Day after day we see Facebook status updates from jiu-jitsu women who are having the most amazing training. Everything is awesome and great. This makes us wonder what really is behind this non-stop awesomeness.
We want to know what makes your jiu-jitsu unique. What are you known for? Are you a clone of your instructor or do you have your own distinctive style? Are you a super athlete? Are you a submission machine? Or are you a slow learner who struggles day in and day out always being the last one to be picked for rolling? What makes you good, different or both? How would you describe your jiu-jitsu without the following words: awesome, amazing, fierce, sick, and beast?
Please comment as long or as short as you wish, and you will have a chance to win a Fenom gi. Good luck!
Let’s see … hmm, I am almost always chosen last 🙂
I think I’m known for having more strength than I look like I would have. I’m only 5’1″ and I think I catch people off guard with how much pressure I can maintain in certain positions, for my size. And I have been a runner for 25 years, so I have a lot of upper leg strength. At first the guys in class felt like they had to go very easy on me, but now they know me and realize I can take quite a bit of pressure.
Humaira Syed said:
I’m a pretty fast learner, I tend to pick up techniques rather easily. Teaching it to others, however, is a skill I’m trying to improve! I’m no athlete, I’m your average short girl. I’d say my jiu jitsu style is sharp. I’m small, so I can move in and out pretty quickly!
Nicolle Garcia said:
My jiu jitsu training can be described in one word: journey. Some may say this word is overused, but I have managed to become healthier than I have been since high school, lost 30lbs and find my inner athlete again. It’s also given me a chance to show my daughter that being athletic is beautiful and it’s ok to be a tom-boy.
Elicia Torres said:
love this! I feel the same. I lost 20 lbs, found my pre baby self (and then some) and have been loving the journey so far. I am a four stripe white belt and have done 2 tournaments. My daughter comes to the academy while I train so she gets to see mama in action. She is only 2.5 yrs old but I am happy to show her that its ok to get rough and roll with the guys and sweat. I hope to start her up when she is 4 yrs old. I am a shorty, so having short legs is a challenge but I am strong and learn fairly quick. I don’t wait to get chosen to roll, I choose people to roll with. I don’t like sitting with my back up against the wall I wanna be productive every second I am on that mat.
Allison Grace Geewax said:
I like my jiu jitsu to be flowing and calm. I am a white belt, and being aggressive doesn’t mean I’ll get a submission. Instead I try to focus on learning the technique properly. Maybe one day I’ll be more aggressive, but for now, that’s not me.
Gracie Lou Beeswax said:
I haven’t had a chance to focus on submissions yet. Just defense. I don’t roll with many people who are my level and usually end up rolling with blue belts. Then when I finally roll with a white belt who is my size, I get into mouth and have no idea what to do! I’ll figure it out…
You mean mount not mouth? 🙂
Gracie Lou Beeswax said:
*sigh* Darn phone.
Melanie brodie said:
My jiu jitsu style is I never give up and I always give 100% on and off the mats. I try to ask a lot of questions, am not afraid to ask for help or admit that I don’t know something. I try my best to be positive every time I step on the mats and be a good training partner. I am so proud to be a female jits addict and love introducing others to the sport. ❤
I’m a Gumby! That combined with my previous life as a cyclist (LEGS) gives me a mean guard and a few extra split seconds to escape attacks.
Do you play mostly open or closed guard?
Some of both! These days probably more open.
Itzel Bazua Aguilar said:
Hello! I think my BJJ is very Zen. At the academy they say I do Tai Chi Jiujitsu.
What makes me different is that I’m the smallest and the weakest, BUT aside of my black belt instructor, I’m the highest rank 😀
Because I’ve been training for a while now, I have the skill set that allows me to move fast or slow, be calm or explosive as needed. I know I have a LOT yet to improve, I thrive to be a little bit better each day, each roll.
I love the fact that with my technique and zen movements I tapp out 90+ kg guys (I’m 57 kg).
I go to the gym 5 days of the week, and give 2-3 classes everyday, plus training at my instructor’s academy. I’m not a super athlete, but I do my best! I’m in better shape that girls 10 years younger than me 😉
But the main thing that sets me aside in Mexico, is hat I’m devoted to promote female Bjj in the country, giving seminars, organizing events (Open Mats, Camps) and all the time I’m thinkng how could I make the path for the girls in my country smoother and more fun!!!
Win or loose the contest… Thanks for the oportunity to share!!! Nice posts from everyone!!!
I am a slow learner and EVERYONE at the academy takes the time to help me. The total respect there is something I have never experienced in my 58 years of living. My wish is for all women to train in such an environment; it is phenomenal.
How does one find jiu-jitsu at that age? That’s impressive.
Donna J. said:
Dodo, you and I are having a similar experience. I’m a 53 year old Blue belt, small, weak and a slow learner. But EVERYONE at the dojo is always trying to help me. It’s the most respectful place I’ve ever been. More women show try this sport
My daughter got her boys into it, then she started, then I started. 🙂
I have had the absolute honour of meeting Dodo at a women’s only seminar last week. what a woman this is. so looking forward to a continued friendship though our shared love of jiu jitsu.
Repetition, repetition, repetition!
