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Inspiring Biography of Shi Heng Yi (Wiki)

Shi Heng Yi is a popular Shaolin master.

He serves as the leading headmaster of Shaolin Temple Europe, Germany.


Tien Sy Vuong (Shi Heng Yi) was born in Germany to Asian parents.

He grew up in Otterberg, Germany.

Shi’s parents hail from Vietnam but for many years, they lived in a refugee camp in Laos.

In 1979, his parents fled as ‘boat people’ and arrived on the borders of Germany for greener pastures.

At that time of emigration, his mother was pregnant and had his elder brother in her womb.

Shi’s elder brother is four years elder to him.

Attracted towards martial arts-

While growing up, Shi watched many martial arts movies and at a young age, he got attracted towards the martial arts.

He watched The 36th Chamber of Shaolin film and other films on the Shaolin Temple.

Joining Shaolin Temple Europe-

Much like him, his father was also interested in the martial arts so, at 4, Shi got enrolled by his father into the nearby Shaolin Temple Europe in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Here, at the Shaolin Kung Fu school, he started practising kung fu and fell in love with it and it also included mental and physical training and behaviour development.

Later, he also got attracted towards Qi Gong and Shaolin Rou Quan.

At Shaolin Temple, Shi not only learnt martial arts but also the theories behind them.

Shi’s school used to get closed in the afternoon at around 1 pm or 3 pm and the abbot of the monastery used to pick him up from the school and reach the Shaolin Temple where he used to start his training from 4 pm and he used to train until 10 pm.

He used to also play chess with the abbot.

Shi used to train on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and likewise trained in kung fu from the age of 4 to 12.

Initially, he was not interested in learning the background of kung fu but at 12, he developed a curiosity for learning it.

Also read- The inspiring biography of Jesse Enkamp, a popular martial artist and YouTuber.

Five masters-

In 2001, Shi became a disciple of Shaolin masters namely, Da Shi Yanlin, Master Shi Yan Bao, Master Shi Yan Xin, Shi Yan Fei and Shi Ya Hai.

These Shaolin masters arrived in Germany from Songshan Shaolin Temple in China.


Shi did his schooling in Germany.

His parents expected him to excel in studies and wanted him to grow up to become either a doctor, engineer or lawyer.

Even though Shi did a couple of university degrees including an MBA and a few diplomas, he wasn’t satisfied with the education.

The reason for his dissatisfaction was that education taught him a multitude of things but not about himself.

Thankfully, Shi learnt self-exploration, self-discovery and monastic practices from a young age from the Shaolin Temple.

Choosing a monastic life-

After completing his MBA, Shi’s parents wanted him to get a regular job but as he was attracted towards the monastic life, he decided to continue living it and learn more about himself.

After facing some difficulties, he wanted to quit his monastic life, but his father encouraged him not to do so.

At the time, Shi decided to teach the Shaolin approach to others as he believed that this approach helped him in effectively balancing his life.

During that time, he was influenced by his master’s advice, “base your life on something that you like to do and that you are able to do.”


Shaolin Temple Europe is a Buddhist monastery and this organisation was established in 1996.

In 2011, after completing his studies, Shi wanted to establish the Shaolin Temple in Otterberg and found an area to establish the temple.

Even though the area was on sale, as he had just completed his studies, he was not able to afford it.

Fortunately, a bank granted him credit and he established Shaolin Temple Europe in Otterberg.

Until 2017, Shi financially struggled to make the temple profitable but thanks to the growing popularity of the monastery, he has been able to turn the tables.

As of 2023, he is serving as the Leading Headmaster of the Shaolin Temple Europe in Otterberg, Kaiserslautern, Germany.

An interesting fact- This Shaolin Temple is housed in a wooden building built prior to the 1940s.

35th Generation of Shaolin masters-

He belongs to the 35th Generation of Shaolin masters and follows Buddhism.

Shi mainly teaches mental and spiritual development, and his aim is to spread the ancient knowledge inherited from more than 1500 years to the modern world.

He also teaches self-mastery, Shaolin Arts, Qi Gong, breathing methods, etc.

Shi also provides online training through his website and YouTube channel.

As of March 2023, he has 319K subscribers on his YouTube channel.

He delivered a couple of TEDx Talks, the first one in January 2020 in Sofia, Bulgaria, ‘Master Shi Heng Yi – 5 hindrances to self-mastery’ and as of March 2023, it has more than 15 million views.

In November 2022, he delivered his second TEDx Talk, ‘Test your might! • Shaolin Spirit’.

Shi is a polyglot as he knows many languages namely, Vietnamese, Romanian, French, English and Deutsch.

He lives in Otterberg, Germany.

Five hindrances-

Shaolin Temple postulates five hindrances which has the potential to prevent you from reaching your goals and they are as follows-

  • Sensory desire (kāmacchanda).
  • Ill-will (byāpāda).
  • Sloth-and-torpor (thīna-middha).
  • Restlessness-and-worry (uddhacca-kukkucca).
  • Doubt (vicikiccha).

All these states negatively affect your thoughts and will affect your ability to make right decisions.

So, how are you inspired by the life story of Shi Heng Yi?

Share with me in the comment section below.

Featured image credit- Shaolin Temple Europe/Wikimedia Commons


Friday 29th of September 2023

I woke up one morning and one of Shi Heng Yi's videos was playing on YouTube. Too lazy to change the channel I listened, not watching. I thought he had his calm voice, then I listen to the words... Now I practice qi qong, Kung Fu(kinda) and other practices, listen to Master Shi Heng Yi daily. I'm 61 and I'm finally feeling purposeful.

Naveen Reddy

Friday 29th of September 2023

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


Thursday 28th of September 2023

I have also seen many videos of his that were very effective. One of the good channels to promote your goals and statements on YouTube is Vaster Universe.

Susanne Schröder

Friday 7th of July 2023

Ich bin völlig beeindruckt von den Weisheiten des Meisters und verehre seine Lehre sehr.

[English translation- I am completely impressed by master's wisdom, and I adore his teachings very much.]

Naveen Reddy

Saturday 8th of July 2023

Thanks for your positive comment, Susanne!

Silvan Catterfeld

Monday 20th of March 2023

Thanks... This man probably is the most powerful master of the western world at the moment. May his wisdom penetrate the hearts and minds of the westerners...

Naveen Reddy

Monday 20th of March 2023

You're welcome, Silvan!

Bhoovi Ramesh Kinger

Wednesday 8th of February 2023

Thanks for this worthwhile information

Naveen Reddy

Thursday 9th of February 2023

Thanks Ramesh for your appreciation!