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Enter the Shaolin: Shanghai Cultural Center Now Teaching Kids and Adult Classes


Newly founded Shanghai Shaolin Cultural Center offers Shaolin culture, wisdom, health in Kungfu classes for all ages and levels...

By SmSh
2023-05-09 12:00:00

  • A Chinese Tradition, Shaolin Kungfu

    A Chinese Tradition, Shaolin Kungfu

    One of the most internationally recognizable images associated with Chinese culture, tradition, art, sport, ability, health, and power is that of Shaolin warrior monks flying through the air at impossible heights and impossible angles. The martial art form claims 1500 years of culture and wisdom, a meticulous practice dedicated equally to the cultivation of mental clarity and physical discipline.  

  • Shaolin Worldwide

    Shaolin Worldwide

    Their reputation preceding them in Hong Kong and western action movies (and yes… East Coast Hip Hop), in the past 20 years or so, the Shaolin warrior monks have embraced their roles as Chinese cultural emissaries to the world, establishing exchanges and events in over 200 cities in 89 countries, Shaolin festivals in Europe and the US, and as a new initiative, authentic Shaolin Cultural Centers at home and abroad, wherein Shaolin monks train students of all ages. 

    The first international Shaolin Cultural Center was established in Berlin in 2000. Since then, their number has increased to over 200 in China and worldwide. 

  • Introducing the Shaolin Cultural Center in Shanghai

    Introducing the Shaolin Cultural Center in Shanghai

    Established in Shanghai in 2019, the main mission objective of the Shaolin Cultural Center in this city is to promote traditional Chinese heritage through the teaching of Shaolin Kungfu and associated classes in culture and mental health to people of all ages. Directed by the official Shaolin Temple — the super official main one, that is — they operate on the "duanpin system", which is the global standardization of Shaolin practice. The duanpin system is a standardization of both the methodology of instruction and the ranking system for students.

    This standardization, coming from the Shaolin Temple itself, represents the latest in the evolution of the martial art form into the modern urban community of the city and across Chinese borders into international territory. 

  • A Traditional, Authentic Venue

    A Traditional, Authentic Venue

    The Shaolin Cultural Center is tucked away on the leafy backstreets of Jing’an District on Wuding Lu. A central outdoor courtyard is used for outdoor group classes, and it’s surrounded by indoor classroom space. It’s built in a traditional style, with muted, thick woods and bricks, while at the same time feels modern and new, perhaps reflecting a sense of tradition in a modern landscape. 

  • A Refuge for Peace and Wisdom on Wuding Lu

    A Refuge for Peace and Wisdom on Wuding Lu

    Even from the low-key buzz and activity of this residential district, the venue is a little oasis of calm and tranquility away from the cars idling by on the street and the kids walking home from school with their grandparents outside.  It’s as much as a resting spot as a school, with areas for sitting and reading, drinking tea, and having slow conversations with other students and teachers. 

  • Shaolin Cultural Center Director, Shi Yan’an

    Shaolin Cultural Center Director, Shi Yan’an

    The director of the center, Shi Yan’an, is a 34th generation Shaolin Temple disciple. At the age of 6, he began to learn Kungfu. At 9, he was admitted to the Warrior Monk Group of Shaolin Temple and was personally guided by Master Yanzhuang, the head of the WMG. In 2009, he became the disciple of Shi Yongxin, the abbot of Shaolin Temple. 

    Shi Yan’an has travelled to more than 30 countries and regions around the world for Kungfu culture exchange activities. From 2013 to 2019, he taught at three Shaolin Cultural centers in San Francisco, Washington, and Los Angeles. In 2019, he returned to China and founded Shanghai Shaolin Kungfu Cultural Center.

    His background in the rigid, traditional, and discipline-focused style of the Warrior Monk Group of Shaolin Temple and his experience in communicating Shaolin philosophy, technique, and wisdom to an international audience make him an ideal candidate to bridge the old and new worlds of Shaolin here in Shanghai. 

