OWNER & Head Instructor
My name is Leandro Castroviejo, and I was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 44 years ago. My professional background is in mechanical engineering, which I started studying in middle school, continued studying in high school, and went to college in Brazil to become a mechanical engineer. When I was 25, I earned the equivalent of a U.S. Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. The same year, I moved to the United States to study English and started working for a construction company. After 13 years, I got my general contractor’s license and four years ago started LC Construction, which remodels and builds custom homes and commercial buildings. I now have projects all over the Peninsula.
At the age of 30, I started training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at the Charles Gracie Academy. I fell in love with the sport and am impressed about all the benefits that it has brought into my life. I have found a new lifestyle and become a better person. With the guidance of my Master, Charles Gracie, I have learned self-defense techniques and lived a healthier life. The tournaments are one of my favorite parts of practicing Jiu-Jitsu. I started competing when I was still a white belt, and I have won more than 50 medals over the years. Some of my biggest accomplishments are as follows:
- Multiple times National Champion
- 2x American Cup Champion
- 4x US Open Champion
- 2014 Bronze Medalist at the IBJJF World Championship
- 2015 Silver Medalist at the IBJJF World Championship
- 2015 Pan Am Champion
- 2016 Bronze Medalist at the IBJJF World Championship
- 2016 Bronze Medalist at the IBJJF World Championship No Gi
I always believe that I win by competing, even when I do not get a medal. In my opinion, the experiences gained at tournaments are greater than any medal an athlete can win.
As a member of the Gracie Elite Team, it has been my honor and privilege to represent this team. I am very grateful for my Master Charles Gracie, and I always try to represent his name with integrity.
I have a lot of experience as a Jiu-Jitsu instructor and have been teaching for the past seven years. I am always eager to share my knowledge and experience with others, and I really enjoy teaching Jiu-Jitsu to adults and children. I became a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt in May 2016, and began dreaming of having my own Jiu-Jitsu academy. Finally, I found the right place in the great community of Redwood City, California, to open my own academy and become part of the Charles Gracie Association.
I also love teaching self-defense classes and have a great desire of empowering women in the community, so at my academy I offer a specific program with self-defense classes for women and teenage girls.
I admire the Gracie family and the legacy left by the Grand Masters Carlos Gracie and Helio Gracie. I have a lot of respect for the Gracie family and have been lucky enough to get to know many of them in person.
When I am not on the mats teaching, training, or competing, I enjoy my family. I am married to Gisele, a wonderful woman also from Sao Paulo, Brazil. We have been together for 22 years and have four beautiful and energetic children. Life is always busy: going on walks with my wife, watching my 16-year-old daughter play lacrosse, coaching my 13-year-old daughter’s volleyball team, and watching my 9-year-old twin sons play soccer and volleyball.
Our family loves being on the road and getting to know new places. We have taken a lot of road trips. We also love traveling to Brazil to visit friends and family.
Thank you for taking the time to visit our website, and I hope you will visit our academy very soon. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has changed my life, and I would be very honored to share this beautiful martial art with you.