Bill Packer’s commitment to perfection, the success of his teaching methods, and the victories of his students make him The Fighter’s choice for the “Instructor Hall of Fame.” Being a former two-time Arizona State Champion, Mexican International Champion, winner of 16 consecutive forms competitions, grand champion in nine point tournaments, and winner of 30 boxing bouts, Bill Packer is a man who could easily rest on his laurels. But the glory of his own personal achievements are secondary to Bill Packer, the instructor. What is important to him is mak-ing his students realize their full potential. Based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Packer, 38, owns six schools throughout the state. In partnership with his instructor, Tomas Connor of Traco International, based in Phoenix, Arizona, Packer helps Connor oversee 12 other schools and the training of some 3,500 students. The main thrust of instruction is classical karate, amateur and professional boxing, and bodybuilding and weight training. But it is the sport of kickboxing where Bill Packer and his stable of sensational fighters excel.
Over the years, Packer’s super stable, which he refers to as “Bad Company,” has been composed of 28 world-ranked fighters including champions holding six different world titles, two U.S. titles, one North American title, and 16 amateur state champions. His fighters have engaged in bouts in Japan, China, Australia, Europe, Canada, Mexico, and throughout the U.S. Presently, Packer has under his guidance 13 professional kickboxers ranked in the STAR System ratings. Among them are: John Moncayo, the KICK super middleweight champion; Fermin Garcia, the 9th ranked super lightweight; Richard Barreras, a super lightweight designated contender; Henry Amijo, a lightweight designated contender; Dave Johnston, the WKA world super featherweight champion; Charlie Gallegos, a super featherweight designated contender; Andres Chavez, the 10th-ranked featherweight contender; Chris Sanchez, a featherweight designated contender; Johnny Romero, Randy Sanchez, and Tommy Chavez, all bantamweight designated contenders; Miguel Montoya, the 1st-ranked flyweight contender; and Irene Garcia, 1st-ranked bantamweight contender. Says former contender Frank Holloway, “A lot of people in karate think they can fight, but they aren’t sure whether or not they can take a punch. Mr. Packer makes everyone put on the gloves and go for it. The ones who really enjoyed it have formed a team.” Irene Garcia adds, “His classes are more realistic. If you get a bloody nose, nobody pampers you. He makes his students feel like they can do anything.” Packer started his own martial arts training under Connor, a kenpo master, in the mid-1960s. Today a 6th-degree black belt, Packer still travels once a month to Phoenix to train with his teacher. Although kickboxing demands much of his time, Packer devotes equal energy toward his other students who are chiefly interested in learning selfdefense and physical conditioning; only a small percentage participate in fullcontact competition. Says Packer of his philosophy, “I believe full contact is an extension of the martial arts. Our purpose first and foremost is to cultivate and develop high individual qualities in our student body. We must eliminate the inappropriate and promote the appropriate such as honesty, courtesy, respect and discipline. We must exceed physical literacy, reflex reaction; go beyond the intellect mentally and capture a spiritually unified growth to become the essence of our discipline. “The future should be devoted to fulfilling the dreams and ambitions of our fighters. Personally, I’m working to make full contact a true extension of the martial arts, internally and externally. I’ll work for the essence of my discipline.” The Fighter was very impressed by Packer’s genuine humbleness. When we initially requested photographs of him, he submitted pictures of his students and instructor! That’s just one more reason why we felt Bill Packer was the ideal choice as our first inductee to The Fighter’s Instructor Hall of Fame. For his commitment to perfection, and that of his students, we salute him.
This article was published in 1988 inside a Fighter International edition.