For five decades the legendary Benny “The Jet” Urquidez has been a moving force in the martial arts. A six time world champion in five weight class divisions, Urquidez pioneered full contact fighting in the United States. Undefeated throughout his twenty-seven year professional fighting career, he catapulted to world prominence and ultimate dominance in the mid-1970s. Benny The Jet Urquidez became a world champion kick-boxer in the same year full contact karate was introduced to the United States. He reigned over the sport throughout his entire career.
Benny’s father was a professional boxer and his mother a professional wrestler. He is the second youngest in a family of nine children. Benny and most of his siblings became boxers and black belts. Benny, his sister Lily and four of his brothers went on to become champion fighters and martial artists. By the age of five Benny was competing in pee wee boxing and at age seven began studying martial arts. His thirst for knowledge was insatiable. At fourteen, four years earlier than was generally permitted, he became the youngest martial artist to ever receive a black belt, earning the first of what would be nine black belts. Benny immediately began competing in the adult black belt division. He won every major international tournament with his unique and extraordinary style of fighting and remained undefeated.
At that time he began formulating a new style of martial arts termed free form martial arts. This was the genesis for the full contact karate now practiced in competition all over the world. It was then that he chose to pioneer the sport instead of becoming a pro boxer. In 1974, The Jet introduced what is known as full contact karate or American kickboxing to the United States. These practices were the foundation and inspiration for Sensei Benny’s own original system of martial arts. Combining nine different styles he created “Ukidokan” karate meaning a way of life, also referred to as internal training. Ukidokan bears the distinction of being the only new age system recognized by the governing bodies of Japan as an official martial art.
Urquidez’s rare energy and force earned him the nickname The Jet after one of his peers witnessed the speed and accuracy of his legendary and lethal jump-spinning-back-kick. By 1977 The Jet had traveled the world and systematically defeated every world champion, winning the P.K.A. and W.K.A. world kickboxing championships, becoming a national hero in the process. After winning five world championships in four separate weight class divisions, The Jet retired in 1989 undefeated with an unprecedented title defense ring record of 62 wins, 57 knockouts, and 0 losses. In 1993, at the age of forty-two, The Jet came out of retirement to seal his legendary status, defeating 25-year-old Japanese world welterweight champion Yoshihisa Tagami and winning the world light middle weight championship, bringing his record to 63 wins, 57 knockouts and 0 losses. Unprecedented in ring history, Benny The Jet has achieved a feat never accomplished before or since: He is the only fighter to have retained six world championships in five weight class divisions for twenty-four consecutive years.
The Jet was recently inducted in tot he 2019 International Sports Hall of Fame by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for his legendary career achievements as an athlete, humanitarian, and contributions to the world of sports. In addition to his exceptional accomplishments in the ring, being an actor and a highly sought after stunt and fight coordinator on film sets all over the world, Sensei Benny is and always has been a teacher. Teaching students of all levels, champion fighters and celebrities alike. He has written four instructional books, released eight instructional videos and countless online tutorials and classes.
Visitors to bennythejet.com can find training tips, techniques and teachings rooted in the Ukidokan system.
Today, Sensei Benny travels the world teaching classes, seminars, personalized training as well as public speaking engagements and film production. Having accomplished everything a fighter could dream of and more, Benny The Jet Urquidez is considered to be one of the greatest martial arts legends of all time. He remains the longest reigning champion ever in the history of modern martial arts.