When you hear the name Jimmie Rivera, you’ll probably think about El Terror and his impressive stretch of winning 20 of 21 consecutive matches. 

Jimmie Rivera is a professional mixed martial arts fighter, owner and instructor at Tiger Schulmann’s Short Hills.

Like many kids, he grew up watching Ninja Turtles and The Karate Kid and, at the age of nine, enrolled in Tiger Schulmann’s classes for kids. 

A couple of months later, I was super addicted to the martial arts; I loved it, he said. 

Not soon after, he saw other people competing, so he decided to try competing too. 

There’s nothing that compares to getting your hands raised in front of thousands of people, said Jimmie.

And the rest is history. 

We build confidence

There are not many professional fighters willing to swap the excitement of the ring for a martial arts school, but Jimmie is different. 

He has been competing in every martial arts competition, from Challenge of Champions and amateur fights to professional fights all the way up to the UFC, and he is generously sharing his tremendous experience with his students. 

I believe it makes me a better martial artist and instructor. The best way you learn is from your own mistakes and then figure out how to use those turn those errors into ways to benefit others, said Jimmie.

However, it’s not enough to work harder than the competition to be the best in anything you do. You need to love what you’re doing, and Jimmie knows that the best. 

I became an instructor to give back to the students like my Senseis gave to me. Their influence on me was so great that I strive to pay it forward. As the saying goes, when you love what you do – you never work a day in your life. I love my job.

What other person can show up to work and teach kids how to protect themselves, help get adults in shape and build both kids’ and adults’ confidence?

But who is Jimmie Rivera off the mat?

From his work and hobbies to family time and giving back to the community, Jimmie always stays true to his values. 

This is the thing I love about him the most: no matter where he is or who he is with, the CEO, or the janitor, Jimmie is always one hundred percent authentically Jimmie, said Jimmie’s wife, Samantha Rivera.

As a real champion, he couldn’t stay blind to the problems in our society and decided to help those whose job is to keep us safe by taking part in the creation of and co-founding “The Guardian Law Enforcement Defensive Tactics Program.”

The idea behind the program is to teach police officers to restrain suspects properly with proven physical techniques instead of reaching for a gun. Officers need to be able to protect themselves first in order to protect others, which is not always easy when dealing with different types of people. 

The first step officers always take is to de-escalate the situation. 

But many things can go wrong. 

If it gets past de-escalations, the next step is hands-on but it should never resort to deadly force. Officers need to know how to hold the person without hurting themselves or hurting the subject. If officers can show up and de-escalate the situation without using the guns or teasers, it’s a huge win for them every single time, said Jimmie.

After a busy day at work teaching martial arts at Tiger Schulmann’s and helping his students build confidence, Jimmie has his own form of meditation: Legos. 

I don’t need to worry about if it is going to be right because it’s simple. 

But don’t let his words trick you: his collection is impressive! 

Why did he decide to transition into Bare Knuckle Boxing?

Let’s not reveal everything here, but watch the video to find out!

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