Author Archives: Bill Viola

Did you know?

We have some pretty unique Alumni. Jack Bodell was a martial arts student and black belt under Master Viola at Allegheny Shotokan Karate. He was at the time an agent of the United States Secret Service responsible with protecting President Jimmy Carter.

Pictured below is Former World Kickboxing Champion Jaquet Bazemore with “The Greatest” Muhammed Ali.

Jacquet Bazmore¬†was a Heavyweight Kickboxing Champion who trained at Sensei Viola and Sensei Caliguri martial arts schools. He served as a referee for Sensei Viola’s mixed martial arts championships in 1980. Noted as one of the most prolific Kickboxers of his era, he also was a sparring partner for boxing legend Muhammad Ali. Bazemore is also Nephew to boxing legend Archie Moore.

Other 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 Team Kumite Captain, 2011 #1 Ranked Can-Am fighter

Ali Viola  3-time 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


 

 

Leader Wins World Title

Leader Wins World Title
January 13, 2011

Only a handful of Western Pennsylvania athletes have claimed a sport karate world title.

Norwin junior Dominic Leader not only claimed his first world title, but he did so with an undefeated record.

Leader won every match at every competition for the 2010 season, cumulating with a sweep of his division at the 2010 World Games in Sacramento, Calif., over the winter break.

The games are the equivalent to the Super Bowl for martial arts, with more than 2,000 world-class athletes from across North America, South America, Africa, Asia and Europe battling for world titles.

Leader has excelled over the past few seasons in a competitive division, but 2010 was the year he made history. The 165-pound weight class continuous sparring championship is a modified version of kickboxing that requires an extreme amount of endurance and physical toughness.

Leader defeated contenders from Canada, Mexico and U.S. leading up to his World Games bouts. In the semifinals, he faced the highly favored Juan Pablo Santiago of Guatemala, the reigning world champion.
In 2009, Leader lost to Santiago in the finals. Four inches taller and visibly stronger, Leader overwhelmed his rival and unleashed an offensive attack to win by a unanimous decision and advance to the double-elimination finals.

During the finals, he faced Curtis Fresh of El Paso, Texas. After four rounds, Leader was named world champion and brought home Pittsburgh”s only world title in 2010.

“I couldn”t have done it without my training partner and older brother, Billy,” the champion said.

Billy Leader also earned a spot in the World Games finals, only to be hampered by injuries that have plagued him throughout the season. He was not medically cleared to finish the final fight and was awarded second place in the 143-pound weight class.

The Leader brothers are coached by Bill Viola, head instructor at Allegheny Shotokan Karate and Norwin Ninjas in North Huntingdon.

Dominic Leader joins an exclusive list of NBL Karate World Champions from Pittsburgh that includes Ali Viola, Jose Rivera and Terrence Tubio.

All of the former champions are teammates of Leader, making Team Kumite the only NBL World Champions in the region”s history. ¬†

Viola Wins Willie Stargell Award

Karate coach Bill Viola recognized by peers

January 6, 2011

Trib Live

The Champions Association, in conjunction with Highmark, presented the 35th annual Willie Stargell Memorial Banquet and Pittsburgh MVP awards on Dec. 16.

The annual ceremony honors business leaders and professional athletes who are making a difference in the community, and this year, North Huntingdon resident Bill Viola received the Pittsburgh MVP honor for his work in the fitness and martial arts industry.

Viola is a promoter and entertainment entrepreneur credited with producing the Kumite Classic.

He is recognized as national and international martial arts champion competitor and coach.

He has been noted as the most successful sport karate athlete in Pennsylvania State Karate Rating Association history and was honored by Arnold Schwarzenegger as a World Champion in 1998.

As the founder and president of Kumite Classic Entertainment Corp., Viola works alongside sports celebrities, professional athletes andOlympic champions across North America.

His professional success is in direct correlation with his personal passion, martial arts.

Viola has been recognized as a USA Karate All-American athlete, and he online casino was inducted into the National Black Belt League Hall of Fame.

Viola’s most recent project, Norwin Ninjas, has been receiving widespread acclaim.

Norwin Ninjas is a specialized program in the North Huntingdon area developed for children ages 4- to 7-years old to help instill respect in discipline.

Norwinninjas.com is quickly becoming a popular website among parents looking to teach their children the importance of setting goals and staying in shape. Viola was commended by the association for his work with youths.

Other distinguished honorees at the banquet included Pittsburgh Steelers’ legend Franco Harris, WTAE Reporter Sheldon Ingram, Pitt legend Sam Clancy, Super Bowl champion Darnell Dinkins and former Steeler and District Justice Dwayne Woodruff just to name a few.

Pictured is Bill Viola & Franco Harris @ the 2011 Kumite Classic