Grappling, not just a dude’s sport
Grappling has been existing every since… well that’s hard to pin point but let’s say it’s been a very very long time. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, I’m talking about hand to hand fighting (minus the strikes). There are a ton of different arts showcased either in fighting sports like mixed martial arts (MMA) or in the Olympics like wrestling, judo and jiu-jitsu. Personally, I’ve been practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or BJJ for more than 10 years. For many reasons, there’s always been more guys than girls practicing the sport. Amongst these reasons, the fact that you are going to wrestle with someone who’s going to sweat profusely all over you. It doesn’t sound too appealing when it’s presented like that. Fortunately, there’s been more and more girls practicing those fighting arts.
But why should they? There’s many reasons why grappling is PERFECT for women.
In my experience, I’ve met and taught many female BJJ practitioners and I saw through the years how tough and mentally strong they are. Since there aren’t always that many girls doing it, they often have to fight other men (not in competition but in the gym). If most men had to do the same (face bigger and stronger opponents all the time), they would probably quit much sooner than women do. For that very same reason, not that many women stick around. But those that do long enough gain a very important power: the ability to choke bigger men unconscious.
Ariane even chokes you out with a smile!
This leads me to talk about women self-defence. One of the most common fallacy of so-called women self-defence is the belief that doing a single class or seminar in which you learn one hit knockout moves will save women in case of an attack. By the way, even a crushing majority of men couldn’t knockout another man in one punch. Unfortunately, if you never practice those moves under full on intensity and in a stressful environment, you will never be able to do the right thing when the time comes.
You better not miss on the first shot or else he’ll let you get another palm strike just in case.
That’s where grappling becomes so important for women. In any grappling sport, you learn techniques (chokes and joint locks) and then you try to apply them against a resisting opponent that tries to do the same to you.
You’ll learn how to choke people with their own collar and stuff!
Not only that, but you do it again and again and again! If you want to test yourself under even more stressful conditions, you could always participate in a competition where you’re not going to know your opponent and there will be a crowd looking at you. That’s how you get tested under pressure and you will be able to react the right way if a fight breaks out.
I’m pretty sure that Jenn’s opponent didn’t want to be put into that triangle choke.
One of the best resulting effects of this is self-confidence. Knowing that you have been in worse conditions before and knowing what you’re going to do at that moment will definitely raise your confidence.
But more than all that, since there aren’t that may women doing BJJ, they tend to stick together and form a stronger bond since they understand how hard it can be (especially in the beginning).
Organizing seminars led by women (Women Tapping Out Cancer).
Even choking their own friends in competition!
I want to finish this article by thanking my friends and training partners Jennifer, Leigh, Josie and Ariane for their inspiring pictures and by how much they always lead by example.
If you’d like to know more about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, come and train with us in Montréal at H2O Martial Arts Academy.
Some of the women of H2O
Have a great day!