#42 Henry Akins


Like many martial artists of Henry Akins generation who were training in the early 1990s, once exposed to Jiu Jitsu, he knew he needed to learn more. Henry wanted to learn Jiu Jitsu from the best in the world and sought out the man most people consider the greatest Jiu Jitsu fighter of all time, Rickson Gracie.


Henry Akins considered himself a tough kid but when he was manhandled in his first Jiu Jitsu classes at Rickson's gym he knew he was in the right place. Actually, he knew he was in the right place before that. When Henry walked into Rickson's academy for the first time and saw someone get choked out within the first five minutes of his arrival, Henry looked at a friend who went with him and said, "we are in the right place".


Henry had moved from Oklahoma to California to train at Rickson's, and with no friends in his new city, Henry soon found himself spending up to seventy hours a week at the academy. These were the days when it was a regular occurrence to have people walk in off the streets and challenge fighters at Rickson's academy. Henry found himself on several occasions defending the honor and integrity of Jiu Jitsu when called upon to take off his gi top and "go" with these challengers. Henry excelled at Jiu Jitsu and eventually began working as the secretary of the gym and within five years Rickson made him an instructor.


In 2004 Henry became only the third American to receive their black belt from Rickson, an honor given to him because of his dedication to Jiu Jitsu and its philosophy. Since, Henry has continued to dedicate himself to Jiu Jitsu and to spreading the fundamentals of the art that were taught to him first hand by the legend Rickson Gracie.


Henry now teaches private lessons, gives seminars, and produces instructional videos. Henry focuses on the fundamentals of Jiu Jitsu and the importance of self-defense. He teaches what he calls Hidden Jiu Jitsu. Hidden Jiu Jitsu is the understanding of the hidden details passed on from Rickson, that Henry believes can make Jiu Jitsu unstoppable.


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