Meet the Coaches

Jovan Godinez, Jiu-Jitsu Coach

Dustin Thornton, BJJ Black Belt

Dustin Thornton, BJJ Black Belt


Jovan is the owner and coach at Bear City Jiu-Jitsu.  His love for  Martial Arts started over a decade ago. Having a rough upbringing, Martial Arts was his outlet.

He started  training Jiu-Jitsu in  San Diego and trains under Dustin Thornton at City of Champions San Diego. 

His back ground in Glazing lead him to a job offer he could  not refuse and decided to relocate his family to the Mountains in Big Bear, California. Jovan visualized being able to pursue his passion of  training in high  altitude. Wanting to share his passion with his family, friends and entire community! 

What started out as Little Bear Jiu-Jitsu Academy for his  daughter and her friends evolved to something bigger.  After multiple injuries he left the construction field, took a leap of faith that lead him to follow the one passion that has always been in the back of his mind and that was to start a High Altitude MMA training facility.

"I don't care who you are or what your background is. None of that matters when you're on the mat. Being a coach I get to watch people uncover their potential. I have loved this sport for over a decade and I have never stopped learning. I just want everyone to train! " -Jovan 

Dustin Thornton, BJJ Black Belt

Dustin Thornton, BJJ Black Belt

Dustin Thornton, BJJ Black Belt


Professor Dustin Thornton is our Black Belt Instructor and is the Owner/Jiu-Jitsu Coach at our Affliate School, City of Champions, in San Diego.

Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Dustin Thornton began training in Jiu-Jitsu in 2002. He started training under Baret Yoshida in 2006. In 2008 Dustin traveled to and lived in Taiwan to help coach at the first Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school in the country. In 2009 Dustin won the gold medal in Purple-belt No-Gi Worlds, in 2010 he took silver in No Gi worlds receiving his brown belt from Baret Yoshida in 2012. Dustin has also won multiple Jiu-Jitsu and submission grappling super fights.

 July of  2012, he opened City Of Champions. He began training under Black belt and ADCC Veteran Joel Tudor, instructor of  Surfight/ Studio 540 Jiu Jitsu Academy . Dustin was promoted to black belt by Joel Tudor in January 2015 . Dustin is the head coach at City of Champions and personally teaches the Jiu-Jitsu program. Adults, Competition Team and Kids Class.