Tag Archives: Pittsburgh

40 under 40 Pittsburgh

bill viola jr 40 under 40

Congratulations to our very own President and founder Bill Viola Jr. on making the prestigious “40 under 40” List in Pittsburgh.

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Bill Viola Jr.   [39]
President, Kumite Classic Entertainment Corp.

Pittsburgh often is credited as the birthplace of a self-defense discipline known as Mixed Martial Arts.

Bill Viola Jr. is the author of the book “Godfathers of MMA,” which chronicles the life of his father, Bill Sr., and explores the world of martial arts as first developed west of the Alleghenies. The younger Viola is known internationally for his work in the martial arts industry, founding the highly regarded annual Kumite Classic in 1999.

He also was named to the U.S. Karate Hall of Fame in 2005 and was the winner of the Willie Stargell Pittsburgh MVP Award in 2011 for his work training youth in martial arts programs.

He currently is head instructor at his family’s Allegheny Shotokan Karate studio, founded in 1969, and he is the founder and producer of the Pittsburgh Fitness Expo.

The biggest thing I ever had to overcome … In 1999, I was in a car accident that ended my competitive martial arts career. Going from world champion to watching on the sidelines was complete culture shock, but the injury was actually a blessing. In rehab, I found my true passion, being a sensei (teacher). Seeing my students succeed is more rewarding than any title I won.


bill viola jr 40 under 40

40 Under 40: 2016

Meet our 2016 class of 40 Pittsburghers Under 40 who are changing our region – and the world – for the better.



People are drawn to lists, and sometimes when a list isn’t handy they make one up. Consider Jorge Luis Borges, whose fantastical prose lit up the world of Latin American literature in the 20th century.

He referenced a Chinese list — a taxonomy of different types of animals — and attributed its translation to a known academic of the time. According to this list, animals broke down into categories such as “those that belong to the Emperor,” “mermaids,” “embalmed ones,” “fabulous ones,” “those that resemble flies from a distance,” and even, “those that have just broken a flower vase.”

Scholars spent decades trying to locate the original list which, as it turns out, was stored safely inside Borges’ head and nowhere else. The French writer Michel Foucault referenced the Borges list in his book “The Order of Things.”


Foucault’s main theory was that the thinking of each age is defined by a single, dominant prism of beliefs and constructs through which we view things. Called an “episteme,” it set the boundaries for all knowledge and understanding at the time. The episteme for the pre-classical period was based on differences and similarities. In the Classical Period, it was all about order and measurement.

And, so on.

What worldview informs this year’s list of 40 Under 40? The conceit of the list is that Pittsburgh Magazine and PUMP invite others to nominate people who, not quite midway through life, have done something — or several things — remarkable. Community service, professional achievement, a general overcoming of obstacles that would stop the rest of us — or all of these factors can land someone on this list.


One of our honorees was inspired by growing up in war-scarred Ethiopia. Another founded a company that provides free, online language-learning to anyone. Still another seems to have succeeded in so many community organizations, she borders on requiring her own, separate list.

The list is so diverse, the personalities so disparate and the accomplishments so varied that fitting our 40 Under 40 onto a single list requires breadth of imagination and depth of understanding. None has broken the flower vase, nor have we noticed any mermaids. As to any “embalmed ones,” there always is a reception to celebrate this honor, so we’ll need to get back to you.


In the meantime, accept that at least on this list, we can include the term “fabulous ones” and not be accused of making anything up.

Meet this year’s 40 Under 40:


Active Lifestyles


Memorial Day Weekend May 22-23rd 2015 Monroeville Convention Center. Kumite Classic presents the Pittsburgh’s most established fitness expo.  The media has dubbed The Kumite Classic fitness expo as a “One stop shop for everything fitness.” The expo showcases the latest fitness products, exercise equipment, sports gear, clothing, nutritional supplements, health foods, and cutting edge cosmetic advancements.

Health and wellness consultations are available with industry professionals and onsite evaluations are presented by doctors, physical therapists, chiropractors, and natural health experts. The Kumite Classic fitness Expo collaborates with health professionals and educators on comprehensive and sustainable approaches to preventing and reducing serious health problems from both conventional medical and holistic approaches. The expo provides spectators the opportunity to participate in workouts, seminars, certification courses, competitions, and challenges.

