Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is one of the most popular combat sports, growing in popularity across the globe with gyms opening on every corner. It has become well known mostly because of its participation in Mixed Martial Arts and promoting practical self-defense for any individual to learn. This is one of the many reasons BJJ is becoming more popular with the female student!
The sport was an innovation from Judo, then Jiu Jitsu- a Japanese style of martial arts, which were first introduced in Brazil to the Gracie Family among others. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has been designed to focus more on skill, technique, and leverage rather than brute strength in ground fighting. This is the main reason why there is a growth in women practicing BJJ, specifically in the younger age brackets.
BJJ being offered to the younger generation has become an especially important niche in the growth of the sport in recent years. It teaches children not only how to defend themselves but to instill in them self-confidence through continuous interaction with their teammates. But the benefits of BJJ are of value regardless of the practitioners’ age. Here are the top 10 reasons why women of all ages should start training BJJ.
1) Learn to protect yourself.
Most women discover BJJ because they are interested in protecting themselves. The skills you learn in BJJ are designed to enable a smaller person to defend themselves against a larger, more powerful attacker.
Not all martial arts are made the same. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has been applied in Mixed Martial Arts which means that it is a current combat-tested martial art.
Contrary to what some may think, it doesn’t require someone to be strong and athletic to apply the techniques. BJJ can be used by any individual regardless of weight and height. This is the main reason why a lot of women can practice the art and become excellent at it.
You do not need to be fast, strong, or explosive to perform BJJ techniques. Through superior leverage, fluid movements, and body positioning, you can use BJJ to control and even defeat a physically superior attacker.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu focuses on self-preservation of the smaller person versus a larger attacker. This principle has clear benefits where the female practitioner is concerned. BJJ training emphasizes the importance of technique over force.
While smaller practitioners may struggle for success early on in their training, because smaller individuals must also make the technique work to progress, they can often develop an impressive level of technique. In turn, this technical ability can be used to neutralize the strength advantage of a larger untrained attacker.
2) Gain confidence.
As you train BJJ and gain experience dealing with its physical and mental challenges, it is common to feel more composed and in control of stressful situations on and off the mats. BJJ teaches you to control your breathing, suppress your fight-or-flight instinct, and calm your emotions before acting.
These same skills can be transferred to a stressful day at work, school, or home – allowing you to keep your cool under pressure. What’s a simple job interview or a nagging co-worker compared to a BJJ sparring session? Life’s challenges come into better perspective after you’ve been on the BJJ mats.
3) Improve Mental Health.
Jiu-jitsu isn’t just self-defense. It’s a healthy discipline that sharpens the mind and therefore the soul. It’s also a game of troublesome chess played with physical body parts and training partners. You’ll want to utilize plenty of strategies and techniques to overcome your training partners.
Just because the training is physical, it should not be assumed that there is no intellectual component to training. On the one hand, BJJ, as a physical discipline, is quite demanding, and the physical challenges you’ll face on your journey are best met with a strong mind. On the other hand, where you may lack ‘mental toughness’, training in BJJ can help you to build a steely resolve and limber mind.
As you overcome the challenges of training and the challenges your training partner puts in front of you, you’ll start to see your confidence grow and mental toughness increase. After facing the obstacles on the mat, the challenges life throws at you seem less challenging than your training partner trying to submit you.
4) Get Some Stress Relief.
Ever had a crappy day that made you feel like choking someone? During your BJJ class, that’s encouraged! All the time, I have students tell me that they were having a bad day until they got on the mats. After learning new techniques, training with some friends, and breaking a sweat, they went home happy.
The benefits go beyond that. Scientific researchers have even found that moderate-to-intense exercises, especially when lead by an instructor who makes sure you see it through to completion, has many mental benefits, including reducing or even protecting against depression. Many individuals have used BJJ to help themselves deal with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other mental health problems.
So after a tough day there’s nothing like releasing your tensions with a tough session on the mats. You’ll soon forget what your boss was nagging you about as you slap hands with your training partner and get into action. The leaky sink, the moody boss, the traffic jams will all be distant memories as you relax into a class.
5) Get in shape and stay healthy.
Many people get into BJJ because they are looking for a way to get in shape without doing a boring workout, like running on a treadmill. A BJJ class is a full body workout that provides a full body burn – meaning you’ll be burning tons of calories while building functional strength, dexterity, and flexibility! Once you get into live training, you will learn to use your body in ways that most people can hardly dream of. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is truly the Art in Martial Arts!
No matter how un-athletic or uncoordinated you think you are, we have teaching and training methods that will allow you learn and improve in your BJJ journey. The beauty of Jiu Jitsu is the skills are so varied that they can be applied to any body shape or size. This allows anyone to learn BJJ and build a stronger and healthier physique. It will improve your weight, muscle tone and you’ll gain a healthy glow from the regular exercise and the best part is you’ll have fun doing it.
