Students at a seminar

912 Fifth Street (5th, between G and I streets) Next to APEX Cycles
Previously at 612 4th Street
M W: 3:15pm-9pm, T Th: 3:45pm-9pm, F: 4:15pm-8pm
(530) 758-5431
Shihan Richard Baciarini

This martial arts dojo is dedicated to teaching Self Defense to people of all ages and walks of life. The open hand style taught is kajukembo, with a strong emphasis on kempo. The school teaches a balance of martial arts, ranging from basic stances, blocks, kicks, and punches, to katas (called pinions), defenses against punches and grabs, sparring, and more advanced techniques such as pressure points and grappling. In response to student interest, the curriculum also includes many aspects of mixed martial arts and mauy thai techniques.

At lower belt levels the emphasis on is on basic form and conditioning, although the instructors lace even the beginning classes with advanced material to encourage interest. Self discipline and control is integral to the school philosophy. 'lil Aaron's High Kick, Oct. 2008 Walk this way!

Until recently, the only weapon style taught at the school was a form of Philippine stick fighting that was created by Grandmaster Max Pallen, Sr. This style is called Senkotiros. Advanced material also included knife work, where the emphasis was on disarming attackers. In recent years, the weapons curriculum expanded considerably, and now includes Okinawan/Japanese kamas, Chinese nunchaku (nunchucks), and the bo staff.

The classes are divided into beginning, intermediate, advanced, black belt classes, and sparring time slots. Children and adult classes are taught separately. Many schools focus only on children's classes, but this school has a strong adult program. Conditioning classes are also taught, open to all ranks. Karate summer camps are held all summer long for children, and the school also holds "Karate birthday parties" on Saturdays for students and nonstudents.

The school’s chief instructor is Shihan Richard Baciarini (5th degree black belt). The school has a set of senior and certified instructors that are all first, second, and third degree black belts. Extremely motivated students may earn the rank of assistant instructors before they earn their black belts, but this is rare. Advanced students are expected to help in helping the instructors teach classes, a system that benefits both the classes and helps build character in the student helpers.

The school has a student demo team that performs at public functions; notably at Arco Arena prior to Kings basketball games.

Belt tests are held periodically for students in the school who have demonstrated mastery over the materials appropriate for their belt level. These usually last one hour. Belt tests for the highest level belts (including black belt), last a few to several grueling days, and require several months of conditioning for most students to reach adequate physical condition.

In August 2011, the school moved to its new location to accomodate its ever-growing student base—it is now the largest martial arts school in Yolo County. Its new location is about 5000 square feet, with three training floors providing about 2900 square feet total.

They offer a trial so you can see if it is for you.


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2008-06-25 21:57:47   My son loves learning Karate here. He attends 4 days a week. His favorite is when he is helping in the children's beginner class. Totally recommended!!! —Aaron.Curtin

Update... I just enrolled my younger son. He, unlike his brother, took some time getting motivated about Martial Arts. His attention span just wasn't long enough to really appreciate the classes. I must say that Baciarini's has been very understanding to his needs and allowed him time to develop a love for the sport. We look forward to both of our son's continuing their training well beyond their Black Belt. I can think of no better motivator than a man who takes his love for something and devotes his time to grow it into a successful business. —Aaron.Curtin

2009-01-31 08:58:27   There was an earlier post about Mr. Baciarini not completing his community college education. Why was it removed? —justme

  • 2009-02-11 19:46:14   The post regarding Mr. Baciarini was based upon hearsay from one person to another, and its accuracy was disputed. A "talk" page was set up early September 2008 to discuss this issue, and was retained for a while (you can see the edit log). Mr. Baciarini was contacted directly, interviewed, and it became clear that the post was based upon inaccurate information. Although the issue was resolved, the talk page was retained until 14 October. Sorry you didn't see it so you could see the careful discussion and resolution! —BarryRice
  • 2009-03-04 17:06:44   What is Mr. Baciarini's formal education? —justcuriousPHD

2009-02-20 22:35:22   i've seen better, but not so bad. —psanchez

Warning! justcuriousPHD, motherof2, and KathleenK all share the same IP address. Given that the content of their edits seems pretty consistent, this strongly implies, but does not unequivocally prove, that they are the same person.

