- IBJJF Masters World Champion (3x medalist)
- 2x IBJJF Nogi World Champion (4x medalist)
- 3x IBJJF Pan-Am Champion (Gi/Nogi)
- 5x IBJJF American National Champion
- 8x SJJIF World Champion (Gi/Nogi)
- F2W & Five SL Superfight winner
Q&A Session Between Richard Arreola and Elite Sports
Question: What will you suggest to the newcomers?
Answer: My suggestion for newcomers is to focus on the basics and fundamentals when learning the technique. Take your time when drilling and don’t compare yourself to others. Have fun while training.
Question: What does it mean for you to be a fighter?
Answer: To me, being a fighter means being a fighter in life. Every day we fight for something. Whether it’s fighting to pursue a goal or fighting against our daily struggles. We are all fighting for something.
Question: What are the essential things for the training?
Answer: Important essential for me while training is having a positive and student-like mindset. Always be positive even if you’re not grasping the technique at first. It will come so don’t worry. Having a student-like mindset means to have an open mind, to keep evolving and to never stop learning. Never walk into training thinking you know everything. Remove your ego completely from the equation
Question: What separates you from every other fighter in your division?
Answer: I’ve wrestled throughout my entire life (high school, college) so being exposed to the intensive training and a hyper-competitive atmosphere has groomed me for competition. My training partners (teammates) in college were All-Americans and my drilling partner was a National Champion. When you spend each day with elite wrestlers like my teammates, you become better yourself. Iron does sharpen iron.
Question: What is the meaning of success in your mind?
Answer: In my mind success means helping others reach their goals. Giving my time to help others learn and succeed is what success means to me. Whether its coaching wrestling, Jiu-Jitsu, or offering helpful advice. I just enjoy helping others
Question: With whom you would like to fight, and why?
Answer: To me, it doesn’t matter who I fight in my division. All I can do is prepare myself for any opponent that comes my way. So, whoever it is, I’ll be ready!
Question: Is there any difference b/w your common days’ diet and during competition training diet?
Answer: I realize that in order to be successful at any combat sport, diet is important. I compete year-round, so my diet is planned and prepared. Like any normal person, I give myself rewards or if I have large gaps between competitions, I’ll indulge but I won’t fly off the handle bars. My body is a machine and it’s important to me for both longevity and performance that I eat clean.
Question: How does a beginner will prepare for the competition? Any advice for beginners?
Answer: If you plan on doing a competition, make sure you’re consistent in practice, putting healthy foods in your body, and staying hydrated. This should be done 1.5-2 months prior to the tournament so your body gets acclimated to changes. If you’re a new competition in general, don’t put any unnecessary pressure or expectations on winning. Just go out there and have fun! If you win, great! If you don’t, that’s okay too. Just enjoy the experience and take every match (win/lose) as a learning opportunity. If you didn’t so well on your first competition, then challenge yourself do another one. I find that you’re bound to be good at something if you consistently do it. That goes for training and competition
Question: How is it helpful to have information about your competitor?
Answer: If you’re an avid competitor, then I feel it’s beneficial. However, some athletes including myself change and adjust their game so I’m mindful of that when I film study.
Question: Is the martial arts necessary for a common person? How?
Answer: I believe so, yes! Martial arts instill great principles and values that can help everyone in their daily life. It can be a great life skill to have such as self-defense or teaching someone to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations.
Question: Which moment is memorable for you in your past competitions?
Answer: Most memorable moment was winning my first IBJJF Pan-American championship in 2013. It was memorable because I was going through a lot of personal battles outside the mat prior to that competition. Plus, I was promoted to a higher belt rank on the podium by my Professor after I won the tournament. It made the experience that evening even more memorable.
Question: How do martial arts help to build a leader?
Answer: Martial arts build leaders by instilling the core values that it was founded upon. Values that we learn as students such as hard work, patience, humility, empathy, and respect for others. These core values mold future leaders who plan to teach or lead in any field of life (professional and personal life).
Question: What would be your dream fight?
Answer: For me, a dream fight would be against the number one feather or lightweight purple belt in my division. Whether its Gi or Nogi, it doesn’t matter. I would like to challenge myself to see if I can beat the best.
Question: How is the road plan necessary for any competition?
Answer: You must have a plan when preparing for competition. Whether its planning your diet, strength training, recovery plan or film study. Everything you do is important and if you plan then you’re on your way to success. Does it guarantee victory? No! but doesn’t increase your chances of performing better? Absolutely!
Question: Do you have any advice for your competitors?
Answer: Nope! None what so ever.
Question: How much importance has the sports gear in any competition?
Answer: Having the right gear is very important during competition. A strong, lasting Gi, rash guard or wrestling singlet is essential to any combat athlete. Your sports gear must be able to withstand the wear & tear of training and competition year-round. So, I believe using a high-quality brand of equipment that is durable and comfortable during competition can make a huge difference.
Question: What should we learn from the legends /or from the seniors? Who is your inspiration?
Answer: We should remember from our Seniors that Jiu-Jitsu is for everyone. Martial arts can teach us valuable lessons about ourselves if we really embrace its principles. Even though times are changing and so is the technique, we should always remember the lessons that Jiu-Jitsu teaches us (respect, humility, discipline, kindness, and empathy).
My inspiration comes from the coaches I’ve had in my life. My college wrestling coach Vince Silva and my Jiu-Jitsu coach Giva Santana and Mo Khayat.
Question: Who is your favorite legendary fighter? Why?
Answer: Wow! I have so many favorite fighters I enjoy watching that its hard to narrow it down to just one. I’m big fans of Josh Hinger, Edwin Najmi, and Megaton Dias. But if I must, I’d have to say Megaton Dias in the Gi because his technique is immaculate. My goal is to still be training and competing at his age. In Nogi I’ve always been a huge fan of Richie “Boogey Man” Martinez. He’s very friendly person and a great instructor. I’m huge fan of his D’arce chokes and Japanese Neck Ties.