In case you’re a girl and thought about trying Jiu Jitsu (BJJ): Here are 5 tips for you!
Jiu Jitsu is one of the fastest growing sports worldwide and with that, naturally, women are seen more frequently on the mats than a few years ago. But unfortunately, women are often not comfortable with the idea of engaging in a sport that requires as much physical contact as Jiu Jitsu does. Furthermore, most women don’t really know what to expect from Jiu Jitsu and are thus, reluctant to start.
I hope, the following tips will help you, either when you’re already training Jiu Jitsu or to decide whether Jiu Jitsu is for you – or not.
1. Training With Guys Is Not As Weird As You Might Think
First of all, training and rolling with guys is not as weird as you might think. For some reason, girls always ask me whether it is weird to be that close with guys. And I must admit that thinking about it, it might be a little weird and it also felt weird in the very beginning, but in practice it’s perfectly normal and not awkward whatsoever. Everyone trains with everyone, that’s just how Jiu Jitsu is. That entails that it is perfectly normal in Jiu Jitsu that girls train with guys. It’s only awkward if you make it awkward…
2. Jiu Jitsu Is Not About Looking Good
In Jiu Jitsu, no-one really cares about looks. Of course, there are people who wear fancy and/or more expensive and/or unique Gis, but generally we all wear the same clothes on the mats. More importantly: Your Gi does not affect your proficiency of the gentle art! Thus, it doesn’t matter what Gi you wear or how your hair looks. Your hair will be all over the place anyway (make sure to always bring at leats two scrunchies). More importantly: Say good bye to make up. There’s literally no benefit of wearing make up when doing Jiu Jitsu… It only has downsides (after class you usually look like a weird panda with make up all over your face and possibly Gi)… Also: Say good bye to long nails. You can seriously injure your training partners with long nails (and they will most probably break anyway).
3. Choose Your Training Partners Wisely
This tip is relatively straight forward. However, it mostly goes for rolling (sparring) and not training in general.
You don’t have to roll with someone who outweighs you by a huge number. You also don’t have to roll with someone who you know will only crush you. You also don’t have to roll with someone you’re generally uncomfortable with. Actually, you don’t have to roll at all (even though rolling is highly recommended) when there’s no fitting training partner for you. Don’t feel pressure to roll when you know that you won’t benefit from it. I, personally, experienced that I benefit the most from rolling with higher ranked people and not necessarily people of my skill level, as higher belts are usually more experienced and know what to do, how to move and how to adjust their pace.
4. Don’t Give Up
As a girl, there is a chance that you will be the one of the smaller and lighter people on the mats. Thus, training with (bigger and stronger) guys may be quite frustrating, especially in the beginning of your journey. So, ladies, listen to me: There will come the time when you will be able to defeat a larger and stronger opponent by purely using technique (and almost no strength)! But that might take a while… And that’s perfectly normal. Don’t get discouraged and don’t give up. Enjoy the journey. It will all be worth it in the end!
5. Accept That Not All Techniques Work For You – Be Smart
As a girl, you’re often less physically gifted than some men are. And that’s natural. On the other hand, girls are often more agile and flexible than men. And that’s also natural. Of course, you can make up some disadvantages through training, but chances are a small girl will remain physically weaker than a bigger man. Thus, you have to accept that some techniques might not work for you as well as they do for other people. Be smart when training. Talk to your coach. Find a game plan with techniques that work for you as an individual!
Being a girl in Jiu Jitsu isn’t always easy, but it’s certainly not as hard as people might think. There are basic things you have to keep in mind and you’ll be fine!
If you’re looking for more tips to improve your Jiu Jitsu game, click here!
If you’re a white belt and struggling with improving, click here for some tips!