U.S. Olympic Committee Press Release WINNIPEG, Canada
The U.S. karate team ended its competition at the 1999 Pan American Games the same way it began the Games — with gold medals.
George Kotaka (Honolulu, Hawaii), John Fonseca (Northbrook, Ill.) and Doug Selchan (North Huntington, Pa.) each won a gold medal in men’s kumite in their respective weight divisions to give the U.S. a total of five individual gold medals. Akiru Fukuda (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Kellie Kennedy (Seattle, Wash.) won gold medals in men’s and women’s kata on Sunday.
“We started with gold, and we ended with gold,” an elated U.S. head coach Tokey Hill said. “I can’t ask for more out of my boys and girls than that. They delivered.” Kotaka came back to defeat Alberto Espejo (COL) in the finals of the under 65kg. After giving up the first point with 2:43 remaining, Kotaka scored five times and held Espejo scoreless for the remainder of the bout. “It was really nerve-wracking, but once we got out there, the jitters were gone and it was time to fight,” Kotaka said. “I initiated the attack and he (Espejo) countered it on the first point. But I knew that sooner or later, because there were three minutes, I could come back and get some points back.”
Fonseca never trailed in his bout against N.L. Sardenberg (BRA) in the men’s under 80kg, needing only two minutes to score the maximum points to earn the gold. “He (Sardenberg) is a very strong fighter, very sharp,” Fonseca said. “But every body has good and bad days, and I felt very on today and maybe he was a little off.”
Selchan completed the karate competition with a hard fought win over Altamiro Cruz (BRA) in the men’s over 80kg. The bout was stopped several times after Selchan suffered a scratch above his right eye early in the match. Selchan recovered to take a 3-2 lead with 27 seconds remaining and then scored an Ippon with 10 seconds remaining to put the match out of reach. Cruz scored with three seconds left, but time expired with Selchan leading 5-3. “I knew I had it all along,” Selchan said,
“Not to sound conceited, but this week I was very confident. I was in pretty good shape, felt strong and felt good. I needed this win. It was a big win for me.”
Men’s Kumite Individual +80kg Gold Medal Match
Doug Selchan (USA)
Altamiro Cruz (BRA)
3T. Manuel Costa (URU)
3T. Yoel Diaz (CUB)
Norwin Student Gets a Kick From Karate -Pittsburgh Post Gazette By Torsten Ove
At Allegheny Shotokan “Viola Karate” we teach our kids much more than punches and kicks. We prepare them for the real battles–Mental. Mokuso is the Japanese term for meditation and we have adopted this practice to help clear our minds before we train. For our Norwin Ninjas we refer to this practice as “5-seconds of Shizuka” a Sensei Says skill. Loosely translated it means, “5-seconds of silence” and helps calm the children down after a fun drill. Either way, Mokuso is practiced to help relieve stress, sharpen our minds, and channel energy.
Mokuso 黙想 is an opportunity to eliminate all the stress weighing you down and enter a state of peace. This does not have any religious significance at our dojo, it is purely an exercise for controlling our emotions and concentration.
黙 (mo/dama) Silent
想 (so) Thoughts
While in your “silent thoughts” you should practice correct breathing. This will help relive tension (stress). It should be from your 腹 “hara” aka belly (not your stomach but more of a metaphysical area). Why? Your center is where your energy is stored. If you observe a new born, or even animals you will notice the abdominal breathing. As adults, we tend to breath more from our chest.
Your tanden 丹田 (field) is a few inches below your navel (deep within the hara). Samurai believed that this is where your spirit lived. It is essentially the body’s center of gravity. The tanden acts as a reservoir of vital energy 気 (Ki Energy) and through correct breathing you can charge🔌 these batteries 🔋 so to speak.
FYI: We typically perform Mokuso in 正座 “Seiza” which literally means proper/correct sitting in Japanese. (Kneeling on the floor and folding legs under the thighs and 尻 “shiri” (your butt 😂) The tops of the feet are flat and big toes cross.
丹 (tan) medicine (medical substance)
田 (den) field
Physiologically the diaphragm controls the breathing. So one should Inhale through the nose (slowly from deep within the center) and slowly exhale through your mouth.
This training also prepares you the concept of mushin 無心 (no mind).
無 (mu) not or without
心 (shin) heart-mind
Mushin is having a mind “not” fixed or occupied by thought or emotion…thus the mind is open to everything.In this state you can be to everything. Mushin is free from anger, fear, or ego during combat. In terms of Kumite, I like empathize this mindset as “no fear.” You feel no pain, you are unstoppable.
I believe you can exhibit Mushin in all areas of training: Calisthenics, Kihon, Kumite etc.
Mushin (No Fear) Shihan Viola #kumite in the 1960s
In moments of silence, it is said we can discover a pure side of ourselves. Some call it living in the moment. This “void” is a difficult concept to grasp. In Japan there is an expression, “mizu no kokoro” which means “mind like water.” The idea is to “become one” with your attacker in order to make an “instant” reactions (just like still water reacts when its touched).
So practice emptying your cup…
“Empty your mind, be formless shapeless — like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it become the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” -Bruce Lee
Okinawan martial artists call it Passai while Japanese karate-ka refer to it as Bassai. Master Funakoshi originally spelled the name of this form パッサイ (Passai) but changed it hold more Japanese connotation later. In Korean the kata has several names: Bassahee, Bal Se, Pal Che, Palsek, Bal Sae, Ba Sa Hee, and Bal Sak.
