Category Archives: Events

Kick Parkinson’s Disease

PIND Logo

Team Kumite Kick’s Parkinson’s Disease @ PIND 5K

8-year-old Rayden Galley, a member of “Team Kumite” (all-star karate team from Pittsburgh) was the top fundraiser at the PIND (Pittsburgh Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases) 5K walk/run/kick.  Over 600 participants supported the cause held September 4th at Boyce Park in Monroeville.

Sean Logan Rayden Galley
Former Senator Sean Logan with Rayden Galley

 

PIND offers a unique twist to the traditional 5K by incorporating a “Kick-a-thon” portion where local martial artists literally kick for a mile non-stop alongside the walkers. It is a first of its kind in event in the region, possibly the country.  The estimated amount of kicks thrown by each participant was 2000. With 50 kids joining kick-a-thon category, the total number was nearly 100,000 kicks.

The “Kick” concept was developed former State Senator Sean Logan along with and Irwin native Bill Viola Jr. (owner of Norwin Ninjas and Allegheny Shotokan Karate).  Logan was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in his mid-forties and Viola spent years caring for his Grandmother who passed away from neurodegenerative complications.

Viola said, “The cause is near and dear to my heart.  I’ve been looking for a way to fight this epidemic, and having my school ‘Kick’ for a cure was a perfect fit.  Building character is an important part of martial arts.  My students exceeded my expectations by collecting donations.”  Rayden Galley led the group of 50 kickers by donating nearly $500.   The karate students in total donated over $4500 to PIND bringing the 2017 efforts to over $100,000 for the entire project with aid from corporate sponsors and the surrounding communities.

PIND spearheads efforts to find a cure for Parkinson’s Disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Huntington’s Disease, Stroke, and Alzheimer’s Disease.  The kids have already made plans to “Kick Parksinsons” again next year.  For more information please visit:  PIND5K.org

Top 5 Fundraisers:

  1. Rayden Galley
  2. Michael Barone
  3. Owen Orth
  4. Grace Weinberger
  5. Riley Evans

5K In The Park

kickers
Team Kumite, Viola Karate, Norwin Ninjas support PIND

The PIND takes an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to the study of neurodegenerative diseases and their mechanisms, including Parkinson’s Disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Huntington’s Disease, Stroke, and Alzheimer’s Disease. Through basic, translation, and clinical research, the PIND seeks to ultimately apply basic laboratory findings in the clinic, transforming the latest scientific findings into new treatments and applications for those affected by neurodegenerative diseases.

 PIND 5K Results:  https://results.chronotrack.com/event/results/event/event-22347

 

Walk to Cure Parkinson’s Disease, One Step at a Time

WHAT: Sponsored by UPMC, the Pittsburgh Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases (PIND) is hosting it’s second annual 5K run and 1-mile walk in remembrance and support of all people with Parkinson’s disease. All proceeds will benefit PIND’s research on finding a cure for Parkinson’s.
WHY: Neurodegenerative diseases are estimated to affect approximately one in four Pennsylvanians in their lifetime. The goal of this race is to raise awareness and fund research for neurodegenerative diseases, which currently are not well understood by scientists.
WHO: Neurodegenerative disease patients, caregivers, friends and family members
Race Sponsor UPMC

Platinum Sponsors

Prism, Visit Monroeville, Staples, Monroeville Chamber

Gold Sponsors

Tyler Mountain Water, Power of Bowser, Pat Deon, People, Highmark Health, PNC, Senator Jay Costa, Cohen & Grigsby, Stevens & Lee, Parkinson Foundation of Western PA, Rivers Casino, Tom and Paula McCartney, Anthony Dolan

Silver Sponsors

Oxford Development
Pittsburgh Steelers
Buchanon Ingersoll & Rooney
Atlantic Coast Baseball
Bill and Sissy Lieberman
Boenning & Scattergood
Cutis Bray Memorial Fund
The Marbury Group

