Is It Ever Okay To Refuse To Roll With Women?

Is It Ever Okay To Refuse To Roll With Women?

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is such a wonderful martial art! And not just because of the health and self-esteem benefits it has; but also because of its lifestyle benefits. One of those lifestyle aspects is the opportunity to roll with people from all sorts of different backgrounds, countries, cultures, professions, beliefs… We are all fortunate to be a part of this amazing sport!
But, every once in a while, you may come across a situation where somebody – maybe even you – will want to refuse a roll. And, sometimes, this becomes a case of a guy that doesn’t want to roll with women.



So, is it ever okay to refuse rolling with women? The jiujiteiro’s reasons for doing this can be diverse: it might be due to his religious beliefs, his more traditional moral views, his philosophies and general outlook on life… Or, perhaps, just because they might be new to the sport and don’t feel comfortable training with people of the opposite gender.

Whatever their reason may be, it’s fine to refuse rolling with someone you don’t feel quite alright rolling with. The beauty of Jiu Jitsu as a martial art is, among other things, in its tolerance and empathy towards people you share the mats with; even if you don’t quite agree with their opinion. However, if a jiujiteiro decides not to roll with someone, it’s very important that he is polite when doing so.
This means that if he’s approached, in this case, by a woman and then asked to roll with her, that he should kindly say why he doesn’t want to do so. That it has nothing to do with her and that he appreciates her as a training partner, and that this is only due to his own opinions and feelings; nothing else.



The jiujiteiro shouldn’t „just“ be polite with his teammates, however – he should first approach his instructor and explain the reasons to him. Then, he should ask if he’s alright with his choice of skipping the rolls with teammates of the opposite gender.
Honesty goes a long way in every social situation, and so it is the case for the one between a student and his instructor. If the jiujiteiro is upfront with his reasons and completely honest about them, then the chances are that the instructor’ll understand and give him all of the required freedom to train BJJ in a way that he thinks is best for him.



Now, if it’s the case that it isn’t due to your personal beliefs that you want to refuse rolling with people of the opposite gender – but that you, quite simply, don’t feel comfortable doing that just yet – then don’t fret.

This is a relatively common occurrence with people who are new to Jiu Jitsu. The sudden proximity which they feel against people they’ve never met before can be daunting and sometimes downright unnerving; especially in the case when rolling with a person of the opposite gender. Feeling like this is normal and nothing to be hiding yourself away from – just take full responsibility for it and tell your training partner the honest reason why you’d like to decline the roll.
With that, keep in mind that this feeling of discomfort is something which’ll pass. As you get used to the sport and with the people around you, this sort of an obstacle will vanish and it’ll be possible to roll with every single person in the room.