  • A Team of Shaolin Shifus

    A Team of Shaolin Shifus

    In addition to the experience and reputation Shi Yan-an is bringing to the Center, the support staff and coach specialists are also accredited Shaolin monks or disciples.  Master Shi Yanxuan began practicing Kungfu at the age of 8, later joining the Warrior Monks of the Songshan Shaolin Temple at the age of 13, where he became a disciple of Abbot Shi Yongxin. His specialties include Shaolin boxing and weapons.   

    Shi Yanshao studied martial arts at the age of twelve, and entered the Shaolin Temple at the age of eighteen to worship Grand Monk Yongxin as a teacher, studying Kungfu for further studies. His specialties include Shaolin meditation, Zen Archery, and Shaolin 18 Weapons.  

    Master Yanzhi converted to Shaolin Temple in 2015 and is a 34th generation of secular disciples. She is the deputy editor of Shaolin Temple's "Health Regimen Kungfu", a researcher, and has more than 20 years of yoga teaching and training experience.

  • Available Classes

    Available Classes

    Accepting students of all ages, backgrounds, and languages, the Shaolin Cultural Center in Shanghai teaches classes for adults and kids in hour-long blocks seven days a week. 

     FOR ADULTS:  

    • Health Regimen Kungfu

    -classes focused on meditation, soft power stretching, Pranayama (yoga breath regulation), "Eight Section Brocade" (八段锦); "Rejuvenating Exercise" (易筋经), and "Medullary cleansing Exercise" (洗髓经).

    • Sanda

    -self-defense oriented classes in kicking, hitting and blocking, as a combination of traditional Kungfu and modern fighting styles 

    • Shaolin Kungfu

    -classes in Kungfu technique, skills, weapons training, and sparing 


    Classes are available for kids of all ages and levels, organized according to their duanpin grading. They start out in Kungfu Baby Beginner classes, and are moved to more advanced Junior and Senior classes upon completion according to their daupin grading. There are also specialization classes in Jin Ben Gong and Sparring Self-Defense. 

  • Flexible Schedule to Work Around Your Day

    Flexible Schedule to Work Around Your Day

    For adults, the Health Regime and Mediation classes happen in the mornings from 7am to 8am, gifting students a little peace and perspective to take with them into their day.  These classes get started a little later on the weekend days. 

    The Sanda and Kungfu classes are in the evenings from 8pm, for when you're more prepared for a workout and some physical activity, to work out the stresses of the day. 

    Kids classes are all scheduled in the afternoons after school. 

  • A Typical Class at Shaolin Cultural Center

    A Typical Class at Shaolin Cultural Center

    Meditation classes are an element of every class at the Cultural Center, to enable students to focus on the self above outside distraction, promote focus, and promote calm.

    Depending on the class, students then move into the objective of the given session, whether that be further health regimen training, working on fist forms, self-defense, Jin Ben Gong (tumbling and rolling), and even weapons work (archery, staff, and more) in the afternoons after school on workdays and the entire day on weekends.

  • Benefits for Kids

    Benefits for Kids

    The Shaolin Cultural Center teaches small classes for children comprised of both expat and Chinese kids of all ages and experience levels. Kids come to the center on weekdays and weekends in addition to their normal school for a mental and physical workout, to learn life skills they can take away with them as they grow, and to improve performance in other areas of life. In addition to a direct encounter with Chinese heritage, culture, and tradition, kids are coming away learning the importance of hard work, concentration, self-confidence, courage, performance, and discipline. 

    It’s also a great physical activity and a chance for kids to get active and expend some energy after sitting in a classroom all day. 

  • Inner Peace for Grown-Ups

    Inner Peace for Grown-Ups

    Adults are coming to the Shaolin Cultural Center to reconnect with their Chinese culture and heritage or, for expats, to experience it anew. The classes are just as much a mental workout and they are physical and people are coming to release stress, gain perspective and insight, and to achieve peace and calm through meditation and controlled physical exercise. 