I wouldn’t say I’m a slow learner, but moves need to be drilled into my head. I feel like I can get too caught up in my head and then I freeze up during sparing. I definitely do my best when things start to become second nature from performing the same moves repeatedly. There will be some nights where I try to get every single person in a triangle choke. Sometimes I succeed, and sometimes I fail, but that’s the only way I will learn!
I started jiu jitsu at an older age than most folks and I train mostly with men. I figured out early on that muscle would get me no where. My style is based on speed, agility and the knowledge that I need to be tougher than most anyone else I train with and I have to laugh. I don’t quit, I don’t stop and I train harder than most. The biggest part of this journey has been how much I really really love to spar.
I struggle with Jiu Jitsu as I am not a quick learner. I struggle with watching as sometimes I lose focus during the demonstration. I have to feel what it is supposed to feel like first by having it done to me first. then I have to do it, over and over and over. That being said once I do get it, once it clicks, I considered myself an expert in that move. So I am great at a lot of basic moves.
I would describe my jui jitsu as a brick wall. Many have trouble getting past my defense.
Some people learn by listening, some by watching and some by feeling. It’s always great to get a feel from the instructor or a higher ranked team mate so you know what it is supposed to be like. Brick wall is a great description, never heard of that before 🙂
Claudia C said:
Hmm.. I can say that I am one of those that is bless to have my professor as a husband, so I am definitely a clone to a lot of his techniques !!! Decided to start training Jiu Jitsu after most begging of my husband to try it, was always skeptical of getting hurt, now after training for the past 2 years, I can’t think of not training every single day, was a runner before and that really helped me with stamina. My game is definitely guard passer also love spider guard… one of my favorites!!!! Do not consider myself a submission machine, but try to everyday. I think what makes me different is that I am the only women at my gym that trains everyday, and I am really proud that I am not afraid to roll, do technique or spar with any guy, any size!! this makes me stronger mentally and physically….. My jiu Jitsu is technical…. and look to improve on this everyday!!! Thank you Fenom for considering my entry..
Do you train with guys 100lbs+ heavier than you?
Peggy Boisvert said:
My Jiu Jitsu is different than other people of my size (tiny lady) because I like to play slow pressure games. Someday it might even be effective.
I think my training partners make my Jiu-Jitsu unique. Yes, many consider me strong, sometimes stronger than the guys. Yes, I always put 110% effort during class, while rolling, and competing. Yes, I take a high interest in the sport by asking questions and learning all I can. However, without my training partners, none of that would be possible. At the gym I train at, we are all family; a family who cares and helps one another succeed. We do train hard with each other, but at the same time, we all teach and learn from one another. In addition, we care and help each other off the mat as well. The unique closeness with my training partners make me want to train and do my best because my success is their success.
Are there days when you don’t feel like doing 110% and just take it easy by doing flow-rolls and just observing others?
Sometimes, but even if I come from working a long shift or had a difficult day at work, my energy and excitement hits me as soon as I walk onto the mats and see my training partners. When on the mats, all I focus on is Jiu-Jitsu. I forget about anything that was bothering me that day and enjoy the learning experiences on the mats.
Marina Järvinen said:
I started over two years ago practising jiujitsu and after two weeks of clear PAIN! -I fell in love with the sport. Not only did it heal my backpain, I lost weight very quickly! And I’ve always been very strange with people and not letting anyone but my kids, husband and sister to hug me. If anyone else even TRIED I didn’t know how I should react, feel, do or saym this wall was there, separeting me from everyone. In jiujitsu my walls have fallen and I let people near me in different way but still with new beginners I’m careful! I try hard learning, I know my limits, yet I test them every now and then.
I’d go with option number three. I win every now and then, I test myself, I’m not that scared anymore and I live rolling! I wish I’d find this way of life before, you know, when I was about ten years younger! 😉
I am determined and a hard worker. I am not the strongest or the biggest or the most athletic but I’m pretty damn clever , sneaky and I am big on getting the technique correct.
Hello! My name is Andrea! I train out of Worcester Mixed Martial Arts (#AbusadoTeam). I am a Blue Belt, train at least 5 days a week and compete at least once a month. I truly enjoy Jiu Jitsu as a form of meditation and relief. Whether I am mad, sad, happy or stressed; no matter what my emotions are I feel jiu jitsu keeps me balanced and I feel like every woman can benefit from jiu jitsu. I enjoy helping women jits newbies because I know how it is to be in their shoes. I try to embrace and enhance the population of women jits with advice and drilling techniques. I would describe myself as universal. I can flow roll with newbies and hard roll with upper belts. In jiu jitsu the bottom line is to respect each practitioner inwhich I do my best to exhibit to all.
My instructor once said to me – “There are a lot of people who just quit after a serious injury. Or even a not-so-serious injury. They break their nose, or their toe, or crack a rib, and we never see them again. It takes someone special to fight to come back – that tells me that you’re here to stay.”
A year into my grappling journey, I tore my ACL in judo – a high-intensity training, an o’soto gari that was just a little off, and my knee was done. But I was back within a month, doing BJJ, if not judo, and modifying everything for my knee, while I waited for surgery. Six months later, I had surgery. I ground my teeth and cried a lot and counted down to being back on the mat… and pushed my therapist and myself in PT until they allowed my to go back to the BJJ mat after 5 months. At 10 months, I shanghai’d them into letting me do judo again. Because whenever I’m not on the mat – that’s where I want to be.
