Tough Guy Contest: The Birthplace of MMA
Wrong Place Wrong Time
The Alpha Lifestyle
The Alpha Lifestyle
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Bill Viola Jr. 
President, Kumite Classic Entertainment Corp.
Pittsburgh often is credited as the birthplace of a self-defense discipline known as Mixed Martial Arts.
Bill Viola Jr. is the author of the book “Godfathers of MMA,” which chronicles the life of his father, Bill Sr., and explores the world of martial arts as first developed west of the Alleghenies. The younger Viola is known internationally for his work in the martial arts industry, founding the highly regarded annual Kumite Classic in 1999.
He also was named to the U.S. Karate Hall of Fame in 2005 and was the winner of the Willie Stargell Pittsburgh MVP Award in 2011 for his work training youth in martial arts programs.
He currently is head instructor at his family’s Allegheny Shotokan Karate studio, founded in 1969, and he is the founder and producer of the Pittsburgh Fitness Expo.
The biggest thing I ever had to overcome … In 1999, I was in a car accident that ended my competitive martial arts career. Going from world champion to watching on the sidelines was complete culture shock, but the injury was actually a blessing. In rehab, I found my true passion, being a sensei (teacher). Seeing my students succeed is more rewarding than any title I won.
People are drawn to lists, and sometimes when a list isn’t handy they make one up. Consider Jorge Luis Borges, whose fantastical prose lit up the world of Latin American literature in the 20th century.
He referenced a Chinese list — a taxonomy of different types of animals — and attributed its translation to a known academic of the time. According to this list, animals broke down into categories such as “those that belong to the Emperor,” “mermaids,” “embalmed ones,” “fabulous ones,” “those that resemble flies from a distance,” and even, “those that have just broken a flower vase.”
Scholars spent decades trying to locate the original list which, as it turns out, was stored safely inside Borges’ head and nowhere else. The French writer Michel Foucault referenced the Borges list in his book “The Order of Things.”
Foucault’s main theory was that the thinking of each age is defined by a single, dominant prism of beliefs and constructs through which we view things. Called an “episteme,” it set the boundaries for all knowledge and understanding at the time. The episteme for the pre-classical period was based on differences and similarities. In the Classical Period, it was all about order and measurement.
And, so on.
What worldview informs this year’s list of 40 Under 40? The conceit of the list is that Pittsburgh Magazine and PUMP invite others to nominate people who, not quite midway through life, have done something — or several things — remarkable. Community service, professional achievement, a general overcoming of obstacles that would stop the rest of us — or all of these factors can land someone on this list.
One of our honorees was inspired by growing up in war-scarred Ethiopia. Another founded a company that provides free, online language-learning to anyone. Still another seems to have succeeded in so many community organizations, she borders on requiring her own, separate list.
The list is so diverse, the personalities so disparate and the accomplishments so varied that fitting our 40 Under 40 onto a single list requires breadth of imagination and depth of understanding. None has broken the flower vase, nor have we noticed any mermaids. As to any “embalmed ones,” there always is a reception to celebrate this honor, so we’ll need to get back to you.
In the meantime, accept that at least on this list, we can include the term “fabulous ones” and not be accused of making anything up.
Meet this year’s 40 Under 40:
Bill Viola Jr. Named to Pittsburgh Magazine’s “40 under 40” List
Download full flyer or register for the Kumite Classic sport karate tournament.
Kumite Classic Entertainment is proud to partner with the newly established Global Glorious Productions (GGP Productions) founded by Jimmy Cvetic of the Western PA Police Athletic League. GGP and Kumite Classic are promoting a variety of projects including a new television series and core curriculum aimed at raising the moral standards in our community. The headquarters for GGP will be located in the Monroeville Mall.
Visit the GGP booth at the 2015 Expo for more information.
Who really invented the sport of MMA in America? It wasn’t the UFC, learn about the first mixed martial arts league in history! CV Productions (Caliguri and Viola) Godfathers of MMA is the best kept secret in MMA. Read all about it in the new book that documents the real history of MMA.
Over $1000 in cash and prizes to winner’s of the Pittsburgh Talent Search. Free to enter and limited spots available. Singers, dancers, martial artists, b-boys, feats of strength, jugglers, etc. Anything goes in a 4 minute time limit. (30×30 stage) If you have talent, its time to prove it.
