Brazilian jiu-jitsu is for everyone. At the same time, your experience doing it will be painted by who you are. When you decide to join a gym there is a strong likelihood that you will be one of the few women who train at your respective gym. This can be a powerful and liberating experience – but by no means is it easy.
Woman who are currently thinking about taking the leap and joining Brazilian jiu-jitsu, starting something new is hard enough. Doing it will make you realize that BJJ gyms are an ultra-masculine space, which can be intimidating as a beginner, male or female. It is important to know this space is a positive environment to be in, there is a culture of respect for all on the mats. No matter your race, creed, or gender.
In Jiu-jitsu, there is a hierarchy system symbolized by belts. Having a higher belt does give an individual a higher degree of respect and authority to speak and teach certain aspects of the game. Since he started training, black-belt instructor Alex Martinez has seen a huge growth in female competitors and practitioners. There are plenty of highly skilled competitors for women to look up to and find solace that this sport is inclusive for them.
Breaking all barriers
It is common to see a smaller amount of female practitioners but the number continues to increase. More and more women are starting to participate in the sport which is a great thing for the overall community. Everyone starts their journey for their reasons and we all have the same goal when walking through the doors – leave the gym a better person than you came in.
Watching female competitors go at it is every bit of entertaining as their male counterparts, these individuals are badass. We are looking forward to going to ADCC this year in Las Vegas to watch the best female and male competitors compete for the world titles in their respective weight divisions.
Benefits of Joining a BJJ Gym
The benefits of doing BJJ go far beyond just physical exercise. The social aspect of the sport, increased sense of security, mental clarity, and boost of confidence you get from training are unmatched. Making friends and feeling a sense of belonging to a larger community helps a ton when you are doing an activity that helps define who you are as a human.
The gym is a sacred space for people who practice. Many use the mats as a way to consciously get their mind off of what is going on in the outside world. When you enter the gym, you will find a group of people who have become very present in the pursuit of getting better at their craft.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Women
Roughly there are about three million people that practice BJJ a year. The majority of those people joining gyms are new white belts and an even smaller percentage (about 5%) are a woman. When millions decide to practice but few are resembling a demographic, the competition will be few but every bit mighty.
We have watched plenty of woman-led tournaments and Super Fights at this point and the competitors are astonishing. We encourage you to leap if you are on the fence and see if your local gym has some kind of free trail.
Protection, Self-Defense, and Taking the Leap
You never know how great something could be for you until you immerse yourself in the activity. Plenty of women that we have come across say they were always interested in potentially doing the sport but just never pulled the trigger. If you are interested, try it out. You have nothing to lose. Even if you do not want to compete, you will be learning a valuable skill that will teach you more about yourself, teach you how to defuse or disarm situations, and build your overall confidence.
Self-Defense is something people do Brazilian jiu-jitsu for. Live rounds simulate this. BJJ gives us a great way to feel safe in our own space and body. Strength does play a factor in the game, you will most likely find yourself integrating weight training into your workout routine at some point. The technique is truly how you win and paying attention to detail will pay dividends. Getting better in Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a very personal journey. All that matters is your development.
As we continue our journey in BJJ, we hope to see more women that decide to join the movement and start to practice for themselves. We hope this article was helpful to you if you were on the fence!