Shaolin Temple UK

The Official Home of Shaolin Temple China in the UK

Shaolin Temple UK is a Buddhist community centre  for study of Shaolin Kungfu, in particular Gong Fu-Ch’an, Qi Gong and Ch’an Buddhist Meditation. It was founded in 1998 by Grandmaster Shi Yanzi, and is located in North London England, between the Tufnell Park and Archway Northern Line tube stations. Shaolin Temple UK is the UK’s official emissary of Shaolin Temple Henan Province China, by direct mandate from the Venerable Abbott Shi Yong Xin.

About Us

Classes are taught by Shifu Shi Yanzi, and his Shaolin disciples who include disciples from Shaolin in China, and western students. The school emphasises balanced training both in the external and internal martial arts. Students typically train both in Gong Fu and Qi Gong.

Shaolin Temple UK is most well known for Gong Fu (or Kung Fu), and participates in national and international fighting competitions, as well as interclub fights with Muay Thai fighters. Gong Fu classes focus on Sanshou training – one to one hand-to-hand combat – which can be considered to be China’s form of kickboxing. This is the style of fighting which the temple’s students use in competition.

The temple’s founder and main teacher Shifu Yanzi was Chinese National Champion for 15 years in the art. Students first train for three months in “Preparation” class, with a focus on building strength, stamina, flexibility, and learning fundamentals. Beginner level students train without contact. Students are encouraged to try to pass a quarterly grading exam at their first opportunity. Shaolin Temple UK’s higher classes are semi-contact and full-contact, students train with gloves and pads, and also spar.

Learning Gong Fu Today Gong Fu has a long history and everyone agrees that the original Gong Fu is from China to learn Gong Fu people understand the need to learn forms – fist, weapons, dual person etc because hidden inside the forms are applications and techniques. That’s why people learn forms and why when they learn forms they can be good at Gong Fu.

But people forgot that to learn Gong Fu you need to gain Gong Fu. Learning Gong Fu and gaining Gong Fu are different. Now many people keep learning but do not try to digest/ assimilate. They do not go deep enough. Maybe they know some application as well but they did not prove this by real combat. 

They think they are too good or scared to prove so just stay in one place going round in an endless circle. Then some in this position start to teach and teach the same thing so many people stay in the same area.

There are three ways to teach/learn most people follow the wrong way than the right way. That’s why there are not very many successful Gong Fu practitioners. We hope more people go to the right way if they want to gain good Gong Fu.

We Help You Stay Healthy


We have three main halls and an outdoor courtyard for training. There are also toilets, showers and saunas for both men and women.

With large training spaces and a range of facilities, our school has been hired by boxing coaches, personal trainers, Taichi teachers, and so on. The Temple has also been the site of many film and photography shoots, as well as important cultural events. Our facilities include a fully-matted training hall, a full size boxing ring, a Buddha hall, showers and sauna, as well as a beautiful courtyard. If you are interested in hiring our space, please contact us.

Chan Hall

The Chan Hall has soft matting and is usually used for Meditation and Qigong, Preparation and Forms classes. It is a 8m x 15m space. Strictly no shoes allowed inside.

Fist Hall

The Fist Hall has a full size ring, a row of bags, rubber posts and other training equipment.

Buddha Hall

This quiet space is usually reserved for those who want to spend some time alone. Ch’an Buddhism classes also take place here.

The Temple is now open for in person training (offline classes). We host daily in-person classes at the Shaolin Temple UK. In order to attend training at the Temple, students must have a Temple offline Membership. We also offer trial classes before you join as a member. We are committed to the safety of our students and teachers, as a result, location based offline training is available to a limited number of students, 8 at any one time.

For Temple Members, please click on a date on the timetable on the website and enter your details to book your classes. Members may also attend the Temple for self-training. Again these sessions must be booked in advance and are capped to 2 hours per session. Showers are not available at the Temple for the time being so please ensure that you bring a warm jacket for your journey home. Your patience and understanding during these challenging times, is greatly appreciated.

To book a place please visit the booking page here:

Ready to learn the secrets of Shaolin’s many treasured martial art techniques?

Happy Faces of Happy Disciples

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