View Full Version : Family Karate Center

02-05-2005, 07:33 AM
I attended a presentation yesterday covering various personal/family safety matters. One of the speakers was Gene Villa, of The Family Karate Center, in Spokane, WA.

He seemed to make some sense, for a young guy. His brochure titles him Sensei, says he has a 6th degree black belt, and is an I.O.G.K.F. certified instructor and says that he teaches Okinawan Karate.

I know the teacher is more important than the style, my initial reaction to him was favorable, but one thing troubled me, he talked about color codes, he called them color zones, and didn't credit the Colonel until afterward, when we were talking one on one. That might have been an oversight since he had a very general audience. I would hate to think it is a habit, however.

We discussed briefly my physical and medical limitations, and he said that he tries to tailor training to the indvidual. In academia we call that learner-centered instruction, and it is one of the current fads, however it is really sound practice IMHO.

I have asked about H2H training before on this forum, and gotten some excellent advice here. Now I have someone specific, and a specific school.

Any comments on the school, the style or particulary, the man?

God bless and y'all be mindful out there.

02-05-2005, 08:21 AM
I'm only slightly familiar with Gene Villa, but his credentials are sound (his training lineage traces directly back to the Miyagis). His age really isn't too much of a factor- for example, a person who is 35 could very well have 20-25 years of training under his belt, or more.

Goju-Ryu is one of the five descendant styles of Okinawan Karate Do- in other words, it's a very simple, practical style which empasizes hard training.

I have to say that I somewhat scornfully view the promotion of minors to Dan rank, or the addition of unneeded ranks ("probationary black belt", for example) and Villa does do this. To be fair, though, quite a few good instructors do, as well, because of the need to do so in order to keep their bread-and-butter students enrolled over the long-term.

All in all, I say that this school looks like a very good place to train. Let us know if he requires a contract, what the terms of the contract are, and how much he charges for tuition, etc.

02-05-2005, 09:34 AM

As you know, the instructor is far more important than the style. You've been around enough to know if what he is teaching is real and will work or not. Ask him to let you attend class for free for a month and then make your decision. Any reputable school should let you do this. Does he offer SD classes in addition to the regular class?