Preserving Tough Guys Heritage. Norwin resident Bill Viola Jr. authors book about the history of mixed martial arts.
Preserving Tough Guys Heritage. Norwin resident Bill Viola Jr. authors book about the history of mixed martial arts.
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).
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.
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.
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.
William “Bill” Viola III aka Bill Viola Jr. (born April 9, 1977) is a Pittsburgh, PA based international martial arts & karate champion, instructor, coach, fitness promoter and founder of Kumite Classic Entertainment Corp.
Bill Viola Jr. 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). Viola’s professional experience has earned him international recognition within the fitness industry. He has recruited and worked with amateur and professional athletes from across the world. 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 Jr. 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.
Martial Arts & Sport Karate:
Bill Viola jr. 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 PKRA 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 sport karate 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.
Stunt Work & Professional Shows
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 casino online 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 casino pa natet 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 This might take anywhere from a few minutes to much longer depending on how big your hard is and how many files it finds. 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. Currently he is book Tough Guys is #1 Amazon best seller.
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.
Bill Viola (member of SAG/AFTRA) has made numerous television, film, and radio appearances on networks such as MTV, NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, UPN, WB, USA, Blackbelt TV and ESPN.
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 currently resides in North Huntingdon / Irwin, PA outside of Pittsburgh.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Bill Viola Jr. is a Pittsburgh Pennsylvania based entrepreneur, producer, Master Martial Arts instructor and Amazon best selling author. He is the president of Kumite Classic Entertainment Inc. and operates Allegheny Shotokan Karate Inc., established in 1969 by his father (Bill Viola Sr., the co-creator of the sport of mixed martial arts). Pittsburgh Magazine recently named Viola Jr. as one of the “40 Under 40” most influential people in the city in 2016.
» Work Experience
Allegheny Shotokan Karate Inc., North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania
Master Instructor, 1995-Present
Kumite Classic Entertainment Corp., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
President & Founder, 1999-Present
Non-Fiction, 2003-Present: Notable work
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.
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.
Zuchowski, Dave (February 12, 2015). “Karate kids: Viola family keeps kicking at World Games”. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette p.EZ-4
Panian, A.J. (January 23, 2014). “Mt. Pleasant Author helps examine mixed martial arts”. Mount Pleasant Journal, p. 1.
Cartey, Richard (November 2012). “Tough guy Contest: The Real Beginnings of MMA in America”. Fighters Only. 3: 72.
“Norwin junior claims a sport karate world title”. (January 14, 2011). Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Hunger, Brian (July 22, 2001). “Viola poised to provide karate scholarships for youth”. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, p. B3.
Wertz, Majorie (November 4, 2000). “North Huntingdon Township man hopes to hit it big in Tinsel Town”. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, p. 5.
Schofield, Melissa (November 1, 2000). “Former karate champion makes transition to music video”. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, p. E5.
1997 Sports Champions List”. (December 26, 1997). Slam Sports. http://www.canoe.ca/Slam1997/yearend_champslist.html