Prof. Leonard Holifield has over 35 years of martial arts experience and is president and founder of I.A.E.P.A. [The International Academy of Executive Protection Agents], I.A.P.M.S.D.T [The International Academy of Police & Military Self Defense Tactics], and H.C.S.I [Holifield's Combat Systems International], organizations that offer specialized training in unarmed self defense for executive security, law enforcement, special operations and military personnel.
Considered one of the country’s leading experts in hand-to-hand combat, he is a published author and frequent lecturer on unarmed self-defense, executive protection and military combatives. During his military career he served as Chief Combatives Instructor to the United States Army from 1987 to 1997 and was instrumental in rewriting the Army’s manual on Combatives (FM 21-150).
While stationed in Seoul, Korea, he and his team spear-headed a hand-to-hand combat training program that was taught throughout 2nd Infantry Division and 8th Army Command. His positions included Nuclear-Biological-Chemical Specialist, Combat Lifesaver, Master Fitness Instructor, Instructor Certified “H” Identifier, Inmate Labor Supervisor, Tac-Fire Operations Specialist, Military Police Officer and CQC/USD trainer to, Airborne, Air Assault, Air Calvary, Infantry, Field Artillery, (SRT) Special Reaction Teams and Special Operations.
His work in the field of hand-to-hand combat has been featured on AFKN (Armed Forced Korean Network) and in numerous military publications, to include Stars & Stripes, Soldiers, Army Trainer, Korus, and Military Police magazines and has been recognized by top military leaders to include former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Colin Powell, former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Gordan R. Sullivan and former Sergeant Major of the Army – SMA Richard A. Kidd.
In March of 2000, he was voted Most Outstanding Self Defense Instructor by The World Martial Arts Hall of Fame and has received the coveted Executive Protection Award of Valor. A highly decorated veteran of the Gulf War, he was credited with capturing one of the first Iraqi POW’s during Operation Desert Storm. He is a defensive tactics instructor and graduate of ESI’s (Executive Security International) Advanced Executive Protection Program (AEP) and Certified Protection Specialist (CPS).
In addition to his extensive military background, he has trained in several martial art disciplines, including Judo, Jujitsu, Aikido, Hapkido, Combat Karate, Shotokan Karate, Ninjitsu, Hwarang do, Knife Fighting, Boxing and Grappling. He holds 10th degree, 6th degree, 3rd degree and 2nd degree black belts in Sikaron Karate, Hapkido, Judo and Karate, respectively.
He is the founder of “Fight-Flight or Freeze,” a national reality-based women’s self defense program and CETA (Close-Engagement Target Acquisition), a fighting system developed specifically for military, law enforcement and security personnel. He is the author of Close Quarter Combat, A Soldiers Guide To Hand-to-Hand Combat, [Paladin Press] and video artist for Panther Productions’ best selling Hand-to-Hand Combat series Close Quarter Combat. He has provided close protection for numerous celebrities and is currently serving as Executive Security Officer for the Alabama State Supreme Court and personnel bodyguard to the Chief Justice Roy Moore, aka The Ten Commandments Judge.