Villari’s Martial Arts also more commonly known as Shaolin Kempo Karate is quite an interesting style. Starting from the goofy self promoted 12th dan grandmaster Fred Villari, that started this whole system. I mean seriously man 12th dan grandmaster get outta here. To his credit though he’s a lovable guy and Villari’s martial art is surprisingly goodish. Not the best for sure, there are quite some impractical techniques. Though the fact that it focuses on strikes, throws, grappling and weapons is something I personally enjoy seeing in a martial art.
History and Mechanics of Villari’s Martial Arts Shaolin Kempo Karate SKK
Shaolin Kempo Karate (SKK) was founded by a man named Fredrick J. Villari who had a dream to create an unbeatable self defence system. Villari realized that most martial arts are lacking an important element in there fighting style, diversifying there skillset. After years of studying and mastering various different martial arts systems including Kung Fu, Shaolin Temple Boxing, Kempo, Karate, White Tiger (Chin Na), Jiu Jitsu and more he concluded that there were Four Ways of Fighting.
Villari’s Martial Arts Four Ways Of Fighting
- Striking – The use of punches, elbows and hand related strikes
- Kicking – The use of foot, shin or knee strikes
- Grappling – Controlling your opponent’s movement by grabbing hold of them while striking, kicking, felling or joint locking them.
- Felling – Taking your opponent to the ground by means of throwing, shoving or pulling
For some reason as Fredrick J. Villari claimed, most martial arts where only utilising one or two of the ‘Four Ways of Fighting’. This lead to flaws in there martial arts system, flaws that could easily be exploited and taking advantage of.
For example if we were to fight a shotokan karate martial artist, we would have enough skill to match them while in the standing striking phase of a fight. Though if we were able to take them down to the ground, we’d be at a superior advantage over the shotokan karate practitioner, as they have no training in this situation.
Even though Shaolin Kempo Karate didn’t manage to become the best martial art. Villari was quite spot on, on what’s needed to create the best fighting style. Current ‘most popular’ martial art style MMA has this same ideology, it’s better to diversify your technique skill set than to focus on one or two types of fighting techniques.
Shaolin Kempo Karate Forms And Techniques
MMA and Shaolin Kempo Karate are more similar than one might expect. In fact if your into the traditional aspect that MMA lacks, Shaolin Kempo Karate could be the perfect martial art for you.
Much like the way MMA takes techniques from other styles and modifies them to be effective in the ring. Villari also took various techniques from the multiple martial art styles he learned, removed what he deemed ineffective and created what he considers the best self defence system.
This is really the main thing that seperates Villari’s martial arts from MMA. While MMA keeps changing with new techniques, Shaolin Kempo Karate stays the same. I can understand why villari’s martial arts can’t keep being ‘upgraded’, it’s a problem all traditional martial arts face.
There is a certain beauty in traditional martial arts like Shaolin Kempo Karate as they are formed by combining and modifying older styles into a new improved system. Unfortunately due to the structure of these martial arts primarily the belt ranking system, makes adding and modifying new techniques into the system really hard.
When we deconstruct villari’s martial arts style, we can notice that he borrowed a lot from:
Deconstructing villari’s martial arts style
- Shaolin Kung Fu – Is considered as the main base for this martial art. You can clearly notice it in the way certain punches and kicks and performed. They also got that animal symbolism in the higher belts, that’s usually present in Shaolin kung fu. (Tiger, Crane, Dragon, Snake, and Leopard)
- Karate – Karate techniques are typically easy to grasp and execute, while still being quite effective. Due to this Karate techniques are taught to beginner students of Shaolin Kempo Karate practitioners. They also add some explosive snapping techniques that are generally associated with karate.
- Kempo – For there more ‘open-minded’ style of fighting, taking inspiration from multiple kempo forms.
- Bökh, Jiu Jitsu, And Chin Na – These martial art styles greatly influence the felling and grappling elements of Shaolin Kempo Karate.
Though it might seem that villari just mashed up a bunch of martial arts together and called it his own that is not the case. Villari made sure to be able to make the whole system functional and also added a bunch of his own techniques to the system.
Villari’s Martial Arts Centers
When Fredrick J. Villari’s martial arts started gaining more popularity, Villari decided to start opening more shaolin kempo karate schools around the world. At one point having over 300 active shaolin kempo karate dojos managed by Villari’s students.
The purpose of these Villari’s martial arts centers were to, make the teachings of shaolin kempo karate more accessible to everyone in the world. The fact that there were over 300 active dojo’s at one point, shows that villari’s martial arts was quite successful for a martial art that was started about 5 decades ego.
Shaolin Kempo Karate Belt Levels
These belts are used in Villari’s martial arts centers to determine what level a student has attained in the way of Shaolin Kempo Karate. While also making it simpler for the instructors to pair up students, and teach them new techniques.
Fredrick J. Villari History
Fredrick J. Villari started his martial arts career while he was still a child. His father had taken him to train both chinese and western boxing. As he became a young teen he decided to add more diversity into his technique portfolio. Making him seek the LeBlanc brothers to learn jiu jitsu and wrestling. Though eventually he realised that his skills were not improving and decided to try out a new style with Nicholas Raymond Cerio a famous Chinese Kenpo instructor. Then he kept travelling meeting great masters of the martial arts to further improve his skill and being granted his 5th dan black belt. That was the time where he decided to open up his own school and thus created Shaolin Kempo Karate.
Would You Recommend Training Shaolin Kempo Karate?
Unfortunately for me to answer this question I would need to know what your goals for joining Shaolin Kempo Karate are. If the reason is for:
- Fun – Definitely just go check it out and see whether you’d like to continue partaking in the activity.
- Exercise/Discipline – 100% go give it a shot
- Self Defence – Unless the sensei of the dojo is completely incompetent at his job, your self defence will improve. Know I’m not saying Villari’s martial arts is the best self defence system, though it’s quite good.