Mr Jeffrey Lovretich moved to Crestview in Summer of 2015 and visited the local schools and decided to make GMA his home. While in elementary school, he started attending a Judo school at the urging of his father. As a child, with his family moving frequently and then joining the military, it didn’t seem to leave enough time at ever earn a black belt until much later in life. And while being a first degree in Taekwondo, Mr Lovretich’s rank isn’t indicative of his extensive training with a year or more in Judo, Kenpo, Tae Kwon Do, Shotokan, and Kung Fu along with a dabble in Goju Ryu, Kendo, Krav Maga and other arts. He was finally able to test for first degree black belt in 1985. After a move and going to a different style of Taekwondo, he started over and again tested for first degree in 2014 while his oldest daughter tested and earned her second degree.
Mr Lovretich had the opportunity to watch Bill “Superfoot” Wallace competing and looks for an opportunity to catch a seminar with him at some point. He says his interest in Master Wallace is partially due to a judo injury that left Master Wallace the inability to use both legs for kicking. And yet he managed to rack up an impressive undefeated (20-0) kickboxing record from 1974-1980 and two world titles (heavyweight and middleweight). However, staying grounded, Mr Lovretich says his father is the real hero in his life and it was his father’s direction that got him to where he is today.
Like many of the instructors of martial arts, what starts out with a desire to learn “cool moves” and personally defend ourselves grows as the black belt matures and starts working towards helping others. When discussing future goals with Mr Lovretich, he summed this up nicely with, “To successfully teach others to be able to defend themselves and those they love.” Mr Lovretich gave an example of that with an occurrence overseas with a solider groping one of his female students, “…the soldier was on the ground in extreme pain, and then choked out.” Between that one event, having daughters of his own, and other unspeakable atrocities he’s seen to women while oversees, he’s highly motivated to assist women in being able to defend themselves.
Mr Lovretich found it difficult leaving his old martial arts school in Southaven, MS. The desire to continue learning and teaching didn’t end there. So Mr. Lovretich pursued the continuation of his training at GMA with Taekwon-Do and Hapkido while trying to earn a spot on the staff with GMA. This paid off on September 4th, 2015, with being hired on as an instructor at GMA. Once again, he is thoroughly enjoying teaching children and adults and deeply grateful to his new GMA family for accepting him into the school.
2nd Degree Black Belt in Taekwon-Do (2015)