Kumite Classic Entertainment
|Industry||Sports, fitness, martial arts|
|Founder||Bill Viola Jr.|
|Subsidiaries||Allegheny Shotokan Karate|
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.
The Kumite Classic
“Kumite” is a Japanese word referring to “fighting.” 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.
The Kumite Classic has traditionally featured strongman, powerlifting, body building, fitness, figure, and model competitions. The Kumite Classic showcases traditional and open karate, tae kwon do, tang soo do, kung fu, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Grappling tournaments.
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. Angle's “Ultimate Teen Challenge,” a strength competition, was launched at the 2005 Kumite Classic and has also expanded to the Arnold Sports Festival.
Pittsburgh Fitness Expo
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.
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. The book is the subject of the documentary film Tough Guys (2017) produced by MinusL Inc.
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.
- Viola Jr., Bill (2014). Godfathers of MMA: The Birth of an American Sport. Kumite Classic Entertainment.ISBN 978-0-9961633-0-9
- 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
- Viola Jr., Bill (2017). Tough Guys. Kumite Classic Entertainment. ISBN 978-0-9961633-3-0
- Viola Jr., Bill (2020). CommonSensei: Sensei Says. Kumite Classic Entertainment. ISBN 978-0-9961633-4-7
- Viola Jr., Bill (2020). CommonSensei: Goal Pagoda. Kumite Classic Entertainment. ISBN 978-0-9961633-5-4
- Schrecengost, Dave “Kumite Classic event is back in Monroeville”. Pittsburgh Tribune Review, May 23, 2013
- Kelly, Jack (April 16, 2007). “Festival puts emphasis on physical fitness”. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- "Kumite Classic Expo, Pittsburgh PA Memorial Day WeekendKumite Classic". Kumiteclassic.com. Archived from the original on 2016-02-16. Retrieved 2016-02-22.
- Staff. Forging a Path for Half a Century. Black Belt Magazine. (September 12, 2019).
- Schofield, Melissa (November 1, 2000). “Former karate champion makes transition to music video”. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, p. E5.
- Love, Mike (May 20, 2012). “Fitness and martial-arts enthusiasts pack Monroeville Convention Center for Kumite Classic”. Tribune-Review.
- Cloonan, Patrick (May 25, 2005). “North Huntingdon Twp. Promoter heads Pittsburgh Sports and Fitness Festival”. The Daily News, p. 11.
- Love, Michael (May 19, 2015). “Pittsburgh Fitness Expo returning to Monroeville”. Tribune-Review.
- Cartey, Richard (November 2012). “Tough guy Contest: The Real Beginnings of MMA in America”. Fighters Only.3: 72.
- "About the producer of Pittsburgh Fitness Expo: Bill Viola Jr". Pittsburghfitnessexpo.com. Retrieved 2016-02-22.
- "2012 Kumite Classic | Sports | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Photos". Photos.triblive.com. Retrieved 2016-02-22.
- KurtAngleBrand. "The Ultimate Teen Challenge". Kurtanglebrand.com. Retrieved 2016-02-22.
- "The Ultimate Teen Challenge". The Ultimate Teen Challenge. 2016-01-21. Retrieved 2016-02-22.
- "2015 Arnold Sports Festival schedule, map | The Columbus Dispatch". Dispatch.com. 2015-03-05. Retrieved 2016-02-22.
- Bowen, Jessie.(2017). Who’s Who in the Martial Arts. Elite Publication. ISBN 978-13-87161-53-9
- "15th Annual Pittsburgh Fitness Expo". Guidetogoodhealth.com. Retrieved 2016-02-22.
- 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.
- Kanew, Jeff (1986-10-03), Tough Guys, retrieved 2016-02-24
- Steele, Jerin (2015-09-13). "Before MMA, Tough Guys wowed fans in A-K Valley, throughout state". TribLIVE. Retrieved 2016-02-22.
- Pickels, Mary (February 8, 2015). “Martial arts are a family affair”. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, p. B3.
- "Showtime's 'Tough Guys' documentary explores MMA's early roots in 1980s Pittsburgh". September 13, 2017.
- "Tough Guys MMA Book reaches #1 on Amazon best sellers list". September 19, 2017.
- "Two Pittsburgh Tough Guys Made MMA Safe for Everyone But Themselves". MEL Magazine. May 14, 2019.
- "Showtime documentary proves Pittsburgh-area early mixed martial arts fighters were 'Tough Guys'". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Jr, Bill Viola; Adams, Fred (November 5, 2014). Godfathers of MMA: The Birth of an American Sport. CV Productions. ISBN 9780996163309 – via Google Books.
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- Jr, Bill Viola (August 22, 2017). Tough Guys. CV Productions. ISBN 9780996163323 – via Google Books.
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- Jr, Bill Viola (July 28, 2020). CommonSensei: Goal Pagoda. Kumite Classic Entertainment. ISBN 9780996163354 – via Google Books.