Author Archives: Bill Viola Jr.

About Bill Viola Jr.

Bill Viola jr. is a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania based Sensei, promoter, producer and award-winning author of Tough Guys.

Tough Guys

Tough Guys movie mma

Inspired by the book Godfathers of MMA:

The AFI DOCS Interview: TOUGH GUYS Directors Henry Roosevelt and W.B. Zullo

Tough Guys movie mma

Told through the colorful stories of scrappy brawlers and amateur promoters, TOUGH GUYS brings to life the birth of mixed martial arts competitions in 1980s Pittsburgh. The idea to legitimize street fighting by putting it in the ring brought big money, crowds, copycat competitions and ultimately scrutiny and tighter control.

AFI spoke with directors Henry Roosevelt and W.B. Zullo about the film, which makes its world premiere at AFI DOCS as part of the Spotlight Screenings section.

AFI: What led you to pursue documentary filmmaking? 

Focusing on a single story and telling it in a more fulsome, comprehensive and visual way.

AFI: What inspired you to tell this story?

The 1980s and growing up during the golden age of action films.  From Van Damme and Eastwood to Schwarzenegger and Stallone, the culture was saturated with cinema tough guys.  As we got older, we often wondered whether movies like BLOODSPORT, KARATE KID and OVER THE TOP were art imitating life or whether the tough guy tournaments we explore in our film took their cues from blue-collar brawlers created by Hollywood.

AFI: How did you find the subjects in your film?

On a visit to Pittsburgh, at the Heinz History Center’s Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, we came across a small exhibit that made an intriguing claim: The roots of the modern sports colossus we know as mixed-martial arts were planted at a New Kensington Holiday Inn in 1980. 

The fliers for the fights, which pitted lumberjacks against bikers, steel workers and other rough-and-tumble trades, so perfectly encapsulated that action-star era that we found ourselves incredibly curious about the men who chose to step into the ring. Why did they do it? What were they trying to prove? What happened to the fledgling league they were trying to get off the ground? 

We were sure there was a great story in the hustle of the promoters and the backgrounds of the fighters, not to mention what happened in the ring.

AFI: What was a particular obstacle you faced while making the film?

Tracking these guys down and getting them to agree to be on camera. Bill Viola and Frank Caliguri have stayed in touch with some of the fighters in their circles over the years, but we wanted to tell as many aspects of the story as possible. That meant finding guys they hadn’t heard from in some cases since the early 1980s. That proved a chore, but the effort was well worth it in order to get interviews with, for example, Danny “Mad Dog” Moyak and his nemesis, Frank Tigano, who we convinced to fly in to Pittsburgh from Florida for an interview.

Also, when we first made contact with Bill and Frank, we assumed there was video of all the fights they promoted. Unfortunately, we discovered that much of the footage was destroyed in a flood, forcing us to recreate some of the fights that were central to our story arc.

AFI: What do you want audiences to walk away with after screening your film? 

We want to cast some light on a fascinating footnote from a unique time and place. Western Pennsylvania in the early 1980s was grappling with unemployment rates that were worse than during the Great Depression, as a result of the crippling decline in steel and related industries. People were desperate, and some of the fighters got in the ring for money, which in some cases was exploited by promoters. But others were trying to prove something to themselves and the world. We really think the story here is why these guys risked it, what they were trying to validate about themselves at a time when America was really changing for blue-collar workers. 

We also want people to enjoy this film and its real-life characters for their own sake, including their long-held grudges and still-unsettled scores.

AFI: Why is Washington, DC, a valuable location to screening your film?  

It’s a well-worn trope, especially after the election, but we also think it’s important because too often people in Washington forget about pockets of the country that have suffered from the economic challenges of the past 30 or 40 years.

AFI: Why are documentary films important today?

People love stories. But they really love true stories. Documentaries educate and they inspire, but if the subject matter is good and you don’t get in the way of the story too much, they can also entertain. 


Congratulations on Sensei Bill Viola Jr. making the Amazon best sellers list with his latest book, “Go Ask Your Dad.”  Bill was also recently selected as one of Pittsburgh Magazine’s Pittsburgh’s “40 under 40” people who influence the community.  Congrats!

