Master Shifu is the student of Oogway and trainer of the Furious Five, as well as Tai Lung. Shifu once loved Tai Lung like a son after he was abandoned at his doorstep as a very young cub. He tried to subdue him after Tai Lung attacked the Valley and made a bid to take the Dragon Scroll by force, but froze, unable to destroy what he created through love, and failed.
it is revealed that he is Tigress' adoptive father as well. He taught her how to control her own fury by playing a game of dominoes with her and later adopted her as his own daughter from an orphanage despite all the other adults' fear of adopting her. His experience with Tai Lung otherwise stiffened him, unfortunately, causing him to train Tigress and the Furious Five in a harsher and more critical manner than he used with Tai Lung.
He was at first unwilling to train Po, not believing he had what it takes to defeat Tai Lung; he therefore tried to make the training unbearable to force Po to give up. As such, Shifu was greatly annoyed at how Po embraced and endured all his attempts. Shifu also voiced his contempt of Po by referring to him as "Panda" rather than his name. After much convincing from Oogway as well as his new responsibility as the guardian of the Valley of Peace after Oogway's ascension into the Heavens, Shifu agreed to seriously train Po until he was ready to face Tai Lung.
This proved much more a challenge than he anticipated when Po, in addition to his apparent physical limitations, confesses a deep self-loathing that the monk felt powerless to counter. However, when Shifu discoverd Po's considerable latent strengths when motivated by food, the monk fashioned a personal training regime that enabled the panda to quickly become a formidable warrior. Po's throwing back the dumpling they fought over in Po's final test was an even more encouraging sign that his student had improved his strength of spirit as well, an essential element of a warrior.
However, all his efforts seemed to have been in vain when the Dragon Scroll proved to be nothing but a blank reflective surface. With all hope lost, Shifu ordered his students to evacuate the Valley while he stayed to delay Tai Lung for as long as he can, feeling his probable death would be a just fate for creating the murderer. When Tai Lung returned to the Valley to enact his revenge, Shifu was nearly killed in the battle that ensued until Po arrived to save him. Po's defeat of Tai Lung fulfilled Master Oogway's prophecy, bringing him inner peace and forever breaking down the barriers over his heart.
Since then, Shifu continues to be surprised by Po, such as being a more effective teacher than he expected in Secrets of the Furious Five, and underestimating Po's love and compassion in Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special not only to his father, but to himself as well. In the latter, Shifu confesses to Po, "What goes on in your head I really don't always understand, but what goes on in your heart will never let us down." Furthermore, he is as astonished as his comrades seeing Po counter cannon fire with only an empty hand technique, showing to all that the Panda is a mighty warrior of legend.
His sense of humor, before being cynical and sarcastic, was also shown returning during the end credits when he is seen laughing at Tigress, who has apparently tried some of Po's noodles, with one hanging above her lips in the same comical fashion as Po's earlier in the film. The second film also shows him carrying himself with more grace as noted by his improved posture and his more serene demeanor. He enjoys playing his bamboo flute and is also able to use it as a striking and throwing weapon.
Despite his age and limping on his left leg (which Tai Lung broke in their first battle), Shifu can move faster than any opponent. He is so strong and powerful that one or even all of the Furious Five combined cannot make him break a sweat. However, just like them, he was also defeated by Tai Lung in the movie before Po arrives to save him.