Category Archives: author

“Sensei” Bill Viola Jr. is a bestselling author, film producer, and creator of CommonSensei ® life skills Black Belt in Life ® book series and Sensei Says® curriculum.  He is a world renown martial arts promoter, champion and karate instructor.  MMA historian 

Bill Viola Jr. – Author Common Sensei, Black Belt in Life, Sensei Says, Godfathers of MMA, Tough Guys

author bill viola jr

Earn a Black Belt in Life

black belt in life book

The “Black Belt in Life” book, authored by Bill Viola Jr., serves as a compelling guide for teenagers navigating the tumultuous journey of adolescence. Here’s how it stands to benefit them:

  1. Cultivating Discipline and Perseverance: At its core, the book instills martial arts disciplines into daily life, emphasizing perseverance, focus, and self-control. These virtues are invaluable for teenagers, helping them tackle academic pressures, social challenges, and personal goals with a steadfast spirit.
  2. Empowerment Through Self-Improvement: Viola Jr. proposes a practical, daily commitment to self-improvement — just 864 seconds a day. This approach demystifies personal growth, making it an attainable goal for teenagers who often face distractions and pressures from all directions. It teaches them that small, consistent efforts can lead to significant transformations.
  3. A Framework for Balance: The teachings in “Black Belt in Life” extend beyond physical training to encompass mental and emotional well-being, urging readers to find harmony in their desires, responsibilities, and relationships. For teenagers, mastering this balance is crucial for healthy development and can mitigate the stress and anxiety that often accompany their formative years.
  4. Tools for Self-Reflection: The book encourages introspection and self-awareness, guiding teenagers to reflect on their strengths, weaknesses, and the values that guide their decisions. Such introspection can foster a sense of identity and self-confidence, crucial elements for personal development during the teenage years.
  5. Practical Life Skills: Beyond martial arts philosophy, the book offers pragmatic advice for real-world challenges. Teenagers can learn to navigate the complexities of modern life, from managing time effectively to dealing with peer pressure and setting achievable goals.
  6. Engagement and Accessibility: Tailored to resonate with younger readers, “Black Belt in Life” delivers its wisdom in a manner that’s both engaging and relatable. This accessibility ensures that its lessons are not just understood but also embraced and applied by teenagers.
  7. Laying a Foundation for Lifelong Success: The principles espoused in the book are not just for the present; they lay the groundwork for continuous improvement and success throughout life. Teenagers who absorb and practice these lessons can look forward to a future marked by personal achievement and fulfillment.
how to earn a black belt in life

In sum, “Black Belt in Life” offers teenagers a robust toolkit for personal development, blending martial arts philosophies with practical life lessons. It’s a guide that promises to shepherd them through the challenges of adolescence and beyond, fostering individuals who are not only strong in body but also in mind and spirit.

Bill Viola Jr.’s teachings offers a unique perspective on guidance and mentorship, especially valuable for teenagers in several ways:

  1. Practical Wisdom: The “Common Sensei” approach is grounded in practical wisdom that applies martial arts philosophy to everyday life. For teenagers, this translates into actionable advice that can help navigate the complexities of growing up. The emphasis on “common sense” principles makes the teachings accessible and applicable, encouraging teens to make wise decisions based on a blend of intuition and logical reasoning.
  2. Emphasis on Self-Discipline: A key tenet of the “Common Sensei” philosophy is self-discipline, a crucial skill for teenagers as they learn to manage their time, responsibilities, and impulses. By instilling the importance of discipline in personal and academic pursuits, the teachings help teens develop a strong foundation for success and self-reliance.
  3. Resilience and Adaptability: The teachings stress the importance of resilience and adaptability, qualities that are invaluable during the teenage years—a period often marked by change and uncertainty. Learning to face challenges with a positive attitude and the ability to adapt to new situations can empower teens to overcome obstacles and thrive in diverse environments.
  4. Moral Guidance: The “Common Sensei” philosophy provides a moral compass, guiding teenagers towards ethical behavior and integrity. By emphasizing the importance of doing what is right, not just what is easy or popular, the teachings foster a sense of responsibility and ethical maturity.
  5. Empowerment Through Knowledge: The approach champions empowerment through knowledge and learning. Teenagers are encouraged to seek out information, ask questions, and never stop learning. This mindset promotes intellectual curiosity and a love of learning, qualities that can enhance their academic and personal lives.
  6. Mindfulness and Presence: Incorporating principles of mindfulness, the “Common Sensei” teachings encourage teens to live in the present moment and be mindful of their thoughts, actions, and the impact they have on others. This awareness can lead to greater emotional intelligence and healthier relationships.
  7. Building Self-Confidence: By mastering the principles taught by the “Common Sensei,” teenagers can build self-confidence and self-esteem. Achieving goals, whether they are personal, academic, or physical, contributes to a sense of accomplishment and self-worth.
  8. Navigating Social Dynamics: The teachings offer insights into navigating social dynamics, emphasizing respect, empathy, and effective communication. Teenagers learn the importance of understanding different perspectives and developing strong interpersonal skills, which are essential for forming healthy relationships and succeeding in team environments.
black belt in life

In essence, the “Common Sensei” approach is not just about imparting knowledge; it’s about shaping character, enhancing life skills, and preparing teenagers for the challenges and opportunities of life. It offers a holistic framework for personal development, rooted in the timeless principles of martial arts, yet fully attuned to the needs and realities of modern adolescence.

