Bill Viola Jr. is a #1 Amazon Best-Selling Author. His book “Tough Guys” was the inspiration of the Showtime Documentary film Tough Guys which made its network television debut in 2017.
✅ Award-Winning Author│Producer│Promoter│Martial Artist│MMA Historian @ Godfathers of MMA│ Serial Entrepreneur│Sensei│組手 Expert │Fitness & Health Consultant
Bill Viola Jr. is a Pittsburgh Pennsylvania based Master Martial Arts instructor and president of Kumite Classic Entertainment Corp. Kumite Clasic owns and operates Allegheny “Viola” Shotokan Karate established in 1969 by his father (Bill Viola Sr., the co-creator of the sport of mixed martial arts).
In 2016 Pittsburgh Magazine named Viola Jr. as one of the “40 Under 40” most influential people in the city. He is the creative force behind the highly acclaimed Sensei Says ® life skills curriculum. “Sensei” Bill is an Amazon #1 best-selling author, blogger, and creator of the CommonSensei ® self-help brand dedicated to enlightenment, wisdom, and knowledge.
Viola was featured in the 2017 release of “Who’s Who in the Martial Arts” by Jesse Bowen. The book honored Viola with a Lifetime Achievement and Legends in American Martial Arts status.
His book, Godfathers of MMA, was the inspiration of the Film “Tough Guys” where he teamed up with Oscar® winning filmmaker Ross Kauffman and Academy Award® nominated documentarian Morgan Spurlock (SUPER SIZE ME) to produce “Tough Guys.” Viola re-released and re-branded (Tough Guys) the book to coincide with the film. On October 16th 2017 the book hit #1 as the top seller in the Amazon sports category.
- University of Pittsburgh
- Summa Cum Laude
- University Scholar
- BA Political Science, 1999
» Work Experience
Allegheny Shotokan Karate Inc., North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania
Master Instructor, 1995-Present
- Recognized as World Champion by Arnold Schwarzenegger, 1998
- USA Karate Federation National Champion
- All American Athlete
- Creator Norwin Ninjas Program
- Creator Sensei Says ®
- Trained Olympic-level, NFL, MLB athletes
Kumite Classic Entertainment Corp., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
President & Founder, 1999-Present
- Established 18th Annual Pittsburgh Fitness Expo
- Film producer and writer
Star Equity LLC, Greater Pittsburgh Region
- Commerical & Residential real estate
- Investment & Management
Non-Fiction, 2003-Present: Notable work
- Go Ask Your Dad (2016) Debuted on Amazon Best Seller List
- Godfathers of MMA (2015) Inspiration of the documentary film Tough Guys (2016)
Kumite Quarterly Magazine., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Eckert Seamans Law Firm, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
KI Scholarship Program Director, 2001-2007
Congressman Ron Klink (PA 4th District), North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania
Congressional Intern, 1997
Western Pennsylvania Police Athletic League Martial Arts Chairman Union member of the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio.
- Honored with The Willie Stargell “MVP Award” for community service, 2011
- Recipient of The Lifetime Achievement Award, Sport Karate Museum, 2005
- Inducted into The Martial Arts Hall of Fame, 2003
- Member of the “Whos Who in the Martial Arts” 2017 (Legend of American Karate recipient)
Pittsburgh Magazine named Bill Viola Jr. as one of the “40 Under 40” most influential people in the city in 2016.
Bill Viola Jr. is a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania based producer, author and international martial arts champion who experienced the “Golden Era” of MMA firsthand as his father; Bill Sr. is credited as the co-creator of the sport (a decade before the UFC) by the Heinz History Center, in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institute.
Bill graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Pittsburgh in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and immediately moved to Hollywood, California to gain hands-on experience in the entertainment industry. Subsequently, he earned acceptance into the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and American Federation of Television and Radio (AFTRA) en route to establishing his own production company, Kumite Classic Entertainment in 1999.
- Twitter: @kumiteclassic
- Facebook: Bill Viola Jr.
- Website: Godfathers of MMA
- Wikipedia: Bill Viola Jr.
- IMDB: Bill Viola Jr.
- LinkedIn: Bill Viola Jr.
He established Kumite Quarterly magazine in 2003, serving as publisher and overseeing distribution throughout North America until 2007. Viola is an accomplished freelance journalist, contracted by Sport Karate Magazine to cover the Sport Karate World Games on location in Mexico, Canada, and across the United States.
