Forget about Bruce Lee, or even Chuck Norris, there is a new martial arts expert in town, and he is quickly navigating the elite ranks of Gracie Jiu Jitsu, his name is Robert Lovi of the Robert Lovi Academy in San Diego, CA. According to graciesd.com, “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.” Mr. Sauer studied under Rickson and Helio Gracie. Master Lovi is sought after by academies around the world. He is known for his highly technical Jiu-Jitsu that emphasizes proper technique over power.
“Robert Lovi has been training under my tutelage for over a decade and I can affirm that he has been through the program and has passed, exhibiting great discipline and technique. I can endorse Rob’s work with anyone interested in learning the “real Gracie Jiu-Jitsu” method. Anyone training under Robert Lovi is going to learn the real deal. Rob – All the best. I’m proud of you,” said Professor Pedro Sauer.
Master Lovi was the protege of some of the biggest names in Jiu-Jitsu in the world. He learned from masters like, “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. You would think training under great fighters like these would go to his head, but it hasn’t. Those that know Lovi say he is level-headed and easy going, and that you would never guess he was a martial arts expert because he is very humble.
When asked about his relationship with such big names in Gracie Jiu Jitsu, Lovi said, “Pedro Sauer is like my step dad. I love him dearly and owe him my life. Ronaldo Souza A.K.A. Jacare and I spent some time hanging out in Rio and are old friends. Luis “Limao” Heredia is a Comrade. Relson Gracie was a big influence.” Lovi is known for combining exceptional knowledge of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and the ability to break things down and teach it. His own instructor, Professor Pedro Sauer, was voted best Jiu-Jitsu instructor in a worldwide poll by the Abu Dhabi Combat Club. Lovi’s students have followed him from numerous Jiu-Jitsu academies in San Diego until he opened his own academy in November 2008.”
When asked what got him interested in Gracie Jiu Jitsu? Lovi said, “I was fascinated by Jiu Jitsu, as many others were, when I saw a skinny Royce Gracie dominate larger opponents in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (U.F.C.).” “The thing that really inspired me to learn Jiu Jitsu was my friend Bobby Hambel, the guitarist from Biohazard. We got into a fight at the Rainbow Room in Hollywood. I watched him defend himself against multiple bouncers. I was awe struck! I asked him how he learned to do that, and he told me to look up Prof. Pedro Sauer, a protege of Rickson Gracie who used to be security for them, so I did, and 10 +++ years later….”
Lovi says anyone can learn Gracie Jiu Jitsu. It doesn’t matter if you are handicapped or out of shape, even children can learn. “Jiu Jitsu has taken my life from negative to positive. A full 180, and given me a lot of self-confidence and purpose. It helped me understand myself and who I was under stressful situations. It is really a search for the truth. It helped me find peace. Helped me to know why I am here this time around on this planet.”
According to shenwu.com, the form of martial arts Lovi practices is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), it started with the Gracie family and their original teacher, Mitsuyo Maeda (Conde Coma). Maeda trained in the Kodokan, where Judo originated. Judo was created by Jigoro Kano (1860-1938). Jigoro Kano sought to streamline and preserve the ancient martial traditions of Japan. Kano improved the techniques he knew by combining two traditional systems, the Tenshin Shin’yo Ryu and the Kito Ryu. He created his own style, Kodokan Judo in 1882. An important breakthrough in Kano’s Judo was placing importance on “randori,” or non-cooperative free sparring practice. Most of the ancient Jiu-Jitsu styles trained based on pre-arranged sequences of attack and defense known as “kata.” Kano knows the value of kata practice (it is used in Judo training to this day); he also realized it was critical to learn to apply these techniques in a realistic manner.
The Martialartsacademy-idaho.com states, Kodokan Judo was the dominating force in martial arts for several years it reigned supreme. Then in the late 1800’s an event of epic proportions took place, Kodokan was challenged by Mataemon Tanabe, the headmaster of a little known system of classical Jiu Jitsu known as, the Fusen Ryu. The Fusen Ryu was a revolutionary style of ground fighting Jiu Jitsu. Tanabe wanted to test his ground fighting style against the Kodokan. Jiu Jitsu proved to be superior because Kodokan had no counter style to this technique because Judo was a standing style of martial arts. Kano invited Tanabe to teach ground grappling at the Kodokan. It was around this time that student named Mitsuyo Maeda began his Judo training. Maeda was a martial arts prodigy that became a legend in the history of Judo.
The bleacherreport.com points out that, after traveling the world extensively and winning over a 1000 matches, Maeda planted roots in Brazil and started a “Jiu Jitsu” academy. A young man named Carlos Gracie was one of his students. Gracie studied with Maeda in the 1920’s, Carlos then started his own academy in 1925. Carlos and his brothers reputation was set in stone when they started the now famous “Gracie Challenge.” All takers were welcome to fight the Gracie’s in no-holds-barred (NHB) matches.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is divided into three broad categories, each mutually supportive of the others; self-defense (including striking techniques and unarmed techniques against armed opponents), free fighting competition (commonly referred to as “vale tudo” or “anything goes” events, now popularly called MMA), and sport grappling with and without the Gi (matches that include a wide range of submission holds, but no striking). The innovations of the Gracie family, especially by grandmasters Carlos and Helio Gracie, and by BJJ fighters today, who constantly test and refine their techniques in actual fights, have resulted in the superior style of Gracie Jiu Jitsu.
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