Founder of Nikidokai
Hall of Fame Member
Trainer of World Champions
Hanshi Nico began his training in the martial arts at a very young age, in his native Country of the Philippines. He moved to the United States in the early 1970’s. In 1986 he started training in Muay-Thai style kickboxing, and continued his Shorin-Ryu Karate, Aikido, Judo and Kobudo training under Master Noel Fernandez. It was at this time that he began to combine American style kickboxing with the Muay-Thai style and with this he found great success.
From 1980 through 1984 Hanshi fought many bare-knuckle karate tournaments in Boxing and Kickboxing fights. It was during this period in 1983 that Hanshi became the head instructor at a prominent Dojo in Phoenix. Shortly after in 1986 Hanshi founded, Nicks Kicks Dojo in west Phoenix. There he spent many years teaching students of all ages the martial arts.
After several years of training and receiving his “6th degree black belt” he created and founded Nikidokai, which combined the five disciplines, Aikido, Judo, Shorin-Ryu Karate, Muay Thai Kick Boxing and Kobudo weapons.
For many years Hanshi trained many students who became amateur kickboxing champions as well as several who went on to become Professional Kickboxing champions. Some of the Professional champions he trained are; Gene “Red Sting Warrior” Stambaugh, first world champion in Arizona, Ray “Loverboy” Fernandez, Jean Claude Leuyer, Everrett ‘Ring Warrior” Berry, Johnny “Thunder” Maglianico, Marla “Poison” Conrad, Tom “Polish Bulldog” Waceinga, Mikki D’Rain, Chris “Joker” Mack, Nathan Broacher, Todd “Good Night” Guess, and Pat “Lightning” White. Just to name a few.
In 1989 he promoted Arizona’s first Muay Thai fight, which was televised in two countries outside the United States. He also formed the United Amateur Kickboxing Federation. In 1989 through 1993, Hanshi became a representative of the World Kickboxing Association (W.K.A.), International Kickboxing Association (I.K.B.A.), as well as the I.S.K.A.
For several years Hanshi taught hundreds of rape prevention classes. He was a co-founder of the Phoenix Center for Rape Prevention, a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing sexual assault as well he worked with C.A.S.A, (Center against Sexual Abuse.)
Through both, he taught self defense and self awareness training. He is also Co-founder of W.A.R. (Women against Rape).
In 1997 Hanshi was inducted into the International Karate and Kickboxing Hall of Fame with Legends like Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Benny Urquidez, and all the great Master of the Arts. He received this great honor for his life long commitment in sharing his Martial Arts with the community and the world.
From 2010 to 2016 Hanshi became the Head striking Coach for the infamous MMA LAB ELITE FIGHT Team. He trained UFC World Champion Benson “Smooth” Henderson. Some of the UFC fighters Efrian Escudero, Bryan “Bam Bam” Barberera, Scott “Hot Sauce” Holtzman, Luke “Cool Hands” Sanders, Yaotzin Meza, Chris “Gritz” Gruetzemacher, David “BullDawg” Michuad, Alex “Bruce Leroy” Caceres, Lauren Murphy, Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger, Mitch Clarke, Jordan “Swingin’ Big “ Johnson, Micheal Del La Torre, just to name a few MMA Fighters that Hanshi has trained in the MMAWorld.
In the words of Hanshi: “If the major necessities of society could be brought into order as well as maintained in a centered and harmonious fashion, then every man, woman and child regardless of age, race or background could live in good health, be stress free, productive and prosperous.”
Co – Founder of Nikidokai
At 10 years old Shihan Bill Cook started out as a troubled boy who’s grandmother put him into martial arts training in hopes of helping him develop discipline. Within his first year, Shihan Bill quickly rose up to become the top student in the dojo and during that time, formed a strong bond with the family. He became best friends with Hanshi Nico which lead to him being adopted into the Fernandez family.
With his adoptive family, he became very close to his new brothers and sisters who worked with the family dojos. Hanshi Nico became his closest brother and best friend, as well as, his martial arts teacher. In 1981, he won the P.K.A. State title by beating an undefeated black-belt champion. This was just the beginning of his title winnings; together, Shihan Bill and Hanshi Nico won many titles and pursued a life-long relationship with the martial arts industry.
