Defence Lab Lynbrook New York- Lead Instructor – John Leabo
John Leabo was one of the pioneering Instructors of the now disbanded KFM in the United States. John was a graduate of the first USA Instructor Class back in 2007, when KFM first arrived from Europe to the United States. In 2008 he was the first to open an Academy in the USA that taught KFM “exclusively” and he has been passionately teaching and training students at the Lynbrook New York Training Center ever since.
On October 26, 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 be ever be awarded the KFM Black Grade (Black Belt) by both men.
On February 20th, 2012 John was promoted to the KFM “Elite” Team by the Founders and tasked with the training of “All Instructors” on the North American Continent (USA, Canada and Mexico).
On October 12th, 2012 due to personal differences between the KFM Founders, KFM was disbanded and two new organizations were formed. “The 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, where he continues his position as the Trainer for all Defence Lab Instructors on the North American Continent (USA, Canada & Mexico), as well as a member of the Defence Lab Alliance Team (An exclusive Team of the Top Defence Lab Instructors from around the World).
In addition to his Ongoing Defence Lab Training, John has always sought out the finest Martial Arts Instructors to crosstrain with and expand his knowledge and he continues to do so to this day. He has over 17 years of experience (since 1996), in a broad range of other Martial Arts which include but are “NOT” limited to: Balintawak Arnis (An Art specializing in Machete/Stick Fighting) under Grand Master Bobby Taboada/Master Zacarias Taco of the Phillipines, Knife Throwing under Instructor Ralph Thorn, Pekiti Tirsia Kali under Tuhon Mike Popolizio/Tuhon Bill McGrath, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Professor Rodrigo Gracie/Prof. Vitor Shaolin Ribeiro,Muay Thai under Kru Phil Nurse and Boxing under former USBA Light Middleweight Champion Curtis Summit. John is also a Certified Personal Trainer from the National Academy of Sports Medicine and a former New York City Police Officer from the infamous 67th Precinct in East Flatbush, Brooklyn New York.
John’s training methods are extremely realistic, intense, and always taught with the appropriate and legal “Use of Force”. His clientele range from Law Enforcement, Security Professionals and VIPs to Regular Civilians, Moms and Dads. There are no ego’s, attitudes, or delusions of grandeur at the Training Center and everyone is treated equally with respect. All are welcome.
Defence Lab Lynbrook New York – Instructor – Mike Simon
Mike Simon has been teaching alongside John since the beginning when the Training Center first opened in 2008. On May 4th, 2013 after over 6 years of dedicated training Mike was awarded his Black Grade in Defence Lab directly from Andy Norman becoming the 3rd Defence Lab Black Grade (Black Belt) Instructor on the North American Continent.
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 Master Zacarious Taco), 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.
Balintawak Instructor – Master Zacarias Taco
Master Zack was born in 1958 in Lebak, Sultan Kudaratin Mindanao, in the Southern Phillipines. In 1976 at the age of 18, Master Zacarius moved out of Mindanao and into the home of Balintawak Machete/Stick Fighting Grand Master Teovel Velez in Cebu where became a live in student under Grand Master Velez and his 3 sons: GM Pachito (Chito) Velez, Master Eddie Velez and Master Monie Velez. (Note: Grand Master Teovel Velez was also the Instructor to World Famous Grand Masters Bobby Taboada, Nene Gaabuyucan and Nick Elizar). In 1995 Master Zacarius came to the USA where he is currently the USA Chief Instructor under the Velez families WOTBAG Organization. In 2010, after research into the Balintawak Arnis Style, Defence Lab Instructor John Leabo tracked down and became a private closed door student of Master Zacarius. In 2013 Master Zacarius agreed to open the doors of Balintawak to the public and began teaching here at the Defence Lab Lynbrook Training Center. Instructor John Leabo received his Teaching Liscence in Balintawak Arnis on September 20th 2013 and he teaches alongside Master Zack on Saturdays at 12:30pm. Defence Lab Lynbrook is proud to offer Balintawak Arnis at our Training Center as it is an excellent compliment to Defence Lab’s Street Defence Solutions SDX Program.
DLab Instructor Mike Simon, Balintawak Grand Master Bobby Taboada, Master Zacarius Taco, DLab Instructor John Leabo