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Who is Fred Villari?

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Answered 2008-09-03 16:29:07

== == Fred Villari is the founder of the martial art system "Shaolin Kempo Karate". He established his style in 1968 in Waltham, MA. and is credited for being among the first to combine the strengths of various Martial Arts. Fred Villari believed that all styles had their strengths and his genius was in combining the best from various styles into one that enabled him to be dominant in each of the four ways of fighting, Hand Strikes, Kicking, Felling and Locks. Effectively creating America's first Mixed Martial Art. This was done at a time when the over-riding conversation in the world of martial arts had to do with which style was best. Most martial arts practitioners were steadfastly loyal to their style and it's origins, each believing that his was best, with the notable exception of Bruce Lee who was, at the same time creating his style Jeet Kune Do in Seattle. At the height of his career Fred Villari had established over 300 franchised locations. More than any other organization before or since. Today there are literally thousands of schools teaching Villari's creation under various names and banners. Fred Villari continues to teach and demonstrate his style to this day.

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USSD uses the shaolin name but does not teach any shaolin in their system. They are from Fred Villaris Shaolin Kempo. Charles mattera left in 1989 over money or wanting to run the show and Villari wouldn't let him so who knows why they call their art shaolin kempo when clearly there is none in it? Its marketing that's why Charles mattera calls it shaoalin kempo. There is no shaolin in Charles matteras system!!!! Look up Fred Villari that's where ussd and Charles mattera came from. You were correct in stating that Charlie Mattera left FVSSD over a power dispute. Fred Villari and Charlie Mattera were senior and junior partners for years in the development of the studio system in California and the western states, Charlie doing most of the leg work. On trips to studios Charlie would ingratiate himself to the instructor, whether it was a night out all expenses paid, or extra material, Charlie was an amazing manipulator of people. After a visit he would always take a moment before he departed to remind you (his signature quote) "Remember who did this for you, remember who took care of you". Anyone who saw this could recognize a person looking to build a loyalty base for themselves. In the late 80's Charlie wanted more direct control over the studio system, and Mr. Villari was willing to let him be the business face of the system, while he maintained the teaching, testing and tournament part of the system, the actual martial arts side. In 1989 Charlie had a business perspective printed up listing himself as President of Fred Villari Studios of Self Defense, very few people saw this document, but it constituted a breach of contract, this was the beginning of the end for the partners. Many things happened at this point depending on which faction you were loyal to. Charlie, his chief instructor, and Paul Taylor, showed up at the Beverly Hills location one morning hoping to clean out all of the furniture and inventory, but were turned away by the Sr. Instructor and the Beverly hills PD, although this happened in 1989 a report was filed so it should have been public record. Things like this continued as time went on. Karate schools were vandalized and burglarized, instructors were threatened with bodily harm if they didn't declare loyalty to Charlie, it was generally a miserable environment to work in. Those who remained loyal to Mr. Villari were threatened and ostracized. In the end there were only a few schools that didn't knuckle under to Charlie. In the end, since he really didn't own the rights to the name Fred Villari Studios of Self Defense, he had to change his approach. He reserected United studios of Self Defense, Mr. Villari's original studio name, and rebadged all the studios that came with him. Nick Cerio was brought out of retirement and quickly made the figure head of the system. Charlie was never a good instructor(I can say this having taken lessons from both him and Mr. Villari) so he needed someone to teach the system and show up at tournaments to do demos. It's been almost 20 years since I saw this unfold. I've never written anything about this before, and probably won't again. Mr Villari returned to South Florida and Charlie stayed in California to run his schools with it's figurehead. In 1998 Nick Cerio died. Charlie took on the mantle of Grand Master and formed aliances with schools in China. In 2001 he was adopted by the shaolin temple, he always did need someone to teach the material. Charlie got what he wanted in the end it seems, but he didn't get there by himself, he owes the vast majority of what he achived to Mr. Villari. in 1993 Nick Cerio cut ties with mattera.

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