Defence Lab Lynbrook New York- Lead Instructor – John Leabo
John Leabo began studying Martial Arts in New York City in 1996, his major focus has always been on Martial Arts that are both practical and effective for self defence. He began teaching Martial Arts in 2008 as one of the pioneering USA Instructors of the now disbanded Keysi Fighting Method (KFM). John began studying KFM when it first came to the United States and he completely immersed himself in the Art. He started a small KFM study group which thru word of mouth became so large that he had to switch to bigger facilities on three seperate occasions. In 2010 he opened up the current Lynbrook New York Training Facility along with his student and long time training partner Mike Simon and they have been passionately training “Adults Only” ever since. On October 26th 2011, after over 4 years of eating, breathing and living KFM, John was tested in Spain by the Founders of KFM (both Justo Dieguez and Andy Norman) and he along with Alan Baker were the “FIRST and ONLY” Amercians to ever be awarded the KFM Black Grade (Black Belt) by both men.
In November 2012, due to personal differences between the KFM Founders, KFM was disbanded and two new organizations were formed: “Defence Lab” under Andy Norman and “Keysi” under Justo Dieguez were established. John chose to continue his Martials Arts journey with Andy Norman and the Defence Lab.
In 2012, John was promoted to the position of North American Director of Training for Defence Lab which oversees all Instructor Training here in the USA, Canada & Mexico (Currently 32 Training Centers in the North America alone).
On May 31st 2014, John was promoted to 2nd Degree Black Belt, USA Instructor of the Year, and inducted into Defence Lab’s Team Storm which consists of the top Instructors of Defence Lab from around the World, a great honor within the International Organization.
In addition to his ongoing training directly with Defence Lab Founder Andy Norman, John has always sought out the finest Martial Arts Instructors in their particular area of expertise to crosstrain with and expand his knowledge. He has over 18 years of experience (since 1996), in a broad range of Martial Arts outside of KFM/Defence Lab which include but are “NOT” limited to: Balintawak Arnis Escrima (An Art specializing in the use of impact & cutting weapons under Grand Master Bobby Taboada/Master Zacarias Taco of the Phillipines), Knife Throwing (under Master Knife Thrower Ralph Thorn), Kick Boxing & Fighting Techniques (under 7 Time World KickBoxing Champion Paul Vizzio) and Muay Thai/Muay Boran (under 5 Time World Champion Coban Lookchaomaesaitong). He has also studied: Pekiti Tirsia Kali (under Tuhon Mike Popolizio/Tuhon Bill McGrath), Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (under Professor Rodrigo Gracie), Muay Thai (under Kru Phil Nurse) and Boxing (under former USBA Light Middleweight Champion Curtis Summit). John is also a Certified Personal Trainer from NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) and a former New York City Police Officer from the infamous 67th Precinct in East Flatbush, Brooklyn.
John is known for his intense, personable, and realistic teaching methods. His clientele come from all walks of life and include: Law Enforcement (Local, City, State & Federal), Security Professionals (Doorman, Executive Protection & Private Security), Business Professionals (Doctor’s, Lawyers, Accountants, etc), Blue Collar Workers, College Students, and Regular Moms & Dads that are all looking for realistic personal protection training. Due to his serious approach to Self Defence Training ,John does NOT teach children or minors. There are no ego’s, attitudes, or delusions of grandeur at the Training Center and everyone is treated “equally” with respect. All Adults are welcome.
Defence Lab Lynbrook New York – Instructor – Mike Simon
Mike Simon has been teaching alongside Instructor John Leabo since the beginning in 2008. In 2010 he opened the Lynbrook Training Facility with John and they have been passionately training “Adults Only” ever since. On May 4th, 2013 after over 6 years of dedicated hard training, Mike was awarded his 1st Degree Black Belt directly from Andy Norman and became the 3rd Defence Lab Black Belt on the North American Continent.
On May 31st 2014, Mike was promoted by Andy Norman into Defence Lab’s exclusive Team Storm which consists of the top Instructors of Defence Lab around the World, a great honor within the organization.
Mike also follows John’s Philosophy of “Crosstraining and Continued Self Development”. In addition to his vigorous Training at the Defence Lab, he also crosstrains in the Martial Arts of Balintawak Arnis (under GM Bobby Taboada/Master Zacarious Taco), KickBoxing & Fighting Techniques (under World Kick Boxing Champion Paul Vizzio), Knife Throwing (under Instructor Ralph Thorn) and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (under Alexandre “Soca” Freitas). He is an extremely disciplined and devoted Martial Artist who brings his well rounded abilities and real world experience into his superb teaching skills.