Martial Arts is much more than just kicking and punching! Martial Arts training empowers people, young and old alike. Whether a child is lacking focus or confidence, or an adult is looking for a good exercise program that is fun and motivating, martial arts classes can provide exactly what is needed. More families are training together and developing a common bond between parent and child, which builds stronger families.


Hi, my name is Dennis Forleo, owner of Shepherd-Warrior Martial Arts in Billings, MT. I want to take a moment to welcome you to our website and to say THANK YOU for considering Martial Arts for your child. I’ve taught kids martial arts classes for years and as you can imagine, I’ve seen every kind of personality you can think of in a child. Rambunctious, shy, defiant, complacent…every child is different, with special gifts to give and challenges to overcome, and I’ve seen Martial Arts classes help every single one of them find their inner strength, peace, and focus.



We had such a wonderful experience. My daughter responded well to the structured, encouraging environment. The staff is great with the kids. My daughter made friends and learned new skills. We started with lessons, and then used them for summer care/day camp. It was a huge relief to know she was well cared for and having fun when I had to work some long hours. We even had her 6th birthday there, and it was a blast! If we didn’t recently move out of state we would still be going to class!

Laura Carerra, Sasha’s Mom

This is such an AWESOME place. The instructors are phenomenal at not only instructing karate but also teaching the children about life’s lessons such as respect, discipline, listening, and treating everyone as an equal. My daughter loves attending and hates to leave. Highly, highly recommended.

Cassie Coplin, Brenleigh’s Mom


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Dennis Forleo
Dennis ForleoOwner

Master Forleo has been involved in martial arts for 30 years and reached his 1st Black Belt when he was only 11 years old. He began teaching in 1987 under the supervision of his instructor, Brian Cunnings.

He moved to Montana in 2000 and opened his own school in 2003. Besides his 6th Degree Black Belt rank in Chi-Tu Do, he was promoted to Associate Grandmaster in the Estalilla Kabaroan system of Eskrima by GM Ramiro U. Estalilla Jr. on July 21, 2013. He has also has achieved a 5th Degree Black Belt in Shiho Karano Ju Jitsu under Soke Clement Riedner, a 4th Degree Black Belt in Chung Do Kwan Tae Kwon Do under GM Edward B. Sell, and a Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Most recently, he achieved a 1st Degree Black Belt in Krav Maga in the USKMA under Mark Slane. He has also trained with Bill Kipp for some time and has become a Master FAST Instructor and Predator. Master Forleo teaches the Black Belt classes and many of the Advanced levels as well as the Leadership Academy. Master Forleo was also recently recognized by the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame as “2014 Master of the Year.”

Michael Johnson
Michael Johnsonfull-time staff members

Mr. Johnson is one of our school’s full-time staff members. Mr. Johnson came to our school in June of 2007 as a Brown Belt from another style. He tested for 1st Degree Black belt in March 2008.

He has since attained a 2nd Degree in both Shiho Karano Ju Jitsu and also Kabaron Eskrima as well as achieving an Instructor certification in Krav Maga. Most recently, he tested for 4th Degree Black belt (Associate Master) in Chi-Tu Do in February 2017. Mr. Johnson has taught all ages and levels, and currently teaches many of the Adult Chi-Tu Do classes as well as in the Leadership Academy. His creativity and passion for sharing his knowledge makes his classes fun and informative, as well as a great workout!

Keith Babcock
Keith BabcockChaplain

Dr. Babcock is our school’s Chaplain, certified through Soke Riedner in the Martial Arts Chaplains Association. He spent over 20 years as the Chaplain at the Montana Rescue Mission in Billings and recently transitioned into retirement.

He started his training in Chi-Tu Do in March 2005, when he was 66 years old. He has since achieved a 3rd Degree Black Belt in Chi-Tu Do and is a Certified Bachelor Instructor in Estalilla Kabaroan Eskrima as well as a 2nd Degree in Shiho Karano Ju Jitsu. He also, just recently, completed his Level 1 Krav Maga certification. Dr. Babcock (or Chappy, as we call him) firmly believes that one is never too old to start martial arts training.



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