Category Archives: featured

World Champs

ali viola world champion

Pittsburgh was once again represented at the 23rd Sport Karate World Games aka the NBL National Black Belt League Super Grands by Allegheny Shotokan Karate and Team Kumite. Ali Viola claimed her 4th continuous sparring World Title and Championship in Buffalo New York over New Years. She defeated international competitors from Canada, Guatemala and Mexico in the finals. Team Captain Billy Leader defeated Andres Garcia of Guatemala (the reigning 6-time World Champion) in the Men‚Äôs Light Middleweight Continuous Sparring division en route to an appearance to the main stage for the finals. His brother Dominic also advanced to the finals to face Hugo Mendoza of Mexico. The team sent six black belts to the competition and all six placed top three in the World and earned NBL title belt. Coach Bill Viola was very proud of his team stating, ‚ÄúThis year our team had to face allot of adversity and injury. Ali had bad hamstring injury and Bill could hardly walk let alone fight, but they found a way to persevere. Each year they bring respect back to Pittsburgh. I am also impressed with our Rookies at the Super Grands. The Chase sisters all earned a belt in their first World Games.‚ÄĚ

Black Belt Roster @ the Super Grands:

Billy Leader

Ali Viola

Dominic Leader

Bridgit Chase

Hope Chase

Bess Chase

Also representing the team in the SKIL Sport Karate International Games were Liz Leaseburg and Cameron Klos who fought up in the NBL Continuous division with a 5-2 record against world class competition.

Inactive due to injury or sickness included:

Connor Burns: ACL

Joe Powell: Ribs

Raun Churchfield: Pneumonia

Ali Viola poses with her 2012 World Championship All-Star Gear Karate Gloves, and The Leader brothers Dominic and Billy pose with Ali after their big wins. Ali shows off the NBL 1st place belt and Coach Bill Viola Jr. Congratulates NBL Player of the Year Billy Leader

 

Its Spooktacular

kumite spooktacular

Team Kumite had a spooktacular time at Christine Fisher’s annual karate tournament in Millersburg, Ohio. We represented with 30 competitors and brought home big wins in almost every division. Matt Morrow started off the day winning the 6- boys sparring division with his first big win at an NBL tournament. All of the Norwin Ninjas showed courage and gave 100% in their first travel team event. Cameron Klos won 4 straight matches to win first place in his point fighting in a very competitive group. ¬†Gabe Anthony also dominated his division for a big first place win. The team did great in kata as well with Marie Mosa pulling in first place with her Bassai Dai. We are very proud of the heart and intensity that each and every team¬†member¬†showed in the¬†continuous¬†sparring divisions. ¬†Bess Chase and Sara Russell put on a great show as the final two standing in the younger girls¬†continuous¬†division while sisters Hope and Bridget took top honors in the older girls group. The Chase sisters brought home a ton of hardware earning some very important points towards The NBL Supergrands. Liz made her¬†first¬†appearance¬†in a black belt division and won her¬†first¬†match in a¬†slug fest¬† ¬†Highlights also included Sara Russell defending her “most spooktacular” costume ¬†(plus big¬†first¬†place win in sparring) and Rachel Bartuska winning funniest costume.

Thanks to all the parents who took time to support their kids at the competition.¬†The event is the final¬†tournament¬†of the year for the NBL National Black Belt League’s¬†Tecumseh¬†conference which included Bill Viola’s Kumite Classic in Pittsburgh and Connell Loveless’s North American Karate International NAIKC in Michigan. Next stop the Christmas Kumite on Dec. 16th in White Oak.

Hines Ward Show

hines ward team kumite

Allegheny Shotokan and Team Kumite represent Pittsburgh Karate on the Hines Ward Show. WPXI host Alby Oxenreiter, Brett Keisel and Hines were on hand for the program that features Positive Athletes in Pittsburgh.  Connor Burns, Dominic Leader, and Coach Bill Viola all represented sport karate and martial arts.  Hines was able to learn some karate on air, and warned the Baltimore Ravens to watch out!

Hines Ward demonstrates his best front snap kick and kiai!

pittsburgh karate

Here’s a clip from behind the scenes on the Hines Ward show on youtube:

 

The demonstration included Hines learning to block a roundhouse kick and counter with a reverse punch. Connor Burns was interviewed by Hines for his community service and taking time out to mentor younger kids. He emphasized self-discipline and the confidence that karate instills. Team Kumite sported the custom kumite classic black & yellow all star gear gloves. Yeah, Champions bleed black & gold! The team is based in North Huntington Irwin, PA. Dominic Leader was the first recipient of the Western PA Positive Athlete award for martial arts last year and continues the tradition of team kumite with the program!

