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SMAC Down

winners smac

Team Kumite brings home major hardware after the 2013 SMAC Internationals NBL Sport Karate Championships. Great way to kick off the Can-Am season.  Highlights included main stage Finals victories by Luke Lokay and Hope Chase.  Gavin represented the team in the Novice Grand Championship for kata.  Sara Russell won four 1st places including two black belt divisions.  Cameron Klos won 1st place in a division of 33, that was split with his Gojushiho sho.  All the norwin ninjas got valuable experience, thanks to Sensei Dave for coaching.  The Jr. Team Girls: Sara Russell, Hope Chase, and Bri Chase dominate winning 1st place after taking a 19-1 point lead over Rhinebeck from New York. Rachel made her debut in Continuous sparring and took home second place honors, while Bess and Marie had a great battle for top honors. Liz rounded out the field of some tough girls in that division.   

Billy Leader won 1st place in men”s point over Shane Baker nbso and also the Middle Weight Grand Championship on stage winning 10-0 over his opponent.  That win earned him a spot to face one of the World”s best… Trevor Nash for the Overall Grand and $1000 prize.  Billy put on a great show scoring the first point and keeping it close (2-4 Nash with 28 seconds to go).  Bill showed allot of courage in the “David vs Goliath”  match up, lol. In the end, Trevor proved why he is one of the best in NBL history taking the title home to Canada, but we were all proud of Billy”s performance.

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Billy Leader vs Trevor Nash 2013 SMAC Internationals

Black Belt Legacy

allegheny shotokan

Alleghey Shotokan is the oldest most established karate school in the area.  North Huntingdon School Continues Its Black Belt Legacy

Pictured Left to Right:
Front Row: Dave Zezza, Perry Culver, Ray Walters, Bill Viola Sr., Bill
Viola Jr. Ray Adams, Tim Meyer, Rocky Whatule
Second Row: Dave Crissman, Bill Holshue, George Yurechko, Joce Viola, Ali
Viola, Jacque Viola, Addie Viola, Dominic Leader, Dave Jones
Back Row: Mark Luctoch, Josh Dorazio, Arnold Mosa, Billy Leader, Connor
Burns, Charlie Slie

On December 16th 2013, Allegheny Shotokan Karate honored North

Huntingdon resident Dave Jones with the rank of Black Belt. Jones, who
began his martial arts training circa 1975, quickly made a name for himself
as a full contact fighter, honored and inducted in the Heinz History Museum
in 2011 as one of the first mixed martial arts fighters in American history.

Despite his success as a champion fighter, an extremely rare and chronic
blood disorder called Porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT) had kept him from
receiving his black belt for many years. His dedication and perseverance
was finally rewarded in front of his peers at the 2012 Laurel State Karate
Championships, held in White Oak, PA. The 37th annual martial arts event is
one of the oldest running marital arts tournaments in Pennsylvania area and
sanctioned by the Pennsylvania Karate Rating Association (PKRA). Jones
received a standing ovation during the ceremony.

Since 1969, The Allegheny Shotokan Karate School has produced some of
the most celebrated martial artists in the history of Pennsylvania;
recognized as the most successful national and international sport karate
school in the Pittsburgh region by the National Black Belt League. North
Huntingdon Martial Artist Sensei Bill Viola Sr. founded the organization
nearly forty five years ago and since taught tens of thousands students over
his career.

Viola explains, “Even though so many students have trained with me over
the years, its only an elite group that earn the rank of black belt from
Allegheny Shotokan. I believe in quality over quantity, when it comes to
wearing that particular belt. In the case of Dave Jones, he has been with
the school for over 30 years, and fought through adversity. He deserves it.”

