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Tough Guys MMA Book

Tough Guys Book The Birth of An American Sport – MMA

tough guys mma book

https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/books/book-detail-page?ie=UTF8&bookASIN=B075J4ZYXV

Special commemorative edition of Godfathers of MMA released to kindle!

“Pittsburgh” is recognized in the network broadcast premiere of the mixed martial arts inspired film “Tough Guys” debuting on Showtime September 15.  The free event will offer open seating available on a first-come, first-serve basis celebrating local fighters, fans, and MMA pioneers.

The movie is based on the book Godfathers of MMA written by Pittsburgh native Bill Viola Jr. The book which he co-wrote with his cousin Dr. Fred Adams also documents Pittsburgh as the birthplace of MMA, which is now a billion-dollar business. Viola Jr. explains, “When most fight fans think MMA history, they immediately reminisce about the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) which made its debut in 1993.  My dad and Frank created the sport over a decade before the UFC.  This is the untold story.”

The movie is largely based in Western Pennsylvania and has strong ties to the city of Greensburg.  In fact, the last “Tough Guy” event was held in Greensburg at “Hartys” on November 6-7th 1980.

Academy Award-nominated documentarian Morgan Spurlock (“SUPER SIZE ME”) teamed with Oscar-winning filmmaker Ross Kauffman (“BORN INTO BROTHELS”) to produce this film that chronicles the history of MMA beginning in Pittsburgh over a decade before the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) existed.

“Back then, my dad literally mixed up all the martial arts and invented the ‘Tough Guy’ competition, not to be confused with Toughman, which was purely boxing,” Viola Jr. said. “Last year the UFC sold for $4 billion dollars.”

The film was executive produced by Spurlock, Kauffman and Spurlock’s business partner, Jeremy Chilnick. It was directed by award-winning filmmakers Henry Roosevelt and W.B. Zullo and produced by award-winning commercial producer Craig DiBiase.

Although Godfathers of MMA has already been written and published, Viola Jr. plans to re-release the book as a commemorative edition to coincide with the network debut of the film and will include bonus material, a new chapter and rebranded as Tough Guys to match the film.

According to Viola Jr., in 1979, his father and Caliguri dreamed up a contest pitting barroom big mouths against wrestlers, martial artists, boxers, bouncers and brawlers, billed as a no -holds-barred new type of competitive fighting. “When the fights succeeded beyond their wildest expectations, they were swept up in a chain of events that ended in the first mixed martial arts ban in the nation when the Senate passed the ‘Tough Guy Law’ in 1983.”

“Tough Guys” recounts the inception of Caliguri and Viola Sr.’s first bouts and the colorful, crazy cast of fighters who made them a hit, as well as the politicians who prohibited it. The film brings to life a moment when the national martial arts craze was building to a crescendo as the economies of Pennsylvania steel towns were plummeting to levels of unemployment never seen before or since, breeding desperate men looking for a chance to prove their worth and earn some money in the ring.

“The film presents the untold stories of scrappy brawlers and martial arts promoters,” said Viola Jr., who served as an associate producer. “And, it covers a broad audience of Pittsburgh-area characters.”

For more information about the book, visit www.GodfathersofMMA.com or www.toughguycontest.com

On September 18th 2017 “Tough Guys” was #1 Best Selling Sports Book on Amazon!  Congrats Bill Viola Jr. and Dr. Fred Adams

tough guys book
Tough Guys Book #1 Amazon Best Seller By Bill Viola Jr.

martial arts infographichttp://mmahistory.org/mma-family-tree/

University of Pittsburgh Alumni Spotlight

University of Pittsburgh Alumni Spotlight:  Jennifer (Beaver) ’01 and Bill Viola Jr. ’99

Jennifer (Beaver) Viola graduated from the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg in 2001 with a BS in Business Management. Bill Viola Jr. graduated summa cum laude in 1999 with a BS in Political Science and Sociology minor.

Recently celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary, Bill and Jenn met while students at Pitt-Greensburg. Bill said that meeting Jenn was his fondest memory on campus, along with the Spring Flings and school trips to New York City. Jenn added that the wedding party photos were taken in front of the campus’ fountain.