Bronze Sponsors

Mom and Dad
Congressman Mike Doyle
Walnut Capital
Dr. Koti Kondaveeti
EPI Engineered Products
Turtle Creek Valley COG
Aunt Martie
Aunt Patty
Senator Wayne Fontana
HDJ & Associates
Frank and Sue McCartney
Santa’s Kids
Direct Axis

http://www.wtae.com/article/fighting-to-find-a-parkinson-s-disease-cure-in-pittsburgh/12142022

Sean Logan spent decades serving the public as a state senator, mayor of Monroeville and head of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

At age 47, his new mission in life is to help find a cure for Parkinson’s disease after being diagnosed.

“Once you find the diagnosis, you can dwell on it and it’s not going to change,” Logan said. “Myself and my family, we made a decision that we would do something.”

Logan has been working with doctors and researchers at the Pittsburgh Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases in Oakland, where high-impact research is conducted on diseases like Parkinson’s, ALS and Alzheimer’s.

“I know the cure is going to come out of Pittsburgh. It’s going to come out of PIND,” Logan said. “Maybe getting this at 47 gives me five or 10 or 20 years to help find a cure.”

More than $100,000 was raised through sponsors and community members at the PIND 5K in Boyce Park last year. He hopes to raise more at this year’s event on Labor Day.

 

Is boxing dead?

is boxing dead

Boxing isn’t dead… but it will be soon

Is boxing Dead? No, but MMA will be King soon enough…

If you ask most people who invented the telephone, chances are the answer would be Alexander Graham Bell.  Bell was the first to obtain the legal patent for the invention, and as they say the rest is history.  However a quick trip to the library can paint a somewhat different picture.  My favorite contributor to this scenario is none other than Antonio Santi Giuseppe Meucci.  Many believe the Italian-American innovator championed the idea years before Bell.  The controversial legend of Meucci strikes a chord with me.  Regardless of who invented the phone, he still deserved the respect of his peers for his groundbreaking ideas. My father and Frank join a long list of figurative “Meuccis”; men who stood at the cusp of greatness but didn’t get any credit.  Be it fate or destiny, the UFC is the metaphorical Bell Telephone of mixed martial arts.  Nobody can dispute its success and rightfully so. However, CV Productions deserves an asterisk in the history books.

Over a century later the United States House of Representatives passed a bill essentially honoring Meucci’s contributions with some clever wording giving him recognition in the invention of the telephone” not necessarily for the invention of the telephone.” It would have been a moral victory had he lived to appreciate it.  This book represents a moral victory for CV Productions. Finally, a detailed account of mixed martial arts’ “Forgotten Forefathers” is documented.

The sport of mixed martial arts has come a long way since 1979 and even further since 1993. CV Productions took a groundbreaking step forward only to see the original UFC take two steps back when America was reintroduced to MMA in its pure unaltered state, a savage contest that boasted, “There are no rules.” It was a harsh “reality” check.  In a sense, they [UFC et al.] couldn’t see the forest for the trees.

As outspoken as Senator John McCain was of the early UFC, the mixed martial arts community actually owes him gratitude.  People have spent far too much time questioning his allegiance to boxing and his wife’s union with Anheuser-Busch [a major sponsor of boxing at that time] as the only motive to outlaw extreme fighting.  In essence, he did us all a favor. The inaugural UFC was spectacle, not a sport and without his public crusade to ostracize the contests, the Ultimate Fighting Championship we know today may not exist.

McCain’s actions sparked the “necessity” of more rules, regulations and safely precautions; ironically the same rules, regulations and safely precautions that CV Productions were banished for creating.  As a political science major, I can’t help but shake my head at the hypocrisy, but thirty-five years ago it wasn’t about “right or wrong”; it was about suppressing the threat of MMA.