In 2014, Viola published the critically acclaimed non-fiction book Godfathers of MMA inspired by the life of his father. The book is the subject of the upcoming documentary film Tough Guys (2017). Viola has also served as an independent consultant for number major motion pictures including the mixed martial arts movie Warrior (2011) and as an Associate Producer for the film Tapped Out (2014) starring former UFC champions Lyoto Machida and Anderson “Spider” Silva. In 2016, he co-authored Go Ask Your Dad, an inspirational book about fatherhood which debuted on the Amazon best sellers list.
Bill teaches martial arts at the same school his father established in 1969 (Allegheny Shotokan). He is part of a growing Pittsburgh karate legacy that that now includes his daughter, Gabriella Capri Viola and son Wiliam Viola IV.
In 2016 he released the Amazon best selling book, “Go Ask Your Dad.”
I faced it all and I stood tall, And did it my way
? Frank Sinatra
✨ Pittsburgh, PA “City of Champions”
Ⓚ Kumite Classic Entertainment
Ⓟ Pittsburgh Fitness Expo
Ⓥ Viola Karate legacy established in 1969
✪ Member of SAG-AFTRA
✪ Sport Karate Hall of Fame ?
✪ Pittsburgh 40 under 40
✪ Willie Stargell “MVP” recipient
William “Bill” Viola III (born April 9, 1977) is an Amazon best-selling author, international martial arts champion, instructor, coach, fitness promoter and founder of Kumite Classic Entertainment Corp. Bill Viola graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Pittsburgh in 1999 with a bachelor degree in Political Science. Immediately after graduation, he moved to Studio City, California and gained hands-on experience within the entertainment industry. He subsequently earned acceptance into the Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG) and American Federation of Television and Radio (AFTRA). The exposure afforded him the opportunity to meet and work with many of Hollywood’s top performers, celebrities, directors, and producers. He gained an astute knowledge of event production that influenced him to create his own production company, Kumite Classic Entertainment Corp. The company produces the annual Kumite Classic and launched the Fitness And Sports Tour (FAST Expo) and Pittsburgh Fitness Expo. Viola’s professional experience has earned him international recognition within the fitness industry. He has recruited and worked with professional athletes (NFL & MLB) from across the world including Olympic Champions. Currently Viola is the head instructor at Allegheny Shotokan Karate in North Huntingdon / Irwin, PA. The school was established in 1969 by his father and is now home to Team Kumite, an all-star sport karate team that that has earned the only NBL world titles in the Pittsburgh region since its inception. Viola is available for seminars, workshops, and private lessons.
The Kumite Classic
The Kumite Classic is one of the most diverse martial arts and fitness expos in the United States. The annual show based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is typically held over Memorial Day Weekend. The event hosts a full scale consumer expo surrounded by multiple championships and competitions that run simultaneously including sports such as; sport karate, natural bodybuilding, power lifting, strongman, Olympic weight lifting, dance, cheer, arm wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, physical fitness challenges etc. The event also hosts concerts, talent showcases, model pageants, bikini pageants, and fitness pageants. The high energy atmosphere has created a unique fan base of sports and fitness enthusiasts.
In 2012 Viola teamed up with UFC and MMA legend Royce Gracie to promote a series of seminars with the Kumite Classic.
Viola partnered with former Mr. World Dave Hawk and Olympic Champion and Professional Wrestler Kurt Angle to host the Ultimate Teen Challenge in Pittsburgh, May 2005. The event has become an annual feature at the Kumite Classic.
On May 30th 2010 Bill Viola Sr. resurrected CV Productions Inc. and promoted “Caged Kumite,” a pro-am mixed martial arts show at the Kumite Classic. The event commemorated the thirty-year anniversary of mixed martial arts in Pittsburgh.
On May 28th 2011 Bill Viola partnered with former NFL Professional player Franco Harris to host The World Teen Football Combine. Jeannette High School standout Demetrious Cox, a former karate student of Viola, won the first annual competition.
Bill Viola was introduced to the art of Shotokan Karate by his father William Viola, founder of Allegheny Shotokan Karate. His lessons began as early as 1978 when he was just a toddler. As a youth Viola was one of the most consistent and well rounded competitors in the country recognized as a USAKF Jr. Olympic champion and 1993 Overall Sport Karate International Champion. He went on to be the most successful sport karate champion in Pennsylvania Karate Rating Association history winning an unprecedented 8-consecutive black belt overall state titles (1992-1999). As an open and traditional competitor Viola excelled on multiple circuits including NBL, NASKA, AAU, and USAKF. He competed across North America as a member of X-Caliber and Metro All-Star national travel teams.
