Bill Viola Jr. is the founder and producer of the annual Pittsburgh Fitness Expo.

bill viola jr

Bill Viola Jr. is a 1999 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh (Summa cum laude). He moved to Hollywood after graduation to work in the entertainment industry and earned acceptance into the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and American Federation of Television and Radio (AFTRA). After working with some of the biggest names in the industry, Viola Jr. established his own production company, Kumite Classic Entertainment in 1999. The company’s signature event is the self-titled “Kumite Classic,” the largest most prestigious karate tournament in the region.  It has been regarded by the media as the mecca for martial arts in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Viola Jr. has served as an independent consultant for number major motion pictures including Warrior (2011).  He is an  Associate Producer, Producer, and Executive Producer for films such as the mixed martial arts inspired film Tapped (2014), The Sound, and Gridlocked.  Tapped starred former Kumite Classic champion Nick Bateman and Cody Hackman and former UFC champion’s Lyoto Machida and Anderson Silva.

Viola recently team up with MinusL Productions and Academy Award® nominated documentarian Morgan Spurlock (SUPER SIZE ME) and Oscar® winning filmmaker Ross Kauffman to produce the MMA inspired “Tough Guys” set to make its network debut on Showtime September (2017).  The film was inspired by his book Godfathers of MMA which is based on Bill Viola Sr.’s days as an mixed marital arts pioneer. He has since re-released a new edition of the book titled “Tough Guys” to honor the film.  It is the #1 best selling martial arts book in America.


tough guys mma documentary

He has the unique opportunity to work with some of the most prominent stars in the industry:


Bill Viola Jr. is a successful author and journalist.  Go Ask Your Dad debuted on the Amazon best sellers list and the award winning and critically acclaimed Godfathers of MMA, is (available on Amazon) is the subject of the upcoming documentary film, Tough Guys (2017).  

 bill viola jr pittsburgh

-Bill Viola Jr. on the set of Pittsburgh Today Live #CBS #KDKA promoting the Pittsburgh Fitness Expo

bill viola jr pittsburgh live

-Aubrey Worek and Bill Viola Live on the set #KDKA

Further Reading about Bill Viola Jr:

