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Robert Lovi Academy

The Robert Lovi Academy opened its doors in November 2008 in San Diego’s Normal Heights neighborhood. The facility is not large and glamorous. It’s straight to the point, and offers students the opportunity to learn world-class level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in a small classroom setting. Our blackbelt instructors actively participate with all of our students and give everyone personalized attention.

We are a Pedro Sauer affiliate school and follow the curriculum for the belt ranking program. This is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu direct from the source. We teach both self defense and sport Jiu-Jitsu, and emphasize gi training. The gi (the traditional kimono uniform) is not just about tradition. All of the top Jiu-Jitsu competitors come from gi backgrounds. The gi slows things down, forces proper technique, simulates clothing, and allows for a much wider range of techniques.

We are not a competition-focused school, so there’s no reason to be intimidated. Find out why Jiu-Jitsu is the most effective self defense system in the world. But more importantly, we urge you to take a few minutes to learn about the benefits and dimensions that extend beyond self defense. Jiu-Jitsu is a holistic system that will keep you sharp, in shape, active, mentally refreshed and recharged. Our classes will be the regular highlights of your week.

Head Instructor Robert Lovi has dedicated his life to the study and teaching of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He earned all of his belts from 7th degree Red-Black Belt Pedro Sauer, and is sought after by academies around the world. Robert is known for his highly technical Jiu-Jitsu that emphasizes proper technique over power, and for combining exceptional knowledge of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and the ability to break things down and teach it. His own instructor, Pedro Sauer, was voted best Jiu-Jitsu instructor in a worldwide poll by the Abu Dhabi Combat Club.

He has studied and trained with the biggest Jiu-Jitsu names in the world including Terere, Jacare, Andre Galvao, Ricardo & Leo Vieira, Telles, Rodrigo Comprido Medeiros, Jamalao, Shaolin, Wander Braga, Carlos Valente, Felipe Costa; Relson, Rorian, Rener and Ryron Gracie, and many others.

Our academy is known worldwide for its high level instruction and commitment to the personal growth of our students. Every one of our students is extended family, and we are dedicated to safety, personal development and building strong fundamentals. If you’ve never studied Jiu-Jitsu before, our academy offers a warm and inviting environment for beginners. We all have to start at some point. The academy is not competition focused, so our classes are more relaxed. Students choose their own pace.

  • Alex says:

    Rob Lovi is the man. High level skills, great pedigree, smooth as silk, nicest guy in the world. Prof. Rob’s got a unique sense of humor and relaxed style of teaching. This is the best school I’ve ever trained at and would recommend it to anyone who wants to really sharpen their technical skills and gain a deeper understanding of the Jiu-Jitsu game. Classes are 99% BJJ — it’s not a crossfit gym. There are a couple guys there who compete, but they’re in the minority. It’s more oriented towards Jiu-jitsu “lifers”. Lot of top BJJ guys in San Diego to choose from, but Prof. Rob is my personal favorite to train under.

  • Adrian Padilla says:

    I am in the Navy and found out about Lovi’s school from a friend. I trained there for about 3 months before getting deployed. I do highly recommend the gym overall. The gym is a traditional Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Most classes are taught in a gi. It is NOT an MMA school.

    The focus is Gracie Jiu-Jitsu including Helio Gracie’s Self defense. The focus is defense for the street not in the octagon. Never the less Top Level MMA guys are often stopping by to train BJJ. I don’t know if I’d recommend this place for MMA training but if you want to learn Traditional Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in a positive environment where there is a lot of 1 on 1 this is the place. I am older now in my late 30s and am not looking to become a UFC champ or get hurt, just defend myself in a situation, stay in shape and loved training at Gracie SD. Rob is super technical, very talented and kind of funny which makes it a welcoming environment.

    Roland Malone the other Blackbelt is a guy that takes the self-defense seriously. Roland taught Self Defense for the Military in Rota Spain. The 2 approaches balance each other out. there is another Brown Belt that teaches there from Brazil, he teaches more of a competition training. My time there was a good experience. Look forward to training again in the Spring.

  • Louis D says:

    Gracie SD has a new MMA class. Its taught by Gary Padilla and Wade Shipp. Both are established MMA fighters. Self Defense is taught by Black Belt Roland Malone. Jiu-Jitsu by Robert Lovi. Rob is super technical ! It’s a small school with a lot of personal attention. Everyone that comes out of there is very technical. I like the environment !

  • Robert Lovi is an awesome instructor and has trained with the best. He has been a guest instructor at my academy on several occasions and always does a great job. I recommend him 100%!!

    Johann Eyvindsson
    Owner & Head Instructor
    Iceland Jiu-Jitsu Academy.

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