Trainers

 

Our team is headed by Daniel Pilewski but consists of a number of other, dedicated individuals to keep things running smoothly. Our staff is friendly, experienced, and dedicated to the art of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

 
 
Daniel.jpg

Daniel Pilewski

Owner/Head Coach
Brown Belt, 4th degree
Army Veteran
Army Combatives Instructor

Daniel is a former Berlin High School graduate who returned to Connecticut after retiring from the United States Army with 23 years of active service. He is a Level IV Tactical Combatives Instructor and was the Brigade NCOIC for the Combatives program while at Ft Hood, Texas. He is currently a 4th-degree Brown Belt under Relson Gracie/Phil Cardella.

me.jpg

Danielle Gambardella

Co-Owner/Assistant Coach
Purple Belt

Danielle has been training at Relson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy Connecticut since 2015 and earned her purple belt in early 2019. She trains most week-nights and competes regularly. As a staff member, Danielle assists with youth classes, beginner self-defense sessions, and others. She also does much of the "behind-the-scenes" administrative work, including membership tracking and web design/maintenance.

Jeremy.jpg

Jeremy Payne

Assistant Coach
Purple Belt

Jeremy has been training at Relson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy Connecticut since 2014 and earned his purple belt in mid-2017. Jeremy is a talented and dedicated practitioner who regularly assists with the youth Jiu-Jitsu class. He has a talent for studying and analyzing techniques in order to gain a better understanding of the art. He is always willing to step up, when needed.

Jason2.jpg

Jason Smith

Assistant Coach
Purple Belt

Jason has been training at Relson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy Connecticut since 2014, earning his purple belt in mid-2017. Jason trains most week-nights and often interrupts his own practice to walk his teammates through a technique. He has as much enthusiasm for teaching others as he does for improving his own abilities, making him a valuable member of the team.

steve.jpg

Esteban “Steve” Alvarez

Yoga Instructor
Blue Belt

Steve has been training at Relson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy Connecticut since mid-2017 and is currently a blue belt. He is a certified yoga instructor who teaches his art four mornings a week at the academy. These classes are free for members, discounted for family of members, and only $10 or less per session for everyone else. Steve does a great job, so come check it out!

Marty Pirog

Assistant Coach
Purple Belt

Marty has been training at Relson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy Connecticut since early 2015 and is currently a purple belt. While we may not have an official staff picture for him yet, don’t let that fool you into thinking that he’s any less important than our other trainers! Marty is quick to jump in and help whenever needed, often before we can even ask. He has a fun personality and does a great job helping new members feel welcome.

 
GroupPhoto.jpg