I am a shark, the ground is my ocean...and most people don't even know how to swim. - Rickson Gracie

Search Grappler Blog

понедельник, 15 июня 2009 г.

brazilian jiu jitsu for girls

Girls in brazilian jiu jitsu and for than matter judo is an interesting topic that keeps coming to my attention. Today I think no one will doubt that this is a male dominated sport for a number of reasons.

Let me see what factors are at play here:

  1. Girls are weaker.
Yes, girls are definitely weaker. Men can normally over-power girls by using there upper body and I remember myself when I started learning judo, doing newaza with a much smaller brown-belt girl. I don't know what I was doing but simply used brute strength until I got tired. She defended and yet could not submit me simply because I just powered my way out of everything. (some girls can be very tough though!!)

Here girls are at a disadvantage but this should not prevent them from learning the art. I can see that it is perhaps demotivating at first, losing over and over again to guys who just can't bare losing and don't want to give the girl even a chance. With time however, those that survive at least the first six months of training find out that it is possible to give a complete beginner boy a hard time.

I just hope girls that do decide to train and are not intimidated by this factor get the best out of being the weaker player. They can focus on becoming technical and of course their flexibility.

Getting fitter though helps. Some clubs have tough training and you need to get fit for it.

     2. Girls are smaller

Yes, girls do tend to be smaller than guys. I don't think this is as relevant as the first point. Yes girls tend to be shorter and lighter than guys, but then I myself have sparred with guys twice the size of me. When I do this, I focus on my technique. I don't even try to muscle them and I only use my strength at the point when I am focusing on my submission.

You are who you are. If the guys is bigger than you, there is nothing you can do to change that. Many big guys have bad cardio, so here you may even have an advantage. This is a universal factor for both sexes.

     3. BJJ and Judo are rough sports

I think this one is a major factor. When guys get bruises or cuts, they feel kind of proud. When girls get them, they are unhappy. If you are a girl, I guess it is just not right to walk around with a black eye.

     4. Its a male dominated sport

BJJ and judo are male dominated sports. Thats just a fact. I don't have any empirical data on this, but I imagine its 1%-3% at the most.
It also depends on the club of course. Guys with tough training and "special" attitude are just not a great place for a girl to spend 5-15 hours a week.
Some girls feel more comfortable going in groups but it is certainly hard to find a friend to come with for this. The girls there if there are any may be far more advanced or you may not get along all that well. I can really see how difficult it may be.

     5. Guys dont like to train with girls

There are some guys that love to train with girls. Others don't like it at all and I think there are more of these. They somehow are threatened by the fact that they might lose. There are also those that just feel uncomfortable touching/holding a woman's body.

I can understand the last one. I don't really mind training with them but sometimes it is a bit uncomfortable. I start thinking what they might be thinking when I grab them a little rough or in a particularly delicate area.

     6. Contact

Some girls feel uncomfortable of making such close physical contact. Getting man-handled for an hour may not appeal to every girl. There are of course positions like the guard where you spread your legs and the guy must push near the groin area to open the guard. This may not be the favourite thing a girl does on a thursday night!

     7. Perception

This is a martial art and a sport. Many girls just prefer to go dancing or yoga. Many just don't want to be a good submission wrestler and they don't want to devote so much time to this pursuit therefore. It not that cool especially for a girl no matter what we brazilian jiu jitsu practitioners think.

The perception is that it is a man's sport just like boxing and therefore it is hard to get into it and stay in it for a long enough time.


There are so many different things to say on this subject and I look forward to hearing other people's views on the subject.

2 комментария:

  1. I recommend you check out Leslie's thoughts on the topic: she has an extensive page dedicated to women on her excellent blog, here.

    As for me, I've got my thoughts up here.