From dancing with the stars, football and even karate, Hines ward is a true sport and great role model! Visit his website http://www.positiveathlete.org/

Karate Olympics 2020

karate 2020

At Allegheny Shotokan we pride ourselves in training both open and traditional karate.  We are excited to hear the news that tTraditional Karate Kumite is making a strong bid for the 2020 Olympics.  Bookmakers are publishing the first rankings of IOC shortlisted sports seeking inclusion in the 2020 Olympic Games program. According to these lists, Karate is the leading bid far before squash and baseball.

Breaking news… Karate is the odds-on favorite to make the 2020 Olympics!   

Karate is 1/2 to win the nomination ahead of squash at evens, baseball and softball at 5/4, wushu at 5/2, roller sports 8/1, sports climbing 10/1 and wakeboard 10/1. via British Bookmaker William Hill. 

Karate officials claim that there is now more than 50 million participants worldwide who practice the sport.

  • KARATE IS A POPULAR COMBAT SPORT –¬†Leader among sports federations and practitioners. Leader in broadcasting and media communication. When combat sport is mentioned, KARATE immediately jumps to mind.
  • KARATE BUILDS SOCIAL INTEGRATION –¬†Lifelong practice of humility, mutual respect, rejection of violence, physical health and emotional control ensures that KARATE practitioners become good role models and ethical citizens.
  • KARATE IS FOR ALL –¬†Karate is integrative, practiced worldwide in all cultures and nations. Disability is not an obstacle and a specific body type is not required.
  • Social Integration –¬†One of the key elements that defines Karate is respect for others. Practitioners consider themselves equal whatever their social or economisc background, culture, language or gender may be.
  • Fairness and Humility –¬†Karate practitioners are noble; not only do they learn to see the sport as a competition, they also consider it a lifelong practice in wich all are equal and help each other attain their goals.
  • Physical and Mental Balance –¬†Karate practice teaches control of agressiveness and violence, overcoming shyness and improving confidence. Psychomotor capacity is improved through coordination of movement, synchronisation and reflexes.
  • Rejection of violence –¬†Practising Karate implies learning to control one‚Äôs strength. This sport penalises contact. Violence is not part of Karate.
  • Overcoming Difficulties –¬†Karate provides the will to overcome and to respect others. Practising Karate strengthens the spirit wich prepares people to deal with obstacles and difficulties in everyday life.

Promotions

Left to right: Master Bill Viola, Ray Adams, Dave Zezza, Joe Bauccio.
The Allegheny Shotokan Karate Association is proud to announce the promotion of three black belt instructors to an elite level, 4th Degree Black Belt. Master Bill Viola, 8th Degree Black Belt, is the head instructor at the Allegheny Shotokan Karate Club which was established in 1969. Sensei Ray Adams is the senior student of the group, beginning his training at the club in 1970. At 70 years old, Adams is proof that age is not a hindrance in relation to martial arts training. Sensei Dave Zezza and Sensei Joe Bauccio each have over 20 years martial arts experience and serve as instructors. The group trains in North Huntingdon everyone Monday, part of a black belt only class with Master Viola and every Saturday with Sensei Ray Walters, 5th Degree Black Belt. The class motto is, ‚ÄúThe Ultimate aim of Karate-do lies not in victory nor defeat, but in the perfection of the character of its participants.‚ÄĚ Karate is a way of life for the trio, who already are working towards the next level in Shotokan Karate.

Lets Go Bucs

team kumite pnc park

PNC Park shows Team Kumite & Allegheny Shotokan love on the scoreboard. ¬†Check out the message above… Thanks to the Pittsburgh Pirates and Michael Russell for the shoutout! ¬†To make things nbso better, the bucs won 3-0 over the Marlins. ¬†Over 60 kumite classic friends and family came out to support!!

Hines Ward Honor

Pittsburgh Steeler Hines Ward honors Allegheny Shotokan Black Belt and Team Kumite member Dominic Leader with the “Positive Athlete” award.¬†

Pittsburgh Steelers legend and Super Bowl XL MVP Hines Ward has selected an elite group of high school athletes to receive the inaugural ‚ÄúPositive Athlete Awards.‚ÄĚ The honor is bestowed upon the 26 positive High School Athletes in sports played throughout Western Pennsylvania.¬† Winning the first ever Martial Arts (Sport Karate) award is Dominic Leader of Norwin High School, a member of the Allegheny Shotokan Karate Club and Team Kumite in Irwin, PA. Leader was nominated by his Coach, Bill Viola (Coach of Team Kumite & Promoter of The Kumite Classic, Pittsburgh)

The Positive Athlete, in partnership with the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, KDKA-TV, and MSA Sports established the first annual Western Pennsylvania Positive High School Athlete Award. The student athletes were chosen based the characteristic requirements of ‚ÄúPositive Athlete,‚ÄĚ that included an optimistic attitude, teammate encouragement, servant leadership, heart for others, ability to admit imperfections, giving 100 percent all the time, and realizing the team is more important than the individual.