Allegheny Shotokan Karate black belts represent over 6 decades of
martial arts excellence in the North Huntingdon area.

viola karate

Pictured left to right: Jacque Viola, Ali Viola, Bill Viola Sr., Bill Viola Jr., Addie Viola @ the Christmas Kumite (Pittsburgh Sport Karate)

NBL Player of The Year

billy leader karate

Pittsburgh Martial Artist Billy Leader named NBL Diamond Award Winner for Sport Karate “Player of the Year”

The 23rd Sport Karate World Games known internationally as the “Super Grands” was held 26th-31st in Buffalo New York. The tournament is sanctioned by the National Black Belt League (NBL) and Sport Karate International (SKIL) which are responsible for the largest sport karate ranking system and league for black belts in the world. The competition is the equivalent of the Super Bowl for martial arts with over 2000 world class competitors representing North America, South America, Africa, Asia and Europe each year at the Games. The competitor must compete at a series of regional and national events to earn a seed and qualify for the competition, a process similar to NCAA tournaments that is required to secure an invitation.

NBL Karate logo
At the closing ceremonies of the World Games, the NBL Executive Office votes on a series of Hall of Fame categories that represent the entire league. For the first time in Pittsburgh history, a local resident was honored with the NBL Diamond Award “Player of the Year.” 21-year-old Billy Leader of North Huntingdon Township was inducted into the NBL Hall of Fame on December 31st 2012 and honored with this prestigious title. Leader’s coach Sensei Bill Viola Jr explains, “It is similar to a league MVP type honor, an award for his entire body of work as a competitor. He was in contention with thousands of international competitors worldwide. This is huge, it puts Pittsburgh on the map when it comes to sport karate.” The Norwin Graduate and Penn State Junior has studied martial arts since he was three years old at the Allegheny Shotokan Karate School in Irwin, PA.
Allegheny Shotokan was founded in 1969 and since has produced more World Champions than any other school in the Pittsburgh region. They school as a rich tradition of representing Pennsylvania and the United States at the World Games dating back to the establishment of the league. Serving as captain of the Pittsburgh based all-star Team Kumite Classic, Leader defeated Andres Garcia of Guatemala (the reigning 6-time World Champion) in the Men’s Die gangigsten roulette strategi Varianten sind wohl franzosisches und amerikanisches roulette strategi . Light Middleweight Continuous Sparring division en route to an appearance on the main stage for the finals. His brother, 19-year-old Dominic Leader, also advanced to the finals to face Hugo Mendoza of Mexico. Leader’s teammate also includes 20-year old Ali Viola who claimed her 4th continuous sparring World Title by defeating the top international competitors from Canada, Guatemala and Mexico in the finals. Viola had previously become the first female form Pittsburgh to win a World Title in 2006, 2008, and 2009 before winning the Adult title this year.
The Team Kumite Classic Roster also includes a trio of sisters; 14-year-old Bridget Chase, 13-year-old Hope Chase, 11-year old Bess Chase all of Imperial, PA and 17-year-old Connor Burns of North Huntingdon who was inactive due to a torn ACL two weeks prior to the tournament. All of the athletes compete in Black Belt Continuous Sparring, a hybrid of kickboxing which requires high levels of endurance and physical toughness.  Coach Viola was very proud of his team stating, “In all, we qualified six black belts who attended the World Games, and all six placed top three in the World. Its an incredible winning percentage, especially when you consider that our school is the only one in the Pittsburgh area to bring home a World Title. They are a special group of students and Billy [Leader] works harder than any other student I have ever had. Winning player of the year is well deserved.”

billy leader nbl
Billy Leader holds the NBL Diamond Award for Sport Karate Player of the Year inducted into the National Black Belt League Karate Hall of Fame

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/

Ali Viola D-1 Star

ali viola soccer kick

Ali Viola has made a successful crossover from Sport karate into D-1 Athletics as the Goal Keeper for the Youngstown State University Girls Soccer Team.  As an NBL World Karate Champion she has made a name for herself as one of the toughest and dominant continuous sparring competitors in the country.  That tenacity helped her to earn a major college sports honor this week.

