My Kempo Fathers
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My Kempo Fathers

Grand Master Frank Arteese is the top picture

Scott Platt 4th degree and Master Mike Allen 9th with Kempoman Steve Venturino 5th Degree

Grand Master Frank Arteese was born in 1945 and received his first 10th degree Black Belt in Shaolin Kun-Tao Kung Fu in 1968 making him one of the youngest Shaolin Masters.

The Fathers of my Kempo/Kenpo systems

Fred Villari



Ed Parker





Jack Racine

in 1982 I walked into a Fred Villari Studios of self defense in Coral Springs Florida. Where I met Jack Racine he was my first Kempo Father although at his age he probably wants to be known as an older brother. It was Mr. Racine who built the foundation of my life as a Kempoman. If he had not been a martial arts instructor I believe he would have had great success as a fitness guru. The Man believed for you to perform at the highest level possible not only did you need techniques and principles but you need to be in the best physical shape imaginable. I Remember one of the class warm ups was a three mile run then we went over material. My seven hour brown belt test started with all the students going for a five mile run. Yes I said seven hour brown belt test. Jack was very knowledgeable about physical conditioning in the arts and he was willing to share all of his wisdom with his students when you were ready. Many times we would ask him for high ranking material and most of the time we received the same answer. He would say youíre a green belt and you want me to show you Five Kata ok its starts like this front position and ends the same way and there is stuff in between. Then there were times he would show you the next form or combination but it was not correct. Mr. Racine filled in For Harvey Thaler or so he told us the story and at the time his highest rank in the school was a green belt. Jack Racine being the nice guy he was ask the student if he had Statue of the crane or had seen it as of yet. The student replied no sir and Jack decided to be nice and teach the student his new form. The next week Jack gets a call from Harvey JAAAACK what the!@#$% did you teach my student. Why itís the Statue of the Crane do you not like the jumps spins and shoulder rolls I added he dose the form so very well.
I guess that student needed to relearn that form. Years later it was Jack and Frank Arteese who taught me my second and third degree material. Remember this book is written as a study guide so study those you call your Fathers of Kempo. I guess I could fill a book of stories about the Kempoman Jack Racine. He left the Villari system in April of 1987 just a few days after I left but you never forget your first father of kempo.

John B. Gilbert

The rarest of Kempomen you would ever have the pleasure of knowing. He was a Kempo again older brother is best used here for 18 months or more. He like Jack was not into the physical fitness but none the less one of the greatest fighters on the planet. He is the only man ever to get a knife to my throat before I could see it. He loved the multiple man attack especially if he was being attacked he thrived on the adrenaline high in what most people in world would call a scary situation. He had as many friends in the Special Forces as he did in the kempo arts. He used to tell the story of when he attacked Master Villari while day dreaming and how it was one of his deciding factors. John said he was wondering if he should have gone into the Special Forces or stay here with Villari. He told me he thought he heard Master Villari say attack (Master Villari was teaching a class and John was daydreaming) the next thing he knew he was on his back and Villari was asking him what are you doing John. He said I knew then my destiny was here with Mr. Villari. We used to call John a gentle bear he was always willing to help if you had a need or problem he was there to help you. However to fight him was like waking a bear in the middle of winter best left to sleep. Master John Gilbert passed away December of 2006 and will be missed by all who knew him.


John Fritz
John was the most knowledgeable Kempoman on the planet. He was one of my Kempo Fathers around the same time as John Gilbert. When he was around you always felt like you were under a microscope being examined. However when you left the school you always felt like you learned more then just a few techniques. The first time I met John Fritz was at Jacks school he was there for a clinic on the eagle. I still remember that lesson just goes to show you the impact a teacher can have on a student. One of our lessons was on the water principle of the crane. I went back to my school and began teaching the principle with fighting applications for sparring it was phenomenal. John frits said I had some good understanding of the tiger but I lacked opening up skills of the crane. If you think of Hansuki and compare it to Tai Sing Mong One short closing in and the other long and opening up you get the point. However I did not have Tai Sing Mong at the time so he taught me the water principle of the crane. This was the same time period mid 80s Twelve Hands of the Tiger was being taught and The Bug form. Jack Racine taught me twelve Hands of the tiger about two days before John Frits however that was the material John went over that week in our private lesson. John Was the man you went to for knowledge on the arts however he is also an incredible business man.

