Brazilian jiu-jitsu is very peculiar as a hobby. It sort of immerses the practitioner deeply within a special lifestyle which is basically a subculture on it’s own.
But here’s where things get interesting. Alaina Hardie was awarded her black belt in 2017.
Hardie is a transsexual athlete and a competitor out of Toronto.
She has competed against Black belt world champion Hillary Williams:
She has been very active in recent years competing in various female divisions in grappling and BJJ. A while back a knee injury hindered her competition aspirations though. She publicly spoke out about her experience in 2013.
In this podcast, Alaina talks about how she believes that there is no scientific evidence that transsexual athletes have unfair advantages over other athletes. She also expressed her total support for Fallon Fox:
“I am, like Fallon, a transsexual athlete. I met Fallon when we both did the ADCC Trials in 2009. And at the time I had no idea she was transsexual, and she had no idea I was, either. I just thought she was like every other non-trans female grappler out there. Immediately I e-mailed her and was like, ‘Look, girl, I totally got your back. I’m also a trans athlete.’ And we had a little, brief conversation about it at that point.”
As it turns out Hardie was awarded her black belt giving her the unique landmark of being first openly transsexual individual to have gotten the coveted rank.