Category Archives: sensei says

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)

Finding a Cure for Parkinson’s Disease One “Kick” at a Time

viola karate dojo kickers

Finding a Cure for

Parkinson’s Disease

One “Kick” at a Time

An inspiring group of martial artists have made it their mission to KICK Parkinson’s disease—literally.  On September 3rd 2018 the Viola Karate Dojo and their sister program Norwin Ninjas assembled over 100 students to make a bold statement and kick non-stop for one mile at Boyce Park.  The students showcased their skill and donated over $10,000 to aid The Pittsburgh Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases (PIND) for research.

parkinsons
Madden McKeever raised $800 for PIND

The “KICK” concept was developed Irwin native Bill Viola Jr., founder of Kumite Classic Entertainment, and former Mayor and State Senator Sean Logan.   Logan was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s disease in his mid-forties and Viola spent years caring for his Grandmother who passed away from neurodegenerative complications.

phyllis Rossi
Sensei Bill Viola Jr.’s Grandmother Phyills Rossi who passed away from complications of the disease

Logan developed a 5K to promote his “Do Something” campaign as means to encourage exercise.  Physical activity has been proven to be an effective method to combat Parkinson’s disease.   Viola parented with Logan in 2017 to add a “Kick-a-thon” element to the 5k, and its growth has been exponential.  Viola explains, “Last year the KICK raised just over $5000 with 50 participants. This year we doubled both brining us up to over $15,000 with just two kicks-a-thons.

PIND offers a unique twist to the traditional 5K by incorporating Viola’s “Kick-a-thon” concept.  Viola explains, “There are a lot of in-house kick-a-thons that take place at schools but none that actually kick for distance. This is the first of its kind.”  The estimated amount of kicks thrown by each participant was 1500 and with over 100 students, the total number was approximately 150,000 kicks.

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. Their selflessness is incredible.”  9-year-old Mike Barone led the group of by donating nearly $2015 followed by 11-year-old Aidan Thornton ($900) and 5-year-old Madden McKeever ($800).   In just three years, through corporate sponsorships and race participants the PIND 5k has surpassed over $300,000 in total donations for PIND.

kick parkinsons
Mike Barone raised $2015 for PIND

Although Viola is known internationally for his competitive success in karate he says, “Trophies collect dust.  Making an impact on the community is priceless. They are making a difference and learning the value of paying in forward. I tell them, Kick with kindness and create an endless a ripple.”

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 10 Fundraisers for 2018 Kick Parkinsons

First Name Last Name Amount
Mike Barone 2015
Aidan Thornton 900
Danielle McKeever 800
Grace Weingberger 726
Katelyn Regina 620
Gabby Viola 560
Riley Evans 363
Ariana Trout 325
Henry Francisco 210
Aaron Goettler 210
Rayden Galley 206

Sensei Says ®

sensei says quote

Sensei Says is an award winning martial arts and education curriculum.

Being a SENSEI isn’t for everyone, but everyone needs a Sensei  -Bill Viola Jr.

sensei says

My Sensei gave me the greatest gift he could give someone, he believed in me.  This is a concept I have dedicated my life to sharing with the world.  Sensei Says ® is life skills curriculum that promotes character based education.  The program was created by Sensei Bill Viola Jr.  Sensei is an award-winning author and motivational speaker. #senseisays

sensei says logo

Sensei Bill Viola Jr. aka Common Sensei and Founder of Sensei Says 

Bill Viola Jr. is a Pittsburgh Pennsylvania based author, producer, and Master Martial Arts instructor.  He is the president and founder of Kumite Classic Entertainment Inc. and operates  Allegheny Shotokan “Viola” Karate, established in 1969 by his father (Bill Viola Sr., the co-creator of the sport of mixed martial arts). Pittsburgh Magazine recently named Viola Jr. as one of the “40 Under 40” most influential people in the city in 2016.

» Education

  • University of Pittsburgh, Summa Cum Laude
  • University Scholar, 1998
  • BS Political Science, 1999

» Work Experience

Allegheny Shotokan Karate Inc., North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania

Master Instructor, 1995-Present

  • Recognized as World Champion by Arnold Schwarzenegger, 1998

Kumite Classic Entertainment Corp., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

President & Founder, 1999-Present

  • Established 18th Annual Pittsburgh Fitness Expo
  • Film producer and writer

Author

Non-Fiction, 2003-Present:  Notable work  

  • Go Ask Your Dad (2016) Debuted on Amazon Best Seller List
  • Godfathers of MMA (2015) Inspiration of the documentary film Tough Guys
  • Tough Guys #1 Amazon Best-Seller

Kumite Quarterly Magazine., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publisher, 2003-2007

Eckert Seamans Law Firm, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

KI Scholarship Program Director, 2001-2007

Congressman Ron Klink (PA 4th District), North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania

Congressional Intern, 1997

» Associations

Western Pennsylvania Police Athletic League Martial Arts Chairman Union member of the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio.

» Honors

  • Honored with The Willie Stargell “MVP Award” for community service, 2011
  • Recipient of The Lifetime Achievement Award, Sport Karate Museum, 2005
  • Inducted into The Martial Arts Hall of Fame, 2003