Category Archives: sensei viola day

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

“Sensei Viola” Day in Pittsburgh

allegheny shotokan karate
allegheny shotokan karate

“Sensei Viola Day” is September 23rd 2019 in Pittsburgh to honor of Allegheny Shotokan Karate’s 50-year Anniversary

WHEREAS, Allegheny Shotokan Karate, or Viola Karate as it is more commonly known today, was established in 1969 at East Allegheny High School by Bill Viola, Sr. and is celebrating its 50th anniversary of educating students in martial arts in Allegheny County and western Pennsylvania;

bill viola and karate family

WHEREAS, the family-owned and operated dojo has had three generations of Violas carry on the legacy of Bill Sr., who still teaches a black belt class every Monday evening, reminding students that karate is a lifelong journey; his journey has been recognized with the induction of Viola Karate into the USA Karate Hall of Fame who also named Sensei V the Man of the Year in 2003 and his being given the honorific title of Shihan; and

WHEREAS, Shihan Bill Viola is credited by the Senator John Heinz History Center in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution as the co-creator of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), a decade before the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC); in 2011, the Western PA Sports Museum established a permanent exhibit to honor him as one of the founding fathers of the sport; his life was the subject of the Amazon #1 selling book Godfathers of MMAwhich inspired a documentary film Tough Guys; in 2017 the Violas were published in the book, Who’s Who in the Martial Arts – Legends of American Karate; and

karate history

WHEREAS, over the past half-century, Shihan Bill Viola’s powerful brand of punches and kicks have translated some of life’s most important lessons: respect, discipline and focus; the confidence he has instilled in his students can be found on and off the mat, while the dojo remains the most successful sport karate school in the Pittsburgh region; and

WHEREAS, we are fortunate to have Allegheny Shotokan Karate in Allegheny County, and that the school, led today by the next generation of Violas, has not only served our communities but used its notoriety as an internationally-known and recognized martial arts school to further benefit charities in our community for generations.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that I, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, by virtue of the authority vested in me, do hereby proclaim September 23, 2019 as “Sensei Bill Viola Day” in Allegheny County. We congratulate Sensei Bill Viola and the Allegheny Shotokan Karate School on their 50th anniversary and wish them many more successful years to come.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the County of Allegheny to be affixed this 23rd day of September, 2019.

            
Rich Fitzgerald
east allegheny karate