Both Jenn and Bill were working when they were drawn to Pitt-Greensburg. Jenn said she had a “great job” as a manager at Comtel Communications, so she wanted to stay close to home. Bill was teaching martial arts full-time. He said the campus was “the perfect fit in proximity while offering me solid pre-law options.”

Bill said the campus had a “hometown feel.” His first impression was the friendliness, as he saw a lot of familiar faces from the Norwin and Hempfield areas that made the transition very easy. Jenn agreed that the campus was welcoming and “not overwhelming.”

Ecology of the Rocky Mountains—a weeklong field study—with Dr. Tim Savisky was one of Jenn’s favorite memories as a Pitt-Greensburg student, which she was able to share with some of her closest friends, including now-husband Bill, Addie (Viola) Krisfalusy ’01, and Jenna (Reamer) O’Shell ’02. She also enjoyed her time in Japanese class with “Sensei” Vitaly: “He encouraged me to take a leadership role in the Bushido Club where I became president.”

“Without a doubt,” Bill recalled Dr. Carl Poke as the faculty member who had the greatest influence on him. “He inspired me to be a better student and set me up as an intern with Federal Congressman Ron Klink of the Pennsylvania 4th District in North Huntingdon,” Bill said. “Dr. Poke was a great mentor and advisor who helped me realize my potential.” He added that “you had to respect a man who could rock the bow tie like Dr. Poke!”

Immediately after graduation, Bill established his own production company, Kumite Classic Entertainment Corp. Under its umbrella, he produces fitness expos and martial arts events, publishes magazines and books, and offers talent management services in the Pittsburgh region. He earned membership into SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) and has had the distinction of being an Amazon-bestselling author. To this day, he still teaches at the same karate school (Allegheny Shotokan) that his father established in 1969 and loves being Sensei. He recently launched a life-skills based curriculum called Sensei Says.

Bill said that these days his biggest inspiration is his daughter, Gabriella (Gabby) Capri Viola: “She just started kindergarten and is active in karate, swimming, and piano.” Gabby inspired Jenn to start her own business, 123 Mommy and Me, a child-parent bonding class. Following graduation, Jenn continued her education and received a master’s degree in Elementary Education. Today, she teaches children social skills through music, movement, and art. And, in her spare time, she likes to stay active, stating, “I love working out and keeping up with the latest trends in fitness and nutrition.”

In his spare time, Bill likes to write. He said, “I have a new self-help book series in development called CommonSensei that offers advice to young people who are ready to take on the world. I also enjoy staying active in the film industry both as a writer, consultant, and producer. My most recent work is Tough Guys (2017), which was inspired by my book Godfathers of MMA.”

As to why Bill and Jenn are interested in staying connected to Pitt-Greensburg, Bill said, “The University represents my roots. I love Western Pennsylvania and the opportunities this region has given me. I own and operate Pittsburgh’s largest multi-sport convention and fitness expo, but few people know that my first Kumite Classic event was hosted at Pitt-Greensburg in the gymnasium. Pitt-Greensburg was my springboard.”

Pittsburgh 40 under 40

Bill Viola Jr 40 under 40

bill viola jr magazine

Bill Viola Jr. Named to Pittsburgh Magazine’s “40 under 40” List

40 under 40 bill viola jr

The 2016 class of 40 Pittsburghers Under the age of 40, who are shaping our region, was celebrated by Pittsburgh Magazine October 21st at the Rivers Casino.  For the past 18 years, Pittsburgh Magazine and the Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project has complied a prestigious list to honor and recognize outstanding people ranging from CEOs to non-profit leaders who are changing the city for the better. These influential leaders are featured in November’s issue of Pittsburgh Magazine, now on newsstands.  The list is considered the premier honor for young professionals in Western Pennsylvania.

The process to narrow an entire city and region down to just 40 recipients is a daunting task that included a through selection process.  Viola Jr. caught the eye of the committee through his reputation as a leader in the martial arts industry and the recent award winning books.  As the author of “Godfathers of MMA,” his work is recognized at the Heinz History Center, in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institute with an exhibit that chronicles Pittsburgh as the birthplace of modern mixed martial arts.  The book, inspired by his father’s [Bill Viola Sr.] life story is the subject and basis of the film; Tough Guys (now is post production).

As graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, he is the creative force behind Kumite Classic Entertainment which oversees the region’s largest multi-sport event (The Pittsburgh Fitness Expo).  His resume includes film producing, talent management, journalism, and mixed martial arts historian.  He is a member of the Sport Karate Museum Hall of Fame and recipient of the Willie Stargell Pittsburgh MVP Award.  His most recent work is the creation of the “Sensei Says” martial arts curriculum, which has had a direct positive impact on the North Huntingdon community implemented with “Norwin Ninjas.”  Norwin Ninjas is the sister program of his families karate business (Allegheny Shotokan Karate) which his father, Bill Viola Sr., established in 1969.  The Ninjas teach life skills, and mentor kids to become future black belts.  Viola Jr. explains, “We build champions in life.” He is part of a growing Pittsburgh karate legacy that that includes all four of his sisters and his daughter, Gabriella Capri Viola, a Kindergartner at Stewartsville Elementary.

The award has garnered the attention of community leaders as Viola Jr. has received congratulations from The United States Senate, as well as the Allegheny County Council who issued an official proclamation honoring for his achievement and praising his, “passion, commitment, visibility, diversity and overall impact on the region.”

The ceremony was is presented by Dollar Bank and in association with BNY Mellon, Carlow University, Junior Achievement, UPMC Health Plan among others.  The full list of 40 under 40 winners can be view at www.pittsburghmagazine.com

 

Pittsburgh Karate

pittsburgh karate

Pittsburgh based Allegheny Shotokan Karate was established in 1969, and is a member of the USA Karate Hall of Fame. The Martial Arts School based in the Pittsburgh region of Western Pennsylvania. The club was founded by Sensei William Viola. The name “Allegheny” represented the school’s first location in Allegheny County (East Allegheny High School). “Shotokan,” is the base style of Japanese Karate taught. Over the past 40 years the school has held classes in the suburbs of Pittsburgh including Turtle Creek, North Versailles, Paintertown, White Oak, Irwin, North Irwin and currently residing in North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.

The school is based on the traditional principles of the Shotokan Karate. Later the school became affiliated with the United States Karate Association and USA Karate Federation.

In 1969 Viola began instructing Keith Bertoluzzi, his first student at East Allegheny High School. Bertoluzzi was the Master of Ceremonies at the Holiday House, Monroeville, PA. Bertoluzzi used his musical influence to invite several celebrities to attend karate classes including;

During the 1970s and 1980s the club was a dominant force at martial arts competitions, successful in both karate and kick boxing championships. The school is credited with sponsoring numerous championships including the Laurel State Karate Championships founded in the 1970s. In 1980, members of the dojo entered mixed martial arts style fights know as Toughguy competitions. During the 1990s the school organized the USA Karate Allegheny Mountain Championships, a qualifier for the USAKF National Championships. In 1992 the school was instrumental in bringing the USA Karate Junior Olympics to the University of Pittsburgh Field House. At the time, The USAKF was the national governing body for Karate in the United States (1985-1995), and member of the US Olympic Committee.

USA Karate Team Members Doug Selchan and Dustin Baldis began their training at the school. Selchan went on the win a Gold Medal the 1999 Pan-American Games for the United States. In 2003 The USA Karate Federation named William Viola as Man of the Year, and inducted him into the USA Karate Hall of Fame largely in part of his body of work at Allegheny Shotokan.

Allegheny Shotokan Karate is the only karate school in Pennsylvania Karate Rating Association history to win all seven grand casino online championships at the Pittsburgh Karate Championships in 1996. Viola’s son, Bill Viola won 8-consecutive black belt overall state titles (1992-1999) and was inducted into the PKRA Hall online casino of Fame. In 1998 the school was honored by Arnold Schwarzenegger as the #1 Martial Note that even if you’re well (and presumably toxin free?) a hair follicle drug test is still recommended. Arts Demo team in the United States of America.

Allegheny Shotokan has produced hundreds of regional, national, and international champions including titles from; Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), United States of America Karate Federation (USAKF), United States of American National Karate Federation (USANKF), National Black Belt League (NBL), Sport Karate International (SKI) North American Sport Karate Association (NASKA), and Police Athletic League (PAL) Pennsylvania Karate Rating Association (PKRA).

