Tag Archives: karate

WAKO – IOC Olympic Membership Kickboxing / Sport Karate

wako ico

WAKO  Kickboxing / Karate joins the IOC (International Olympic Committee)

wako kickboxing PA I am proud to announce that WAKO has officially joined the Olympic Family!  As director of WAKO Region 10 for the Untited States of America (which oversees Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, West Virgina, and Washington, DC) we are dedicated to helping train and field athletes for Olympic level competition. We have already seen great success at the Pan American Championships and World Championships for Team USA. The future is bright for sport karate in America.  –Bill Viola Jr.

wako olympics

wako ioc letter

IOC EB receives update on implementation of Athletes’ Declaration and other important issues

30 Nov 2018 -Olympic.org

The IOC Executive Board (EB) received updates on the endorsement of the Athletes’ Rights and Responsibilities Declaration and addressed key issues for International Federations and the Olympic Movement during the first day of its meeting in Tokyo.

An update on the implementation of the Athletes’ Rights and Responsibilities Declaration (Declaration) was given to the EB by Kirsty Coventry, Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission. After the official adoption of the Declaration at the IOC Session in October 2018, the Declaration continues to be expressly adopted and supported by sports organisations throughout the Olympic Movement as each of their congresses or general assemblies has been held.

Over the past few weeks, both the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) and the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) endorsed the Declaration at their General Assembly and Council meetings respectively.

At a continental level, representatives from more than 80 NOC Athletes’ Commissions at the PanAm Sports Athletes’ Forum in October and the Asian Athletes’ Forum in November fully supported the formation of the initiative and included the adoption of the Declaration as one of their Forum recommendations. Other athlete organisations to fully support the Declaration include the ANOC Athletes’ Commission, all five Continental Associations’ Athletes’ Commissions and the World Olympians Association. Others, like the Canadian Athletes’ Commission, have publicly expressed support.

On an International Federation level, the international Ski Federation (FIS) fully endorsed the Declaration at its autumn Council meeting, whilst the New Zealand NOC will begin the process of embedding the Declaration in its formal policies and processes.

Update on International Federations

The International Sambo Federation (FIAS), the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL), and the World Associations of Kickboxing Organisations (WAKO) were granted provisional IOC recognition for a period of three years by the EB. These three International Federations will now be able to receive funding from the IOC and can apply for development programmes, while full recognition has to be granted by the IOC Session.

The IOC Executive Board noted the very positive steps taken by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) to strengthen its anti-doping programme. The positive steps include the newly designed Tokyo 2020 qualification system, which links the number of quota places available per country to their history of doping and rewards clean sport; suspension and monitoring of nine national federations for up to one year each; the implementation of new strict anti-doping policies and procedures; the MoU between the IWF and ITA delegating remaining areas of its anti-doping programme throughout 2019; and no positive results to date from doping testing at the recent IWF World Championships.

At the same time, the IOC EB expressed its concern regarding the actions in allowing non-eligible athletes to participate in an exhibition at the recent IWF World Championships. The Board decided to continue to monitor the final report on the samples collected at the IWF World Championships as well as awaiting confirmation of a successful and smooth transition of key areas of the IWF anti-doping programme from the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport to the ITA as of January 2019. These elements will be further reviewed at the next EB meeting, with a view to the option of lifting the conditional inclusion in the sports programme of the Olympic Games Paris 2024.

Changes of Nationality

Changes of nationality for two athletes were also approved by the EB: Odile van AANHOLT (sailing) switched from Aruba to The Netherlands; and Brisa HENNESSY (surfing), from USA to Costa Rica.

Allocation of International Sports Events

The IOC EB decided to recommend to all IFs and other recognised sporting organisations that the allocation of international sports events to a country must include the necessary guarantees to ensure equal treatment for the participating athletes and sporting delegations. This is in accordance with the basic principles of autonomy and non-discrimination which govern the Olympic Movement.

Countries that will host international sporting events must guarantee these principles, and all international sports organisations concerned should not allocate any international sports event to a country that does not provide the necessary guarantees.

In this framework, the IOC EB took note with concern about the difficulties encountered by the Kosovan athletes to participate with full rights and without discrimination in some international sports competitions organised recently in Spain.

At the same time, the IOC EB welcomed the firm engagement from the Spanish Government to redress this situation, as expressed in a letter from the Foreign Minister to the Spanish NOC.
It guaranteed, in Spain, the participation of the athletes from Kosovo with all rights and no discrimination in relation to other athletes, in all competitions under IOC auspices –  this means all competitions organised by sports organisations recognised by the IOC.

