Karate" was founded by 10th Degree Black Belt, Great Grandmaster Frederick J. Villari.
last three decades, his fighting system has become widely recognized and
respected. His art traces its origin back over a thousand years to the
Shaolin Temple of China. Many of the basic methods are still used in his
schools today. The present form has become famous because of its very
effective "Four Ways of Fighting."
for Our Times
evolutionary changes were necessary due to modern culture and the
technological development of many different types of weapons.
People today are
bigger, stronger and more knowledgeable about weapons and methods of
combat, therefore, movements had to be changed and updated. Great Grandmaster
Villari developed a fighting system that combines the "Four Ways of
Fighting" into one. Today his system has spread nationally and
internationally and has a permanent record in the annals of martial arts
Roots of Shaolin Kempo Karate
The great Shaolin
Temple in the Song Shan Mountains of central China was established
around 495 A.D. It was built by the Chinese Emperor Hsiao Wen for an
Indian monk named Batou, known by the Chinese as Fo Tuo. Bodhidharma, an Indian monk traveling from India,
introduced a new Buddhist meditation method and fighting techniques to
the monks in this temple around 530 A.D. First, he introduced a form of breathing exercises based on
animal movements to strengthen and condition their
bodies and purify their minds. Then he taught them how to use the
movements of animals for the purpose of self defense. Over time, the monks
changed and perfected these movements. This style became known and
respected as the art of Shaolin Temple Boxing. Buddhism and Shaolin
Temple Boxing or "Shaolin Ch’uan Fa" were the Shaolin
Temple’s main legacy to the world. So it was in China that the
philosophical and religious system upon which many martial arts depend
were first introduced and nurtured.
In the 1600’s, Japan conquered
Okinawa and, to prevent uprising, restricted the people of Okinawa from
using any weapons. The natives had no alternative but to practice the
art known as "Te" or empty hand fighting. Te was derived from
the Shaolin "Chuan" which had by that time spread throughout
China. It had become popular around 900 A.D, with the Chinese people
of the T’ang Dynasty. Many Okinawans were secretly sent to China to
learn the martial arts. They later returned and influenced the methods
in use on Okinawa. Okinawans changed the name of their martial art from
"Te" to "Karate". The term "Karate" means
"T’ang hand" and is used to acknowledge the Chinese
influence in the Okinawan’s art. Karate was first demonstrated in
Japan in 1917 where even more styles developed.
Long before either the
Chinese or the Okinawans practiced and developed their arts, the
Tibetans and Mongolians had their own form of combat from which the
venerable art of Chin Na, or the art of the White Tiger, was further
developed. Chin Na is a devastating form of locking, seizing, holding and
grappling. The Tibetans and the Mongols were masters of the
art of Shaolin Kempo Karate was founded and developed by Great Grandmaster
Villari after many years of studying and mastering numerous different
styles of the martial arts including Shaolin Temple Boxing, Jiu Jitsu,
Kung Fu, Kempo, different styles of Karate, as well as the secret art of
the White Tiger (Chin Na).
Original Mixed Martial Art
Great Grandmaster Villari
realized through his varied wealth of experience and his dedication
in seeking the ultimate fighting system, that each fighting system
offered something unique and each also had its glaring weaknesses that
could make a fighter vulnerable. After studying and mastering many
different styles and ways of fighting, Great Grandmaster Villari concluded
that there really are only four ways of fighting.
1. With the Hands (punching
or striking with the open or closed hand or any part
of the arms, elbows, forearms)
2. Kicking (with
foot, leg, knee, shin)
3. Felling (to knock an opponent off his feet by throwing, tripping,
pulling, pushing, shoving, or scooping him)
4. Grappling (by either wrestling, holding, breaking, locking bones or joints against
Great Grandmaster Villari
understood that the ultimate in self defense lay not in one way or style
of fighting. By combining the "Four Ways of Fighting," he
devised and developed ways to integrate diverse methods of fighting into
one, eliminating weaknesses and vulnerabilities. This is the central
principle and method behind Villari’s art of Shaolin Kempo Karate.
Shaolin fighting system is the backbone of the Villari system since
Great Grandmaster Villari felt it was the best for promoting overall good
health, wisdom and longevity. This system is well balanced,
incorporating mind, body and spirit into one. In the realm of fighting,
Shaolin is renowned for its devastating kicking and punching techniques.
It incorporates the movements of five animals: Tiger, Crane, Dragon,
Snake, and Leopard. The Shaolin style of fighting is based on circular
movements, speed, conditioning, and developing strong internal energy,
tendons, and ligaments. These are essential for producing a superior
Karate is also
highly favored by Great Grandmaster Villari and he regards it as simple and
quick to learn and execute. Known for its linear and angular movements
with quick shuffles and in-line fighting movements, karate-type blows
are more mechanical in execution than Shaolin blows. They are also more
explosive. Karate concentrates more on external power and fewer moves
are required to get the job done.
Great Grandmaster Villari
also utilizes the art of Kempo. It is a mixture of hard and soft
movements that blend nicely, though it is not sophisticated enough by
itself. Kempo lacks the grace of Shaolin with its integrated leg
maneuvers, the quick shuffles and footwork of Karate and the explosion
of hard Karate.
are more fluent than either Kempo or Karate and have more patterns of
multiple strikes. The weakness here is many wasted movements which
create openings for counter-attack. Karate, on the other hand, has too
few movements and is too rigid to stand alone. Shaolin takes longer to
learn than Karate, but once mastered, its blows are delivered more
effectively because Shaolin is a balance of the body’s external
strength and internal power. Each martial art offers something to
compliment the other. By combining circular and linear movements, the
end result is a system greater than the sum of its parts.
Villari’s Shaolin Kempo Karate system also incorporates the venerable
art of Chin Na. It is the ultimate form of neutralizing an opponent,
utilizing holding, seizing, locking, throwing, felling and delivering
controlled pain. No other martial art gives such control over an
also teaches moves of the Immortal Monkey which is known for its art of
illusion. The Monkey cannot be hit. Its movements are lightning-quick
with the ability to change its direction rapidly. It never exhausts its
energy and has superior longevity. The monkey is always happy!
Great Grandmaster Villari
is one of the pioneers of martial arts in the Western World. He
revolutionized and enhanced the martial arts, directing it more toward
practical fighting. His contribution to Asian fighting arts helped open
the way of the Asian martial arts, on a massive scale, to the ordinary
layman. Before Master Villari, teaching the martial arts to the masses
was taboo. He demystified the prejudice that only a few select people
have the ability and should have the opportunity to learn these skills.
He showed Westerners
of all ages and cultures "the way of Asian martial arts."
other master or system can lay claim or take credit for the unique
fighting art of the Villari Shaolin Kempo Karate System. His input
and involvement produced a major turning point in the teaching of
martial arts. Master Villari is still actively teaching and
demonstrating the martial arts in his schools today.