In 2001, while serving in the United States Marine Corps, Greenwich Native, Jeff Morris was unceremoniously introduced to a strange martial art, from a far away land: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. At the time, the concept of strategically dominating a large, aggressive opponent, from an inferior position, seemed to be an impossibility, at least without a large dose of imagination. However, Jeff was pleasantly surprised to see how quickly the techniques could be both learned and applied in real time situations. Nineteen years later, and countless hours of mat time spent both training and instructing, Jeff can truly say how significantly he underestimated the power of the art. Be it self-defense, competition, personal empowerment, bullying prevention or even spiritual awakening, Jiu-Jitsu has the power to ground you in reality while forcing you to grow in ways unimaginable. At the Greenwich Jiu Jitsu Academy we embrace the struggle, the beauty and the growth that Jiu Jitsu provides and we look forward to sharing those experiences with you and your children. Jeff Morris, an active Law Enforcement Officer, is also a certified State of Connecticut Law Enforcement Instructor and Emergency Medical Technician.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu became a part of life for Jorge around 2006 at Gracie Sports, under Master Marcio Stambowsky. At the time, he was looking to get into shape more than anything else. In the early 2000's Jiu Jitsu wasn't popular, as it is today, there were very few students and training was difficult. As MMA became more popular, there was an increase in the volume of students and training partners, with different characteristics and qualities which helped Jorge expand his knowledge and understanding of the art. When Jorge received his Purple Belt in 2010, he made himself a promise that he would never stop training. After injuries on the mat and setbacks off the mat, Jorge received his Black Belt in 2016 under Master Marcio Stambowsky. It was a significant honor for Jorge to be among the first to train from White Belt to Black Belt in the United States under Master Marcio, never training at another school or under another Instructor. This accomplishment propelled Jorge into the next phase of Jiu Jitsu, teaching. He began teaching as a Brown Belt in 2014, however as a Black Belt he felt substantially different because of the level respect and responsibility required as a Professor of the art. Jorge is currently a First Degree Black Belt with a particular style of Jiu Jitsu geared towards high percentage lower body attacks (leg locks).
"In every class I also learn along with the students, so that I can be a better coach in order to help students advance their goals in the sport, not only on the mats, but off the mats as well".
Joseph Darula was born and raised in Greenwich, CT. Growing up tremendously active, he caught the competition bug early, focusing on football and baseball throughout high school. He continued baseball while getting his bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Eckerd College and guided by his yearning for constant growth and innate determination, enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. While in the Marine Corps, he served as a scout/sniper in two combat tours in Iraq during 2003 and 2004. After an honorable discharge, he sought new challenges and discovered Brazilian jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts. After training for ten years and competing in numerous jiu-jitsu tournaments (North American Grappling Association and Grappler’s Quest), he received his brown belt from Master Marcio “Macarrao” Stambowsky. Brazilian jiu-jitsu has grown as an essential part of Joseph’s life and he is honored to be able to share his knowledge with the next generation.
Alex Testani was born and raised in Trumbull, CT. Alex began his athletic career playing football at age 9, eventually playing for Trumbull High School, followed by Sacred Heart University. Alex graduated from SHU Cum Laude with a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice, National Criminal Justice Honor Society. He started training Jiu Jitsu in college but was unable to maintain a balance, along with his studies and football. Once Alex graduated college, he was hired by a State of Connecticut Police Department, where he immediately began training BJJ during his time at the Police Academy. Upon completion of his police training requirements, Alex began training at a variety of BJJ academies across CT and NY. Alex brings a high level of enthusiasm and energy to the mat each and every time he teaches.
"Every time I travel,
I bring a gi with me because I have an opportunity to build an unbreakable bond with another member of this rapidly growing subculture." - Alex Testani
OWNER & HEAD INSTRUCTOR
BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU BLACK BELT UNDER
Jorge Martinez - Instructor
1st DEGREE BLACK BELT UNDER
Master Marcio "Macarrao" Stambowsky
Joseph Darula - Instructor
2nd DEGREE BROWN BELT UNDER
Master Marcio "Macarrao"Stambowsky
Alex Testani - Instructor
IBJJF NY Open Heavyweight Champion - X's 3
UAEJJF North American 94kg Champion
PURPLE BELT UNDER
Professor JT Torres