“Being a SENSEI isn’t for everyone, but everyone needs a SENSEI.”


2017 Kumite Classic

2017 Kumite Classic

Mark Your Calendars! 2017 Kumite Classic May 26-27th Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Pittsburgh’s largest martial arts and sport karate tournament.

2017 Kumite Classic

Photos by Joe Kleon.  Visit for more info.

2017 Christmas Kumite Saturday Dec. 2nd


Directions:  255 Arona Road New Stanton, PA 15672

click here for Norwin Ninja Demo  set up a profile and then select division N-1 to sign up for the free demonstration.  You can also purchase spectator tickets here if you wish. 


christmas kumite 2017

Division Ages Gender Rank Forms Ring
D-1 all m/f all norwin ninjas demo 3
F-1 all m/f all 1st Timers Forms 3
F-2 4- m/f all Forms 3
F-3 5 m/f all Forms 3
F-4 6 m/f novice Forms 3
F-5 6 m/f intermediate Forms 3
F-6 7-8 m/f novice Forms 2
F-7 7-8 m/f intermediate Forms 2
F-8 7-8 m/f advanced Forms 2
F-9 9-10 m/f novice Forms 1
F-10 9-10 m/f intermediate Forms 1
F-11 9-10 m/f adv Forms 1
F-12 11-12 m/f novice Forms 6
F-13 11-12 m/f intermediate Forms 6
F-14 11-12 m/f advanced Forms 6
F-15 13-14 m/f novice Forms 5
F-16 13-14 m/f intermediate Forms 5
F-17 13-14 m/f advanced Forms 5
F-18 15-17 m/f novice Forms 4
F-19 15-17 m/f intermediate Forms 4
F-20 15-17 m/f advanced Forms 4
F-21 9- m/f black belt Forms 4
F-22 10-13 m/f black belt Forms 4
F-23 14-17 m/f black belt Forms 4
F-24 18+ m black belt Jap/Okin 4
F-25 18+ m black belt Korean 4
F-26 18+ m black belt Chinese 4
F-27 18+ m black belt Open 4
F-28 18+ m/f 4th degree+ Masters 4
F-29 18+ f black belt Forms 4
F-20 18+ m advanced Forms 4
F-31 18+ m novice Forms 4
F-32 18+ f advanced Forms 4
F-33 18+ f novice Forms 4
Division Ages Gender Rank 2 minutes total points Ring
s-1 4 m/f all Point Sparring 3
s-2 5 m all Point Sparring 3
s-3 5 f all Point Sparring 3
s-4 6 m novice Point Sparring 3
s-5 6 f novice Point Sparring 3
s-6 6 m intermediate Point Sparring 3
s-7 6 f intermediate Point Sparring 3
s-8 7-8 m novice Point Sparring 2
s-9 7-8 f novice Point Sparring 2
s-10 7-8 m intermediate Point Sparring 2
s-11 7-8 f intermediate Point Sparring 2
s-12 7-8 m advanced Point Sparring 2
s-13 7-8 f advanced Point Sparring 2
s-14 9-10 m novice Point Sparring 1
s-15 9-10 f novice Point Sparring 1
s-16 9-10 m intermediate Point Sparring 1
s-17 9-10 f intermediate Point Sparring 1
s-18 9-10 m advanced Point Sparring 1
s-19 9-10 f advanced Point Sparring 1
s-20 11-12 m novice Point Sparring 6
s-21 11-12 f novice Point Sparring 6
s-22 11-12 m intermediate Point Sparring 6
s-23 11-12 f intermediate Point Sparring 6
s-24 11-12 m advanced Point Sparring 6
s-25 11-12 f advanced Point Sparring 6
s-26 13-14 m novice Point Sparring 5
s-27 13-14 f novice Point Sparring 5
s-28 13-14 m intermediate Point Sparring 5
s-29 13-14 f intermediate Point Sparring 5
s-30 13-14 m advanced Point Sparring 5
s-31 13-14 f advanced Point Sparring 5
s-32 15-17 m novice Point Sparring 4
s-33 15-17 f novice Point Sparring 4
s-34 15-17 m intermediate Point Sparring 4
s-35 15-17 f intermediate Point Sparring 4
s-36 15-17 m advanced Point Sparring 4
s-37 15-17 f advanced Point Sparring 4
s-38 9- m black belt Point Sparring 4
