Tag Archives: allegheny shotokan

Pittsburgh Karate Champs

norwin ninjas karate

Allegheny Shotokan named ‘top team’ at Pittsburgh Kumite Classic

 | SundayJuly 2, 2017, 11:00 p.m.

karate

The Allegheny Shotokan Karate School was honored as the “Top Team” at the 2017 Kumite Classic martial arts championships at the 18th annual Pittsburgh Fitness Expo on May 26-27 at Monroeville Convention Center.

The Kumite Classic is the region’s largest multisport convention, featuring more than 100,000 square feet of competitions and participation from around the world.

One hundred students from the Pittsburgh based school and their sister program “Norwin Ninjas” competed at the tournament. The school brought home more top honors than any other school in North America.

allegheny shotokan karate

The team qualified to compete in Las Vegas this week for the WAKO North American Championships, part of UFC International Fight Week at the MGM Grand.

The team is coached by Sensei Bill Viola Jr. and Shihan Bill Viola Sr.

For more information about Pittsburgh area karate classes visit www.Norwinninjas.com.

http://triblive.com/sports/otherlocal/12430969-74/allegheny-shotokan-named-top-team-at-kumite-classic

 

2013 Kumite Classic

Congrats to all Allegheny Shotokan Karate and Norwin Ninjas for a great performance at the 2013 Kumite Classic!

Photos: Norwin Ninjas on the main stage, Sara Russel throws a Cartwheel kick, Billy Leader sweeps his opponent, and the Kumite Classic expo entrance

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

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’s 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, “This 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.”

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

 

Connor Burns

Connor Burns pictured above with Pittsburgh Steelers Brett Keisel and Hines Ward on the set of the Hines Ward Show.

Connor Burns is currently a senior at Trinity Christian School in Pittsburgh, PA.  Burns transferred from Kiski Prep in 2012 in order to continue his training in the sport of karate and pursue his dream of winning a National Black Belt League (NBL) World Title.  He is currently the #2 ranked competitor in of the Can-Am National Conference.  He has earned a seed for the 2012 World Games held in Buffalo, NY. Connor is recognized as the #1 ranked competitor in Pennsylvania in the 15-17 year old 143- lb Sparring category.  Connor has been studying Shotokan karate for over 10 years and won numerous state and regional titles. He is a member of the prestigious Team Kumite all-star travel team.  The team is responsible for the only NBL World titles in the Pittsburgh region over the past decade.

He was honored in 2010 by Trib Total Media and selected to receive the “Outstanding Young Citizen Award” in recognition for his exemplary character, outstanding academic achievement and generous community contributions.  He was honored for his dedication in supporting local food banks through the “scouting for food” initiative.  He also volunteers his time weekly to mentor younger kids apart of his karate school and competitive sport karate team.

Burns is a well rounded scholar athlete.  In addition to his martial arts training, he is deeply committed to earning the Boy Scouts highest rank of “Eagle Scout.”  As a member of Troop Unit No. 257 he is currently an Eagle Scout candidate working on his final project to benefit the Norwin Public Library.  The Eagle Scouts are expected to be leaders in life, and set an example for the entire community. As a senior patrol leader, he was responsible for 65 kids in charge of organizing all troop events, meetings and activities.  Burns finished the 2011 school year with a 3.75 GPA.

Connor is also an accomplished pianist, playing since he was 4 years old.  He was selected to perform for the CFA commencement program in 2009, and has volunteered for numerous chapel services at Christian Fellowship, Saltsburg Baptist Church, and Calvary Baptist Church throughout the years.  He is a model student, champion athlete and avid supporter of the community.

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/

EA Old School

Allegheny Shotokan “Old School” days at East Allegheny School.  Sensei Bill Viola began teaching Karate in 1969 and the club flourished into the 1970s.  Allegheny was chosen both as a reference to Allegheny Country, East Allegheny School District, and the fact that “A” was at the beginning of the phone book (a clever marketing strategy in the days before the internet).

Today , Allegheny Shotokan operates in Irwin / North Huntingdon in the suburbs of Pittsburgh.

bill viola circa 1969

 

Royce Gracie

Royce Gracie Bill Viola Kumite Classic

UFC Legend Royce Gracie with Allegheny Shotokan Sensei Bill Viola Jr. @ the 2012 Kumite Classic at the Pittsburgh Monroeville Convention Center.

UFC Legend Royce Gracie with Rare Book school-delays.com Director Michael F. Allegheny Shotokan Sensei Bill Viola Jr. @ the 2012 Kumite Classic at the Pittsburgh Monroeville Convention Center.

Kumite Classic 2012

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.”