Action shots from the 2013 Kumite Classic – Pittsburgh, PA. Billy Leader executes a double leg take down sweep in the traditional karate division at the tournament. visit http://www.joekleon.com/fastexpo013/2013fastexpo.html for more photos.
Team Kumite represents Pittsburgh Karate and Martial Arts nationwide at NBL National Black Belt League tournaments, competitions and championships. The team is based in Irwin / North Huntingdon, PA and coached by Bill Viola.
2013 Team Kumite NBL Schedule:
Kumite Classic: May 24-25th Contact: Bill Viola
North American Intl’s: Sept.13-14 2013 Contact: Connell Loveless
Spooktacular: Oct.19th 2013 Contact: Christine Fisher
SMAC: March 8-9th 2013 Contact: Ron Cain
Grand Slam: April 19-20th 2013 Contact: Jeff Doss
Kumite Classic: May 24-25th 2013 Contact: Bill Viola
Team Kumite is a Pittsburgh karate tradition.
Pittsburgh Martial Artist and Team Kumite Classic member Billy Leader receives the 2012 NBL Diamond Award Winner for Sport Karate “Player of the Year”
The 23rd Sport Karate World Games known internationally as the “Super Grands” was held 26th-31st in Buffalo New York. The tournament is sanctioned by the National Black Belt League (NBL) and Sport Karate International (SKIL) which are responsible for the largest sport karate ranking system and league for black belts in the world. The competition is the equivalent of the Super Bowl for martial arts with thousands of world class competitors representing North America, South America, and Europe each year at the Games. The competitor must compete at a series of regional and national events to earn a seed and qualify for the competition, a process similar to NCAA tournaments that is required to secure an invitation.
At the closing ceremonies of the World Games, the NBL Executive Office votes on a series of Hall of Fame categories that represent the entire league. For the first time in Pittsburgh history, a local resident was honored with the NBL Diamond “Player Award” The 21-year-old Billy Leader of North Huntingdon Township was inducted into the NBL Hall of Fame on December 31st 2012 and honored with this prestigious title. Leader’s coach Sensei Bill Viola Jr explains, “It is a special honor, an award for his entire body of work as a competitor. He was in contention with thousands of international competitors worldwide. This is huge, it puts Pittsburgh on the map when it comes to sport karate.” The Norwin Graduate and Penn State Junior has studied martial arts since he was three years old at the Allegheny Shotokan Karate School in Irwin, PA.
Allegheny Shotokan was founded in 1969 and since has produced more World Champions than any other school in the Pittsburgh region. They school as a rich tradition of representing Pennsylvania and the United States at the World Games dating back to the establishment of the league. Serving as captain of the Pittsburgh based all-star Team Kumite Classic, Leader defeated Andres Garcia of Guatemala (the reigning 6-time World Champion) in the Men’s Light Middleweight Continuous Sparring division en route to an appearance on the main stage for the finals. His brother, 19-year-old Dominic Leader, also advanced to the finals to face Hugo Mendoza of Mexico. Leader’s teammate also includes 20-year old Ali Viola who claimed her 4th continuous sparring World Title by defeating the top international competitors from Canada, Guatemala and Mexico in the finals. Viola had previously become the first female form Pittsburgh to win a World Title in 2006, 2008, and 2009 before winning the Adult title this year.
The Team Kumite Classic Roster also includes a trio of sisters; 14-year-old Bridget Chase, 13-year-old Hope Chase, 11-year old Bess Chase all of Imperial, PA and 17-year-old Connor Burns of North Huntingdon who was inactive due to a torn ACL two weeks prior to the tournament. All of the athletes compete in Black Belt Continuous Sparring, a hybrid of kickboxing which requires high levels of endurance and physical toughness. Coach Viola was very proud of his team stating, “In all, we qualified six black belts who attended the World Games, and all six placed top three in the World. Its an incredible winning percentage, especially when you consider that our school is the only one in the Pittsburgh area to bring home a World Title. They are a special group of students and Billy [Leader] works harder than any other student I have ever had. Winning player of the year is well deserved.” Congrats Billy.
To see Billy or any of the Team Kumite members in action, mark your calendar for the 2013 Kumite Classic Karate Tournament in Pittsburgh at the Monroeville Convention Center May 24th-25th.
The world’s best martial artists visit Pittsburgh! The Kumite Classic is the cities largest karate tournament. The championship is proud to be apart of the NBL National Black Belt League Can-Am National Conference. The NBL is the worlds largest league of sport karate tournaments with a ranking system for black belts. The 2013 schedule includes:
SMAC Internationals March 8-9th Ron & Diane Cain
Grand Slam Open April 19-20th Jeff Doss
Kumite Classic May 24-25th Bill Viola
Survivor July 26th-27th Corky Sikes
The 2013 Kumite Classic is set for Friday-Saturday May 24-25th 2013 at the Monroeville/Pittsburgh Convention Center. The Open Martial Arts and Sport Karate Tournament is Pittsburgh’s largest event of its kind with competition for point sparring, continuous sparring, traditional kata (separate Japanese, Korean, Chinese & Kenpo), open forms, traditional weapons, open weapons, self-defesne, breaking, team demo, grappling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and more . Vendor booth for the expo are available on a first come first serve basis. The Kumite Classic is part of the NBL National Black Belt League Can-Am National Conference, a qualifier for the Super Grands World Games. Visit www.kumiteclassic.com or contact Bill Viola 724-861-5162 for more details.
