Inside Kung-Fu November 2002

ikf-november-2002Inside Kung-Fu

“Profile Addy Hernandez Taking Charge”

By Dave Cater

November 2002

Pg 136

Talk about your poster girl for high school’s “Most Likely to Succeed” honor! Addy Hernandez was as close to a can’t-miss as you’ll ever find at Chelan High School in Washington.

Homecoming queen. Honor roll. Class president. Cross country runner. Softball player. Martial artist. All while working two jobs to help support her family. Big things were expected of Addy when she started her freshman year at Eastern Washington University.

And she expected big things in return.

“I planned on studying personal training, physical therapy and philosophy,” she remembers, with a smile.

But expectations soon were met with disappointment.

While her body was in a classroom in Cheney, her mind was focused three hours away in an unstructured training hall that more resembled a scene from Walden’s Pond.

A year earlier, Hernandez saw a notice in a local newspaper announcing the promotion of martial arts instructor Joseph Simonet. It took three class before the eclectic master agreed to meet with the high school senior.

“I had to travel up this dirt road,” she recalls. “The sign coming up said, ‘Primitive Road.’ When I got there, he told me to hit him as hard as I could. I went to throw a right punch and then felt myself on the floor looking up. I said, “Cool, okay when do we start?”

Simonet turned to his newest student and simply said, “You’re in.”

That as the beginning of Addy’s year-long love affair with the martial arts.

“I didn’t expect it to affect me that way,” explains Hernandez, who was born in Michuacan, Mexico. “The power the discipline gives you is incredible. It was a fantasy for me to know the martial arts and become proficient and comfortable with them. It changed my whole perspective in life and that was largely due to my teacher.”

She sought the same transformation in college, but there was none to be found.

“When I left the martial arts and went to college,” she notes, “I thought I would find the same kind of teacher and philosophy. But it didn’t take me long to realize the professors and instructors didn’t share the same ideals. I had gone through such an incredible self-seeking journey in martial arts. After a year, I decided to make martial arts a career. Joseph and I became business partners and opened up our KI Fighting Concepts school.”

Hernandez, whose father, Lauriano, moved the family to Washington after the death of her mother, took to her new life with incredible energy and dedication. In just seven years, the 5-foot-3, 118-pound brunette has earned a third-degree black belt in Tracy’s kenpo karate; a fourth-degree in doce pares under master Christopher J. Petrilli; a seond degree in eskrido under grandmaster Cacoy Conete; a third-degree in KI Fighting Concepts (a hugely popular wing chun/pentjak silat/kenpo hybrid); and been certified as a tai chi teacher.

“Usually, fellow martial artists envy my position, because I live in the gym from morning to night.”

That’s no exaggeration. Addy begins each day with a 6 a.m. kickboxing class. That’s followed by a full day of privates, a kids’ class, group classes and more privates. When her martial arts days ends at 9 p.m., her personal day begins with weight training, yoga, Yang tai chi and long-distance running, where she is training for a marathon (26.2 miles).

“I like to take advantage of my youth,” she explains.

Hernandez, who has teamed with Simonet to produce a series of highly successful videotapes for Paladin Press, believes she would have still been successful in life without martial arts. But inside, something would have been missing.

“I think I would have been successful to a point, but without that understanding of myself and that take-charge attitude, I wouldn’t have been as far as I am now with anything I wanted to do,” she admits.

Name: Addy Hernandez

Birth date: June 30, 1976

Birth place: Mexico

Came to America: 1980

Hometown: Lake Chelan, Wash.

Siblings: 3 sisters, one brother

Started Martial Arts: 17

Arts Studied: Yang style tai chi, Kenpo karate, Doce pares, Wing chun, Pentjak silat, Kickboxing, Pankration

Instructor: Joseph Simonet

Height: 5-foot-3

Weight: 118-pounds

Belt Levels: 3rd degree in Tracy’s kenpo karate; 4th in doce pares; 3rd degree in KI Fighting Concepts (wing chun/kenpo/pentjak silat); and certified teacher in tai chi

Current Work: Teaches martial arts full time

Outside Loves: Gardening, pottery, working with bonsai trees, training for a full marathon

Career Goals: To make more martial arts videotapes and to continue studying and teaching martial arts. I also hope to be a voice for martial arts women everywhere.

Facts: Loves children. Also speaks fluent Spanish

10 Years From Now: “I want to establish myself and make a name for myself in the martial arts world. I also want to be the CEO of global e-commerce business.”


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