Its been a journey. I realized when I got injured that I love this enough to keep coming back, but dealing with the frustration of injury & pain, of having to modify everything, of not yet being able to do what I know my body used to be capable of – its been hard. But I love it so much, and so I keep coming back. Its worth it.
BJJ has taught me to relax. It has taught me to stay humble. To keep fighting. To improvise. To not give up. But mostly its got me realizing how much FUN it is to play this twisty weird puzzle of a game.
Thinking more and more about my style today, and realize that I focus on technique and timing. I don’t have the strength or size to manage anything else! I love drilling because it allows me to get things Just Right… and because it helps me learn to see the puzzle and teaches my body what to do. More than two years in and I can count on my fingers my successful, legitimate submissions… which means that my defenses are v. good. I’m tenacious. I work on the right explosive timing for my movements, to compensate for my lack of size and strength. I’ve been playing defense – and drilling it – for so long I can escape almost anyone’s side-control… and I’m very proud of that. I know I’m no one’s favorite person to roll with – I’m not a challenge, I’m gimpy, and I TALK through the whole thing (my judo teacher once said: if you can’t have a conversation while you roll, you’re going too hard) – but I love the guys I train with and I love BJJ/Judo.
I love reading about all these other women and how they play BJJ!
Adriana Puente said:
I’m known for not being a quitter and doing anything to win. You can’t teach heart and that’s exactly what I use when rolling. I may not be the strongest or the best, but my ambition to win is what makes up for it.
April Bierman said:
I think the most distinctive thing about me is that I generally go pretty hard all the time. There are very few girls at my school so I end up grappling with mostly guys. This means I have to work that much harder since most of them are bigger than I am and most of them are close to my belt rank. I am working on trying to learn more techniques and really lock down the ones that I have now so that I will definitely be able to be a “size doesn’t matter” grappler.
Amy W said:
I’m the smallest one–always–and I feel like a very slow learner. But even when I’m being crushed under guys who outweigh me by literally 100 pounds, I love every second of it. My favorite moments are when I get into mount or side control all of a sudden and my partner makes an astonished noise.
Not sure where I fit. I’m the only adult female in my club. Not the fastest but give it everything I have everytime ! I do know I have a crazy grip and if I can get your collar , I’m going for a choke 😉 All I know for sure is the more I learn , the less I know 😀
My jiujitsu is tailored to my body
I’m a jack of all trades, master of some. I’ve been involved in martial arts for about 17yrs. I have a black belt in taekwondo and on the verge of black belt in judo. I’ve dabbled in a bit of aikido (thought it was great, but too slow paced) and have taken a few BJJ classes. Six months ago, I finally joined a BJJ gym and love it. It’s humbling to put on a white belt and I’ve found that all the martial arts compliment BJJ so well – the flexibility, discipline, athleticism, and control. My go-to move is the armbar and i’m having a ball with berimbolo and the endless variations of chokes! By no means am I great, but it’s just a big learning process which is why I love it so.
I’m not sure I have a style yet. I show up everyday and work hard to try and get a little better every class. The biggest thing I hear from my training partners is that I keep my elbows close so armbars are hard to get on me. I sometimes have trouble remembering things (might be cause I just turned 50) so I keep a journal and try and work on one thing every week so that I can make it muscle memory. I went from saying I would never do jiu jitsu to being a complete addict (training 6 days a week). The people that it has brought into my life is something I treasure. I’m only a year and a half into my journey and I am looking forward to practicing for as long as my body will let me.
Hmmm… I am unique in very different ways. I just started going to academy training about a month ago. However, for years before that I was being tapped out every which way by my husband. He trained through Gracie combatives and tried every move on me and I would tap before I could realize what just happened. I decided that if I lost more weight then I would join the academy and start my training. Well I go to class and I am by far the largest girl there by 100 pounds easily. I use my weight and farm girl strength when needed. However, I like to watch and learn from my instructors because they are simply amazing! I will compete in my first competition in the next 3 months to prove to myself all the things that I have learned so far. So for now I just watch and do my best while all the people littler than me run circles around me and tap me over and over. 🙂
Kate Allen said:
I’ve been doing Jiu Jitsu for going on 5 years and I love every minute of it! At my gym I’m definitely known for my open guard. It’s really hard to pass and all the guys joke and complain about being stuck in it, which is a lot of fun! My guard is really my own. It’s somewhat a clone of my instructor, but not really. I’m really good at switching my hips and guard recovery. I had to develop my open guard after I recovered from a broken foot. So my ankle was a little weak so it was hard to close my guard. I wouldn’t call myself super athlete, but I’m very patient! I use my energy effectively and explode when I need to and conserve where I can. This is key because I get muscled around or may need to wait for a good opening. My Jitsu is energy efficient, patient, has good flow, and is technical.
Kathleen Olinger said:
I am not last to be picked, which is most likely because the guys enjoy having someone that they feel they are stronger than to roll with every few rounds. They may also be looking for a break for their nose, as I like to think I may be a little less sweaty and smelly than the guys. I am a fighter. I fight until I cannot get out of their submission any longer. I try to conserve my energy as, jits is ultimately fighting those that are bigger than you with skill rather than strength, but sometimes I feel like a fish flopping around hoping to land in water to survive. I roll with men who have been black belts since before I was born, but I learn a lot from them. I am improving and I am constantly learning what does and does not work. I do not give up, even when my braid has slipped and I have a hair mask where my eyes once were, I continue to counter submissions and flip the guys around.
