Sunday, September 13, 2009

Safe Training Rules for Women

The inspiration for today's blog came in part from a conversation I had at the women's open mat sponsored by Gracie 360 in Philly today.

I am one of the first women to say that women deserve everything and are capable of a lot. We are more than a lady, a mom, a housekeeper, or a cook. Mentally we are equal to men...and yet physically, we are not.

Although in general, I have always considered myself tough, I do not suffer the illusion that I am equal to a man in strength. It is a biological fact that men are bigger, stronger, and faster than women. Fact. Any woman training BJJ/Muay Thai/MMA who is not willing to accept this, is opening herself to injury and frustration.

BJJ women, do not expect to overpower and defeat the men in your class. Do not forget that even the ones who seem reckless are still in all likelihood holding back to some degree. The better at BJJ the men are, the more capable they are at tempering their abilities to match yours and give you a good match. But make no mistake, you are not physically equal.

This does not mean that you can't learn from training with them and that they can't be good training partners for you. I am describing this difference because you need to take ownership of your training and your safety and protect yourself.

Simple Rules to Follow:
1. For (at least) the first 2 yrs of training, avoid training with brand new male students at all costs
2. If you are unable to avoid training with a new male student, roll defensively, protect your limbs and your neck from accidental injury. Temper down attacks to avoid a spastic dangerous response.
3. Let go.
4. Sometimes you still need to remember to protect yourself even when rolling with more experienced male students, as you improve your BJJ, they sometimes forget you are weaker than them - it's not intentional, they just forget
5. The majority of your training should be with the students within 20lbs of your weight where possible. If you are like me and small (even for a woman) - avoid rolling with guys over 150lbs unless they are a purple belt or higher, even then, they shouldn't be your main training partner.
6. Don't allow being crushed by guys to frustrate you too much, it happens to us all.
7. Getting beaten by a guy does not mean he is "better" at BJJ or that you don't deserve your belt. It's simple physics.

* This idea does not mean that you aren't capable of protecting yourself against a man who doesn't know anything or who knows less than you. It doesn't mean you can't beat a lot of the new guys who come in the room. It is simply meant to allow you to train BJJ for a long time without serious injury. Do not allow your own ego to get in the way of your health and safety. That kind of stupidity is for men ;)

Do yourself (and BJJ women everywhere) a favor, and encourage women to join your program. This will allow you to train hard consistently and develop your skills properly for competition.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this! I appreciate what you have to say! I haven't yet met in person any women who weren't white belts, but I'm looking forward to it!

    I'm only 2 months in, but I caught the obsession :)


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