Benjamin Nogueras Jr

I’m originally from Cayey, Puerto Rico, but raised all over the world, due to my fathers twenty-Seven years of service, in the Army. I started Amateur Boxing and Martial Arts early on in life due to some Puerto Rican tradition and some of life’s circumstances. Most Puerto Rican kids start at an early age playing Baseball and Boxing. Those are our two staple sports in my culture. I first started boxing when I was 9 yrs old, and boxed for the local Military Base YMCA. I was a short and skinny little kid, and occasionally ended up on the wrong side of being bullied for a number of reasons. I didn’t speak English fluently coming from Puerto Rico, and I was short and Skinny. I was a prime target for bullying. My father was a Sergent in the Army, and realized quickly that the direction of the bullying was going in the wrong direction. As a kid, I had had enough, and as a parent, my father new he needed to intervene. He enrolled me into boxing to help build my confidence, and to teach me not to be afraid of taking a punch. He also wanted me to learn how to counter punches and avoid being sucker-punched. Slowly I developed into a decent boxer and started to protect myself from the constant bullying. Eventually the bullying subsided, given that I started to hit back! Bully’s started to realize that I no longer would sit and take it. Someone would get a fat lip or bloody nose along with me, if they attacked me. In time it stopped all together. At some point I started to realize that Boxing was one dimensional, and limiting if I fell to the ground or was taken down. I was introduced to a new phenomenon in “Bruce Lee”. The legend. The small but mighty Dragon, that could slay giants. His hybrid style of Karate, Wrestling, and Jiu-jitsu peaked my interest. So at 14yrs of Age, I started to learn Tae Kwon Do in Fort Polk Louisiana, under the guidance of Sabomnim Michael Crane, and Sabomnim Daniel Todd. They built me into a fluid and powerful kicker, giving me the nickname; Tiger Lee – Thunder kick.

I spent about 8 yrs with both Masters in Fort Polk earning my Red Belt with Black stripe, 2nd Gup. But eventually moved to Karlsruhe, Germany before receiving my Black Belt. Shortly after I arrived in Karlsruhe, I started competing in local and regional Tournaments on my own, but eventually met a Tae Kwon Do Sabomnim, who took me under his wing and eventually belted me into my Blackbelt. I was 18 when I received my first Blackbelt. A year later, I decided to try a different art that encompassed more ground and submission. I met Shihan Alan Gililland, who was an Active Duty Military soldier that was also teaching the Military a combat Art Called Kuo Shu Do. I studied under Shihan Gililland for about 5 yrs in Europe receiving my second Blackbelt under his art. Kuo Shu Do is a combination art developed by a former Navy Seal named Daniel Stanton. Shihan Stanton, took Shihan Gililland under his wing and in time made him a Hall of Fame recognized instructor and coach. When I returned from Europe to the United States. I met Shihan Gililland in Fort Leonard Wood, Mo, where I continued to learn and compete for him on our National Competition team. We competed in everything from Tae Kwon Do tournaments to open Karate Tournaments. Eventually in time we matured to do Amateur Kickboxing Tournaments. I became the #1 Contender for a small Kickboxing organization in the Midwest named K.I.A (Karate Instructors Association) which was a board of Martial Arts Instructors in the Midwest that would host Amateur and Pro Kickboxing bouts. I competed consistently around the U.S., and eventually earning the #1 Spot to compete against Missouri Legend Wane Swords, who was the reigning Regional Champion. Little did I know that my life and direction in life would change that day. I was expected to lose. I was

the underdog. I was the out of towner. The guest. Wane was undefeated, established, and crushing everyone in his division. I was younger, hungry, skilled, and had no fear. Truth be told, we were both scheduled to fight other fighters that day, but neither showed up due to some travel issues. So the question was asked……….Do you want to fight for this title? You are the number one ranked fighter here, so you deserve the opportunity, if you want it. So I prayed about it for a second, then I said yes. I had nothing to lose. I won the first round, Wane won the second round. He beat me so bad that I started to feel like I was about to pass out. It was a weird moment. He started to pummel me, and as I was going out, I couldn’t tell whether I was dreaming or awake. All I remember was that something in me, pushed through, and I new that I had a chance to defeat the old Lion. Third round was a battle between us both.

But I edged the old Lion to win the title. I held that title for 3yrs, and continued to sharpen my skills along the way. I was eventually getting ranked in the Amatuer National Rankings for the PKL and IKF; I was #1 and #2, in those organizations. In time I left Fort Leonard Wood, and moved to Kansas City, and started training with some fellow martial artists that eventually led me to local Bare Knuckle fighter and American Jiu-Jitsu coach, Brad Jones. I also started Boxing at Whatsoever Boxing Club in Missouri. Competing in Golden Gloves for a few years under Coach Esteban C. Leon, Sr. (RIP). Between American Jiu-Jitsu under Brad Jones/ Steven Crawford, for over 10yrs, and Boxing Coach Esteban C. Leon; I continued to compete and continued to fight in Kickboxing, Boxing, and train in MMA. I’ve spent all of my time here in Kansas teaching and training to sharpen my skills as a Martial Artist. I’ve trained and coached UFC, Bellator, and Invicta Fighters, until the point of deciding to start my own promotions company in 2004. Blue Corner LLC. I’ve hosted hundreds of events, between boxing, Kickboxing, MMA and BJJ. I’ve managed and trained Amateur and Pro Fighters into bigger Promotions, such as UFC, Bellator, and Invicta. I’ve also hosted a Showtime Strikeforce Pro MMA Event, and Pro Bellator Event here in Kansas City. I’ve Worked with so many amazing fighters, and even Worked for Chuck Norris under the W.C.L Kickboxing Pro Series that eventually ended due to the popularity of MMA pro Events.
Throughout my Martial Arts Journey, I was promoted by New World Martial Arts Association under Master Daniel Stanton to 1st Dan Blackbelt in May of 1995 for KouShu-Do. I’ve also been promoted by Hashioshi Alan Gililland to 2nd Nidan under the International KuoShu Aiki-Jitsu Federation, and then from there I was promoted to 3rd, 4th, and 5th Dan by Master Steven Crawford under the American BJJ and Pence Martial Arts Banner in 2019. Eric Pence and Bradley H. Guile are the Founders of the Pence Martial Arts System. Both ABN Rangers/Special Forces. Along with my journey in Martial Arts, Boxing and Kickboxing. I started Blue Corner LLC which is the longest running MMA/BJJ/Kickboxing promotions company in Kansas City. We have showcased and helped thousands of fighters make it into bigger promotions. From local hero Bobby Voelker, to Miranda Maverick (UFC), Kristina Williams (Bellator)(Invicta), Chantel Coates (Invicta) Laura Stanko (Invicta) UFC Commentator, Congress Woman Sharice Davids(Pro MMA) Blue Corner LLC, Matt Hughes (UFC Champion and Hall of Famer), Tyron Woodley (UFC Champion),to many, many, More amazing Fighters, Athletes, and People!

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