2009-04-04 13:56:04   I am very disppointed with this program because they got my kids excited about an introductory program and mislead me into a lengthy contract and the only results I saw were high monthly tuition and angry calls from their billing company.

My little children received little benefit, but the staff have taught them how to clap their hands and "hi five" adults real well. They don't learn what I expect from a martial arts program. —motherof2

2009-06-15 14:04:00   If you are contemplating signing a contract with Baciarini, I would highly recommend that you do an internet search on the words "Educational Funding Company complaints", Baciarini's difficult and pretty inflexible billing company from my experience.

You can be sure that, no matter what reassuring words anyone might say to you at the time you sign the contract, you'll be held to the absolute letter of the contract no matter what. From my experience they are cold when it comes to their money.

Note that the contract specifically says that none of its terms can be overridden verbally. It's clearly more important to this business to say whatever it takes to get someone to sign on the dotted line, than to conduct themselves with integrity...and this is a place that supposedly preaches about integrity to its students.


2009-08-25 22:49:01   DO NOT GO TO THIS PLACE!!!

Listen people do some research. This place is a PERFECT example of a McDojo.


McDojos are schools that are run and owned for the purpose of making money. Typically you are able to get a black belt in less than 2-3 years, and you are usually guranteed success on the black belt test. These schools charge outrageous amounts of money, have extensive contracts, and are sometimes cult like.

These kids are getting ripped off. I Go talk to any legit Dojos and they will tell you. By definition a blackbelt could defeat any white belt. So if your 10 year old girl is a black belt and she cant beat up a 30 year old full grown man then you just got ripped off my friends. You will be wasting your money on this place. —Dozer

2009-08-25 23:41:18   First off... I have to say that I've never had a problem with billing from Bacarini's in the over 2 almost 3 years my kids have been going there. The one time they did make a mistake, they never forced the issue, and were very professional about everything (ie. not charging me until everything had been cleared on both sides, to make sure I wasn't double charged).

My children have learned exactly what I expect from this program, respect, self control, and discipline. These alone are worth my time and money, but as an added bonus, they have learned to be confident in themselves as well as practical self defense. This school is not a substitute for good parenting, on the contrary, it is a tool to be used by parents as a supplement to instill proper ideals and to provide guidelines to ensure your child is well rounded.

And as for a 10yr old girl (with a black belt) being able to beat up a 30yr old man... you're an idiot. That's not what I expect to happen at all. I expect the girl to be able put up more of a defense to help prevent things from escalating out of control.

But if you want a demonstration, I'd be happy to let my 8yr old son (Brown Belt), climb on the sparring mat with you any day. All I have to tell him is to let loose, and I GUARANTEE he'll tag you a few times before you know it. Do I expect him to beat you up, no, but he'll put up one hell of a fight & enjoy it too.

This being said, I stand by my original statements that this is a great school, and should be considered by anyone looking to further themselves or their children. —Aaron.Curtin

2009-08-27 22:15:50   The person who posts anonymously under the name “Dozer” makes the heady claim that Baciarini’s Martial Arts is a “McDojo.” Cute…but inaccurate. (Black belt under 2-3 years! Hah!)

How do I know that the school is not a “McDojo,” even though Baciarini’s Martial Arts is the only school I have trained at? Well, I offer this observation…

I have gone to a fair number of regional or national martial arts competitions (such as the Delta Smackdown or Golden Gate Nationals), competing in both traditional forms and sparring. I consistently won first and second place prizes in my divisions. My wife (also a black belt at Baciarini’s) has had a similar career, and even won Grand Champion in one of her sparring events!

Not bad for students from what “Dozer” would dismiss as a “McDojo.”

