Female grappling athletes withdrew from recent bjj & grappling competitions to avoid facing stronger transgender opponents. This led the North American Grappling Association (NAGA) to revise its rules.
At a NAGA jiu-jitsu event in Georgia, transgender competitors won gold medals in women’s divisions. NAGA suggested transgender athletes may have registered as female without notice.
Several women complained about safety issues from mismatched bouts against transgender athletes. One fighter was left in tears after a bout and withdrew from future events out of fear.
Jayden Alexander indicated she was left in tears after competing against a transgender woman at an unspecified event in July – and was so “devastated” and afraid, she pulled out of future competitions, including a NAGA one.
“The simple fact is that men signing up for combat sports to fight women is entirely unacceptable,” she said.
“The experience was horrible and scary. . was absolutely in fight or flight mode,” she said in an Instagram post.
“We deserve for rules and regulations to be established that safeguard us from these situations and keep us protected, rather than feeling compelled to self-exclude from competitions to avoid fighting men,” she said.
Another said she felt compelled to withdraw to avoid similar situations.
Last month, Taelor Moore, a 135-pound woman, posted a video of her fighting a 200-pound transgender athlete, captioned: “My biggest opponent yet.
While Moore won the fight, her coach Jimmy Witt complained she “could have been severely injured,” according to Breitbart.
Another fighter, Ansleigh Wilk, said she was not informed she would be competing against a transgender woman in a July 8 competition and was left in “panic mode.
“They felt so strong, I was like, ‘Oh my God’. . thought I couldn’t take them down,” she said of the match she ultimately won.
“This was always about the other girls traumatized by this event and the future of female grappling. I can’t believe people think this is OK,” she said.
Marshi Smith, co-founder of the Independent Council on Women’s Sports, said she has “spoken to four women who have all fought male fighters in the combat sport of Jiu Jitsu.
“They are extremely upset. They are emailing federation leadership and being dismissed,” Smith told Reduxx.
NAGA stressed not all the women’s negative experiences occurred at their events. It also said its rules previously required biological females to always have the choice to compete against transgender athletes when aware of their involvement.
NAGA acknowledged its registration only asked about biological sex, not transgender status. It will now inform transgender females which division to enter. “Maintaining fairness for female athletes is our paramount priority,” especially given potential injuries in grappling.
Going forward, transgender females who went through male puberty cannot compete in women’s divisions at NAGA events. They must enter the men’s division. NAGA hopes this policy avoids future issues and allows transgender females to choose divisions or receive refunds if informed of the policy.