> USA karate story : Chuck Norris - Joe Lewis - Bill Wallace: Benny "The Jet" Urquidez, simply gifted

jeudi 3 avril 2008

Benny "The Jet" Urquidez, simply gifted

Introduction :

For once, this article is suffering more of overabundance of data than of a lack of sources. Despite this, it's always very difficult to analyse information and transform them into certainties. In addition, many fights of Benny Urquidez have been the subject of controversy. Some of them will be mentioned in this article, with a reference to an interview of "The Jet", who describes his version of the events.

Benny "The Jet" Urquidez was born June 20, 1952 in Los Angeles / USA. He was the second of a family of 9 children. His mother Lupe was a wrestler, known as Crazy-Linda, and his father Arnold was a boxer. Benny started boxing at age of 5 and martial arts with 8. He received his black belt in Karate with 14.

Karate :

1967-1972 :

One article in october 1967 Black-Belt issue mentioned the second place of Benny Urquidez (then aged 15) at the All-Star Championships in Los Angeles, in 1967. He was then a white belt and lost to Russell Koontz.

In 1970, during the 7th Annual Internationals in Long Beach, organized by Ed Parker, Benny Urquidez is second of the lightweights, behind Byong Yu.

In 1972, Benny Urquidez fights in the Santa Monica Kempo Open and loses against Brian Strian.

En 1972, Benny Urquidez beats Fred Alegria and Moomijan for the lightweight title ,at the Las Vegas Grand Title. During the tournament for the Grand Champion, Benny Urquidez lost against John Natividad, due to a left ridge hand. Benny Urquidez had already met Natividad before, and each time the score had been close.

Urquidez beats Datu Lowell Manabe, of the Hawaii team.

1973 :

This section is based on the December 1973 Black Belt issue. In August 1973, during the Internationals Karate Championships in Long Beach, organized by Ed Parker, he fights against John Natividad. He received the same premium as the winner, USD 2'500 .--. This battle is considered the best fight ever in points karate. John Natividad, a native of Hawaii, practices Tang Soo Do and is a student of Chuck Norris. Natividad had already won numerous tournaments before this victory.

Benny Urquidez beats Kraig Smith by 3-0 and wins the lightweights title. John Natividad def Choo Choo Mayes for the light-heavyweights title. For the Grand Champion title, Natividad beats Ralph Algegria by 2-0 and Benny Urquidez defeats Bob Burbidge, by 3-2. In the finals, John Natividad wins the first round against Benny Urquidez by 3-2. In the second round, John Natividad received a penalty for a reverse punch, with face contact. Urquidez leads by 6-4 at the end of the 2nd round. In the 3rd round, a spinning back kick ? from Benny Urquidez struck Natividad squarely in the jaw. Urquidez is penalized. At the end of the 3rd round, the fighters are at 12-12. During the overtime, Natividad gives a reverse punch and win the match by 13-12.

Benny Urquidez vs John Natividad
Benny Urquidez John Natividad
Benny Urquidez vs John Natividad
Benny Urquidez vs John NatividadBenny Urquidez (black jacket) vs John Natividad, Internationals, Long Beach, 1973.

In 1973, Benny Urquidez wins Mountains Karate Championships.

1974 :

During the 1974 edition of the Mountains Karate Championships, he beats Buch Batie for the Grand Champion and wins twice USD 500 .--.

In 1974, during the Ed Parker's Internationals d'Ed Parker, Benny finished in the third place, in the lightweights division.

That same year, during the Western Pro/Am Karate Championships in Oakland/CA, Benny Urquidez beats Cornin, before losing against Kurban. At this time, the newspapers call him Benny "The Spitfire".

In 1974, he participates with Ed Parker, in a journey in England and Belgium. A movie was filmed during this trip, with the name "The New Gladiators". A battle is shown between Urquidez and Roy Kurban. Below are the various excerpts: http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=9mA16yBHcws and http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=85NtSLSt6LM&feature=related

In may 1974, during the PAWAK tournament, Benny Urquidez lost to Joe Lewis, 4-1.

