I wanted to include this in the first sentence of this article on jiu jitsu for women, – no I’m not a woman, but this was written with the heavy influence of my wife who I interviewed prior to writing this post.
Jiu jitsu is the perfect option for women who are looking to learn an effective martial art for self defense, and gain some confidence.
My wife is ~6 months into beginning Brazilian jiu jitsu so I thought she was the perfect candidate to provide some insight.
So here is our best advice for starting jiu jitsu as a woman.
–To help before your first day, research several gyms in the area
–choose to go to a trial class for each that seem legitimate
–research some jiu jitsu fundamentals before class
–be okay with letting everyone know its your first day or week etc
–realize its okay to make mistakes
–finally, most classes are made up of a large portion of white belts. So even though it may be your first day today, tomorrow will be someone else’s.
Key Tips on Your First Day When Starting Jiu Jitsu as a Woman
|*in an average class most people are white belts and beginners|
|*look for a women’s only class if it is offered|
|*research the gym before going and try to get a good idea of their gym culture|
|*the more you train the more you will know|
|*try out both mixed and women’s only classes|
|*its okay if you don’t want to spar with guys|
|*slowly try to break out of your comfort zone|
|*be open about being new|
|*look up basic terms and positions|
|*slow down and breathe during live sparring|
|*it helps to drill some fundamentals with your partner or friend before your first class|
(Below is a picture of my wife getting annoyed at me at our gym for proof.)
Thanks for reading and lets get to it – Zack
If you’re like me, your first bjj class is anxiety inducing, and it conjured up images of massive, meathead bullies out to hurt you, embarrass you, and overall just make you extremely uncomfortable.
My wife actually prompted me to put this post up since it would have certainly quelled a lot of her own unrealistic fears and first day nerves.
Below I attempt to break these down further and provide some more detailed info.
Try to Focus on Why You Want to Try Jiu Jitsu
Understanding your motives to start Jiu-Jitsu as a woman is paramount to maintaining enthusiasm and overcoming challenges throughout your journey.
Reflect on the reasons that draw you to this martial art,
No matter what your reason use them as motiviated factors to fuel your pogress and keep you going. It could be:
- for self-defense
- mental resilience
Remeber BJJ can be tough, but I promise if you can stick with it, it will be one of the most rewarding challenges in your life.
It’s common to face moments of doubt or hesitation during the initial stages of Jiu-Jitsu.
Remembering your initial reasons for starting martial arts can help you regain perspective, maintain determination, and push through these trying times.
One advantage of continually reassessing your initial motivations in relation to your progress is that it allows you to redefine and refine your goals, ensuring you remain on track with your personal growth.
Having a powerful purpose underpinning your Jiu-Jitsu practice can also positively influence your interactions with instructors and training partners.
Basic Practical Tips When It Comes to Jiu Jitsu for Women
Finding a Good BJJ School Is Key
When starting Jiu-Jitsu as a woman, finding the right school will probably be one of the biggest if not the biggest factors in how much you enjoy the sport. Here are some basic steps for finding a legitimate bjj school:
- First, conduct thorough research on the schools in your area via google, yelp, reddit
- Look for places with experienced instructors, positive reviews, and a welcoming environment.
- Look for places with experienced instructors, positive reviews, and a welcoming environment.
- Try visiting each academy in person, observing a class, and chatting with instructors to try to get a feel for the school and its culture
- Consider doing a trial class to see if you like how the school is run and get a better feel for it
Some Other BJJ School Questions to Consider:
- Does it have many female students? Are there any female instructors?
- What are the students made up of? (younger competitors, variety of ages etc)
- Is the lineage of the structor legitimate
- Are instructors and highers belts patient and kind to beginners
- Finally, consider practical options like:
- distance from your home/work/school
- class schedules
One advantage of selecting a school with a strong women’s program is the opportunity to connect with other women who share your interest in the martial art. Training with experienced female practitioners can make a big difference in your progress and understanding of techniques.
Don’t be discouraged if you can’t find a school that meets all of your criteria right away. What’s most essential is that you feel welcomed and encouraged in your chosen academy. Keep in mind that you can always change schools if you need to; your Jiu-Jitsu journey is about finding the best fit for your personal development.
Some Last Jiu Jitsu Gym Considerations
The gym you choose for your Jiu-Jitsu training will play a significant role in shaping your overall experience and progress. Again, make sure to thoroughly research and visit multiple gyms in your area before making a decision.
