Kumite Classic Entertainment
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|Industry||Sports, fitness, martial arts|
|Founder||Bill Viola Jr.|
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 upcoming documentary film Tough Guys (2016) produced by MinusL Inc.
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