, yes, but he nevertheless treats the Chinese with as much dignity and respect as the Empire permits him to.
- Samurai: While nobody calls him this in the film, his dignified and noble behavior marks him as a likely descendent of a Warrior Clan.
Miura's right hand man. He was the more sadistic of the two. Played by Shibuya Tenma.
Introduced in Ip Man 2
Ip Man's first student in Hong Kong. Played by Huang Xiaoming.
- The Apprentice
- Defeat Means Friendship: Doubly subverted. At first he rejects Ip's offer to be the man's student and came back with friends for another round. When he's conclusively shown the error of his ways, though, he gladly accepts the tutelage.
Hung Lei-Nan (Master Hung)
A Hung Ga master who started out as his enemy but later became his friend. Played by Sammo Hung.
A chief police superintendent in Hong Kong who called in protection fees from martial arts schools. Played by Charles Mayer.
Taylor "The Twister" Milos
A British boxer who came to fight in Hong Kong. Played by Darren Shahlavi.
- Arrogant Boxing Guy
- Ax-Crazy: Will happily kill his opponent if given an opportunity.
- Big Bad: Of Movie 2.
- Blood Knight: More to indulge in his sadism and bloodlust than actual love for combat, though. He sees boxing not as a sport, but as a means to violently hurt those weaker than him.
- Boxing Battler: In contrast with the kung fu the Chinese use, Twister sticks to boxing and manages to beat Hung Lei-Nang to death and hold his own against Ip.
- The Bully
- Evil Brit
- Evil Counterpart: The exact opposite of Ip Man.
- For the Evulz: Publicly humiliates Chinese Martial arts and gleefully beats a sick and elderly Chinese Warrior to death because the British Government has his back covered; with a huge knowing smile on his face
- It's All About Me
- Karma Houdini: Doesn't die, or even get crippled, for killing Master Hung Lei-Nang. Of course the reason he was able to get away with this was because he was protected by Wallace and Twister was popular with the crowd, however after the fight Wallace was arrested and he lost the support of the people so he will face punishment.
- Lack of Empathy
- Lightning Bruiser: The Twister can take and dish it out well while still being fast enough to keep up with Master Hung and Ip.
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: Darren Shahlavi himself is a gracious, well spoken and polite Kung Fu practitioner, a polar opposite of the monster that is Twister.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: He has a general distaste of Chinese martial arts and culture in general where he consistently mocked them.
- Put the "Laughter" in "Slaughter": Publicly and happily gloats that he's going to murder every Chinese Warrior in Hong Kong in a rematch that is meant to clear his name.
- Red Baron: Twister
- The Sociopath
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: See For the Evulz for more details.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Due to his connections, the British audience seem to think of him as just a popular, skilled boxer. Given the way they cheer for Ip Man's speech at the end this may no longer be the case.
A Chinese police officer in Hong Kong who ensures that the martial arts clubs comply with the British police. Played by Kent Cheng.
A young kid who wants to be (and will be
) Ip Man's student. Played by Jiang Daiyan.