Women and BJJ

Discussion in 'Women of the Martial Arts (Women Martial Artists)' started by Destiny77, May 10, 2008.

  1. Destiny77

    Destiny77 White Belt

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    Hi,
    I've been a member here for awhile but post very little. I read the post and feel that the members here are very informative. Here goes my question: my karate class has been invited to join a BJJ seminar. My first instinct was to take the seminar. All the guys in class are going but the women are not interested. I being a women am conflicted because I do want to go. My question is for anyone who is familiar with BJJ, if I am the only women taking the class and say maybe 30 men will I feel uncomfortable and will I get anything out of the class? I would apprectiate anyone's input on this subject.

    Thanks
     
  2. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Through the years I have found a number of women uncomfortable with the grappling aspect of the martial arts and BJJ in general. Still those that have trained in it have benefited tremendously! Their self defense skills definately improved and they now had a skill set that could be very, very useful if confronted with a larger male adversary. Just my thoughts! [​IMG]

    If I were you I would go and check it out and then you can make a more informed decision if it is for you! [​IMG]
     
  3. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Get yourself a good chest guard you can move in and go for it! If your class hasn't done BJJ before you all may be feeling uncomfortable at doing something new. I've found men are often quite uncomfortable training so closely with other men until they get used to it.
    I'd say go, have a go and enjoy it! BJJ is fun as well as being a very good MA. I'd forget all about what gender anyone is, the chest guard will make the guys feel more comfortable (well in one way, in another it makes a very good weapon lol) and will stop you getting a squashed chest. More often than not men forget you're a woman and the only one at that as you all learn to get to grips ( sorry!) with all the moves etc. I'm more often than not the only female in our classes. My daughter sometimes, work permiting, comes and trains, the guys aren't too keen on that as she may be small but has tremendous strength and they complain she crushes their ribs in guard!
    Seriously though, go, if you don't at least try it you'll always wonder and then kick yourself for being held back by the other females!
     
  4. Kacey

    Kacey Sr. Grandmaster

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    I've never taken BJJ, but grappling in general is a great skill to learn - go to the seminar and enjoy it!
     
  5. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    Will you get anything out of the class? I'm sure you will. :) One thing about seminars, or at least the ones I've gone to, have been geared to offer everyone something. In other words, you could be shown some basic moves and some more advanced moves. The most important thing to remember is, is to go with an open mind. Even if you only walk away with 2 things, thats fine. Work those things and with each seminar you will find yourself picking up more material and getting better. :)

    Will you feel uncomfortable? Only you can answer that. There is usually more close contact in BJJ than you will find in your typical martial arts class. I've rolled with females in a BJJ class a number of times. While it may initially seem awkward, its important to keep in mind the main reason why we're in the class, and that is to learn something. I do think it is important for women to work with men, because chances are, if you're attacked, it'll be by a male, not a female.

    Good luck in your decision and if you do go have a good time!

    Mike
     
  6. Kirjava

    Kirjava White Belt

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    If you want to go, don't try to convince yourself of reasons not to. Just do it! A martial artist is a martial artist, it doesn't matter if you are a woman or a man, just give it your all.
     
  7. Dagney Taggert

    Dagney Taggert Green Belt

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    Yes! Go! Have a blast! BJJ is a bit "close quarters", but a good instructor will set a tone that moves past the awkwardness. BJJ is like swimming in cement. And yes, that's a good thing. Strange but true.

    Dagney
     
  8. Destiny77

    Destiny77 White Belt

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    Thanks to all that have replied. I have decided that I will go to the BJJ seminar and judge for myself. I will let you know how it turns out. Thanks again for all the encouragement. Who knows maybe I'll even like it so much that I'll be scouting out a new place to train.
     
  9. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    Good for you. You need to give groundfighting a try--everyone does! My daughter is the sole woman in her BJJ class and it's never been an issue.
     
