Our History2018-07-30T10:19:03+00:00

UK Shaolin Temple is a one of a kind organisation that has undergone enormous transformations since its inception in 2003. It began as the brain-child of a Shaolin Monk but has evolved into a vibrant, community-centred organisation that is dedicated to sharing, promoting, and preserving Chinese culture through educational and physical activities. UK Shaolin Temple began life as a martial arts school but it has since evolved into an establishment for cultural education. The following timeline includes some of our seminal milestones and fun highlights.

Browse through some pictures in our image library

2018 March – Southampton City Council awarded funding towads our Tai Chi Project to help elderly people get more active. The project is due to start September 2018.

tai chi course 2018

2018 March – Team Wushu & Team San Da training begins in preparation for National, European, International competitions. A select number of students undergo intense training to compete against British champions and other Chinese martial arts schools across the Britain.

2017 December – Tea Club Opens – Funded by Southampton City Council the UKST Tea Club aims to combat lonliness in the Southampton region. Club members enjoy tea ceremonies; drinking a range of authentic Chinese teas, Chinese cultural activities, Tai Chi and Qi Gong exercises.

Tea Club open 2017

2017 November – 10thUKST Competition Marital Arts – UK Shaolin Temple hosted a national competition, inviting competitors and clubs from all over UK to participate. The competition featured a new category called ‘Great Skills’, which included timed handstands and Ma Bu. The judging panel included guest judge Shaolin Master Shi Yanxin from the Republic of Ireland.

Competition Marital Arts

2017 October – Autumn Holistic Fayre – A new kind of fundraising event comprised of an array of workshops including mindfulness, Tai Chi, massage, holistic audio therapy, and physiotherapy. The fair also hosted stalls from local artists, therapists, and the UKST members; offering holistic items, facepainting and cakes for sale. The event also hosted special guests Rowan Cobelli – Yogi Instructor and Frank Perry who performed a phenomenal Sound Bowls Concert comprised of over 100 Tibetan singing bowls.

Autumn Holistic Fayre 2017

2017 July – UK British Chinese Martial Arts Championships. UKST members competed in numerous categories including San Da, Tai Chi, Traditional Kung Fu, and Traditional Weapons categories against many competitors. Thanks to the dedicated, and intense training of its students UKST members were awarded a host of medals. UKST took home 4 gold, 7 silver, and 1 bronze medal.

UK British Chinese Martial Arts Championships

2017 April- 1st Celebration of  World Tai Chi And Qigong Day at the Temple. UKST hosted a free Tai Chi and Qigong event in its new facility. UKST helped to raise awareness of the benefits of Tai Chi to the guests, who also enjoyed a Tai Chi taster session.

1st Celebration of World Tai Chi and qigong Day

2017 February – Gunwharf Quays Celebrate Chinese New Year – UK Shaolin Temple plans and performs the Chinese New Year celebrations at Gunwharf Quays Portsmouth. Hundreds of spectators lined the square to enjoy UKST’s dragon and lion dances, and a spectacular Kung Fu show. The show featured stunning Kung Fu routines, with weapons, and feats of great strength and power as wooden sticks and metal bars were broken across the performers bodies.

Gunwharf Quays Celebrate Chinese New Year

2016 December – UKST 1stChristmas Party in its new Temple home. UKST members, and their friends and family, came together to celebrate the festive period together. The evening featured a children’s acrobatics performance, festive buffet food and drinks, and the traditional raffle prize draw. A Christmas film topped off the evening.

UKST 1st Christmas Party

2016 November – 9thUKST Marital Arts Competition– The wider aim of this tournament was to help raise awareness of Chinese martial arts within the UK and to raise funds to help UKST improve their premise and training programs for students. The competition saw entries from across the UK and hosted a panel of esteemed judges from the Chinese martial arts community.

9th UKST Marital Arts Competition

2016 August – Kung Fu Summer school. UKST hosted its first Summer School in its new facility. Students from across the UK came to take part in a traditional Kung Fu summer camp and experienced all-day – 5am-4pm Kung Fu training. The students learnt traditional Kung Fu routines, sampled a weapon form and practiced in traditional training methods. Aside from this, students also took part in other Chinese cultural activities such as tea ceremonies and Mandarin lessons.

Summer School 2016

2016 May – First Official Grading at Temple – UKST students completed their first belt examinations in the Temple’s new facility. A record number of students undertook their first, and second level belts in Kung Fu. These gradings marks an important milestone in the students’ study of Chinese martial arts.

2016 April – 9thApril 2016, the UK Shaolin Temple’s first dedicated premises finally opens. After many exhausting years, UKST opens its dedicated facility to the study of Chinese Martial Arts. Many guests attended the celebrations including The Lady Mayor of Southampton, who also officially opened the Temple. Other guests included representatives from the Chinese Embassy in London, former Hampshire Police Commissioner Simon Hayes, amongst other local councilors and dignitaries.

2016 February – UKST performs at two big Chinese New Year celebrations in Portsmouth., including the Kings Theatre and Portsmouth’s Guildhall. The celebrations included Lion Dances and Kung Fu performances.

Chinese New Year celebrations 2016

2014 – UK Shaolin Temple presents its first Shaolin Kung Fu stage production: Wisdom of Shaolin. The show was executed entirely by amateur performers but all exhibit authentic Shaolin Kung Fu. Alongside them are many local artists bringing their take on Chinese and Shaolin art. The show was written and directed by UKST founder Shi Yan Min, who weaved together an original story and punctuated it with Kung Fu routines.

The Wisdom of Shaolin

2013 – UK Shaolin Temple collaborates with the Tian Kai Buddhist Temple in Beijing, China as a Ch’an Buddhist partner organisation. The collaboration resulted in a number of cultural exchange programs, which allowed Westerners to visit the Temple for a Buddhist retreat, and to learn more about Buddhist practice.

Tiankai temple

2013 – ‘UK Shaolin Temple’ became a registered incorporated charitable company in England and Wales. UKST broadened its mission, and redefined itself; expanding beyond a martial arts club to become a organization dedicated to Chinese cultural education. The underlying aim of the charity is to promote, and preserve Chinese culture in order to improve the health and wellbeing of people in the UK.

uk shaolin temple charity

2012 – The UK Shaolin Temple Production released its first original documentary  ‘North Shaolin Temple’. The feature describes the history and contemporary challenges facing the North Shaolin Temple, which is a Buddhist Temple in China that has historical ties to the original Shaolin Temple in Henan. The films was released in the UK in 2013 and is available to view online.

North Shaolin Temple

2008 – UK Shaolin Temple students have the honour to present their skills and talent’s to HRH Prince Edward in their Portsmouth class. Prince Edward was delighted by the extraordinary skills of the young members of the group.

Prince Edward

2003 – Shi Yan Min, 34th Generation Shaolin Warrior Monk, opened a Kung Fu school based in Bournemouth. Following the initial class, his timetable expanded to teach classes across Hampshire, and Dorset. He taught Chinese martial arts and Ch’an Buddhism. At this time, the club was called ‘Shaolin Temple School of Kung Fu’.

Shaolin Kung Fu school

1999 – Shi Yan Min featured alongside the Shaolin Warrior Monks performing on the Royal Variety Performance in the Royal Albert Hall, London. The Shaolin Warriors showcased spectacular feats of the Shaolin Monks to the world’s stage.

royal variety

1998 – Shi Yan Min toured with the ‘Shaolin Wheel of Life’ performance troupe presenting the skill and power of Shaolin and Ch’an Buddhism to many people across the world.

Shaolin Wheel of Life