Tommy Lee's World Series of Martial Arts Championships :

It is a special article about the WSMAC in this blog.

In ca 1974, Bobby Chacon trained in boxing with Bobby Chacon (super-featherweights World champion) and Randy Shields (welter Nord American champion)

November 15th, 1974, Benny Urquidez is involved in the World Series of Martial Arts Championships, in Hawaii, organized by Tommy Lee, a surfer from Asia. This tournament has no weight divisions and full-contact is authorized. The tournament takes place over 2 days. It was a ring. This open championship, organized by Tommy Lee, brings together 58 participants, from many sort of martial arts. Elbow and knee blows are allowed. Fighters wear protections. Urquidez beats Bill Rosehill by ko in the third round, Futi Semanu by ko in the second, Tom Mossman in the second and Burnis White by ko in the second round.

In finals, Urquidez beats Goodson in 3 rounds, on points and not by ko in the 4th, as sometimes mentioned, videos http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=yblJ9VqHW8w. Thanks to Shawn for his WSMAC videos.

The winner receives $ 5,000 .--. It is sometimes mentioned he had retained his title 3 times after his tournament.

Benny Urquidez (left) vs Dana Goodson

Dana Goodson is a practitioner of Kempo Karate. After this tournament, he also fights in boxing (4 wins, 1 draw, 1 defeat from 1978 to 1983), in thai-boxing, as well as in full-contact. He beats Scott Ross, in a non-title fight, before losing against Maurice Smith, during a title fight.

1975 :

May 16th, 1975, in Los Angeles, at the second edition of the WSMAC, Urquidez beats Roland Talton, BKF, by ko in the 2nd, and Bill Henderson (Kung-Fu), also by ko in the 2nd .

June 21st, 1975, in Hawaii, during the third edition of Tommy Lee's WSMAC, in 1975, Benny Urquidez beats Sanun Plypoolsup, for injury in the 2nd round. For the finals of the lightweights, Benny Urquidez beats Burnis White by tko in the 2nd. White has injured his foot.

In October 1975, again for WSMAC, Benny Urquidez beats Bill Henderson by ko in the 2nd, in Los Angeles. We are not sure of this fight.

In his book "King of the Ring", published in 1995, by Pro Action Publishing, Benny Urquidez mentions having beaten Sanun Plypoolsup in Hawaii in May 1975 and Ken Riley in June 1975, also in Hawaii. The fights and the dates of WSMAC are not identical to those mentioned in the Oriental Fighting Arts of November 1975.

Full-Contact and Kick-Boxing :

On May 10th, 1975, in New York, Aaron Banks organizes 4 championships of the world, crowned by the WPKO. The winners are Joe Hess/NY in the heavyweights, Fred Miller/NY in the light heavyweights, Kasim Dubar/NY in the middleweights and Benny Urquidez/Los Angeles in the lightweights. This show was sold to ABC Wide World of Sport, creating a conflict with the PKA. The latter has also sold its first product at this channel. Urquidez beats Tayari Casel. The latter practice Kung-Fu. It was his first fight in full-contact. Casel spend part of the fight on the ground, from which he tries to strike Urquidez. In this blog, a special article is about this tournament.

Thereafter, Urquidez beats Marcelino Torres by ko in the 1st round, during a match between the USA and Puerto-Rico.

The PKA recognized for a certain period Urquidez as one of its champions, before being dismiss for having participated in various other battles, without authorization.

Benny fought for the NKL National Karate League of Chuck Norris, winning the title of the lightweights, before NKL became later the WKA. In NKL, Benny Urquidez won many battles scheduled for 3 or 5 rounds.

On the May 28th 1975, he beats Eddie Andujar, on points in Los Angeles.

In his book "King of the Ring", Benny Urquidez mentions a NKL fight which took place in December 1975, in Detroit. Urquidez won by ko in the 2nd round. He said he was first disqualified for having put his opponent ko with 4 fist punches. The rules stated a kick for every 3 punches. The match was aired on ABC Sports Reports. The decision was changed later by the NKL, to a victory for Benny Urquidez. The name of his opponent is not mentioned.

