Kumite Classic Entertainment

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Kumite Classic Entertainment
IndustrySports, fitness, martial arts
FounderBill Viola Jr.[1][2]
HeadquartersPittsburgh, PA[3]
SubsidiariesAllegheny Shotokan Karate[4]

Kumite Classic Entertainment (KCE) is a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania based sports production company. It was established in 1999 by Bill Viola Jr. KCE specializes in fitness, martial arts, and multi-sport competitions.[1][2]

The Kumite Classic[edit]

Kumite” is a Japanese word referring to “fighting.”[5] The company's self-titled “Kumite Classic” is an annual series of combat sports tournaments, widely regarded as the mecca of martial arts in the Pittsburgh region.[2][6][7]

The Kumite Classic has traditionally featured strongman, powerlifting, body building, fitness, figure, and model competitions.[1][2] The Kumite Classic showcases traditional and open karate, tae kwon do, tang soo do, kung fu, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Grappling tournaments.[8][3]

Notable martial arts and sports celebrities including Royce Gracie, Franco Harris, Antonio Brown, Lynn Swan, Ice-T and Kurt Angle have appeared at the Kumite Classic.[9][6][10][11] Angle's “Ultimate Teen Challenge,” a strength competition, was launched at the 2005 Kumite Classic and has also expanded to the Arnold Sports Festival.[12][13][14]

Kumite Classic Entertainment took ownership of Allegheny Shotokan Karate in 2016.[15]

Pittsburgh Fitness Expo[edit]

Kumite Classic hosts the annual Pittsburgh Fitness Expo, a full scale consumer convention that promotes health and wellness in the Western Pennsylvania region. The expo is held at the Monroeville Convention Center over Memorial Day Weekend.[1][2][8][3][16]


In 2013, the company established Kumite Classic Press and released Godfathers of MMA, a mixed martial arts non-fiction book inspired by the life of Bill Viola Sr. and the rise and fall of CV Productions and the Tough Guy Contest.[6][17] The book is the subject of the documentary film Tough Guys (2017) produced by MinusL Inc.[18][19][20]

Kumite Classic published a commemorative edition of Godfather's of MMA retitled Tough Guys (2017) which peaked at #1 on the Amazon best sellers list in the individual sports category. The launch was synchronized with the network television debut of Tough Guys on Showtime.[21][22][23][24]

Published works[edit]

  • Viola Jr., Bill (2014). Godfathers of MMA: The Birth of an American Sport. Kumite Classic Entertainment.ISBN 978-0-9961633-0-9[25]
  • Viola Jr., Bill (2016). Go Ask Your Dad: Questions, Answers, and Stories about Fathers, Fatherhood, and Being a Parent (Volume 1). Kumite Classic Entertainment. ISBN 978-0996163316[26]
  • Viola Jr., Bill (2017). Tough Guys. Kumite Classic Entertainment. ISBN 978-0-9961633-3-0[27]
  • Viola Jr., Bill (2020). CommonSensei: Sensei Says. Kumite Classic Entertainment. ISBN 978-0-9961633-4-7[28]
  • Viola Jr., Bill (2020). CommonSensei: Goal Pagoda. Kumite Classic Entertainment. ISBN 978-0-9961633-5-4[29]


  1. ^ a b c d e Schrecengost, Dave “Kumite Classic event is back in Monroeville”. Pittsburgh Tribune Review, May 23, 2013
  2. ^ a b c d e f Kelly, Jack (April 16, 2007). “Festival puts emphasis on physical fitness”. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  3. ^ a b c "Kumite Classic Expo, Pittsburgh PA Memorial Day WeekendKumite Classic". Kumiteclassic.com. Archived from the original on 2016-02-16. Retrieved 2016-02-22.
  4. ^ Staff. Forging a Path for Half a Century. Black Belt Magazine. (September 12, 2019).
  5. ^ Schofield, Melissa (November 1, 2000). “Former karate champion makes transition to music video”. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, p. E5.
  6. ^ a b c Love, Mike (May 20, 2012). “Fitness and martial-arts enthusiasts pack Monroeville Convention Center for Kumite Classic”. Tribune-Review.
  7. ^ Cloonan, Patrick (May 25, 2005). “North Huntingdon Twp. Promoter heads Pittsburgh Sports and Fitness Festival”. The Daily News, p. 11.
  8. ^ a b Love, Michael (May 19, 2015). “Pittsburgh Fitness Expo returning to Monroeville”. Tribune-Review.
  9. ^ Cartey, Richard (November 2012). “Tough guy Contest: The Real Beginnings of MMA in America”. Fighters Only.3: 72.
  10. ^ "About the producer of Pittsburgh Fitness Expo: Bill Viola Jr". Pittsburghfitnessexpo.com. Retrieved 2016-02-22.
  11. ^ "2012 Kumite Classic | Sports | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Photos". Photos.triblive.com. Retrieved 2016-02-22.
  12. ^ KurtAngleBrand. "The Ultimate Teen Challenge". Kurtanglebrand.com. Retrieved 2016-02-22.
  13. ^ "The Ultimate Teen Challenge". The Ultimate Teen Challenge. 2016-01-21. Retrieved 2016-02-22.
  14. ^ "2015 Arnold Sports Festival schedule, map | The Columbus Dispatch". Dispatch.com. 2015-03-05. Retrieved 2016-02-22.
  15. ^ Bowen, Jessie.(2017). Who’s Who in the Martial Arts. Elite Publication. ISBN 978-13-87161-53-9
  16. ^ "15th Annual Pittsburgh Fitness Expo". Guidetogoodhealth.com. Retrieved 2016-02-22.
  17. ^ MMA Latest. "A Review of Godfathers of MMA: The Birth of An American Sport | MMA Latest - Bringing you worldwide MMA news". Mmalatestnews.com. Archived from the original on 2016-02-16. Retrieved 2016-02-22.
  18. ^ Kanew, Jeff (1986-10-03), Tough Guys, retrieved 2016-02-24
  19. ^ Steele, Jerin (2015-09-13). "Before MMA, Tough Guys wowed fans in A-K Valley, throughout state". TribLIVE. Retrieved 2016-02-22.
  20. ^ Pickels, Mary (February 8, 2015). “Martial arts are a family affair”. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, p. B3.
  21. ^ "Showtime's 'Tough Guys' documentary explores MMA's early roots in 1980s Pittsburgh". September 13, 2017.
  22. ^ "Tough Guys MMA Book reaches #1 on Amazon best sellers list". September 19, 2017.
  23. ^ "Two Pittsburgh Tough Guys Made MMA Safe for Everyone But Themselves". MEL Magazine. May 14, 2019.
  24. ^ "Showtime documentary proves Pittsburgh-area early mixed martial arts fighters were 'Tough Guys'". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  25. ^ Viola, Bill Jr.; Adams, Fred (November 5, 2014). Godfathers of MMA: The Birth of an American Sport. CV Productions. ISBN 9780996163309 – via Google Books.
  26. ^ [1][dead link]
  27. ^ Viola, Bill Jr. (August 22, 2017). Tough Guys. CV Productions. ISBN 9780996163323 – via Google Books.
  28. ^ [2][dead link]
  29. ^ Viola, Bill Jr. (July 28, 2020). CommonSensei: Goal Pagoda. Kumite Classic Entertainment. ISBN 9780996163354 – via Google Books.

External links[edit]