Here are some other key factors to consider when choosing the right Jiu-Jitsu gym for you:
- The teaching style of the instructors: Each instructor may have a unique teaching philosophy, and finding one that resonates with your learning needs is essential. Attend trial classes to get a feel for the teaching style, and observe how the instructors interact with and support their students. Seek out gyms with instructors who demonstrate patience, empathy, and commitment to the development of their students.
- The gym culture and environment: The atmosphere within the gym will directly influence your comfort level and enjoyment of Jiu-Jitsu. Look for a gym that fosters a welcoming, inclusive, and supportive culture. Pay attention to the interactions between students and the level of camaraderie. A positive training atmosphere is critical to ensuring that you continue to feel motivated and excited about your Jiu-Jitsu journey.
- The availability of women’s programs and classes: While mixed-gender classes can offer valuable opportunities for growth, having access to women’s classes can be particularly advantageous for new female practitioners. These classes can provide a safe and supportive environment to build a strong foundation before diving into mixed classes. Prioritize gyms with dedicated women’s classes, workshops, or seminars, as they demonstrate a commitment to the development of female athletes in the sport.
First BJJ Class Tips: What to Wear
What to wear for your first class? Here is some of my wife’s further input:
“If it is a gi class, you will be wearing a gi as your outer layer. This may be one of the gym’s gi’s or one you have purchased. If it is your first class they may provide you with one. Underneath your gi, you can
If it is a nogi class, you can wear yoga pants, shorts or any other tight fitting, flexible pants for bottoms and a sports bra and tight fitting shirt or rashguard guard for a top.
I’d recommend against a t shirt since you will be sweating quite a bit and may be uncomfortable to wear. So basically, any clothing that you might wear when working out should do just fine.
I recommend keeping your hair tied up and no makeup as it will rub off during the class.
Also make sure that both your attire and yourself are clean and be sure to shower and wash the clothes from class immediatley once you get home.”
Cleanliness and Clean Apparel Are Key
In the world of martial arts, hygiene and cleanliness are of paramount importance.
Before attending your first Jiu-Jitsu class, ensure your body is clean and your nails are trimmed to reduce unnecessary bacteria exposure and to show respect for your training partners’ wellbeing.
When preparing for a Jiu-Jitsu class, always wear freshly laundered apparel, as this will help reduce the spread of bacteria and maintain a clean training environment. Keep in mind that your training gear will absorb sweat during class, so washing it immediately after training is essential to maintaining proper hygiene.
What to Bring to a Jiu Jitsu Class
For your first class, you should bring:
- lots of water
- sandles (these are recommended vs socks/shoes)
- a mouthpiece (if you elect to wear one)
- spare clothes to change into after class
- toiletries and towel (if you plan to shower at the gym)
Wear Flip-Flops When Not on the Mat
The spread of bacteria, fungi, and viruses is a common concern at gyms, and BJJ classes are no exception. By wearing flip-flops, you protect yourself and your training partners from infections like ringworm, athlete’s foot, and staph.
As you arrive at the gym, make sure to bring a designated pair of flip-flops for easy off-mat navigation, enabling you to keep your training environment clean and sanitary
Keep Hair Tied and Make Up Off
Keeping your hair tied back and makeup-free during class is not just advantageous for practical reasons, but it also respects your training partners and the sport.
Having your hair tied back securely in a braid or ponytail helps prevent accidental hair pulls during rolling. It also keeps your hair from obstructing your vision or getting caught in your hands, both of which can hinder your training progress.
Regarding makeup, it’s essential to remove makeup prior to the class, as it can smudge during training, impairing your visibility and getting on your clothes or training partners.
General First Day and Training Tips for Training BJJ as a Women
Introduce Yourself to Everyone and Try to Make Friends with Other Girls
In a new gym, it’s crucial to make a conscious effort to introduce yourself to everyone at the gym, particularly other women. Not only will this create a sense of community, but it can also help provide a support system of like-minded individuals who will share your journey.
Building friendships with other women in the gym can prove to be tremendously beneficial in several ways.
My wife said that she wasn’t really hooked on bjj until she started making friends with other girls in the classes. She said she was suprised how friendly and approachable they were (“even though they could probably turn her into a pretzel”).
For one, training with female partners can help you better understand the unique challenges and opportunities that exist for women in Jiu-Jitsu. Also, these friendships can boost your motivation and commitment to the sport by offering moral support and encouragement, especially during tough training days.
Try to Reframe “Winning” to “Learning”
Another challenging aspect for anyone when beginning their Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu journey is to shift your mindset from “winning” to “learning.”
BJJ is a complex martial art with a steep learning curve, and it is essential to approach each class and rolling session with an open mind.
