Billy Hendricks Page 2



Billy Hendricks Magazine Interview




Pancrase Black Belt IV Billy Hendricks


JD: How did you get into martial arts?

BH: My martial arts education began in the early nineties with Kung-Fu San Soo. The training was mainly striking and self-defense techniques for the street. A few years later, I attended one of the first Ultimate Fighting Championships in Denver, Colorado. After watching the fights I knew that I had to learn ground fighting. Within a few days I had found a school and began my training in jiu-jitsu and grappling.

During this period, I would often spar with friends that trained in boxing, karate, kung fu, and taekwondo. With my new grappling skills, I could take them down and submit them at will. At that point, I really understood the importance of ground fighting. As my interest in grappling grew, I expanded my training to include other styles such as sambo, judo, and wrestling. Today my education still continues, you can never stop learning.

JD: You've done BJJ, sambo, judo, what is unique and most effective about each style?

BH: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is best for it's use of leverage, chokes, armbars, and sweeps. Judo is great for control, balance and throws. Wrestling for the takedowns and positioning, sambo for the leg locks.

JD: Is there any style you use more than others?

BH: On the ground I mainly use a combination of Brazilian jiu-jitsu and submission wrestling techniques. For stand-up grappling, takedowns and throws, I use a combination of judo and wrestling. For striking, it's Thai kickboxing. Sambo is my secret weapon.

JD: Are people very attached to one particular style, or are they more eclectic these days?

BH: In my opinion, most traditional martial artists tend to be one-dimensional. MMA practitioners on the other hand are more realistic and open minded. They understand the necessity of cross-training. It really depends on your interests and goals.

JD: Who's the most interesting martial artist you've met?

BH: That's a hard one. I've met so many people from around the world, from every conceivable background. What brings us together is a common interest in martial arts. Everyone is unique in there own way.

JD: What is it like competing in MMA?

BH: It's been a while since I my last fight. For the past few years, my focus has been directed towards teaching my
jiu-jitsu and submission wrestling students and training our MMA fighters. Overall, I would say my pre-fight training was more demanding than the actual fights. The experience is rewarding, especially when you win.

JD: What makes a good MMA fighter?

BH: There aren't any secrets or shortcuts to becoming a good fighter. It all begins with a great instructor and coach. After that it's up to you, practice, practice, practice. Remember that old saying, practice makes perfect. It really is true. There is no substitute for experience and time on the mat. Dedication to training and a willingness to drill techniques over and over until they become instinctive is probably the most common trait shared by most great grapplers. With enough training and practice, anyone can become a good fighter.

JD: What are some common mistakes people make when getting into MMA?

BH: Most people think they can become proficient with a just few weeks or months of training. In reality, it often takes years of very hard work.

The most common mistake I see is trying to learn advanced techniques before first mastering the basics. Learn the basics of positioning, submissions, escapes, takedowns and striking first. Become proficient at those then start adding new the moves.

JD: Tell us about the school you teach at.

BH: I've trained and taught at the Pancrase USA - Stars Training Center in Broomfield, Colorado, for about five years. During that period I've been fortunate to work with such greats as 7-times King of Pancrase Nathan Marquardt, K-1 and UFC champ Duane "Bang" Ludwig, UFC and Pride champ Ron Waterman, World Super Challenge champ and Pride veteran Larry Parker and many, others.

Our school offers a wide range of training for self defense, submission wrestling, jiu-jitsu and MMA fighting. We are also official Pancrase representatives. Through Pancrase we promote and sanction MMA and grappling events.

JD: What's the best thing about teaching?

BH: For me it's watching my students utilize the new techniques they just learned. It's especially satisfying when they do well in competition. Nothing beats the feeling when your student wins the fight.

JD: What else would you like to achieve in martial arts?

BH: There are many things but for now, my main goal is producing more great fighters.

JD: Thanks for your time Billy, I look forward to chatting with you again.

BH: Thanks, I look forward to that.