The Shaolin Kung Fu Academy is a fellowship of students and artists taking the journey of self-discovery and self-realization through the ancient art of Shaolin Kung Fu.

Photo Credit:  Peter Hellberg

Lineage of Shaolin Kung Fu Academy, Tucson branch:

Si Gong Robert Firestine, along with his wife Si Mo Suzanne Firestine, are the founders of the Girl Power program. In 1999, Si Gong Robert extended our Shaolin lineage to Tucson, AZ. He has studied the art of Shaolin Kung Fu for over 30 years and is a 9th degree black belt. As a father of four girls and one boy, he has a strong desire to empower girls and to help reinforce that they are special, beautiful, smart and strong, and that they never deserve to be abused. These positive messages are interwoven into the Girl Power program, helping to build up the girls' level of self-confidence and inner strength.

Photo Credit:  Mitya Ku

Si Bok Do - Adult Classes Instructor

In 2007, Si Bok Do travelled to Tucson and started his training under Si Gong Robert. He studied with Si Gong directly for more than 9 years, while continues teaching under his wing for the last 6 years. Si Bok Do currently holds a 4th degree black belt in this branch of Shaolin. 


Si Fu Kalli Firestine

Information Coming Soon

Si Fu Gayl Zhao - Lead Instructor of Girl Power Program

In a past life, Gayl Zhao was a musician with a varied background of orchestral gigs, bands, competitions, pit gigs (playing reed books), and the occasional chamber music stint. After finishing her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance at Cal State Sacramento, she came to the Old Pueblo and completed a Master’s in Music at The University of Arizona. While leading a clandestine life as a lindy hopper and balboa dancer, she met her husband, Howard. Together they trained in Shaolin Kung Fu with our beloved school’s master instructor, Si Gong Robert Firestine, whom graciously married them in 2008. Fast forward eight years, and now Gayl and Howard have a two year old daughter, a garden, and a small pack of fur children. 

Gayl has since put down her instrument/s and left her music days behind her. Gayl currently holds a 2nd degree black belt. She continues to train as a student at the Shaolin Kung Fu Academy and has accepted the challenge of teaching the Girl Power program. A desire to help women and children find their own power has awakened in Gayl’s heart. One of the greatest treasures she has learned from Si Gong is to follow the wisdom of the heart, so here she is doing just that.

Si Mo Anh Le - School Manager

Si Mo Anh is a 3rd degree black belt, who has studied with Si Gong Robert Firestine for 7 years.


Si Fu Sean - Boys and Teens classes Instructor

Information Coming Soon