The scales of justice were severely tilted by malfeasance, a fact fans would be hard pressed to dispute after digesting this book.  I’ve heard that necessity may well be called the mother of invention but calamity is the test of integrity. CV was tried and true under the circumstances, setting a standard for years to come.

Tom McMillan of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review wrote about the advent of mixed martial arts in 1980, “Although contestants are allowed to punch, kick, and wrestle, the action is not as savage as its newspaper ads indicate.  There’s a doctor ringside, and the flow of blood is kept to a minimum.  The referee closely surveys the fighters and takes points away for illegal tactics. Viola told the Tribune-Review, ‘They wear gloves and boots.  It’s really refined.  One guy even brought his two little kids to work his corner.’ McMillian continues, “In other words, it’s a cut above the old ‘Battle Royale’ brawls in South America where the only rule was to call the undertaker living closest to the arena.”

Even though most readers weren’t familiar with the “South American” reference, it was an obvious allusion to the Vale Tudo matches of Brazil and the stomping grounds of the Gracie family.  McMillian didn’t know it at the time, but his words illuminate the philosophical difference between UFC 1 and CV Productions. It was a case of walking a similar path with very different destinations.

As for McCain and the MMA, it seems all is forgiven. On February 28th 2008, Anheuser-Busch announced that Bud Light, the world’s best-selling beer, would become the new exclusive beer sponsor for the UFC. The blue chip sponsorship agreement was renewed again in 2011; and Bud-Light continues to plaster the center of the Octagon today.

Boxing and MMA are still in a tug-of-war today, but the gap has closed considerably.  While boxing pays its marquee fighters more lucrative salaries, its star power is fading fast.  The Floyd Mayweather/Manny Pacquiao rivalry had kept the sport relevant among younger fans, but there is a lack of talent in the pipeline. On June 8th 2012, boxing’s creditability came under severe scrutiny once again following the controversial decision of Timothy Bradley over heavy favorite Manny Pacquiao.  Critics lambasted the outcome with a landslide of strong statements.  According to ESPN analyst Teddy Atlas, “Boxing is a corrupt sport;” a comment that sportscaster Linda Cohn made famous in the “twittershpere.”

According to some experts, the days of integrity in the sport of boxing are gone. Call it incompetence or corruption; either way it’s another self-inflicted black eye that has boxing purists and pundits calling foul.  The scandal is just another example of a disappointed and already diminishing fan base, one that has been suspicious of fixed fights overshadowed by Vegas bookmakers for years. Pacquiao has fallen further from grace, suffering a devastating knockout at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez.  While boxing fans shelled out hard earned cash to watch PacMan kiss the canvas on HBO, the UFC treated its audience to a “free” PPV caliber card on FOX; a savvy move by Dana White and company. Punch—Counterpunch.

UPDATED: Pacquiao, tarnished by two losses, squared off with Mayweather in the so-called dream fight May 2nd 2015.  It of course didn’t live up to the hype, but was pay-per-view gold becoming the highest-grossing PPV in history.  Now that the smoke has cleared, what does boxing have left to offer young fans?   We’ll get to that soon.

Boxing may be its own worst enemy with no true structure.  Fans don’t always experience the best matchups and judges have relatively no accountability for their decisions. Boxers and fans alike feel disenfranchised, manipulated by conspiracy, greed and bribery.  For all intents and purposes MMA is monopolized by the UFC, an organized body that has the power to give the public fights they want to see with a unified champion. (It’s worth noting that Federal Trade Commission did investigate possible anti-trust law violations against UFC’s parent company Zuffa, LLC.  The probe was urged on behalf of the Culinary Union, an outspoken critic of the Fertitta brothers, who besides owning the majority stake in Zuffa, also operate a large “non-union” gaming business in Las Vegas, Station Casinos.)

