Courtesy Benny Urquidez
Benny Urquidez, MMA fighter has co-authored his memoir with Tom Bleecker

Legendary Apache Martial Arts Master Pens Memoir

Sam Laskaris
6/6/14

Californian Tom Bleecker, who has written numerous books and has had dozens of TV and film writing credits since the late 1960s, has finally tackled a project which long appealed to him.

Bleecker co-authored The Jet (The Benny Urquidez Story) along with Urquidez, Apache, who is a legend in  the international martial arts community. Bleecker has previously written books about iconic martial artists, including Bruce Lee. He co-authored his first book, The Bruce Lee Story, with Linda Lee, Bruce's ex-wife, who Bleecker later married (the couple has since divorced).

ICTMN interviewed Bleecker about The Jet, which was published in March.

Q. Why did you decided to write this book?

I always wanted to write Benny's book. I think there is only a handful of living legends and icons, and Benny is one of them.

Q. You've known Benny for quite a long time. Why now?

We were at a fundraising event in California in 2012. There were a lot of celebrities and hundreds of people there. No one knew that Benny was coming. We were about 15 minutes into the cocktails and everybody was talking rather loudly. Then you could hear the noise level just die down. I thought somebody had fainted. I thought why did everybody stop talking. And I looked and Benny had come in and was standing there. He's a living legend. It was at that moment I thought his story needs to be told.

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Q. Were any topic off-limits?

I don't think so. The one thing I liked about Benny was that he was open to anything. You could ask him about anything. I've done a lot of interviews and some people just want to talk about their glory days.

Q.  Was there anything you were surprised to learn about him?

I was really surprised to see that he had been incarcerated. And I was surprised about his suicide attempt.

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Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
I used to keep up with "The Jet" when he was up and coming, and when he made it big. I was sorry to have lost track of him. It's good to know that someone is documenting Benny's big heart and prodigious skills. I hope the book does well. ___________________ Now, forgive me for wondering (I would be a hypocrite if I didn't), but the N'De didn't wear headdresses (perhaps the Kiowa Apache did). Why does Benny have a headdress on in the first photo?

TBleecker's picture
TBleecker
Submitted by TBleecker on
Hello Michael, Although Benny is an Apache, he was also adopted by the Blackfeet and often wears the (Blackfeet) headdress. If you go on YouTube and watch Benny's last fight in Las Vegas at the Mirage Hotel, you'll see he donned this headdress and vest at the end of the fight. Cheers

Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
TO TBleeker: Thanks for the clarification. I thought I would pose the question before "finger-pointers" came along and questioned it in a less-than-respectful manner.
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