1976 :

In June 1976, he beats a second time Sanun Plypollsup, in Dallas, by decision in the 8th round, always for the WSMAC.

Special message :

If you have any information (results, photos, etc.) about Tommy Lee's World Series of Martial Arts, in 1974, 1975 and 1976, thank you very much for sending me this data.

1977 :

Howard Hanson creates WKA and confronts the Japanese kick-boxing champions to Americans full-contact fighters. Benny Urquidez fights for WKA since 1977, after the PKA had removed his title. The WKA allows shots in the legs, unlike the PKA.

Urquidez does not hesitate to meet experienced fighters from kick-boxing or thai-boxing, unlike the other full-contact precursors.

Controversy :

Many fights of Benny Urquidez are the subject of controversy, about their results.

In 1977, he meets Narongnoi Kiatbandit, practising Thai-Boxing. This WKA fight, in Los Angeles, is recorded as a No-Contest in 9 rounds. According to some sources, Kiatbandit has won the fight, while Benny Urquidez claims to have won this match. In his book, he said that the officials had fear of a riot in the Arena (Benny was ahead on points), and gave a No-Contest Decision. John Corcoran confirmed the riot in the Arena, in his book "The Original Martial Arts Encyclopedia" but doesn't mention a decision to avoid the riot.

The fight can be found under these links : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kF6CcHEXWlM, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojfJJXAy1CM, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OwhhB3PVWo We can see that both fighters are counted after a trip to the canvas and that the knee blows were banned, given the warnings received by Kiatbandit. Unfortunately, the decision of the judges is not filmed, even if we notice that objects are thrown on the canvas from the attendance.

According to the newspaper August 1977 Karate Illustrated, the knees were banned, but the judges evidently did not take off points from (name used in this newspaper) Narong Noi's total score, until the 7th round. At this point, Noi send Urquidez to the canvas with a knee and the referee threatened to disqualify the Thai. Noi's handlers thought Benny was given too much time and started to pull Noi from the ring in protest.

The referee was Joey Orbillo, former boxer and former coach of Joe Lewis. Before the last round, Urquidez leads with 113-110 and the fight ends with 125-125, after the Urquidez knock down in the final seconds. As the riot began in the arena between various communities, the result is announced as "no decision".

Viewing the film, we see that during the 7th round, the referee, after the knee received by Urquidez, stopped the fight 20 seconds before Narongnoi threated to leave the ring.

Also in timing the film, we see that during the 9th round, the kick that sended Urquidez to the canvas arrived after 1 minutes and 30 seconds. The time used to sent the Thai in the neutral corner and to count Urquidez lasted 17 seconds and must not be counted. The round and the match was then announced as finished. In summary, the round lasted only 1 minutes and 30 seconds, instead of the 2 minutes scheduled round.

In the semi-main event, the Thai Nate (Nade) Saknarong beats Earnst Hart Jr., by ko in the 5th round. Saknarong has been sent to the canvas three times in the 1st round. and each fighter also scored a knock-down in the 4th. This first fight has maybe put the pressure on the attendance before the event between Urquidez and Kiatbandit.

According to Samattapol Uttamayotin, from Thailand, Mr. Sawang Sawangkawat, manager of the above two Thais fighters, reportedly wrote an article in a 1977 weekly newspaper called Boxing. M. Sawangkawat has detailed both fights. His details correspond completely with the version given by the August 1977 Black-Belt Magazine and to the chronometric counting above mentionned. Mr. Sawangkawat reports that fighters must wear foot protections and that the Americans had added legs protections (hidden by their trousers. The Thais wore shorts). The elbow and knee blows were banned, as throwns).

Thanks to Samttapol Uttamayotin for all relevant information regarding these two fights.

1978 :

In 1978, a last controversy, at the end of the first fight with Onuki. Urquidez send his opponent on the ground, with a hip movement and the Japanese seem unable to recover, maybe because a injured shoulder. This first match will be terminated first by a victory of Onuki (see this illegal movement), changed later with an NC. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeVkYvvAcD0. In his biography, Urquidez mentions a victory in the 2nd round.

