Liu Xiangyang, who goes by his Shaolin disciple name DeRu, is a senior student of Shaolin Chan-Wu-Yi (Zen, martial arts and medicine) and a mentor to hundreds of thousands of Shaolin and Tai Chi students as well as natural health advocators. He is one of the two most well-known disciples of Su Xi, who was a great spiritual leader and 30th generation grand master, chief monk, and former deputy abbot monk of the famous Shaolin Temple.

He is one of the earliest Shaolin pioneers who entered the US, spreading the Chan, natural healing, Shaolin Kung Fu and Tai Chi Kung Fu in the United States and around globe.

De Ru is serving as head master of Shaolin Institute. Worldwide media, especially martial arts communities recognize his as the “Father of American Sanda.” In addition, DeRu is known for having spread Chinese martial arts, traditional Chinese medicine and self-healing for nearly 30 years while teaching and presenting the arts to over a million students and disciples throughout the United States and around world.

From the early 90s to early 2000s, he served as Head Coach of the US National Sanshou (Sanda) team and as the Sanshou competition Chief Referee to participate in international martial arts competitions and the World Wushu Championships.

Since the early 1990s, DeRu has served as chairman of the Sanda technical committee of the Pan American Wushu Federation, which is one of the four federations of the International Wushu Federation started from China embarked from China.

He has trained more than a hundred disciples who have won International Championships; among them, five world Sanda champions were produced. The most famous student is Cung Le (USA Sanda champion and world champion in MMA Strike-force and UFC). Patrick Barry is also on his top team.

In addition to his years training in Chan, martial arts and natural healing, DeRu furthered his education in traditional Chinese medicine at the School of Traditional Chinese Medicine of Wuhu where he worked less than 3 years as an intern physician at the #1 People’s Hospital in the 1970s. Additionally, he received a five-year undergraduate diploma in Foreign Languages from Anhui Normal University in Wuhu, Anhui Province, China in the early 1980s; a B.A. degree in English from University of Mobile in Alabama in the late 1980s; and a M.S. degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of South Alabama in early 1990s.

DeRu has not only thoroughly explored martial arts but also has decades of study and research experience in health care, self-nurtured healing as well as wellness aspects of TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) and meditation; he helped many patients with advanced stage 4 cancer to recover their health and well-being. His research paper was presented and displayed at the World Experiential Biology Conference in Atlanta in 1991, and his mind-body medicine research is one of the first papers recognized by the mainstream US medical community The abstract was published on FASEB Conference Journal, special edition in 1991.

He has delivered numerous speeches and presentations in the United States to schools, police academies, the Navy, and Air Force Bases as well as given lectures and speeches to medical and university groups such as the Georgia Institute of Technology, University of San Francisco, TU in Towson, Maryland, GWU in Washington D.C, Louisiana police instructor training centers, and Tulane University.

Fact Sheet

Master Liu

Promotion, Production, Officiating & Leadership


  • Produced three major “Shaolin Legacy” full-length theatrical productions at public venues in the US.
  • Produced over 200 shortened productions of “Shaolin Legacy” and professional martial arts exhibitions to private venues.
  • Produced and directed seven “Art of War” professional KungfuSanshou Fighting Shows.
  • Conducted hundreds of seminars and presentations at police academies, the Department of Homeland Security, the US Coast Guard, the US Army, Navy and Air force facilities, schools, universities, health care clinics and companies in more than 100 major cities worldwide.


  • Appointed Chief Referee for all US National and International Sanshou competitions since he started first official Sanshou events in the U.S. and Pan American continents


  • Voted Head Coach and Team Leader of the USA Wushu-Kungfu Federation National Sanshou Fighting Team.
  • Coached the US Sanshou Fighting Team to international victory, producing five World Champions in the process & training over 100 international and national MMA champions.
  • Trained many World Class fighters including Cung Le and Patrick Barry.


  • Directed and sponsored the Sanshou competition scheduling and planning at the third World Wushu Championships in Baltimore, Maryland (1995).
  • Hosted twelve major US Open International Martial Arts Championships and more than 30 regional US Open Challenges in coordination with the “K. Superstar – Art of War Professional Sanshou Fighting Production”(1994-2012).
  • Voted Technical Chairman by instructors and officials of the International Wushu Federation (IWF) and IWF Pan American member countries.

1997 & 2003

  • Chief Referee for the nationally televised and Pay-Per-View United World Kungfu Championship.
  • Hosted the National Team Trials in Atlanta, Georgia (1997 & 2003).


  • Head Coach for the U.S. Sanshou Team and Referee for the US versus China International Championship in Hawaii.


  • University of South Alabama, MS in Exercise Physiology, 1991.
  • University of Mobile, BA in English and Minors in Biology and Psychology, 1988.
  • Anhui Normal University, BA in Foreign Languages, 1984.
  • Wushu Traditional Chinese School of Medicine, CMD, 1978.


  • “Taiji& Qigong for Health and Wellness” Published at University of South Alabama in 1992.
  • Scientific Symposium on Journal of Experimental Biology (1991).
  • Chinese Wushu and Woolin Magazines (1992-1993).
  • Thesis Publication: “The Physiology Effect of Taiji and Qigong”.
  • Feature Articles in Taiji International Magazine (1992 and 2002).
  • Feature Articles in Kungfu – Wushu Magazine (more than 10 issues).

Featured & Honorable Mentioned in

  • Special Reports: “Kung Fu Master Shawn Liu” & “Master Shawn Liu with Shaolin Institute” in Mobile Press (1996, 2012).
  • Featured on local TV networks of ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC more than 30 times (1991-2012).
  • Featured in World Chinese Press more than 10 times (1996-2012).
  • Featured on local TV networks of ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC more than 30 times (1994-2015).
  • Featured in documentaries on Chinese Central TV networks: Liu Xiangyang (Shi DeRu) “Father of American Sanda” &“Shaolin Warrior Monk in America” (more than ten episodes1999-2008).
  • Featured in many articles in New Orleans Times Picayune (1996, 1999, 2000. 2003. 2004, 2006).
  • Featured in many articles in Inside Kungfu Magazine (1995-2004).
  • Featured article inInside Kung Fu Magazine: ““Legendary Sanshou Techniques: World Renowned Teacher and Coach Shawn Liu Shows You the Secret to Sanshou Success” (April 2004).
  • Special featured articles in the Mobile Press Register (1995, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2014..)
  • Featured Article: “Sanshou at Spot Light” as “God Father of Sanshou” in Kung Fu Magazine (1997).
  • Featured in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (1997).

Professional Affiliations:

  • Chairman on the board of Shaolin Chan Foundation (operated as Shaolin World Federation).
  • Chairman of the Pan Am Wushu Federation Technical Committee.
  • Headmaster of the Shaolin Institute located at 4350 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, Suite 500 A, Norcross, Georgia 30071, 704 Lakeside Dr. Mobile, AL 36693, 1995 Gentily BLVD, New Orleans, LA.