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wako olympics

WAKO USA is the United States’ division of the World Association of Kickboxing Organizations and the governing body of Amateur kickboxing sport certified by Sport Accord and now as of 2018 a member of the IOC. WAKO holds a world championships every two years, with youth (18 and under) and adults (18–45) on separate years; only national teams are accepted. Each member country can present only one competitor in each weight class. Competitors are commonly the national champion of their weight class in that particular kickboxing style and many are also officially recognized by their National Olympic Committees or Ministry of Sports.

WAKO kickboxing was one of thirteen combat sports participating in the first ever World Combat Games which were held in Beijing, China under the patronage of the IOC and SportAccord in 2010. WAKO once again participated in the 2013 World Combat Games which were held in St. Petersburg Russia in October of 2013 under the patronage of the IOC and SportAccord. Three rule styles were involved at the Combat Games – Low Kick, Point Fighting, and Full Contact.

WAKO USA and WAKO PRO govern and sanction the sport of kickboxing in three rule styles that compete inside a boxing ring: Full Contact, Low Kick, and K-1. WAKO USA governs and supports martial arts competition which takes place on a matted floor in four styles: Point Fighting, Light Contact, Kick-Light, and Musical Forms. Every two years the WAKO World Championships brings together the best athletes from around the world to compete in each rule style. Each of WAKO’s 85 affiliated national federations can present only 1 competitor in each weight class and the WAKO World Championships determines who truly is the best of the best.

Post from Roy Baker:

WE DID IT: Today, one of our dreams have been realised. WAKO has been recognised by the IOC as a member provisionally, at the IOC Executive Committee meeting today in Tokyo. This is the biggest step in the history of our sport. Special thanks goes to Espen Lund, and the legal team Francesca Falsoni and Nikolaus Gstättner and of course Barbara Falsoni. I AM PROUD TO BE PART OF THIS TEAM. This was an extrodinary team alongside and supporting our past presidents, Georg F. Brückner, Ennio Falsoni and Borislav Pelevich who had the energy and vision. It has been a long and tough road and something positive that our sport deserves. Now we must move forward, stronger, united and with a single vision. I am so proud today, I feel i am going to burst. THANK YOU to everybody that supported us along the way. WE DID IT #WAKOIOC #ONEWAKO

Some highlights of Team USA Members from Region 10 representing at the PAN AM Championships in Mexico: Xander Eddy (Gold Medalist) 🥇🥋

Kickboxing Karate Gold Medal Pan American Championships

wako pan am

North Huntingdon 9-year-old claims international kickboxing title

 | SundayNov. 11, 2018, 10:33 p.m.

Xander Eddy might look like a normal student while he’s walking the halls of Sunset Valley Elementary School in North Huntingdon.

But he’s got a secret weapon – his hands and his feet.

Xander, short for Alexander, recently became the youngest American to ever win the Pan American Kickboxing Championships, held Oct. 23 to Oct. 28 in Riviera Maya, Mexico. The fourth-grader is still basking in the glow of his record-setting performance, as was evident Thursday night as he trained at Allegheny Shotokan Viola Karate in North Huntingdon.

“I knew I had a very good chance. I just didn’t know I’d make it as far as I did,” he said.

Xander, 9, defeated a young Guatemalan competitor to take the gold medal in the open weight class for Team USA. More than 30 countries in the Western Hemisphere were represented in the competition.

Xander dominated six rounds against top-ranked athletes from Chile, Puerto Rico and Mexico with a combined score of 30-3, said his sensei, Bill Viola Jr. After two rounds in the finals, the score was tied, forcing an additional round to determine the champion.

“(Xander) scored a sidekick to take the lead, and as time expired, he executed his patented ‘ax’ kick to win gold,” Viola said.

Teammate Luke Lokay, 15, of North Huntingdon, took bronze for Team USA.

Xander said he was surprised by the championship, but his dad wasn’t.

“Every tournament we go to, I’m just in awe,” his father, A.J. Eddy said. “I just watch him and the things that he does, and I’m speechless. He does so well – it amazes me.”

Xander started taking karate lessons when he was 4. It didn’t take long for his parents and his sensei to sense something special in his abilities.

“The thing that set Xander apart right away was his attitude — he would put that work ethic in that a lot kids wouldn’t,” said Viola, whose father, Bill Viola Sr., founded the karate studio in 1969 and still gives lessons.

Viola also cited Xander’s “natural athletic ability” and his support system, including his parents, A.J. and Dana Eddy.

xander eddy karate split  Xander trains at Viola Karate six days a week, mostly because he wants to be there. “I would say probably 90 percent of it is him,” A.J. Eddy said. “There may be a day within a month, at the most, where he might come home from school and say, ‘I don’t want to go to practice today.’ ”

He takes Tuesdays off. And when he’s not studying or training, he enjoys fishing, playing video games and hanging out with his friends.

