About The School

Our school here is lead by Si Bok Matthew Ruhl and Si Mo Shannon Ruhl under the wings and guidance of Si Gong Robert Firestine. Our branch of Shaolin Kung Fu began in San Francisco with our Grandmaster, followed by Si Gong Robert who grew the school to Tucson, and now here in Portland lead by Si Bok Matthew. Our school focuses on the journey and development of the self. With respect to the practice, our school does not take part in tournaments or approach the art as a sport. We are looking for humble, kind, and compassionate students who seek to develop themselves through the practice of Kung Fu.

Our Teachers

Matt close-up for circle

Si Bok Matthew Ruhl


Si Bok Matthew Ruhl began his journey at the age of 12, when he was enrolled in the Peaceful Warriors program at the Tucson school. Originally from Long Island, NY, Matthew found himself struggling with the change when his family moved to Arizona in 1998. At the height of his difficulty with bullying and self confidence he was introduced to Si Gong Robert Firestine, and a lifetime relationship as student and friend began. He started assistant teaching alongside Si Gong Robert Firestine at the age of fifteen, and eventually as he came of age began teaching his own adult level class. Si Bok Matthew is now a sixth-degree black belt and has spent his career teaching, both in public schools and in our Shaolin community, to share his passion for the arts. In 2018 he and Si Mo Shannon were married and made the move to the Portland area to start their own branch of the school they love so much.

Shannon close-up for circle

Si Mo Shannon Ruhl


Si Mo Shannon Ruhl grew up in a small family with little community. When she moved to Tucson, AZ in 2014, she had recently been through a traumatizing relationship and sought an art that would teach her how to defend herself. Luckily, right next door to the yoga studio she was attending was a large red sign reading “Girl Power”. Signing on to take classes, she expected to learn how to kick and punch, but ended up learning so much more. She found that Kung Fu challenged her mind, as well as her body, and had to work through the emotional roadblocks that kept her from living her life to its full potential. She learned that loving yourself, and believing you are worth the effort is the key to growth and happiness. The depth of the community of families and students at the school was the most nurturing thing she had ever experienced, and she found many lasting and loving friendships. Now, years later, she hopes to help bring this community and all of its love to the Portland area, and hopefully, teach others how to love themselves as well.



Parent of Girl Power Student

Just what we needed to kick off our girls' first martial arts experience.


Grateful parent of Girl Power/Teen student

Si Bok Matthew is an amazing instructor. He has years of experience with youth, teens, and adults. He is encouraging with any student of any age that crosses his path. Matt shares his personal stories, and opens the floor to any student who wishes to share their story, something they may be struggling with, and gives sound advice and support.
His teaching approach is positive, fun, and delivers a powerful message. With Si Bok Matthew as your instructor, you will first learn the basics, move on to the best self defense lessons, and continue to grow personally and gain physical strength. He will teach you how to defend your life.


Parent of Girl Power Student

Wonderful place my daughter was smiling the whole time!


Parent of a Peaceful Warriors student

We have had a really nice experience.


A life-long student

I was fortunate enough to begin walking down my Shaolin path alongside Si Bok Matthew Ruhl. Matt was one of the first people to be my teachers aside from Si Gong Robert Firestine. Throughout the years, studying both under and alongside Matt has been one of the greatest honors of my life. He is patient, kind, and overall a big ball of fun! He was a mentor to me as I began my teaching journey and helped me become the instructor I am today. He’s amazing with children, teens, and adults of all personalities and backgrounds and is one of the easiest people to talk to that you’ll ever meet. All it takes is going to one class of Matt’s to not only see his spark and passion for Shaolin, but also to know it’s a path you’re going to walk down with him.


Parent of Peaceful Warriors student

Si Bok Matthew and Si Mo Shannon are the best. I love the structure of class. Si Bok Matthew is a skilled teacher, equal parts firm, caring, and playful.


a Peaceful Warriors parent

Portland, OR friends! One of my son's Kung Fu teachers is opening a new dojo in Portland. My son studied with him for 6 years here in Tucson, and it was transformative (both for him, and for me, as a parent). It's a wonderful combination of martial arts, spiritual values, and learning to be a mensch. They knew just how much to push him, while meeting him exactly where he was, and they modeled the kindness and compassion and celebrating the accomplishments of others that we all need so desperately right now. I continue to be surprised at the ways that what he learned there is so integrated into how he moves through the world. If you know people who have children this age, send them to study with Matthew Ruhl! (no, I do not receive commission if you sign up I just really, really love this program and these people.)


Parent of Girl Power student

Empowering girls mentally and physically, while also teaching human kindness through small stories. Hidden gem.


Parent of a Peaceful Warriors student

My daughter loves it. The teacher is very knowledgeable.