Embrace the fact that setbacks and losses are inevitable, but also understand that they contribute significantly to your growth as a practitioner. By treating every class as an opportunity to learn and absorb new techniques, you will find yourself progressing much quicker and enjoying the process more.
Side note: During the early stages of your training, it is natural to feel overwhelmed and even discouraged – especially when rolling with more experienced practitioners. It is essential to be patient and trust the process. Remember that everyone was once in the same boat, and even the black belts were once beginners.
It’s Okay if You Get Tapped a Bunch
When starting Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as a woman, it is essential to recognize and accept that you will likely get tapped out repeatedly during your early experiences (as does everyone) – and that’s perfectly okay.
In fact, getting tapped out is an integral part of the learning process, and understanding that early on will help you develop resilience, adaptability, and humility.
Pay attention to the positions and submissions that led to your taps and analyze how you can improve in those situations.
You can also approach your training partners and ask for feedback on your performance during rolling sessions (you’d be suprised how many are willing to spend time with you and provide advice). Gaining insight from others can help you identify gaps in your game and formulate a plan to refine your skills.
Try to Set Small Goals for Yourself and Your BJJ Training
Starting Jiu-Jitsu as a woman can feel overwhelming at first.
To keep yourself motivated and focused, make sure to set small, achievable goals for your BJJ training. These targets can revolve around technical skills, physical conditioning, or even your mental growth within the sport.
Some Examples of These Goals May Be:
- show up to 3 classes a week
- make it to 6 moths of consistent training
- get your first stripe in 6 months
- hit a new submission or technique atleast once during class
- get your blue belt within 2 years
- compete in 6 moths – 1 year
Setting smaller goals offers the opportunity to celebrate incremental achievements and stay inspired during your journey.
By periodically re-evaluating your goals and assessing your progress, you can refine your focus and maintain motivation. It’s essential to remain patient and realistic, understanding that proficiency in Jiu-Jitsu takes time and dedication.
Track Your Progress
Another tip related to goal setting is tracking your progress.
For me personally, I like to take notes on my phone about specific submissions or areas I need to work on or even notes from techniques shown during class.
I find that taking notes helps me better retain information I learning during instruction or sparring plus it also gives me somewhere to aim for the next couples months (like what areas to focus on improving etc).
Keeping a consistent record of your training sessions, techniques learned, and milestones achieved can give you a better understanding of your development and areas that need improvement. An easy way to monitor your progress is by maintaining a BJJ journal. Documenting your training sessions, rolls, competitions, and injuries will provide valuable insights into your evolution as a practitioner.
Be sure to highlight the techniques or strategies that worked well for you during rolling sessions and note down any feedback received from coaches or teammates.
Respect the Learning Curve and Stay Patient
The early stages of BJJ often entail feeling confused, overwhelmed, or even physically outmatched. Accepting that BJJ is a complex martial art with countless techniques and concepts to learn can alleviate the pressure to master everything at once, and keeping a positive mindset during the process is vital.
Recognizing and accepting that progress is often non-linear and that setbacks are a natural part of growth is essential to maintain motivation. Stay consistent in your training and practice, but also give yourself the grace to stumble and learn.
Side note: Learning Jiu-Jitsu is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t feel pressurred to train every day and over work your body focusing on being consistent with your chose days and focus on those small wins.
Develop Thick Skin and Learn to Keep Showing Up
BJJ can often be physically and emotionally demanding, making it vital to develop mental toughness and the ability to push through adversity.
Learning to accept that there will be challenging days and setbacks will empower you to overcome these obstacles and view them as opportunities for growth.
No matter how many times you were submitted in the last class make it a point to constantly show up Consistency is key to improving your skills, embracing community support, and cultivating self-confidence.
Try to Stick with it for 6 Months Straight (It will get MUCH easier after that)
In the beginning, the learning curve may feel steep, and multiple challenges will arise. However, with perseverance and a dedicated approach to your training, not only will your technique improve, but so will your mental fortitude and sense of accomplishment.
Side note: Surrounding yourself with supportive teammates and instructors can also ease the process and help you remain accountable.
During these initial six months, focusing on mastering fundamental techniques will serve as a reliable foundation for your growth. While it’s tempting to try more advanced moves, understanding basic Jiu-Jitsu concepts will provide you a deeper appreciation and insight into the martial art. Furthermore, it will ultimately improve your effectiveness on the mat. One advantage of committing to this time frame is that your body will go through the necessary adaptations to endure and excel during training sessions.
By the end of the sixth month, expect to see significant progress in your Jiu-Jitsu journey.
