Tag Archives: dominic leader

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.

ASG all star gear

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

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/

Hines Ward Honor

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

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.

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