P.S. I’m not boastful by nature, so I apologize for my awards-flaunting. But it’s a good measure of the school’s quality instruction. —BarryRice

2009-10-07 08:55:11   I love this school. It is challenging, but encouraging. The owners are kind and professional. It is not for everyone, especially sparring, but even if you can't complete the entire black belt program it is a great benefit to learn the self-defense skills. —[Pallen's/Baciarini's student since 2005]

2009-12-08 19:06:13   I currently have two sons and a daughter at Baciarini's. Ages 8, 15, 22. I am ecstatic with the positive effects on all three. The staff treat us all like family. Last year, the 15 year-old had a change of heart about half-way through the year. I was happy for him to learn that when one makes a commitment to a one year program, one is responsible to keep that commitment. I never even thought about NOT honoring MY commitment to the school. Shame on those parents who don't see the value in honoring one's commitments and in teaching that value to their children. Sadly, their children could probably benefit even more than others from exposure to the high ideals and true integrity taught here. —dpland

2010-03-14 14:43:55

Also, for the idiot who wishes for their 8 year old to fight me. Dude, Im not going to hit an 8 year old. Seriously, WTF is wrong with you? You can flaunt your childs bought belt all you want, but in the end the average full grown man can toss 200lbs and your child weighs what, 112lbs? Youre probably the worst father I have ever heard of. —Dozer

  • Seriously... Call me so I can talk to you in single syllable words so you can properly understand what I'm trying to convey. I offered for my son to spar with you, not follow you blindly into a back alley. The essence of most martial arts is to make you into a better person so that you in turn can make the world a better place. This school does that on many different levels for its students weather they realize it or not. Perhaps you should go back to your school's beginner classes and listen to to ideals they are trying to teach rather than trying to skip to the bone breaking techniques. A strong foundation is necessary for you to take root and grow into a strong individual... from our conversations here, your foundation is seriously lacking. As for my parenting techniques, we'll just leave that alone. But if you'd care to apologize in person, click the links on my REAL name, and swing by the shop. —Aaron.Curtin

2010-10-10 13:17:47   Reading these comments makes me laugh. Dozer, you are obviously an idiot. I myself went through Baciarini's (then Pallens) as a young girl (I was 7 when I left, and am now 17) and I can honestly say that if I was put up against an adult male no, I probably could not have beaten them, but I definitely had the skills to seriously maim him, or buy myself enough time to run. Martial arts is not about beating people up, it's about teaching people the skills they need to deal with a dangerous situation. Having continued my martial arts training where I am now, I can say that if I had to fight for my life I could, wether being attacked by one person or a group. No, a 10 year old girl is unlikely to be able to 'beat up' a 30 year old male, but I'd like to see how fast you can grab her after she's kicked you in the groin and run for it. That's all she needs to do. She will grow up, and as she grows her karate training will stay with her, even if she's stopped training. It's a life skill. So if you could stop being an idiot it would be really nice for everyone. Also, being a black belt is more than being able to 'defeat any white belt'. It's about having the skills to fight, but knowing when to use them. In what situation will you have to 'beat up' a white belt? You may have to spar, but as a black belt you will have the understanding and skills to be able to use control, and to teach the person you are sparring the same skills. So stop spouting crap about stuff you have no knowledge of, and go bang some rocks together and evolve into less of an idiot. —Scarlet

2012-05-22 22:20:24   This is a great place to get professionally done photos —KCSlater

2012-06-15 23:36:56   This place has good instructors and serves as a positive environment for its students. The problem is that the management increasingly focuses on making more money doing everything from selling items the kids will rarely use to increasing the time between belt testing so that you have to stay with the program about 25 percent longer. The parking situation is horrible and at times contentious. Instructors now come out and ask that you do not drop off in the parking lot but rather park at this "near by" garage that takes 10 minutes more of your time to park and walk your kid to 90 degree heat for a 45 minute class.

The courses and teachers are quality, but based on cost and parking safety and convenience I would explore other facilities first before you get hooked into their payment contract. —Samruben