Jet Li aka លី លានជា was born in Beijing, China and was the youngest of two boys and two girls. When he was two years old, his father died and his family then lived in poverty.[3]

Li was eight when his talent for Wushu was noticed as he practiced at a school summer course.[4] He then attended a non-sparring wushu event, followed by joining the Beijing Wushu Team which did a martial art display at the All China Games. Renowned coaches Li Junfeng and Wu Bin,[5] made extra efforts to help the talented boy develop. Wu Bin even bought food for Li’s family because they could not afford to buy meat, which was essential for an athlete’s physical condition.[5] A very young Li competed against adults[6] and was the national all-around champion from 1975 to 1979.[7]