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Allegheny Shotokan

Allegheny 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 Toughguy competitions. During the 1990s 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. At the time, 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 Doug Selchan and Dustin Baldis began their training at the school. Selchan went on the win a Gold Medal the 1999 Pan-American Games for the United States. In 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).

Modern Champions:

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.

Viola Family

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.

Notable Alumni:

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.

Doug Selchan began his training at Allegheny Shotokan and represented the United States at the 1999 Pan-American Games in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada winning a Gold Medal in 80+ Kilo Kumite.

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.

Dominic Leader 2010 NBL World Champion


Sensei Viola

bill viola kumite classic

Allegheny Shotokan Sensei Bill Viola is recognized as a multiple USA Karate All-American Athlete, International Champion and World Champion coach of Team Kumite.  Official website www.williamviola.com

William “Bill” Viola III (born April 9, 1977) is an international martial arts champion, instructor, coach, fitness promoter and founder of Kumite Classic Entertainment Corp.

Bill Viola graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Pittsburgh in 1999 with a bachelor degree in Political Science. Immediately after graduation, he moved to Studio City, California and gained hands-on experience within the entertainment industry. He subsequently earned acceptance into the Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG) and American Federation of Television and Radio (AFTRA). The exposure afforded him the opportunity to meet and work with many of Hollywood’s top performers, celebrities, directors, and producers. He gained an astute knowledge of event production that influenced him to create his own production company, Kumite Classic Entertainment Corp. The company produces the annual Kumite Classic and launched the Fitness And Sports Tour (FAST Expo). Viola’s professional experience has earned him international recognition within the fitness industry. He has recruited and worked with amateur and professional athletes from across the world. Currently Viola is the head instructor at Allegheny Shotokan Karate in North Huntingdon / Irwin, PA. The school was established in 1969 by his father and is now home to Team Kumite, an all-star sport karate team that that has earned the only NBL world titles in the Pittsburgh region since its inception. Viola is available for seminars, workshops, and private lessons.

The Kumite Classic

The Kumite Classic is one of the most diverse martial arts and fitness expos in the United States. The annual show based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is typically held over Memorial Day Weekend. The event hosts a full scale consumer expo surrounded by multiple championships and competitions that run simultaneously including sports such as; sport karate, natural bodybuilding, power lifting, strongman, Olympic weight lifting, dance, cheer, arm wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, physical fitness challenges etc. The event also hosts concerts, talent showcases, model pageants, bikini pageants, and fitness pageants. The high energy atmosphere has created a unique fan base of sports and fitness enthusiasts.

Viola partnered with former Mr. World Dave Hawk and Olympic Champion and Professional Wrestler Kurt Angle to host the Ultimate Teen Challenge in Pittsburgh, May 2005. The event has become an annual feature at the Kumite Classic.

On May 30th 2010 Bill Viola Sr. resurrected CV Productions Inc. and promoted “Caged Kumite,” a pro-am mixed martial arts show at the Kumite Classic. The event commemorated the thirty-year anniversary of mixed martial arts in Pittsburgh.

On May 28th 2011 Bill Viola partnered with former NFL Professional player Franco Harris to host The World Teen Football Combine. Jeannette High School standout Demetrious Cox, a former karate student of Viola, won the first annual competition.

Martial Arts:Bill Viola was introduced to the art of Shotokan Karate by his father William Viola, founder of Allegheny Shotokan Karate. His lessons began as early as 1978 when he was just a toddler. As a youth Viola was one of the most consistent and well rounded competitors in the country recognized as a USAKF Jr. Olympic champion and 1993 Overall Sport Karate International Champion. He went on to be the most successful sport karate champion in Pennsylvania Karate Rating Association history winning an unprecedented 8-consecutive black belt overall state titles (1992-1999). As an open and traditional competitor Viola excelled on multiple circuits including NBL, NASKA, AAU, and USAKF. He competed across North America as a member of X-Caliber and Metro All-Star national travel teams.

He was recognized as a multiple USA Karate All-American Athlete and National Champion. Viola was the only adult black belt triple gold medalist (Kata, -65 Kilo Kumite, Kobudo) at the 1997 USAKF National Championships in Akron, Ohio. In 1998 he was recognized by Arnold Schwarzenegger as a World Champion at The Arnold Classic, Columbus, Oh.