Understand Your Limitations and Push Your Comfort Levels Safely
Starting Jiu-Jitsu as a woman may come with its challenges, but recognizing your limitations and progressively pushing your comfort levels is the key to long-term success.
It may be uncomfortable to be so close and personal to other people and the adrenaline of sparring with others at your gym may be a lot at the begining.
Try to push past your comfort levels with partners you trust (by not tapping so early to a submission, wrestling or working takedowns, working through uncomfortable, sometimes claustrophobic positions).
Consider your body’s limitations to prevent injury and prioritize safety during practice. Jiu-Jitsu is a physically demanding sport, so it’s important to listen to your body and know when to scale back the intensity.
Be prepared for the occasional bumps and bruises but make sure to practice good injury prevention techniques like warming up properly, stretching, and strengthening the muscles around your joints, especially the neck, shoulders, and knees.
Stepping out of your comfort zone is essential for growth in martial arts. But pushing your limits should be done smartly and safely.
Consider Supplementing Your Training at Home with BJJ Instructionsals or Other Material
Learning BJJ online in addition to your in-class BJJ training helps you structure your own BJJ learning and is extremely beneifical to maximizing your growth in Brazilian jiu jitsu.
Luckily, there are so many resources from top tier instructors available out there so you can immidately start structuring your own jiu jitsu road map.
On a personal note, I truly don’t feel that I would have made nearly as much progress without studying outside of the gym. Choose specific instructor and videos to learn, drill, and practice can skyrocket your improvement in the first couple months. (in fact, during live sparring, I’d probably say that I use more techniques from instructionals than the ones I learned in person from my coach)
Once you get a better grasp on bjj, common goals, positions, and techniques, signing up for a competition can be extremely motivating and can help you improve much quicker.
With an enhanced sense of purpose and determination, not only will you sharpen your technical skills, but also your mental fortitude in high-pressure situations.
One advantage of participating in a competition is experiencing the adrenaline rush and excitement that comes with facing opponents (it can be an emotional roller coaster). However, observing a wide variety of styles and tactics while pitting your skills against others will ultimately serve as a priceless learning experience.
Visit Other Jiu Jitsu Gyms When Traveling
If you travel frequently for work or for pleasure, trying out new bjj gyms and making new friends is one of the less spoken bonuses of training Brazilian jiu jitsu. You’d be suprised how welcoming gyms are when visiting.
While visiting other gyms may seem intimidating, it is important to maintain an open mindset and display a willingness to learn. Listening attentively to coaches and engaging with fellow practitioners can lead to insightful discoveries, elevating your BJJ skills to new heights. Each gym has their own set of common techniques by training at a new gym you will get an insight into a whole different style of jiu jitsu.
So, what to expect on your first day of class?
Each gym may differ in class structure slightly, but generally these are some things you can expect in each jiu jitsu class. This may also be effected on the type of class you go to – whether its a women’s only class or mixed class.
My wife does recommend trying both. In her experience, she found that the women’s class was more supportive, and the mixed class may be more competitive.
She also mentioned that you shouldn’t feel pressured to live sparr (roll) during your first day, week, or month. It all is decided by you and your own level of comfort.
This also comes to choosing sparring partners – don’t be afraid to say “no” if you do not want to spar with someone.
Here is the breakdown of what to expect on your first day of jiu jitsu and how the class will likely be ran:
- Warm Ups: upon arrival the coach or instructor will likely address the class and initiate the warm up portion. During this portion the class will perform stretches or movements that are often common in jiu jitsu. This can include a light jog, guided stretches, or common movements like shrimping and forward/backward rolls
- Drilling: after warms ups, comes the drilling portion. During this time the instructor will present a technique or sequence of techniques to the class then you will be paired up with another person or group and practice the move with no resistance
- Live Sparring: Sparring is one of the reasons why jiu jitsu is so effective. Essentially, you are able to use a 100% of your strength and technique on another person without injuring them and prove that they would work on a person who is resisting. Sparring is usually done in rounds that may last 4-8 mintues. During each round you will be paried with an opponent and you during that time you will be trying to control and submit them while they are trying to do the same to you
- Cool Downs: some gyms may elect to include cool downs which are guided stretches or movements that will help relax your body and relieve tension gained during drilling and sparring. After this the class is usually dismissed by the instructor.
What to Expect in a Jiu Jitsu Fundamentals Class for Women
In these classes, expect to learn the foundational techniques that form the basis of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
The techniques are broken down into simple steps, ensuring everyone can follow along and gradually build proficiency. One advantage of such classes is that they promote camaraderie among female practitioners, fostering a supportive learning environment.