Bill Viola Sr. and Bill Viola Jr. featured in Chuck Norris “Who’s Who” Book

chuck norris whos who

Durham, NC, December 1, 2020 – Jessie Bowen, Director of the American Martial Arts Alliance Foundation announced the release of highly anticipated 2020 MARTIAL ARTS MASTERS & PIONEERS CHUCK NORRIS BIO BOOK – US & World Edition.

The Viola Karate Family Honored in Chuck Norris “Who’s Who” Book

chuck norris
Bill Viola Sr. and Bill Viola Jr. featured Pioneers

Father and Son karate experts, Bill Viola Sr. and Bill Viola Jr., have been inducted into 2020 AMAA “Who’s Who Legends Hall of Honors” alongside martial arts icon Chuck Norris. The pioneers are featured in the 2020 edition of Who’s Who in the Martial Arts Book, an autobiographical publication that is one of the most recognizable martial arts titles worldwide and is an essential guide for preserving history.  Viola Sr. states, “It’s a huge accomplishment for an individual, but having us both recognized as pioneers is something special. Karate is our way of life.”

Bill Viola Jr. and Bill Viola Sr. Who's who in the marital arts
Bill Viola Jr. and Bill Viola Sr. at the Pittsburgh Magazine’s 40 under 40

Bill Viola Sr. is the family patriarch of a Pittsburgh’s most famous karate legacy. He is one of the most well-known figures in the karate industry and last year Allegheny Country council honored him by naming September 23rd as “Sensei Viola Day” in recognition of his 50-year anniversary founding Allegheny Shotokan Karate in Western Pennsylvania.  Viola Sr. began his journey in combat sports in 1955 in Brownsville, Pennsylvania taking up boxing lessons from the legendary Marion “Slugger” Klingensmith.  In High School he took up Karate and has never looked back. In 1969 he opened his first dojo and then in 1979 he wrote the rules for mixed martial arts (MMA) competition. He has since been honored by the Heinz History Center as the co-creator of the sport of MMA more than a decade before the UFC.  His life story was the subject of the books Godfathers of MMA (2014) and #1 bestselling sports book Tough Guys (2017) which inspired the Showtime film Tough Guys (2017) produced by an Academy Award winning accredited team.  He is a member of the USA Karate Hall of Fame, and was named by California University of Pennsylvania as an Illustrious Californian Award (2020). 

Bill Viola Jr. has followed in his father’s footsteps taking the reins of the family owned and operated dojo which now includes the third generation of Viola’s (his daughter Gabby and son William Viola IV).  Viola Jr., a multiple time USA Karate National Champion and All-American Athlete was named World Champion in 1998 by Arnold Schwarzenegger.  In fact it was Arnold that encouraged Viola to establish his own production company, and in 1999 he founded Kumite Classic Entertainment which grew into the mecca for martial arts and fitness in the Pittsburgh region. 

Viola Jr. is an accredited associate producer, producer, and executive producer with credits in Pittsburgh area films including Warrior, Tough Guys, and most recently had a cameo as Mary Steenburgen’s “Karate Sensei” in the Hulu’s “Happiest Season” which debuted on Thanksgiving.  ⬇️

Bill Viola Jr. Mary Steenburgen karate

Viola Jr. is a #1 bestselling author whose latest project CommonSensei is creating major buzz in the self-help genre.  His book series, where each volume you can earn a different colored belt, is slated to launch in 2021.  The project is aimed towards millennials and Gen-Z sharing, “everything they should teach you in school, but don’t.”  Viola explains that the goal of series is becoming a, “Black Belt in Life.”  He was just honored as “Author of the Month” (December 2020) by Elite Publications out of North Carolina.         

common sensei book

The Pandemic has shifted the “Who’s Who” ceremony to an online presentation. December 5th, will be the official public release of the Chuck Norris Martial Arts Masters and Pioneers Biography Book and Online Emerging Leaders Conference with special guest speaker Laura Silva Quesada, world renowned transformational coach and author.  There will also be online Seminars, martial arts demonstrations and a special salute honoring Grandmaster Chuck Norris, and the Violas.  

