Master Shifu is one of the main supporting characters of the Kung Fu Panda franchise. He is the current senior master of the Jade Palace and trainer of many kung fu warriors, including Po (the Dragon Warrior), the Furious Five, and Tai Lung.

A former student of Master Oogway, Shifu became a highly skilled master of kung fu who hoped that his first student, Tai Lung, would become the legendary Dragon Warrior. Some time after Tai Lung's betrayal, however, Shifu went on to train Tigress, Mantis, Monkey, Viper, and Crane, the Furious Five. Though these students became well-known for their heroics, none of them were selected to be the Dragon Warrior, and Shifu was outraged when Po was chosen instead. Witnessing the panda's potential and determination however, Shifu eventually came to believe in him, teaching Po the skills needed for him to ultimately save the Valley of Peace. He now acts as both a friend and mentor to Po.

Role in Series

Shifu will meet Sonja and her friends in Sonja's Adventures of Kung Fu Panda. He is Sonja's Kung Fu mentor and a friend. Shifu acts like a fatherly grandfather to Sonja because he taught her how to control her powers. He is also friends with Alister Azimuth, Cure Moonlight, Pandora and Queen Maline.

Personality Edit

Master Shifu was seen as a loving father and devoted teacher to a young Tai Lung when the cub first showed up. But after Tai Lung's betrayal, he became distant, a strict and harsh taskmaster to his students. It wasn't until he had expected to depart from his students one last time that he admitted he was proud of them all, including Tigress, who had especially sought to earn his approval. Since Po's heroism in becoming the Dragon Warrior, Shifu has let go of his bitterness and attained inner peace.

He also appears to have a bit of a devious side, and before befriending Po, was shown to have a cruel sense of humor. This was shown from the moment Shifu met Po, as he seemed to take delight in trying to drive the bumbling panda away, slowly turning up the heat with every challenge he gave Po and chuckling to himself at his incompetence.[11]

Shifu also exhibits sarcasm. This is seen when he rebuked the Furious Five to be "doing well if they were trying to disappoint him" when they failed to defeat him in a training session earlier in the first film. He also regarded the existence of a "Level Zero" when Po failed at his first day of training.[11]

He was also very objective in terms of obedience to his master, following Oogway's every word closely. He exhibited this when he did nothing regarding his master's rejection of his beloved student Tai Lung as the Dragon Warrior, and also when he was forced to fight (albeit halfheartedly) Tai Lung when he tried to steal the Dragon Scroll for himself. This strong sense of obedience and objectivity eventually proved to be one of his strongest characteristics, seen when he decided to believe and train Po to become the Dragon Warrior due to Oogway's final instructions.[11]

Meditative, perceptive, and creative, Shifu approached kung fu and teaching with dynamism. These traits effectively enabled him to see the key to training Po, as seen when instead of reprimanding the latter regarding his "food outbursts", he simply used this knowledge to develop Po's instinctive "food skills" into tremendous kung fu strength, thus paving the way to defeat Tai Lung and ultimately lending a hand in bringing peace to himself.[11]

Despite his former hard heart, Shifu does have a sense of humor. In the credits of the first film, he is seen laughing at the way Tigress was acting, seeing she seemed to have tried Po's cooking and had a noodle hanging on her lip. He was even able to chuckle at the name Taotie gave to Crane when he was brainwashed, which was "El Storko".

Since the events of the first film, Shifu seems to be a much warmer and more understanding master. He has begun to show a gentler nature reflecting that of Oogway's. His attitude had also changed drastically towards Po—while Po's antics still befuddle and frustrate him, he seems to have faith in the panda and a growing confidence in his abilities after underestimating him so many times. For instance, in Secrets of the Furious Five, he assigned Po to teach him the introduction to kung fu, expecting him to struggle at such a mature task, only to find the panda excels at it.[14] Furthermore, when he assigned Po to host, cook for, and basically direct the preparation for the refined Winter Feast, he exhibited great pride in him when the task was done.[7]

Shifu still seems to struggle with the "illusion of control", as first mentioned by Oogway in the first film. He wanted everything to run perfectly for the Feast, seemingly adamant that the duties and traditions of kung fu were above all others in a warrior's life. And, just when Shifu was praising Po on such exemplary preparation for the Winter Feast, he was beyond shocked when the panda suddenly took his leave. This was followed by a moment of panic that the smooth course of the evening had been disrupted, and the evening was seemingly ruined. It wasn't until he went down to the noodle shop and saw the joyous gathering for himself that he came to appreciate Po's unorthodox decision.

Yet, while still holding firm to the (formal) traditions of the Feast, Shifu's devious side is still apparent—this time, in favor of aiding Po rather than torturing him. This shows when Shifu prompted Po to recite the opening words of the Creed of the Masters, to which Po couldn't bring himself to do from the guilt of leaving his father. Shifu then quietly mentioned to him that he had a feeling he would forget the words, so he wrote them on Po's napkin.

Since Shifu's final confrontation with Tai Lung, he has shown to have become emotionally healthier, as indicated by his straightened posture and his more serene attitude after years of bitterly hunching over when on his feet.

Relationships Edit

Lena Farrington Edit

Sonja Farrington Edit

Shifu is a great friend and a Kung-Fu Teacher for Sonja. He is a father figure to Sonja. Shifu first met Sonja in Sonja's Adventures of Kung Fu Panda when he summoned Sonja to stand next to him through out the Tournament of the Dragon Warrior. He asked Sonja about her outfit and he tells that she can't dress up like that, calling it a disgrace. Shifu helped Sonja get dressed for the Tournament which he tells Sonja not to move until he calls her. Though out the episode, Shifu started to get really friendly when he around Sonja and at the ending, Shifu knows that Sonja is a really brave and loyal girl of the Lombax Six.

