Shifu Shi Yan Ming was born in 1964 in China’s Henan Province. His parents brought him to the Shaolin Temple at the age of 5, and lived and trained there until 1992. In that year, he decided to stay in the US after the first ever Shaolin Monks tour of this country. He founded the USA Shaolin Temple in 1994 in New York City.
In 1985, before coming to the US, he won the 65 kg (147 lb.) championship in the Xi’an National Sparring Competition. He also won the championship in the annual Shaolin Disciples Competition three years in a row (1988–1990), and was vice-coach of the Shaolin Temple Fighting Monks at Henan.
Shi Yan Ming has been featured in over one hundred publications, more than fifty nationally and internationally broadcast TV shows, and several documentaries and movies including:
- History Channel: Stan Lee’s Superhumans and How Bruce Lee Changed the World
- “Kung Fu Monk” documentary on the National Geographic channel,
- Discovery Channel: Secret of the Warrior’s Power and One Step Beyond
- BBC: Physical Feats and Beyond Human Endurance
- TLC’s “Top Ten Martial Arts”,
- The covers of Qigong Wushu Magazine twice, Inside Kung Fu Magazine, and Black Belt Magazine,
- The cover of Shaolin Taiji magazine, Wulin, and Wuhun (martial arts) magazines in China,
- The CNBC, Fox News, CBC, ABC Morning Show, and PBS,
- MTV USA, MTV Europe, MTV Canada, MTV Japan
- BET US, BET Japan
- “Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai” directed by Jim Jarmusch,
- “King of the Jungle” directed by Seth Rosenthal with John Leguizamo, Rosie Perez, and Annabella Sciorra
Additionally, he has been in commercials for Nike Shoes Asia, two for IBM, HP computers, Hallmark, Chase Bank, Gaiam, and many more. Students of Shi Yan Ming include members of the Wu-Tang Clan, Bokeem Woodbine, Tricky, Kadeem Hardison, Michelle Forbes, Rosie Perez, John Leguizamo, Bjork, Wesley Snipes, and many others.