Category Archives: women's bjj

Article on Weight Classes

Hey all, there’s an interesting article from Jess Fraser about weight classes and a lot of the weird weight issues that come with it.

I agree with her that for a lot of women it turns into an obsession to lose weight, to just get to that lower weight class, and easily becomes a fertile breeding ground for some real eating disorders and a variety of psychological issues. As someone who used to be heavier, it has often felt like a personal failure when I couldn’t get to that next weight class down that I was trying so hard to get to. Now? There’s still a little bit of that struggle, but frankly now I just sort of shrug my shoulders. I still work to lose weight for tournaments, but I’m not as worried about it. There have also been a series of tournaments where I’ve just said “screw it” and have registered for a higher weight class, just so I didn’t have to worry about making weight and could use that focus on other, important elements of my life.

And when I’ve done that, I’ve gotten questions from my fellow competitors about why I registered up a weight class, or even a look or two from the people running the tournaments when I weigh in way under the limit. It happens, but oh well- I’m there, I’m competing and I’m not being disqualified so let’s get the party started.

I wish I could impart that feeling on other competitors- and hell, even myself on those bad days, but it’s going to take a while before we all get to that point.

Anyway, check the article out and have a great day everyone!















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NAGA Philadelphia- Ladies Team Bringing Home the Gold

This past weekend there was a NAGA Philadelphia (actually it was about 20 minutes outside of the city but psh, details). Our team did fantastic, but our ladies team really knocked it out of the park. Everyone did wonderfully, win or lose, and I was really proud to see everyone go out there and do their best.


Great job, ladies!

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Ladies and the Battle to Make Weight

We all sort of know it, but really don’t have much evidence to quote and back up our claim, and admittedly, we’re usually talking about it in a sort of anectodal way and not in terms of research: it’s harder for women to lose weight than men. Which makes sense in an evolutionary perspective- women need fat to reproduce and ensure the propagation of the human race. A beautiful theory when you look at it from a grand sweeping view of humanity and history in general- a huge pain in the ass when you have a tournament in a couple of weeks and your body decides to drive to mad by holding onto water weight like nobody’s business.

There was an article on Tabata Times about 5 different ways a woman’s metabolism differ from a man’s. I’ve been a little hesitant to post this article, mainly because I wanted to find the studies where these facts were coming from. I really wasn’t able to find much, so I would say which this is an interesting conversation piece I wouldn’t take it as gospel unless you can find the research to back it up, of course. And even then I would proceed with caution and really do what works best for you; for instance it says that intermittent fasting is detrimental to women- maybe you are on an intermittent fasting diet and it’s working great for you, don’t let some article making a generalization sway you from what works best for your body.

One interesting study I did find was the Minnesota Starvation Experiment, conducted in World War II. They found after a period of weight loss soldiers would stop losing weight, essentially going into starvation mode and had the psychological profile of every grappler I have known who was cutting weight for a tournament (well, except for the possibly accidental self mutilation). What forced their bodies to give up the water weight? Eating extra calories, believe it or not. The Wikiepedia article I read didn’t really have much on this subject, but there are articles across the internet talking about the “whoosh” effect, where after the spike in calories the water weight of these soldiers quickly dropped.  So, ladies, holding onto some water weight for a couple of weeks, and you know it’s not from your cycle? Try eating some extra calories and see what happens.

Just some interesting info on a Monday morning. Have a great day everyone!

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Banned from the Gym

…Just for today as a mandatory rest day decreed by our coach, imposed on all competitors before the training camp this weekend.

Hooray for attention grabbing, somewhat misleading titles! 😉

So please, make an effort to especially enjoy class or training today/tonight, with the knowledge there there is a group of grapplers out there twiddling their thumbs this evening, not allowed to train.

Anyway, have a great day everyone!

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Happy Friday: Ladies’ Night Wrap-Up

Hope everyone’s having a happy Friday.

Our ladies’s night out was a success in my opinion, including dinner, pool and a couple of rounds of skeeball.

If that can’t be considered a good time, I don’t know what can.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Ladies’ Night!

The team is having a ladies’ night out tonight-yay!

I’ll let you all know how it goes.


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Slideyfoot’s Marathon, Gas masks and MMA Training

Quick little blurb I just want to put out: Slideyfoot is fundraising for a Grappling marathon for Rape Crisis (England& Wales) and you should definitely donate something. Anything.

