Girls and BJJ / Grappling

A couple of articles have been floating around the bloggosphere about women in BJJ / Grappling. One by Steve and one by Allie inspired me to think about the subject, but from different angle.

When the majority opens its doors to a minority, the majority always expects the minority to see things thru the majority's eyes.

This is my own opinion, based on changing countries, clubs, social circles, universities and work places a number of times.

No one can disagree that the majority of BJJ / Grappling players around the world are male, making females a minority.

When women/girls start at a BJJ / Grappling club or academy, the men there expect them to see BJJ / Grappling the way they (the men – the majority) see it.

The day women start voicing that they see things differently (good or bad) then one of the following may take place:

1. The aforementioned majority will think that’s a great thing and welcome the suggestions / ideas / voices / changes
2. They will reject it publicly, cross their arms, mumble like idiots and start quoting rubbish like “sink or swim” and “heat in the kitchen”…etc.
3. They will pay lip service and welcome it publicly but mumble and complain or joke about it privately/on forums/in changing rooms…etc.

I’m glad to say that in my experience, the majority of people have belonged to the first group, with a few short-timers in the 2nd and very few in the 3rd.

Let’s get this straight. You owe me nothing. I owe you nothing. We both owe the mat everything.

The goal is the journey. The goal is to come to the BJJ/Grappling mat regularly and learn and roll and enrich our lives. Any behaviour that adds to and facilitates that is good. . Any behaviour that hinders it is bad. That’s my black & white on the subject.

Personally, I hate rolling with weak people. I just don't understand how it could possible help my game:

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Georgette said...

Splendid :)

There's quite an excellent thread of commentary about Krista's article (http://www.stumptuous.com/how-to-get-more-women-into-grappling) but it's in the women-only forum at NHBGear.com. The common thread, though, is recognizing that everyone coming to the mat has something beneficial to contribute, either despite or because of their unique physical and mental attributes.

The Part Time Grappler said...

Thank you for the kind words G.

I do acknowledge that but I also agree with Steve that girls feel like they have more on their minds when they come to BJJ than boys. They see the training differently and not all men see/understand/accept that. The most open minded men think "of course they are welcome to come train. Of course they are! They just need to train like the rest of us and for the same reasons and with the same intensity!".

I'd rather everybody was treated as an individual.