Two months before the Mexico trip, Xander suffered a potentially career-ending injury when he shattered the growth plate in his foot while practicing. The injury affected his base leg, which is critical for kicking and movement.

Viola said Xander beat the odds through tenacity and extra training, ultimately making a full recovery in time for the Mexico tournament.

“He didn’t miss a class,” he said. “Little by little, he started showing signs of the old Xander. In the week prior, we pushed him hard. He peaked right at the right time.”

Xander said he now feels stronger than ever.

“I feel really confident with it now because (Viola) said it’s more stable and stronger than it was before I was hurt,” Xander said. “He worked with me on my kicks because I couldn’t balance really good on my foot. It was tough.”

In the weeks and months ahead, Xander has tournaments scheduled in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

“Other than that, he’s just a normal kid,” his father said.

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, shuba@tribweb.com or via Twitter @shuba_trib.

Xander is a martial wayist who studies at Allegheny Shotokan Viola Karate Dojo in Pittsburgh, PA.

North Huntingdon youth claims kickboxing gold medal at Pan American

championships

 | FridayNov. 9, 2018, 6:45 p.m.

A 9-year-old North Huntingdon boy is kicking his way toward the top of the martial arts world.

pittsburgh gold medal

Xander Eddy earned a gold medal for Team USA in the male open weight 9 years category at the World Association of Kickboxing Organizations Pan American championships Oct. 23-28 in Riviera Maya, Mexico.

He was one of 10 entries from four countries. Competitors from Guatemala and Mexico came in second and third.

Bill Viola Jr., Eddy’s sensei, or teacher, with Allegheny Shotokan Karate in North Huntingdon, said the next big step is the 2019 World Karate Commission Championships in Niagara Falls, N.Y.

“We are already training,” Viola said.

Eddy came back from a foot injury, which made him determined.

“I trained a lot harder,” he said.

Eddy, a Norwin fourth-grader who has been kickboxing for five years, said he is improving following up with his hands.

Started in Europe in 1976, kickboxing is a contact fighting sport that includes punches, as well as kicks.

Eddy was one of two Allegheny Shotokan Karate members who qualified at the WAKO USA Nationals in Feb. in Kansas City, Mo.

Luke Lokay, 16, of North Huntingdon, a Norwin sophomore, competed in the male under-63-kilogram.

pittsburgh karate champion

Viola said work ethic and attitude set Eddy and Lokay apart.

“They push each other with no ego,” Viola said. “They lead by example and inspire the rest of (the) students.

“Win or loss, they represent America with character. Their parents are hands-on and sacrifice a lot for them (to) compete.”

Lokay, whose father took him to his first class when he was 4, said his goal is to win the world championship.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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.

WHY EXHIBIT:

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.

NATIONAL AWARENESS:

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.

Kumite Classic

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.

NBL Player of the Year

Pittsburgh Martial Artist and Team Kumite Classic member Billy Leader receives the 2012 NBL Diamond Award Winner for Sport Karate “Player of the Year”

The 23rd Sport Karate World Games known internationally as the “Super Grands” was held 26th-31st in Buffalo New York. The tournament is sanctioned by the National Black Belt League (NBL) and Sport Karate International (SKIL) which are responsible for the largest sport karate ranking system and league for black belts in the world. The competition is the equivalent of the Super Bowl for martial arts with thousands of world class competitors representing North America, South America, and Europe each year at the Games. The competitor must compete at a series of regional and national events to earn a seed and qualify for the competition, a process similar to NCAA tournaments that is required to secure an invitation.


