Shaolin Temple Yunnan


The Master looks after the progress of the disciples on the path

Shi Yongxin

Introducing a unique bond


Discipleship is an exceptional relationship between master and disciple, full of ritual and meaning. Under Discipleship, a unique bond and lineage of ancestors are created between the master and the disciple. The disciple becomes a family member. In the traditional Chinese culture, skills such as Martial Arts, calligraphy, and painting can be passed from the master to the disciple.

it's all about tradition Shifu & the disciple

In Chinese Martial Arts, the belt as a hierarchy system does not exist. This tradition is specific to the Japanese method of Karate. In China, the hierarchy of skill is defined by the Duanwei System. The discipleship feeling is more like a family feeling rather than a military. The roots of discipleship come from the Confucianism tradition.

The terminology for the master is Shifu (Cantonese Sifu) and translates as Shi (師) from teacher and Fu (父) from father. In the Chinese traditional culture, the teachers are seen very highly. A Chinese student will always maintain a remarkable loyalty to any teacher, no matter how long they learn. The expression “have your cup empty” refers to students willing to accept new teachings no matter how disruptive they may be to their worldview. It means that it is essential to study with a good master’s. Accepting the master’s point of view was often represented by the simple ceremony of “bowing to the teacher.” Almost every student starts with the introductory teacher-student relationship class. These students are called “in the door. In martial arts, most teachers have many students, especially now in modern times. Over the years, Shifu Shi Yanjun has taught thousands of students who are considered “in the door.”

On the other hand, Discipleship is a more intimate relationship when two people make bonding vows that will unite them into a family forever. A Shifu can have many disciples. Generally, disciples have only one master because it isn’t easy to honor all outstanding obligations with Discipleship for more than one Shifu. In the old days, a Shifu would not want to reveal his secrets to a disciple of another Shifu. When students are happy with the teacher’s skill and character, they may commit deeper and become disciples. The master would commonly teach all “in the door” students in a big hall or courtyard in old schools. The disciple training will be in a private room where “secrets” would be taught and details clarified. The disciples would represent the Shifu in the public eye, so they were often taught secret skills. These students would carry on the school after the Shifu was gone, so they must commit to learning all of the knowledge their Shifu has to offer.

A Shifu does not even have to know the student before accepting them as a disciple. Sometimes an intermediary could introduce the student in an “arranged” discipleship. Shifu would also accept orphans as disciples. It assured that the Shifu would care for the orphan like their own child. While many westerners reject the idea of arranged marriage, many easterners frown equally on the western practice of serial marriage (divorcing and remarrying several times). Not surprisingly, many masters are reluctant to take Western disciples because of a perceived lack of the cultural foundation to adhere to such a commitment. Serial Discipleship does not work.

outstanding discipleship

shifu shi yanjun

As a Disciple of Shifu Shi Yanjun, you are given his lineage for Shaolin Quan and Meihua Quan (selected students responsible for carrying on the style – hand-picked students who meet specific criteria).

Disciple for Shaolin Quan: 35th Generation Shaolin Warrior receiving the name of Shi Heng

Disciple for Meihua Quan: 18th Generation Traditional Disciple

Shi Hengyi


Lukasz Duszak

Shi Hengsong


DR. Jonathan M. Fields

Shi Hengfeng


John Phoenix Le Grand

Shi Hengqiang


Emad Elsherbiny

Shi Hengrui


Ashwin Gaikwad

Shi Hengcheng


Shifu Sudheesh

Today, many people seek discipleship for all the wrong reasons. If you want to become Shifu Shi Yanjun’s Disciple, consider what your motives are for it. It is not what Martial Arts can do for you, but what you can do for Martial Arts. Becoming a disciple is not for personal promotion or advertising. A disciple abandons selfish thoughts and dedicates his Martial Arts practice to others. One must always put the Martial Arts, the Ancestors, Shifu, Kung Fu brothers and sisters first.

Honor the masters and the lineage

Becoming a Disciple of Shifu Shi Yan Jun is a sacred position. As a Disciple, you enter into a very close family and become part of the lineage of your Master to carry on his morals, traditions, and training. A Discipleship will be considered after 3 years of training with Shifu. The decision is based on character, the relationship with your Shifu, and your training.

Disciples are chosen on a case-by-case basis via an application. Contact us to learn more about the requirements and application process.

Shi Hengmei


Tanya MFK

Shi Hengli


Marcelo Leal

Shi Hengdu


Shifu Chandresh

Kung Fu Terminology

師父, Shīfu: Master
师兄, shī xiōng: Senior Kung Fu brother (male student who started before you no matter how old they are)
师姐,  shī jiě: Senior Kung Fu Sister (female student who started before you no matter how old they are)
师弟,  shī dì: Junior Kung Fu brother (male student who began after you no matter how old they are)
师妹,  shī meì: Junior Kung Fu sister (female student who started after you no matter how old they are)
弟子, Dìzǐ: Disciple (specially selected students responsible for carrying on the style – hand-picked students who meet specific criteria)
學生, Xuéshēng: Student or follower

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