Mohammadreza Goodary, (Reza Goodary for short) who is known by the moniker ‘Persian Leopard’ is an Iranian martial artist who has accomplished incredibly impressive feats across a range marital arts styles, competing in arenas around the world, and he is the first Iranian who’s got international titles in Karate, Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiujitsu.
Reza has faced a lot of adversity from a young age, and like all good fighters, turned his frustration into fuel to strengthen his resolve to become the success he is today.
Reza answered a few questions so you can get to know a little more about him.
Hi Reza, can you tell us a bit about your early life and how you started in martial arts?
My full name is “Mohammadreza Goodary”, but I go by ‘Reza’ most of the time. Growing up in Tehran, I had a lot of energy and this actually caused my parents to become concerned about my health, but I was given an outlet to express my energy when I was 7 and got to attend the Iran Judo House in Kabkanian Stadium. My father was a Judo master, so it was a natural place for me to begin with martial arts.
How did you expand into other forms of martial arts?
While I enjoyed Judo, it was not enough for me and my father sent me onwards to Fadak Sport Club where I was trained in Kung-Fu under master Seyed Mahdi Hosseini. During this time, I also learnt about the ethics of martial arts and its psychological benefits as well as its physical benefits. After that, I moved on to Enshin Karate where I placed in my first competitions, before transitioning to Shinden Kai Karate which was founded by Kancho Hamid Soltani.
From then, I also went to learn Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, I’m proud and lucky because my Jiujitsu currently coach is Professor De’Alonzio Jackson who happens to be an x8 times BJJ world champion who is a master teacher.
How many fights have you been in and what are your future goals?
I have been in 299 professional fights, and over that period have become the first Iranian to win international championships in Brazilian Jiujitsu, Karate and Muay Thai.
I want to increase my total number of fights even more and utilise all that I have learned to begin with MMA competitions and earn a championship belt.
In your opinion, what are the benefits that martial arts can bring to people?
Martial arts is not just about winning contests or self-defence, more than anything, it is a way to channel your energy and frustrations in an environment where kicking and screaming is tolerated, rather than in a stressful workplace or wherever else you happen to be. I think if more people found time to explore martial arts and give it a chance, they would fall in love with it.
Do you have any tips for someone who wants to start competitive martial arts?
Understand that you will face a lot of challenges that go beyond simply your ability to fight and win bouts – you need to have a lot of discipline and self-motivation in order to convince people you are worth it. Don’t give up hope when you get knocked back, always use your disappointment to train harder and become stronger.
Mohammadreza, thank you for your time!
You can follow up with Mohammadreza Goodary at rezagoodary.com
Samantha is the head of content and politics columnist for Best in Australia. Prior to joining the Best in Au, she was a court and crime reporter at SM.