Category Archives: viola karate

Doug Selchan USA Karate Pan American Games Gold Champion

selchan kumite

Profile:Ā  USA Karate Champion Doug Selchan

U.S. Karate Team Captures Gold in Men’s Kumite

Doug Selchan
Doug Selchan USA Karate and Pan American Games Champion

U.S. Olympic Committee Press ReleaseĀ Ā WINNIPEG, Canada

The U.S. karate team ended its competition at theĀ 1999Ā Pan American Games the same way it began the Games — with goldĀ medals.

George Kotaka (Honolulu, Hawaii), John Fonseca (Northbrook, Ill.) andĀ DougĀ Selchan (North Huntington, Pa.) each won a gold medal in men’s kumiteĀ inĀ their respective weight divisions to give the U.S. a total of fiveĀ individual gold medals. Akiru Fukuda (Huntington Beach, Calif.) andĀ KellieĀ 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. headĀ coachĀ Tokey Hill said. “I can’t ask for more out of my boys and girls thanĀ that.Ā They delivered.”Ā Ā Kotaka came back to defeat Alberto Espejo (COL) in the finals of the underĀ 65kg. After giving up the first point with 2:43 remaining, KotakaĀ scoredĀ five times and held Espejo scoreless for the remainder of the bout.Ā  “It was really nerve-wracking, but once we got out there, the jittersĀ wereĀ gone and it was time to fight,” Kotaka said. “I initiated the attackĀ and heĀ (Espejo) countered it on the first point. But I knew that sooner or later,Ā because there were three minutes, I could come back and get someĀ points back.”

Fonseca never trailed in his bout against N.L. Sardenberg (BRA) in theĀ men’s under 80kg, needing only two minutes to score the maximum pointsĀ toĀ earn the gold.Ā “He (Sardenberg) is a very strong fighter, very sharp,” Fonseca said.Ā “ButĀ Ā every body has good and bad days, and I felt very on today and maybe he wasĀ 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 stoppedĀ severalĀ Ā times after Selchan suffered a scratch above his right eye early inĀ theĀ match. Selchan recovered to take a 3-2 lead with 27 seconds remainingĀ andĀ then scored an Ippon with 10 seconds remaining to put the match out ofĀ reach. Cruz scored with three seconds left, but time expired withĀ SelchanĀ leading 5-3.Ā “I knew I had it all along,” Selchan said,

“Not to sound conceited,Ā butĀ Ā this week I was very confident. I was in pretty good shape, feltĀ 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


Mokuso #Focus

Mokuso é»™ęƒ³

To Focus and Clear One’s Mind

Gabby Viola in “Mokuso” a position of focus performed in Seiza where students clear their minds and prepare to train.

At Allegheny Shotokan “Viola Karate” we teach our kids much more than punches and kicks.Ā  We prepare them for the real battles–Mental.Ā  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.Ā  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 é»™ęƒ³Ā is an opportunity to eliminate all the stress weighing you down and enter a state of peace.Ā  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

  • ęƒ³Ā  (so) Thoughts

While in your “silent thoughts” you should practice correct breathing.Ā  This will help relive tension (stress).Ā  It should be from yourĀ č…¹ “hara” aka belly (not your stomach but more of a metaphysical area).Ā  Why?Ā  Your center is where your energy is stored.Ā  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 tandenĀ äø¹ē”° (field) is a few inches below your navel (deep within the hara). Samurai believed that this is where your spirit lived.Ā  It is essentially the body’s center of gravity.Ā  The tanden acts as a reservoir of vital energy 갗 (Ki Energy) and through correct breathing you can chargešŸ”ŒĀ these batteries šŸ”‹ so to speak.

FYI:Ā  We typically perform Mokuso in ę­£åŗ§ “Seiza” which literally means proper/correct sitting in Japanese. (Kneeling on the floor and folding legs under the thighs and å°» “shiri” (your butt šŸ˜‚)Ā  The tops of the feet are flat and big toes cross.

  • äø¹ (tan) medicine (medical substance)

  • ē”° (den) field

Physiologically the diaphragm controls the breathing.Ā  So one should Inhale through the nose (slowly from deep within the center) and slowly exhale through your mouth.

Sensei Viola Sr. and Jack Sensei Bodell

This training also prepares you the concept of mushinĀ ē„”åæƒ (no mind).

  • ē„” (mu) not or without

  • åæƒ (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.”Ā  You feel no pain, you are unstoppable.

I believe you can exhibit Mushin in all areas of training:Ā  Calisthenics, Kihon, Kumite etc.

colin madden, xander eddy, ethan gaudi
Mushin (Free From Pain)

Mushin (No Fear) Shihan Viola #kumite in the 1960sĀ 

In moments of silence, it is said we can discover a pure side of ourselves. Some call it living in the moment. This ā€œvoidā€ is a difficult concept to grasp. In Japan there is an expression, ā€œmizu no kokoroā€ which means ā€œmind like water.ā€ The idea is to ā€œbecome oneā€ with your attacker in order to make an ā€œinstantā€ reactions (just like still water reacts when its touched).

So practice emptying your cup…

bruce lee kumite


“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




PIND Kick A Thon 5k

pind kick a thon

2018 PIND 5K, 1 Mile Fun Walk & Kick-a-thon

WHO is PIND?Ā  Pittsburgh Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases (Parkinsonā€™s Disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Huntingtonā€™s Disease, Stroke, and Alzheimerā€™s Disease).

WHAT:Ā  Community service is an important part of building character.Ā  Our dojo is supporting the Annual PIND walk/run by establishing a kick-a-thon fundraiser throughout August.Ā  Students will kick in 1-mile kick-a-thon and parents are welcome to sign up and walk along side them.