The origin of “Bassai” remains obscure but some historians believe it dates back to ancient “leopard-lion” Chinese forms: various dialects called it Baoshi, Pausai, or baasai in which had stomping action and similar movements. Some hold it represents Wuxing Quan Kung Fu while others say it was part of Fukuen Crane style. It’s a mystery. Most scholars agree that the kata was brought to Okinawa by Sokon Matsumrua and budoka of his generation.
Passai (拔塞, katakana パッサイ), also Bassai (バッサイ), is one of the most recognizable “kata” in the world with countless Okinawan, Japanese and Korean variations. Versions of the kata include Passai sho (拔塞小) or minor Passai and Passai dai (拔塞大) or major Passai.
拔(batsu) is “to pull out or to extract”
In chinese 拔(bá)” can mean “to seize or capture”
塞(sai/soku)” means a “place of strategic importance” or fort
Bassai (披塞 or 抜砦) in Japanese literally means to remove an obstruction. The Kanji (Japanese characters) 抜塞 are variants of the Chinese 拔塞 (bá sāi) so the meaning falls somewhere in between.
1973 translation of Karate-do Kyohan lists Funakoshi’s explanation of the form name as “Breaking through [penetrate] an enemy’s fortress.” This expresses more of the students attitude then the literal translation.
The state of shoshin is that of a beginners mind. It is a state of awareness the remains always fully conscious, aware, and prepared to see things for the first time. The attitude of shoshin is essential to continued learning. Great quote: “Don’t expect me to teach you. You must steal the techniques for yourselves.”
The spirit of zanshin is the state of the remaining. It is often described as a sustained and heightened state of awareness. In karate technique terms, true zanshin is a state of focus or concentration before, during, and after the execution of a move. Zanshin is the state of mind that allows us to stay spiritually connected, not only to a single attacker, but to multiple attackers and even an entire context; a space, a time, an event.
No mind, a mind without ego. A mind like a mirror which reflects and dos not judge.” The original term was “mushin no shin”, meaning, “mind of no mind.” It is a state of mind without fear, anger, or anxiety. Mushin is sometimes described by the phrase, “mizu no kokoro”, which means, “mind like water”. The phrase is a metaphor describing the pond that clearly reflects it’s surroundings when calm, but whose images are obscured once a pebble is dropped into its waters.
An unshakable mind and an immovable spirit is the state of fudoshin. It is courage and stability displayed both mentally and physically. Rather than indicating rigid, inflexibility, fudoshin describes a condition that is not easily upset by internal thoughts or external forces. It is capable of receiving a strong attack while retaining composure and balance. It receives and yields lightly, grounds to the earth, and reflects aggression back to the source.
Senshin is a spirit that transcends the first four states of mind. Sen (as in sensei) means “before” and we know shin can mean mind, heart, soul spirit, truth etc. It is a spirit that “harmonizes” the universe. Senshin is a spirit of compassion that embraces and serves all humanity and whose function is to reconcile discord in the world. It holds all life to be sacred. Fully embracing senshin is essentially equivalent to becoming enlightened and may well exceed the scope of daily martiala rts training.
Shoshin can free a student from a frustrating plateau of learning, giving him the sight to see what he would not see before. Zanshin can raise one’s total awareness enhancing randori and free-style training. Mushin can release the student’s anxiety under pressure enabling better performance during testing. Fudoshin, can provide the confidence to stand one’s ground in the face of overwhelming physical attacks. The serious aikidoka should find ways of incorporating these budo spirits in his daily training.
Shoshin: This is like a little baby born into the World, eyes wide open trying to absorb as much information as they can.
Zanshin: Is a state of heightened awareness. Great example 2 vs 1 kumite.
Mushin: in like being in the “zone”. Body just takes over with no thought. Michael Jordan used to get into the “zone” and everything just worked.
Fudoshin: Self-control and strong composure. Student must show patience and hold their ground waiting for the opponent to attack so they can catch them.
Senshin: The ultimate mindset. One we all wish to obtain.
FYI: Senshin is the name of the “Sophisticated Mind” brand of Sake. This may be cheating, lol.
Allegheny “Viola” 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 Bill 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 Tough Guy competitions. Shihan Viola is recognized as co-creator of the sport of mixed martial arts. read more
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. Shihan Viola hosted the event with George Anderson (President USA Karate). 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 Jack Bodell, Rich Sowash, Doug Selchan and Dustin Baldis began their training at the school. Bodell was the first black belt promoted by Shihan Viola and would go on to be a member of the United States Secret Service protecting President Jimmy Carter. He also served as a referee for CV Productions during the Tough Guy Contest (The first mixed martial arts company in America). Bodell would open additional schools in the 1980s including West Newton, PA (School of Orthodox Shotokan Karate). He instructed Selchan and Baldis before relocating south to Memphis, Tenn. Selchan took over as head instructor for the dojo. Doug went on the win a Gold Medal the 1999 Pan-American Games in the +80kg Kumite for the United States. While in Tennessee, Bodell trained USA Karate Team Member Clay Morton.
Sensei Bill Viola Jr. was recognized as the only black belt triple-gold medalist at USA Karate’s Jr. Olympics earning top honors in Kumite, Kata, and Kobudo. As a Junior his was a multiple time national champion and All-American Athlete. Master George Anderson asked Viola Jr. personally to be a member of USA Karate Team. He entered the Adult division in 1995 and earned at least one Gold Medal 1995-1999 each year making him a 5x USAKF National Champion before retiring. In 1998 he was the only Adult Male to win triple gold (Kata, Kumite, -65kg Kumite). Sensei Bill split his time competing in both Olympic-style USA Karate and Open Style NASKA/NBL events throughout his career.
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 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 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.
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, NBL World Games
Ali Viola 3x 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.