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 34 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 Canestraro was recognized for his many contributions to the martial arts and students over 35 years by being inducted in the Martial Arts World Hall of Fame at Villari’s 50th Anniversary event in the Boston area.  What a surprise and truly humbling honor to be bestowed.