Even though BJJ can help you build a stronger, healthier body it will also help you appreciate what your body is capable of regardless where you are starting from. Because BJJ doesn’t rely on physical attributes to be successful, just the application of skill with leverage. You’ll be enjoying your workouts long before you reach your physical goals. This will help build your motivation to keep working towards your goals as you learn to use you’re the body that you have now.
6) BJJ Smashes Gender Stereotypes!
On the mats, everyone is equal; there is no gender, just training partners. You will get your butt handed to you just as much as the men do, and you’ll also dish out a fair bit of butt-handing yourself. You’ll be judged by the work you put in on the mats and not the outfit that you wore coming to the gym.
A bonus is most of the men you will meet in jiu-jitsu are also all about gender equality. Some of the newer guys might be weird about rolling with women, but those who have been around for a while will generally be good about treating you just as they would any training partner your size. They will treat with respect and the treatment will be based on the belt you wear around your waist and not what is under it.
Gender equality should be something that we work towards all over the world. And luckily, jiu-jitsu is something that is practiced all over the world in such a manner.
7) Size and Strength Aren’t Requirements.
Yes, there are lots of women who are stronger, heavier, or taller than lots of men, but the majority of women are not. It can be really intimidating to walk into a martial arts gym and see really fit dudes beating up each other, but jiu-jitsu allows anyone to beat up anyone else regardless of who you are. Isn’t that beautiful?
As a woman you’ll one day be able to submit people who are literally twice your size, because jiu-jitsu is all about technique overcoming strength. You don’t need to be a former champion wrestler or a beefed-up brawler to dominate your opponent.
While that’s certainly beneficial from a self-defense viewpoint, it’s also great for those who have lived their lives thinking that only large, muscly dudes can be successful in combat sports. Jiu Jitsu is a combat sport that can (and should) be done by anyone of any age, weight, or sex. It is built around the principles of technical application of your physical attributes against a resisting opponent. BJJ takes what you have and allows you to make the most of it!
8) You Can Be Yourself.
For once at least, there is no need to dress to impress. In BJJ, no one cares about your looks; it is not a fashion show. Remember that you joined a martial arts school, not a health club. People come here to learn and practice, not to show off and look cool like in a fitness gym. You won’t get weirdos harassing you for a phone number either, but they may harass you to find out where you got that cool rash guard that you’re wearing!
Jiu Jitsu also allows you to express yourself in many different ways. You can express yourself in the way you apply your Jiu Jitsu as there are many different skills and styles. You can be a Guard Player, a Guard Passer or maybe a Leg Lock Specialist. You can focus on traditional BJJ in the Gi or you could be a No Gi Grappler. You can wear your standard gi or rash guard or get a cool customized uniform. You can stand out or you can join the crowd. It’s your personality and in BJJ you get to decide how you express it!
9) Make Friends and Join a Community!
Studying Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu provides a supportive community for all who participate. In fact, a lot of women decide to stay in BJJ because of the fun, friendly, supportive atmosphere that they encounter.
In the BJJ community, we have what’s called “living the jiu-jitsu lifestyle.” To build your life around jiu-jitsu means to constantly seek to improve your body, mind, and spirit. When you enter the BJJ community, you are instantly surrounded by friends who share your goals of living better and helping others.
BJJ has a special way of creating bonds of friendship that last a lifetime. When you’re practicing Jiu Jitsu, you begin you’ll realize that it’s an activity that is done with people that you trust and respect.
Every time you train, you and your training partners are placing your body and safety in each other’s hands. This builds a special bond and friendship that is rarely seen outside of combat sports. Click here to sign up for a class today and experience what the BJJ lifestyle has to offer you.
10) You’ll Be a Great Role Model.
Throughout her childhood, a little girl will encounter all kinds of women that she will potentially look up to. When you’re a woman who does jiu-jitsu, you’re providing her with a role model who practices healthy habits, is disciplined, and can look after herself.
Jiu jitsu comes with plenty of benefits, and when you have a daughter, a niece, or any other young lady who wants to be you when she grows up. You can pass on a lot of those benefits to her just by showing her what you do. You can give that little girl a head start on building her confidence and making friends who genuinely care about her well-being.
Who knows? You might even convince her to get an early start on training! If you have been training long enough you may even get the chance to be a hands on role model and coach her on her journey.
While all of these are also great reasons for men to train BJJ as well, I know how intimidating it can for a girl to take her first jiu-jitsu class surrounded by a bunch of tough dudes.
If you’re a woman facing the same situation, don’t back out due to fear. Jiu-jitsu will make you a better, more confident, and healthy human being. It will make you more capable of facing the challenges that women are subjected daily.
Whether you’re motivated by self-defense, fitness, health, or something completely different, it’s never a bad idea to put on that Gi and take your first steps on an unforgettable journey that may also help influence someone else to make positive changes.