Date Title Author Publication
10/6/2018 Despite medial issues, extreme heat, 3rd annual PIND 5k a hit Carr, Dillion Trib Live
9/4/2018 Martial artists kick their way through research fundraiser Pickels, Mary Trib Live
8/23/2018 Boyce Park 5K event to raise funds for Parkinson’s research Carr, Dillion Pittsburgh Tribune-review
8/7/2018 Karate kid Gabby Viola kicks back  Pickels, Mary Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
7/20/2018 Allegheny Shotokan students compete at US Open World championships Hartlep, Bill Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
6/20/2018 Dr. Freddie Fu Gives Karate Standout a Second Chance Viola, Bill UPMC
6/6/2018 The Early Years of MMA Were a ‘No-Holds-Barred Freakshow’  Bateman, Oliver MEL Magazine
4/7/2018 Norwin’s Russell shows no weakness Dunlap, Shane Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
4/7/2018 Whether it’s softball or karate, Norwin’s Russell shows no weakness Beckner, Bill Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
3/14/2018 Perserving Tough Guys Heritage Holtschlag, Heather In Community
2/12/2018 Karate School Helps Needy Napsha, Joe Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
2/1/2018 How to Organize a Successful Tournament Borkland, Herb MAIA
12/23/2017 Team Kumite earns international titles Trib Staff Trib Live
11/30/2017 Stepping Into The Ring: A Look At MMA’s Local Roots Hacke, Matthew Whirl Magazine
11/11/2017 Book and Film Chronicle Brownsville Native’s Creation of New Sport Zuchowaki, Dave Pennsylvania Bridges
10/16/2017 Tough Guys tops Amazon Charts as best seller MMA Williams, Clem Pittsburgh MMA
10/11/2017 Tough Guys’ book an inspiring read Guth, Jonathan Herald-Standard
10/9/2017 Mike Murray of Colliers remembers being one of the first ‘Tough Guys’ North, Kim Weirton Daily Times
10/8/2017 Colliers man part of ‘Tough Guys’ movie North, Kim Times Leader
10/4/2017 Norwin student leads fundraising efforts to “Kick Parkinson’s Disease” Staff Trib Live
10/1/2017 Whos Who in the Martial Arts Bowen, Jesse ISBN-10: 1387161539
9/21/2017 A Tough Guy Looks Back Himler, Jeff Trib-Norwin Star
9/15/2017 Tough Guys Showtime Network Debut Premiere Staff The Palace
9/15/2017 Showtime documentary proves Pittsburgh-area early mixed martial arts fighters were ‘Tough Guys’ Sciullo, Maria Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
9/15/2017 ‘Tough Guys’ documentary sheds welcome light on forgotten MMA tourney that pre-dates UFC 1 Chiappetta, Mike
9/15/2017 Tough Guys – Amazon Viola, Bill KCE Press
9/15/2017 Two locals were instrumental in first MMA event Guth, Jonathan Herald-Standard
9/14/2017 Mixed martial arts pioneer gets TKO in Tough Guys 1980 opener Himler, Jeff Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
9/14/2017 Will Zullo, Henry Roosevelt, Craig DiBiase & Jamie Crowder On Their Film, “Tough Guys” Yahoo Staff Yahoo Entertainment
9/13/2017 Showtime’s ‘Tough Guys’ documentary explores MMA’s early roots Stupp, Dann MMA Junkie
9/13/2017 MMA’s roots right back to Western PA staff Burghline
9/12/2017 Tough Guys’ trace MMA’s roots right back to Western PA Harrop, Joanne Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
9/11/2017 Before UFC, It was all about Tough Guys Viola, Bill Pittsburgh MMA
9/10/2017 “Tough Guys” Explores Grassroots fighting Precursosr to MMA Gables, Rick TV Weekly Now
9/8/2017 New Showtime Doc Tough Guys Explores Origin of MMA TV News Desk Broadway World
9/1/2017 Tough Guys Staff Showtime
8/29/2017 Showtime to Air New ‘Tough Guys’ Documentary on Early Days of MMA Golightly, Justin
7/24/2017 Team Kumite trio claims gold at North American Open Karpen, Drew Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
7/17/2017 WAKO North American Open Corocan, John MAIA
7/8/2017 Tough Guys’ documentary profiles local creators of MMA Viola, Caliguri Whalen, William Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
7/2/2017 Allegheny Shotokan named ‘top team’ at Kumite Classic Staff Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
6/15/2017 AFI Docs is your ticket to 3 world-premiere films Kirby-Page, Kristen Washington Post
6/14/2017 Morgan Spurlock producing MMA origins documentary Tough Guys Brace, Samuel Flickering Myth
6/13/2017 Morgan Spurlock to Exec Produce MMA Origins Documentary ‘Tough Guys’ (EXCLUSIVE) Mcnary, Dave Varitey
6/13/2017 Academy Award Nominated Morgan Spurlock Joins Academy Award Winner Ross Kauffman New York (SPW) SHOOT
