||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!
Successful! with the grand opening of its' new location at
Forest Blvd, New Orleans, La.
The New Orleans community is invited to join GrandMaster
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.