The general public can meet & greet with celebrities, professional athletes, Olympic champions, and fitness icons. The expo highlights sports performance athletes, strength competitors, and fitness experts though a multitude of athletic skills competitions and world class sport championships.

The Kumite Classic campaign is dedicated to promoting healthy active lifestyles through a full scale interactive consumer fitness expo. The event is Pittsburgh’s most established fitness expo, celebrating its 15th annual season attracting thousands of fitness enthusiasts and health conscious consumers from across the country. The multifaceted expo is surrounded by “non-stop action” playing host to simultaneous championships, competitions, and demonstrations in one expansive area for spectators to enjoy. The audience is one of the most diverse (demographic & geographic) in the fitness industry attracting fans from over 15 different sports. The prestigious Kumite Classic brand is synonymous with athletic excellence.


If your target audience is health conscious fitness enthusiasts, than look no further! The 13th annual Kumite Classic is Pittsburgh’s largest and most established fitness expo, targeting a multi-billion dollar health and fitness industry. The Kumite Classic fitness expo offers maximum exposure into the most popular year round fitness and sports trends in America. The family oriented weekend is a very cost effective way to impact people from all walks of life. Over the past decade, our teams of professionals have paved the way for thousands of people to pursue healthy active lifestyles, building a loyal fan base! The multifaceted expo is surrounded by “non-stop action” playing host to simultaneous championships, competitions, and demonstrations all in one expansive area. The unique concept provides advertising opportunities within an untapped market. The Kumite Classic Expo is the only event of its kind in the Pittsburgh region providing the best opportunity to reach your target audience.


May is National Physical Fitness & Sports Month an initiative developed by The President’s Council on Physical Fitness in Sports. The expo collaborates with corporate leaders in an effort to help build a healthier strong community. The Kumite Classic fitness expo brings national awareness to many health related concerns and issues including the growing problem of childhood obesity! The events emphasize the importance of regular physical activity and healthy choices by featuring, “Kidz of Steel” a non-profit partnership program with Western PA Police Athletic League

Join us Memorial Day Weekend at the Kumite Classic Fitness Expo May at the Monroeville Convention Center.

Anti Bully Pittsburgh

pittsburgh anti bully

Kumite Classic Entertainment and The Pittsburgh Fitness Expo are proud to partner with community leaders, friends and families to present an Anti Bully presentation May 23-24th 2014 at the Monroeville Convention Center.  Let’s kick bullying out of Pittsburgh!

anti bully pittsburgh

Anti Bully Speakers and presenter:

Anti bully guest speakers include Jimmy Cvetic (Pittsburgh Peace Project) Rocky Whatule (Professional Comedian), Vince Brasco (Aka Mini Hulk), Josh & Gab (Musical Comedy Duo), Ambition (National Recording Artist) Burghman (Pittsburgh’s own superhero dedicated to anti bullying) and more.  Special thanks to our awards sponsor: The Vault (Kolman & Co. Jewelry)



Model Pittsburgh

model pittsburgh

Kumite Classic present’s The Model Pittsburgh Pageant hosted by Bille Jo Powers billiejo@modelpittsburgh.com Friday May 22nd 2015 @ Monroeville Convention Center.  5PM.  Thanks to Alpha Connection.  Our newest sponsor.

This is an open to all models  

No experience necessary or height requirements.

The Model Pittsburgh Pageant consists of two rounds:

18+ years old:  Fashion & Swimwear

13-17 years old:  Fashion and Sportswear (no swimwear)

Model Pittsburgh Pageant and Model Search Pittsburgh will be looking for the next up and coming talent to break into the business.

The Model Pittsburgh Pageant will crown Miss Kumite Classic and Miss Teen Kumite Classic.  The Pittsburgh based Model Search is open to all models.