Boxing still thrives among older audiences who reminisce about iconic figures like Ali and Frazier.  I myself grew up in the age of Nintendo, playing Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!! and watching the “Baddest Man on the Planet” thrash everyone in his path during 1980s.  “Iron Mike” was bigger than boxing, a persona he took to an entirely new level. Tyson was ferocious; the most feared and intimidating man to ever step into the ring.  He acted with sheer malevolence, “When I fight someone, I want to break his will. I want to take his manhood. I want to rip out his heart and show it to him,” snarled Tyson in a 1988 issue of Sports Illustrated.

In 1990, the undefeated and seemingly invincible Tyson was upset by James Buster Douglas, a 42-1 underdog, shattering the undisputed image for millions of fans.  I watched in disbelief as Tyson fumbled to find his mouthpiece, down for the count. It was one of the biggest upsets in sports history and in some strange way opened the door for a resurgence of MMA.  With the UFC looming on the horizon, it wouldn’t take long for Royce Gracie to claim the title as the new “Baddest man on the planet.”  Tyson was out and Gracie was in; a changing of the guard.

In recent years, boxing and MMA diehards have begun choosing sides. While the stereotypical UFC-type comment remains, “Boxing is your Grandfather’s sport,” The boxing “establishment” has also gone on the offensive; Ding-ding-ding.  Let the mudslinging begin.

In an interview with Ariel Helwani for Fanhouse.com, Bob Arum [Top Rank Boxing] refers to MMA as “garbage” and offers a skewed view of its audience, “UFC are a bunch of skinhead white guys watching people in the ring who also look like skinhead white guys.”  He continues his rant, “For me, and people like me, it is not something they ever care to see. They’ve watched it. It’s horrible. Guys rolling around like homosexuals on the ground. It is not a sport that shows great, great talent.”  As for Dana White [UFC President] he doesn’t sugarcoat his feelings about Arum, “I can’t stand him, he makes me sick… He’s a phony, he’s a liar, he’s what I hated about boxing when I was growing up. He’s one of these lying two-faced pigs who has destroyed the sport of boxing.” Further, “He’s a scumbag who actually thinks he’s a pillar of society who destroyed the entire sport of boxing and has done lots of dirty things.”  Whether it’s 1979 or 2013, it seems as if some things will never change.

In a sense, the times have changed though, and today if you ask any kid who the Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World is, you’ll likely get a blank stare. I’m afraid boxing has lost some of its charisma and will continue to have a difficult time winning over new young fight fans.  While a faction of boxing’s hierarchy clings to hope that the sport can remain viable, other experts have offered a more candid forecast of the  future.  Boxing examiner Charles Jay stated in 2011, “Boxing is now behind and is playing a game of catch-up that it will not likely to win, and there is, at this moment, no ‘Hail Mary’ in the playbook.”

As we watch the scenario unfold, power players continue to weigh in on the subject. On June 14, 2012 Mike Tyson was asked by complexsports.com, “Do you see that sport [mixed martial arts] as a threat to boxing? Or do you think they could coexist?  His response, “Hey, listen man, a threat to boxing? It’s already defeated boxing. It’s all about MMA right now.”  It was an inevitable reaction, one that boxing promoters have dreaded for decades and why CV was shut down.

Boxing and MMA started sparring in 1979, knocking CV Productions to the canvas by 1983… it was merely round one of a thirty year title fight, one that is only now approaching the final bell. Regis Accettulla may have been the Pennsylvania Athletic Commissioner in the 1980s, but he was a de facto bodyguard for boxing. There was no sense of reasoning, no Larry Hazzards or Marc Ratners in the fold.  Today, ideology has changed, and leaders like Ratner accept the boxing/mma dynamic in a very different way.  His analogy, “In real life I have two kids, and in my sporting life I also have two. My older child is boxing, my younger child is mixed-martial-arts, and I love them both.” That’s compromise.  I just can’t help but think what might have been—where the Super Fighters would have gone.

