First of all, it’s important to recognize that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is still dominated by male athletes. It’s a difficult sport which requires very close proximity to your training partners. So, if you do get paired up to roll or train with a female, try to keep in mind how intimidating it must have been for her to step on the mats at all.
1.Most female practitioners will be smaller and / or weaker than you
That doesn’t mean that they won’t make incredible training partners though. There is lots to learn when training with a smaller partner. It’s the perfect opportunity to work on your technique. I’ve seen lots of men avoid training/rolling with white belt females because they think that it will be a waste of time. Change your mindset. Maybe it’s the perfect opportunity to try a new move that you wouldn’t be able to catch on a higher belt.
2.Leave your ego at the door
Your backup ego too. There WILL be women who can tap you. Throughout your time practicing Jiu Jitsu there will be some incredible female athletes who will wrap you up like a pretzel. Don’t let getting tapped by a female define your masculinity. They may just be further along their journey than you are. Instead of getting angry, look for opportunities to improve. Ask her what mistakes you made. You will improve your game and earn her respect in the process.
3.Does this mean that you can’t use strength when training / rolling with a female?
Well, no. You shouldn’t be relying on strength when training/rolling with anyone. If your only defence is to bench press her off you when she gets mount, then you’ve already missed an opportunity. Think technique. This isn’t a tournament, or a competition, this is a gym. Your training partners are not your enemy, they are your teachers.
4.No sexual comments
This should be a no-brainer, but I’m mentioning it for a reason. I’ve heard multiple complaints from women about some men making inappropriate comments during training. The complaints range from someone whispering in their ear during a rear naked choke to another guy blatantly hitting on every white belt female that stepped foot on the mat. This is not a bar, or a club, or tinder. This is a gym!
If a female had a bad experience training/rolling with a guy, she will warn the other women that they were too rough or aggressive. They will get a bad reputation as a poor training partner, or worse, as a guy who’s creepy and has been inappropriate.
6. Take a look around your gym
For those still unsure how to train with females,there are plenty of wonderful examples of men and women being incredible training partners. You’ll see a mutual respect and love of the art. Let that set the tone for how you approach rolling with your female teammates.
Helio Gracie said, “The Jiu Jitsu I created was designed to give the weak ones a chance to face the heavy and strong.” Each time we train together, male and female, we get a chance to live out these words.