The 14th Annual Kumite Classic is an international martial arts championship known as the mecca for sport karate in the Pittsburgh region. The annual karate tournament is open to all schools and styles including tae kwon do, karate, tae kwon do, kung fu and american systems of martial arts. The competition has Japanese, Korean and Chinese styles forms divisions as well as creative and contemporary categories to create a diverse atmosphere and a fair open competition. Sign up for point sparring, continuous sparring, traditional forms or kata, weapons, self-defense, breaking, grappling and brazilian jiu-jitsu. The best of the best from Pittsburgh and around the world compete each Memorial Day Weekend.
The Karate tournament is promoted by Bill Viola Jr. and is sanctioned by Boice Lydell’s NBL National Black Belt League & SKIL Sport Karate International and by Frank Caliguri’s PKRA Pennsylvania Karate Rating Association.
The Kumite Classic is is an international karate and martial arts championships in Pittsburgh, PA. The tournament is part of the NBL Can-Am National Conference and qualifier for the Super Grands World Games. Promoter Bill Viola scheduled the 14th annual Kumite Classic for Memorial Day Weekend at the Monroeville Convention Center. The annual event is one of the most diverse martial arts competitions in the nation. For more information on Pittsburgh Sport Karate or competitive tang soo do, tae kwon do, karate, kung fu open tournaments visit www.pittsburghsportkarate.com
The tournament is sanctioned by the National Black Belt League, Sport Karate International and the PKRA Pennsylvania Karate Rating Association.
Fighters Only Magazine, the World’s leading mixed martial arts and lifestyle magazine features Pittsburgh MMA and the history of mixed martial arts in America dating back to 1979 in Western Pennsylvania in this months issue. The first competition, Battle of the Tough Guys, made the front cover. “Tough Guy Contest The Real Beginning of MMA in America” Take a look. The story is title:
“Mixed martial arts in the United States was not conceived by the Gracie
family and Art Davie in 1993, it actually began life 14 years earlier
in a Pennsylvanian diner. FO reveals the untold story of… MMA’s Forgotten Forefathers”
The magazine is available on newsstands now.
The Pittsburgh region is finally getting the respect it earned over thirty years ago. A great article on the history of the sport of MMA in the United States.
Traditional Karate Kumite makes a bid for the 2020 Olympics. Bookmakers are publishing the first rankings of IOC shortlisted sports seeking inclusion in the 2020 Olympic Games program. According to these lists, Karate is the leading bid far before squash and baseball.
Breaking news… Karate is the odds-on favorite to make the 2020 Olympics!
Karate officials claim that there is now more than 50 million participants worldwide who practice the sport.
- KARATE IS A POPULAR COMBAT SPORT - Leader among sports federations and practitioners. Leader in broadcasting and media communication. When combat sport is mentioned, KARATE immediately jumps to mind.
- KARATE BUILDS SOCIAL INTEGRATION - Lifelong practice of humility, mutual respect, rejection of violence, physical health and emotional control ensures that KARATE practitioners become good role models and ethical citizens.
- KARATE IS FOR ALL - Karate is integrative, practiced worldwide in all cultures and nations. Disability is not an obstacle and a specific body type is not required.
- Social Integration - One of the key elements that defines Karate is respect for others. Practitioners consider themselves equal whatever their social or economisc background, culture, language or gender may be.
- Fairness and Humility - Karate practitioners are noble; not only do they learn to see the sport as a competition, they also consider it a lifelong practice in wich all are equal and help each other attain their goals.
- Physical and Mental Balance - Karate practice teaches control of agressiveness and violence, overcoming shyness and improving confidence. Psychomotor capacity is improved through coordination of movement, synchronisation and reflexes.
- Rejection of violence - Practising Karate implies learning to control one’s strength. This sport penalises contact. Violence is not part of Karate.
- Overcoming Difficulties - Karate provides the will to overcome and to respect others. Practising Karate strengthens the spirit wich prepares people to deal with obstacles and difficulties in everyday life.
The Kumite Classic is the mecca of sport martial arts, fitness and karate for the past two decades in Western PA. Pittsburgh “City of Champions” is home of the prestigious Kumite Classic, a brand that is synonymous with athletic excellence recently honored with the Pittsburgh M.V.P. Award at the Willie Stargell Memorial Banquet. Over the past thirty years legends such as Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali have attended the banquet.
The Kumite Classic was home to the first BJJ Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament, championship / competition in the history of Pittsburgh. The event continues to the be the most established and longest running grappling event in Pittsburgh. The Kumite Classic is the leading promoter of karate tournaments, martial arts championships and all combat sports competitions in the Pittsburgh area.