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Duncan Bell: From England Rugby Player to Jiu-Jitsu Champion

October 24, 2023

In the world of sports, transition is never easy. But when you’re an England Rugby player like Duncan Bell, trading the pitch for the mats of Jiu-Jitsu might just be the ultimate metamorphosis. We sat down with Duncan to hear about his inspiring journey, which is a testament to the transformative power of Jiu-Jitsu.

From Rugby to Jiu-Jitsu: A Remarkable Journey:

“I realised that I needed physical contact and I missed that feeling.” – The Rugby-Jiu-Jitsu Transition

Duncan’s journey began in 2008 when he first encountered BJJ during group sessions at a rugby club. A brief introduction, one might say, but the seeds of change had been sown. Life took him on a different path, but that spark never dimmed. Fast forward to 2019, Duncan decided to reignite the flame, joining GB Yate under Professor Antonio Bustorff-Silva.

From Pitch to the Mats: A Sporting Career Redefined:

“I’ve always been competitive and detest losing!” – A Sporting Savant

Duncan’s life was a mosaic of various sports, from football to rugby. While rugby brought him fame, his competitive spirit knew no bounds. Jiu-Jitsu proved to be the missing piece, a sport that challenged his limits in ways he couldn’t have imagined.

The Impact of Jiu-Jitsu: A Positive Transformation:

“Jiu-Jitsu gives me great discipline, and I now have more passion for this than any other sport I have participated in.” – Discipline and Passion

It’s evident that Jiu-Jitsu’s individual nature hasn’t deterred Duncan; instead, it fuelled his competitive fire. The sense of team and discipline he found in BJJ have breathed new life into his sporting journey.

The Battle Inside and Out: Jiu-Jitsu vs. Rugby:

“I have competed several times…no other rugby game came close to the nerves I had.”

Walking out on the mats vs. the rugby pitch is a world apart. While rugby brought camaraderie, Jiu-Jitsu takes you on a solitary journey. Wins and losses are personal victories and defeats, a challenge that Duncan has embraced with open arms.

Why Jiu-Jitsu? An Invitation to All:

“Jiujitsu really IS for everyone.” – The Inclusivity of Jiu-Jitsu

Duncan believes Jiu-Jitsu is a sport for all. It doesn’t discriminate by shape, size, gender, or age. It’s a unique way to stay fit, both physically and mentally, a challenge that offers joy in unexpected ways.

Breaking the Fear: Joining the Jiu-Jitsu Journey:

“It was completely the opposite of what I thought it was going to be.” – Demystifying the Myth

Fear of stepping into the world of Jiu-Jitsu is not uncommon. Misconceptions often hold people back. But Duncan’s story is a testament to the warm, inclusive, and supportive environment Gracie Barra provides.

Jiu-Jitsu Achievements: A Glimpse into Success:

“I’ve entered a few competitions and done well in some and lost in others, I compete in the ultra heavy division because I’m still a massive unit!’

White belt British champion, White belt Somerset Open champion, Blue belt Somerset Open champion, Blue belt bronze medal British Open, Purple belt silver British Open … the story will continue!

The transition from rugby to Jiu-Jitsu has not been in vain. The medals and accolades speak volumes of Duncan’s dedication and commitment to this unique martial art.

In Three Words: The Essence of Jiu-Jitsu:

Young (walking onto the mats), old (walking off the mats from a session!), excited (to start the next session).

From the rugby pitch to the Jiu-Jitsu mats, Duncan Bell’s inspiring journey is a testament to the transformational power of Jiu-Jitsu. It’s an invitation to all, regardless of your background or fears. As Duncan’s story shows, Jiu-Jitsu isn’t just a sport; it’s a life-changing experience waiting for you to embrace. So, are you ready to take your first step towards discovering the warrior within you?

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