Master Ken Canestraro, 7th Degree Black Belt
Master Ken Canestraro, 7th Dan, Senior Instructor - “Master Ken” is one of the most dynamic teachers in the Villari organization. Ken’s high-energy, upbeat attitude and emphasis on developing positive character is reflected in the success of his students. Master Ken is an expert in a variety of the traditional martial arts weaponry and is an avid sport karate enthusiast. Ken dotes on his two daughters Shelby and Shayla. -From Master Mark Grupposo, 10th Dan, President of Villari's
Master Instructor Ken Canestraro has almost 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 holds a 7th Degree Black Belt, 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 !
He's been asked by Great Grandmaster Villari to be one of the Masters who 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 a career in military law enforcement and armorer. He also served in the US Navy in the crypto field for several years. He currently volunteers with the US Coast Guard Auxiliary where he can serve America in Homeland Security and on the water ways in Upstate NY.
For those serving as LE/Military, Ken teaches tactical knife, firearms, firearms retention and disarms. He's a Glock Professional Certified Armorer.
He and his daughters, that he raises as a single parent, live locally so this new location for a school and regional HQ is very important to him.
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
Sensei Adam Scwhartz 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 Dave Boise, 9th Dan, 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.
Adam is now recognized as a Master Instructor after preparing diligently for and passing his rank exam in front of Great Grandmaster Fred Villari and board of Senior Masters to include his teacher, Mr. Canestraro, on November 20, 2015. Congrats, Sir!