Modern Champions:

Allegheny Shotokan is the home of Team Kumite, an all-star travel team. The dojo is the most successful sport karate school in the Pittsburgh region producing the only NBL World Champions in the past decade including; 3x World casino online Champion Terrance Tubio, 3x World Champion Alison Viola, most recently 2010 World Champion Dominic Leader.

In 2010 Allegheny Shotokan launched Norwin Ninjas, a specialized course designed to build self-confidence, instill respect, and teach discipline to children ages 4-7 years olds.

Viola Family

William Viola has had the opportunity to teach all five of his children Shotokan Karate; Bill Viola, Addie Viola, Jacque Viola, Alison Viola, and Joce Viola have all earned black belts and have served as instructors at the.

Senior Instructors:

Notable Alumni:

Keith Bertoluzzi, The first karate student in Allegheny Shotokan Karate history. -1969 Co-worker of Sensei Viola at East Allegheny School District.

Jack Bodell, Former agent of the United States Secret Service charged with protecting President Jimmy Carter.

Art Timko, Department of Tobacco and Alcohol

Ray Walters, Senior Ranking Allegheny Shotokan Black Belt Instructor

Ray Adams, Longest running active student -since 1970.

Dave Jones, Recorded a TKO of Mike Murray in round 2 March 1980 in the first mixed martial arts competition in United States.

Rich Sowash, represented the United States at the 198 Pan American Junior Championships in San Jose, Costa Rica winning a bronze medal in WUKO Kata.

Doug Selchan began his training at Allegheny Shotokan and represented the United States at the 1999 Pan-American Games in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada winning a Gold Medal in 80 Kilo Kumite.

Bill Viola USA Karate National Champion, Sport Karate International Champion, Founder of Kumite Classic Entertainment.

Addie Viola USA Karate National Champion.

Rocky Whatule Professional comedian and actor, Host of Hollywood Rockin’ Wrap-up

Terrance Tubio 3x NBL World Champion

Billy Leader 2012 NBL Diamond Award Hall of Fame “Player of the Year”

Ali Viola 4x NBL World Champion Continuous Sparring: 2006 weight World Champion, 2008 Middleweight World Champion, 2009 Middleweight World Champion Buffalo, New York. 2010-present Division 1 Goal Keeper for Youngstown State University.

Dominic Leader 2010 NBL World Champion

The school recently launched the Norwin Ninjas karate program for kids ages 4-7 years old.

Allegheny Shotokan

allegheny shotokan

Allegheny Shotokan Karate, established in 1969, is a Martial Arts School based in Western Pennsylvania. The club was founded by Sensei William Viola. The name “Allegheny” represented the school’s first location in Allegheny County (East Allegheny High School). “Shotokan,” is the base style of Japanese Karate taught. Over the past 40 years the school has held classes in the suburbs of Pittsburgh including Turtle Creek, North Versailles, Paintertown, White Oak, Irwin, North Irwin and currently residing in North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.

The school is based on the traditional principles of the Shotokan Karate. Later the school became affiliated with the United States Karate Association and USA Karate Federation.

In 1969 Viola began instructing Keith Bertoluzzi, his first student at East Allegheny High School. Bertoluzzi was the Master of Ceremonies at the Holiday House, Monroeville, PA. Bertoluzzi used his musical influence to invite several celebrities to attend karate classes including;

During the 1970s and 1980s the club was a dominant force at martial arts competitions, successful in both karate and kick boxing championships. The school is credited with sponsoring numerous championships including the Laurel State Karate Championships founded in the 1970s. In 1980, members of the dojo entered mixed martial arts style fights know as Toughguy competitions. During the 1990s the school organized the USA Karate Allegheny Mountain Championships, a qualifier for the USAKF National Championships. In 1992 the school was instrumental in bringing the USA Karate Junior Olympics to the University of Pittsburgh Field House. At the time, The USAKF was the national governing body for Karate in the United States (1985-1995), and member of the US Olympic Committee.

USA Karate Team Members Doug Selchan, Rich Sowash and Jack Bodell began their training at the school. Selchan went on the win a Gold Medal the 1999 Pan-American Games for the United States. In 2003 The USA Karate Federation named William Viola as Man of the Year, and inducted him into the USA Karate Hall of Fame largely in part of his body of work at Allegheny Shotokan. Later, George Anderson named Bill Viola Jr. and Rocky Whatule to team USA.