The boxing versus MMA saga will ultimately be determined by the next generation.  From my perspective mixed martial arts, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and grappling schools are thriving, while many boxing gyms are struggling to keep their doors open. Teenagers today wear BJJ Apparel and  clothes while dreaming about entering the octagon.  MMA is trendy and gaining momentum.  While there is certainly room for both sports to flourish, Mixed Martial Arts has undoubtedly poised itself to challenge the “King.”  Fans can make their own predictions of who will ultimately take the crown, but personally I am betting on the dream of two men, Bill Viola and Frank Caliguri.

is boxing dead

Boxing vs MMA

The climate has changed since the original release of Godfathers of MMA (2014) but the boxing / MMA dynamic has never been more prevalent.  In 2016 the Feritta brother’s cashed out of the MMA game to the tune of an unprecedented $4 billion (that’s with a “B”), passing the torch to WME-IMG.  New ownership began cleaning house; trimming the fat by eliminating legacy positions and ousting everyone from commentators to matchmakers; but two things remained constant: 1. Dana White (who inked a 5-year deal) and 2.  The haves and haves-not (aka underpaid fighters).  As many experts label the gap as exploitation, athletes have been forced to think outside the box.

While UFC 3.0 was busy adjusting operations, their biggest asset was flirting with the “enemy.”  Connor McGregor, the UFC’s poster boy, began courting pretty boy Floyd, taunting him to come out of retirement for some “fantasy” fisticuffs.  The industry response:  “This is a joke!”  A year later and the one they call “Notorious” was able to broker the most lucrative fight in HISTORY weighing-in with more twitter jabs than boxing wins.  In the image of Ali vs Inoki, Connor scored the ultimate prom date and the two most polarizing figures in combat sports are set to dance August 26th at MGM Grand.

McGregor stands to be the wealthiest “MMA” athlete in history (his cut estimated upwards of $100 million) from a boxing contest? I say “contest” because “it is what it is.”  Floyd is one of the best P4P fighters of all-time, and Connor is a 0-0 novice in the professional squared circle.  The Irishman (who at one point was collecting welfare checks) earned a paltry $16,000 in his UFC debut (April 2013). Although he currently leads the roster (disclosed pay of $3 million for UFC 202), it pales in comparison to comparable boxers.  Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Connor is a marketing juggernaut. Win or lose, he wins!  If by some miracle he lands the Hail Mary “puncher’s chance,” he’s instantly immortal.  If he loses, he was supposed to! Either way he bags the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow that “he” hustled—Genius. The entire scenario takes us back to 1979 and the allure of the Tough Guy Contest.  McGregor vs Mayweather isn’t about boxing per se, it’s a “what if” contest.  Boxing fans are salivating to see Connor get his ass kicked, while some MMA junkies still believe in Lucky Charms.  Connor is an “average Joe” in the world of pugilism and yet the age old question still has a billion dollar answer.

I’d be remiss not give CV Productions a preverbal pat on the back; they created a business model with market share in line with other professional franchises at the time.  In 1980 the average NFL salary was $78,657 and the Tough Guy Champion was slated to take home 100K.  With a nearly 14-year jump start on the UFC, it begs to ask the obvious; would such a gap and disparity between boxing and MMA exist today if the sport wasn’t outlawed?  Chalk it up to another reoccurring, “what if?”

Read about the 40 year struggle between boxing and MMA in the book “Tough Guys” www.godfathersofmma.com 

Tough Guys Documentary

Tough Guys Doc

‘Tough Guys’ documentary profiles local creators of MMA Viola, Caliguri

 | SaturdayJuly 8, 2017, 10:09 p.m.

If nice guys finish last, then tough guys almost always come out on top.

Renowned local martial arts instructors Frank Caliguri and Bill Viola already believed that, and after more than 35 years, their work came to fruition with the June premiere of the feature-length documentary “Tough Guys” at the 2017 AFI Docs Film Festival last month in Washington, D.C.

The film details the early days of mixed martial arts, which Caliguri and Viola created in the late 1970s. Then known as “Tough Guy Championships,” the first competition took place in March 1980 in New Kensington.