Women-only fundamentals classes typically follow a similar structure to regular classes that includes
- technique demonstrations
- partner drills
- rolling or sparring
The instructor should properly welcome new students and ensure that everyone feels included. Finally, training with other women also helps to ease initial discomfort of grappling with another person before sparring with guys in other classes.
How Often Should You Train Jiu Jitsu?
At the start and for recreational practitioners who are seeking to improve general fitness and develop self-defense skills, training 2-4 times per week is typically sufficient to make steady progress.
This frequency allows incorporation of strength and conditioning exercises alongside BJJ sessions and helps foster muscle memory.
For those with aspirations of competing at a high level in BJJ, training 5-6 times a week becomes essential.
This frequency enables competitors to sharpen their techniques, improve stamina, and maximize learning opportunities. Keep in mind that overtraining can lead to physical injuries and mental burnout, hence active recovery and rest days are crucial.
Related Full Post: How often should you train jiu jitsu?
Choose Specific Days of Training Each Week (and don’t miss them!)
In terms of training schedules, I strongly recommend choosing a set number of days and classses to attend each week and be sure to stick with them week in and week out.
Currently, I train 3 days a week and take 2 classes each time. So my days are Tues/Thurs/Fri. If I miss a specific day, I try to make it up the very next day (because we all know if we miss one day its all the more easier to miss the next one.
Simply put, determining your schedule and committing to specific days of training can make a tremendous impact on your progress in Jiu-Jitsu. Establishing a routine grants you consistency and allows you to stay organized and prepared for each class. F
As you progress, you may find yourself wanting to increase the number of training days or add supplementary activities such as strength and conditioning workouts. Always remember to listen to your body and make necessary adjustments to avoid overtraining or burnout.
Starting with fewer set days each week and slowly increasing them is way better than aiming to hit more days than you can handle each week and end up consistently missing classes.
Other Tips for Women on Training and Sparring in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Here are some pointers in regards to live sparring which may be considered the scariest part of bjj:
- the goal is to perform a submission on your opponent and force them to submit – you achieve this by taking the opponent down > passing their guard (legs) > controlling them > isolating one of their limbs or performing one of the various strangles
- you can tap on your opponent, on the mat, or verbally say “tap” in order to submit and restart from a neutral position
- there is no striking
- there is no eye gouging, no grabbing of fingers, and no reaching inside of opponent’s mouth
- if doing nogi classes – no grabbing of clothing
- you can elect to start from your knees (which is recommended for beginners) or from your feet
- when you start from your knees one person will usually elect to play top position and the other play bottom
- when starting from your feet the goal is to achieve a takedown
- don’t be afraid to accidently hit your opponenet with an elbow or knee etc (it happens)
- its a very intimate sport so learn to be comfortable being in someone else’s space
- its not a race, be okay with moving at a slower speed (jiu jitsu is not like wrestling and is a much slower pace)
- as you learn more techniques don’t be afraid to use your strength especially when defending a submission
- learn to become more comfortable in uncomfortable positions
- be open with telling your sparring partners that it is your first class, week, month of jiu jitsu
Choose Your Partners Carefully
Picking the right rolling partners can contribute to a safe, enjoyable, and productive training experience.
The first consideration when choosing partners is their skill level, as training with more advanced practitioners can greatly enhance your learning process. Seasoned BJJ practitioners typically have better control, technique, and understanding of how to accommodate training partners of various levels.
Keep in mind that size differences will always play an important role when selecting training partners, particularly for women.
Opt for partners who are closer to your size and weight, as this will contribute to a more balanced and fair rolling experience. While it’s crucial to occasionally train with bigger, stronger partners to prepare for real-life self-defense scenarios, regularly training with individuals of similar size will help build confidence and solidify techniques.
Communicate with Your Partners
EAs a woman, clearly expressing your experience, goals, preferences, and concerns helps establish boundaries and foster trust with your male and female partners.
For instance, if you’re nursing an injury or are a beginner, make sure to communicate this before rolling, so your partner knows to go easy and considerate.
Side note: while practice can be intense, remember that Jiu-Jitsu is a journey of learning for everyone involved. Respect your training partners’ boundaries too, and adapt your rolling style to suit their needs.
I always try to match their pace initially by first starting out slow and increasing the pace if they begin to do so.
How to Deal with Overly Aggressive Training Partners
It will likely happen at some point in your bjj journey, you may encounter aggressive training partners in Jiu-Jitsu.
As a woman, the physical differences may make this even more challenging. To handle such situations, keep a few strategies in mind.