  10. MeatWad2

    MeatWad2 Green Belt

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    Let me ask you this...do you ever roll with guys in class? If you want to go to this seminar, go. I would. Shoot. I entered into a BJJ academy where they don't teach females. I had to take private lessons. I seriously didn't care...I want to learn the style. If you want to go to this thing, then just be like Nike..."Just do it!" Don't let a gender issue hold you back. Martial arts in general is predominantly a male sport. Just going will make the guys respect you more
     
  11. Ceicei

    Ceicei Grandmaster

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    I train in two styles, American Kenpo and Danzan Ryu Jujitsu. Initially, groundfighting felt rather strange, but now I enjoy it very much. There are two other females in my jujitsu class, but there are times I may be the only female. I find I learn a lot when working with the males. The males generally are larger and heavier, so I learn how to use these factors to my advantage. I'm glad you're grabbing the opportunity to try out BJJ! There is a wealth of information at these seminars. Let us know how it goes! - Ceicei
     
  12. Twin Fist

    Twin Fist Grandmaster

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    well, you will either learn that you like it, or you will learn that you dont like it


    either way you will learn something
     
  13. Destiny77

    Destiny77 White Belt

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    Okay, so I'm back and I survived. I was worried that I was going to be the only female but there were other female martial artist from other schools. At first I worked with only the ladies because I felt a little intimidated with the guys. It was very interesting because they showed us how to manuever to get someone off of you when you are on the ground. The real test came when I was partnered up with a male. I was nervous at first but when I was able to flip him off of me I realized that I did indeed learn some new techniques and was happy I went.

    Thanks again to all that responded and reminded me that I am a Martial Artist regardless of my sex.
     
  14. Kacey

    Kacey Sr. Grandmaster

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    I'm glad you went, and that it was worth it!
     
  15. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    Great! Good for you!
     
  16. Phoenix44

    Phoenix44 Master of Arts

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    I don't see any real issue with being female. To me, a more important issue is size and strength: I'm frequently the smallest in the class. In my opinion, technique is paramount, but yes, size does matter.
     
  17. Si-Je

    Si-Je Master Black Belt

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    On risk of being very opinionated, I'd really recomend not going to the BJJ class. There are good reasons why many women are not interesed, and I feel that their instinct is correct.

    BJJ is a ring based sport and not very efficient for the senarios that women would be in need of good ground fighting technique for self defense. Besides, you a kicker, so you want to be in a good position to use your strengths. Find a ground fighting technique that helps you get back to your feet asap, and focus on learning how to keep a grappler from taking you to the ground.
    And honestly, using ju-jitsu technique on the ground doesn't necessarily give you an advantage against a larger and stronger opponent.

    I've practiced with big men on the ground for years and I can safely state that the principles behind BJJ are contary to a woman's need to disapate a man's weight, and strength from their body when on the ground. And having them between your legs is not my prefrence, personally. If you can wrap your legs around their back, then you can kick them in the face, stomach, knees to help you roll off your back and to a more advantageous position. Or simply put your knees in their chest to keep their weight off your stomach, chest and neck.
    Eye gouging, groin striking, and such should be apart of a girl's reparte when even thinking about fighting on the ground. Plus, you being in karate, I feel that BJJ would conflict with your origional mindset of striking and kicking.
    Thus, re-inforcing you to want to resort to BJJ when you really need self defense unstead utilizing the art you are primarily training in, and lose confidence when faced with a known grappler. This makes you a "white belt" so to speak when you really need to use the training you are best at when it really counts.
    You could study the grabs, takedowns, and such, be aware of the techniques, but don't reliy on the USE of them. Look for techniques that would negate these takedowns and such and focus on what works best with you and your style.
    But, I really cringe when I think of women in general studying BJJ. Although, I know many do enjoy the art. And I'm glad you had a good time at the seminar. (I was late spotting this thread)
     
  18. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    Wow, I really disagree! What type of groundfighting would you recommend for women?
     
  19. Si-Je

    Si-Je Master Black Belt

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    Honestly, anything that would be efficient from the back of a car, on the couch in your livingroom, and any other tight and uncomfortable situation.

    Plus, what do you do if there is more than one person attacking you?
    What if your between cars in a parking lot?
    In the back of a van?
    These are good questions I feel women should ask when learning any type of ground fighting technique, reguardless of style. Can you execute your ground technique in these type of areas?

    I don't want to get too somber with the stressing of practical self defense here, because I know many have great belief in BJJ as a street self defense art. But this is the angle of thought I feel that women should be very aware of when learning a ground fighting art. That's when a situation getts scary, serious, and life threatening for a woman of any calibur of training in all arts. The gloves must come off here, so to speak, and the general rules of contact and combat should be left with the philosophers. The ground is real-time, and very unforgiving.
     
  20. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    I'd agree that learning only groundfighting is a mistake--I see BJJ as an (important) adjunct. I've started my daughter in it, alongside FMA and JKD.
     

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