Stunt Work & Professional Shows

Viola has served as a stunt actor and choreographer including performances for Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon Movies, US Steel, Police Athletic League, Eckert Seamans Law Firm, and the University of Pittsburgh. Over the years Viola has participated as a spokesperson for national campaigns including, Say No to Drugs, a tour took Viola coast to coast from Los Angeles to New York. -Pictured left, Bill Viola congratulated by Arnold Schwarzenegger for winning the Arnold Classic -1998

Brief Accomplishments:

Viola has won numerous national and international titles and was inducted into National Black Belt League Hall of Fame in 2003 (Houston, Texas). He was also inducted into the National Federation of Martial Arts Hall of Fame, Kumite International Hall of Fame, and the Pennsylvania Karate Rating Association Hall of Fame. In 2004 he was honored at The Sport Karate Living Legends Banquet with the Lifetime Achievement Award, Lynchburg, Va. Viola was recognized at the 35th Annual Willie Stargell Memorial banquet on December 16th 2010. He received the “Pittsburgh M.V.P.” award for his work within the fitness and Martial Arts industry.

Competition Retirement

In the summer of 1999, Viola was involved in an automobile accident on US Route 30 in North Huntingdon, PA. He sustained a serious cervical neck fracture injury that effectively ended his competitive karate career (1981-1999). –Tribune Review Westmoreland Sports August 15, 1999 page 6.

Journalism

In 2003 Viola established Kumite Quaterly Magazine, a martial arts publication distributed throughout North America. He also has served as a journalist for Sport Karate Magazine, covering international events in Canada, Mexico and the United States, as well as the NBL Supergrands World Championships.

Kumite International

Nancy Caliguri, Bruno, Curtis Smith, Bill Viola, George Anderson, CS Kim, Bill Viola, Frank Caliguri, Ann Marie Heilman, Bruce Heilman

In 2000, Viola partnered with the Western PA Police Athletic League and Eckert Seamans Lawfirm to establish Kumite International college scholarships for competitive martial artists. May 8th 2004 Viola and former NFL Professional Lynn Swann (Chairman, President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports: June 20, 2002 – July 30, 2005) honored scholarship recipients at the Kumite Classic. In 2002 Team Kumite was founded, and have earned the only NBL World Titles in the Pittsburgh region since its inception. NBL World Champion alumni include; Alison Viola, Terrence Tubio, Nicole Sullivan, Jose Rivera, and Dominic Leader. Kumite International was awarded the “Image Award” at the 2005 Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio. The ceremony was covered by Black Belt TV.

Fitness And Sports Training

In 1995 Viola began teaching sports endurance and cardio classes. In 2004 Viola expanded his personal training and established “Fitness And Sports Training” (The FAST Class). The conditioning and sports performance classes focused on improved speed, agility and strength for competitive sports teams in the Pittsburgh region.

Consulting

Viola has served as a consultant for martial arts documentaries and coordinator for International martial arts events across North America including the Mexican Open and the NBL Supergrands World Games; (Jacksonville, Florida / Houston, Texas / Myrtle Beach, South Carolina).

Viola has served as a talent judge and promo coordinator for Sony Pictures Entertainment. He acted as a consultant for the motion picture Warrior, a mixed martial arts movie filmed in Pittsburgh (released September, 2011 by Lionsgate). Viola teamed up with longtime associate Jim Cvetic (Western PA Police Athletic League) to help organize major scenes for the production.

Hollywood

Bill Viola (member of SAG/AFTRA) has made numerous television, film, and radio appearances on networks such as MTV, NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, UPN, WB, USA, Blackbelt TV and ESPN.

In 2000, Viola won Sisqo’s Shakedown, MTV’s most popular program at the time. Singer-choreographer Pink selected him as the most dynamic performer on the show. He has also made appearances in national commercials for companies such as 7-Eleven and built an impressive portfolio as a fashion and commercial print model, featured on MTV’s Hitched or Ditched (Big Bear, California) working along side Jennifer Lopez, Mandy Moore and Carson Daly.

