John Rivera

"Live your dream and never forget where you came from..."
Member Since: Aug 17, 2011
Job: Pro MMA Fighter
For Fun: Muay Thai, MMA, Sanshou, Jiu Jitsu, Northern & Southern Shaolin Kung Fu, Penjat Silat
Experience: Over 30 years
Location: Coconut Creek, FL, USA
Facebook: http://johnthemusclebotrivera

I have been studying martial arts for over 30 years, most of which consisted of Shaolin Northern Kung Fu.  My martial arts career began at an early age in New Jersey under Master Steve Chambliss, Master James Lee and Sensei Kyum Lee.  These great and well respected teachers taught me the foundations of Tang Soo Do / Taekwondo which allowed me to fulfill many goals such as earning a black belt at a very early age.

My studies in Traditional Shaolin Kung Fu began at the age of 15, under the diligence of Chaan Tzu Sadaat, in which 30 years later, is still my Master. Master Chaan Tzu Sadaat taught me the true meaning of martial arts and what hard work and dedication can achieve.  In 1996, I was appointed to the United States National Karate Team, as the only Chinese Kung Fu Stylist on the Team. On February 9, 2002 I was awarded my Master degree in Tae Kwon Do / Tang Soo Do while maintaining my studies with Chaan Tzu Sadaat in Traditional Northern Kung Fu. 

Like anything in life you must have some yardstick to measure progression and success. Being a diversified individual, I was able to study 3 arts at the same time and maintain the traditional attributes in all. I’ve won 18x International Championships, 42x National Championships in numerous categories, such as Full Contact Fighting, Semi Contact Fighting, Freestyle Kickboxing, Lei Tai and Sanshou Fighting. I was also honored in 2002 and 2003 into Action Martial Arts Hall which took place at the famed Atlantic City, NJ receiving an Award for Continuous of Excellence in the Martial Arts and Ambassador to the Martial Arts. Another great honor that was bestowed upon me is being given the title of Shihan in Okinawa Goju Ryu under the Hanshi Manny Saavedra of the Sansei Goju Ryu Organization, Miami, FL.

In 2006 I moved to Florida and continued my martial arts studies in the art of Choy Lah Fut under Sifu Raiden Leung and Master Li Siu Hung, brother of the late Lee Koon Hung. During this time, I participated in numerous competitions in Texas, Delaware, New Jersey, Washington DC and Florida. 

My induction to the Southeastern Martial Arts Hall of Fame, Orlando, Fl in 2007 (Golden Achievement Award) was in itself the highest award you can achieve, besides being a mentor to the martial arts.  This prestigious honor was bestowed to me again in 2008, being inducted into the Southeastern Martial Arts Hall of Fame, Orlando, FL (Ambassador to the Martial Arts) as well as the Gold Coast Martial Arts Hall of Fame, Davie, FL (Master Instructor of the Year) and (Sifu Warrior of Honor) by the United States Head of Family Martial Arts Association, Baltimore, MD.

September 2008, I joined the Best Fighting Gym in the world; AMERICAN TOP TEAM, COCONUT CREEK, FL.  Both of my Coaches, Steve Bruno and Master Chutiphat Cha Rungsawang trained me in the art of Muay Thai Kickboxing. Their guidance has opened new avenues in the art of Muay Thai Kickboxing.

December 6, 2008 I was appointed to the United States National Martial Arts Team and had the honor to represent Team USA at the World Championship Games in Cancun, Mexico.  The competition between Mexico and the USA took place on March 14, 2009 at the Crown Resort Hotel (Cancun, Mexico).  I performed in traditional Kata, Musical Kata, Open Kata, Traditional Weapons and the Main Event Full Contact Muay Thai Kickboxing being awarded 5 gold medals.  

July 10, 2009, I was sponsored by Revgear at a venue at Punch Fitness, Deerfield Beach, FL. My opponent was Michael Benken (Fist Factory, West Palm Beach, FL). The fight was hosted by Brian Corsello from Divitaco Company, in which I won by KO in 1:03 of the 3rd round.

August 8, 2009, I fought at Back Alley Brawl 5, John Rivera (American Top Team Coconut Creek FL) vs. Josh Jureidini (Wing Lung MMA) in a Sanshou (Chinese Kickboxing) bout in   Davie, FL, which was hosted by Left Hook Productions.  The fight was stopped in the 3rd round after Josh Jureidini suffered a broken right hand after my take down, winning by TKO.

September 11, 2010 I fought for the Divitaco Co. contenders position against Fitch Phileogene in which I won by unanimous decision.

May 5th, 2011 I fought for Fight Time Promotions at Club Play in South Beach, FL my first MMA fight at 135 lbs. my opponent was Oscar Ocello. I won the fight by KO in the 2nd round.

I presently hold positions in the Southeastern Martial Arts Association (Executive Director), Committee Member Sansei Organization, (President/Founder) International Kung Fu Society.

 I also have had the honor to teach underprivileged children and domestic violence victims self defense and rape prevention, so they can protect themselves against criminals.      

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