Defence Lab Lynbrook New York- Lead Instructor – John Leabo
John Leabo began his Martial Arts teaching journey as one of the pioneering Instructors of the now disbanded Keysi Fighting Method (KFM) here in the USA . John started studying KFM when it first came to the United States back in 2007 and he completely immersed himself in the Art. In 2008 he started a small KFM study group which thru word of mouth became bigger and bigger, forcing John to get larger and larger facilities. In 2010 he opened up the Lynbrook New York Training Facility along with his student and training partner Mike Simon and they have been passionately training “Adults Only” with great success 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.
Since 2012 John has held the position of North American Director for Defence Lab which oversees all Instructor Training here in the USA, Canada & Mexico ( Currently 21 Training Centers in North America alone). On May 31st 2014, John was Awarded his 2nd Degree Black Belt from Defence Lab Founder Andy Norman as well as USA Instructor of the Year. He was also promoted into Defence Lab’s exclusive Team Storm which consists of the top Instructors of Defence Lab from around the World, a great honor within the organization.
In addition to his ongoing Defence Lab training directly with 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 Defence Lab 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), Fighting & Sparring Techniques under Multiple World Kick Boxing Champion Paul Vizzio, and Knife Throwing (under Instructor Ralph Thorn). He has also studied in the past 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 the 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 extremely realistic teaching methods. His clientele range from all walks of life, from Law Enforcement and Security Professionals, to Doctor’s, Lawyers, College Students, Moms and Dads. There are no ego’s, attitudes or delusions of grandeur at the Training Facility and everyone is treated equally with respect. All 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), Fighting & Sparring Techniques under Multiple 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.