6/1/2017 Wrong Place Wrong Time:  The Real Birthplace of MMA Stagliano, Matt Skillset Magazine
5/31/2017 Photo Gallery: 18th annual Kumite Classic & Fitness Expo Trib Staff Trib Live
5/24/2017 Get pumped for annual Pittsburgh Fitness Expo Trib Staff Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
5/12/2017 AFI Doc Interviews:  Tough Guys AFI American Film Institute
5/12/2017 AFI Docs Line Up Includes ‘Atomic Homefront,’ ‘Saving Brinton,’ ‘Tough Guys’ Premieres Johnson, Ted Varitey
5/5/2017 Pittsburgh Today Live KDKA Staff KDKA
10/19/2016 40 Under 40: 2016 Roddy, Dennis Pittsburgh Magazine
8/24/2016 Book Review:  Godfathers of MMA Guerry, Matthew Whirl Magazine
7/9/2016 Outstanding Performance Staff Trib-Norwin Star
6/27/2016 How Would Reebok Have Done As A Sponsor of MMA Between 1979-1983? Madden, Dave MMA Wreckage
6/15/2016 Alumni News Staff University of Pittsburgh
5/12/2016 Pittsburgh-The Birthplace of Mixed Martial Arts Matches Staff Popular Pittsburgh
5/6/2016 Documentary to feature Milton’s Mixed Martial Arts forefather Little, Aaron Santa Rosa Press Gazeette
5/1/2016 An ‘Exponential’ Love of Fitness Holtschlag, Heather In Community
5/1/2016 The Evolution of Karate:  2020 Olympics Viola, Bill Sport Karate Illustrated
2/25/2016 Martial Art of the Month: MMA Bulger, Jake Kung-Fu Kingdom
2/24/2016 From the First Days in Pittsburgh, MMA has Become the Fastest Growing Sport Pro MMA Staff Pro MMA Now
2/19/2016 From Pittsburgh roots, MMA, UFC have grown to staggering heights Bloom, Elizabeth Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
2/14/2016 Jacquet Bazemore / Top kickboxer, sparring partner for Muhammad Ali Ove, Torsten Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
2/14/2016 RIP Jacquet Bazemore Viola, Bill
1/1/2016 Ali vs Inoki – The Forgotten Fight that Inspired MMA Gross, Josh BenBella Books
9/15/2015 Tough Man Contest Mike Murray Dave Jones Staff Steel Nation Magazine
9/13/2015 Before MMA, Tough Guys wowed fans in A-K Valley, throughout state Steele, Jerin Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
7/30/2015 Dana Double Day Viola, Bill
7/11/2015 Mixed Martial Arts come to Meadows Mathurin, Desiree Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
7/9/2015 Outstanding Team Trib Staff Trib Live
6/25/2015 Godfathers of MMA Viola, Bill Amazon
6/25/2015 Godfather of MMA – Amazon Viola, Bill Amazon
5/19/2015 Pittsburgh Fitness Expo returning to Monroeville Love, Mike Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
4/14/2015 Godfathers of MMA – Birth of an American Sport Etheridge, Pagie Osu Magazine
3/17/2015 Family Traditions Jones, Rachel Whirl Magazine
3/1/2015 Lord of the Ring – World Champion Ali Viola Q & A Sport Karate Illustrated
2/12/2015 Karate kids: Viola family keeps kicking at World Games Zuchowski, Dave Pittburgh Post-Gazette
2/10/2015 Law student succeeds at Sport Karate World Games Cardone, Jenn Duquesne Duke
2/9/2015 For family, martial arts ‘in the DNA’ Pickels, Mary Trib Live
2/8/2015 Duquesne University law student adds world martial arts titles to resume Pickels, Mary Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
1/30/2015 Big Muscle in Steel City Hawk, Dave Muscle & Body
1/14/2015 Penn-Trafford sophomore World Karate Tournament Smith, Nathan Trib Live
5/1/2014 15th Annual Pittsburgh Fitness Expo Staff Western PA Guide to Good Health
1/22/2014 Mt. Pleasant author helps examine mixed martial arts Panian, A.J. Mount Plesant Journal
1/22/2014 Mt. Pleasant author helps examine mixed martial arts Panian, A.J. Mount Plesant Journal
1/16/2014 Team Kumite has ‘unprecedented’ success Gulasy, Doug Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
11/7/2013 Godfather’s Of MMA Staff Strength Figther
11/1/2013 MMA’s Forgotten Forefathers Cartey, Richard Fighters Only Magazine
9/13/2013 CHAMPIONS GATHER Neal, Bill PGH Courier
7/10/2013 Martial arts workout touted as packing a punch Gulasy, Doug Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
5/22/2013 Kumite Classic Kicks it up a Notch Schrecengost, Dave Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
4/20/2013 Former Steelers wide receiver Ward honors local high school athletes Price, Karen Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
1/25/2013 Leader earns top karate honor Adamski, Chris Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
10/24/2012 The Martial Chronicles: Before Fighting Was Ultimate It Was Super Nash, John SB Nation