He was recognized as a multiple USA Karate All-American Athlete and National Champion. Viola was the only adult black belt triple gold medalist (Kata, -65 Kilo Kumite, Kobudo) at the 1997 USAKF National Championships in Akron, Ohio. read more In 1998 he was recognized by Arnold Schwarzenegger as a World Champion at The Arnold Classic, Columbus, Oh.
Viola has served as a stunt actor and choreographer including performances for Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon Movies, US Steel, Police Athletic League, Eckert Seamans Law Firm, and the University of Pittsburgh. Over the years Viola has participated as a spokesperson for national campaigns including, Say No to Drugs, a tour took Viola coast to coast from Los Angeles to New York. -Pictured left, Bill Viola congratulated by Arnold Schwarzenegger for winning the Arnold Classic -1998
Viola has won numerous national and international titles and was inducted into National Black Belt League Hall of Fame in 2003 (Houston, Texas). He was also inducted into the National Federation of Martial Arts Hall of Fame, Kumite International Hall of Fame, and the Pennsylvania Karate Rating Association Hall of Fame. In 2004 he was honored at The Sport Karate Living Legends Banquet with the Lifetime Achievement Award, Lynchburg, Va. Viola was recognized at the 35th Annual Willie Stargell Memorial banquet on December 16th 2010. He received the “Pittsburgh M.V.P.” award for his work within the fitness and Martial Arts industry.
In the summer of 1999, Viola was involved in an automobile accident on US Route 30 in North Huntingdon, PA. He sustained a serious cervical neck fracture injury that effectively ended his competitive karate career (1981-1999). –Tribune Review Westmoreland Sports August 15, 1999 page 6.
In 2003 Viola established Kumite Quaterly Magazine, a martial arts publication distributed throughout North America. He also has served as a journalist for Sport Karate Magazine, covering international events in Canada, Mexico and the United States, as well as the NBL Supergrands World Championships.
In 2000, Viola partnered with the Western PA Police Athletic League and Eckert Seamans Lawfirm to establish Kumite International college scholarships for competitive martial artists. May 8th 2004 Viola and former NFL Professional Lynn Swann (Chairman, President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports: June 20, 2002 – July 30, 2005) honored scholarship recipients at the Kumite Classic. In 2002 Team Kumite was founded, and have earned the only NBL World Titles in the Pittsburgh region since its inception. NBL World Champion alumni include; Alison Viola, Terrence Tubio, Nicole Sullivan, Jose Rivera, and Dominic Leader. Kumite International was awarded the “Image Award” at the 2005 Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio. The ceremony was covered by Black Belt TV.
Fitness And Sports Training
In 1995 Viola began teaching sports endurance and cardio classes. In 2004 Viola expanded his personal training and established “Fitness And Sports Training” (The FAST Class). The conditioning and sports performance classes focused on improved speed, agility and strength for competitive sports teams in the Pittsburgh region.
Viola has served as a consultant for martial arts documentaries and coordinator for International martial arts events across North America including the Mexican Open and the NBL Supergrands World Games; (Jacksonville, Florida / Houston, Texas / Myrtle Beach, South Carolina).
Viola has served as a talent judge and promo coordinator for Sony Pictures Entertainment. He acted as a consultant for the motion picture Warrior, a mixed martial arts movie filmed in Pittsburgh (released September, 2011 by Lionsgate). Viola teamed up with longtime associate Jim Cvetic (Western PA Police Athletic League) to help organize major scenes for the production.
In 2000, Viola won Sisqo’s Shakedown, MTV’s most popular program at the time. Singer-choreographer Pink selected him as the most dynamic performer on the show. He has also made appearances in national commercials for companies such as 7-Eleven and built an impressive portfolio as a fashion and commercial print model, featured on MTV’s Hitched or Ditched (Big Bear, California) working along side Jennifer Lopez, Mandy Moore and Carson Daly.
Viola has worked as a freelance talent scout and entertainment entrepreneur. He has mentored top martial arts performers, helping them gain exposure within the entertainment industry. Viola helped launch the modeling career of Nick Bateman at the Model Universe competition in Miami, Florida. Bateman was discovered by fashion Icon Calvin Klein at the event.
Viola has extensive experience within the entertainment industry, working behind the scenes of major Hollywood productions. He has worked on location for big budget music videos sharing the set with musical artists such as the Def Tones, Britney Spears, and The Black Eyed Peas. The experience influenced the creation of The Kumite Classic concept.
Viola is the author of Godfathers of MMA.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Bill Viola Jr. is a Pittsburgh area based Amazon best-selling author, film producer and international martial arts champion/Sensei who experienced the “Golden Era” of MMA firsthand as his father; Bill Sr. is credited as the co-creator of the sport (a decade before the UFC) by the Heinz History Center, in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institute.