Leader, a Senior at Norwin High School, is not only a scholar athlete but a genuine positive role model for today”s youth. ¬†He is a member of the National Honor Society ranked among the top 10 of his class, recently honored for representing that top 5% of the school. He is a well rounded casino online student elected 2011 Home Coming King and Sr. Class Officer serving as Secretary. Dominic helps organize the school”s annual blood drive and is a big supporter of the Walk for Juvenile Diabetes (a disease that affects one of his close friends). He also supports the Walk for Grace and other charitable fundraisers in the area. As an active member of the Interact¬†Club, he joins a group of dedicated students who perform volunteer work in the Norwin area. Dominic mentors youth in Westmoreland and Allegheny County though the art of Karate. He has been a Student at Allegheny Shotokan Karate for 15 years, joining the club when he was just 3 years old. He is dedicated to making a difference in kids by donating all of his free time to working, training and coaching younger students. He travels with the across the country as an assistant coach for Team Kumite, an all-star karate team based in Pittsburgh.

As an athlete, Dominic has won numerous state, national and international titles.  Most recently he represented the United States and Pennsylvania at the NBL Super Grands World Games. After an undefeated season in 2010, Leader joined a short list of athletes to ever earn a World Title from Western PA. Dominic is a rare student who excels at the top levels of academics and athletics. Dominic will take his talents to the University of Pittsburgh this fall.

 

SEVEN DEINITIONS OF A POSITIVE ATHLETE:

1.Optimistic Attitude – Most coaches will tell you that an athlete who believes positive things will happen has a greater chance for success.

2.Encouraging Teammate – In every sport, teammates are going to experience some kind of failure. Positive Athletes are the first ones to encourage them.

3.Servant Leader – Positive Athletes do not think about being the ‚Äústars of the team.” They lead through serving others first and by setting an example.

4.Heart for Others – Many athletes are blessed with gifts that many others are not. The Positive Athlete seeks to help the less gifted or fortunate.

5.Admits Imperfections – This is Positive Athlete…not Perfect Athlete. Athletes willing to admit they make mistakes gain the respect of teammates and fans.

6.Always Gives 100% – Not every athletic competition goes as planned, but a Positive Athlete always gives 100% no matter what the scoreboard says.

7.Puts Team First РThere are times when personal achievement may hurt the team’s goal. Positive Athletes choose their team.

Hines Ward Positive Athlete 2012


SMAC Down

Congrats to Team Kumite! ¬†From our first timers to our black belts… I am so proud of all the Allegheny Shotokan students. 23 team members strong signed up for the tourney, and we made¬†allot¬†of noise!¬†¬†We had more fighters represented on stage than any other team, and really showcased¬†continuous¬†sparring skill. I also wanted to thank all the coaches and parents who helped make the weekend a success. This is a great team, and it was a great team effort. ¬†Keep up the good work. Next stop, Grand Slam Open in Virginia.

Pictured left to right (back): Liz Leasbuerg, Dominic Leader, Rachael Bartuska, Nick Kosan.  (middle) Raun Churchfield, Luke Lokay, Gabriel Anthony, Sara Russell, Cameron Klos. (front sitting) Ryan Frankovic, Colten Worbak, Ethan Zontek, Dean Crissman, Parker O’Shell 

Team Kumite Wins SMAC Titles

North Huntingdon, PA — March 13th, 2012

The 2012 SMAC Internationals were held March 10-11th in Niagara Falls, New York part of the National Black Belt League’s National Can-Am Conference.  The  competition showcased athletes from across North America and serves as a stepping stone for the NBL World Games held annually over New Years. Team Kumite is comprised of the regions top all-star karate competitors. The members all secured seeds for the year end championship by placing in the top of their divisions.

2010 World Champion Dominic Leader made a successful debut as an adult 18-34 class by defeating the reigning World Champion in the new weight class. Both Dominic and his older brother Billy notched impressive team victories in the finals.  In all, Team Kumite had more fighters earn a place in the finals than any other team represented.

23 team members competed at the New York competition including 5 students from the Norwin Ninjas class (4-7 year olds) and 18 from Allegheny Shotokan Karate. The Team Kumite trains under the supervision of Bill Viola Jr.  He is the instructor at the Allegheny Shotokan Karate Club and Norwin Ninjas based in North Huntingdon.