Instructors

Master Ken Canestraro, 8th Degree Black Belt

Master Instructor Ken Canestraro has three decades of experience teaching martial arts for Villari’s. He’s led studios in Boston, Marlboro & Natick MA over the years and now is home to Syracuse. He loves a family focused dojo with non stop special and fun events thru the year. A special point of pride is in his students that become Black Belts and then go on to operate their own schools and continue the tradition. He’s had the honor of raising some very talented champions and gifted teachers in New England over the years that he still calls friends.

Ken was promoted to Chief Instructor of his own school in 1987, promoted personally by GM Villari to Master in 2001, currently is an 8th Dan, and has been training and teaching in the same system and with same organization for 30 years! No change in school names, styles, methods, organizations, etc. This offers THE truest instruction in Authentic Shaolin Kempo Karate as founded by Great Grandmaster Frederick J. Villari !
Ken has been asked by Great Grandmaster Villari to be one of the Masters to head up the expansion of the organization across North America and support new operators and instructors. He’s happy to be a personal associate and friend of Mr. Villari.
He’s currently in the Retired Reserve for the US Army Reserve where he served as military law enforcement and armorer. He also served in the US Navy in the cryptography field for several years. He currently volunteers with the US Coast Guard Auxiliary where he can serve America in Homeland Security and on the waterways in Upstate NY.
For modern disciplines, Ken teaches tactical knife fighting, firearms, firearms retention and disarms, and is a Glock Professional Certified Armorer. He’s also certified to teach Active Shooter Response and perform Threat Assessment consulting for organizations of all kinds.
To-Shin Do Ninjutsu has also been a passion of Master Canestraro for many years and he’s happy to be bringing the art to Syracuse! An-Shu Stephen Hayes personally authorized Ken to introduce To-Shin Do to new students in central NY.


Master Adam Schwartz, 5th Degree Black Belt

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Master Adam Schwartz came to the Syracuse location about 6 months after opening and has been a fantastic addition to our dojo! His energy and smile are contagious among kids and adults alike.
He previously studied under Master David Boise, 9th Dan and one of the 7 Dragons, in our Plattsburgh NY location and is an avid tournament competitor. Adam started in Fred Villari’s Studios of Self Defense at a ripe old age of 7 and earned his first degree Black Belt in December of 1994. Adam has amassed over 700 trophy wins during his competitive martial arts career!!!
Adam’s father also studies in Villari’s, having earned a 3rd Degree Black Belt with us and studied over in Okinawa earlier in his martial arts development. Adam has taught in three other Villari’s locations prior to joining us here in central NY.
As of November 20, 2015, Adam is recognized as a Master Instructor after diligently preparing for and passing his rank exam in front of Great Grandmaster Fred Villari and board of Senior Masters to include his teacher, Master. Canestraro. Congrats, Master Adam!