10/1/2012 Hines Ward Show Ward, Hines WPXI
8/23/2012 Battle of Superfighters (Tough Guys the Real Beginings of MMA in America Cartey, Richard Fighters Only
5/30/2012 Fitness and martial-arts enthusiasts pack Convention Center for Kumite Classic Love, Michael Trib Live
5/29/2012 2012 Kumite Classic with Antonio Brown Trib Staff Trib Live
5/23/2012 The Martial Chronicles: Before Fighting Was Ultimate It Was Super Nash, John Bloody Elbow
5/9/2012 Norwin’s Leader, Kemp pull down Positive Athlete Awards Trib Staff Trib Live
4/29/2012 Norwin junior seeks karate championship Harvath, Les Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
4/21/2012 26 Honored At Western Pa. Positive Athlete Awards KDKA Staff KDKA
3/1/2012 2012 Positive Athletes Ward, Hines Positive Athlete
1/1/2012 Exhibit Must-Sees Madarasz, Ann Western PA Sports Museum
12/20/2011 Pioneers of MMA Madarasz, Ann Heinz History Center
12/5/2011 Viola Honored for role with early MMA Grubba, Matt Trib Live
12/1/2011 Pittsburgh MVP Staff Champions Association
10/1/2011 Tough Guys Madarasz, Ann Western Pennsylvania History: Fall 2011, 8-9
10/1/2011 New Sports Museum Display Explores Local Roots of Mixed Martial Arts Madarasz, Ann Senator John Heinz History Center Newsletter
10/1/2011 Local karate students compete in Ohio Trib staff Norwin Star
7/4/2011 Viola Honored As Mixed Martial Arts Innovator Santa, John Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
6/24/2011 MMA roots were planted in New Kensington Werner, Sam Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
6/23/2011 Caliguri and Viola history honored Kogut, Paul Trib Live
6/22/2011 UFC makes long-waited Pittsburgh debut Stefano, Dan Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
1/14/2011 Norwin junior claims a sport karate world title Trib Staff Trib Live
1/6/2011 Karate coach Bill Viola recognized by peers Hartlep, Bill Trib Live
12/29/2010 Christmas Kumite Trib Staff Norwin Star
8/24/2010 The Zuffa Myth and UFC auteur theory Rossen, Jake ESPN
5/27/2010 MMA Trailblazers to be honored at Caged Kumite Hartlep, Bill Trib-Norwin Star
5/25/2009 Kumite Karate Klassic celebrates 10 years Neal, Bill New Pittsburgh Courier
3/26/2009 Viola’s Bring MMA Back to Pittsburgh Hartlep, Bill Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
1/15/2009 Illness doesn’t deter karate champion Dudurich, Mike Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
12/26/2007 1997 Sports Champions NGB Reports Slam sports
5/15/2007 Festival puts emphasis on physical fitness Kelly, Jack Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
5/25/2005 North Huntingdon Twp. Promoter heads Pittsburgh Sports and Fitness Festival Cloonan, Patrick Daily News
6/13/2002 Karate instructor passionate about foundation Dopirak, Dustin Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
7/22/2001 Viola poised to provide karate scholarships to youth Hunger, Brian Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
11/4/2000 North Huntingdon Township man hopes to hit it big in Tinsel Town Wertz, Marjorie Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
11/1/2000 Former Karate Champion Makes Transition to Music Video Schofield, Melissa Pittburgh Post-Gazette
8/15/1999 Karate duo’s dreams crash before nationals  Iovino, Jim Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
8/9/1999 U.S. Karate Team Caputres Gold in Kumite Staff USOC Press
3/4/1998 Fivesome May Kick its Way to Title MacGregor, Adam Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
2/23/1997 Schwarzenegger Selects Irwin Karate School for Festival Robertson, Scott Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
4/1/1993 Laurel State Champions Staff Standard Observer
5/5/1987 Norwin’s Karate Kid is Making Mark in World Haky, Mike Daily News
4/9/1987 Norwin Student Gets a Kick from Karate Ove, Torsten Pittsburgh Press
4/5/1987 Karate Kid Alive and Well in North Huntingdon Junker, Guy WTAE

*press photo (released for creative commons 3.0 for free commercial and non commercial use)

Bill Viola Jr., Producer of Pittsburgh Fitness Expo and Founder of Kumite Classic Entertainment Corp. *press photo (released for creative commons 3.0 for free commercial and non commercial use)

 *press photo (released for creative commons 3.0 for free commercial and non commercial use)

-Bill Viola Jr. & Bill Viola Sr. with Royce Gracie at the 2012 Kumite Classic *press photo (released for creative commons 3.0 for free commercial and non commercial use)