Secondly, not that I’m planning on training with a gas mask anytime soon, but I’m watching a video about MMA Training and the effectiveness of using a gas mask. Check it out:


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Women and Whether They Can “Handle” BJJ

I know everyone has probably put in their two cents at this point, but when I first read the heading to Keith Owen’s post, “Can Women Really Handle Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?” my first reaction was to recall a scene from the movie 300, which I have (painfully) recreated for you with a free gif generator, so sorry for the poor quality:

“Clearly you don’t know our women…”

Granted this guy doesn’t make his living writing, he makes it teaching  jiu jitsu. Also granted there is an expectation that as an instructor he should have a little more open mind and less sexist attitude when it comes to recruiting women students into his academy. 

Maybe it’s just me, but in his post the instructor creates an “us versus them” mentality, which may also reflect in his teaching at his academy. In an attempt to not scare women away, he in fact is creating a segregated culture by putting women to the side where they won’t be”harmed” or “made uncomfortable” by rolling. By putting women to the side you create a double standard; a perfectly healthy man is pressured to train, where the “delicate flower”of a woman is not pressured to try her new skills out on the mat. 

Aye, but there’s the rub: to try something new, jiu jitsu or not,  is about getting out of your comfort zone and being challenged. And while we know the joys of overcoming those challenges in the art, they can be immensely frustrating and practically a deal breaker for ANY beginner. It takes time and patience to get a new student through that first obstacle, regardless of gender.  I’m sure if this is he notices a lot of women walking out the door, there’s a good chance a lot of white belts in general are walking out the door, frustrated with the experience: it’s just women are the smaller group and so their absence is more noticeable. While you will find a few exceptions to the rule, your white belts aren’t quite “in love” with jiu jitsu up to the first 60 to 90 days-you have to share that passion, that enthusiasm with them. Challenge them, but also make sure someone isn’t smashing the living daylights out of them the first week in.

I do find the mention of the married men a bit out of line though. I could be totally wrong, but to mention it as an issue means there’s a good chance someone is making it an issue on the mat which would make any female uncomfortable no matter how much they love training.

I never thought I had to be Captain Obvious, but women don’t think about sex when they are training with male partners. We are there to learn and improve, not to “get our grind on”. Just….ew. And if the wives of these guys are complaining about women training with men, encourage them to try a few classes to see what the whole thing is really all about. Who knows? Maybe you’ll have a few women sign up that way.

My point is treat everyone in your academy with respect, encourage that respect among one another, have  relatively little to no double standards (guys in our academy are not allowed to wear a shirt under their gi, but women are allowed- that sort of thing) and most importantly share your passion for the sport with your students. That is how you will get women to stay: by focusing on the sport and everything you love in it, and not a woman’s perceived “delicate sensitivities”.

I’m linking to Julia’s post on the subject, mainly because she was the one that brought the whole thing to my attention, and also I don’t want to give this guy any more publicity than he already has gotten in response to the article. If you are going to read it, read Julia’s analysis first, and like her post so she gets the readership traffic boost.


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New Jiu Jitsu Blogger: Meghan!

There’s a new lady BJJ blogger and fellow RJJA member, Meghan! She talks about being a med student and training jiu jitsu.

Check out her site!

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Jiu Jitsu and the Movies

Ok, so I have to admit I am a terrible jiu jitsu fan and have never seen the film “Haywire”, featuring (former?) MMA fighter Gina Carano, a number of pretty high end celebrities including one of my favorites, Michael Fassbender.

I just watched a fight scene between Carano and Fassbender, which first and foremost seemed a little too CGI to me- which may have just been the Youtube uploader’s choice, but I couldn’t help but feel like the fighting was a little exaggerated with the two repeated running into shelving and glassware- but I thought the conversation about the last bit of fight choreography had to have been pretty damn funny from Fassbender’s perspective if he’s never seen a UFC or jiu jitsu match before. If you haven’t seen it either, Carano manages to put Fassbender’s character into a triangle.

“Ok, so Michael, Gina’s going to put you into a triangle…”

“I’m sorry, a what?”

I’m also nitpicky and she should have been at a more perpendicular angle when executing the choke, but hey, whatevs, Harrison Ford gets to pull off barely recognizable judo throws all the time in his films, I imagine we’ll let this one slide.

Did anyone else see this film, and if so, what did you think- of this scene or otherwise?

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