I’d have to echo what many others have said–and it’s encouraging to see that other women struggle with some of the same difficulties–I’m not the quickest learner, and I’m definitely not aggressive by nature, so I often feel that I’m only ever defending, and never certain enough in my technique to pull submissions. At the very least, I can feel my defense improving :). Also, I think I’m especially attuned to the inherent beauty/grace of jiu jitsu, which helps me fight against the impulse to muscle through a roll rather than rely on technique. I’m also very aware that jiu jitsu requires just as much of the mind as it does of the body.
anick bernier said:
What makes my jiujitsu unique ?
Pretty much the gym that I train at. At sbg, we have a curriculum. We are not clone of anyone. We do have principles of posture and pressure but everyone is encouraged to be themselves. I truely believe that everyone jiujitsu is defferent because we have all different body types flexibility and athleticism.
I am different in the sense that I am. 5’1″ woman that mostly train with guys. I learned to use my flexibility and keeping my frames to my advantage. I am a very scrambly person, hard to pin in place but I the same time I am not agressive. I always try to keep good posture no matter if I’m in a good or bad position. 🙂
Rebecca Lee said:
Confession time, I’m not the greatest athlete in the world. I’m 42 years old 5 feet tall and the only time I weigh over 100 is when I’m wearing a gi. So it shouldn’t be a surprise for you to hear I have to chase down training partners. It is far and few between when people come up to me and want to roll but the ones that do are the people who push…no they throw me out of my comfort zone. They demand, expect and at times believe in me more than I believe in myself. However, under that doubt is a determined woman who knows her skills are greater than the strength of 150 pound man.
It’s taken me 9 years to get a purple belt. 9 years. But I’ve never given up. I love this art more than anything. How is my jiu jitsu unique? I’m determined, I’m strong and I’m never going to give up or give an inch. If you push me to escape my mount then I’ll arm bar you. Or maybe you will be more technical and hip away. Then I’ll isolate an arm or maybe take your collar. Like any lady, I’m going to take what you give me but I’m never giving it back.
Belinda Serrano said:
I think I might have cancelled my last comment. But just reading more about your journey and following your page I had to say you are one inspirational lady
Deidre Carver said:
The first thing that comes to mind is tenacious. I am a 46 year old white belt and know that I have lots to learn and overcome. I am at every class I can go to each week. Usually 2 a day Monday thru Thursday when I am not recovering from some injury. I keep coming back to learn more and more. I roll to get better even though I usually end up on bottom and tapping out but I am getting better (according to my partners). I just keep coming back for more!!! I see this as my personal journey to grow in self awareness, self esteem and fitness. Wish I had found Jiu Jitsu in my 20s!!!
I would describe my jiu jitsu as strength. Ever since I joined jiu jitsu, I have realized that as a person I have changed. I am no longer scared of the unknown. I have accomplished goals I never thought possible and done things with my body I thought I could never do. Jiu jitsu helped me realize how strong of a person I can be, and how much determination and drive I have over something I am so passionate about. My teachers and partners know me for being small but aggressive. When I want something I charge at it, head first and do my very best to go after what I want. In jiu jitsu, I like to attack and get dominate position as much as possible which is why I’m described as being aggressive, however, as I continue on in my jiu jitsu journey, I find myself itching away from being in dominate positions and learning to let myself be uncomfortable positions. Positions where I feel a little nervous and scared, and then letting myself be calm and collective in those positions. It’s a learning process that I find is not only related to jiu jitsu but in everyday life.
I am no super athlete or submission machine, but I do have a competitive nature that never goes away. I use my competitiveness to work hard in jiu jitsu and learn as much as I can when I’m on the mats. Because I am smaller than the majority of my partners, technique is what I strive for and try to use as much as possible when I’m grappling and I know that technique will always beat strength and size. I think that’s what makes me different from other partners, is that because I am smaller, my way of doing things is different. I am told that I can be very squirmy, but that’s because I like to always keep moving so that I never give my partners a chance to think and submit me. That is what makes me different.
A lot of people can probably relate to my competitive nature and passion for jiu jitsu and that is what makes many of us similar.
Jiu jitsu is my life and something that changed me. So because of that, I can never picture myself without jiu jitsu.
Trinika Cox said:
I’ve just recently started my journey with BJJ and I am hooked! I’ve been going 3 to 4 times a week, so I’m catching on fairly quick, and I would have to say I’m most proficient at side control and the chicken wing :). I love catching an arm bar on my opponents, but need much more practice! I’ve started taking my 9yr old daughter, and I’m excited about her future in BJJ as well. I’ve still got so much to learn but I have some great coaches at Top Game, and I’m ready for the challenge.
Cassie Herrera said:
I like to play defense a lot when I roll. I also like to pick certain things to work on with different training partners; get side control, take back, etc
Megan Whorton said:
I am the person that always volunteers to go with the new people. I do this for a couple reasons. Firstly, I choose the newbies because I was once one, and I know how intimidating the first class can be, especially if you don’t know anyone at the gym. o be the person lingering toward the back not sure of what to do sucks. I make them feel welcome as if they’ve always been one of the group. The second reason I prefer new people is that rolling and rolling with them helps to reinforce my own learning. Its the whole ‘see one, do one, teach one’ idea. The more I talk and share about jiu jitsu the better I get in turn.
