STQI Downtown Toronto School
Your Journey to a Strong Mind and Body

Our History

The Shaolin Temple was built sometime around 500 AD. That's over 1,500 years ago!

Let's Start in the Early 1900s

In the early 20th century, the Shaolin Temple was burned down as warlords fought to control the area around Deng Feng and the Song Shan mountains.

The picture above was taken in 1907, about two decades before it was burned down. It is the earliest discovered picture of the main Shaolin Temple entrance today. This entrance is called the Mountain Gate.

The Mountain Gate of the Shaolin Temple today is refurbished and improved. The surrounding areas have also been beautified.

During the Mao Zedong era from the 1950s to mid 1970s, Shaolin Temple was shut down and the last remaining monks who refused to leave were put in jail. These were known as the Last Great Elders.

But after the Mao Zedong era came to an end in the mid 1970s, the Last Great Elders helped to rebuild the Shaolin Temple.

The picture above shows the Last Great Elder Shi Su Xi on the left. Next to him is Shifu Shi Guo Song who grew up at the Shaolin Temple and helped to rebuild it.

He is known as a 34th Generation Shaolin Monk. For those unfamiliar, there are 5 Chan/Zen families within Shaolin and Master Song is trained under the Caodong and Linji lineages. When he became ordained at the White Horse Temple, he adopted the Linji family name (and therefore has the family name of Guo instead of Yan). Through gifted perseverance in training, Master Song became the Chief Warrior Coach of Shaolin Temple.

The first time Shaolin set foot in Canada was 1995. In the photo above you can see the monks are on Centre Island. Shifu Guo Song is in the bottom left in the classical Shaolin Eagle pose.

Shifu Guo Song began to take students in 2007 and 4 years later, Master Dao Shi became one of his first disciples in Canada.

The Beginning of Our Downtown School

Our downtown Toronto school begins with Master Dao Shi.

He received the blessings from his master to begin teaching in the downtown area. In September of 2011, Shifu Dao tested the downtown area with qigong lessons inside a photography studio, just south of Spadina and Dundas. With some minimal advertising he was able to attract his first 6 students.

As people's interest grew in learning traditional Shaolin qigong and kung fu martial arts, he rented his first school location nearby in Chinatown. By early 2015, Shifu Dao's school on Spadina grew to over 70 students.

Shifu Dao then moved his school to the present day location on the east side of Chinatown near the Art Gallery of Ontario. This new location was roughly 5 times bigger, allowing for more programs and students, and a more comfortable environment for training.

By 2020, the total student base had grown to almost 300 people. Today we have over 25 instructors and assistants and offer many classes for adults, seniors, and children.

When the COVID pandemic hit, the school was forced to temporarily close. Master Dao then developed an online on-demand learning platform at This made it possible for people anywhere in the world to learn Shaolin arts in a traditional format. Together with live Virtual Classes through Zoom, new and existing students are now able to train uninterrupted.

We are excited to continue our adventure and look forward to involving more people so they too can benefit from the arts!

Contact Us Connect
Phone: 647-724-8004
Mailing Address:
  393 Dundas Street West, 2nd Floor
  Toronto, Ontario M5T 1G6

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