It is no secret, Jiu Jitsu is a male dominated sport. Most classes always have a higher ratio of men to women. In fact, sometimes you end up being the only woman in a class full of killers. I've been seeing a lot of articles lately on the female perspective on rolling with men. Most are negative and focus on the hardships in being in a testosterone-driven training environment. They outline the physical differences between the genders and how emotionally we approach things differently. Struggles are inevitable on the mats, even though there are tons and tons of literature on tips on how you should approach training with the opposite sex.
However, not every man we train with is bad and aiming to rip our heads off. I have encountered my fair share of male training partners who only have one thing on their mind and that was
“KILL, KILL, KILL”.
I have even been told that I was a rest round. I have suffered injuries, bruises, cuts and plenty of strained muscles all from someone’s ego. For every man I have encountered that is unwilling to learn how to work with me and train appropriately, there were five others who saw me as a valuable training partner. Without these great guys in our corners, we would never be able to continue to achieve the successes we have as women in this sport. I asked a few training partners I have had in my past and present to provide me their insight on what it is like to share the mats with women. To me, the answers were not surprising. Jordan Burton said, “There are no cons, only pros. Women typically are my size, but do not have my strength or power. So I generally train a little more finesse than when I do with most men. With men, I train my finesse but use power based on the man……”. One of my favorite black belts, Lester Batres, said, “Rolling with women and smaller men is very beneficial”. I'm sure he is talking about other less violent women and not myself, because I go for blood with Lester. Most of the other men I asked this question to all gave me generally the same answers. What I discovered is that we are of value to men as training partners, and the ones that can't see it yet are missing out on game-changing training.
This weekend one of the biggest all female grappling events will take place in Houston on Sunday October 25th. An all female submission only grappling card is a huge accomplishment for women’s jiu jitsu and our very own Eric Garcia is the man behind this magic. This will also mark the first Submission Hunter Pro to be aired on the UFC Fight Pass. These are exciting steps for women’s jiu jitsu and will open up many doors for female competitors in the future. Perhaps we will start to see more women headlining grappling events and more all-women’s cards. Tickets are still on sale online, DON'T MISS THIS EVENT!