Here's to Great Training Partners

I’ve taken to reading a lot of other BJJ blogs (a lot out there by women, which is awesome!) during my 10 minute study breaks. So I’ve decided to devote this to saying thanks to all of my incredible training partners. There are so many posts from guys about how girls are inferior and weaker (well, duh that’s physiological…the weaker part we’re obviously not inferior) and should only train with other girls. At my academy the other girls are all under the age of 14 (and remember… I’m 23), otherwise it’s all guys. Don’t get me wrong, drilling and training with the other girls is awesome! Those are some of my favorite days, because you actually feel like you know something. But a lot of days, I’m the only girl there. And the guys at the academy have been incredible training partners on those days. There is never a guy who would turn down a match with me simply because I am a girl.

From the first day I walked through the door (okay, maybe not the first day because I’m fairly certain I was so scared I didn’t talk to anyone for about a month), every guy has been so encouraging and helpful. I am well aware of the fact that every guy there could Hulk smash me at any given point, but I really appreciate that they don’t. And from what I’ve read, this leads some guys to think that means we as women have it “easier”. You know what? Yes. My training partners have made it easier for me to learn how to survive and escape by not simply smashing me all the time. But does that mean that it’s easier for me? Of course not. There’s still this super elusive thing called “offense” apparently that I hope to learn someday.

So here’s the thing if you’re a girl and you want to start up (or have already started) - there will always be a few guys who will Hulk smash you or be crazy spazzy and throw a neck crank your way. But you have to remember, they’re in the minority. Most guys training in BJJ want to help everyone improve and won’t let their ego get in the way. You’ve just got to make sure you find a school that you feel welcome and comfortable at.

To all of the guys who train with me on a regular basis (and the girls that do as well), thank you. Thank you for pushing me to become better and for never treating me as lesser simply because I’m a girl. Every day training I have a great group of guys who are all my teachers and my friends. And a huge thanks should go to my coach for creating an atmosphere so conducive to starting and continuing in this incredible journey and for being the most supportive person there.
I’m incredibly excited for the “women’s BJJ movement” with things like open mats and self-defense seminars; but I also feel incredibly grateful that I have an awesome group of training partners who are essential to continual improvement.

So here’s a big THANK YOU to all of you. You probably never thought anything of it, but I genuinely appreciate it every day.  And to all you girls out there, don’t let fear keep you off the mats! I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find some great allies in the guys.


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