🥋Ranked #1 Karate School and Team In Pittsburgh
Team Kumite has been the most successful sport karate school team in the Pittsburgh region. The team was established in 2000 after a void was left from 1980s/1990s powerhouse X-Caliber National Team. X-Caliber’s were lead by Captain Mike Shurina (NASKA/NBL World Champion) and coached by Leonard Jackson.
X-Caliber was a Western Pennsylvania sport karate team that fought out of Pittsburgh. Members included Bill Viola Jr., Doug Slechan,Todd Humes, Masai Turner, and other Western PA All-Stars. It was the first Jr. Team from the region during the team fighting boom era of the 1980s and 1990s. It was the first time in Pittsburgh that Jr. competitors from separate schools joined to represent a one team. The result was magic…
The UPSETS: X-Caliber was a “local” Pittsburgh-only based team that took on all the National Powerhouses of the era… and won. They often fought hand picked teams with champions from around the United States. At the the NASKA Capitol Classics in Washington DC, X-Caliber upset the unbeaten Jr. SMASH team. SMASH was considered the elite team to beat since they were sponsored by Sport Karate Magazine. The SMASH team was made up #1 ranked kids in NASKA from USA and Canada. X-Caliber was the first team to ever beat them.
Then at the Ocean State Nationals in Rhode Island, X-Caliber upset the then unbeaten Metro All-Stars in Team Fighting. The word was out, Pittsburgh had some of the top Jr. competitors in the nation. The team was absorbed by the New York City based Metro-All Stars in the early 1990s coached by Hector Santiago. They became the most dominate Jr. team in sport karate history winning NASKA and NBL World Titles.
By the mid-1990s Metro had lost its sponsorship and the older players had moved on to start families. Pittsburgh was without a national team until 2000 when Kumite Internatinal was established. It was to pay respect to the road that X-Caliber had paved. Since its inception, “Team Kumite” has been a fixture at the largest events in North American Sport Karate.
The Team trains @ Allegheny Shotokan “Viola” Karate School, established by “Shihan” Bill Viola Sr. The school has been the most active tournament dojo in the Pittsburgh region and Western Pennsylvania for nearly 50 years. Through its sister program, The Norwin Ninjas, they are constantly searching for young new talent to work with. The Viola Family is internationally renowned, for coaching champions at all levels.
Our karate school staff has experience working with everyone from Olympic-level competitors to professional sports athletes from the NFL and MLB. “Home of National, International, and World Champions.”
The Viola Karate dojo has produced champions in Mixed Martial Arts MMA, Kickboxing, sport karate, and traditional karate.
A few recent Team Kumite Karate accomplishments:
- International Titles – Toronto
- Viola Legacy
- North American Open – Vegas
- US Open – Florida
- Diamond Award
- World Games
- World Titles
A few recent accomplishments on why they are the best karate school in Pittsburgh for sport karate include:
Team Kumite wins Pittsburgh’s Largest Martial Arts Championships
The Viola Karate School was honored as the “Top Team” at the 2017 Kumite Classic martial arts championships at the 18th annual Pittsburgh Fitness Expo on May 26-27 at Monroeville Convention Center.
The Kumite Classic is the region’s largest multi-sport convention, with over 100,000 square feet of competitions and participation from around the world.
Team Kumite Earn Pro Status #WAKO North American Open
Team Kumite, a Pittsburgh-based all-star travel karate school team, achieved Pro Status winning Open Weight Grand Champions at the North American Open at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.
“It is pretty exciting,” Team Kumite coach and president of Kumite Classic Entertainment Bill Viola Jr. said. “It is the first time anyone from the Pittsburgh area has earned these titles. We are very honored and excited to represent this region on a larger scale.”
Other winners came from Mexico, Great Britain, Quebec and two from California.
“There were only eight pro winners in the world, and three came from our school,” Viola said of the North Huntingdon-based facility. “I am super excited as a coach. We were very fortunate. We have a great squad and great group of kids that push each other. I am impressed but not surprised. They showed it all season long what their skill level is.”
Member of Team USAhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01XPVtbHYqw