Category Archives: News

Survivor Karate

corky sikes survivor

Team Kumite represent Pittsburgh Sport karate with major national wins both Men’s Team Sparring Title and Junior Girls Sparring Titles at the 2013 Can-Am National Survivor Karate Tournament in Jessup, GA.  The event was hosted by Corky Sikes and World Class Karate.  Team Kumite now has the #1 national seed for team fighting for the Super Grands.

Billy Leader, Dominic Leader and anchor Cass Sigmon beat Team Velocity from Florida and Team ATL in the finals.  Great job guys.

Sara Russell, Hope Chase, and Bridget Chase also took top honors.

Congrats to Liz on winning her first National 1st place and Cameron for taking home top honors in Continuous sparring.  Ali Viola also captured the #1 national seed for female  sparring going undefeated in continuous sparring in 2013.

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Gabby Viola sports her new ASG All Star Gear gloves with Aunt Ali

Summer Smash Karate

summer smash karate

Team Kumite was proud to support the White Viper Summer Smash Karate Tournament in Pittsburgh.  The Chase sisters: Bridget Chase, Hope Chase, and Bess Chase are members of the school and team working hard towards winning an NBL Super Grands World Title.  Congrats to Billy Leader for winning the Summer Smash overall kata grand championships, Dominic Leader for winning the adult black belt sparring grand championship, and Rachael Bartuska for winning the advanced youth Grand Championship.  A great event and showing by the entire team and Allegheny Shotokan!

Peter Chase,Billy Leader and Bill Viola… Sensei Viola and Rachel Bartuska

Eagle Scout

Congrats to Team Kumite and Allegheny Shotokan Karate Black Belt Connor Burns on earning his Eagle Scout award!  We are proud of all our well rounded students.  Connor is currently an assistant instructor in the Norwin Ninjas karate class.

 

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

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 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!!