Shaolin Institute and Its History


The Shaolin Institute has been officially established in the United States since 1999, although the original group started teachings as early as the beginning of 1987 at the University of Mobile, and later at the University of South Alabama in 1989. From that group, Master DeRu and his team produced a national Wu Shu champion and an all-around international youth Kung Fu champion, as well as a national Master Tai Chi champion, who represented the U.S. in the World Tai Chi Conference in southern China.

Shaolin is the only private institute in the U.S. with combined programs in Shaolin Chan, Internal and External Kung Fu, Natural Healing and Chinese Cultural Studies, with over 25,000 combined sq. ft. of training and studying facilities. It is also the only institute of its kind with full-time resident students in the entire U.S.

Su_XiThe Institute is ready to teach, serve and inspire anyone with great potential, no matter what age, race, gender or cultural background. The Institute is directed by Shaolin Grand Master Shi DeRu (Shawn X. Liu), one of two most well-known close disciples of the Shaolin Temple Great Master Su Xi (Most Honorable Upper Su Lower Xi).

The Institute teaches and serves students from around the world. However, the majority of the student body at the present time comes from the southeastern U.S., mainly Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia. Some of our resident students come from as far as Europe and Asia.

The teaching at the Institute is directly derived from the ancient teachings of the Shaolin Temple in China and is committed to passing on original Shaolin wisdom, inherited from generation to generation for more than 1,500 years. The wisdom of Chan, Confucianism, Taoism and the discipline of traditional Kung Fu is taught with age-appropriate curricula: Shaolin Chan (Zen) Culture, Shaolin Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Zen-Tai Gong for natural healing, Chan NZen) philosophy, meditation, extreme kickboxing for Iron Body shape, Sanshou/Sanda, Qin Na (grappling), Shuaijiao (wrestling) and Shaolin Chan nutrition. The instructors at each campus are committed to life-long learning under the direction of Grand Master DeRu.

ShaolinMonksThe Institute teaches and cultivates in each student the freedom of the mind and the most fundamental values of intelligence, potentiality, artistic and athletic talents, as well as mind-body high consciousness, integrated human ability and power, along with the most basic personal development needs of personal safety, character, problem solving skills, leadership training, self-discipline, self-control and indomitable spirit.

The Institute’s slogan is, “A healthy body and a healthy mind.” The Institute’s mission is, “To enlighten and empower everyone we encounter to find his/her self-nature and the greatest potential within so as to be totally free.”

The Institute teaches a way of life. The Institute embraces all educational programs of traditional Shaolin, developed over 5,000 years in China without limitations. The Institute inherited more than 70 styles of internal and external martial arts and other mind-body training programs from the Shaolin Temple beyond today’s mixed martial arts (MMA). A few of the cultural exchange programs that are being developed at the Institute including Zen lifestyle, cultural ambassadorship and language programs.

ShiDeruGatesShaolinAs in combat arts, many world-class MMA, Muay Thai and Kung Fu Sanshou/Sanda international champions have either professionally trained or started their martial arts careers under Shaolin Grand Master DeRu (Master Shawn X. Liu). These champions include Cung Le, a Strikeforce MMA world champion; Patrick Barry, one of the best UFC Strikers; Wael Karika Muhammed, a world Sanda champion with a MMA record of 6 wins and 0 loses in the U.S.; and many other international and national champions such as Melvin Guillard, Juan Zarate, Dustin Carbajal, A.J. Verret, Robert Pritchett, Mike Altman, Kevin Nguyen, Robert Higginbotham, Li Qiang, K.J.Noon, Steve Dang, Shi Zhong Qin, Aaron Honeycutt, RuddiOtt, Max Chen, Albert Pope and David Sanders.

The Institute has given scholarships and financial assistance to thousands of people in the past 20 years. For example, following Hurricane Katrina, under Master DeRu’s direction, the Institute donated thousands of dollars to assist students in need, and provided financial assistance to help hundreds of highly distressed hurricane victims get their minds and bodies to health and harmony. The Institute continues to give scholarships to families or individuals in need who are interested in health and wellness, personal safety and personal growth each year.

Some of the basic Shaolin Institute programs are as follows:

  1. Physical fitness conditioning – weight loss, iron body extreme fitness, natural nutrition consultation, which sharpens you in great shape.
  2. Personal safety and combat – self-defense maneuvers, combative self-protection, defense from street weapons, Shaolin Kung Fu (Gong Fu) weapons fighting, traditional Shaolin Gong Fu defense and offense applications, and combat defense beyond MMA. All programs provide great confidence in each one’s ability to defend oneself at any time with any situation.
  3. Internal mind-body – Chan Enlightenment, Zen Tai Gong, Qi Gong, Tai Chi and nutrition are mind-body natural healing medicines that provide each health-conscious person with mental, emotional and spiritual well-being, free from life burdens, and strengthen one’s immune system.
  4. Chinese culture and arts education – calligraphy, Chinese language and arts performances, such as the Lion and Dragon Dance, and the Shaolin Legacy along with Confucius, Taoist and Chan education.
  5. Global cultures – our Cultural Ambassador Program, entitled U.S.-China Cultural Collision, will certainly give a better understanding of global multi-cultural values as we travel to visit the Shaolin Temple in China, along with other sights and sounds.
  6. Chinese Arts appreciation – Music, Art and Films, as well as arts and crafts, will be highlighted throughout the training experience

Are you or a loved one urgently in need of true health care? Are you tired, stressed, anxious, or feel a lack of self-control, self-discipline, self-confidence or focus? Please call or write to start on the path toward a healthy body and mind, and develop the greatest potential within: 770-286-9808; 251-662-3225; 540-835-1877,, or,