Dominyka Obelnyte is a first generation black belt developed by Marcelo Garcia – and his first female black belt. However after the fall out with the MG team which was by all standards very quiet and contained she’s mostly kept to herself training first with team Fabio Clemente and then with Mushin Mixed Martial Arts with Erik Owings.
Obelnyte – like most women has earned her rank in male dominated rooms which is why she now opts to mostly be involved with and encourage female bjj scene – she now hosts majority of events and open mats as women’s only.
She recently explained why and what it was like to be brought up in a strictly male dominated sport:
You know you’re doing something right when the majority of complaints about you are centered around you being too immersed in women’s Bjj. A majority of events/open mats I host myself are women’s only, and I want some of you to understand why. I’ve been doing jj for 13 years, and didn’t have any consistent female training partners for almost four years. I felt like an outsider, I either got treated with extreme caution or ego-fueled aggression. I got so used to training with the male body that the female body, when first encountered, overwhelmed me.
We exist in a hugely male-dominant sport, and women need an opportunity to train with those like themselves, whether in size or experience or training style. For those that have trauma, or are intimidated by a room full of men, a women’s only space provides a haven for learning the art of jiu jitsu without overwhelming oneself with anxiety or nerves before even starting the technique. Most classes that I see today are filled with male bodies, and unless we continue to make the space more accessible with events centered around welcoming in large groups of ladies, the female presence won’t grow.
And all my guys out there, if you feel like my women’s classes/events are taking away from YOUR training, come take my all-gender classes or book a private with me, I’m open to train if you are. Sorry for the Danaher-esque message, and special thank you to all of you who have been supporters since day one ❤️ I see you and appreciate you