In 1978, Benny Urquidez meets Prayout Sittiboonlert, also practising Thai-Boxing. This WKA fight, in Japan, was an exhibition on 5 rounds, according to Benny Urquidez, without weigh-in. The decision was first given to Sittiboonlert. After, the result was changed to a No-Contest in 6 rounds. Another version mentions that it was a qualifying match to meet Fujiwara and that Sittiboonlert was declared the winner on points at the end of a real battle, in 6 rounds of 2 minutes. Many knees blows from Sittiboonlert.1 Two Short videos from this fight : http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=o_TGpwCLqvc and http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=JcewWVOswpg. In his biography record, Urquidez cites Sittiboonlert as an "unreported thai."

Here are two pictures of an article of the tritten, written in Japanese, which refers to the defeat of Benny Urquidez against Prayout Srisompob (not Sittiboonlert ?) in August 2nd, 1978. It was a fight with 6 rounds of 2 minutes and the Thai often reaches his opponent with knee strikes. Notice the picture showing the raised arm of the Thai. We can't see if the arm of the American is also raised ?

The referee is at the left of Urquidez and he doesn't rise the Thai hand. Please notice that the referee does not hold Urquidez's arm in his other hand. It is therefore not a picture of the decision.

Thank you to Mr Shingo Fukushima, of Japan, for his information.

Benny Urquidez Prayout Sittiboonlert

Benny Urquidez Prayout Sittiboonlert

An Japanese article about the defeat of Urquidez vs Prayout Srisompob ?

1980 :

In 1980, Benny Urquidez meets Billy Jackson, in full-contact, for the WKA. According to the version given by Benny Urquidez in his book, Jackson was a last minute replacement for what was supposed to be non-title bout. The leg kicks have been prohibited, to please Jackson. At the end of the 7 rounds, points would have been deducted to Urquidez for leg kicks. Billy Jackson would have been unfairly declared the winner. According to other sources, Benny Urquidez would have lost on points during a real fight. The decision was changed after to a No-Contest. Urquidez is counted by the referee.1 Short video from this fight : http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=CSlQemKf0t0

We have no evidence to determine us about these three games, with the exception of the fact that the extracts above mentioned seem to be more fights than exhibitions.

1981 :

In 1981, Benny Urquidez takes part to an American team, headed by WKA President, Howard Hanson, during the "Road to Hong-Kong". In this city, Urquidez fights Kong Fu Tak, a local kung-fu champion and beats him before the end of the fight. It's sometimes mentioned that it was a death match. If you see the video, it is more a fight in kick-boxing style, with protections for the hands and feet and is disputed without a ring, with a referee. http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=DGhypNLFr6g Kong Fu Tak will beat Billy Chow in a Thai-Boxing fight.

In his record (see below), Benny Urquidez says he has beaten Nobuya Azuka by decision in 5 rounds, in Japan, in April 1989. The fight was maybe an simple exhibition.

Benny Urquidez

The famous back kick.

Record :

Thank you to M. Fukushima Shingo for his information about the Urquidez record.

This record is based on Urquidez' book "King of the Ring" Pro Action Publishing 1995, for his fights and is corrected by us for the dates, places and the results in relations with controversy. Besides, there are even differences between this record and the record found on Urquidez personal website. For this reason, we can not guarantee the accuracy of the data.

