Is Jiu-Jitsu really for everyone? Looking to answer this question it is noticeable that lately the number of BJJ female practitioners has been growing considerably if you look back into the past where men have been dominating on the mats for decades and compare it to what is happening today in the Jiu-Jitsu community. Guys are still the majority but there are signs that it might be changing for good.
It may be due to the fact that more women are signing up for Jiu-Jitsu competitions, which creates female role models in the sport, or because women’s self-defense seminars lead by female instructors are becoming popular and Jiu-Jitsu schools are creating an variety of special classes for ladies only, or maybe it is just a result of the “Boom” the gentle art have experienced for going mainstream with MMA events on national television.
Although, it is hard to say for sure what is the main reason for the increase of female students in the Jiu-Jitsu dojo, the most important thing is really that more women are training BJJ, and because of that the demand for information regarding topics related to “women and Jiu-Jitsu” expanded.
What keeps women from training Jiu-Jitsu? Considering all women’s peculiarities, like being pregnant, being a mom, or having a different body type than men; it is natural that ladies need the support and counseling that only other female Jiu-Jitsu practitioners can give it to them; getting advice from women who have background is important. Otherwise, many women may stop practicing Jiu-Jitsu for not having any knowledge on how to be a mom and a BJJ fighter for example.
Thinking about that GRACIEMAG came across an interesting blog about “ A Female View of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu” created by a mom with two kids and BJJ competitor, Ana Yagues, who have continued training Jiu-Jitsu during her both pregnancies. She guides us through her Jiu-Jitsu journey as a mom that started 4 years ago. Check out some interesting things she posts on her website:
‘I started this blog when I got pregnant for first time 4 years ago. My aim was to find a way to live BJJ outside the mat during the last months of pregnancy and to share my experience with other BJJ practitioners, specially women who were also pregnant or intend to have a family one day and were skeptical about the compatibility of being a mother and a BJJ fighter. I wanted to show that it was perfectly possible since I was going to do it!
Since then, I am proud to have not only reach my goal of combining both: motherhood and BJJ, but also have helped a lot of women who addressed me for advice. And I even got so confident with myself in this multitasking role that I dare to have a second child!
Only in the last month, 4 BJJ female practitioners that I know directly (or indirectly through friends) got pregnant and contacted me. It is simple statistics, with BJJ growing up exponentially, every day there are more women practicing this sport which means more women getting pregnant and having doubts about how to deal with training during pregnancy and what it is even more important (since pregnancy doesn’t last forever) what it comes afterward, when pregnancy is over and baby is here…
How soon after giving birth can you go back to the gym? How long do you need to be able to fight again? Which kind of exercises do you start with? What about a diet to get back into shape? … They are only some of the many questions that go through every pregnant woman’s mind, and many of them ended in my mailbox. BJJ is growing up, there is not doubt about it, but it is still a rather unknown sport. Most of the doctors and midwifes have never heard of it before and are very, really very, reluctant about it. Mostly they just forbid you to train during pregnancy and don’t let you start at least 3-4 months after delivery, if at all.
So women get frustrated and either they accept it and stop doing BJJ or they end up looking for advice from other women who may have already experienced all this situation before, like me.”
Learn more here.
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