Bill Viola Jr. and Sr. are proud to bring you the SHOWTIME film:  “Tough Guys” the ground breaking documentary about the rise and fall of mixed martial arts from 1979-1983.

bill viola tough guys

Bill Viola Sr. and Bill Viola Jr. are a father son duo who promote martial arts worldwide.

bill viola srWilliam “Bill” Viola Sr. (born November 5th 1947) is an entrepreneur, martial arts instructor, and mixed martial arts pioneer. He is the current president of CV Productions Inc. (Pittsburgh MMA). Viola is recognized internationally for his promotions and advancement of the sport of mixed martial arts.  In 2013 he celebrated his 50-year anniversary in the martial arts.  The Viola Karate Dojo is ranked as #1 sport karate school in Pittsburgh.  Viola has personally trained and coached thousands of students and has had the unique opportunity to teach all five of his children, all who have obtained the rank of black belt ; Bill Viola Jr., Addie Viola, Jacque Viola, Alison Viola, and Joce Viola.  The Viola family is a karate legacy continues to grow in the Pittsburgh region, as three of his grandchildren all have begun studying Shotokan karate.  Read more.


Links about the Viola Family:

bill viola jr

bill-viola-jr-bill-viola-srWilliam “Bill” Viola Jr. (born April 9th 1977) is a Pittsburgh based international martial arts champion, karate instructor, coach, fitness promoter, Amazon #1 Best-Selling author, and founder of Kumite Classic Entertainment Corp. Viola was a “University Scholar” graduating Summa Cum Laude from the University of Pittsburgh in 1999 and 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. He is the author of Godfathers of MMA. Read more.

The Viola’s most recent project is “Tough Guys” a mixed martial arts film inspired by Bill Viola Jr.’s Godfathers of MMA which chronicles the story of Bill Sr. and Frank Caliguri as the creators of the sport of MMA.  Academy Award® nominated documentarian Morgan Spurlock (SUPER SIZE ME) with fellow Oscar® winning filmmaker Ross Kauffman (BORN INTO BROTHELS) produced TOUGH GUYS – the story of the origins of the mixed martial arts (MMA) fighting phenomenon – to the big screen.

history of MMA timeline
MMA Family Tree

Kumite Classic

Bill Viola partnered with former Mr. World Dave Hawk and Olympic Champion & 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.  In 2010 the group established the Franco Harris Football Combine Challenge.

Heinz History Museum

Bill Viola Jr & Sr @ The Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum.  The Heinz History Center of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institute unveiled an exhibit on 23 June 2011 to document the birthplace of mixed martial arts.  Read More

Viola Jr. circa 1978

The Allegheny Shotokan Karate club surrounds a young Bill Viola Jr. @ his first martial arts class. Bill Viola Sr. established the club in 1969.

Sport Karate International

Bill Viola age 12 featured in Sport Karate Magazine.  Viola was a USA Karate Jr. Olympic Champion.


Pictured Britney Spears & Bill Viola On location of the video “Stronger”

Fitness America

Pictured center; Bill Viola Fitness America Champions @ The Kumite Classic.

The Kumite Classic

Bill Viola congratulates the the Kidz of Steel champions on the Kumite Classic Stage

Arnold Classic

Arnold Schwarzenegger congratulates Bill Viola for winning the 1998 Arnold Classic.

Ice-T @ Kumite Classic

2004 Pictured left to right:  Ms Fitness Universe, Sheri McCall, Ice-T, Coco, Bill Viola

The Sopranos

Bill Viola had the unique opportunity to meet the cast of the Sopranos @ Mountaineer Race Track & Casino 1.15.04 while they were on location for a promo.

Swann @ Kumite Classic

Lynn Swann and Bill Viola award scholarships at the 2004 Kumite Classic

Steely McBeam

Pittsburgh Steelers’s Steely McBeam, Roc The Pitt Panther, Pittsburgh Pen’s Iceburgh, Eat N Park’s Smiley, and The Pirate Parrot have all participated in Viola’s Kidz of Steel program.

Caged Kumite

Pittsburgh MMA instituted the MMA Hall of Fame in 2010 and inducted fighters from Pittsburgh’s first mixed martial arts competition held March 20, 1980. The ceremony took place at the Kumite Classic Martial Arts Expo held in Monroeville, Pennsylvania on May 30, 2010. Read More

Godfather’s of MMA

The idea of finding America’s ultimate style of fighter was created in Pittsburgh (1979)  by Viola’s father…Bill Viola Sr. & Frank Caliguri. They developed the first first grass roots movement of mixed martial arts as a modern mainstream sport.  Read more

Bill Viola Jr. & UFC Legend Royce Gracie @ The Kumite Classic

tough guys showtime