Julian "Paradox BX" Rivera
Julian Rivera has been training BJJ for 8 years and received his brown belt in early 2017. He trains regularly 4-5 times days per week. He also instructs some classes at Underdog MMA, a Soul Fighters affiliate, which is his “home” gym. He has recently become a regular competitor in IBJJF tournaments in Boston and New York and enjoys challenging himself to be the best he can be.
In addition to training and competing he makes walk out music for MMA fighters under the name Paradox BX and has made songs for Johnny Lopez and Matt Bessette, both professional fighters with a great following in the North East.
He also recently started a Corporate Wellness Company by the name of F.I.T.E. Fit, which is a fitness program that incorporates self-defense. Julian’s goals are to continue training and competing in IBJJF tournaments winning as many Gold medals as he can. His ultimate goal is to become a BJJ world champion.
Q&A Session Between Julian Rivera and Elite Sports
Question: What will you suggest to the newcomers?
Answer: I suggest that newcomers to fighting/BJJ have patience with themselves and give themselves time to develop. Staying motivated goes hand in hand with that because if you stay motivated you will endure through the tough training and dedication it takes to develop as a fighter.
Question: What does it mean for you to be a fighter?
Answer: For me being a fighter means being persistent in achieving my goals, not only in martial arts but in every aspect of life.
Question: What are the essential things for the training?
Answer: Heart and dedication come first and that comes from within. As far as equipment and gear it has to be comfortable and easy to maintain. I have to have my Gi, rash guard and fight shorts for BJJ. For striking I have to have my gloves and pads.
Question: What separates you from every other fighter in your division?
Answer: I am developing every aspect of my BJJ game, takedowns, guard, guard passing, sweeps, submissions, escapes, etc. I train striking as well to add to my development as a well-rounded martial artist. The mental game is also important so I read a lot on sports psychology and a winning mindset to gain that extra edge.
Question: What is the meaning of success in your mind?
Answer: Success is learning and developing as a person to be the best version of myself. Success is achieving goals that I know I have to be at my best to accomplish.
Question: With whom you would like to fight, and why?
Answer: I would like to fight the competitor I lost to in my first BJJ tournament because I know I am better today than I was then and I feel I could win.
Question: Is there any difference b/w your common days’ diet and during competition training diet?
Answer: I train regularly and also do weight training so I eat a lot of veggies and protein, not too many carbs and I feel that good healthy food is good fuel for my body. During competition training my diet will rely more on lean meats, greens, and whole grains so that I optimize that fuel for my body.
Question: How does a beginner will prepare for the competition? Any advice for beginners?
Answer: My advice for beginners preparing for BJJ competition is to work on stamina foremost. Also work on escaping from a bad position and stabilizing good positions. Also have some fun and learn during your training!
Question: How is it helpful to have the information about your competitor?
Answer: It is helpful in that you can learn about his strategy and opportunities for you to exploit.
Question: Is the martial arts necessary for a common person? How?
Answer: I believe martial arts is helpful for everybody because it is a culture of discipline and respect and we all can use that in our lives.
Question: Which moment is memorable for you in your past competitions?
Answer: The moment I remember most is my first IBJJF tournament and my first gold medal as a purple belt. I had trained hard for the tournament and I was so focused that I knew I was going to do well in the tournament. I had a winning mindset and walked away with the gold medal. I proved to myself I could compete at a higher level and do well.
Question: How do martial arts help to build a leader?
Answer: All leaders start as followers and in martial arts we must be good followers to develop so that someday we can pass the knowledge on to others.
Question: What would be your dream fight?
Answer: IBJJF World Championship Finals Match.
Question: How is the road plan necessary for any competition?
Answer: Developing a plan allows you to be more confident and ready going into the competition.
Question: Do you have any advice for your competitors?
Answer: The more you compete the better a competitor you will become.
Question: How much importance has the sports gear in any competition?
Answer: The gear is very important because you must feel comfortable and confident in your gear. Organizations also may require a certain type of gear to compete so having the approved gear is important.
Question: What should we learn from the legends /or from the seniors? Who is your inspiration?
Answer: We should learn that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to become a legend. We may not see all the hours, sweat, blood, and tears that go into what made them a legend, but never forget that’s what it takes. My inspiration comes from many, In BJJ I am inspired by early pioneers such as Mitsuyo Maeda and the Gracies. I am also inspired by legends of the sport such as Helio Gracie, Rickson Gracie, Kron Gracie, Fernando Terere, Marcelo Garcia, Augusto Mendes, Rafael Mendes, Andre Galvao, Roberto Abreu, Bruno Malfacine, and the list goes on.... I’m also very much inspired by my BJJ coaches Fabiano Teles, Rafael Quinones, Rafael “Formiga” Barbosa.
Question: To whom you would like to compliment for your success?
Answer: My faith in God, my family, my coaches, and all those who support my dreams.
Question: Who is your favorite legendary fighter? Why?
Answer: He’s not a BJJ fighter but my favorite fighter of all time is Muhammad Ali because he had so much belief in himself that he achieved great things. He said he was the greatest before he was, and then he became the greatest. He also stood by his personal beliefs and stood for something as a man and a fighter. He made a difference in the world.