Frank Arteese
Frank Arteese was the fastest Martial artist on the planet. I met him on July 12th 1985 for the first time on my black belt test. I had seen him at the tournament in 1983 but the first introduction came during my test. Grand Master Frank Arteese had the biggest impact on my Kempoman life. Frank was born May 5th 1945 and by the age 5 began training in the temple with his Father. In 1968 he received his Red Sash in Shaolin Kun Tao Kung Fu. Then a few years later he received a Red Sash in Wing Chun from Yip Man. Then a few years later an eighth degree in Ninjutsu and in 1982 received his 8th from Master Villari in Shaolin Kempo. There was one more 8th degree in a style I forgot the name my apologies to the reader. Grand Master Frank Arteese had phenomenal skill as a fighter in the martial arts regardless of style. Many times we put him to the test we just didnít believe he was who he said and why gain all these ranks and youíre here with Fred Villari. Why arenít you running multiple schools under your own name just like Fred Villari? We probably should of taken Frank at his word but many of us thought This man is teaching only a handful of students heís not even running his own school something didnít make sense. It was not till years later when both Frank Arteese and I had left the Villari system I actually saw all of his diplomas and this was before the age on the internet and the constant you give me a diploma and ill give you one from my system circus thatís going on today. I asked Grand Master Arteese in private one day seriously why are you here teaching just a few of us one class a week and why are you with Villari with all your knowledge. He looked at me and said If Bruce Lee was still alive I would be training with him Fed Villari is the man. End of quote. Earlier I spoke of my seven hour brown belt test that is a drop in the bucket Frank Arteese told me of one of his Master level test was 34 hours. Talking about the man of speed we put Master Arteese to the test one to many times telling him we know your fast but no one can move so fast that he cant be hit especially by another black belt. Master Arteese had four of us Van my best friend two others and myself stand facing each other shoulder to shoulder this formed a box. Imagine you could reach out and touch all three people in front of you our bodies created a box i cant state enough. Then Master Arteese said ill get inside the box then say go and none of you will touch me not one. We said ok your fast youíll take us all down or something but there is no way that one or two of us wont be able to touch you we may not take you down but were going to touch you get real. Master Arteese got in the center all four of us were shoulder to shoulder he said are you ready we said yes and it was over. Master Arteese was behind Van one hand on his throat one on his face and his elbows were controlling the spine the other three of us were looking straight down on the floor but by the time we knew he had dropped to the floor went between Vans legs it was over. The fastest man on the planet I ever knew. One more story of Grand Master Arteese there were 13 of us in one of his Friday night classes around 1986 I was in the front of the line holding two phone books and 12 others were behind with hands on shoulders each student bracing the one in front of them. Don was the 230lbs man at the back of the line. Frank Arteese did his one inch punch on a line of 13 students and it was like a wave went through us we could see in the mirror then we saw Don go flying about five feet until he hit the wall. I had never seen a demonstration of that kind of power before Master Arteese. A few years later Master Arteese and his family at the time came to live with my family at the time. This was an incredible time of training mentoring and just spending time with one of my Fathers of Kempo. On March 3rd 2007 Grand Master Frank Arteese passed away and to say he will be missed doesnít seem to cover it.
Frank Arteese
more info

GM Frank Arteese began studying Kung FU at age 4 1949 under the direction of GM Lee &Master Sue Lie his parents He Lived and studied in the Shaolin monastery in Taiwan
For five years solid and then six months a year for eleven years after that
The other six months resided in America
He was also taught by GM Poe 10th degree in kung fu and GM yip man 10th degree in wing chun
GM Osciama 10-th degree & professor Wrobol in Aikido
After leaving Taiwan GM Arteese joined the American Air force at age 18
Fought in Vietnam and honorably discharged in 1969
Returning to America he taught Shaolin Kempo and opened many schools around the Country with Great Grand Master Fred Villari
IN 1990 he joined Master Mike Allen of the IMAA This last section was taken directly from the IMAA brochure



Mike Allen
Mike Allen was a picture of grace and beauty in motion if you ever got a chance to see him perform a Kata or Form it was like watching a master paint a picture. Master Mike Allen was one of Ed Parkers black belts in the early years of American Kenpo. I trained with him in the early 1990s. Master Allen was another Father of Kempo who had multiple ranks in a wide variety of styles. I believe his uncle is in the Kara Ho Kempo system, He was a 6th degree in American Kenpo when we trained also a Tai Chi Master. A few months after Grand Master Arteese moved in a couple of us introduced the two Masters. The last Rank I saw on Master Allen was a 9th degree in Chinese Kempo. He had a large influence in the south Florida area for a number of years before retiring in 2007 last I heard.
Update on Master Mike Maunaloa Allen with 40 years in the Martial Arts is an accomplished instructor of various styles. As Kenpo Karate 9th degree black belt, from 2nd through 5th he received from Grand Master Ed Parker. Then from 6th through 9th he received from Master Frank Arteese, In the style of Jujitsu Master Allen received his 1st through 4th from Prof. Moses Powell & Master Rex Lee. In Go-Ju Ryu 1st degree from Master Rex Lee. In the style of Tai Chi Chung Master Allen received Instructor level from Head Instructor John Graber. In the Shotokan system he received 1st Degree from Berry Deutsch, In Kadena De Mano Eskrima Level 1 through 4th from Hanshe Marty Ferrick. World Martial Arts Hall of Fame 1996 Master Instructor of the Year World Martial Arts Hall of Fame 1996 Sports Medicine Four time Florida State Champion Winner of over 200 trophies Promoter of tournaments since 1977 to 2005 Founder and President of the I.M.A.A. Founder of the I.M.A.A. Magazine Vice Pres. of the Florida Black Belt Assoc. 1984 Rank 2nd in the world in fighting from U.S.K.A. 1986Rank 3rd in the world in forms from U.S.K.A. 1986 Rank 3rd in the world in open forms from U.S.K.A. 1986 Rank 3rd in the world in weapons from U.S.K.A. 1986 Licensed Massage Therapist and Nutrition Counselor 1985 Licensed hypnotherapist since 1993 Licensed Police Self-Defense Instructor International 1995 Certified Youth Motivator for County Schools 1995 you can learn more about Master Allen at his new website www.imaainc.com

The Questions I have are how many Kempo Fathers do you have in your life? You only need one great Kempo Father. How have you changed mentally and physically with the influence of your Kempo Father? What has changed since you first walked into the dojo as a white belt? When you first entered the martial arts what images did you have of a black belt and what has changed? Who are your Kempo Fathers and how has that changed over the years?


clip from 1983



GM Villari 10 men attack from 1985



1000 Buddhas 1988 seminar








GM Fred Villari 1987 Seminar teaching on #35 Combination






GM Fred Villari 1990 Seminar teaching on the Snake kick





GM Fred Villari 1990 Seminar teaching on Buddhas Palm






Master Mike Allen American Kenpo Short Form Three



Master Allen 1987 clip from Cayman Islands 1rst Tournement 1987 A then 4th degree Mike Allen and pres IMAA was sent by SGM ED Parker
to oversee the Kenpo Curriculum and officiate the tournament in the Cayman Islands






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