I can’t really say that I have a style yet… but I always approach a roll with excitement, enthusiasm, and a sense of wonder. That probably sounds weird… But I am like a little kid seeing things for the first time when I’m rolling. The experience offers new insights and is so much fun I can’t stop grinning from ear to ear. My jiu jitsu is unique because every roll is a celebration of human potential.
Desiree Marszalkowski said:
I would describe myself as calm and calculated… I don’t freak out when I’m in trouble, but calmly think about the solution. I try to “flow with the go” as much as possible… But that doesn’t mean I can’t turn up the heat if I need to! 😉
My jiu jitsu is styled for big people. I am a woman but I am not the typical small, short, or fast and flexible type that you normally find. I am 5’6″ and a solid 180lb (look 160lb). I have short limbs, a long torso and thunder thighs. Because of this I tend to be slow and methodical in my jiu jitsu. I have strength that helps sometimes but there are still a lot of people stronger so my technique is important. I sometimes have to figure out wasy to modify a technique to make it work for me. When training with people as skilled as or better than me I go for the little goals, like escaping that move they always catch me with, or passing guard, or just scoring some points. The submissions will come later. With the lower level people I try to perfect technique and try things I’m not good at or are new.
So long as I always feel like I am improving I am happy with my jiu jitsu life.
stephanie hogate said:
I would have to say i can pick up the technique quickly with drilling, but struggle when trying it out rolling. I am usually the only female and being 42 in a week, i am usually a lot older than my training partners too. So, i find myself defending a lot, watching for the opening to try a sweep or submission……but this also allows me to practice my fundamentals too…
Pauline Orozco said:
I was a slow learner, afraid even. I thought it was too complicated to much though too much everything. I would get frustrated and even refuse to roll in gis. Then something snapped, I realized I could refuse to learn become better or grip it and move forward. I don’t consider myself a super athlete I am a determined one. Ive thrown myself into tourneys not afraid to lose. Everytime I have competed I have learned what ny faults and weaknesses are each has been a lesson learned. I would love to say that I am a duplicate of my trainer but her is constantly correcting me on minor things that can make me better! So I guess I have my own style. I am super patient, strong and always thinking what’s next. I incorporate my judo into bjj so its a bit ddifferent patient and calm would describe my style. Always learning. Its gotten be to blue belt recently and I am super honored. I compete, train and learn with respect and and opened mind. I am a friendly bjj girl who can only go up from here. People like training with me because I don’t train with people to beat them I train to learn and teach with every movement. Thank you
Bethany Chapman said:
My flexibility and I’m ALWAYS moving.
Stephanie Dodge said:
I’ve always loved sports, even though I’ve never been the one who had the natural talent. I’ve always had to put in the most work, have the most heart and perserverance, but that has developed my character and who I am today.
Jiu Jitsu has not been any different, it takes me a long time to get the technique, and when I do put it together I need to drill into oblivion, but that drilling is my meditation, my time to develop myself for life on and off the mats. In short, my Jiu Jitsu is beautiful because it is mine.
Are your training partners always willing to drill? Sometimes it is hard to find someone who enjoys being a dummy for drilling.
As a white belt I’m still learning the basics, so I try to stick with my coach’s techniques rather than getting all fancy up on the mat! In fact, I promised not to watch BJJ technique videos on YouTube until I’m at least a blue belt. 😉 I don’t think I’m known for anything in particular… although I’ve been told I’m getting really good at movement and transitions. I would like to be known as a really good training partner. I think I’m getting there.
Natalie diNingrat said:
My jujitsu is unique because I’m extremely flexible! My teammates call me the wrecking ball because I could roll into a little ball and they can’t put any of their hooks in! I can stay calm and breath very well in inversions and can wrap my legs around my head. I have been working on inverted garud and love spider gaurd. Being that i have thin legs it helps me get out of anything!! I am very squirmy and it’s hard to hold me down unless you sit in me. I ❤️ Seeing people faces when I escape because there like WHAT!!! I love being able to control my body! Jiu-Jitsu 4 Life! 😘
Thanks Natalie, the wrecking ball! 🙂
Melissa Tholl said:
I am small and not naturally athletic but I am stubborn enough to make up for it and determined to figure things out through trial and error. I have to have my technique down perfectly to get things to work against people who are bigger than me since I’m not able to power out of positions at ALL. This could be discouraging, but I see it as an advantage because it means that I won’t form as many bad habits as someone who is naturally big and strong.
I think for me it’s my good sense of what’s next. I tend to pick up the new moves very quickly and can incorporate with ease. At 46, I have the strength of a man and do give the guys and ladies a hard time on the mat. I never say no to anyone, no matter their size. On the flip side, some people would rather not roll with me out of their own fear( it’s a combat sport, not a dance class)
Luckily my hubby has 2 years over me and I can train anytime with my best friend
I am a very technical learner and that’s how I roll. I like to break down each move and how it is affecting joints and muscles (probably has to do with being a chiropractor off the mats.) When I am at my best, I am moving slow and each movement is exaggerated. I prefer less fancy, more traditional moves and feel at my best when I catch someone in a move that they see coming but are unable to stop.
