Partners and Affiliates

Nova Self Defense

Lion’s Way Martial Arts is proud to partner with NOVA Self Defense to offer high quality self defense seminars and workshops. 

From Nova: “NOVA is a professional self-defense education and training company based out of the Seattle / Tacoma area.  We seek knowledge from various self-defense experts to give you the greatest perspective on how to prevent becoming a victim and provide you with the mindset and skills to prevent attacks from happening and prevail in the event of a violent encounter.”

“One of our first influences into behavioral self-protection was Tony Blauer & the S.P.E.A.R system.  We are grateful for what we learned in our time in SPEAR/PDR and attribute their methodology of thinking as being a motivating spark behind our drive to seek out and train from the best self defense instructors in the industry.  We have since delved into numerous self defense and martial arts programs and have greatly evolved what we teach today. The training we offer has changed significantly over time but our filter is the same, find useful concepts that we believe you can perform under stress and safely expose you to the stress, pressure, and impact of an attack to help give you real skills to get home safely. Our commitment to you is to continue to evolve and improve our training methods. Your safety is our ultimate goal and we will always strive to make each training event the best we have ever delivered.”

Freestyle Judo

Lion’s Way MArtial Arts is proud to currently being the only school in the Pacific North West to be a registered Freestyle Judo Club. 

Freestyle Judo recognizes that there is only one Judo, and that is the Kodokan Judo of Jigoro Kano. Judo is more than simply a sporting event; rather, it is a complete martial art that has adapted over the years to various fighting styles and techniques. Kodokan Judo includes techniques from wrestling, sambo, and of course modern jujitsu. However, over the past two decades many of these fighting styles were discouraged, and eventually penalized, in tournament Judo for reasons cited as “better television viewing”. Unfortunately, the resulting rule changes resembled Greco-Roman wrestling in a kimono, all the while professional Mixed Martial Arts grappling gained in television popularity.

Freestyle Judo brings back the “Golden Age” of Judo competition by embracing the fighting styles of wrestling, sambo, and modern jujitsu. Competitors who specialize in standing techniques can throw for ippon. Wrestlers who prefer lower body attacks can shoot for the legs. Grapplers who specialize in submissions have the time and flexibility to fight on the ground. All of these styles are good Judo.

A Judo coach observing a Freestyle Judo match for his first time remarked; “That looks just like Judo.” The answer was; “That’s because it is Judo. It’s just Judo the way it ought to be done.” Good Judo is good Judo and the rules of Freestyle Judo allow Judo athletes to use all the skills of Judo during a match.

Freestyle Judo is endorsed by Dr. AnnMaria De Mars, World Judo Champion, former president of the USJA, and mother of Ronda Rousey, UFC Champion and 2008 Olympic Judo Bronze Medalist, as the “Ultimate Judo Style for MMA”.

Freestyle Judo is an outgrowth or continuation of Judo as a sporting activity with adaptations in how a Judo match is scored making it an interesting and positive approach to Judo competition. It’s most definitely not our intention in any way replace the Kodokan Judo of Jigoro Kano. Judo, as a combat sport, has stood the test of time and whether people realize it or not, has been the technical and theoretical basis for many other combat sports as well.  There is only one Judo and that is the Kodokan Judo founded by Professor Jigoro Kano in 1882.  How people view a sporting event is directly affected by the rules of the game. Judo is no different. The rules of the sport of Judo have changed through the years, and as is the case with any physical activity, these changes in the contest rules affect how people teach, learn and train in Judo. Freestyle Judo’s rules offer athletes and coaches another opportunity to compete and display their skills in the sport of Judo.  Freestyle Judo is not intended to replace the existing rules of Judo; rather, Freestyle Judo offers more competitive opportunities for everyone who takes part.

Freestyle Judo is not a different “system” of Judo. Good Judo is good Judo. The rules of Freestyle Judo encourage all the skills and strategy of good Judo to be used.

Freestyle Judo uses a numerical point scoring system for both throwing and ground fighting. This provides an objective set of criteria for allowing the athletes (and not the referees) to determine the winner and loser in the match.

Freestyle Judo is Judo, the way your sensei did it.  If you are old enough to remember how Judo was done in the 1960s through 1980s, you will remember that Judo is really a combat sport. Freestyle Judo allows all the elements of good Judo to be used in a safe and fair way. No soft or rolling Ippons and the referees allow the athletes time to engage in newaza. Freestyle Judo is not for the faint of heart. It is what Judo was intended to be as a combat sport.

Freestyle Judo is the only form of sport Judo that includes a “no-gi” category. Basically, No-Gi Freestyle Judo is “Judo without a jacket.”

Amature Athletic Union

Lion’s Way Martial Arts is a member of the AAU, which is the controling body for Freestyle Judo.

The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) has been raising champions for more than a century. Since its inception in 1888, the AAU has set the standard for amateur sports in the United States with one goal in mind: “Sports For All, Forever.” It is more than a motto – it has been the focus and drive of AAU for 130 years and counting for sports in the United States and throughout the world.

One of the largest, non-profit, volunteer, multi-sport event organizations in the world, the AAU is dedicated exclusively to the promotion and development of amateur sports and physical fitness programs. The AAU philosophy of “Sports For All, Forever” is now shared by nearly 700,000 members and 150,000 volunteers across 35 sports programs and 55 U.S. districts.

The AAU was founded in 1888 to establish standards and uniformity in amateur sport. During its early years the AAU served as a leader in international sport representing the U.S. in the international sports federations. The AAU worked closely with the Olympic movement to prepare athletes for the Olympic games. In the late 1970’s, the AAU reshifted  itf focus and efforts to providing sports programs for all participants of all ages beginning at the grass roots level.

In 1996, the AAU joined forces with Walt Disney World. Later that year, the AAU relocated its national headquarters to Orlando, Florida becoming one of two anchor tenants at what is now ESPN Wide World of Sports® Complex (the Atlanta Braves being the other). More than 60 AAU national events are conducted annually at the ESPN Wide World of Sports® Complex – featuring a new 300,000 square foot arena, 9,500 seat baseball stadium, baseball quadraplex, two indoor fieldhouses that accommodate hardwood courts, a softball diamondplex, youth baseball fields, a track and field complex and multi-purpose performance fields.

Programs offered by the AAU include: AAU Sports Programs (41 sports), the AAU Junior Olympic Games, the largest multi-sport event in the country, AAU James E. Sullivan Award, given out to America’s top amateur athlete since 1930, and the AAU Gussie Crawford Lifetime Achievement Award, established in 2017 to recognize those athletes who have paved the way for great change in amateur sports.  The AAU Cares program was created in 2016 as a way for the AAU to give back to the communities in which it hosts events.   Our organization strives to provide not only athletic opportunities but also lessons in learning, life and social responsibility in the community. Along with AAU Cares, AAU Proud programs strive to provide athletic activities & sport skills to children aged 7 &  under in a non-competitive environment that promotes self-confidence while staying active.

ISFThe AAU is also a member of the International School Sport Federation (ISF), recognised by the International Olympic Committee, to promote the values and interests of education through sport.

American SAMBO Association

The ASA was the premier association dedicated to the advancement of SAMBO in the United States for many years. Through tournaments, training camps, seminars, demonstrations, coach development, team development, marketing, and cross-discipline affiliations, the American SAMBO Association worked to introduce and educate the American public to the benefits of SAMBO.

While no longer an active organization the ASA introduced an “American” version of SAMBO rules called Freestyle SAMBO that is still in use at many SAMBO clubs to this day.  We are proud to have been a part of the this group and continue to honor that legacy every day we train.