Viola has worked as a freelance talent scout and entertainment entrepreneur. He has mentored top martial arts performers, helping them gain exposure within the entertainment industry. Viola helped launch the modeling career of Nick Bateman at the Model Universe competition in Miami, Florida. Bateman was discovered by fashion Icon Calvin Klein at the event.

Viola has extensive experience within the entertainment industry, working behind the scenes of major Hollywood productions. He has worked on location for big budget music videos sharing the set with musical artists such as the Def Tones, Britney Spears, and The Black Eyed Peas. The experience influenced the creation of The Kumite Classic concept.

Family

Bill Viola is married to Jennifer and have a daughter Gabriella Capri (8-17-10) Gabby is already practicing karate!

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

-Philippians 4:13

Pittsburgh MMA

Pittsburgh MMA Mixed Martial Arts

The Pittsburgh region has produced some of world’s most legendary fighters, boxers, wrestlers, and martial artists. Pennsylvania is considered the birthplace of modern “sport” mixed martial arts in the United States (1979). Pittsburgh MMA is dedicated to keeping the storied traditions alive and proving a historical reference for all types of combat and mixed martial arts in the area.

Pittsburgh MMA is an online resource for all styles of fighting including mixed martial arts (freestyle fighting, vale tudo, no holds barred (NHB), cage fighting, ultimate fighting) information, events, fighters, gyms and history. We feature the best in both ground and stand up martial arts including: BJJ Brazilian jiu-jitsu, submission grappling, Japanese ju jutsu, full casinomilate.info contact martial arts, karate, judo, boxing, kickboxing, greco-roman wrestling, shoot wrestling, catch wrestling, sambo, tae kwon do, tang soo do, kung fu, thai boxing, muay thai and all areas of combat sports in PA. This website serves the Western Pennsylvania region and Greater Pittsburgh area including Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington, and Westmoreland counties and surrounding areas of Greensburg, Irwin, and North Huntingdon.

Viola MMA Innovator

By John Santa,
Monday, July 4, 2011

Bill Viola still can remember the meal like it was yesterday.

For the former East Allegheny science teacher, who in 1979 was promoting local karate and kick boxing events with partner Frank Caliguri, it was a meeting that changed his life.

“One day we were meeting at Denny`s,” Viola recalled. “I said, ‘What do you think, Frank?` He said, ‘You know, I hear the same story, I know someone that could beat this guy up, or who`s the toughest (fighter). What happens if Muhammad Ali would fight Bruce Lee? What happens if Bruno Sammartino … got in the mix? Who would win?`”

From those questions, the pair got an idea to supplement their kick boxing and karate events with a new sport.

“We decided, ‘Hey, why don`t we do something totally bizarre?`” Viola said. “‘Why don`t we throw all these people in the ring and see what`s going to happen?`”

The result became Viola and Caliguri`s “Tough Guy Championships,” which pitted various styles of fighters against each other and spawned the first organized Mixed Martial Arts league.

Now, 32 years later, MMA has become one of the most popular sports worldwide.

Last week, Viola and Caliguri were enshrined at the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum at the Senator John Heinz History Center as part of a new exhibit celebrating the local roots of MMA.

“It`s kind of a big honor to be down there right next to Franco Harris, and you go a little bit further, then there`s Danny Marino,” said Viola, a North Huntingdon Township native. “It`s unbelievable.”

Viola first began working to promote kick boxing and karate events in the early 1970s by starting CV Productions with Caliguri.

“In those particular days there was no Internet, there was no texting, there was very little communications,” Viola said. “The way that we would get the word out for a show is, you could advertise in the paper or you could get television or radio.”

The rivalry between different types of fighters helped create the buzz that has made MMA so popular.

“For a kick boxing show we would get maybe 100 phone calls of people asking questions,” Viola said. “You`d get 1,500 people at the gate, which was really nice for those days. We must have had in the first week of (MMA) 1,500 phone calls.”

“I can remember they were from Yonkers, N.Y.,” he added. “They were from Michigan, Florida. The word got out and it just went totally out of control. We had to actually hire secretaries. (Before that) we were nothing. We were just mom-and-pop karate schools.”

The first MMA event that Viola produced took place in New Kensington in March of 1980. That event led to the Tough Guy Championships held at the Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh later that year.

“The first three shows we sold out all three nights,” Viola said. “You could not get in the place. The electricity was unbelievable. No one knew what to expect.”