- don’t be afraid to say no to a roll (you can say something like “no thanks, I’m taking it easy today and not rolling)
- be open with your discomfort and don’t be afraid to stop the round and disengage
- if aggression persists, I’d recommend avoiding them and frequently saying “no” to a roll with them (they will likely soon get the hint)
- if issues persist beyond that, you can also speak to an instructor or coach for next steps.
Lastly, Some Guys May Be Weird When Drilling or Rolling with You
As a woman in Jiu-Jitsu, one should be prepared for the possibility of encountering male training partners who may feel awkward during training or sparring.
- they may feel uncomfortable and may not want impose to much force or strenght
- will likely go much easier during the round (as they should focus only on technique and not strength)
- they may avoid sparring with you all together
This is all very common in bjj, but be sure to know where the line is between them being awkward and inappropriate. This is why choosing your gym and training partners is a big decision. You want to train somewhere with people who you can trust not to be overly agressive or inappropriate.
Oftentimes, it’s essential to address any discomfort as it arises by simply communicating with them about how they can modify their behavior during the training session. Most people will appreciate the feedback and adjust accordingly, while some may require you to take a firmer stance.
Beyond that, you should always speak to a coach or instructor if you feel its a larger issue that’s not being resolved by communicating with them directly.
Try to Figure Out Your Own Strengths and Weaknesses Early
By understanding where you excel and where you may struggle, you can better strategize your training and align with the right partners. One advantage of self-awareness is that it allows you to focus on areas that need improvement and prioritize building on your strengths.
To figure out your strengths and weaknesses, consider keeping a training journal to document your progress and experiences. Note which techniques come naturally to you and which ones require more practice. Additionally, take note of any patterns you observe in your sparring sessions — for example, if you find yourself consistently escaping from certain positions or having difficulty against a particular type of opponent.
Once you have identifited your weaknesses you can begin addressing them by
- watching instructionals online
- reaching out out to training partners/coaches for advice
- utilizing positional sparring to work from those specific areas
Finally, Relax, Have Fun, and Keep Showing Up
One aspect that often gets overlooked is the importance of having fun and enjoying the learning process. Even though all the information may seem like too much to handle and sparring may still be overwhelming try to have fun, enjoy the little signs of progress, and keep showing up!
Relaxing and embracing the playful side of Jiu-Jitsu can help you stay engaged, enjoy the training process, and contribute to a positive mindset throughout your journey.
Many newcomers experience pressure to progress quickly, leading to undue stress and negative self-evaluation. It’s important to remember that everyone learns at a different pace, and Jiu-Jitsu’s complexity means that it takes time to become proficient. Give yourself permission to make mistakes, laugh off mishaps during training, and celebrate your victories, no matter how small.
What Are Some of the Benefits for Women and BJJ
Since Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu focuses primarily on ground fighting, women can learn to control and neutralize potential aggressors even when physically overpowered.
Beyond strictly defensive applications, BJJ also nurtures a deeper sense of self-confidence in practitioners, empowering women to assert themselves both on and off the mat.
This biggest benefits of bjj can be catgorized into:
- self defense knowledge
- physical benefits
- mental benefits
A big benefit of pursuing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the considerable improvements in overall health and fitness. BJJ provides a challenging full-body workout that enhances muscular strength, cardiovascular endurance, and flexibility. Such improvements extend beyond the gym, as better physical fitness positively impacts daily activities and general well-being. Side note: practicing BJJ also contributes to weight management and stress relief, which can lead to a healthier mindset and improved mental health.
Finally, engaging in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fosters meaningful connections and a strong sense of camaraderie these often go unsaid as a big mental benefit of bjj.
As an interpersonal martial art, BJJ facilitates relationship building through shared experiences and mutual learning. Women practitioners can also benefit from the growing number of women’s networks within the BJJ community, providing encouragement, advice, and opportunities for female-only events, such as seminars and open mats. This supportive atmosphere contributes to women feeling more welcomed and less isolated within what is traditionally a male-dominated environment.
Managing Aggression and Stress
Women should embrace their natural aggression in BJJ training, using it to harness their strength and determination. This does not mean losing control or acting recklessly; instead, it involves channeling aggressive energy in a both self-controlled and strategic manner.
In addition to channeling your agression, bjj is also a massive stress revliever. After every bjj class, I feel so refreshed and free from my anxieties of daily life.
Confidence, Discipline, and Empowerment
Another significant benefit is the sense of empowerment gained through learning self-defense techniques.
By practicing BJJ, you develop skills that help you become more aware of your surroundings and confident in unpredictable situations. This newfound confidence often transcends the mat and applies to various aspects of life.
