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With over 100 years of combined experience, we bring a wide variety of talents to this organization.  We have been students, instructors, master instructors, mentors, competitors, and coaches while managing several successful martial arts organizations around the country.  We have strived to bring the best instuctors in the area under one roof.


Master Darius Pfeifer

Since as young as 8 years old Darius Pfeifer has practiced in the martial arts. Getting his start at a young age practicing Hapkido and Judo he later began his training in his teens at the long standing Yong Hong Karate Institute in Woodstock IL where he received his black belt In Tae Kwon Do in 1990. He continued his training in Tae Kwon Do as well as a variety of other martial arts for the last 20 years. He currently holds the rank of Master  through Kukkiwon (World TaeKwondo) 

 Since 2008 he has been the co owner of Lions Martial Arts Academy and has been teaching martial arts to his many students.


Master Jeanette Pfeifer

Jeanette Pfeifer is a certified Master through Kukkiwon (World Taekwondo) and  leads the Youth and Adult Martial Arts classes at Lions. Students gain confidence and self-esteem as they learn how to focus & concentrate, increase motor skills, coordination, and overall fitness. She creates a positive atmosphere using modern self defense techniques to teach important life skills such as respect, discipline, and self control. Master Jeanette has been teaching children for over 12 years and excels with them from toddlers to teens.  She has also taught after school programs in the Grayslake area for over 10 years and has received recognition for her community service.


Guru Edie Mesina

Edie’s martial arts journey began in her home city of Cebu, a place situated in the central region of the Philippines and home to some of the country’s great Eskrimadores.

Her intense yearning to learn the art of Eskrima, also popularly known as Arnis or Kali made her withstand the rigorous training at the world famous Doce Pares Club under the guidance of the Canetes – Supreme Grandmaster Ciriaco “Cacoy” Canete, Grandmaster Felimon “Momoy” Canete, Supreme Grandmaster Dionisio “Diony” Canete and Grandmaster Eulogio “Yuling” Canete. Doce Pares awakened her martial spirit by introducing her not only to her native art of Eskrima but also to the art of Judo and Aikido. It was during one of those training sessions that she met Grandmaster Bonifacio “Loloy” Uy, the former sparring partner of Supreme Grandmaster Cacoy and the founder of BDU Eskrima System. That brief encounter led to an invitation to train with Grandmaster Loloy.

Her one on one training sessions with Grandmaster Loloy polished her skills and deepened her understanding of the martial arts. With her sight set on the World Championships, Grandmaster Loloy continued to challenge her and pushed her limits in training. After a successful shot at the World Championships, Edie was pushed into teaching when asked to form a team to compete in a series of local and national tournaments to scout for new talents for the Philippine Team. While training and coaching a championship team, she discovered a new passion- a passion that led her to teach countless men, women and children the art of Eskrima, train and motivate them to make the best of the gifts that they’re given.


Sensei Stefano Loffredo

In 1986 while he was still a teenager, he had a unique opportunity to train directly under a Green Beret  special forces unit stationed in Illinois until he graduated High School. After that experience, he searched for another outlet for his youthful appetite of elite martial training and found it with Charles Tseng Sensei a (Rokudan 6th degree black belt) in Aikido who is Chief Instructor of and founder the Lake County Aikikai -and Lynn Philyaw Sensei ( 7th degree black belt)  Chief Instructor in Kenpo Karate.Being exposed to these incredibly gifted men, and training diligently under the two masters, naturally made a huge impact on his training perspective of the martial arts both technically and spiritually. He was fortunate enough to be able to be influenced positively by both  (hard linear and fluid circular) and it shows in his techniques and unique form today.He started his training on the path of Aikido in 1990, and attained his Shodan (Black Belt) Aikido in 1995.  After which he has taught Aikido at the Collage of Lake County along with Women's Self defense courses. He continues his love and pursuit for the art by consistent training and refining of techniques, and by attending martial arts seminars across the country.Stefano Loffredo Sensei was brought through the ranks in a traditional dojo environment and maintains the virtues that environment has offered and has been passed down for centuries."The purpose of training is to tighten the slack, toughen the body and polish the spirit (The founder of Aikido- Morihei Ueshiba)

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