Black Belt in Life Skills

Hustle. Happiness. Harmony.

Konnichiwa!  I’m your CommonSensei, a master of life skills, sorcerer of street smarts, and protector of good old fashioned common sense. We are here to dissect and talk about all things they should teach you school… but don’t.  This blog is my battlefield, and we aren’t here to just survive; nope it’s time to thrive!

“Sensei” Bill Viola Jr., is a bestselling author and master of common sense!  He’s created the award-winning Black Belt in Life®, Common Sensei®, and Sensei Says® book series. He is the Founder and President of Kumite Classic Entertainment based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

bill viola black belt in life

Concept of motivation mind map in handwritten style

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.”

A Black Belt in Life can’t be bought, borrowed, or bargained for, nope, these life skills are learned through sweat equity and faith. The synergy of mind, body, and spirit leads to the ultimate sense of self-satisfaction.   Earning a Black Belt in Life is taking inspired ownership of your God-given potential and pushing the limits of those abilities beyond measure.   Bill Viola Jr. coined the phrase “ZENtensity” decades ago when he recognized his true potential… then surpassed it.  He exceeded the limits and leveled up over, and over, and over again to become world renown in the martial arts.  His wining mindset became a pattern of success and an award-winning formula of the Viola family. ZENtensity became the signature of his dōjō.  “Sensei, what is this ZENtensity you speak of?”  ZENtensity is a mind over matter phenomenon achieved when outside influences vanish, and one harnesses all potential power into an activity.  It’s the extra rep that 99% of people give up on.  ZENtensity is doing more with less and going the extra mile on an empty tank of gas. Quite simply it’s Rocky Balboa in round 12, Michael Phelps in the last lap, or Rudy grinding at practice.  ZENtensity is the epitome of hustle, and then some.  It is a samurai mindset, and CommonSensei can teach you.

Confidence, positive thinking, and gratitude are building blocks or your training at this dōjō.  To level up from white belt on, we must never stop learning.  When you fail, you fail forward.  GROWTH.  A “BB in Life” constantly strives for daily improvement, no matter how small the progress. CommonSensei preaches 1% gains daily.  Every belt represents a harmonic balance of “ups” and “downs” along your journey.  Black Belt in Life training balances family and fortune with ambition and responsibility and all in between.

Endgame is being a better person, a Black Belt of the human race.  This isn’t a Black Belt you wear… It’s a Black Belt mentality.  You must think like a Black Belt, talk like a Black Belt, and act like a Black Belt.  No, it’s not something you wear, it is something you become.  Sharpening your sword will become a way of life (道).



Bill Viola Jr. is an Amazon best-selling author of:

books by bill viola jr


On sale now:  CommonSensei “How to Kick A$$ @ Life.”

common sensei

Life Coach: Attaining the Black Belt in Life Mastery

In the realm of personal development and growth, the role of a common sensei is a life coach that transcends guidance; it embodies the essence of becoming a black belt in life mastery. Just as a martial arts master trains diligently to achieve the revered black belt, a life coach undergoes a transformative journey of learning, self-discovery, and empowerment to help others navigate the complexities of life with skill and resilience.

A life coach serves as a beacon of wisdom, support, and accountability for individuals striving to reach their full potential and lead fulfilling lives. Drawing upon a diverse array of tools, techniques, and insights, they empower their clients to cultivate the mindset and skills necessary to navigate life’s challenges with confidence and grace. Here’s how a life coach embodies the principles of attaining the black belt in life mastery:

  1. Mastery of Self: Like a martial artist honing their life skills, a life coach undergoes rigorous self-discovery and personal development. They cultivate self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and a deep understanding of their values, strengths, and limitations. By mastering themselves, they serve as living examples of the principles they impart to their clients.
  2. Empowering Others: Just as a martial arts master shares their knowledge with students, a life coach empowers others to unlock their full potential. Through active listening, empathy, and insightful questioning, they help clients identify their goals, overcome obstacles, and develop actionable plans for success. They provide guidance and support, but ultimately empower clients to become the architects of their own lives.
  3. Continuous Learning: A life coach is committed to lifelong learning and growth. They stay abreast of the latest research, methodologies, and practices in the field of personal development and coaching. By continuously expanding their knowledge and skills, they ensure they can provide the most effective support and guidance to their clients.
  4. Resilience and Adaptability: Life coaching often involves navigating complex and dynamic situations. Like a martial artist adapting to their opponent’s movements, a life coach must be resilient and adaptable in the face of challenges. They embrace uncertainty, learn from setbacks, and adjust their approach as needed to best serve their clients’ needs.
  5. Integrity and Ethics: Integrity is paramount in the practice of life coaching. Just as a martial artist upholds the principles of honor and respect, a life coach operates with integrity, honesty, and ethical conduct. They maintain confidentiality, respect boundaries, and prioritize the well-being of their clients above all else.
  6. Celebrate Client Success: A life coach takes joy in the achievements of their clients. Like a martial arts instructor witnessing a student’s progress, they celebrate milestones, no matter how small, and acknowledge the hard work and dedication that led to them. By celebrating client success, they reinforce positive behaviors and inspire continued growth and development.
  7. Impact Beyond the Individual: Life coaching extends beyond the individual to create ripple effects in families, communities, and society at large. By empowering individuals to lead happier, more fulfilling lives, life coaches contribute to a collective shift towards greater well-being and fulfillment for all.

In essence, a life coach embodies the principles of becoming a black belt in life mastery through their dedication to self-improvement, empowerment of others, and commitment to excellence. By guiding clients on their journey of personal growth and transformation, they help cultivate a world where individuals can thrive and fulfill their highest potential. In this way, the role of a life coach is not just a profession—it is a noble pursuit of mastery in the art of living.

life skills