Eric Umali

Founder / CEO / Managing Partner / Head Instructor

Originally from California's Central Coast, Eric has been running The Pit 702 (previously The Pit Vegas) full time since 2011. Eric is a 3rd degree Isshinryu Karate Black Belt, 3rd degree Hawaiian Kempo Black Belt, and 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Brown Belt. 

Over fifteen years ago, Eric was hired by John "The Pit Master" Hackleman to teach at The Pit Headquarters in Arroyo Grande, CA. Eric helped The Pit grow, working as Hackleman's Head Instructor. He earned a Pit Black Belt in 2004; enduring a rigorous testing in Hawaii under Hackleman and Pit Black Belts Rick Metzler and Chuck "The Ice Man" Liddell.

Eric was an avid competitor in statewide California sport karate tournaments, garnering many top finishes in over 10 years of active competition. In Las Vegas, he has competed in local MMA smokers/kickboxing bouts and has earned top finishes at Grappling X, NAGA, FightBlok, and NABJJF tournaments.

Always looking to improve, Eric has evolved The Pit's Hawaiian Kempo lessons into a well rounded curriculum that soundly integrates striking and grappling for a full mixed martial arts experience. In addition, he has upgraded The Pit's long standing, old school, CrossPIT program by the creation of the Blitz, Strong, and Pit Mitts classes.

With these overhauls in both Hawaiian Kempo and CrossPIT, Eric has allowed the general public to improve their strength and conditioning, learn integrated stand up and ground self defense, in dynamic programs which cater to all experience and fitness levels in a safe and friendly environment. 

Prior to moving to Henderson, Eric worked in Los Angeles as a Film and Television Development Executive for over six years and has a Bachelor's in Film Production from Cal State University Northridge. He also is Co-Owner of 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Downtown Las Vegas, with Casey Halstead. When not training, Eric enjoys live music, various entrepreneurial endeavors, and exploiting his Maltese Shih Tzu, TinaFey, for altruistic / comedic purposes. 


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