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How to be a Good Training Partner to Women (or Anyone)

good bjj training partner for women

I have been training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for a little over 5 years now. I used to be the only female at our club, but now our academy offers a Ladies Only BJJ class.  This has been a great opportunity to get ladies in the door who otherwise might not have even thought to venture in. Throughout my years of training, I have heard many arguments that women should not be treated any differently than men, but what I have found is that every student is different and every student should be treated accordingly. Everyone has a backstory of why they visited the gym, for self-defense, fitness, or whatever. Understanding the whys and understanding the individual student and teammate are important.

For example, you probably wouldn’t want to have a new student roll the first day, who has no prior martial arts experience, or who has never played sports before.

Be respectful and think before you speak. Phrases like “you got beat by a girl” or “you’re good for a girl” are disrespectful even if you meant it as a compliment. Plain and simple.

Don’t be a douche. Yes, technique over strength, but when another person trains BJJ too, other factors such as strength and weight come into play. In the academy if you are laying on top of your training partner, and you’re not doing anything but pinning them down, nobody is actually learning here.

Don’t be afraid to use correct technique to defend and escape. I have rolled with some guys who are so afraid they will muscle, that they inevitably just lay there and get submitted.

Communication. If you are unsure if you are muscling or whatnot, communicate with your partner. Partner, communicate with them and let them know they can up the resistance a little bit or if they need to chill out a bit.

And these tips don’t go for just training with women, it goes for everyone. Big, little, male, or female. Mutual respect and communication are the most important tips for being a good training partner.



2 comments… add one
  • This is really good information for new students, male and female, to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. With good communication and understanding of “why” a student is in class in the first place, everybody wins. Thanks for sharing.

  • Annie

    Great article! I would also like to add be mindful of your hands if rolling with women and watch your legs (knees in particular) if you are rolling with guys. Things happen when rolling but it is good to remember an accidental boob grab or an accidental knee slice too close to a guy’s crotch makes things a little awkward.

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