OMNI BJJ, JUDO, KICKBOXING, MMA SELF-DEFENSE INSTRUCTORS
JULIO RIVERA: Owner/Head Instructor
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt, Judo Black Belt, Japanese Jiu Jitsu Black Belt, 2012 IBJJF World Senior Jiu Jitsu Champion
Sensei Julio Rivera has been involved in health and fitness for twenty years as a competitor, trainer and journalist. He won a national bodybuilding title at the age of nineteen and shortly afterwards, began training in Judo and Japanese Jiu Jitsu under 7th dan and Masters World Champion Jack Krystek. At this time, Mr. Rivera also began boxing under the guidance of NYPD boxing team coach and professional trainer David Siev.
Sensei Julio began competing in Judo early in his training, placing well at several local competitions, including the Northeastern, Starrett Cup and Liberty Bell. While still a green belt, he began to help teach classes at the dojo, sparking a passion for sharing knowledge and helping him develop his style of instruction.
After six years of training, Mr. Rivera earned his blackbelt in Jiu Jitsu Modern Style, a form of the Japanese art developed by Sensei Jack and his brother Albert, which includes throws, joint locks and chokes as well as some limited striking techniques. Two months later he was awarded his Judo black belt.
During this time, Sensei Jack, one of a handful of black belts in HAGANAH, began teaching his students this no nonsense Israeli Self Defense style. Because the curriculum is completed in just four months before being repeated, Sensei Julio became quite proficient in three years, and began fusing the technniques with his Judo and Jiu Jitsu training for self defense purposes.
Sensei Julio then became head instructor and manager of Premier Martial Arts in Midtown Manhattan, and began training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at Renzo Gracie Academy, earning his blue belt under Gregor Gracie. He trained briefly under Eduardo Santos of Lotus Club before becoming manager as well as Judo, kickboxing and self defense instructor for World BJJ and MMA champion Vitor Shaolin Ribeiro at his New York City academy.
In January of 2012, Sensei Julio received his Nidan (2nd degree black belt) in Judo from Sensei Jack Krystek. In October of the same year, Sensei Julio won the World Brazilian Jiu Jitsu title in the Senior 1 Brown Belt division, the first ever winner at the inaugural event. In December of 2014, he was awarded the black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu by Vitor Shaolin Ribeiro.
Sensei Julio has trained students who are agents and officers from the NYPD, Customs and Border Patrol, Secret Service and private security agencies. He has also helped train and corner MMA fighters.
Sensei Julio continues to train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA with Shaolin and Bellator tournament champion Marcos "Loro" Galvao. Sensei Julio has also trained MMA with UFC World Champion Anderson Silva as well as Muay Thai with Aziz Nabih at the renowned Sitan Academy.
A graduate of New York University's print journalism program, Sensei Julio has contributed articles on health, fitness and martial arts to publications such as Grappling, Oxygen, Physical, Muscle and Fitness, Advantig Health and Sport and the Association of Professional Martial Artists, among others.
He has appeared as an expert on fitness or martial arts on PBS, MTV, The Channel 11 news, National Geographic, MSNBC, GeoBeats and ExpertVillage.com. As the former co-host of the national PBS teen magazine show "In The Mix", Julio reported on issues important to young adults, including a story on gun violence which won a local Emmy for community service. He has been certified as a coach by USA Judo and as a personal trainer by the International Fitness Association.
Alvaro Tautiva: Assistant Instuctor, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Brown Belt, Judo Brown Belt
Alvaro Tautiva is a Brown belt in both Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Sensei Julio Rivera. Before joining the Omni family in 2010, Alvaro trained in Muay Thai and was a certified trainer with N.A.S.M. An active competitor in the BJJ scene, Alvaro has competed and medaled in several tournaments in the United States, ranging from New York, Boston, Miami and Las Vegas. In 2015, as a purple belt, Alvaro was runner up in the IBJJF Masters Worlds championship and soon after took 1st place in the no gi Pan-Ams championship. As an assistant instructor, Alvaro implements his background in speech and language pathology, from LaGCC and Brooklyn College, to help with the instruction of the children's programs at the school.
- Pan Jiu jitsu No Gi IBJJF Championship 2015: Purple Belt Master 1 Feather Champion
- World Master Jiu jitsu IBJJF Championships 2015: Purple Belt Master 1 Second Place
- New York Summer International IBJJF Open 2015: Purple Master 1 Second Place
- Big Apple Open 2015: Purple Belt Adult Feather Champion
- Good Fight 2013 Summer Classic: Purple Belt Adult Light Champion
- Good Fight 2012 Winter Classic: Blue Adult Feather Gi/No Gi Champion/Open Weight Gi Champ
- Long Island Pride XVI: Blue Open Weight No Gi Champion
- Boston IBJJF International Open 2012: Blue Belt Feather Third Place
Mario Hernandez: Assistant instructor, Brazilian JiuJitsu Purple Belt, Amateur MMA Fighter
Mario Hernandez is a purple belt in BJJ under Professor Vitor Shaolin and Sensei Julio Rivera. He is an active competitor in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and amateur Mixed Martial Arts having trained under Bellator MMA standout Marcos Loro Galvao. Mario has been training since 2009 in various martial arts, (BJJ, Kickboxing, Boxing) In 2013, Mario scored his first MMA victory as well as a silver medal at the Big Apple BJJ tournament. He gained experience early on working with children as a camp counceler and now assists with teaching kids and adults at Omni.
Rafael Santana: Assistant Instructor, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Brown Belt, Judo Brown Belt
Rafael earned a Masters in Criminal Justice from John Jay. He began training in Judo and BJJ at Omni shortly after. He has earned medals at several competitions, including the Big Apple BJJ tournament, LI Pride and Tech Judo. He uses his six years of teaching experience from City University to assist with children's and adult classes at OMNI.
Dr. Maria Pagan-Rivera Ph.D., L.C.S.W., Co-founder, Omni Kids/Children's Program Consulant
Dr. Maria Pagan-Rivera Ph.D., L.C.S.W. is co-founder of the Omni Martial Arts children’s program. Her expertise in child development helped shape Omni Kids' curriculum into one that emphasises the cultivation of social and inter-personal skills. She completed her PhD in Clinical Social Work at New York University. Dr. Pagan-Rivera was a school social worker at the NYC Department of Education for 9 years where she provided counseling to children with disabilities and their families. Dr. Pagan-Rivera has also worked as a consultant and evaluator for the NYC Early Intervention Program where she evaluated children for developmental, speech delays, gross motor delays and social-emotional problems. She is a Professor of Social Work at BMCC and has taught at NYU.
35-08 DITMARS BLVD.
ASTORIA, NY 11105