“Jay Bell is hands down one of the best instructors I have been associated with.”
I have been teaching and training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu since 1995. Jay Bell is hands down one of the best instructors I have been associated with. His skill in Jiu-Jitsu is matched only by his incredible talent as an instructor. You will not find a more capable, patient or devoted teacher anywhere. Anyone who is looking for BJJ instruction in the Farmington Valley area should consider themselves extremely fortunate!
— Rob Kahn
Royce Gracie black belt
Owner/Head instructor Gracie Tampa.
"Love Gracie Farmington Valley! Our whole famliy is training at GFV."
— Chris Jay
"Love the new facility. The instructors are welcoming, knowledgeable and patient. There's a collaborative atmosphere where instructors and students work together to develop new skills."
— Patrick Slater
"If your looking for great Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu along with excellent instructors and people around you, Gracie Farmington Valley is a great place if you're near by or passing through looking to train! Jay and Jim are the real thing, along with the rest of the crew there."
— Jerry Lashway
“ Jay is not just a BJJ teacher, he is a “Martial Artist” and a good person who cares about his students.”
Jay Bell is a pioneer in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu in Connecticut. He is one of the original guys that helped spread BJJ throughout our state. There are many great BJJ practitioners in Connecticut, many competitive guys who have a passion for BJJ and a passion to train hard. But few hold the ability and passion to teach what they know and pass on the art to others and keep the martial spirit alive as well as Jay does. Jay is not just a BJJ teacher, he is a “Martial Artist” and a good person who cares about his students. If you find yourself training on the same mat as him you a lucky person.
— Rob Magao
Pedro Sauer Black Belt
Manchester Brazilian Jiu-jitsu
"Armed with this new approach, I was able refine my scissor sweep, which is now a regular tool in my jiu-jitsu arsenal".
I remember the first class I ever took under Jay back in 2003 when he was still under Royce. He taught a move I had practiced endlessly under another Gracie but could never quite make happen in sparring. This was due to a combination of odd body position, jerky movements, and over-reliance on strength–as it was taught to me. It was the standard scissor sweep from the guard, which is a simple enough move–unless you don’t know how to apply it correctly.
When Jay taught this move to the class he was able to convey his conceptualization of proper jiu-jitsu execution, demonstrating pure technique with smooth, fluid movements. I was amazed; I had never seen it done such an effortless way. Armed with this new approach, I was able refine my scissor sweep, which is now a regular tool in my jiu-jitsu arsenal.
In the years that followed, Jay and I trained together many times, and I picked up something valuable from every one of those experiences, whether it was implicit from being on the receiving end of sparring with him or explicit from him teaching/coaching in some aspect I was missing. Beyond this, Jay was always available to answer questions and practice unfamiliar techniques. Indeed, he was a key element in me retooling my entire jiu-jitsu game and going from blue to where I am now.
At the time Jay was a combination of very good jiu-jitsu fighter and very good instructor, with the clarity of vision to identify exactly which points students needed to tighten up. I have no doubt that his skills and abilities have improved and will serve his current and future students well.
— Joshua Randorf
Gracie Sports Academy – Brown Belt
Soulcraft – Jiu Jitsu & Muay Thai Coach
“Thank you Jay”
Jay has been a great person to train under and I wish I could more often. He truly cares about teaching people and will always be willing to show you any move or setup or self-defense that you want. Also he is the most talented Jiu-Jitsu player that came out of the Royce Gracie New England network in my opinion. And without him my program would not be what it is today. Thank you Jay.
— Josh Hesser
Owner/Head Instructor of ABD Colchester.
"Great staff, new facility is spacious and love the location, fabulous school for both kids and adults - especially love Krav Maga with Tim!"
— Lauren Custo Berry
"My new home"
— James L. Cody
"Awesome gym, lots of killers here. Definitely one of CT's best places to train!"
— Greg DiCrosta
“Anyone living close to the Farmington Valley should seek out his instruction and the welcoming and friendly vibe that can be found in his academy..”
“I’ve been training and teaching jiu-jitsu in Connecticut for 13+ years and have known Jay Bell for almost all of them. He is a dedicated student and an amazing teacher with a gift for simplifying even the most complicated techniques and presenting them in a way that helps people get them right away. Jay has also been a great resource to me in the development of my own jiu-jitsu game and my ability as a teacher. Anyone living close to the Farmington Valley should seek out his instruction and the welcoming and friendly vibe that can be found in his academy. The man knows his stuff and is one of the nicest, most genuine people you could hope to come across. Go train with him!”
— Brad Wolfson
Owner Soulcraft Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Marcio Stambowsky – Gracie Sports Academy Black Belt
“Regardless of your age, if you are interested in becoming incrementally better, more physically fit, losing weight, or would just like some respite from some of the daily stresses in your life, ”
I have had the opportunity to know and train with Jay Bell since moving to Connecticut in 2003. His depth of expertise in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is only surpassed by his tireless work ethic and his commitment to the mutual success of his students. I have witnessed Jay over the years and can honestly say that Jay conducts his classes with leadership and the upmost integrity, while guiding individuals at all different levels through the aspects of the art. Regardless of your age, if you are interested in becoming incrementally better, more physically fit, losing weight, or would just like some respite from some of the daily stresses in your life, I would highly recommend trying one of Jay’s classes. It is amazing to have this caliber of talent in Simsbury, Connecticut!
West Hartford, CT
"Jay Bell and the GFV family really put all effort into making sure that you get the best experience and learning on and off the mats. GFV is clean, neat, organized and is always a great place to be at. I recommend any kids, teens or adults to go and learn some great jiu jitsu and stand up."
— Dylan Smith
"Jay Bell and his team of instructors are some of the best around. With more than 14 years of training, Jay is one of the best and most patient teachers I have ever worked with. I bring him to my academy in Hamden, Ct regularly to hold workshops and my students love it!"
GFV has the kind of culture I would look for in a martial arts facility. Friendly, caring students, clean and well-kept etc. Overall, this is a great place to learn and train!
— Brad Wolfson
“He was able to make me understand in a very short amount of time the difference between using strength and using pure technique.”
I met Jay Bell four years ago and I heard the rumors of how talented he was throughout our school. Then I got the opportunity to train with him when my regular instructor got injured. He was able to take a rough and tumble brand new blue belt and turn me into a technical BJJ player. He was able to make me understand in a very short amount of time the difference between using strength and using pure technique. This sounds simple enough but it is something BJJ practitioners struggle with everyday but Jay just knows how to show you the path of least resistance with such ease that you can not help but get better. Anyone can show you a technique but Jay knows how to teach beautiful technique as well as the mental and spiritual side of Jiu-Jitsu. I have been blessed to learn most of my game from Jay and will continue to learn from him as a student and as his friend. If you lucky enough to get to train with Jay you will understand what I am saying.
— Luis Rosario