From there, Viola and Caliguri had plans to hold events all over the country, culminating with a national championship prize fight to be held in Las Vegas in 1981.

“We thought it was crazy at the beginning,” Viola said. “Now, amplify that by 10.”Â

Those bouts never took place because MMA became banned in Pennsylvania in 1981 when a fighter died during a fight not affiliated with CV Productions.

Although Viola`s tenure promoting MMA events ended prematurely, it still left a lasting impression on the local sports scene.

“The Sports Museum has brought to light the central role that Pittsburgh has played in the sports of boxing and wrestling, focusing on such greats as Bruno Sammartino and Kurt Angle,” Anne Madarasz, co-director of the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, said. “This exhibit adds a new chapter as we trace the roots of mixed martial arts in the United States back to the Pittsburgh region.”

For Viola, to be associated with the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum is a true honor.

“That was our project, our child,” Viola said. “We were the brainchilds of this. We were the Barnum & Bailey promoters of this event. We went completely out of the envelope when no one believed it could happen.”

Read more: Viola honored as Mixed Martial Arts innovator – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/dailynewsmckeesport/sports/s_745188.html#ixzz1hB8tFj5N

Bill Viola MMA Pioneer

Godfather of MMA godfathermma.com

Did you know?

We have some pretty unique Alumni. Jack Bodell was a martial arts student and black belt under Master Viola at Allegheny Shotokan Karate. He was at the time an agent of the United States Secret Service responsible with protecting President Jimmy Carter.

Pictured below is Former World Kickboxing Champion Jaquet Bazemore with “The Greatest” Muhammed Ali.

Jacquet Bazmore was a Heavyweight Kickboxing Champion who trained at Sensei Viola and Sensei Caliguri martial arts schools. He served as a referee for Sensei Viola’s mixed martial arts championships in 1980. Noted as one of the most prolific Kickboxers of his era, he also was a sparring partner for boxing legend Muhammad Ali. Bazemore is also Nephew to boxing legend Archie Moore.

Other Notable Alumni:

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.

Doug Selchan began his training at Allegheny Shotokan and represented the United States at the 1999 Pan-American Games in WinnipegManitobaCanada winning a Gold Medal in 80+ Kilo Kumite.

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, 2011 #1 Ranked Can-Am fighter

Ali Viola  3-time 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.

Dominic Leader 2010 NBL World Champion


 

 

Viola Wins Willie Stargell Award

Karate coach Bill Viola recognized by peers

January 6, 2011

Trib Live

The Champions Association, in conjunction with Highmark, presented the 35th annual Willie Stargell Memorial Banquet and Pittsburgh MVP awards on Dec. 16.

The annual ceremony honors business leaders and professional athletes who are making a difference in the community, and this year, North Huntingdon resident Bill Viola received the Pittsburgh MVP honor for his work in the fitness and martial arts industry.

Viola is a promoter and entertainment entrepreneur credited with producing the Kumite Classic.

He is recognized as national and international martial arts champion competitor and coach.

He has been noted as the most successful sport karate athlete in Pennsylvania State Karate Rating Association history and was honored by Arnold Schwarzenegger as a World Champion in 1998.

As the founder and president of Kumite Classic Entertainment Corp., Viola works alongside sports celebrities, professional athletes andOlympic champions across North America.

His professional success is in direct correlation with his personal passion, martial arts.

Viola has been recognized as a USA Karate All-American athlete, and he online casino was inducted into the National Black Belt League Hall of Fame.

Viola’s most recent project, Norwin Ninjas, has been receiving widespread acclaim.

Norwin Ninjas is a specialized program in the North Huntingdon area developed for children ages 4- to 7-years old to help instill respect in discipline.

Norwinninjas.com is quickly becoming a popular website among parents looking to teach their children the importance of setting goals and staying in shape. Viola was commended by the association for his work with youths.

Other distinguished honorees at the banquet included Pittsburgh Steelers’ legend Franco Harris, WTAE Reporter Sheldon Ingram, Pitt legend Sam Clancy, Super Bowl champion Darnell Dinkins and former Steeler and District Justice Dwayne Woodruff just to name a few.

Pictured is Bill Viola & Franco Harris @ the 2011 Kumite Classic