Martial artist and Hong Kong action star Donnie Yen was born in Canton, China, on July 27, 1963 to newspaper editor Klyster Yen and martial arts master Bow Sim Mark. At the age of four, Donnie started taking up martial arts from his mother who taught him tai chi and wushu until he was eleven when he moved to Boston, MA, with his family.

From there, Donnie continued with tai chi and wushu but soon also began experimenting with various others martial art styles, such as taekwondo, kickboxing and boxing, after developing a huge interest in martial arts. When he was sixteen, his parents sent him to Beijing Wushu Academy so he could train Chinese MA under Master Wu Bin, well known as the coach of Jet Li. He underwent intensive training for three years.