  • The New Shaolin Gong Fu Duanpin System

    The New Shaolin Gong Fu Duanpin System

    For students looking for an extended journey in Shaolin Kungfu, the Cultural Center offers classes regulated by the duanpin system. The new "Shaolin Gong Fu Duanpin System" was developed by the Shaolin Temple in China and serves as a new hierarchy for evaluating the Shaolin Kungfu level of practitioners and aims to promote the spread of the martial art at home and abroad.

    With the new system, standard learning and training systems and technical evaluation guidelines are established, building on a universal foundation.

    The Shaolin Gong Fu Duanpin system establishes nine "pin" and nine "duan". The degree of duan from low to high is one to nine, and the degree of pin from low to high is one to nine. At the same time, certificates, belts, badges and other related recognition systems have been standardized.

    Students work through the system to learn diverse skills, movements, and techniques, progressing to each of the levels. 

  • Customized and Team Building Classes Available

    Customized and Team Building Classes Available

    The Shaolin Cultural Center works with local businesses and communities for customized classes and team building sessions. The combination of a mental and physical workout is a great way for coworkers to take a break from the stresses of the job, bond with one another, and share an enriching experience with Chinese art and heritage. Make enquiries to the contact below to see how the Cultural Center can create a customized class for your company, firm, or school. 

  • The Shaolin Cultural Center in Schools Around Shanghai

    The Shaolin Cultural Center in Schools Around Shanghai

    As the recognized cultural emissaries if Shaolin Kungfu in Shanghai, the Shaolin Cultural Center enjoys several partnerships with this city’s leading kindergartens, primary and secondary schools. They regularly travel to campuses to lead demonstrations and introduction classes to kids of all ages. With the mandate of spreading knowledge, education, and heritage to young people in Shanghai, the  Shaolin Cultural Center has extensive experience in working with and caring for kids of all backgrounds. 

  • A Summer Trip to the Temple

    A Summer Trip to the Temple

    Every summer, students at the Cultural Center get the opportunity to travel, study, train, and stay at the Shaolin Temple Songshan with Shifu. The temple trip is a unique experience for students to gain an even deeper encounter with Shaolin culture in an inspiring and traditional setting.

  • Authentic Shaolin Kungfu in Shanghai

    Authentic Shaolin Kungfu in Shanghai

    For students of all ages and all nationalities, the Shaolin Cultural Center presents a unique and authentic opportunity to engage with Chinese culture and heritage on an enriching, rewarding, and profound level. With equal parts metal and physical health stressed, the net benefits of practicing Shaolin Kungfu are multifaceted and life-impacting.  If you’re looking for a new way to achieve focus, clarity, calm, and perspective in you life, while exercising your body and your mind, contact the Shaolin Cultural Center at the QR code below to get more information on their available classes.  

  • Summer Classes at The Shaolin Cultural Center

    Summer Classes at The Shaolin Cultural Center

    The Shaolin Cultural Center kicks it into high gear for the summer, when kids (and hopefully adults) have more time to take some classes. For kids aged 4 and up, they’re offering programs for the duration, Monday to Friday, in both English and Chinese. These are rolling classes so there is no deadline to sign up.

    Kids classes at the summer camp include kungfu, sanda, calligraphy, Chinese painting, archery and tea ceremony.

    For adults looking to enrich their summer with an introductory encounter with Shaolin Kungfu, they are offer a two-day class on June 22 and June 23 coinciding with the Dragon Boat Festival.

    More information on both of these at the contact below.

  • Contact the Shaolin Cultural Center

    Contact the Shaolin Cultural Center

    The Shaolin Kung Fu Cultural Center is at 1418, Wuding Xi Lu in the Jing
    'an District. 

    Scan the QR Code to get in touch directly with the Center to enquire about their adult, kids, custom, and team building classes. 

    For guests arriving by car: You can park at the ground parking lot of Jing 'an City (10rmb an hour) or the roadside parking lot next to the martial arts Hall (10rmb an hour, 30 yuan all day).

    Directions by subway: Take Line 2 or Line 11 to Jiangsu Road, get off at Exit 5, and go 400 meters west at the traffic light intersection of Jiangsu Road and Wuding Xi Lu.