Side note: The discipline required to train consistently in martial arts is also beneficial for personal growth, fostering mental resilience and the ability to tackle challenges head-on.
This discipline often extends to other aspects of your life, such as better time management, healthier lifestyles, and an increased level of focus and determination. The structured nature of BJJ training sessions provides practitioners with a framework for personal development. As you progress through the ranks and learn new techniques, you will find yourself improving in other areas as well, such as communication and problem-solving skills.
As we said the mutual respect and camaraderie fostered in BJJ create bonds that extend beyond the mats.
As you progress and attend more classes, workshops, and seminars, you’ll meet even more people who share your passion for Jiu-Jitsu. The community often organizes social events and activities, providing opportunities to form deeper connections and learn from diverse perspectives. Women who train together in BJJ often find a sense of belonging and empowerment through shared experiences.
So not only does starting Jiu-Jitsu as a woman lead to personal empowerment and discipline, it also opens the door to creating a strong social support network to enhance all aspects of your life.
Gaining Real Self Defense Skills
While other martial arts claim to be the effective for self defense, Brazilian jiu jitsu has actually been proven time and time again to not only be effective for self defense but also is able to be utilized by someone smaller to control larger opponents.
The martial art has a unique focus on technique, strategy, and leverage rather than brute force or athleticism. This gives individuals of all sizes and strengths the ability to defend themselves effectively against larger, stronger opponents. One of the primary focuses of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is on ground fighting, where a smaller person can neutralize their attacker with strategically applied submissions, joint locks, and chokes. The skills you acquire during training directly translate to real-world self-defense situations.
Why BJJ Is the Best Martial Art for Women
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is widely considered one of the best martial arts for women due to its emphasis on technique and leverage, rather than brute strength.
This approach lends itself well to individuals who may be physically smaller or weaker than an opponent. In particular, BJJ concentrates on ground fighting and submissions, which can level the playing field for women against stronger adversaries. Women learning Jiu-Jitsu are often more focused on nuanced techniques and strategic thinking, allowing them to develop superior skills in adversary control and self-defense.
Is Jiu Jitsu Good for Girls
The short answer is yes, jiu jitsu is good for girls. Let me explain.
- First, its the funnest form of cardio you can find. You will be burning a bunch of calories so its a great way to stay in shape.
- Secondly, while you’re burning off those calories you are learn a deeply complex set of skills that enable you to defend yourself.
Jiu jitsu gives you a structured and safe experience grappling with another person and trying to control them along with the tools and techniques to do so.
It is a safe martial art where you are able to effectively go all out in sparring without a high chance of injury.
Girls learn how to effectively defend themselves and control another person in a safe and effective way.
It brings with it such extreme highs of watching your improvement each week and month as well as teach you how to deal with the frustration of feeling like you aren’t getting any better (trust me you are!).
Its one of the purest sports and hobbies since you can’t deny your improvement over time through how well you do when live sparring.
Repeating this one last time just to drive these points home:
“So here is our best advice for starting jiu jitsu as a woman. To help before your first day, research several gyms in the area, and choose to go to a trial class for each that seem legitamate, research some jiu jitsu fundamentals before class, be okay with letting everyone know its your first day or week etc, realize its okay to make mistakes, and finally, most classes are made up of a large portion of white belts. So even though it may be your first day today, tomorrow will be someone else’s. “
How to Survive Your First Month of BJJ
For how to survive your first month off bjj as a woman, you must slowly learn to become comfortable in other people’s spaces.
Bjj is a very intimate martial art where you will be sweating on other people and touching different parts of their body.
My wife said this took her a good bit of time to adjust to.
There is a ton of information to learn, and you will feel like everyone is ahead of you, but don’t worry you’ll continue to absorb more info the more you show up.
Its important to okay with being new and not knowing – everyone who has made it to any other higher jiu jitsu belts has experienced the same thing.
Also after your first week or two, you will watch other people come in and struggle through their first day. You will be stunned the first time another beginner asks you for advice, but it will happen sooner than you expect.
Take your time and focus on learning one technique at a time, drilling it with a friend in class, and then learning to perform it with a little resistance from them, and then finally learn to perform it during live sparring.
This is how you improve with one little piece of info at a time. Pretty soon you will have several techniques that you are decent at, and once your see these working in live sparring it will motivate you to continue your bjj journey.
The first day is the hardest, but I promise its all down hill from there.
Best a luck and happy training. – Zack
Other Related Questions – FAQ
What Does Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Do to Your Body?
