The sport of Jiu-Jitsu is certainly meant for anyone and everyone willing to adhere to the lifestyle. Gender makes absolutely no difference in someone’s ability to learn and use Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Actually, there are some really high-level female competitors out there that could give most guys a run for their money. Thankfully, during the last few years opportunities in Jiu-Jitsu for women have become more available. There are now professional competition formats that target only the ladies. This, in turn, only brings more new students to the art, helping both the art and those practicing it, grow even further. However, being a lady in what is still to a certain degree, a man’s sport, is anything but easy. here are a few tips to make life easier.
The benefits of training Jiu-JItsu for women are numerous. It offers a fun way workout for those looking for one. It also offers valid self-defense options that actually work. There’s also the sports aspect to it, both from a training and competition perspective. Jiu-Jitsu truly is for everyone, regardless of size, gender or age However everyone’s approach to training BJJ shouldn’t be the same. After all, it is a sport aiming to develop an individual within a team. That said, ladies should look to become comfortable with life on the mats and become efficient grapplers that can deal with anyone they slap and bump with.
There are certain aspects that women face which are completely unknown to most men. NO matter how much we equate men and women socially, physiologically there are differences. these differences entail different approaches and carry different advantages for both men and women alike. Women should aim to use every advantage they have to make their experience on the mats as pleasant as possible. This is especially true for those ladies just starting out with BJJ. In that sense, there are some essential tips that make training Jiu-Jitsu for women a lot easier.
Jiu-Jitsu For Women
Training a contact sport is never easy, regardless of gender. However, when you’re a woman surrounded by men in a gym, where you’re physically weaker, this gets a whole new meaning. Unfortunately, across the world, the ladies are still massively underrepresented in the sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. All due respect to all the brave girls and women working tirelessly to change this, there is still a large deficiency of the finer half in grappling.
Given that BJJ is a sport that has so much to offer women, this is somewhat baffling. Yes, the fact that it is a contact sport has something to do with it, but it is actually a very large pro instead of a con. We’ll focus on this more a little bit later in this article. In short, we’ve already covered why Jiu-Jitsu for women is a good idea. The sport breeds confidence and empowers women. It also offers a great chance to stay in shape, become a part of a community and, for those willing, test their skills. There also the option of teaching classes as well.
The aspect that interests us more today is how should women approach BJJ training. There are a few major aspects of training BJJ, like rolling with men and/or choosing the moves that work best for you. There are also other aspects that are as huge but can be equally as annoying. Like, for example rolling (or not) during your period. Training BJJ is unlike training anything else, especially with the Gi. That said, there are ways for even the shyest of ladies out there to integrate into the art, as long as they love training. And if there’s anything we need in BJJ, it is more women that represent the ways of the Gentle Art.
A Few Tips To Make Life Easier
Okay, ladies, time to get right into Jiu-Jitsu for women. These tips are going to be more useful to those just starting BJJ, or just “finding their feet” in the sport. The first thing you need to understand is that grappling is a contact sport and there’s no way of training it without working close to other people. Regardless of gender, some might find this aspect gross and revolting, but it gets easier with time.
Now, being in a contact sport does not mean you need to put up with the weight of everyone around you. For starters, it is a good idea to talk to both women and men and ask them to go as easy or as hard as you want. As you progress, you’ll be looking for tougher rolls anyway, and you’ll actually be asking people not to hold back. As you can see from multiple examples out there, black belt women are a force to be reckoned with. They roll hard with both men and women and can destroy opponents of all sizes with ease and graciousness.
Rolling With Men
The one glaring issue is, of course, rolling with men. Actually rolling, in general, should not be something women, or any new student, is directly exposed to anyway. Until you gain a certain amount of experience, positional sparring should be the only kind of “live” work you do. Regardless, when rolling with men, remember not to be afraid or shy away from it. This, however, does not mean not to command respect.
You must accept one thing when you start training BJJ – it is a grappling sport, meaning you’ll be in weird situations with people entangled with you. If you can’t bear being in such close proximity to someone, maybe you should consider training something else. When you’re rolling with men and women alike, you’ll get grabbed in different areas and you’ll get smashed and crushed from time to time. It is the nature of the sport. The sooner you accept that the sooner you’ll see that people, in general, have no hidden agendas when they call you for a roll. Oh, and rolling with men is only going to make you better ad fighting women when tournament time comes.
Rolling During A Cycle
In terms of Jiu-Jitsu for women, there’s one issue that is specific to ladies only. During a cycle, things are pretty much easy – do not roll if you have physical symptoms like cramps or pain. It is better to miss a couple of training sessions, no matter how hard that is. If you’re still dead set on training, the first thing to address, is, of course, feminine hygiene products. This is an easy solution as you can prevent any accidents – the menstrual cup. Wearing one is going to give you a piece of mind while you roll. Another option is a pair of menstrual panties, reinforced with a pair of black spats on top, and under your Gi pants.
Also, consider using some supplements to make things easier. Some fish oil, along with magnesium and vitamin D3 is a great combination. It is going to make your time on the mats easier during your period.
Dealing With Your Hair
This is an aspect of training BJJ that’s as important to you as it is to your partners, Well, probably more important to you, as constant pulls on your hair hurt like hell. Factor in the weird position people get and all the neck manipulation, and you’ll be in for a long night if you do not take care of your hair.
That said, there are several very easy hairstyles that’ll keep everything in place. Braids are always a good option, especially a French braid. You could go with one or two, depending on how much time you have. If you go for a simple ponytail, go for a high one and make sure you’re using high-quality elastic bands. They’ll both hold the hair tightly in place and have less chance of snapping.
After training, make sure you give your hair some extra attention. Use a good quality shampoo an all assorted product, depending on your hair type.
This is the easy part. You have to be the perfect technician if you truly want to succeed as a grappler. Chances are that most people in your gym are going to be larger and strong than you. the first thing you need to settle is that you do not want special treatment, particularly from smaller sized guys. When you roll, have people treat you like an equal and punish them if they slack.
Technically speaking Jiu-Jitsu for women need to be based on your strengths. While you might be smaller and physically weaker, you’re also faster and much more flexible. These are all attributes that are going to define your technical style of Jiu-Jitsu. Also, factor in your body type as well. Taller women are going to have a different game to shorter ones, for example. Make sure you’re using as much leverage and trickery as possible and always go for the kill. Focus on chokes and leg locks, as they’re high percentage moves that keep you safe from counters.
Sticking with the basics is also never a bad idea. Ladies, make sure you check out Kurt Osiander’s DVD set “Funamentals Of A Jiu-Jitsu Renegade” It’s got great techniques along with lots of moves nobody is going to expect. Perfect for the ‘weaker” sex to hunt and kill male grapplers.