Jiu-Jitsu has always been a predominantly male dominated sport, but the influx of women competitor’s means there is a new twist to the dynamics that allows for growth of friendships. Women are probably the hardest to befriend and maintain, simply due to different views, religions, political stances and so forth. One truth that will unite even the opposite of people is Jiu-Jitsu; it is after all a universal language. I have been through the friend to enemy and back to friend stage with a few women since my beginning of Jiu-Jitsu. The single most important idea to resolve all issues is that once you step on the mats there is an upmost respect and understanding that cannot be compared to. We all bow before stepping onto the mats, we all slap hands before we spar, and we all thank one another for the support, encouragement and continuance of this sisterhood. In effect we simply set differences aside and allowing the art to flow and it gives a deeper meaning to Jiu-Jitsu Sisterhood. One of the ways to achieve this is to attend an open mat for women only. In Texas there is a wave of open mats with some instruction before and then a free for all open mat allowing for everyone to learn and train with women whom they may have never had the chance before. These are held by “Girls in Gis” and happen every month and sometimes simultaneously in different areas of Texas. This program started in 2010 and has been continually growing since, adding new Schools far and wide. It is a program that does not discriminate against other schools and is open for all to participate. At some schools there may be only one female student and this is when a Girls in Gis event will benefit and allow for her to roll with other women her size. Size does matter, I was fooled into thinking that I was “complaining” about the issue but reality is that it does matter and can make a huge difference.
The idea was simply to provide a training platform and a way to introduce Jiu-Jitsu to those that may want to begin training. The larger picture is that the friendships and experiences are priceless and it gives everyone the ability to have a way to communicate. There are women who I know I can contact when I have questions or even need advice and I met them through the Girls in Gis events. The fact that Jiu-Jitsu is a universal language is helpful, but the sisterhood that is gained is a force that will change the sport forever. When you know that you need support, they are there in full force. It maybe for emotional support or for whatever reason, but that bond runs deep. Guys and girls are very different animals, and having open mats is a great way to encourage the Jiu-Jitsu Sisterhood continues. If you are interested in attending the next Girls in Gis event click on the link below to their Facebook page!! And remember… You do not have to be GREAT to start, but you have to START to become Great!!