Everywhere they go, they create tight-knit families and share their knowledge of the martial arts with the world. Shihan Bill is a former Muay Thai Kickboxing State Champion and has spent many years in Karate competitions and the old school style of bare knuckle fighting and has won many championship trophies over the years.
Shihan Bill spent 10 years in the fight game, while at the same time instructing students from all walks of life. He has been teaching the martial arts for over 25 years. His foremost goal is to continue teaching both adults and children but particularly in creating future instructors in order to keep the art and vision of Nikidokai moving forward with integrity and discipline.
He strongly believes that all dedicated students reach a point in their training where they will feel the need to share and that sharing and teaching the arts is one of the best ways to progress and truly make the art their own.
Sensei Cory Hare
2nd Degree Nikidokai Black Belt
Sensei Cory began his Martial Arts training over 20 years ago. His first introduction to the arts was around the age of 10. Joining a local Judo school, he spent a minimal amount of time there preferring to learn more about the hard punching and kicking aspects of the Martial Arts rather than the soft, gentle approach of Judo.
It wasn’t until 1996 that Sensei Cory met Hanshi Nico at what was at the time Nicks Kicks Dojo in Phoenix Arizona that his real Martial Arts training began. It wasn’t long before Hanshi Nico took him under his wing and began training him to become an instructor. The training was difficult as Hanshi demanded that his instructors in training put in 10 times the work and effort that any other student was required to do. While there he was also taught the inner workings of running a dojo, and was heavily involved in promoting Karate tournaments and Kickboxing events. He also served as Director of Productions, bringing in celebrities like Noriuki “Pat” Morita who played Mr. Miyagi in the Karate Kid Movie Franchises.
Sensei Cory eventually developed a deep interest in the soft styles of the Martial Arts and meditation. He spent several years studying Aikido exclusively receiving rank from an independent school derived from the Seidokan style of Aikido. At this time he returned to Hanshi Nico and received his Shodan (1st degree Black Belt) in Nikidokai and was granted the title of Sensei.
Sensei Cory continues to teach and study, taking a great interest in the development of his students. His belief is that the Martial Arts must transcend mere physical technique; that Martial Arts are a way of life and that the mind and spirit must play an equal if not greater role in ones Martial Art training. It is his goal to share this approach with his students and to spread the art of Nikidokai across the globe.
Sensei Kyler “Matrix” Phillips
1st. Degree Nikidokai Black Belt
Brown Belt Carlson Gracie Jiu – Jitsu
Professional UFC MMA FIGHTER
Sensei Kyler started his Martial Arts at the early age of 3 yrs. Old. At the Gracie Academy where his Father was studying while his Family started showing him the Art of Tae Kwon Do and Boxing while sharpening Gracie Jiu – Jitsu. His Father started inviting bigger kids around the neighborhood to the house to test Senpai Kylers Jiu-Jitsu for self-defense and while sharping his skills for competition. He moved to Arizona to go to G.C.U while in College he started missing Jiu Jitsu and so he started traveling to Gilbert to start practicing with the Carlson team again, then he wanted to pursue one of his dream and thats becoming the Best MMA in the World (UFC World Championship) so he started training with the Elite team of the MMA LAB. Sensei’s 1st stand up and striking coach was Hanshi Nico and the rest is History, as a Professional MMA Fighter and pursuing his dreams, Sensei earned his Nikidokai Black Belt on Oct. 2019 and love teaching the Art of Nikidokai at 2KnuckleSports MMA & Fitness Academy which he calls his Dojo Home and Family.
• 2010 – Judo California State Games Champ
• 2012 – Jiu-Jitsu IBJJF World Champion
• 2012 – Gracie National Champion
• California CIF Wrestling Champion
Sensei Kyler started training Nikidokai in 2013 with Hanshi Nico and pursuing a MMA contract with the UFC, On March 10th 2019 Sensei Kyler finally signed with the UFC and awaiting for his 1st fight, hobbies are tumbling, parkour, swimming, diving, piano and reading. He loves teaching the Martial Arts and Changing Lives.