Duncan Hewer

Name: Duncan Hewer
Age: 53
When you started: 2008

How did you first get interested in BJJ, and what led you to start training at GSW?
Was hanging around a Muay Thai school spending most of my time there punching and kicking inanimate objects. When a little guy from GSW turned up and started man-handling some of the bigger guys around on the floor. I then asked for a quick serving of getting schooled. Thought that was good fun, so I promptly followed him to GSW and paid all my joining fees on the 1st lesson. Thinking Geoff would be less inclined to kick me out in the future, if he had taken my money.

Can you share a memorable experience or achievement from your time training at the school?
One of my earlier classes Geoff described BJJ as self indulgence where you get to wear flash Pyjamas and sit on soft mats. I have always found this useful in gaining perspective around BJJ.

How has BJJ impacted your life outside of the gym?
GSW has been a place of consistency for me. Life will throw many curve balls at you over the years. All I have to do is get myself to class and some one will try and choke you out. Or at least respectfully try and snap something. Attempting to avoid this I find cathartic.

What advice would you give to someone new to BJJ or to our school?
Appreciate learning the “Art of the Tap” While under pressure, to make a critical assessment and avoid harm. Free from emotion and negative feelings only you place on yourself. Potentially is one of the more useful things I could have applied sooner to my life outside BJJ.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to improve their BJJ?
Just show up and be present. Don’t quit. Don’t be afraid to ask what you think are stupid questions. (Another useful skill outside class).

How do you balance your training and your daily life?
That has been a work in progress for me and something I am working on. When I look at my black belt it reminds me of sacrifices other people have made in my life. It also reminds me that it attaches to my flash Pyjamas when I go and sit on soft mats.

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