|Born||Héctor E. Echavarría
December 6, 1969
7th dan black belt in Shury-ryu Karate
7th dan black belt in Kenpo Karate
5th dan black belt in Taekwondo
2nd dan black belt in Jujitsu
2nd dan black belt in Judo
|Occupation||Actor, Director, Producer|
Héctor Echavarría (b. December 6, 1969) is an Argentine-born kickboxer, martial arts master, fitness guru, filmmaker, and actor. Apart from being a kickboxer World Champion for many years, he also has had a long television and film career in his native Argentina. Today Hector continues his film career in the United States.
In his native Argentina, Hector Echavarria was a sickly child who suffered from severe asthma, and was encouraged by his parents to use martial arts to overcome his handicap. He began his training at the age of 4 by studying Tai Chi Chuan and Chinese boxing with a Shaolin Monk, Grand Master Tung Kuo Tsao. By the age of 6 he had been trained in Judo and Jujitsu under Grand Master Mayamoto of Kodokan. By the age of 14, Hector had learned Judo and Jiu Jitsu under Mayamoto of the Kodokan. As a young teenager he was learning Karate, Kung Fu, and Tae Kwon Do, and at the time became the youngest kickboxer to enter the ring professionally.
Echavarria was inducted into the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame in 2000. He was also named the "Full Contact Fighter of the Year" in 2000 and is the current Vale-Tudo Kickboxing Champion of the World. He has won World Champion status in both the United States Karate Association and the World Kung-Fu Association and remains undefeated in eleven world kickboxing bouts. He is a Kung-Fu Master and has reached the following levels: 7th dan Karate Shury-ryu, 7th dan Kenpo Karate, 5th dan Tae Kwon Do, 2nd dan Jujitsu, 2nd dan Judo.
When he went to the United States he trained and thrived under the guidance of Grand Master Robert Trias. Eventually, Ed Parker, who was Elvis Presley's bodyguard and the man who put Bruce Lee in movies, discovered Echavarria, who was known for having showmanship in the ring.
Echavarria began his martial arts training at age 4 and his competitive martial arts career at the age of 14 in his native country of Argentina.
Echavarria was chosen Full Contact Fighter of the Year by the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame. He also was chosen to represent and be the leader of the International Karate and Kickboxing Association and Joe Corley's Professional Karate Association for all Latin America. Hector has appeared in more than one hundred martial arts and fitness magazine covers, including Blackbelt, which named Hector "The Next Martial Arts Movie Star", Inside Karate, Men's Fitness, and Martial Arts Illustrated.
He has given more than one hundred kickboxing exhibitions around the world, some in which he sparred with kickboxing champion of the world, Bill Wallace. Echavarria has also given numerous demonstrations with celebrities including the Bee Gees, Philip Michael Thomas, and Richard Simmons.
Echavarria has personally trained and helped achieve higher levels of fitness and health to other martial artists, professional sports athletes and celebrities, including Kendra Wilkinson of Playboy Superstars and The Girls Next Door), former three time World boxing champion Macho Camacho, and professional NFL kicker for the New England Patriots, Super Bowl winner Al Del Greco, and mixed martial arts champions such as Quinton Jackson, Cheik Kongo, and many others.
In October 2013 he will play host to the first-ever Hector Echavarria’s World Martial Arts Championship and Expo at Universal Studios Hollywood to be sanctioned by the United States Martial Arts Organization and the International Union of Martial Artist (UIAMA). More than thirty five Countries, three thousand competitors and twenty of the top martial arts merchandising companies in the world will be present as sponsors.
After a chance meeting with Miami Vice Publicist Carole Myers, Echavarria was asked if he'd want to become an actor. She obtained a television audition for him, and Hector appeared in the 1988 season premiere of Miami Vice, Down for the Count. A few years later, an Argentine producer saw Echavarria in a television demonstration and cast him in the action film Los Extermineitors. This film and its two sequels became the highest grossing winter release movies in South America. Hector played a main character in the Argentine action comedy television series Brigada Cola along with fellow Los Extermineitors cast member and comedian Guillermo Francella, which ran in South America, Europe, and the Middle East from 1992 to 1997.
On April 2009, Echavarria filmed a feature called Death Warrior in Toronto, co-starring Nick Mancuso of Under Siege and Rapid Fire. It was produced by Sean Buckley of Buck Productions and directed by Bill Corcoran and will be distributed by Grindstone Entertainment Group and Lions Gate Entertainment towards the end of 2009.
Some of the projects he has in production include: Duran, King of the Cage, Devil's Dogs, Dragon Island, Kill the Dragon and others with distribution by Lionsgate. In 2010, Hector started production on Unrivaled in Toronto. He is credited as executive producer, writer as well as acting as "Ringo Duran," a "down-on-his-luck cage fighter" along with Rashad Evans and Keith Jardine.
Among many other features, Echavarria produced the horror flick Lake Dead, with theatrical distribution through After Dark Films. Later on, Hector produced and starred in Confessions of a Pit Fighter, distributed by Lionsgate. In 2008, he wrote, directed and starred as Diego Carter in the film Never Surrender, also distributed by Lionsgate. In his upcoming “Duel of Legends”, Hector, not only co-stars with popular actor Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (“Tekken”, “Memoirs of a Geisha”, “Pearl Harbor”, “Mortal Kombat”) and with his student and UFC superstar, Quinton Jackson (co-star of the new “The A-Team” movie) but also Hector directed the Feature Film set to be theatrically released in October 2013: Duel of Legends.
In 2012 Hector is set to star and direct Chavez Cage of Glory with Danny Trejo and Steven Bauer. And 2012 in No Way Out, that will have Hector co-star with international Spanish star Paz Vega and actress-Super Model Estella Warren.
He has helped start the film career of some of his friends, including Georges St. Pierre, BJ Penn, Rashad Evans, Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida. Echavarria is currently working with writer/producer Ronald Shusett, whose sci-fi action and thriller films have reached worldwide grosses of over one and a half billion dollars and who has produced and wrote Total Recall and Minority Report for director Steven Spielberg in the development and the creation of a franchise project with Hector.
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