History

Welcome to our dojo (Place of Enlightenment) in Somerville, Massachusetts!

The Art of Shaolin Kempo Karate

Text taken from “Hidden Beneath The Shadows”

Originated and founded by Great Grandmaster Frederick J. Villari. His art traces its origin over a thousand years to the Shaolin Temples of China and India. The Shaolin temple was first built around 495 A.D. by Chinese Emperor Hsiao Wen for an Indian monk. It was in the great Shaolin temple, in the Songshan mountains of central China, that Bodhidharma, a 6th century Indian monk, introduced Zen Buddhism and a form of meditation methods and fighting techniques

He introduced, to the temple monks, a form of breathing exercises based on animal movements, mostly exercises for strengthening and conditioning the body. The reason he taught the monks these exercises was to purify their bodies and develop inner strength. Then came the movements of the animals which were taught for self defense purposes.

Over a period of time, the monks changed and perfected these movements, gearing them toward fighting. This style became known and feared as the art of Shaolin Temple Boxing. Buddhism and Shaolin Temple Boxing were the Shaolin Temples’ main legacy to the world. So it was in China, that the philosophical and religious systems, upon which many martial arts depend, were first created and nurtured. The teachings of Lao Tzu, Confucius and Buddha were blended with the development of the various Chinese martial arts systems which spread to many other Asian countries.

In the 1600’s, Japan conquered Okinawa, so the people of Okinawa were restricted from using any weapons to prevent retaliation. The natives had no alternative but to practice the art of empty hand fighting known as Te. This name was derived from the Chinese T’ang Dynasty, when many empty hand styles of fighting were popular. The Okinawans changed the name of their martial art from Te to Karate, and many styles were developed. It was eventually brought to Japan where even more styles were developed.

Long before 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 White Tiger was further developed – a devastating form of locking, seizing, holding and grappling. The Tibetans and the Mongols were the masters of the grappling arts.

The art of Shaolin-Kempo-Karate was founded and developed by Great Grandmaster Villari after many years of studying and mastering numerous styles of the martial arts, including Shaolin Temple Boxing, Jiu Jitsu, Kung Fu, Kempo, various styles of Karate, and the secret art of the White Tiger (Chin na).

As a result of Great Grandmaster Villari’s varied wealth of experience and dedication to seeking the ultimate fighting system, he realized each fighting system offered something both unique and special, and each also had its glaring weaknesses that could make a fighter vulnerable. Great Grandmaster Villari discovered that the ultimate in self-defense lay not in one way or style of fighting but in combining the Four Ways of Fighting (With your hands – punching and striking; Kicking; Felling – knocking an opponent over; Grappling). He then devised and developed ways to integrate these diverse methods of fighting into one, thereby eliminating any and all weaknesses and vulnerabilities.

At the Villari’s Self Defense Center in Somerville, Massachusetts, we teach the art of Shaolin-Kempo-Karate developed by Great Grandmaster Villari. We welcome you to join our dojo to learn the ways of this art.