“It was really amazing when you think of two small-town guys and on a national level,” said Viola, of North Huntingdon. “This documentary is going everywhere. We reached for that star 35 years ago, and all of the sudden it’s coming back to us.”

The buzz surrounding the film made tickets for the one-time showing tough to get. Of the 118 documentary films that premiered during the five-day festival, held June 14-18, “Tough Guys” holds the distinction of being the first film to sell out while also being recognized as one of the festival’s 10 “Spotlight Films.”

“It was kind of awing to be a part of this,” said Caliguri, of Lower Burrell. “It was awesome, and I couldn’t believe how they put this together.”

It was late 1978 when Viola and Caliguri met at the Monroeville Denny’s restaurant and asked the age-old question: Who would win a fight between Muhammad Ali, Bruce Lee and Bruno Sammartino? It was a question that gave birth to a sport with roots firmly planted in Western Pennsylvania and became widely popular in the 21st century with the help of organizations like the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

“We called it ‘combined fighting.’ Mixed martial arts is a term they’ve used over the past few years,” Viola said. “(Frank and I) knew that it had to be a combination of all the (fighting) disciplines for there to be a winner.”

But while Caliguri and Viola set out to answer the age-old question, the state of Pennsylvania stepped in and shut down “Tough Guy” contests in large part because the state had no governing jurisdiction over “combined fighting” events like it had over boxing and professional wrestling. Caliguri and Viola sanctioned the contests under CV Productions. The state legislature became the first in the country to pass a ban on all mixed martial arts fighting and specifically named CV Productions in its ruling.

Not until 2007 did mixed martial arts competitions become legal in the state.

“We were selling out our shows and boxing wasn’t doing anything, and we didn’t fall under the jurisdiction of the state athletic commission, so they weren’t getting their 5 percent (of the earnings),” Caliguri said. “At that time, they were nickel-and-diming us to death with legal stuff.”

And just like that, Caliguri and Viola were advised to quit promoting “Tough Guy” contests in early 1981, leaving the age-old question to go on unanswered.

“They legalized it 15 years after me and Frank started it,” Viola said. “It’s like inventing the TV, and we can’t turn it on for 15 years.”

Year’s later, Viola’s son, Bill Jr., figured it was time to set the record straight as to the origin of the sport of MMA before revisionist’s history took over and completely wiped out Caliguri and his father’s accomplishments. He co-authored with Fred Adams the book “Godfathers of MMA: The Birth of an American Sport,” which became the basis for the documentary.

“My motivation was Frank and my dad had this billion-dollar idea back in the late ’70s and had a shot at doing it, but things weren’t in their favor at the time,” Bill Jr. said. “I knew in the back of my head that this was nothing new. I felt it my duty to tell this story before it was lost forever.

“The integrity of the sport was in jeopardy.”

Before the documentary was made, “Tough Guys” still was seeking legitimacy and credibility in a sport where the fan base rose dramatically since its mainstream and commercial debut in the mid-1990s.

Then came CV Productions’ public relations representative Mike Murray, who after seeing a commercial for the Heinz History Center Sports Museum, set out to make the claim that MMA was rooted in Western Pa.

Murray and Dave Jones hold the distinction of fighting in the first “Tough Guys” match when CV Productions held the event in front of an over-capacity crowd at the New Kensington Holiday Inn in 1980. Jones got the better of Murray that night as Murray’s corner man threw in the towel with 8 seconds remaining in the match.

The Heinz History Center Sports Museum’s exhibit, “Pioneers of MMA,” opened in 2010.

“I thought we were the first MMA league, and I called the curator and finally after a few months (the curator) said get some documentation together, bring it down and we’ll go over it,” Murray said. “Finally after almost eight or nine months she called me one day and said they were going to do it and called me a few months later and said they were going to open the exhibit.”

