|One of these things is not like the others|
When I’m in Jiu-Jitsu class I still sometimes feel utterly alone; because everyone is young or male (usually both) and I am neither. A man can walk into almost any Jiu-Jitsu class and have a built-in peer group and support system. Many women in the art have to seek out and create their own. This is why we decided to start a women’s class a couple of years ago.
A man can teach you how to do Jiu-Jitsu, but he can’t understand what it’s like for a woman. Grappling with a man can teach you how to deal with size and strength differences, but it won’t always prepare you to compete against a smaller, more flexible female. Women have different struggles and issues, we move differently and react differently than men do. Not better or worse, just different. To be able to share these things with other women, and have someone who understands our point of view, can make the difference in whether a women decides to stick with it.
|The Dark Ninja and Sheriff Amy|
We haven’t picked up very many female students yet, but I do believe that more ladies have at least tried it due to having the option of an all-women class, which can be a less intimidating environment to practice in than a typical male-dominated one. The ladies at our school who keep showing up week after week to train together do so not only for ourselves, but for each other and for future females. The best way to support women in Jiu-Jitsu is to train together and share your knowledge and struggles. If you feel as though a women’s class has nothing to offer you, perhaps you have something to offer them.
All it takes to create a support system is a couple of women who are willing to come together to help each other, and I am so grateful that I have that. As long as Amy keeps coming in to share her knowledge, I will always show up for her class. If she ever decides she doesn’t want to do it anymore, then I suppose it will become my turn to teach the class. FYI, I hate teaching, but I would hate it even more if there were no women’s class at all.