Peter "Big Pete" Papoutsis began his Karate training in 1986 under the direction of Sensei Ric Martin in Clearwater, Florida. Big Pete was promoted to Shodan (1st Degree Black Belt) by Sensei Frank Gorman in 1990, and to Nidan (2nd Degree) in 1992. Upon his return to the Chicago area in 1993, Big Pete braved monthly journeys to Sensei James Thompson's Dojo in Kalamazoo, Michigan before joining the Chicago Uechi-ryu Dojo.
Promoted to Sandan (3rd Degree) in 2000 by Hanshi George E. Mattson, Big Pete is currently Sensei Kahn's highest-ranking student. Always eager to assist others in their training, Big Pete can often be found leading classes through high-energy drills. In addition to his Uechi training, Big Pete is also skilled in the Filipino Martial Arts and Okinawan Kobudo (weapons), and has crossed-trained in grappling.
Big Pete is an attorney in private practice, specializing in personal injury law, as well as a former adjunct law professor at Northwestern Business College. Big Pete is also a history buff and an avid book collector. He resides in Downers Grove, Illinois with his wife Valerie and their two children.