WSMAC, Full-Contact or Kick-Boxing

Lightweights :
11.14.1974 : Bill Rosehill, wko 3, Hawaii, WSMAC
11.14.1974 : Futi Semanu, wko2, Hawaii, WSMAC
11.14.1974 : Tom Mossman, w au 2ème, Hawaii, WSMAC
11.15.1974 : Burnis White, wko2, Hawaii, WSMAC
11.15.1974 : Dana Goodson, wp3, Hawaii, WSMAC
12.00.1974 : Burnis White, wko 4, Hawaii, WSMAC
02.00.1975 : Butch Bell, wtko2, Atlanta/USA, NKL
03.00.1975 : Ken Kolodziej, wko 4 (ou 3), Milwauke
03.00.1975 : unreported, wko 2, Atlanta, NKL
04.00.1975 : Demetrius Havanas, wp3, Dallas, NKL
05.10.1975 : Tayari Casel, wp3, New-York, WPKO
05.16.1975 : Ronald Talton, wko 2, Los Angeles, WSMAC
06.21.1975 : Sanun Plypoolsup, wtko2, Hawaii, WSMAC
06.00.1975 : Ken Riley, wko2, Hawaii, WSMAC
06.28.1975 : Eddie Andujar, wp3, NKL Los Angeles, NKL
07.00.1975 : Sammy Pace, wko1, Los Angeles, NKL
08.00.1975 : Marcelino Torres, wko1, Puerto-Rico, NKL
10.00.1975 : Bill Henderson, wko 2, Los Angeles, WSMAC
12.00.1975 : unreported, wko 2, Détroit, NKL
00.00.1976 : unreported, wko 1, Détroit, NKL
00.00.1976 : Ernest Hart Jr, w 1st, Los Angeles, NKL
06.00.1976 : Sanun Plypollsup, wp8, Dallas, WSMAC
00.00.1976 : unreported thaï, wko 3, Tijuana/Mexico, NKL
08.28.1976 : Ernest Hart jr, wp9, Hawaii, NKL
10.01.1976 : Eddie Andujar, wko 8, Los Angeles, PKA
03.12.1977 : Narongnoi Kiatbandit, nc 9, Los Angeles, WKA (controversy)
04.23.1977 : Howard Jackson, wko 4, Las Vegas, PKA
07.00.1977 : unreported, wko 1, Tijuana/Mexico, WKA
Super lightweights :
08.02.1977 : Katsuyuki Suzuki, wko6, Tokyo, WKA/AJKBA
11.14.1977 : Kunimatsu Okao, wko 4, Tokyo, WKA/AJKBA
04.00.1978 : Dave Paul, wkot4, Vancouver, WKA
04.00.1978 : Takeshi Naito, wko 1, Osaka, KATOGI
05.01.1978 : Shinobu Onuki, nc, Tokyo, WKA/AJKBA (controversy)
08.02.1978 : Prayuth Sittiboonlert, nc 6, Tokyo, KATOGI (controversy)
05.02.1979 : Rick Simmerly, wko 6, Lake Tahoe, WKA
09.01.1979 : Frank Holloway, wp 9, Ensenada/Mexico, WKA
10.00.1979, Yoshimitsu Tamashiro, wp 9, Tokyo, WKA
01.02.1980 : Shinobu Onuki, wko 7, Las Vegas, WKA
04.02.1980 : Frank Holloway, wp 9, Vancouver, WKA
08.00.1980 : Billy Jackson, nc 7, Palm-Beach, WKA ou PKA (controversy)
04.00.1981 : Kong Fu Tak , wko 4, Hong-Kong, WKA
06.00.1982 : Yutaka Koshikawa, wtko6, Vancouver, WKA
01.00.1983 : Kunimasa Nagae, wko4, Tokyo, WKA
09.00.1983 : Iron Fujimoto, wko 6, Tokyo, WKA
Welterweights :
01.00.1984 . Ivan Sprang, wtko 6, Amsterdam, MTN
11.00.1985 : Tom Laroche, wp12, Los Angeles, WKA
04.00.1989 : Nobuya Azuka, wp5, Tokyo, AJPW (controversy)
12.00.1993 : Yoshihisa Tagami, wp, Las Vegas, WKA

In full-contact, or kick-boxing, Benny Urquidez has a record of 57 victories, 0 defeat and 0 draw, with 49 ko and 3 no-contests. He claims to have a record of 63-0, with 49 ko.

Kick Illustrated Magazine of July 1981, mentionned a record of 52 wins, 1 defeat, 1 draw and 42 kos. Official Karate Magazine, in November 1984 and September 1985, refers a record of 56 wins, 1 defeat and 1 draw, with 47 ko.