WHY:Ā  PIND is an organization that Sensei Bill and all of the Norwin Ninjas and Allegheny Shotokan supports.Ā  He lost his Grandmother and Uncle to complications caused by Parkinsonā€™s and Alzheimerā€™s.Ā  It is a cause near and dear to his heart.

WHEN:Ā  July-AugustĀ raise money. Collect sponsors to support you kicking for 1-mile.Ā  Labor Day Monday September 3rdĀ 8AM is the Kick-A-Thon.Ā  Students will kick for 1-mile. Itā€™s a challenge!Ā  Get ready to sweat!!!!!! Actual Kick-A-Thon is Labor Day.

WHERE:Ā  Boyce Park, Monroeville


*Important information.Ā  You must register online by August 20th to guarantee a t-shirt.Ā  You do not have to walk, run or kick to make a donation.Ā  We ask that all students try and raise at least the minimum of $25.Ā  Kick-a-thon will follow the 1-mile walk.Ā  Event begins @ 8AM Boyce Park, Monroeville.

pind 5k registration




Here are some photos of last year’s PIND Kick-a-thon:PIND (Pittsburgh Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases) 5K walk/run/kick held annually Labor Day atĀ Boyce Park in Monroeville.

PIND offers a unique twist to the traditional 5K by incorporating a ā€œKick-a-thonā€ portion where local martial artists literally kick for a mile non-stop alongside the walkers. It is a first of its kind in event in the region, possibly the country.Ā The estimated amount of kicks thrown by each participant is 2000, collectively they hope to hitĀ 200,000 kicks to raise awareness.

The ā€œKickā€ concept was developed former State Senator Sean Logan along with and Irwin native Bill Viola Jr. (owner of Norwin Ninjas and Allegheny Shotokan Karate).Ā Logan was diagnosed with Parkinsonā€™s disease in his mid-forties and Viola spent years caring for his Grandmother who passed away from neurodegenerative complications.

Viola said, ā€œThe cause is near and dear to my heart.Ā Iā€™ve been looking for a way to fight this epidemic, and having my school ā€˜Kickā€™ for a cure was a perfect fit.Ā Building character is an important part of martial arts.Ā My students exceeded my expectations by collecting donations.ā€Ā Rayden Galley led the group of 50 kickers by donating nearly $500.Ā Ā The karate students in total donated over $4500 to PIND bringing the 2017 efforts to over $100,000 for the entire project with aid from corporate sponsors and the surrounding communities.

PIND spearheads efforts to find a cure for Parkinsonā€™s Disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Huntingtonā€™s Disease, Stroke, and Alzheimerā€™s Disease.Ā The kids have already made plans to ā€œKick Parksinsonsā€ again next year.Ā For more information please visit:Ā

US Open

us open karate

Viola Karate – Pittsburgh Area KarateĀ Dojo Wins

US Open ISKA World Martial Arts Championships

The All-Star Team ā€œKumiteā€ traveled to Orlando Florida for the 2018 The US Open held July 6-7 at Disneyā€™s Coronado Springs Convention Center.Ā  The tournament, broadcast live on ESPN2 and ESPN3, is recognized as the worldā€™s largest sport martial arts competition with over 40 countries and 6 continents present. The two-day tournament showcased 200,000 square feet of competition that included karate and kickboxing.


Representing Pittsburgh were 10 members from the Viola Karate Dojo including Sensei Bill Viola Jr., (Head Coach), Sensei Cameron Klos (Player Coach), and Sensei Gary Klos (Assistant Coach). All members placed in the top two in their respective divisions.Ā  The students were the only champions from the Western Pennsylvania region.

Results include: Luke Lokay: Ā Gold 14-15 black belt sparring, Silver Clash Contact Fighting, Stephen Jackowski: Ā Gold 12-13 Advanced Kata, Bronze Advanced Weapons, Nicolette Jackowski: Gold 14-15 Intermediate, Silver Kata, Lucy Lokay: Gold 12-13 Advanced Gold sparring, Ā Gabby Viola Gold 6-7 year old Advanced Sparring, Silver Kata, Taylor Provence: Silver 10-11, Silver Sparring and Xander Eddy 4x Gold 8-9 year Advanced.

Lokay and Eddy each earned a spot to represent the United StatesĀ as members of the 2018 ā€œTeam USAā€ at the Pan American Kickboxing Championship in Cancun, Mexico October 24-28th.Ā  Lokay will represent America in the 63- Kg division and Eddy secured the 30- Kg weight class. The selection process is limited to the current national champions officially recognized by their National Olympic Committees or Ministry of Sports.

Lokay, a Norwin High School student explains, ā€œRepresenting my country is such huge honor. I am training every day to make my family and coaches proud. I know a lot of the kids at the dojo are counting on me.ā€ Lokay and Eddy each have been training at Allegheny Shotokan ā€œViolaā€ Karate in North Huntingdon since they were 4-years-old. Their Sensei, Bill Viola Jr. explains, ā€œLuke and Xander set themselves apart with work ethic. They are both naturally talented, but itā€™s what you do with that talent that gets you to the next level. They have the determination and dedication to win.ā€

Eddy is one of the youngest members to make Team USA but has already amassed an impressive resume. In 2017, he earned the Open-Weight Grand Championship Title at North American Open in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event was part of UFCā€™s International Fight Week. Eddy proudly explains, ā€œI only had one thing on my mindā€”win.ā€ The victory put him on the radar of the coaching staff. Lokay and Eddy are the first US Team members to earn a team selection for The World Association of Kickboxing Organizations (WAKO) from Western Pennsylvania.

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