Shi Yan Ming
UK Shaolin Temple Headmaster
Kung Fu Master
Shi Yan Ming’s story begins in China. Shi Yan Ming entered the Shaolin Temple as a 34thGeneration Shaolin Warrior Monk. The Shaolin Temple is a Buddhist Monastery and unique for being the cradle of Chinese Chan Buddhism, as well as, the birthplace of many forms of Chinese martial arts. The Shaolin Temple teaches philosophy and martial arts but it also encompasses the values of knowledge, wisdom, and self-study. Shi Yan Ming joined the Shaolin Temple in 1997 and became specialised in Chinese martial arts and Chan philosophy. During his time, he also joined the first ever Shaolin Temple troupe to visit the UK in 1998 and toured across the world in the years that followed.
“I learned a lot of things in the Shaolin Temple. I did learn to fight and to defend myself. I learned about philosophy and about art. But more importantly, I learned how to discipline myself. We take this attribute for granted because we think to be disciplined is very difficult but it is actually easy to do what we are told. It is easy because, as humans, we are conditioned to do this from childhood. It is a very different thing to practice discipline on your own because you are only accountable to yourself. My training taught me the merits of discipline and self-cultivation. These lessons motivated me to do more and challenge myself, and I learned to motivate myself on my own and under my own steam.”
During Shi Yan Ming’s global tour with fellow Shaolin Monks, he was fortunate to meet many different people, and experience new cultures. In addition, Shi Yan Ming witnessed how the philosophies and skills he acquired could inspire millions of people across the world.
“When I was travelling, I saw how people became inspired by our skills. Many people would ask me where they could learn this artform and I was overwhelmed by people’s passion and enthusiasm. I didn’t realise it at the time, but these experiences would have a big impact on me. I came to understand the power of inspiration and how it could motivate people to make changes in their own lives.”
Stirred by his experiences overseas, Shi Yan Ming set out on his own and settled in the UK, where he began a Chinese martial arts club in the South of the UK in 2003. The aim of the club was to offer health, and cultural activities based in Shaolin Kung Fu to a new audience. In a few short years, the club held regular classes across the Hampshire and Dorset counties.
As time passed Shi Yan Ming broadens the club’s objectives to deliver more activities to that improve physical, social, and mental wellbeing. These development inspired the founding of the UK Shaolin Temple charitable company in 2013, which kept health and wellbeing at the core of its mission.
“Over the years, I saw more and more people integrate our activities into their lives and these activities become more to them than just a way of keeping fit; it helped reduce their stress, increase their confidence, and gained new friends. So I wanted to build on these services and create more of a community, rather than just a club, so that more people could explore new ideas and grow together.”
Since its inception, UK Shaolin Temple has engaged many people within the Solent region, and beyond. Shi Yan Ming continues to evolve the organisation and spearheads many projects to deliver UKST’s activities to local communities. In recent years, the organisation has worked closely with Local Governments, community organisations, schools, colleges and Universities. Shi Yan Ming continues to work to motivate others to make positive changes in their lives.
‘’To be inspired and to inspire others. Inspiration is the key to change the your world.’’
Shi Yan Ming