Growing up I was small, actually the smallest in my class, and insecure. I wanted to learn a martial art but the practice of karate or any martial art was prohibited in the country where I lived – the Soviet Union.
When I left the country of my birth I was happy to join a karate club. I knew very little about different martial arts and the huge variety of karate styles. As far as I was concerned it was all for self-defense.
After practicing karate for two years (which I found out later was Shotokan) I stumbled upon a new school that opened up in Toronto in early 1983.
I decided to try it out. At first I was cautious in my judgment of the school but very quickly realized that what I was being taught was the real deal – practical self-defense.
The more I studied the more impressed I became – not only with the style itself but also with other positive changes in my life. In fact, so much so that I decided to become an Instructor myself and do my best to bring the teaching of Grandmaster Fred Villari to as many seekers as possible.
When I first met the Grandmaster I was impressed with his personality and humbleness. The more time I spend with Mr. Villari the more I wanted to learn the wisdom from this extraordinary man.
Over the years my relationship with the Grandmaster grew closer and I am forever grateful for the opportunity that life presented to me in meeting such a remarkable human being!
To this day I cannot understand how one man can acquire such a vast knowledge and wisdom as the Great Grandmaster. It is my hope that more and more people will discover the man and his wisdom.
Ontario Canada Regional Director and Chief Instructor of the North York Villari’s Self Defense Center 8th Degree Black Belt Master Greg Tal