Mohammadreza Goodary (also called Reza Goodary) has a storied martial arts career behind him and was exposed to the sport at the young age of 7. Since then Reza has competed in hundreds of matches in several different disciplines and became the first fighter from Iran who’s gotten international titles for the martial arts of Karate, Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiujitsu.
Reza kindly answered some questions for us so you can learn a little bit more about him.
Hi Reza, or should we call you the ‘Persian Leopard’ in this interview?
Reza is fine, ‘Persian Leopard’ is a combination of ‘Persia’ the ancient name for the country of Iran, and the ‘Leopard’ is the symbolic animal for Iran.
How did you start martial arts and why is it important to you?
Well, the age of 7, I was introduced to Judo as an outlet for my energy as a child. I later moved on to Kung Fu, but really made a name for myself in the Karate world before expanding into Brazilian Jiujitsu and Muay Thai, giving me the skillset, I can try to use in MMA (mixed martial arts).
What made you want to move from Karate competitions to MMA?
MMA is a natural progression for my when I thought about how I could use all my experience in other martial art disciplines. Obviously, MMA has mainstream appeal on television and on the internet, so there is a lot more exposure and opportunities to fight various opponents.
I have started MMA training at Fairtex Training Center Thailand. My hope is to get signed up to compete professionally in MMA.
What was your experience like competing at the martial arts Olympic touranments in 2016 and 2019?
It was an awesome experience. Being around so many of the world’s best martial arts fighters was really inspiring and daunting at the same time, it definitely gave me a bigger perspective on the world of martial arts.
Soke Keyvan Dehnad who’s first Iranian 8th Dan and Famous Olympic referee helped to manage and coach me a lot at the 2016-2019 Mastership Martial arts championships in South Korea.
What should people prepare for when thinking about competing in martial arts?
Make sure that you have the right mindset before you start. Having a hunger for victory is good in any sport, but make sure it doesn’t turn into ego, as it will make you bitter when you lose (and you will lose fights).
Make sure you master the ethics of martial arts as well as the physical skill component at the same time.