ali viola soccer saveThe 2010 Norwin High School Graduate was named NCAA’s Horizon League Defensive Player of the Week for her stellar performance at Goal Keeper for Youngstown State girl’s soccer team. The accomplishment marks only the fourth time YSU has been honored since joining the league 2001. At 4-0-0, the Youngstown State Lady Penguins are off to the best start in casino online the program”s history. Viola did not allow a goal in 180 minutes of play, collecting her second and third shutouts of the year. Against Buffalo, Viola was instrumental in the Penguin win, making nine saves in the game, the second-highest single-game total in the Horizon League this year. With twackwear back-to-back shutouts last week, the junior goalkeeper has moved into third on the YSU career shutouts. She also is tied for second on the single-season chart with three, and hopes to break that record this year. In 2011 Viola turned in the best single-season goals-against average in school history, collecting 60 saves while posting a 1.34 GAA and a save percentage of .779 last season. As a scholar athlete, Viola has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout her college career, with plans to attend Law School.

Although her soccer schedule has kept her away from most of the major sport karate events in 2012, she was able to attend the 2012 Can-Am Survivor tournament in Jessup Georgia. She proved she hasn”t missed a beat, winning 1st place in both Woman”s Continuous and Woman”s point fighting at the National event. Ali is a kumite classic champion and  a member of the Pittsburgh based Team Kumite and The Allegheny Shotokan Karate Club.

The Penguins will host Niagara on Sunday, Sept. 9. The Horizon League Network will have live coverage of the match, beginning at 4 p.m. ET

For more information visit www.alleghenyshotokan.com or www.kumiteclassic.com 

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!!

Kumite Classic 2012

team

Team Kumite & Allegheny Shotokan @ 2012 Kumite Classic:

 

Fitness and martial-arts enthusiasts pack Monroeville Convention Center for Kumite Classic

About The Tribune-Review

The Tribune-Review can be reached via e-mail or at 412-321-6460.

By Michael Love

Published: Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 11:08 a.m.
Updated: Thursday, May 31, 2012

Brazil native Royce Gracie is an undisputed legend in the world of mixed martial arts.

Gracie, with his foundation in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, dominated the early years of the Ultimate Fighting Championships.

He won the first UFC tournament in 1993, and nearly 20 years later, the 45-year-old still has that fire for competition.

Gracie brought his knowledge and energy to Monroeville on Friday and worked with dozens of local athletes though a pair of seminars.

“Back then (in 1993) it was a style against a style,” Gracie said. “Today, it’s an athlete against an athlete. UFC and mixed martial arts has become a dream for kids, like wanting to someday be a hockey player or a football player. They get up and train in the martial arts.”

Pittsburgh is an area progressing in mixed martial arts, both in the production of local fighters and in the promotion of local events. Gracie said he sees that growth all over the world in his travels, from Europe to Africa to the Middle East.

Gracie said he trains, eats in a healthy way and teaches every day. Whether it’s making himself better or someone else better, the desire for the martial arts and MMA, he said, continues to burn.

The Gracie seminars kicked off a flurry of activity at the 13th annual Kumite Classic on Friday and Saturday at the Monroeville Convention Center.

Hundreds of athletes competed in numerous martial-arts competitions, while good physical fitness was celebrated through fitness and beauty pageants, bodybuilding competitions, weightlifting events and the annual Kurt Angle Teen Challenge fitness and strength event.

The Kumite Classic’s mission is to “promote healthy active lifestyles through a full-scale interactive consumer expo.”

The event catered to many fitness enthusiasts from Plum, Monroeville, all over western Pennsylvania and throughout the country.

The competitions and demonstrations went nonstop from Friday afternoon to Saturday eve- ning, and more than a dozen sports were featured.

“I think the uniqueness of the event is what makes it special,” Kumite Classic co-coordinator Bill Viola Sr. said. “It’s a celebration of physical fitness. All of the athletes come to this event because they can put their athletic abilities and talents on display. If someone came to see a karate event, they were able take a few steps over and watch a strongman or bodybuilding event. It’s great to be able to have all these great events under one large roof.”

