At a very early age, Leon Nelson began training with 10th Degree Black Belt John Izzo of John Izzo Okinawan Karate and Kenpo in Schenectady, NY. He earned a three-stripe brown belt in Kung Fu and Kenpo.
In high school, he trained at Faragon’s Karate and Kickboxing in Albany, NY where he studied under World Kickboxing Champion Andy Faragon, a 4th degree black belt in Karate and Kickboxing. Leon traveled back and forth from the State University of Canton where he was attending college to Andy’s gym in Albany where he achieved his 1st degree black belt. He became one of Andy’s top instructors and eventually earned his 2nd degree black belt.
In 2002, Leon moved to North Carolina where he worked with disabled adults and children in Chapel Hill. In 2006, he started a new career as a Holly Spring’s police officer, where he’s also a defensive tactics instructor for his department. Leon was a State and federally certified Defensive Tactics instructor.
Leon continued training in American Kickboxing and is currently a 3rd degree black belt in American Karate and Kickboxing under Sensei John Maynard. He’s also a certified Law Enforcement Offensive Strategic Body Defense instructor under Sensei Maynard. Additionally, Leon is currently a 3-stripe blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. In 2021, Leon received his brown belt in Shidokan Karate under Sensei Richard Trammell.
Leon’s passion for the sport of kickboxing is evident the minute you see him teach or talk about the sport.