s-39 10-13 m black belt Point Sparring 4
s-40 14-17 m black belt Point Sparring 4
s-41 9- f black belt Point Sparring 4
s-42 10-13 f black belt Point Sparring 4
s-43 14-17 f black belt Point Sparring 4
s-44 18+ m novice Point Sparring 4
s-45 18+ m advanced Point Sparring 4
s-46 18+ f novice Point Sparring 4
s-47 18+ f advanced Point Sparring 4
s-48 18+ m black belt Point Sparring 4
s-49 35+ m black belt 35+ Point Sparring 4
s-50 18+ f black belt Point Sparring 4
Division Ages Gender Rank 1-point sparring Ring
o-1 4 m/f all 1-point sparring 3
o-2 5 m all 1-point sparring 3
o-3 5 f all 1-point sparring 3
o-4 6- m novice 1-point sparring 3
o-5 6- f novice 1-point sparring 3
o-6 6- m intermediate 1-point sparring 3
o-7 6- f intermediate 1-point sparring 3
o-8 7-8 m novice 1-point sparring 2
o-9 7-8 f novice 1-point sparring 2
o-10 7-8 m intermediate 1-point sparring 2
o-11 7-8 f intermediate 1-point sparring 2
o-12 7-8 m advanced 1-point sparring 2
o-13 7-8 f advanced 1-point sparring 2
o-14 9-10 m novice 1-point sparring 1
o-15 9-10 f novice 1-point sparring 1
o-16 9-10 m intermediate 1-point sparring 1
o-17 9-10 f intermediate 1-point sparring 1
o-18 9-10 m advanced 1-point sparring 1
o-19 9-10 f advanced 1-point sparring 1
o-20 11-12 m novice 1-point sparring 6
o-21 11-12 f novice 1-point sparring 6
o-22 11-12 m intermediate 1-point sparring 6
o-23 11-12 f intermediate 1-point sparring 6
o-24 11-12 m advanced 1-point sparring 6
o-25 11-12 f advanced 1-point sparring 6
o-26 13-14 m novice 1-point sparring 5
o-27 13-14 f novice 1-point sparring 5
o-28 13-14 m intermediate 1-point sparring 5
o-29 13-14 f intermediate 1-point sparring 5
o-30 13-14 m advanced 1-point sparring 5
o-31 13-14 f advanced 1-point sparring 5
o-32 15-17 m novice 1-point sparring 4
o-33 15-17 f novice 1-point sparring 4
o-34 15-17 m intermediate 1-point sparring 4
o-35 15-17 f intermediate 1-point sparring 4
o-36 15-17 m advanced 1-point sparring 4
o-37 15-17 f advanced 1-point sparring 4
o-38 9- m black belt 1-point sparring 4
o-39 10-13 m black belt 1-point sparring 4
o-40 14-17 m black belt 1-point sparring 4
o-41 9- f black belt 1-point sparring 4
o-42 10-13 f black belt 1-point sparring 4
o-43 14-17 f black belt 1-point sparring 4
o-44 18+ m novice 1-point sparring 4
o-45 18+ m advanced 1-point sparring 4
o-46 18+ f novice 1-point sparring 4
o-47 18+ f advanced 1-point sparring 4
o-48 18+ m black belt 1-point sparring 4
o-49 35+ m black belt 1-point sparring 4
o-50 18+ f black belt 1-point sparring 4
Division Ages Gender Rank Team Events Ring
t-1 9- m/f novice Team Forms (empty  hand or weapons) 1
t-2 9- m/f int/adv Team Forms (empty  hand or weapons) 1
t-3 10-13 m/f novice Team Forms (empty  hand or weapons) 1
t-4 10-13 m/f int/adv Team Forms (empty  hand or weapons) 1
t-5 14-17 m/f novice Team Forms (empty  hand or weapons) 1
t-6 14-17 m/f int/adv Team Forms (empty  hand or weapons) 1
t-7 17- m/f jr. bb Team Forms (empty  hand or weapons) 1
t-9 9- m/f all Tag Team sparring 1
t-10 10-13 m/f all Tag Team sparring 1
t-11 14-17 m/f all Tag Team sparring 1

*T-adult 18+ team forms was missing and has been added


*rules are subject to change, please check with center judge for any updates. 

