Poe The Gnome Visits Villaris Martial Arts
May 31st, 2013|
Poe has long been a fan of King Fu films. (We recently went through a binge of pizza, beer, and Kill Bill, The Man WithThe Iron Fists, and Crouching Tiger.) So when we got an invite from a friend of Craig Laughlin of Kinani Blue (@KinaniBlue) to visit his martial arts center, Poe almost had to get some new pants.
Villaris Martial Arts
The driving directions were easy: kitty-corner to Lyncourt Bakery, the popular Syracuse pastry shop (but of course, my land nav skills drove us around the corner a few times; I was going to blame it on the gnome, but he was in the backseat, and no talking for once).
You get an old-school Karate Kid feeling as soon as you walk in and have to take your shoes off to go any further, which I did (Poe’s are plastered on so he got a by, as usual). We met Ken Canestraro (@Ken_Canestraro), the martial arts Master and black belt. Ken is an Army vet and internet marketing jack-of-all-trades. After watching him just hold his katana for a few seconds, I knew not to mess with this guy.
We talked SEO and PPC (those are internet marketing means), how to choose the least ludacris wifi provider, and small business marketing trends in Syracuse, NY. It was interesting to hear it all from a smart small biz owner since I’ve been always on the marketing firm side of things. Poe didn’t have anything to say, he was too busy playing with knives and stuff.
Poe got his chance to fight Ken (died miserably; finally someone to put him in his place) and filmed a short Vine video (click here to watch the video) of some really lame karate stunts. (Yeah, I said that gnome. Cry me a river.)
I expressed my genuine interest in learning Kung Fu someday. Ken explained how Villaris is a franchise founded back in the 60’s by Fred Villari, black belt founder of Shaolin Kempo Karate, who made martial arts the mainstream sport it is today by bringing karate schools into their own public centers of learning. Ken said Villaris is one of the only centers around that teaches martial arts as a self-defense mechanism and not just an artsy dance form. Big points there. His school also offers very reasonable and no-commitment rates to students, and doesn’t force them to get uniforms or much less a new uniform each year. Definitely a very reasonable place for the 2% (Ken said) who are interested in martial arts (a tough demographic to hit from a marketing standpoint).
I had to pry a few weapons out of Poe’s hands and drag him back to my car; but we thanked Ken for the great tour and hoped to be back someday so we could both learn how defend ourselves against, oh, gang members and evil gnomes and stuff like that.