Maxim Cover Girl

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From small town girl to Maxim Superstar.  We congratulate former Kumite Classic Model sensation Dessie Mitcheson for her continued success.  Maxim’s Hometown Hotties winner is former Kumite Classic Model America Champion Dessie Mitcheson. Guys, meet America’s sexiest girl next door, Dessie! Dessie, meet two million guys who are going to try to buy your next-door neighbor’s house as soon as they see this photo shoot.  http://www.maxim.com/girls-of-maxim/2013-hometown-hotties-winner-dessie  Dessie was also named to Maxim’s Hot 100 lists for 2013.  What a huge honor.  Congrats Dessie! You made Pittsburgh proud!  In 2013 she helped crown the Kumite Classic Model Pittsburgh Champion Paige Price.  Who will win the 2014 Pageant.  Register to enter www.modelpittsburgh.com


Summer Smash Karate Tournament

summer smash tournament

The first annual Summer Smash is in the books, and team Kumite had an impressive showing at the tournament.  Sensei Bill Viola was the head referee and Sensei Ali, Billy and Dom were coordinators.

summer smash

Billy Leader wins the adult black belt Grand Championship with Gojushihosho proving he is not just a national sparring champion but a well rounded martial artist.

Dominic Leader won the black belt sparring championship while his brother Billy took home the top honors in traditional kata.  Cameron Klos won the Jr. Black Belt Sparring title casino jameshallison and Rachel Bartuska took home the advanced grand championship.  The team dominiated the kids sparring divisions, and young Brady Johnson had a standout performance winning the 7-8 division.  Congrats to everyone who attended.  Hope Chase, Bridgid Chase, and Bess Chase aka the Chase sisters all took first places in the Jr. Black Belt divisions.  Special thanks to Ron and Diane Cain for serving has head coordinators, and all our NBL friends who were in attendance to support the event.

Congratulations to White Viper and Peter Chase and Bridgid Chase for hosting a fun and organized competition.

Kumite Classic

billy leader

The Kumite Classic is Pittsburgh’s most prestigious open martial arts championships featuring the very best in sport karate, grappling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.  Sign up for Karate or  Sign up for Grappling/BJJ

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.

Oscar Ties


Kumite Classic would like to congratulate Vanessa Campagna for her vocal work on the Academy Award winning “Inocente.” Campagna is a former talent showcase featured performer at the Kumite Classic and a great representitive of Pittsburgh making noise in the Entertainment Industry.

“Inocente,” won the Oscar for Best Documentary (short form).

Kumite Classic

kumite classic

The 2013 Kumite Classic is scheduled for Memorial Day Weekend Pittsburgh, PA at the Monroeville Convention Center.  The Kumite Classic, is one of the most diverse martial arts and fitness expos in the United States.  The annual show based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania hosts a full scale consumer expo surrounded by multiple championships and competitions that run simultaneously including sports such as; sport karate, natural bodybuilding, power lifting, strongman, Olympic weight lifting, dance, cheer, arm wrestling, grappling, jiu-jitsu, physical fitness challenges etc. The event also hosts concerts, talent showcases, model pageants, bikini pageants, and fitness pageants. The high energy atmosphere has created a unique fan base of sports and fitness enthusiasts. Promoter and Director is Bill Viola.

In May of 2005 Kumite Classic partnered with former Mr. World Dave Hawk and Olympic Champion/Professional Wrestler Kurt Angle to host the Ultimate Teen Challenge in Pittsburgh. The event has become an annual feature at the Kumite Classic.

On May 30th 2010 the Kumite Classic collaborated with CV Production Inc. to host “Caged Kumite,” a pro-am mixed martial arts promotion.

On May 28th 2011 Kumite Classic partnered with former NFL Professional player Franco Harris to host The World Teen Football Combine.  Jeannette High School standout Demetrious Cox won the first annual competition.

In 2010 Kumite Classic Entertainment launched the Fitness And Sports Tour (The FAST Expo), a campaign that features the consumer expo and emphasizes the importance of living a healthy active lifestyle.

December 16th 2010, Kumite Classic promoter Bill Viola, was honored at the 35th Annual Willie Stargell Memorial Banquet with “Pittsburgh M.V.P. Award” for his work within the fitness and Martial Arts industry.  The Kumite Classic is an NBL National Black Belt League Can-Am conference tournament, a qualifier for the NBL Super Grands World Games.

The 2013 Kumite Classic is scheduled for Memorial Day Weekend at the Monroeville Convention Center.