In Memoriam - World Black Belt

Lilly Rodriguez

Lilly Rodriguez

Lilly Urquidez-Rodriguez, the first women’s world kickboxing champion and highly respected trainer, passed away on January 13th 2007 at the UCLA Medical Center from renal failure. She was 59. She was one of ten children of Arnold and Lupe Urquidez; Eva (Alexis), Arnold, Mando, Linda, Lilly, Delores, Reuben, Benny, Adam (Smiley) and Alfred.

She fought competitively in the 1970’s and 1980’s, a time when few women entered the ring to fight. Fighting came naturally to Lilly. Her father Arnold was a professional boxer and her mother Lupe was a professional wrestler. Her brothers were martial-arts legends Arnold, Reuben, Benny “The Jet” and Adam “Smiley” Urquidez while her husband, Blinky, was a kick-boxer.

She was inducted into the Martial Arts History Museum’s Hall of Fame in 2003, preceded by Benny in 1999 and followed by Arnold in 2004 and Blinky in 2005.

We at World Black Belt are deeply saddened by the loss not only of a pioneer and a legend, but a respected friend. World Black Belt sends our condolences and prayers to the Rodriguez's family and friends.

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