At the closing ceremonies of the World Games, the NBL Executive Office votes on a series of Hall of Fame categories that represent the entire league. For the first time in Pittsburgh history, a local resident was honored with the NBL Diamond “Player Award” The 21-year-old Billy Leader of North Huntingdon Township was inducted into the NBL Hall of Fame on December 31st 2012 and honored with this prestigious title. Leader’s coach Sensei Bill Viola Jr explains, “It is a special honor, an award for his entire body of work as a competitor. He was in contention with thousands of international competitors worldwide. This is huge, it puts Pittsburgh on the map when it comes to sport karate.” The Norwin Graduate and Penn State Junior has studied martial arts since he was three years old at the Allegheny Shotokan Karate School in atoledo Irwin, PA.
Allegheny Shotokan was founded in 1969 and since has produced more World Champions than any other school in the Pittsburgh region. They school as a rich tradition of representing Pennsylvania and the United States at the World Games dating back to the establishment of the league. Serving as captain of the Pittsburgh based all-star Team Kumite Classic, Leader defeated Andres Garcia of Guatemala (the reigning 6-time World Champion) in the Men’s Light Middleweight Continuous Sparring division en route to an appearance on the main stage for the finals. His brother, 19-year-old Dominic Leader, also advanced to the finals to face Hugo Mendoza of Mexico. Leader’s teammate also includes 20-year old Ali Viola who claimed her 4th continuous sparring World Title by defeating the top international competitors from Canada, Guatemala and Mexico in the finals. Viola had previously become the first female form Pittsburgh to win a World Title in 2006, 2008, and 2009 before winning the Adult title this year.
The Team Kumite Classic Roster also includes a trio of sisters; 14-year-old Bridget Chase, 13-year-old Hope Chase, 11-year old Bess Chase all of Imperial, PA and 17-year-old Connor Burns of North Huntingdon who was inactive due to a torn ACL two weeks prior to the tournament. All of the athletes compete in Black Belt Continuous Sparring, a hybrid of kickboxing which requires high levels of endurance and physical toughness.  Coach Viola was very proud of his team stating, “In all, we qualified six black belts who attended the World Games, and all six placed top three in the World. Its an incredible winning percentage, especially when you consider that our school is the only one in the Pittsburgh area to bring home a World Title. They are a special group of students and Billy [Leader] works harder than any other student I have ever had. Winning player of the year is well deserved.” Congrats Billy.

To see Billy or any of the Team Kumite members in action, mark your calendar for the 2013 Kumite Classic Karate Tournament in Pittsburgh at the Monroeville Convention Center May 24th-25th.

Where are they now

Our former champions are include International Model Nick Bateman… the face of Virgin Mobile.  The Kumite Classic has a rich tradition of talent who have made the “Big Time.” From movies to international model campaigns former World Champion Martial Artist Nick Bateman has risen to be an industry leader.  Watch the Virgin Mobile commercial below.

Karate 2020 Olympics

Traditional Karate Kumite makes a bid for the 2020 Olympics.  Bookmakers are publishing the first rankings of IOC shortlisted sports seeking inclusion in the 2020 Olympic Games program. According to these lists, Karate is the leading bid far before squash and baseball.

Breaking news… Karate is the odds-on favorite to make the 2020 Olympics!   

Karate is 1/2 to win the nomination ahead of squash at evens, baseball and softball at 5/4, wushu at 5/2, roller sports 8/1, sports climbing 10/1 and wakeboard 10/1. via British Bookmaker William Hill.

Karate officials claim that there is now more than 50 million participants worldwide who practice the sport.

  • KARATE IS A POPULAR COMBAT SPORT – Leader among sports federations and practitioners. Leader in broadcasting and media communication. When combat sport is mentioned, KARATE immediately jumps to mind.
  • KARATE BUILDS SOCIAL INTEGRATION – Lifelong practice of humility, mutual respect, rejection of violence, physical health and emotional control ensures that KARATE practitioners become good role models and ethical citizens.
  • KARATE IS FOR ALL – Karate is integrative, practiced worldwide in all cultures and nations. Disability is not an obstacle and a specific body type is not required.
  • Social Integration – One of the key elements that defines Karate is respect for others. Practitioners consider themselves equal whatever their social or economisc background, culture, language or gender may be.
  • Fairness and Humility – Karate practitioners are noble; not only do they learn to see the sport as a competition, they also consider it a lifelong practice in wich all are equal and help each other attain their goals.
  • Physical and Mental Balance – Karate practice teaches control of agressiveness and violence, overcoming shyness and improving confidence. Psychomotor capacity is improved through coordination of movement, synchronisation and reflexes.
  • Rejection of violence – Practising Karate implies learning to control one’s strength. This sport penalises contact. Violence is not part of Karate.
  • Overcoming Difficulties – Karate provides the will to overcome and to respect others. Practising Karate strengthens the spirit wich prepares people to deal with obstacles and difficulties in everyday life.

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.

Kumite Classic

kumite classic

The Kumite Classic is the mecca of sport martial arts, fitness and karate for the past two decades in Western PA.  Pittsburgh “City of Champions” is home of the prestigious Kumite Classic, a brand that is synonymous with athletic excellence recently honored with the Pittsburgh M.V.P. Award at the Willie Stargell Memorial Banquet. Over the past thirty years legends such as Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali have attended the banquet.

The Kumite Classic was home to the first BJJ Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament, championship / competition in the history of Pittsburgh.  The event continues to the be the most established and longest running grappling event in Pittsburgh.    The Kumite Classic is the leading promoter of karate tournaments, martial arts championships and all combat sports competitions in the Pittsburgh area.

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