The Heinz History Center exhibit caught the eye of W.B. Zullo, who co-directed “Tough Guys” with Henry Roosevelt. Renowned directors Ross Kaufmann — Zullo’s cousin, who won an Academy Award in 2004 for best director in the feature-length documentary category for his film “Born into Brothels” — and Morgan Spurlock — whose film “Super Size Me” was bested for the Oscar by “Born into Brothels” — came to the film as executive producers.

“It was an amazing story and a story that nobody really knows,” Spurlock said.

“Good things take time. These guys are such underdogs, and it’s what a real ‘Rocky’ drama is all about.”

Everybody is tight-lipped about the future of “Tough Guys,” but people will get a chance to view the documentary in the near future as the film’s directors are in talks with studios.

The plan is to hold a Pittsburgh premiere once a deal is reached. Caliguri said theBenedum Center would be ideal for the “Tough Guys” premiere, as it is the former Stanley Theater, where the first Tough Guy finals matches were held April 18, 1980.

“The people were cheering the whole way through because it was a such crazy movie,” Caliguri said. “They all stood up, cheered and clapped when it was over.”

William Whalen is a freelance writer.

Morgan Spurlock MMA Tough Guys
Morgan Spurlock & Company

Tough Guys Doc – AFI

Tough Guys movie mma

Tough Guys Doc

Shortly after the exclusive preview run of Godfathers of MMA, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Robert Zullo stumbled upon the Tough Guys exhibit featured at the Heinz History center. Zullo explains, “I couldn’t believe I’d never heard about this story. I was enamored with the time, place and machismo of the whole thing. I just had a gut instinct to meet these guys.”   Zullo reached out to his brother Will and childhood friend Craig DiBiase a producer [MinusL] and Director Henry Roosevelt from New York City. Two years later after 52TB of filming, the Tough Guys Doc was born. Initial praise attracted a star studded lineup of executive producers including Academy Award® Nominated Morgan Spurlock (Supersize Me) and Oscar winning writer Ross Kaufmann (Born in Brothels).   The world premiere of “Tough Guys” took place at the American Film Institute (AFI) Docs on June 15th 2017 at the famous Landmark Theatre in Washington, DC. It was screened the day after the mega Mayweather / McGregor announcement. The film sold out.   www.toughguysdoc.com

Washington Post

Variety

 

THE FILM

10 years before the debut of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

In 1979, Bill Viola and Frank Caliguri dreamed up a contest pitting barroom bigmouths against wrestlers, martial artists, boxers, bouncers and brawlers, billed as no-holds-barred new type of competitive fighting. When the fights succeeded beyond their wildest expectations, they were swept up in a chain of events that ended in the first mixed-martial arts ban in the nation.

 “Tough Guys” chronicles the inception of Caliguri and Viola’s first bouts and the colorful, crazy cast of fighters who made them a hit as well as the politicians who brought it all crashing down. The film brings to life a moment when the national martial arts craze was building to a crescendo as the economies of Pennsylvania steel towns were plummeting to levels of unemployment never seen, breeding desperate men looking for a chance to prove their worth and make some money in the ring.

THE FILM

10 years before the debut of the

Ultimate Fighting Championship.

In 1979, Bill Viola and Frank Caliguri dreamed up a contest pitting barroom bigmouths against wrestlers, martial artists, boxers, bouncers and brawlers, billed as no-holds-barred new type of competitive fighting. When the fights succeeded beyond their wildest expectations, they were swept up in a chain of events that ended in the first mixed-martial arts ban in the nation.

“Tough Guys” chronicles the inception of Caliguri and Viola’s first bouts and the colorful, crazy cast of fighters who made them a hit as well as the politicians who brought it all crashing down. The film brings to life a moment when the national martial arts craze was building to a crescendo as the economies of Pennsylvania steel towns were plummeting to levels of unemployment never seen, breeding desperate men looking for a chance to prove their worth and make some money in the ring.

