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Anthony J. Bell was born in Oxnard, Ca. in 1958. He began training Shotokan Karate in 1978, but quickly turned to Aikido in 1979. Bell Sensei began his Aikido training with Gayle Fillman Sensei in Ukiah, Ca. at Mendocino College. In 1982, he went to Japan to study with Morehei Saito Sensei at the Iwama dojo in Ibaraki-ken, Japan as an uchideshi. Since that time, he has trained with many other Senseis in the Bay Area. Bell Sensei currently holds the rank of godan (5th degree) in Aikido.

In 1991, Bell Sensei also began training in Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu under the direction of Tetsutaka Sugawara Sensei. Katori Shinto Ryu is a 600-year-old sword style, considered to be the most distinguished of all Japanese martial traditions, and as such was designated an intangible cultural treasure by the Japanese government in April 1960. Bell Sensei has received the ‘kyoshi’ instructor’s license for this distinguished and complex art from Tetsutaka Sugawara Sensei.

In 1992, he went to China with Tetsutaka Sugawara Sensei of Machida-shi, Tokyo, along with other Aikidoka, introducing Aikido to the Shanghai Institute of Physical Education, Beijing University of Medical Science in China, returning to Japan for further study with Sugawara Sensei.

Jay Bell Sensei continues his training with Sugawara Sensei during Sugawara Sensei’s annual visits to North America as well as regular visits to Japan.