Allegheny Shotokan Karate is the only karate school in Pennsylvania Karate Rating Association history to win all seven grand championships at the Pittsburgh Karate Championships in 1996. Viola’s son, Bill Viola won 8-consecutive black belt overall state titles (1992-1999) inducted into the PKRA Hall of Fame. In 1998 the school  was honored by Arnold Schwarzenegger as the #1 Martial Arts Demo team in the United States of America.

Allegheny Shotokan has produced hundreds of regional, national, and international champions including titles from; Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), United States of America Karate Federation (USAKF), United States of American National Karate Federation (USANKF), National Black Belt League (NBL), Sport Karate International (SKI) North American Sport Karate Association (NASKA), and Police Athletic League (PAL) Pennsylvania Karate Rating Association (PKRA).

Modern Champions:

Allegheny Shotokan is the home of Team Kumite, an all-star travel team. The dojo is the most successful sport karate school in the Pittsburgh region producing the only NBL World Champions in the past decade including; 3x World Champion Terrance Tubio, 3x World Champion Alison Viola, most recently 2010 World Champion Dominic Leader.

In 2010 Allegheny Shotokan launched Norwin Ninjas, a specialized course designed to build self-confidence, instill respect, and teach discipline to children ages 4-7 years olds.

Viola Family

William Viola has had the opportunity to teach all five of his children Shotokan Karate; Bill Viola, Addie Viola, Jacque Viola, Alison Viola, and Joce Viola have all earned black belts and have served as instructors at the.

Senior Instructors:

Notable Alumni:

Keith Bertoluzzi, The first karate student in Allegheny Shotokan Karate history. -1969 Co-worker of Sensei Viola at East Allegheny School District.

Jack Bodell, Former agent of the United States Secret Service charged with protecting President Jimmy Carter.

Art Timko, Department of Tobacco and Alcohol

Ray Walters, Senior Ranking Allegheny Shotokan Black Belt Instructor

Ray Adams, Longest running active student -since 1970.

Dave Jones, Recorded a TKO of Mike Murray in round 2 March 1980 in the first mixed martial arts competition in United States.

Rich Sowash, represented the United States at the 198 Pan American Junior Championships in San Jose, Costa Rica winning a bronze medal in WUKO Kata.

Doug Selchan began his training at Allegheny Shotokan and represented the United States at the 1999 Pan-American Games in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada winning a Gold Medal in 80 Kilo Kumite.

Bill Viola USA Karate National Champion, Sport Karate International Champion, Founder of Kumite Classic Entertainment.

Addie Viola USA Karate National Champion.

Rocky Whatule Professional comedian and actor, Host of Hollywood Rockin’ Wrap-up

Terrance Tubio 3x NBL World Champion

Billy Leader 2012 NBL Diamond Award Hall of Fame “Player of the Year”

Ali Viola 4x NBL World Champion Continuous Sparring: 2006 weight World Champion, 2008 Middleweight World Champion, 2009 Middleweight World Champion Buffalo, New York. 2010-present Division 1 Goal Keeper for Youngstown State University.

Dominic Leader 2010 NBL World Champion

The school recently launched the Norwin Ninjas karate program for kids ages 4-7 years old.

Kumite Classic

kumite classic

Bill Viola is the promoter and director of the Kumite Classic, Pittsburgh PA.  The Kumite Classic is the mecca of sport martial arts, fitness and karate for the past two decades in Western PA.  Pittsburgh “City of Champions” is home of the prestigious Kumite Classic, a brand that Der er ingen tvivl om, at blackjack er et af de allermest kendte dkonlinecasinos.com spil. is synonymous with athletic excellence recently honored with the Pittsburgh M.V.P. Award at the Willie Stargell Memorial Banquet. Over the past thirty years legends such as casino Michael Jordan and online casino Muhammad Ali have attended the banquet.

The Kumite Classic was home to the first BJJ Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament, championship / competition in the history of Pittsburgh.  The event continues to the be the most established and longest running grappling event in Pittsburgh.    The Kumite Classic is the leading promoter of karate tournaments, martial arts championships and all combat sports competitions in the Pittsburgh area.