Jessie Bowen (publisher of Who’s Who) explains, “We are dedicated to preserving and sharing our inductee’s extraordinary journeys with the world. The book is the first of its kind that combines a martial arts history book and directory all in one.

The new Chuck Norris book will be available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Lulu, and other book outlets.

Chuck Norris who's who
Chuck Norris Who’s Who

For more information, interviews, and demonstration contact Bill Viola Jr. 724-640-2111

Famous Quotes by Bill Viola Jr.

bill viola jr quote

Here a list of famous quotes by “Sensei” Bill Viola Jr. , bestselling author, film producer, and creator of CommonSensei ® life skills book series and Sensei Says ® curriculum. He is President of Kumite Classic Entertainment based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and head instructor of Allegheny Shotokan “Viola Karate.

He authored the award-winning and critically acclaimed Godfathers of MMA that peaked at #1 on Amazon in the sports category with its commemorative re-release (2017). His book inspired and was the basis of the SHOWTIME documentary film, Tough Guys (2017). Viola co-produced the project which 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).

Here are notable and famous quotes by Bill Viola Jr.

“I want to be a Sensei students need, not a Sensei that needs students.”

Bill Viola Jr. (CommonSensei Quote)
Quotes by Bill Viola Jr. I want to be a Sensei students need, not a Sensei that needs students.

“The fool knows-it-all, the wise admits-all-they-know. “

Bill Viola Jr. (CommonSensei Quote)
Quote Bill Viola Jr. The fool knows it all, the wise admits all they know.

“As CommonSensei, my mission is to mentor, motivate, and inspire the next generation though Life Skills I call the ‘Martial Smarts’

Bill Viola Jr. (CommonSensei quote)

“Genius lies in the intangibles; purveyors of instinct and action.”

Bill Viola Jr. (CommonSensei quote)

“Let me help you become a ‘Black Belt in Life’.”

Bill Viola Jr.’s slogan
black belt in life slogan

“Sensei wasn’t just preparing me for a fight in the ring; he was preparing me for the Championship of life.”

Bill Viola Jr. (CommonSensei quote)

“While ignorance may be bliss, I say street smarts are divine.”

Bill Viola Jr. (CommonSensei quote)

“Students may sign a waiver to punch and kick, but they’re really investing in a life coach.”

Bill Viola Jr. (CommonSensei quote)

Common Sensei

bill viola jr. commonsensei

Bill Viola Jr.’s latest project is Common Sensei. It teaches high school and college students, “how to kick ass at life.

School will NOT prepare you for the real world; FACTS⚠️. It’s not your fault — priorities have shifted from common sense education, to being really-really good at taking standardized tests😠.

The synergy of “Common” and “Sensei” is best described by a mashup of famous characters (past and present). Let’s mix the wisdom of Mr. Miyagi and Yoda with the intelligence of Professor Dumbledore and Gandalf; the awareness of John Wick with the charisma of Ferris Bueller; the poise of Doc Holiday with the spirit of Katniss Everdeen; the class of the Great Gatsby with the street smarts of Tony Soprano; the Spidey senses of Peter Parker with the confidence of Black Panther; and the grit of Creed with the motivation and intensity of his coach, Rocky Balboa


.  Ironically, CommonSensei is anything but common; he’s a master of “life skills.” If I didn’t believe in myself, why would you or anyone else read this book or come to me with tough questions? Go ahead; ask me anything!  Truth be told, I don’t have all the answers, but in my Liam Neeson voice, “what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career.” I’m a jack of all trades.  I know what you are thinking, so I’ll say it out loud, “Master of none!”  That puts a negative spin on things, so bear with me.   It’s all about interpretation, and I prefer the extended version, “Jack of all trades, master of none, but often timesbetter than master of one” — that’s sexier.  To me, when we’re all in, that little rhyme is the best hand ♦♣♠♥.  While we do tend to “ace” something, be it our college degree or passion, it’s broad-based knowledge outside our expertise that helps us have a winning hand in life.  I’m your wild card 


 and what I can’t teach you, I do know who, what, when and where to lead you.  Think of me as a dealer of life hacks, calling out bluffs and stacking the deck in your favor.  Life’s a gamble, but CommonSensei will help you raise the stakes and beat the odds by learning a new strategy. Read more

Common Sensei
CommonSensei same kids who ace AP Calculus are later sinking in massive credit card debt and English majors can’t draft a decent resume.  The system is lacking street smarts: instinct, application, and self-confidence. CommonSensei is your guide to 💯% legal ways to leverage your position as a Gen-Z student to “live your best life.” It’s loaded with trade secrets and inside info from experts who go off the record and share tips to kick ass at life. Coming soon… from Bill Viola Jr.

Here are some famous quotes!

bill viola jr CommonSensei
bill viola jr CommonSensei
Author of CommonSensei book Series – Bill Viola Jr.