Bill graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Pittsburgh in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and immediately moved to Hollywood, California to gain hands-on experience in the entertainment industry. Subsequently, he earned acceptance into the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and American Federation of Television and Radio (AFTRA) en route to establishing his own production company, Kumite Classic Entertainment in 1999. The company’s signature event, the self-titled “Kumite Classic,” is regarded as the mecca for martial arts in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The company hosts the annual Pittsburgh Fitness Expo, regarded as the largest and most established multi-sport convention in Western Pennsylvania attracting sports and entertainment icons such as Lynn Swann, Franco Harris, Antonio Brown, Ice-T, and Royce Gracie over the years.
Viola Jr. established Kumite Quarterly magazine in 2003, serving as publisher and overseeing distribution throughout North America until 2007. The magazine was the official publication of Kumite International, a scholarship foundation (the first of its kind) established by Viola Jr. in partnership with Eckert Seamans Law Firm. Viola Jr. is an accomplished freelance journalist, contracted by such publications as Martial Arts Success, Sport Karate Magazine and Sport Karate Illustrated.
In 2014, Viola Jr. published the critically acclaimed non-fiction book Godfathers of MMA inspired by the life of his father. The book was the subject of the documentary film Tough Guys which made its network television debut on SHOWTIME (2017). The book was re-released as Tough Guys (a commemorative edition) and soared to the #1 on the Amazon charts for sports (October, 2017). Viola is now fielding offers to develop a screenplay for Tough Guys as a major motion picture. He has served as an independent consultant for number major motion pictures including the mixed martial arts movie Warrior (2011) and as an Producer and Associate Producer for the films such as Tapped Out (2014) starring former UFC champions Lyoto Machida and Anderson “Spider” Silva.
In 2016, he co-authored Go Ask Your Dad, an inspirational book about fatherhood which debuted on the Amazon best-sellers list. His work was honored by Pittsburgh Magazine who named him to the prestigious “40 under 40” list recognizing the most influential young leaders in the city.
Viola Jr. was one of the most consistent sport karate competitors in the country recognized as a multiple time United States of America Karate Federation (USAKF) National Champion and All-American Athlete. In 1998 he was recognized by Arnold Schwarzenegger as a World Champion at The Arnold Sports Festival, Columbus, Ohio. “Sensei” Bill is the head coach of “Team Kumite,” an all-star travel team that represents Pittsburgh on a global scale and continues to teach martial arts at the same school his father established in 1969 (Allegheny Shotokan). He has trained and worked with world and Olympic-level competitors and professional athletes from the NFL and MLB.
He is the creative force behind the nationally renowned Sensei Says ® life skills curriculum. His latest project is CommonSensei, a self-help book and brand dedicated to the skills they forget to teach you growing up, is in development. He is part of a growing Pittsburgh karate legacy that that includes all four of his sisters and now his daughter, Gabriella Capri Viola and son William Viola IV.
Further reading on Bill Viola Jr:
- Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Viola_Jr
- Website: www.billviolajr.com
- Interview with Bill Viola Jr.
- Tough Guys IMDb
Showtime: “Tough Guys” Sho.com
Madarasz, Anne. “Tough Guys”. Western Pennsylvania History, Volume 94, Number 3, fall 2011.
Bloom, Elizabeth. “From Pittsburgh roots, MMA, UFC have grown to staggering heights” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. February 19, 2016.
Page-Kirby, Kristen. “AFI Docs is your ticket to 3 world-premiere films” June 15, 2017 Washington Post
McNary, Dave. “ Morgan Spurlock to Exec Produce MMA Origins Documentary ‘Tough Guys’ (EXCLUSIVE)” June 13, 2017 Variety
Klimovich-Harrop, Joanne. “‘Tough Guys’ traces MMA’s roots right back to Western Pennsylvania” Sept. 12, 2017. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Whalen, William. “‘Tough Guys’ documentary profiles local creators of MMA Viola, Caliguri” July 8, 2017. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Golightly, Justin. “Showtime to Air New ‘Tough Guys’ Documentary on Early Days of MMA” August 29, 2017. BJpenn.com
Sciullo, Maria. “Showtime documentary proves Pittsburgh-area early mixed martial arts fighters were ‘Tough Guys’” Sept, 15 2017. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“‘Tough Guys’ documentary sheds welcome light on forgotten MMA tourney that pre-dates UFC 1” Mike Chiappetta Sept. 15, 201.7 MMA Fighting
Bowen, Jessie. “Who’s Who in the Marital Arts, Legends Edition.” September 25, 2017. Page 365. ISBN-10: 1387161539