THE FACTS

It happened like this…

  • 39 days of filming

  • 42 interviews

  • 12 meals at Denny’s

  • 18 locations

  • 1000 frames per second

  • 52 terabytes of footage

  • 1 film

40 under 40 Pittsburgh

bill viola jr 40 under 40

Congratulations to our very own President and founder Bill Viola Jr. on making the prestigious “40 under 40” List in Pittsburgh.

bill viola jr picture

Bill Viola Jr.   [39]
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.

http://www.pittsburghmagazine.com/Pittsburgh-Magazine/November-2016/40-Under-40-2016/

bill viola jr 40 under 40

40 Under 40: 2016

Meet our 2016 class of 40 Pittsburghers Under 40 who are changing our region – and the world – for the better.

 

PHOTOS AT PNC PARK BY BECKY THURNER BRADDOCK | HAIR/MAKEUP BY TRAVIS KLINGER

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.

bill viola jr author tough guys

 

Pittsburgh 40 under 40

40 under 40

Bill Viola Jr. Named to Pittsburgh Magazine’s “40 under 40” List

The 2016 class of 40 Pittsburghers Under the age of 40 who are shaping our region was celebrated by Pittsburgh Magazine October 21st at the Rivers Casino.  For the past 18 years, Pittsburgh Magazine and the Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project has complied a prestigious list to honor and recognize outstanding people ranging from CEOs to non-profit leaders who are changing the city for the better. These influential leaders are featured in November’s issue of Pittsburgh Magazine, now on newsstands.  The list is considered the premier honor for young professionals in Western Pennsylvania.

The process to narrow an entire city and region down to just 40 recipients is a daunting task that included a through selection process.  Viola Jr. caught the eye of the committee through his reputation as a leader in the martial arts industry and the recent award winning books.  As the author of “Godfathers of MMA,” his work is recognized at the Heinz History Center, in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institute with an exhibit that chronicles Pittsburgh as the birthplace of modern mixed martial arts.  The book, inspired by his father’s [Bill Viola Sr.] life story is the subject and basis of the film; Tough Guys (now is post production).

As graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, he is the creative force behind Kumite Classic Entertainment which oversees the region’s largest multi-sport event (The Pittsburgh Fitness Expo).  His resume includes film producing, talent management, journalism, and mixed martial arts historian.  He is a member of the Sport Karate Museum Hall of Fame and recipient of the Willie Stargell Pittsburgh MVP Award.  His most recent work is the creation of the “Sensei Says” martial arts curriculum, which has had a direct positive impact on the North Huntingdon community implemented with “Norwin Ninjas.”  Norwin Ninjas is the sister program of his families karate business (Allegheny Shotokan Karate) which his father, Bill Viola Sr., established in 1969.  The Ninjas teach life skills, and mentor kids to become future black belts.  Viola Jr. explains, “We build champions in life.” He is part of a growing Pittsburgh karate legacy that that includes all four of his sisters and his daughter, Gabriella Capri Viola, a Kindergartner at Stewartsville Elementary.

The award has garnered the attention of community leaders, as Viola Jr. has received congratulations  from The United States Senate, as well as the Allegheny County Council who issued an official proclamation honored Viola Jr. for his achievement, and praising his, “passion, commitment, visibility, diversity and overall impact on the region.”

The ceremony was is presented by Dollar Bank and in association with BNY Mellon, Carlow University, Junior Achievement, UPMC Health Plan among others.  The full list of 40 under 40 winners can be view at www.pittsburghmagazine.com

viola 40 under 40
Viola Family. Shelley Hunter, Addie Krisfalusy, Jenn Viola, Bill Viola Jr., Bill Viola Sr.

 

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

CHRISTMAS KUMITE RULES

*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

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.

SPARRING (POINT FIGHTING)

  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………..
  • PENALTY CONTACT:
  • -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.

TAG TEAM SPARRING 

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.