In the software development community, the term “open source” refers to software that is available in source form for users to study, change, and improve. These programs are generally free of charge and require users to contribute their enhancements back to the development community, creating an organic, self-perpetuating knowledge base for all participants to benefit from.

I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a description of a good, recurring open mat event. Study, change, and improve — check. Organic, knowledge base, community — check. Everywhere around the world Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu students gather to share their knowledge with each other outside of the normal class setting.

In the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Peak Performance and Travis Lutter host an open mat for women every Friday and Sunday. Led by by purple-belts Sue Ausmen and Kristine Felts, women gather to learn from each other and get a little “me-time” in. It’s especially a great time for newbies to get extra mentoring from more experienced women increasing the likelihood of long-term participation. Times are changing and the women’s Jiu-Jitsu community is growing. Check out some of the photos courtesy of Tara Arrington!

Group shot after training. Six purple belts!

Sue beating somebody up and feeling really good about it.

Kristine and Meshel about to lock horns… or trade recipes?

Kelmy and Ari discussing some very deep Jiu-Jitsu stuff.