Walter Gjergja – Shaolin Temple secular monk Shi Xing Mi – is a Shaolin Master, trainer, adviser, speaker and writer.
Born in Italy but with mixed European origins, studies Kung Fu WuShu (Chinese martial arts) since age 13 and Chan (Shaolin philosophy) since age 18. Disciple of Grand Master Shi De Yang, with traditional ceremony in the Shaolin Temple has been officially nominated secular warrior monk of the 32nd Shaolin generation, monastic name Xing Mi.
He has spent many study stays in Shaolin spanning a period of over 15 years, becoming one of the very few real western Shaolin Sujiadizi Wuseng; Shi Xing Mi has been the protagonist of many magazine and newspaper articles (see News | Press), numerous international events and several television documentaries (BBC, Discovery Channel, Disney XD, Italia1, CCTV).
Author of the book ‘Shaolin: a journey’ and co-author of ‘Gib Nicht Alles, Gib Das Richtige’ (see Contact | Links), Shi Xing Mi has also completed adouble major university degree and has taught the Shaolin disciplines in various fields and numerous countries, utilizing his unique eastern and western cultural and professional background.
He has been called by leading organisations and media a “cultural acrobat”, “monk of strategy”, “the master of effectiveness” and “the wellness master”.
After beginning to practice Kung Fu WuShu as a child in the mid ’80s in Italy, from the early ’90s Walter then traveled for over 15 years, studying in China (with frequent study stays in the Shaolin monastery) and Australia, as well as achieving wins and placements in many national and international competitions (Kung Fu WuShu forms and Sanda combat) including three consecutive Asia-Pacific championships.
Walter initially studied Shaolin culture – Wugong (martial disciplines and physical training) Chan (philosophy) Yi (health practices and medicine) – with various Masters, among whom the teachers of the famous Shaolin Temple WuShu Guan in Shaolin and other illustrious Shaolin monks.
In parallel to his deepening Shaolin studies and following university graduation, Walter also had an extremely rapid and successful international corporate career, becoming at age 27 the COO of a publicly listed company and then director of a strategy consulting firm, but courageously decided to abandon it after just a few years to complete his Shaolin Temple education and then focus his life entirely on training and sharing his unique mix of competencies.
During one of the study stays in Shaolin he had the opportunity to meet Shaolin Temple Grand Master Shi De Yang; the Master accepted him as student and eventually, after years of study and friendship, as formal disciple (the first non-Chinese), descendent of the 32nd Shaolin warrior monks generation.The rare traditional ceremony, performed in the Shaolin Temple with elder monks and relatives of the Master, officialized his entry in the Shaolin genealogy with the monastic name Shi Xing Mi, which has also been inscribed on a stele in the Pagoda Forest.
In 2005 Shi Xing Mi founded Shaolin Wuseng Houbeidui Italy, in Milan, today active also in other cities and in Switzerland as Shaolin Wenhua Europe, one of the principal Shaolin Cultural Centers in Europe, member of the Shaolin Temple official representatives association S.E.A. From his diverse teaching experiences he also created the ‘Shaolin: power of movement’ training system.
As well as overseeing the European Shaolin Cultural Centers he founded, Shi Xing Mi conducts workshops, seminars, keynote speeches and demonstrations at cultural and corporate events, holds lessons at university faculties (Switzerland, Italy, Russia) and international conferences, writes books and articles, collaborates as adviser and coach in a very diverse range of fields (see Lessons | Seminars | Speeches).
In the last decade Shi Xing Mi has also been appointed Head Master of the Traditional Shaolin Culture Center in China and Shaolin Cultural Director of various international federations. Furthermore, he is involved in several humanitarian and humanistic projects and is in the process of establishing an advisory institute with other experts who combine a unique mix of knowledge, wisdom and diverse practical experiences.
Shi Xing Mi teaches in Europe – mostly Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Austria, Russia, UK – and in China; he lives in a small village in Ticino, Switzerland.