Frequently Asked Questions
- What do I need to wear for class? Do I need any equipment?
- Why do you train in shoes?
- I am really out of shape. Can I participate in classes successfully?
- I am an adult with no previous martial arts experience—is it too late to start?
- Is martial arts training safe? Will I get hurt?
- I don’t think I can do this because I am too uncoordinated / unflexible / weak / fat / skinny / old / inexperienced / undisciplined / shy / nervous / etc… What do you think?
- How does your kickboxing program compare to Muay Thai and MMA?
- How do the belts work in Shaolin Kempo Karate? How long will it take me to earn a black belt?
- Is Shaolin Kempo Karate like MMA? Do you do Jiu Jitsu? Why do you sometimes call it Kung Fu?
- Do your students have the opportunity to compete in tournaments?
- How does the etiquette work in Shaolin Kempo Karate? Is it super strict? Will I be punished if I make a mistake?
- What is the difference between a hard style and a soft style? Which is Shaolin Kempo Karate?
Shaolin Kempo Karate/Sparring: Uniform with school logo or patch and belt. (Uniform included in membership.) Martial arts shoes required by purple belts and above.
Kickboxing: Comfortable workout clothes and indoor-only athletic shoes that are clean on the bottoms for studio use. Hand wraps or approved gloves (small, MMA style bag gloves—not large, boxing gloves).
All our martial arts based training stems from a self defense focus. We wear shoes in life, so we wear shoes in practice. Shoes also protect the feet from injury.
The reason to take classes is to get into shape! There are no fitness prerequisites to begin.
Master Kickboxing is the only class that may feel overwhelming to a beginner. We recommend starting with Kickboxing Fundamentals or simply taking the class at your own pace, with plenty of breaks for water.
Most of our martial arts students begin as adults with little or no previous experience.
The safety and comfort of our students is our number one priority. We never practice full contact fighting. All partner practice is carefully controlled and supervised.
You can do anything you put your mind to! All it takes is regular practice and a positive attitude.
Like Muay Thai, we use elbow and knee strikes in addition to kicks and punches. Unlike sport styles, we do not define any attacks as “fouls” because we practice for exercise and self defense. We do not practice sparring with partners in kickboxing, but we do in SKK.
In order to earn rank in SKK, students must demonstrate competency in specific skills and learn a set of material for each rank. Instructors invite students to tests (administered every 4-6 weeks) when they feel the student is ready. As a general rule, each belt takes a little longer to earn than the previous belt. The average student attending class 2-3 times per week may take 3-4 years to earn 1st degree black belt.
Shaolin Kempo Karate (SKK) is the original mixed martial art. The main difference between SKK and MMA as seen on TV is that we practice with a self defense focus, not a competition focus. In competition, there are rules. In self defense, there are no rules. SKK falls under the kung fu umbrella because we study animal styles—tiger, leopard, crane, snake and dragon. In addition to blocking and striking, we teach pressure points, felling and grappling (locking, controlling and breaking joints as in Jiu Jitsu).
Because our style is not designed for competition, we compete mainly within the network of Villari’s schools. In the Midwest this includes Reedsburg, WI and Antioch, IL. We typically schedule one tournament per year. Our students are allowed to enter into other tournaments, but because these are typically Tae Kwon Do or American Karate focused, the softer Chinese style has not historically been as well received in these harder style competitions.
In the dojo, we practice a higher level of etiquette and formality than in the outside world. This may involve bowing, addressing instructors as “sir” or “ma’am”, and being assigned push ups if this etiquette is broken. Don’t worry, beginners—we have another rule that says: “White belts can do no wrong!” As long as you demonstrate effort, you will not be punished for slips in etiquette as a white belt.
Hard styles, like karate, Muay Thai and Tae Kwon Do, emphasize power striking and typically involve more linear movements. Soft styles, like Shaolin Kempo, Aikido, Kung Fu and T’ai Chi, place more focus on flow and circular movements and less emphasis on physical strength. We consider SKK to be a long life style.
Villari's Martial Arts
It's happening, folks! VILLARI'S SUMMER BOOT CAMP! By popular request... 8 weeks of dedication to a stronger, healthier YOU: June 3rd through August 2nd Group strength training Mon-Thurs 5:30-6pm Only $80/8 weeks so you can add it on to your martial arts training! Open to all fitness and experience levels. Workouts will be customized to your level so there is something for everyone! Email Ali at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up or for more info. Orientation meeting Friday, May 31st 5:30pm (ask questions, set expectations, get psyched!!).