Hard copies available at www.godfathersofmma.com
Godfathers of MMA (The untold history of the sport of mixed martial arts)
What do an NFL star, a United States Secret Service Agent, Sylvester Stallone’s bodyguard, and Muhammad Ali’s sparring partner all have in common? They were all characters cast in America’s original “anything goes” reality fighting drama, an “open call” that led to the birth of a new sport—MMA.
Long before the Octagon was in vogue or Royce Gracie made his pay-per-view debut; decades before the UFC became a household brand and while the likes of Dana White were still in elementary school; two martial artists, Bill Viola and Frank Caliguri, set out to prove once and for all who the world’s greatest fighter was by creating a radical new “sport” in 1979.
Godfathers of MMA reveals the clandestine plot to subvert the “first” mixed martial arts revolution in American history, one poised to challenge boxing as the king of combat sports. Confounded by a freak accident (death in the ring) and widespread corruption, a massive struggle ensued over money, power, and respect between boxing’s gentry and an upstart MMA company from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. CV (Caliguri and Viola) Productions ignited a bitter turf war with the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission that sparked a spectacular David and Goliath battle for leverage.
The legendary story, buried by rhetoric for years, casts a wide net reeling in everyone from politicians to mobsters, all with ulterior motives; all with eyes on a billion dollar blueprint. From boxing’s “Holy Territory,” the home of Rocky Balboa, to a bizarre connection with the Supreme Court that lead to the first legal precedent for MMA—ever, this is the ultimate inside look.
Godfathers of MMA is a testosterone-laced whirlwind tale of “what might have been” told by the trailblazers who fought for it. Relive the epic adventure of the “Tough Guys” later known as Super Fighters (the first mixed martial arts league in history).
Thirty years before the UFC gained a mainstream audience; the media embraced mixed martial arts: KDKA-TV dubbed CV’s new sport, “Organized, Legalized, Street fighting,” while the Philadelphia Journal proclaimed, “No holds barred as Superfighters take over.”
Take a journey back in time to the “Iron City” and meet the fighters, the foes, and the visionaries who created the modern sport of MMA.
About The Authors
Bill Viola Jr. is a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania based promoter and international martial arts champion who experienced the “Golden Era” of MMA firsthand as his father, Bill Sr., is credited as the co-creator of the sport.
Bill graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Pittsburgh in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and immediately moved to Hollywood, California to gain hands-on experience in the entertainment industry. Subsequently, he earned acceptance into the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and American Federation of Television and Radio (AFTRA) en route to establishing his own production company, Kumite Classic Entertainment in 1999.
He established Kumite Quarterly magazine in 2003, serving as publisher and overseeing distribution throughout North America until 2007. Viola is an accomplished freelance journalist, contracted by Sport Karate Magazine to cover the National Black Belt League World Games on location in Mexico, Canada, and across the United States.
Viola has also served as an independent consultant for number major motion pictures including the mixed martial arts movie Warrior (2011). He is also credited as an Associate Producer for the MMA inspired film Tapped Out (2014) starring former UFC champions Lyoto Machida and Anderson “Spider” Silva.
Bill teaches martial arts at the same school his father established in 1969 (Allegheny Shotokan). He is part of a growing Pittsburgh karate legacy that that now includes his daughter, Gabriella Capri Viola.
Dr. Fred Adams is a western Pennsylvania native who has enjoyed lifelong love affair with literature and film. He holds a Ph.D. in American Literature from Duquesne University and recently retired from in the English Department of Penn State University. He has published over 50 short stories in amateur and professional magazines as well as hundreds of news features as a staff writer and sportswriter for the now Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
In the 1970s Fred published the fanzine Spoor and its companion The Spoor Anthology. In 2014 his novels, Hitwolf, and Six Gun Terrors were published by Airship 27, and his nonfiction book, Edith Wharton’s American Gothic: Gods, Ghosts, and Vampires was accepted for publication by Borgo Press. Three additional novels by Adams are currently pending publication.
Adams acted as the official press agent for CV Productions Inc., the first mixed martial arts company in America (1979-1983). He sat ringside covering the radical new sport for the media and is credited with coining the phrase, “The Real Thing in the Ring.”
Fred is also an accomplished singer/songwriter who has performed solo and with bands since the early 1960s and over the last few years has recorded two compilations of original material, The Doctor is In and Searching for a Vein.
IF you want to learn more about who invented MMA visit http://mmahistory.org/who-invented-mma/
Pittsburgh MMA also documents the story http://pittsburghmma.com/2013/09/who-invented-mma-mixed-martial-arts/