A poignant tale of what it means to forge your own path, The Legend Is Born--Ip Man is a semi-biographical account of events in the early life of Wing Chun master and mentor to Bruce Lee--Ip Man.
As a child, Ip Man learns the art of Wing Chun from master Chan Wah-shun, along with his adopted brother, Ip Tin-chi and childhood friend Lee Mei-wai.
After Chan's death, Ip Man continues to learn Wing Chun from his senior, Ng Chung-sok, before leaving home to study in Hong Kong. Along the way, Ip Man deals with issues of racism and studies under master Leung Bik to develop a new and improved style of Wing Chun. When Ip Man returns to his home town years later to reunite with his peers, new challenges arise as Ip Man's old master sees that Ip Man has developed a new style of Wing Chun which differs from the orthodox style. Things get further complicated when Ip Man falls in love with Cheung Wing-shing, the daughter of the vice-mayor of Foshan, leaving Lee Mei-wai, his childhood friend, to struggle with her feelings for Ip Man and accept Tin-chi's marriage proposal.
When Ip Man is arrested as the prime suspect in the murder of Lee Mei-wai's godfather, what follows is a suspenseful climax of intrigue and betrayal.