I am a purple belt and I have been training for 6 years. I have good days and bad (sometimes I don’t know what causes a spectacular day. I just show up and everything works perfectly.) I know that a poor fitting gi causes more bad days than good. If my pants are sagging off my butt or my gi top is bunching under me, it is very hard for me to focus on the match. For that reason, I think a properly fitting gi is one of the most important parts of my game.
I am also a small person and my instructor is large, so there are very few similarities in our style, but I love to learn a “big guy” move and figure out how to perform it so technically that I can make it work on a much larger, stronger person.
Grace C said:
I’m not particularly athletic, although I have become more so since I started training. What makes my jiu jitsu different is my obsession with technique details. I want to know where everything goes, down to the pinky! I’m generally the smallest and lowest ranked in the class but I’ve learned that technique can compensate for size any day! Although frustrating and heart breaking at times, I would not trade what I’ve learned in the last 1 1/2 for anything!
Technique compensates for strength to a certain level. It is a bit of a myth that smaller person will beat a larger person (at the same expertise level). When the skill level is very even, the size of the opponent does matter.
Grace C said:
I know very well what strength can do, I certainly didn’t mean that technique trumps strength on every occasion. You’re correct, when skill is matched strength is a big factor. I just said compensate, meaning I’ve learned that I can get out of a bad spot with a stronger opponent by focusing on technique.
Kristen Drosche said:
My jiu jitsu is methodical with a dash of creativity. I use the heavy pressure techniques from my instructor. These are key for holding positions against my bigger and stronger teammates during training. However I do practice some of the more finesse movements as well.
I’m not the super athlete, nor am I the slow learner. I am just determined and try to bring as much passion and love to this art as it has to me.
My jiu jitsu is different because it guided me through a rough injury that could have just as easily taken me away from the mats. Instead I came out of the other side, even more intrigued by jiu jitsu and ready to push farther.
I’m little and wiggly! Always underestimated for my size.
That’s a funny description!
I think I’m probably known as the Mum with an annoying spider guard who hasn’t given up. After watching my boys train for a few years I decided to give it a go. Didn’t want to be fat, unfit and forty. Wanted to be forty, fit and fabulous. Persistence and technique would be my motto, smaller people can’t rely on strength. When someone says to me “you’re starting to get really annoying :)” when I’m rolling with them I take it as a compliment. I’m slowly seeing the results of many hours of training. Training, sticking with, and enjoying a predominately male dominated sport gives you a sense of achievement and the knowledge that anything is possible if you work at it. Love my BJJ family. 🙂
Annoying is a great compliment in BJJ!
mandy miller said:
I have always grown up being the “big girl” all thru school I participated in wrestling with my brothers but couldnt compete cause coach didnt like the fact “A Girl” was beating his boys. So, 10 years down the road I have still struggled with weight, depression and have watched my husband transform thru judo/juijitsu, and decided I can do this now and make my health better, make my life better and maybe someday get to where I can compete and have my ultimate goal in life. Biggest issue is my weird body shape, big boobed, chubby belly, no butt, big thighs so finding a gi to fit me right is my biggest challenge. I have been using sweats and tank tops for now, until I can finally get a gi that fits me right and will help me continue my goal, journey, and make me a happy person to finally compete. (Even against “Boys”) lol
mandy miller said:
My husband has been a big supporter and is pushing me to succeed without I dont think I would be this far
Why don’t you email us so we can see if we have a good size gi for you? email@example.com
Linford Murao said:
I think I’m unique because of my age. I am 51 years old and the oldest women and student in my academy. The guys call me the beast and gorilla grips because of my strength in my fingers and wrist and my fearlessness in rolling with any guy big or small. Hahaha, I always smile when I roll with the men and giggle inside when I see them struggling to try and break my grip, it gives me such a sense of pride that not only at my age but being a women I am able to keep up with these men and have earn their respect because of my strength and my ability to be fearless.
Looks can be deceiving. I’m small (and older), but people are always surprised at how quick and strong I am. I’m proud to say that I can hold my own against almost anyone — men, women, young, old…
Autumn Santa Ana said:
Unique? Hmm, I’d have to say that my unique style can only be defined as spazzy…but in a good way, haha. I’ve been training BJJ for about 8 months. While I have good cardio and strength, the technique aspect of my game tends to be a bit elusive at times. I’m at a stage where I defend well and can even get into a good dominate position only to then just go blank. I’m not sure if this is age related (I’m 37) or if it’s just a part of the journey. Sometimes the sub comes easily, other times I am struggling to remember the next step and I lose the control position. This leads to a lot of scrambling. I’m striving to go from ‘spazzy’ to ‘smooth’ one day but for now, I’m enjoying the thrill of just staying alive and getting lucky with a sub now and then. I am going to start a BJJ journal to see if that helps. PS – Loving the Fenom brand and the empowerment of strong women. Keep it up ladies – xoxoxo
Love the good spazzy!
Sharla Monique Rose Winter said:
I have just started out, and I think I’m the noob that always asks questions and slows things down, even when I’m rolling i’ll be halfway through doing a move and then ask something like ‘now what’? I’m sure when I get more used to it, i’ll find my own style, but I’ve always been pretty good at using my teeny body up against bigger guys, so I guess that gives me an edge. Oh and I’m very competitive, so we’ll see how this plays out 🙂
Playful yet focused. Focused but fun. Fun and relentless. Relentlessly dedicated to improving 🙂
That’s one of the best descriptions!!! Thank you.
