Karate Combat was founded to elevate and promote the sport of karate worldwide by creating the first professional, full-contact league.
The league consists of over 100 of the top Karateka in the world representing 30 countries. Developed by martial arts experts and top competitors, the fighting offers full-contact action in the Karate Combat Pit, using rules and rewards calibrated to encourage continuous action.
A premier brand, Karate Combat operates a professional full-contact karate league, sports equipment business, and a worldwide Dojo network. The firm is headquartered in New York with satellite offices in Calabasas and Budapest
Karate Combat viewers can access league content through the World’s Gateway to Karate, Karate.com, its branded iOS and Android mobile apps and IP-connected screens worldwide.
Sebastiaan "Bas" Rutten is a Dutch actor and retired mixed martial artist, kickboxer, and professional wrestler. He was a UFC Heavyweight Champion, a three-time King of Pancrase world champion, and finished his career on a 22 fight unbeaten streak (21 wins, 1 draw). Since retiring he has worked as a color commentator in several MMA organizations, hosted Inside MMA, and has appeared in numerous television shows, movies, and video games.
Sean Wheelock is the play by play commentator for Karate Combat. One of the best known and most experienced television broadcasters in combat sports, Wheelock has commentated for numerous major MMA promotions globally, including Bellator, Pride, Affliction, One Championship, M1, Victory, CFFC, and Titan. His commitment to combat sports extends far beyond his media work, as Wheelock is the National Chairman of the ABC’s MMA Rules and Regulations Committee, and serves as a governor-appointed Board Member of the Kansas Athletic Commission. He began working as a professional boxing referee is 1995, and is also a certified as an MMA referee, as well as an MMA and boxing judge. Additionally, Wheelock is an MMA and combat sports consultant, specializing in the areas of athletic commission sanctioning and regulation, rules, broadcast production, business development, and fighter recruitment. Wheelock has authored two books, one on the history of MMA and the other on Negro league baseball; as well as numerous articles for the websites of the British Broadcasting Corporation, Fox Sports, and Major League Soccer. His latest book, “Is This Legal?” written with Ultimate Fighting Championship creator Art Davie, is currently in pre-production as a major theatrical film through Inimitable Films, and is set to be released in 2019. Wheelock’s broadcasting and media work encompasses sports outside of MMA, as he has served as the play by play commentator on three Super Bowls (British Broadcasting Corp), the 2006 FIFA World Cup (Sirius XM Radio), and five tennis US Opens (US Optimum/world feed). He’s also commentated numerous boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu matches for a vast array of television networks, including ESPN (Friday Night Fights), CBS Sports Network, BeIn Sports, Fox Sports International, EuroSport, NextVR, UFC Fight Pass, and Star Sports Asia. Wheelock was the youngest television broadcaster in Major League Soccer’s inaugural season of 1996, and has since called numerous matches in the sport for ESPN, Fox Soccer Channel/Fox International, Rogers SportsNet (Canada), and MLS regional broadcasts. He is also a frequent contributor for the British Broadcasting Corporation’s World Service Radio, Radio Five, and Radio Scotland, focusing on professional sports in North America. Additionally for the British Broadcasting Corporation, Wheelock has written, narrated, and co-produced a variety of sports documentaries, with subjects ranging from America’s upset of England at the 1950 World Cup, to Qatar’s preparations to stage World Cup 2022, to Jack Dempsey’s 1923 defense of his World Heavyweight Title in Shelby, Montana. Active in combat sports since childhood, Wheelock currently trains in a wide variety fighting disciplines, including submission grappling (no gi), Sambo, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, and Muay Thai. A native Kansan, Wheelock lives in the Kansas City suburb of Shawnee, Kansas with his wife Kelly, originally of England, and their young daughters Ellee and Hadlee.
Michael DePietro co-founded and currently serves as Chairman & CEO of Karate Combat. Michael has spent the majority of his career spearheading and financing entrepreneurial ventures both at startups and larger financial organizations. Michael was a Portfolio Manager at Ellington Management Group and BHR Capital where he built new investment strategies focused on structured products and esoteric financial institutions. Previously, Michael served as Head of US Non-Agency Trading at Morgan Stanley where he was responsible for building a multibillion dollar trading franchise. Michael founded a number of startup ventures, most notably, a technology company that was acquired during the tech boom. Michael began his career at JP Morgan & Co. after graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Michael also holds an MBA concentrating in computational finance from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University.
Jamie Roberts Seltzer is a Vice President of Waverley Capital, a venture capital firm focused on investing in innovative and disruptive private companies in the media industry. Jamie has also been an angel investor in the media sector in several companies which include Philadelphia Union (MLS), Novel Effect, Snackable.AI, and Brand Value Growth. Jamie also serves as an advisor to Lifebeam Technologies, Ltd d.b.a Vi. Prior to joining Waverley Capital, Jamie co-founded and was CEO of Alpha Audiotronics d.b.a. “Skybuds” (acquired by Lifebeam Technologies, Ltd.). Skybuds was a pioneer in wireless audio with national distribution in retailers such as BestBuy, Equinox, etc. Prior to Skybuds, Jamie was an associate at Saban Capital Group, a private investment firm specializing in the media, entertainment, and communications industries. Earlier in his career, Jamie worked at UBS, Apollo Global Management, and Sling Media. Jamie earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics with a dual concentration in Finance and Operations & Information Management from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Robert Bryan co-founded and currently serves as COO of Karate Combat. Robert has spent the majority of his career investing in both public and private markets. Most recently, Robert founded and served as Interim CEO of MedSec which has established itself as the worldwide leader in cyber security. Prior to MedSec, Robert founded Metaval Capital after working at Cyrus Capital, Magnetar Capital, and BHR Capital. Robert oversaw investments in large public companies such as a top ten shareholding in Western Digital as well as smaller companies such as a controlling investment in Virgin America where he was instrumental in the airline’s initial funding. Robert began his career at Goldman Sachs after graduating summa cum laude with both a Bachelor of Applied Science in Electrical Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Science in Economics at The Wharton School.
Kim Hurwitz joined Karate Combat in September 2017 as Chief Marketing Officer. Kim was previously Chief Content Officer for FOTV Media Networks Inc., a global digital platform she grew to 1,000 channels that featured the eponymous TV network she programmed with carriage via worldwide OTT, Dish Network (USA) and Sky (UK). She also led the company’s global partnership, distribution and syndication efforts during her tenure from 2010-2017. From 2000 to 2005 Kim was Director of Marketing for DIRECTV overseeing PPV and Advanced Products where she managed a $500mm annual P&L, returning to the national telecommunications giant as Senior Manager of Marketing from 2009 to 2010. Past positions include Vice President of Marketing, Publicity and Distribution for MWG Media, National Director of Affiliate Relations for the Tube Music Network, Regional Marketing and Advanced Products Manager for Adelphia/TCI and President/Co-Founder of the SoCal PPV Cable Group where she led 33 cable MSOs to industry-leading pay per view buy rates. The recipient of numerous marketing awards and a frequent industry panelist, Kim studied Theater Arts at the University of California, Los Angeles and possesses more than 20 years’ experience building and monetizing leading entertainment platforms and brands.