CAMP VERDE – Richard Williams was a kid watching a Bruce Lee when he decided: “I’m going to be a kickboxer.”
Thirty-six years ago Williams started taking martial arts classes, which progressed to training in kick boxing with local trainers in pastures, barns and football fields. In 1992 he kick boxed in Hawaii with an audience of 10,000 people.
“When you really want to learn, it doesn’t matter where you go. You’re learning the art,” Williams said.
Williams takes it to heart – he has a full-sized boxing ring, complete with punching bags, in his backyard. He trains Camp Verde kids who want to be kickboxers.
“Thailand, California, Hawaii, wherever – I was fighting the best kids in the world, and I’m from Camp Verde! So I always tell kids follow your heart, follow your dreams,” Williams said.