I’ve been training jits for 10 months. I competed in my first comp after 4 months of training. In the very first match of my very first comp, my nose got broken. My opponent was swinging her leg over my head and connected with my nose instead. Instantly got addicted. Finished the match. Couldn’t get enough of the art. My nose is still broken today because I haven’t stopped training and competing. I’m like a junkie going through withdrawals when I’m not on the mat. I’ve won some and lost some. But it’s the losses that drive me and motivate the ish out of me.
I’d say my style is relentless. Every week I will pick a higher belt who has a specific technique I can’t defend against, or can’t pass. Like this guy gets me into a crazy spider guard every time and I can’t get out, so I ask how higher belts pass him, then work all week and practice until he can no longer catch me in his spider. Following week I work with a purple belt who has a monster open guard I can’t pass… Etc. I don’t care how many times I fail, because eventually I will always get there 😃
Siarra Rogers said:
I am yet another woman who trains jiu-jitsu on a regular basis, and my experience training can be described as a total surprise. During my blue belt promotion it was noted that many of my fellow teammates didn’t think I would last a month, but I proved everyone wrong in achieving rank in one of the most demanding martial arts. My jiu jitsu is unique simply in the notion that I can count the classes I have missed on my hand. I have nothing but dedication to my training and my gym. I was, and continue to be, the farthest thing from a natural jiu jitsu athlete; however, the virtue of my game is my ability to always stay calm and always be thinking, attributes which I contribute to learning jiu jitsu from the guard.
Susanna leftwich said:
In Jiu jitsu, girls tend to be out for blood. Rolling super fast, and vicious. After watching tons and tons of black belts like Hannette and Michelle, and seeing how every move they did was thought out, I tried it. I move more calm and slower than most girls in my division. It helps me not tire out, and makes every move count. Instead of spazzing out, losing your balance and being swept. I look for submissions and and wait for the moment that the girl to make a mistake that will lead to my victory.
I’m stronger than I look. I’m tall and thin. I tend to wrap my legs around whatever I can get them on. Unique. Still learning! Eager to learn more.
I’ve been told by guys in class that for the other women, they go 80%. Not for me. They go 100%! That was probably the biggest compliment I’ve been given in jiu jitsu!
Jiu jitsu came to my life by surprise, I didn’t even know about the existence of this sport – lifestyle. I’m 22 and I’ve been training only for two months but I love it!! I feel confident, when I go training I feel more like myself, I don’t have to show anything to anybody, just me. Everyday I learn something new, I’m one of the three girls who train there but I love how I feel, we are like a family, everybody cares for you (for real!), you feel part of it.
I’m really looking forward to improve, at least not to tap after 30 seconds. I’ll be telling you how is this going for me.
Danielle A said:
Because having long legs and a capoeira background, make my jiu jitsu unique!
Jen Ozley said:
I’m a wrestling mom that started doing jiu jitsu and although I am a slow learner I love it. It’s humbling and some days I feel like I am improving by millimeters but I am grateful I have a solid double leg takedown from being my son’s wrestling dummy for the last 3 years. Best part is having him there to cheer me on.
Susan Phillips said:
I have always been interested in martial arts, but as an adult the episode of Seifield with Kramer and young ones in karate class came to mind. A friend from work, Zantha, came back from summer break looking smokin’ hot. (I never thought she was big.) After a few months, I got the courage to walk in the gym. I started with bootcamp and watched JiuJitsu. I could not figure out “what” they were doing! Kristine, one of the coaches started a ladies class and I was hooked. That was a year and a half ago. I consider myself a struggling white belt but I refuse to give up. I am 55 years old and, although it is difficult, I strive to be competetive even though my peers are 20 to 30 years my junior.
I train slow and steady. While there’s a lot of people who train at a full boil I prefer to keep a low simmer. I’ve been training for almost two years and I have yet to burn out. Jiu Jitsu has become my longest and healthiest relationship. I’m not particularly good at anything, but I keep coming back and I don’t get down on myself if I don’t tap out everyone I roll with. I’m always learning and I feel off if I don’t go to at least a couple classes a week.
Low simmer… we like that!
I am a lone wolf. I am the only lady in my class and one of the highest ranking which makes me a threat to the guys I roll with. I have worked harder than anyone in my school on my technical abilities to make up for size and strength. I am a rarity, not a novelty.
Niranjini David said:
Some days I am able to tap a couple of people, some days I don’t have enough cardio and some days I get injuried and sit at the side of the mat with a sad face. But the most beautiful thing about bjj is that there is always something new to learn, my drilling partners learn to counter my moves so I have to learn to counter that and this goes on. Every time when I come back home I always thing of what I could have done differently to improve my game.
My BJJ technique is still developing, heck it’s still in its infant stages. I’ve found myself constantly wondering if anyone even wants to roll with me because of my weight/size/experience. Thankfully my instructor is amazing and has never let me down. I go the technical route, I need to practice, practice practice to see openings and where moves will fit in. I’m learning my weight and my grip are my two best strategies (dealing with animals for so long means I have a crazy grip on a gi). Jitz has been the first thing to really make me appreciate that you don’t have to be great to enjoy something.