According to his book "king of the Ring", he has 48 fights, 45 wins and 3 NC.

Technical :

Benny Urquidez demonstrates a complete technical with both fists and feet. His brand remains the reverse kick, sometimes skipped. Here is a perfect example of ko with this technical, executed against Takeshi Naito, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nITZU2sOy1o

He wore often or always, red trousers, facing opponents in shorts, during kick-boxing fights.

Benny Urquidez created the UKIDOKAN Karate. According to some sources, he hold 9 black belts (judo, kenpo/Hawaiian fighting techniques or developed by Ed Parker, taekwondo, Lima Lama/martial art of Hawaii, kung fu, ju-jitsu, aikido and karate). Other sources report that his family has 9 brothers and sisters, all of whom have a black belt.

In 1984, Benny Urquidez has open with his brother-in-law, Blinky Rodriguez, the famous kick-boxing training place named the "Jet-Center".

Family :

Arnold Urquidez :

Among this family, is Arnold Urquidez, born in 1941 and older than Benny, who allegedly trained him and who has worked for the WKA, as indicated in the article in this blog, devoted to this federation. Arnold took part at a tournament in 1968, in Chicago, losing against James Koncevic. In 1968, during a competition between Mainland and Hawaii, Arnold has won two fights against Yosoke Soga and Stanley Sogai, before losing against Homer Leong. Arnold would have lost against Chuck Norris, during a karate fight. He won the 1970 heavyweight title at the Internationals. He managed the team "Urquidez bros", which took part to teams tournament.

Lilly Urquidez Rodriguez :

Lilly Urquidez Rodriguez, one of the sisters of the family, began with Kenpo, then Shotokan and Judo. She also practiced full-contact, (win against Carlotta Lee, in 1977, via TKO, in the 4th lost against Marion Bermudez, win against Reiko Tachibana in 1977, win against Saskia Van Rijswijk in 1982 and defeat against Lucia Rijkers, by tko in the first, in 1983). She would have a record of 32 fights with 2 defeats.

Lilly has done at least one professional boxing fight, in 1979, winning against Ms. Lear Tony Rodriguez on points, according to boxrec. Ms. Urquidez announces 17 wins and 2 defeats. She mentions a defeat against Lady Tiger.

Lilly was married to William Blinky Rodriguez, full-contact fighter. The wife and her husband have disputed a boxing fight, the same evening, on November 16th, 1979.

Blinky Rodriguez :

Blinky has lost, among others, against Bill Wallace and Rob Kaman (ko 2nd), with one win by ko, against Jean-Yves Theriault. In 1977, he has lost a split decision against Macoto Hirato, in Tokyo. On the March 29th, 1980, Blinky loses on points against Bob Ryan, for the WKA Super-Middleweight World Title. Video of the fight : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHhebxVG38Q

His record is 34 victories, 4 defeats.

Rodriguez has also fought 5 professional boxing fights, 3 wins and 2 defeats, according to boxrec. He announced a record of 7 wins, 1 defeat.

In conclusion, he participated at the first World Series of Martial Arts, in 1974, where he won his first fight against Dennis Lyttle, video http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=DvB5xnKF1t0 before losing the second on points, against Dana Goodson, video http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=xTCRxRcBh48.

During these WSMAC, Adam "Smiley" Urquidez, Benny's brother, lost on points against Burnis White. Smiley also lost against Joe Lewis, during the PAWAK tournament, in may 1974. An exhibition at the first WUKO World Championships in 1975, disputed between Adam and Benny, is on You Tube.

In the family are Eva/Alexis, Mando, Linda, Delores, Ruben/Reuben, Alfred and Bruno Urquidez, also practicing martial arts.

Conclusions :

Benny Urquidez fights are available, including on You Tube. He shows the fighting qualities, rare for the time, when faced with other full-contact initiators, who did not appear to completely dominate the fight to ko.

[1] http://images.google.ch/imgres?imgurl=http://www.mikemiles.com/photo%

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