The Venerable Abbot, Shi Yan Fan is a 34th Generation Ordained Shaolin Warrior Monk. He is historically the first Westerner ever to be ordained into the elite ranks of the distinguished Shaolin Temple of China. In 2010, the renowned Shaolin Temple of China was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Born in Brindisi, South Italy, Franco Testini began his study of martial arts at the age of 7. Coming from a poor family of 10, Franco challenged other children in the neighborhood to martial arts contests in order to bring money home to help support the family. Franco was then introduced to a master named Kim Wong Feng who saw great potential in him and accepted Franco as his student, thus beginning his official martial arts training.
By the age of 19 Franco had already won several national fighting and forms competitions in Italy and also won first place against 700 competitors for strongest arms at the Golden Dragoncompetition in Amsterdam.
Franco was inducted into the Shaolin Temple at Song Shan Mountain in the Henan Province of China. The Abbot Shi Yongxin discipled Franco, officially naming him Shi Yan Fan (meaning Powerful Sky
Then in 2007 the Chinese Government allowed the partial lifting of a 300-year-old ban of an ancient ceremony at Shaolin Temple. Shi Yan Fan was requested back to the temple to participate in the ceremony and ordination.
Commissioned as the Cultural Ambassador Venerable Master Shi Yan Fan Is appointed Cultural Ambassador of Song Shan Shaolin Temple. Shi Yan Fan is the head Abbot of Shaolin Temple Los Angeles in Sherman Oaks, CA. The Abbot’s life mission is to educate people all over the world on the importance of peaceful & healthy living, daily exercise, and supporting the children of our future.
In 2012, Venerable Shi Yanfan founded a nonprofit organization called YANFAN FOUNDATION that offers health and wellness training for all ages. Yanfan Foundation is looking to build a large Cultural Exchange Center in Los Angeles that will offer accommodations for people from all over the world to come and participate in the traditional, ancient Shaolin practices.