Category Archives: Team Kumite


Congrats to Team Kumite!  From our first timers to our black belts… I am so proud of all the Allegheny Shotokan students. 23 team members strong signed up for the tourney, and we made allot of noise!  We had more fighters represented on stage than any other team, and really showcased continuous sparring skill. I also wanted to thank all the coaches and parents who helped make the weekend a success. This is a great team, and it was a great team effort.  Keep up the good work. Next stop, Grand Slam Open in Virginia.

Pictured left to right (back): Liz Leasbuerg, Dominic Leader, Rachael Bartuska, Nick Kosan.  (middle) Raun Churchfield, Luke Lokay, Gabriel Anthony, Sara Russell, Cameron Klos. (front sitting) Ryan Frankovic, Colten Worbak, Ethan Zontek, Dean Crissman, Parker O’Shell 

Team Kumite Wins SMAC Titles

North Huntingdon, PA — March 13th, 2012

The 2012 SMAC Internationals were held March 10-11th in Niagara Falls, New York part of the National Black Belt League’s National Can-Am Conference.  The  competition showcased athletes from across North America and serves as a stepping stone for the NBL World Games held annually over New Years. Team Kumite is comprised of the regions top all-star karate competitors. The members all secured seeds for the year end championship by placing in the top of their divisions.

2010 World Champion Dominic Leader made a successful debut as an adult 18-34 class by defeating the reigning World Champion in the new weight class. Both Dominic and his older brother Billy notched impressive team victories in the finals.  In all, Team Kumite had more fighters earn a place in the finals than any other team represented.

23 team members competed at the New York competition including 5 students from the Norwin Ninjas class (4-7 year olds) and 18 from Allegheny Shotokan Karate. The Team Kumite trains under the supervision of Bill Viola Jr.  He is the instructor at the Allegheny Shotokan Karate Club and Norwin Ninjas based in North Huntingdon.


Homecoming King

Team Kumite Member Dominic Leader was recently crowned 2011 Norwin Homecoming King.

Only a handful of Western Pennsylvania athletes have claimed a sport karate world title.  Norwin junior Dominic Leader not only claimed his first world title, but he did so with an undefeated record. Leader won every match at every competition for the 2010 season, cumulating with a sweep of his division at the 2010 World Games in Sacramento, Calif., over the winter break. The games are the equivalent to the Super Bowl for martial arts, with more than 2,000 world-class athletes from across North America, South America, Africa, Asia and Europe battling for world titles. Leader has excelled over the past few seasons in a competitive division, but 2010 was the year he made history. The 165-pound weight class continuous sparring championship is a modified version of kickboxing that requires an extreme amount of endurance and physical toughness.

Leader defeated contenders from Canada, Mexico and U.S. leading up to his World Games bouts. In the semifinals, he faced the highly favored Juan Pablo Santiago of Guatemala, the reigning world champion. In 2009, Leader lost to Santiago in the finals. Four inches taller and visibly stronger, Leader overwhelmed his rival and unleashed an offensive attack to win by a unanimous decision and advance to the double-elimination finals.

During the finals, he faced Curtis Fresh of El Paso, Texas. After four rounds, Leader was named world champion and brought home Pittsburgh’s only world title in 2010. “I couldn’t have done it without my training partner and older brother, Billy,” the champion said. Billy Leader also earned a spot in the World Games finals, only to be hampered by injuries that have plagued him throughout the season. He was not medically cleared to finish the final fight and was awarded second place in the 143-pound weight class.

The Leader brothers are coached by Bill Viola, head instructor at Allegheny Shotokan Karate and Norwin Ninjas in North Huntingdon. Dominic Leader joins an exclusive list of NBL Karate World Champions from Pittsburgh that includes Ali Viola, Jose Rivera and Terrence Tubio. All of the former champions are teammates of Leader, making Team Kumite the only NBL World Champions in the region’s history.

World Champions

Dom Leader Kumite Classic

Allegheny Shotokan is the home of Team Kumite, an all-star travel team. The dojo is the most successful sport karate school in the Pittsburgh region casino producing the only NBL World Champions in the past decade including; 3x World Champion Terrance Tubio, 3x World Champion Alison Viola, World Champion Jose Rivera, and most recently 2010 World Champion Dominic Leader.

A Spooktacular Day

Congrats for winning the karate competition and the costume contest! Sara Russell won 1st place in sparring and won the most “Spooktacular Costume” award.

The 2011 Spooktacular Martial Arts Championship was held October 22nd, in Millersburg, Ohio. The karate event was sanctioned by the National Black Belt League…showcasing competitors from across the East Coast, including Team Kumite who represents the Pittsburgh area.

Representing the Allegheny Shotokan Karate School and Team Kumite of North Huntingdon were Hope Chase (1st place 11-12 year old Jr. Black Belt) Bess Chase (1st place 9-10 year old Jr. Black Belt) Bridgit Chase (1st Place 13-14 year old Jr. Black Belt) Luke Lokay (1st place 8-9 year old novice) Nick Kosan (3rd place 12-13 year old advanced boys), Cameron Klos (2nd place 10-11 year old advanced boys), Sara Russell (1st place 10-11 year old girls), Gabriel Anthony (1st place 8-9 year old novice), Colton Wobrak 4th place six & under beginners), Liz Leaseburg (2nd Place 11-12 girls novice).

The Spooktacular was the last opportunity for competitors to gain a seed into the 2011 Sport Karate World Games. Norwin Senior, Dominic Leader, is the defending 2010 World Champion for the continuous contact and the only World Champion from Western Pennsylvania last year. Earning acceptance to compete and join Leader at the World Games are Bess, Hope, and Bridgit Chase.

The team will complete it’s season by attending the annual Laurel State Karate Championships held December 10th at the White Oak Athletic Association. The event, sanctioned by the Pennsylvania Karate Rating Association, is recognized as the oldest running karate championship in the Central Westmoreland area, showcasing the region’s top talent for over 30 years.

Mon Valley Champs

The 2011 Mon Valley Open Martial Arts Championships was held September 17th at the Joe Montana Gymnasium, Charleroi, PA. The karate event was sanctioned by the Professional Karate Commission and showcased competitors from the tri-state area.

Representing the Allegheny Shotokan Karate School of North Huntingdon were Nick Kosan (1st place 12-13 year old advanced boys), Cameron Klos (1st place 10-11 year old advanced boys), Sara Russell mobile casino (1st place 10-11 year old girls), Rachael Bartuska (1st place 12-13 advanced girls), Gabriel Anthony (1st place 8-9 year old advanced), Luke Lokay (2nd place 8-9 year old advanced), Liz Leaseburg (1st Place 11-12 girls novice). The team will travel to Millersburg, Ohio next month to compete in the National Black Belt League’s Spooktacular Marital Arts Championship. The NBL sponsors the Sport Karate World Games held in Sacramento California.