Bio of Sensei Vittorio Russo Junior

Vittorio Russo Junior, a 3rd degree black belt, began his Martial Arts training at 15 years of age. He was introduced to the Kyokushin style of fighting and began training under the direction of his sensei, a 4th degree black belt. Sensei Junior trained and fought under his supervision for several years; and it was with intense determination and with guidance, that he obtained the degree of shodan. As well as training in the dojo, Sensei Junior also trained at the gym and on his bag, 6 to 7 days a week. He practiced his katas during his lunch break at work to ensure perfection in his movements and stances. In very little time, Sensei Junior had grown to be one of the top students in his class; this earned him much respect from his fellow students and friends.
Although Sensei Junior endured a vigorous and intense training with his teacher, his instructor discouraged Sensei Junior to compete in full-contact tournaments because of the danger involved and the severe punishment that ones body had to endure in such tournaments. His instructor eventually stripped Sensei Junior of his black belt and subsequently gave him back his white belt. Nonetheless, tournament fighting was the missing piece in Sensei Juniors quest to be a perfect Martial Artist so he ultimately left in search for someone who would show him more and give Junior the room he needed to expand as a trainer and a fighter. After having tried numerous schools throughout Montreal, he discovered Sensei Joe Addesso.

Sensei Junior was very pleased by the way he was welcomed into Sensei Joes Dojo; he enjoyed the way both the teacher and his students treated him like one of the family. Sensei Joe Addesso is a 4th degree black belt. He is world renown, one of Canada’s top knockdown fighters, and very respected throughout the world. Sensei Joe Addesso gave Sensei Junior the courage and opportunity to fulfill his dreams by encouraging him to fight his first knockdown tournament within three months of his training. The 2000 Full Contact U.S. Open was held in Waterville Maine. Sensei Junior fought in the Heavyweight category and ended up placing fourth, where he fought against the Heavy Weight Champion from the previous year.

Upon his return to Montreal, Sensei Junior went on to compete in the World Oyama Tournament that was held only two weeks after the U.S. Open. There, Sensei Junior took home a second place trophy, beating top-notch fighters from Chicoutimi. In November 2000, Sensei Junior (along with the rest of the Canadian team) fought in the 7th World Tournament in Japan where he ranked top 16 in the world out of 159 fighters. Then, Sensei Junior participated in the Mas Oyamas Memorial Cup held in Montreal in September 2001. He placed 4th after a disappointing injury forced him to forfeit from the competition.
Sensei Junior decided that he wanted to do more. His love for karate motivated him to want to teach it as well. The Russo Dojo was founded late September 2001. In October 2001, Sensei Junior returned to Maine to fight the 2001 U.S. Open, where he became the U.S Open Heavy Weight Champion, over great fighters. In July 2002, he fought in the 1st World Cup Tournament held in Maine. He placed 4th after another disappointing injury forced him to forfeit from the competition. Sensei Junior went on to fight many tournaments and now is passing on his fighting skills and knowledge to his students and upcoming champions.

Sensei Junior works full-time in telecommunications, and is also a singer-songwriter. Sensei Junior runs and operates the Russo Dojo with his best friend, his love and wife, Sempai Stefania Di Buono; he considers her his biggest motivator. The Russo Dojo has built fighters of all ages; most of his students have already competed in several tournaments and ranked extremely well. Sensei Junior trains and teaches with passion and intensity; his efforts emanate strongly from his students.

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