I pick up techniques fairly quickly. As a long time teacher, I often have new students tell me I explain/break it down easier for th to understand. However, I and tall and slow. I was a swimmer, so all this “land” stuff makes me clumsy feeling when I put it all together. I am used to being good at athletics, told I have natural talent and the realization that I have neither at BJJ has been a very hard and emotional journey of acceptance. I now work even harder. And don’t get so down on myself when I fail (often). Through everything that my life has gone through the last six years (leaving a long term relationship, lots of injuries, marriage, pregnancy, two major surgeries (I did mention I’m clumsy)), BJJ has kept me both sane and growing.
Lynn Stephenson said:
I started BJJ last year when I was 53. Three of my kids were learning BJJ at the same time I realized I was getting old. Wondering why I felt old, I decided that old people only do things they are already good at. That was certainly true of me: I was a specialist. And when I was honest with myself I realized the only reason I was scared to try something new was the fear of looking like a fool. Right then, I decided to try BJJ because I was sure I would not be good at it.
Boy was I ever right. And at first, I really didn’t like it, either. I felt spastic and couldn’t ever remember what I was supposed to do. My nickname became “Lynn – guard” because my teacher finally told me “just try to get to guard” when he noticed, (for the hundredth time), that I didn’t know what to do when I was rolling. But then, after lots of patient teaching and generosity from my classmates, (who I am sure didn’t really want to roll with me), something clicked.
It’s funny, I am still spastic and still forget what I am supposed to do on a regular basis, but now I regularly venture out from the (relative) safety of guard. I have even gotten a few submissions and an occasional “nice” from a higher belt. BJJ has become much more than an exploration into aging, it has become the start of a journey I never knew I wanted to take.
Maria Willis said:
I think I’d have to say that my jiu jitsu is “happy.” There are a lot of other words I could use but “happy” seems to be the predominant one. No matter how hard we train, or, how long we roll, jiu jitsu always makes me happy. I often catch myself smiling when my partner gets the better of me, or, when a technique I have been working on finally clicks when I am rolling. Jiu Jitsu is such a mental game and I tend to be a thinker. I always want to know the “how” and the “why” of everything that we are learning. The truth is that sometimes we don’t really understand the “how” and the “why” until we are able to apply and understand it within our own game. When I am finally able to properly use the techniques that my Professor has taught me when I am rolling, or, to recognize them as they are being done to me….It just makes me so happy! And, even when I’m not having some kind of a breakthrough (’cause that just doesn’t happen everyday-at least not for me) Jiu Jitsu still makes me Happy! It’s all just part of the ride!
Michelle O'Brien said:
I started jiu jitsu as the fat girl. Short and heavy (and squishy), I could barely fit into my gi, and had physical difficulty doing any move that required hip mobility (so, uh, all of them). I had been screened for diabetes, and most importantly, I was wildly unhappy. I joined jiu jitsu as a last ditch effort to take up a hobby with my then-husband. It didn’t save my marriage, but it did save me. Over a year of persistent, stubborn, bull-headed training and I lost 50 lbs. I competed this last March, 18 months after I started, at 145.
Sometimes I am still picked last, or not at all. It took me a long time to learn how to move backwards. My bjj family used to say that my spirit animal was a shark because I could only move forward! I’m still awkward, and I’m still an emotional partner at times. But my blood pressure is as low as it’s ever been, I’m no longer at risk for diabetes, and dammit, I consider myself an athlete!
So, what makes me stand out from the crowd? Absolute bull-headed stubbornness every single day. Can’t get the angle on that armbar? Guess I’ll be drilling it 100 times this week. Get kimura’ed every time you try to pass half-guard? Do it 100 more times until you figure out what you do wrong. Feeling exhausted? Good, that’s when the real BJJ comes out!
Jessica Lozoya said:
My jiu jitsu could be described as new. I’m 5’3″ & 120 pounds. I’m the smallest person in my entire gym & one of four females. I tend to get smashed a lot by the other guys, but I’m patient. I look for an opportunity to escape (& am getting better at it too!) & am learning to use how small I am against the bigger guys.
My wrists are small so sinking in a guillotine is no problem & sliding my hand in next to my neck so I don’t get choked is easy peasy. Mostly, I think I have a type of jiu jitsu that fits small women. We’re like a stick of dynamite. Small & explosive haha! I’m a huge fan of bow & arrow chokes (my boyfriend will attest to that), the guillotine & any kind of lapel choke. I’m working on a cool variation of an armbar too.
I’m not the best athlete but I’m not the worst either. I have heart. Lots of it. I always want to push myself to do my absolute best, because good things happen to those who hustle. I only train maybe three days a week (to avoid information overload) & have made an agreement with my boyfriend to dedicate Sundays to working out (kettlebells), running drills or looking up a new move we want to learn.
I’m little but I’m coming for the crown. Oss
Helen Smailes said:
Ginger! I guess that’s not really related to my jiu-jitsu though 😛 … I think what I have noticed more recently is a calmness in my strength. I used to be quite frantic and my brain would be working overtime but now, something’s changed and there’s a quiet in my mind, everything seems to flow. I know that doesn’t seem all that unique, reading the previous comments, but it’s unique to me. In every other aspect of my life, everything is hectic but during BJJ I get to escape all that. I’ve also got more flexible and stronger legs than most of the guys in my class (seriously, it’s freaky) which can be pretty beneficial!
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