Donnie Yen does the #BottleCapChallenge with a blindfold.
Culture

Kung fu star Donnie Yen just raised the bar for the #BottleCapChallenge

Jul 04, 2019

Behold the power of the Force.

Donnie Yen, whom you might recognize from big box-office franchises like Star Wars and the Ip Man series, just raised the bar for the #BottleCapChallenge, arguably the biggest social media stunt right now.

The 55-year-old martial arts pro demonstrated his serious skill and precision by flicking open a bottle with one smooth kick—all while blindfolded.

The challenge started on June 29, when UFC fighter Max Holloway posted a video of himself untwisting a bottle cap with a backspin kick and looking decidedly smug when the cap is left spinning on the bottle’s top.

The challenge was later picked up by Hollywood action star Jason Statham and MMA fighter Conor McGregor.

But Yen took it a step further by putting on a blindfold and using a (very fragile) glass bottle instead of a plastic one.

“Chirrut feeling the force + Ip Man’s steady aim + no plastic bottle = the universe strongest,” Yen wrote on his Instagram post. (Chirrut Îmwe was his character’s name in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.)

55 and still kicking butt

Yen is one of the industry’s top action stars, and as he nears his 56th birthday this month, he shows no sign of stopping.

Last month, he posted a video of himself hitting the gym in Hong Kong and throwing punches and kicks like a pro.

Yen is trained in a variety of martial arts, and his film career spans over 30 years.

(Read more: This Bruce Lee series was ‘whitewashed,’ but it’s finally going on TV as he intended)

But it’s not all just an act. Many world-class fighters have said Yen’s skill rivals that of any professional fighter in the ring.

Many world-class fighters have said Yen’s skill rivals that of any professional fighter in the ring.

Yen first developed an interest in martial arts while growing up in Boston. His mother was a renowned martial arts teacher who opened one of the first Chinese wushu 武术 schools in the United States.

In his early years, Yen ran with a Chinatown gang and was known for getting into street brawls. Martial arts was a way for Yen’s mother to instill some discipline in him.

(Read more: 30 years of Michelle Yeoh kicking ass)

It worked. To this day, Yen still maintains a strict training regiment for his roles.

When he played Ip Man in the 2008 hit film, he lost over 30 pounds in order to portray the grandmaster’s slender figure.

Donnie Yen as Ip Man.
Donnie Yen as Ip Man. / Photo: Pegasus Motion Pictures

Later, after playing Ip Man again in a 2010 sequel, he had to regain the muscle weight for another role.

“I am always looking to create new and inspiring action throughout my career in all my films,” Yen wrote in an Instagram post last month. “Train hard. Never stop while you are still breathing.”

Adapted from an article first published in the South China Morning Post.

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