GrandMaster Eric "LIONMAN" O'Neal, Sr., a New Orleans Martial Arts Legend, is excited to announce the return of BLUE LION Karate Academy!

The BLUE LION tradition of service and excellence continues as it celebrates 30 years (1986 - 2016) of transforming students to be Strong! Confident! and Successful! with the grand opening of its' new location at 9954 Lake Forest Blvd, New Orleans, La.

The New Orleans community is invited to join GrandMaster O'Neal, distinguished
representatives from the N.O. City Council, Governor Edwards' office, New Orleans East Hospital and renowned BLUE LION students as they commemorate BLUE LION Karate Academy's grand opening on Saturday, May 28, 2016 starting at 10 a.m. at 9954 Lake Forest Blvd. Along with guest appearances from distinguished community and political figures, there will be karate demonstrations, DJ, music, bounce houses, facility tours, Mardi Gras Indians and more for a day filled with fun and festivity.

The return of BLUE LION Karate Academy marks a new era for the youth of New Orleans. GrandMaster O'Neal brings years of experience from working with youth throughout America and partnering with leading organizations in education, health, nutrition and fitness to New Orleans!

BLUE LION Karate Academy offers Martial Arts training, tutoring, yoga, computer training, entrepreneurial training, and a chess team. GrandMaster O'Neal's partnership with Lenovo Group and Louisiana's technology trailblazers will expand LIONMAN Foundation's STEM and STEAM programs to offer after-school activities 5 days a week ensuring that New Orleans' youth are prepared to compete in the 22nd Century of the 3rd Millennium. Students have already enrolled and classes are filling up! Come by today to see what BLUE LION has to offer. Mention "BLKA's 30th Anniversary" to receive one month of free classes.

GrandMaster O'Neal

Grand Master O'Neal is Founder and CEO of BLUE LION Karate Academy and LIONMAN Foundation, Inc. He's won the U.S.K.A. World Karate Championship title 7 times, brought home 2 gold medals as a member of Team USA at the Goodwill Games in Cancun, Mexico, and has been inducted into the International Karate Hall of Fame with the Legendary Bruce Lee. Understanding the correlation between the discipline he acquired from his own Martial Arts training to his success as a businessman, entrepreneur, world class fighter, author, mentor, motivator and philanthropist has lead GrandMaster O'Neal to dedicate his life to helping youth realize and achieve their own dreams using Martial Arts as the conduit. He also owned a successful chain of toy stores - Toys! Toys! And More Toys!

On May 29, 2016 GrandMaster O'Neal will receive the prestigious Asante' Crystal Award in honor of his contributions, leadership, and dedication to New Orleans' youth. The Asante' Foundation's mission is to "celebrate the positive contributions of our community, individuals and cultures through festivals an[d] awards recognition: including promotion, education, preservation and encouragement for continued growth of jazz, art, movies, music, and spoken word as well as to recognize and honor those who make positive contributions in our community outside of the arts."

Thirty years ago, Sensei O'Neal, as he was called back then, started BLUE LION Karate Academy in a garage with three little girls, instilling values, character, skills and most importantly discipline. BLUE LION quickly grew to become the largest and most successful Martial Arts school in the Southeast region with more than 37 locations and 30,000 students.

BLUE LION's A-1 Drill Team has performed for top events such as the New Orleans Saints and Hornets (now Pelicans) half time shows, Essence Music Festival and at the Municipal Auditorium (now the Mahalia Jackson Theater). BLUE LION students compete for a spot on the prominent A-1 Drill Team by following directions, paying attention, bringing in the highest academic and behavior grades, and mastering advanced Martial Arts choreography.

GrandMaster Jim "The Dragon" Kelly who starred with Bruce Lee in Enter The Dragon and one of GrandMaster O'Neal's childhood idols, Chuck Norris who starred in Return of The Dragon, rap stars LL Cool J, Dr. Dre, Easy E, Chuck D, and Professor Griff have been featured guest at BLUE LION events. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Mortal Combat, and Power Ranger cast members are only a few of the stars that have headlined BLUE LION tournaments and banquets.

Though a partnership and grant funding from the non-profit LIONMAN Foundation BLUE LION has provided Martial Arts instructions for kids in school-based enrichment programs such as the one at Arise Academy. Seeing the transformation of nearly 500 students at Arise has re-ignited GrandMaster O'Neal's passion for teaching.

LIONMAN Foundation's philanthropic work includes the donation of thousands of copies of The Legend Of LIONMAN And The Seven KURODOS Graphic Novel published by O'Neal Publishing Company to students at partnered elementary and middle schools all around the Country to promote literacy. The Foundation also provides for mentorship and tutoring of young students by college interns.

Since 2006 Grand Master O'Neal has been traveling and promoting health, fitness and education on a national level with LIONMAN Foundation. After Hurricane Katrina destroyed all of his karate schools and toy stores, GrandMaster O'Neal turned to developing partnerships. LIONMAN Foundation first partnered with Disney's Martial Arts Festival for The Legend Of LIONMAN And The Seven Young American Heroes 20 City Tour. Hundreds of young Martial Artist from around the Country competed for a chance to bring to life one of the Seven KURODOS during Disney's Martial Arts Festival in Anaheim, Ca.

The Legend Of LIONMAN And The Seven KURODOS is the first team of multi-cultural super-heroes using STEM, STEAM and Martial Arts to problem solve and bring about Universal Peace. The Seven KURODOS were created 20 years ago by GrandMaster O'Neal as part of an early Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Arts project that included Theology and Foreign Languages with each character representing a different area of study and Martial Arts abilities.

After a visit to the White House in 2011, GrandMaster O'Neal partnered with First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" initiative and the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition to help end the obesity epidemic in the United States with The Legend Of LIONMAN One Million Kick Challenge. GrandMaster O'Neal was astonished by the alarming rate of childhood obesity and vowed to be part of the solution. The President's Challenge Program and The Presidential Active Lifestyle Award also came on board to help "Kick Obesity Out Of America!"

More than one million people joined The Legend Of LIONMAN One Million Kick Challenge in its' first year. Members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and their families across America and abroad pledged to help "Kick Obesity Out Of America!" The following year more than 2.5 million kickers took the pledge to live a healthier lifestyle that included daily physical activity.

The Legend Of LIONMAN One Million Kick Challenge caught the attention of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and LIONMAN Foundation formed a partnership with Gates Foundation in 2014. GrandMaster O'Neal was invited to be the keynote speaker at the Gates' iPD Educational Fest in New Orleans where top educational leaders, supporters and administrators in America all helped to "Kick Out Obesity!"

The following year GrandMaster O'Neal addressed Congress on Capitol Hill with SHAPE America for Speak Out! Day. He also attended the 2015 SHAPE America National Convention and Expo in Seattle, WA. He was one of the first people the new president of SHAPE America, Dr. Jefferies, met with upon taking office. GrandMaster O'Neal also set up a powerhouse lunch between Gates Foundation and SHAPE America that has benefited even more American youth. The Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) is committed to ensuring all children have the opportunity to lead healthy, physically active lives. SHAPE America's mission is to advance professional practice and promote research related to health and physical education, physical activity, dance and sport.

Partnering with SHAPE America and SparkPE, the 4th Annual The Legend Of LIONMAN One Million Kick Challenge reached more than 20 million youth and adults in America, Japan, Guam, Europe and Australia. Since 1989 SPARK has been dedicated to creating, implementing and evaluating programs that promote lifelong wellness.

Eric "LIONMAN" O'Neal