Do You Fight For What Is Right?

Feb 05, 2016 1 Min Read

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A man of honour

*Caution: Spoilers ahead.

I remember watching the trailer for Ip Man 3 on New Year’s Eve and thought to myself, Wow! Donnie Yen is finally coming back as the kung-fu grandmaster, and the film even has Mike Tyson in it. The action scenes are going to be uh-may-zing!

On New Year’s, my family and I decided to go watch Ip Man 3. Halfway into the movie, I realised it wasn’t an action movie per se. It was more than just kicks and punches.

It was a beautiful story of life and love and of how one man, with the right values, can make a difference. There were moments in the film that highlighted the choices made by Ip Man that set him apart from the other characters; choices that defined him as man, father, husband, teacher, but most importantly: an inspiring leader.

At the end of the film, my eyes were swollen from all the crying because I tear up at almost anything. I couldn’t help but feel I had a renewed purpose in life. I was very inspired by the titular character and I thought of sharing it with our readers.

There were many great highlights but I’m just going to share three main quotes from Ip Man that brought attention to him as an inspiring leader in society, work and family. Simple and moving, here are some of them.

1. Pillar of society and empowerment

“All that we do, is not for today, but for tomorrow (the future).”

Ip Man has always been portrayed as a well-respected and honourable man, who upholds justice.

In the film, Ip Man dedicated himself to protecting his son’s school from local gang members who were after the land on which the school is situated. He would literally stand watch at the entrance of the school even when it was late and his wife and child waiting at home.

Not only that, he would actively engage with the local authorities to fight against local gang members harassing the people living in the neighbourhood.

How many of us can admit to being courageous enough to go up against these people? Through his actions, he empowered the local townspeople and the police force to fight against racketeering and thuggery.

In order to secure a better future, he believed in the importance of teaching the right values to children, and to protect them from such bad influences. Are you bold enough to stand up for what is right?

2. The humble grandmaster

“Learning Wing Chun is not about being the best fighter.”

Humble. A word fitting to describe Ip Man. Never one to show off his mad skills, he feels that there’s no need to challenge other forms of martial arts to prove which is best.

Often, he stays out of the spotlight and only engages in a fight when he senses a potential threat to his family, friends or people around him.

He takes pride in his profession as a Wing Chun grandmaster. His teachings often involve philosophical lessons that form the foundation of the martial art. He believes in doing what is right.

Learning Wing Chun is not to be the best, but to fight when necessary for the greater good. Do you believe in leaving behind a legacy that you would be proud of?

3. Husband and father

“Nothing is more important than being around your loved ones.”

As the days draw near, we see so many people prepping for Chinese New Year festivities. So much time is spent on shopping for decorations, food, and of course, there are people like me waiting to get my hands on those red packets.
But have we forgotten the true meaning of Chinese New Year? Have we placed material possessions above the more fundamental things in our lives?

Throughout the film, we see Ip Man struggling to maintain that balance between being a family man and responsible citizen. However, as the film progresses, he clearly shows commitment to his wife and child. He values the relationship he has with his wife more than anything else.

Despite the fact that his pride as a Wing Chun grandmaster was hanging on the line, he chose to forfeit a match for the title of “True Wing Chun”. Instead, he spends all his time caring for his wife who was dying of cancer.

It was beautiful to watch as he would do little things like cooking, accompanying his wife for walks and dance lessons, and also having meaningful conversations with her.

Towards the end of the film, he admitted to his wife that he would have taken up the challenge if it weren’t for her being ill. Indeed, it was a tough choice for him to make but it was not one that he regretted simply because he loved his wife very much.


Being an effective leader takes a lot of courage and requires one to have strong core values. Ip Man is a wonderful example of how one person can make so much difference not just in the family, but at work and in the society.

Have you been so inspired by a film character too? Share with us your ‘movie-nspiration’ at For more Movie Wisdom articles, click here.

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Michelle Boon is a former editor and head of business in Leaderonomics. She believes in giving what we can.

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