Juan Hernandez, a 7th degree black belt, is a World Karate Champion, a five-time National Karate Champion and served on the U.S. Karate Team in 1986-87. After a very successful karate career Mr. Hernandez turned his attention to Professional Wrestling, where he attained the United States Heavyweight Championship defeating Ivan Koloff, and the World Heavyweight Championship defeating The Crippler. He has wrestled with some of the legends of the sport including: Ox Baker, Bob Orton Jr., Iceman King Parsons, Paul Christy, Spike Huber, King Kong Brody, and many others. He also has been influential in the early careers of such stars as The Undertaker, Evad, and The Equalizer. Mr. Hernandez has been featured in many national karate and wrestling publications as well as many national and local television and radio programs.
After 15 years as a professional athlete Mr. Hernandez’s life took a drastic turn. In February 1993 he fell and broke his neck. Through almost 3 years of rehab Mr. Hernandez had time to think a lot about the priorities in his life. Lucky to be able to walk he realized that God had a special call on his life. He rededicated his life to God and is an ordained Minister. In 2001 Mr. Hernandez along with his wife Stella started Alicia’s House, a non for profit food pantry, in honor of their late granddaughter Alicia. Alicia’s House feeds thousands of people every year.
In September 2004, the United States Junior Chamber honored Mr. Hernandez’s work at Alicia’s House along with the many other charitable organizations he helps, by naming him one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans. This is an honor he shares with past Honorees John F. Kennedy, Elvis Presley, Gerald Ford, and Christopher Reeves.
Mr. Hernandez travels sharing his testimony at churches, youth groups, schools, and various other community and corporate events throughout the country.
Martial Arts Milestones:
- M.A.K.A. Black Belt of the Year – 2013
- Illinois State Martial Arts Hall of Fame – 4/1/07
- American Karate Association Hall of Fame – 11/13/04
- American Karate Association
- Instructor of the Year – 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007
- 5 time American Karate Association National
- Sparring Champion 1980 – 1986
- International Sparring Champion – 1983
- American Karate Association Black Belt of the Month – Oct. 1986
- Member of the U.S. Karate Team – 1986-87
- 2 times awarded the American Karate Association Promoters Award – 1997, 1998
- Rated in the Top Ten by: AKA, NASKA, KI, RSKC, LAMA, MAKA
- 6th Degree Black Belt in Shorei Ryu
- Received the Rank of O-Sensei and Doctor of Philosophy – Dec. 8, 1996
- Trained over 50 National Top Ten Competitors
- Has appeared in and at over 1000 tournaments
- Director of “The Hernandez All Star Tournament”
Professional Wrestling Milestones:
- Inducted to C.A.C. Hall of Fame – 2002
- C.I.W. World Champion – 1990 -1993
- C.I.W. United States Champion – 1987
- Influential in the early careers of The Undertaker, David Sullivan, Mr. Karate Jr. and other wrestling stars.
“Mr. Karate Jr.” Cel Hernandez has been involved in martial arts for almost 30 years. He was trained by his uncle the legendary “Mr. Karate” Juan Hernandez. Cel is a 1st degree black belt in the art of Shorei Ryu karate. Cel is a 5 time national karate champion from 1987 thru 1991. Cel has appeared in numerous national and local karate illustrations, magazines, and publications. He also has competed, judged, and appeared at over 1,000 karate tournaments. Cel has appeared and performed on The Jerry Lewis Telethon and The Easter Seals telethon. He enjoys being a part of Team PAKT. Cel is honored to coach, mentor, and be a big part of the Team PAKT family! For the past 15 years Cel has taking his martial arts training and experience and turned it into a professional wrestling career. He has traveled the Midwest entertaining and performing for his 1000’s of friends and fans. Cel is currently Championship International Wrestling’s United States Heavyweight Champion and was named the top rated rookie for 2001. He is a former Television Champion for the International Wrestling Council. Cel has proven himself in the squared circle, wrestling some top notch wrestlers like The Russian Brute, Hardcopy Coryell, and Whiplash just to name a few. He has also tagged teamed with “Big” Ron Harris to defeat The Lumberjacks. Cel looks forward to seeing and talking to all of his fans!