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Shimu Arlene has been a dedicated practitioner of Shaolin martial arts for over 20 years, and a teacher since 1999. She co-founded the Shaolin Kung Fu Training Center with Shifu Hengxin in 2001, and is currently the Center’s Director.


Known for her upbeat energy and enthusiasm, Shimu works tirelessly to create a Center where students of all ages can get to know and commit to practice of the Shaolin martial arts.


Bringing together East and West

Shimu Arlene's background makes her uniquely qualified to introduce the ancient teachings of Shaolin to US students who are shaped by modern ideas and habits. Born in Hong Kong and relocated to the New York at age 12, Shimu Arlene understands the cultures of the East and the West. She was influenced by the martial arts growing up and studied Tae Kwon Do, but also trained for many years in ballet and modern dance. Shimu Arlene was originally drawn to Shaolin kung fu for the beauty of its movements (forms) and the rigorous physical training. However, she soon discovered the deeper significance of the Shaolin practice as a path to self-development that cultivates focus, determination, and balance.


Her Vision as Center Director

As Director of the Center, Shimu is especially passionate about strengthening and expanding the Teen and Youth program. As a teacher, she has a unique ability to connect with young people, cultivating their minds and bodies from a young age. Her gifts are greatly appreciated by her dedicated students and their families. Shimu has a vision the Center as a vibrant, intergenerational and supportive community of practitioners and their families. In recent years, she has successfully organized special events at the center bringing together adult and youth students with students and families, including performance showcases, celebrations of Chinese New Years and other holidays, family activity days in Central Park. In addition, Shimu Arlene focuses on assisting Shifu Hengxin with the growth of all students enrolled in the school. She is also committed to continuing her development as a martial artist and often trains with Shifu Hengxin and other senior students in classes and summer intensives led by Shifu.

Spreading the Teachings

Beyond the Center, Shimu is commited to spreading this rich tradition by introducing the benefits of Shaolin Kung Fu to wider audiences. She has participated in wide variety of community service events, performances, and cultural outreach programs at:

  • Buffalo University

  • Long Island University

  • Flushing Meadow Park/Chinese Dragon Boat Festival

  • The Last Airbender Promotions at Madison Park, Central Park, NY

  • The Last Airbender World Premiere At Lincoln Center 

  • Based on her previous work, the YMCA asked her to develop, oversee, and teach a Shaolin Kung Fu enrichment program for young children-including an after-school and summer program-that she successfully ran for ten years.

  • Talented and Gifted school - She spent 5 years teaching Kung Fu to 1st to 5th graders which included an after-school and summer program.

  • Leadership and enrichment workshop at Brooklyn Height Montessori School.

  • Shimu Arlene has been working with Roberts Field School where she designed and teaches a Kung Fu and meditation program to 1st to 5th graders. 

Her Gift to her Students

Using Tradition, Discipline, Respect, and Maturity as the basis of her motivation to teach, Shimu Arlene encourages all of her students to think responsibly and to always strive to make the right choices. By doing this, she instills the ideas of self-respect, self-discipline, self-awareness, and self-evaluation, which re-enforce the principles of Shaolin Kung Fu in her students.

Shimu Arelene is currently available to teach outside of the school and can be contacted via telephone 917.288.1292 or email:

Shimu Arlene has given our family an extraordinary gift. Our two children have been studying kung fu at her Shaolin Kungfu Training Center for nine and eight years and the benefits to them, our family, and their whole circle have been substantial. Their sense of confidence, courage and ethics not to mention their poise and internal and physical strength is inspiring to those around them and even to us as parents. This development is largely a product of the warm and disciplined training they undergo in Shimu’s School.  She has a unique ability to make the focus of each class on always doing one’s best. Shimu instills a sense of honor in effort, work, discipline and commitment. Her dedication to teaching and to excellence is palpable and her attention to detail is unparalleled. Shimu instills in her students a commitment to bringing a positive transformative attitude to everything they do.  Shimu embodies the values she teaches, and is expert in transmitting those values in individual and group settings. We would highly recommend her to any person or institution.

Ann Cecil-Sterman, International touring lecturer and best-selling author

Andrew Sterman, Principal musician, Philip Glass Ensemble and lecturer at the New School

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