Yuri Tsukikage/Cure Moonlight Edit

One of Shifu's friends. Yuri knows how Shifu feels about losing someone close (Cologne and Tai Lung) which she helps Shifu to let his past go. At the ending, Yuri is really happy that Shifu finally let go of his past. Shifu usually talks to Yuri all the time through out the series.

Po Edit

hifu had been told by Oogway that whoever he chose to be the Dragon Warriorwould bring peace to the Valley, and to Shifu himself. When the tortoise declared the Dragon Warrior to be Po, Shifu was shocked and appalled, and even objected to his master's decision, believing the whole ordeal to be an accident. Ater meeting the clumsy panda face-to-face, Shifu wasted no time in trying to intimidate him, insulting his portly body weight and bullying him with potential use of the Wuxi Finger Hold when he talked back. After making it clear to the distressed panda that he would regret being chosen, Shifu proceeded to do everything in his power to get rid of him, setting him up to fail in the Training Hall and several brutal sparring matches with the Furious Five and himself, snickering and offering no help as the panda stumbled and got hurt in each obstacle.

However, Shifu only became more infuriated when his attempts failed as Po, being such a big fan of kung fu, showed only excitement during his tortuous training, even after Shifu literally kicked him out of the Jade Palace. After hearing that Tai Lung had escaped prison and was returning, Shifu sought help from Oogway, still convinced that Po wasn't the Dragon Warrior and couldn't possibly stop Tai Lung. Before passing away, Oogway assured him that the panda could indeed stop Tai Lung, if Shifu would only guide and believe in him. After sharing the news with his students (Shifu unamused as Po had been mimicking him at the time), Po was alarmed and fled after hearing that he was the only one who could stop Tai Lung. 

Shifu stopped him outside the palace stairs, and the two argued, Po telling the master he'd been trying to get rid of him, and that neither of them thought he was the Dragon Warrior. Shifu asked him why he hadn't quit in spite of everything, and was taken aback when Po admitted that being beat and humiliated was still better than living every day being himself, and hoped that by staying, the kung fu master could change him. When Po demanded just how Shifu could actually help him to win against Tai Lung, Shifu was at a loss and quietly retreated without an answer.

The next morning, Shifu discovered the panda had raided the barracks' kitchen, eating everything he could find in his distraught state. Shifu was astounded to see that Po displayed an unintentional talent in kung fu while trying to rummage the place for more food, even making a perfect split while doing so. Shifu understood that the best way to teach him was to use food as motivation, and with that, he took the panda to the Wu Dan Mountains. He proclaimed that he would be Po's master and would teach him kung fu, much to the elation of the panda. During an intense period of training, the two formed a bond of friendship and trust, and Shifu saw Po's mastery and humility in a final test of "keep away" using a dumpling as the prize. Though Po won, he gave back the dumpling, declaring with confidence that he wasn't hungry, and ended bowing respectfully to his master, with Shifu bowing to him in return.

By the time they returned to the Jade Palace, Shifu believed that Po was ready to receive the Dragon Scroll, and used his name instead of calling him "panda" when addressing him. But when the scroll turned out to be blank, both Shifu and Po were confused, and Shifu did not see how Po could defeat the snow leopard on his own. With Tai Lung approaching, he ordered the Five to evacuate the Valley, while he would fight Tai Lung himself. Po was reluctant to let Shifu fight alone, afraid he would be killed, but he obeyed and left with the Five. Once he reunited with his father and realized the true secret of the Dragon Scroll, Po returned to the palace just in time to save an injured Shifu from Tai Lung's attack.

After Po defeated Tai Lung, he again returned to the palace and found Shifu, who weakly thanked him for saving the Valley and bringing him peace, seeing that Oogway had indeed been right, and that Po was the Dragon Warrior foretold of in legend. After the master trailed off and closed his eyes, the panda pleaded with him not to die, only for Shifu to yell back that he wasn't dying, he was only at peace, and master and student shared a long meditative moment side by side, until Po interrupted, asking if Shifu wanted to get something to eat, which the red panda agreed to after a sigh. Po and Shifu then shared a meal of dumplings at the Peach Tree of Heavenly Wisdom, together as two friends.[11]

Although Shifu has accepted Po, he continues to show some impatience with the panda, and later stated that the day Po was chosen as Dragon Warrior was the worst day of his life, though also noted that Po had not been the real cause of his turmoil, but rather it was his own expectations and presumptions. He also appeared to be slightly jealous that Po had mastered inner peace at such a young age, though he was deeply impressed at Po's incredibly swift mastery and how he used it to defeat Lord Shen.

This jealousy carried on into the third film, where he was jealous of Po's mastery of chi, despite the fact that Shifu had attempted to master chi years before Po and had only managed to make a flower blossom, but he humbly asked Po to teach him, once again showing reverence at Po's abilities and switching their position of master and student.

The two now continue to sustain a good friendship, with only the occasional quarrel, and Po has also come to consider Shifu as being part of his family


Sonja's older sister. Shifu knew how Cleo felt when being mistaken for a Shadowling because of her clothes, hair, purple eyes, and dark powers. Like the others, Shifu gets easily scared of her wrathful temper towards Alister. For example, in Sonja's Adventures of Ratchet and Clank-Into the Nexus when Cleo is bound to a chair by Vendra and Neftin, Alister took off the duct tape that is on her mouth which made her let out a severely angry and loud scream and fiercely growls at Alister. Shifu tolds Alister to do anything of what Cleo says, with Gwen saying frantically "Don't make even more angry" and Ratchet frantically saying "Don't think she's a Shadowling!"