KFMG Podcast S05 Episode 63: Benny “The Jet” Urquidez

Posted in Podcasts by - October 19, 2020
KFMG Podcast S05 Episode 63: Benny “The Jet” Urquidez

“I always thought I was a better teacher than a fighter.”

Martial arts legend Benny “The Jet” Urquidez was born into a fighting family. His father was a boxer; his mother, a professional wrestler. The second youngest of nine siblings, Benny had to fight to be heard, adapting quickly to the martial arts until, by the age of 14, he had received the first of many black belts across a number of different fighting styles. In the 1970s, he pioneered full-contact karate, which was later termed ‘American kickboxing’, paving the way for the sport in the USA. He remained undefeated throughout his 27-year professional martial arts career, and is the only fighter to have retained six world titles across five weight divisions. On top of all this, he has also enjoyed great success in the film world as an actor, fight choreographer and trainer, coaching huge stars like John Cusack, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Patrick Swayze. His groundbreaking work with Jackie Chan in the Hong Kong action comedies Wheels on Meals (1984) and Dragons Forever (1988) is considered by many as one of the best displays of hard-hitting, breathtaking fight choreography ever captured on celluloid. His intense, intimidating presence on-screen is in direct contrast to his humble, open, and spiritual persona in real life, as demonstrated in this conversation, recorded in April 2020 at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Benny has always seen sparring as an opportunity to learn and pass on new skills. His own style, Ukidokan, means ‘way of life’, accurately summing up his own philosophical approach to the martial arts. Its a road he continues to travel and, now aged 68, he still shows no sign of slowing down. Follow Benny Urquidez on Instagram and Facebook, and visit his website, bennythejet.com. Visit Benny’s website to find links to his fights (via his YouTube channel) and purchase his online training Ukidokan curriculum, as well as find merchandise, books, t-shirts, autographed photos and more.

Patrick Swayze and Benny “The Jet” Urquidez, in training for Road House (1989).

Benny Urquidez and Jean-Claude Van Damme filming Street Fighter (1994).

John Cusack, Benny Urquidez and Jackie Chan working on Dragon Blade (2015).

Benny Urquidez being inducted into the International Sports Hall of Fame by Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2019.

This post was written by
Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a keyboard in London, UK.

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