  1. RANK: Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, Black Belt.
  2. RINGS: Matted area for divisions
  3. JUDGES: All divisions have the option to use 3 or 5 judges.
  4. MAXIMUM DEVIATION: (only used with a 3-judge panel) .02 is the maximum deviation permitted from the “middle score.” This eliminates the impact of one judge altering the outcome of the entire division. This theory has been tested and utilized in national and international events.
  5. TIES: Broken by head-to-head comparison scores of each individual judge (treated as votes). The majority of votes (higher individual preliminary scores) will break the tie if possible. If it is a “true tie” (unable to be broken) the competitors will run their form again and judges will point (by show of hands) to the winner.       Running a different form is optional and not mandatory.
  6. PROTESTS: Must be made at the time of the ruling. Protocol is to ask the coordinator/scorekeeper to alert the center referee. If the situation requires further investigation the ruling can be arbitrated.. All decisions by the arbitrator are final.  *Protests can only be made by someone with an official coaches pass.
  7. UNIFORM: All competitors must wear a martial arts uniform with no foul or offensive language.
  8. AGE: Competitors must compete their age as of the tournament date December 2nd 2017.
  9. SEQUENCE: Luck of the draw is based on a uventex computer lottery when you register. The draw is 100% random and determined by a third-party.
  10. CLOSED DIVISION: A division is considered closed once the first player bows-in to perform a form or once the first sparring match is started. *Exception: computer-based or staff related errors.
  11. RESTARTS: 1 restart is permitted for under black belt divisions only.  No restarts for black belt divisions *Exception: restart for weapons that break during performance.
  12. SCORING RANGE: 9.90-10 (black belts)  9.80-9.90 (under black belts)
  13. TRADITIONAL: No gymnastics, splits, rolls, or creative interpretations. Any traditional uniform with a tie-over-style top is permitted. Patches and/or logos are a non-factor and permitted. A pure white uniform is NOT required, however the uniform should hold true to the standards of the style. Classical Japanese/Okinawan divisions enforce a maximum 4 kiai rule and based on unaltered kata.
  14. FIRST TIMERS:  First timer divisions are for competitors with little to no tournament experience. The purpose it to build self-confidence.  All competitors win an award.


Team forms must have a minimum of 2 players.  No maximum.  The entire team must perform in the “oldest” and/or “highest rank” of any team members.  (Therefore teams can “bump up” divisions but not down).  Teams may perform kata or weapons.  Judges will score on synchronization, technique, intensity and creativity.