One positive impact of BJJ is the development of full-body strength. As a grappling art, BJJ requires constant pushing, pulling, and lifting motions during training, engaging nearly all muscles to improve overall physical strength. Furthermore, the practice places emphasis on functional strength, meaning that practitioners enhance their ability to perform everyday tasks with greater ease and efficiency.
Another outcome from BJJ training is increased flexibility and mobility. BJJ practitioners often find themselves in various positions, such as twists, bends, and stretches, which increases joint mobility and overall flexibility.
This flexibility not only enhances performance on the mat but can also reduce the risk of injury, as it promotes better joint health and resilience. Side note: improved flexibility may also offer advantages in other physical activities and daily life.
Finally, BJJ offers a comprehensive full-body workout that promotes weight loss and optimal muscle toning. As an intensely aerobic and anaerobic practice, BJJ increases the heart rate, helping participants burn calories and improve cardiovascular endurance.
Many who start BJJ will notice improvements in their body composition, such as decreased body fat, increased muscle mass, and a more toned appearance.
Should I Learn BJJ or Muay Thai for Self Defense as a Girl?
On the other hand, Muay Thai is known as the “Art of Eight Limbs,” which involves striking techniques using fists, elbows, knees, and shins. Muay Thai can be highly beneficial for self-defense, as the art promotes agility, power, and accuracy, enabling a defender to maintain distance and strike swiftly in an unpredictable situation. Furthermore, Muay Thai enhances cardiovascular endurance, mental focus, and self-discipline, all essential elements for effective self-defense.
While both martial arts are extremely effective, we strongly recommend BJJ for self defense for a girl. Focusing on control, pins, and submissions instead of trading blows with muay thai providers inherently less risk in terms of self defense.
What BJJ Class Should a Girl Take if They’re New?
These classes are designed to provide a strong foundation in BJJ, teaching basic techniques and principles suitable for newcomers. One advantage of taking a foundational course is that it eases the transition by progressing at a manageable pace and offering tailored instructions.
However, depending on the size and structure of the gym, there may also be women-specific classes available. These women-only classes can offer additional advantages, such as a more comfortable learning environment and the opportunity to practice techniques with similarly sized training partners. Regardless of the class format, it’s essential to inquire about the gym’s trial policy, as many allow students to sample a few classes before committing to a membership.
Are Girls Paired Up With Guys to Train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?
This practice benefits both male and female practitioners, as it promotes a diverse range of training partners and exposes students to various strengths, technical abilities, and body sizes. Training with different partners allows students to refine their techniques and adapt to a variety of opponents on the mat.
Despite this, there might be some occasions when girls may prefer or feel more comfortable training with other women. Keep in mind that the choice of training partners is usually voluntary, and students are generally free to choose with whom they wish to train. If a gym offers women-only classes, this can be an ideal space for girls to train exclusively with other women. These classes still provide the opportunity to work on techniques and spar, while fostering a supportive and understanding environment.
Is It Boring for Someone to Train with Someone Who Is New?
Furthermore, it allows veterans to develop their teaching capabilities by helping newcomers, contributing to their personal growth as martial artists.
It’s worth noting that patience and empathy are vital qualities in BJJ. People who embody the true spirit of this martial art will be understanding and supportive of beginners. They’ll recognize that everybody starts somewhere, and that they were once beginners themselves. Training with someone new encourages them to review and solidify their understanding of essential techniques, thereby refining their own abilities on the mat. Remember that you’re not a burden but a valued member of the BJJ community who may indirectly help your training partners.
Can BJJ Help To Relieve Pain During Menstruation?
While everyone experiences menstruation differently, many women find that engaging in physical activity like BJJ can help alleviate menstrual discomfort.
Exercise has been shown to reduce symptoms such as cramping and bloating. During exercise, the body releases endorphins—natural painkillers that help counteract the production of prostaglandins, which cause menstrual pain. Engaging in BJJ or other physical activities can increase blood flow, relieve muscle tension, and decrease stress levels, all of which may help minimize menstrual discomfort.
That being said, it’s essential to listen to your body and adjust your training routine according to your comfort level. BJJ is a demanding sport that requires both strength and flexibility. If your symptoms are severe, it may be a good idea to modify your training intensity or even take a rest day. When in doubt, consult with your doctor about the best course of action for your specific circumstances.
Side note: It’s crucial to maintain proper hygiene during menstruation, especially in a high-contact sport like BJJ. Keep in mind that you may need to change your sanitary products more frequently during training to avoid any potential issues. Wearing dark-colored workout gear during this time can also provide an added layer of security and help prevent any embarrassing incidents on the mat.