The Kumite Classic honored and recognized Bill Neal, a Penn Hills native and Plum resident, Saturday afternoon for his work with youths of all ages in the East Suburbs and throughout the Pittsburgh region.

Neal, the founder of Pittsburgh-based Champions Enterprises, has dedicated his life to community service. Each year, the Pittsburgh MVP Awards are presented at the Willie Stargell Memorial Awards Banquet.

The ceremony honors community and business leaders, as well as amateur and professional athletes, who are making a difference in the lives of others.

“Bill has such a big heart,” Viola Sr. said.

“He constantly works with kids and for kids. He’s given his heart and soul to them. We’ve had a great relationship over the years. He helped us promote the first MMA competitions in 1979 and 1980. We’re so happy to be able to honor him because he has recognized and honored so many others.”

The Ultimate Teen Challenge on Saturday morning brought together male and female athletes ages 13 to 19 for a test of skill in a number of events, including a shuttle run, vertical jump, bench press, inverted pull up, dips, football toss, tire flip and kneeling power ball toss.

Awards and scholarships were presented, and each participant was placed in a raffle with a chance to win various types of fitness equipment.

Pittsburgh native, U.S. Olympian and world-famous professional wrestler Kurt Angle again was on hand to present the awards to the teen challenge winners.

“One out of every three teens in the U.S. is obese, and we’re trying to change that,” Angle said. “We want them to be more active. Not everyone has to join a sports team. You can go to a gym, go for a run or take a walk, as long as you have activity in your life. A healthy mind and a healthy body makes for a healthy soul.”

Hines Ward Honors Allegheny Shotokan

bill viola hines ward dom leader

Hines Ward recently honored Pittsburgh Karate and Martial Arts Champion Dominic Leader. The Allegheny Shotokan Karate Black Belt was joined by Sensei Bill Viola who was inducted into the Heinz History Center Western PA Sports Museum last year with an exhibit honoring him as a pioneer of martial arts in Pittsburgh.

The Heinz History Center hosted this years inaugural Western Pennsylvania Positive High School Athlete Awards on Saturday, April 21st. Student Athletes representing 26 different boys and girls high school sports were honored by Positive Athlete spokesperson, and former Pittsburgh Steeler star wide receiver Hines Ward, as well as Jeff Kartsens from the Pittsburgh Pirates..

Over 170 nominations from coaches, principals, athletic directors, teachers and parents were submitted, representing 75 different Western Pennsylvania high schools from as far away as Erie, PA. In addition to excellence on the field, each nominated Positive Athlete was required to show characteristics such as an optimistic attitude, teammate encouragement, servant leadership, heart for others, ability to admit imperfections, giving 100 percent all the time, and realizing the team as more important than the individual.

“Being a Positive Athlete symbolizes something,” said Ward. “I wasn’t even the most talented guy on my football team – there were a lot of guys who had more talent. But I think what separated us was their negative attitude. I think that’s what the Positive Athlete Voting Academy saw in these 26 high school athletes as well”.

The event was emceed by KDKA sports anchor Bob Pompeani, with assistance from MSA Sports broadcaster’s Lanny Frattare and Don Rebel. In addition to an award certificate signed by Mr. Ward, award winners received an autographed Positive Athlete Dedication t-shirt and they will be guests of the Pittsburgh Pirates during a home game on May 9th where they will be brought onto the field to watch batting practice and meet players.

Allegheny Shotokan Karate Irwin North Huntingdon Pittsburgh, PA

Hines Ward Honor

hines positive

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 “Positive Athlete Awards.” 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 “Positive Athlete,” 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 “stars 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 – There are times when personal achievement may hurt the team’s goal. Positive Athletes choose their team.

Hines Ward Positive Athlete 2012


Homecoming King

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Team Kumite Member Dominic Leader was recently crowned 2011 Norwin Homecoming King.

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.