  1. UNIFORM: No t-shirts or shorts. No exposed jewelry or metal.  No shoes.
  2. EQUIPMENT: It is MANDATORY for all competitors to provide and wear their own approved sport karate head gear, safety boots, safety gloves, mouth guard, and protective cup (males). Highly recommended but not  mandatory:  face shields, chest protectors, leg pad, arm pad, elbow pads and knee pads.
  3. WEIGH-IN: ALL players competing in a weighted division must weigh-in prior to the division (1lb allowance)
  4. BYES: All byes are randomly selected by computer based lottery. Competitors from the same school (not team) will not be matched in the first round if possible. *optional: logic is followed by same country then state.
  5. OUT OF BOUNDS: Out of bounds (exit) is when any part of the body touches outside the mat (tatami).  No points can be scored out of bounds.  Intentional exit or avoiding the fight: 1-point penalty.  A contact exit, force-out, or offensive player who steps out due to momentum is not a penalty.
  6. GROUND FIGHTING: Is not permitted. *Exception:1). All WAKO boot-to-boot sweeps are legal and are scored as 1-point if the opponent is deemed down from the sweep.  Momentum contact is not a penalty.
  7. DOWN BY CONTACT: A player is considered down by contact when any part other than hands/feet are touching the ground [knee, elbow, hip, or backside etc.] after making contact with their opponent. The match is stopped.  No Penalty.
  8. FALLING DOWN: A player is considered “fallen” down if they “intentionally” fall to the ground on their own accord (with or without contact).  1-point penalty by majority judges discretion.
  9. SCORING TARGETS: Headgear area, face, torso (front/side) with control, light or moderate contact depending on player’s option, skill level, and division.
  10. POINT TECHNIQUES: All clean martial arts punches, kicks, ridge hands, and back fists that use appropriate contact and form in the designated scoring areas. (Important: a hand or foot that touches the scoring area does not always warrant a point. The technique demonstrate martial arts merit). *This is a subjective matter, similar to  umpires calling balls/strikes in baseball.  Protests cannot be filed on judgement of points.
  11. SPREAD: 10-point spread (mercy rule) is in effect.
  12. SCORING: 1-point: hand techniques and body kicks. 2-points: head kicks and spinning body kicks.  3-points:  spinning head kicks, elevated (jump) spinning kicks (including cartwheel kicks). 1-point for sweeps (that cause the other player to go down). *WAKO-style either front leg or rear leg sweeps are permitted.  Player with the most total accumulative points after the 2-minute round is the winner. Preliminary tie: Sudden Victory (next point wins).
  13. Win BY 2: All “first place” matches must have a 2-point spread to determine the winner.
  14. ILLEGAL TECHNIQUES: Haymaker (swinging/wild punches) with no regard for control, strikes to the groin or throat, uncontrolled, excessive or malicious contact to any area, intentional striking to non-scoring areas (spine, joints, legs etc.), late hits, dropping to the ground to avoid the fight, intentional running out of bounds.LEGAL CONTACT:
  • -CONTROL:  No touch/pulled (Halo)……
  • -LIGHT: Touch…………………………….
  • -MODERATE: Slight penetration………..
  • -UNCONTROLLED:  Beyond legal contact (majority judges discretion)
  • -EXCESSIVE: Extreme penetration  (majority judges discretion)
  • -MALCIOUS:  Intentional excessive contact:  Automatic DQ  (majority judges discretion).
  1. PENALTIES: 1-point penalty points: (all infractions based on majority of judges) Uncontrolled contact to any area, intentional running out of bounds, intentionally falling (to avoid the fight),  intentional late hits, retaliation hits, unsportsmanlike conduct.
  2. DQ (Disqualification): is based on the majority vote of the judges (*or if the arbitrator is ringside and witnesses the infraction). Malicious contact is automatic disqualification. Incidental excessive contact, accidental contact and/or self-inflicted injuries that may cause swelling or draw blood are subject to discretion of the arbitrator after consultation with judges. Medical staff has the final say if a competitor can continue or not.
  3. INJURY: If a player is unable to continue on his own accord or is advised by medical staff to bow out due to incidental contact, accidental contact or self-inflicted injury then his opponent will advance.  Players will not        advance if they intentionally injure their opponent or use malicious contact.
  4. CLOCK MANAGEMENT: Black Belts: 2-minute running clock except final 30 seconds (clock is stopped on each “stop” break). Under Belts: clocked on breaks in final 10 seconds. Match over at “0” on scoreboard.
  5. COACHING: Coaches must wear an official coaches pass (wrist band) that is purchased for $10.00.

(1) Ten-second time out is permitted per match. Coaches must stay within specified coaches box. Only 1 coach per box.  Coaching without a wristband is a penalty. The timeout can only be used during standard match breaks (not during the flow of a match). A coach does not have to be a black belt (parents are permitted to coach with a coaches pass.  Coaches are only allowed on the competition floor when the specific division is being staged or in progress.  No coaches on the floor for forms divisions.

1-Point Kumite SPARRING 

All rules of normal point sparring apply with the exception of the winner is determined by the first person to score.  All 3 of the judges must be “unanimous” on the score.


Normal point sparring rules apply.  Create your own team, or partner up with a friend(s) from another school. Minimum of 2 players to make a team, maximum of 3 players. 2-minute matches/Total Points.  Each time a player scores, the scoring player must tag in a new teammate.  If a player is scored on 3 consecutive times, and automatic tag is made.  The “switch” or tag only takes place on the call/break by the center judge. 1-time out permitted per team. The team that calls timeout, may make a switch if they choose to.

*12/1/17 Version

*Condensed version of the official Kumite PRO-AM rules.