Women come in all sizes, just like men come in all sizes. Women and men of all sizes train jiu-jitsu. Being a small man in BJJ is awesome. Everyone admires the speed, flexibility, and athleticism of the rooster, and light feather weights. Being a big man in jiu-jitsu is even more awesome. The strength, and powerful explosiveness are the envy of the young, and the old. No-one complains about the size of the heavy and super heavy weights; they are the mighty kings of the mat.
Being a big woman in jiu-jitsu is a disadvantage. The strength is immediately considered a bad thing, and the woman is being subjected to name calling, and ridiculing. Gabi Garcia is taking a beating from internet trolls after every title win. She gets called a freak, a man, a dude, a bigfoot, and an assortment of other names.
The latest IBJJF European World Championship open weight final match between Mackenzie Dern and Gabi Garcia was outstanding! Both ladies did an excellent job but Gabi got her achievement discounted, again, due to her size. Comments like “Gabi is playing typical big person jiu-jitsu”, and “she is using her strength” didn’t take long to appear. When you sign up for the open class, you know that you may end up fighting someone much larger, much smaller or someone your own size. So, if it is expected, why make the size difference an issue?
And can we please stop with the bullying, and name calling? Enough already. It’s getting old. Big women are not supposed to compete in men’s division just like small men are not supposed to compete in women’s division. Jiu-jitsu women train as hard as men, yet are constantly judged based on their looks, and not on skill. Just because a woman does not meet your personal criteria of attractiveness does not make her a man.
To the men who defend women, and stand up to the disrespectful meatheads: Thank you! You are fantastic! We appreciate it a lot!
Being healthy is something most of us take for granted. Occasional flu or a smashed rib is annoying when you have busy life. No-one has time for that! What if you came down with a sudden illness that brought your life as you knew it to a halt? Can you imagine not being able to drive any more? Or not being able to go the store alone? Or not being able to work?
That is what our good friend, Shama Ko, the coordinator of Girls in Gis is dealing with right now. About a month ago, she suddenly collapsed on the mat, and had a seizure. She has been to the ER a few times; seen several doctors, and her medical bills are beginning to pile up. There are still lots of tests to be done, to find out what is causing her body to act this way. She is determined to get to the bottom of this but cannot do it alone.
There are lots of organizations asking for donations this time of the year but please consider purchasing one or a few of these beautiful, 8 inch, woven, phoenix inspired patches that we designed specially for Shama’s fundraiser. The patches cost $8.00, and you can order yours here. Our goal is to raise $2,500 to help getting her life back on track.
Women’s jiu-jitsu community pulled together big time, and set up Grappling for a Cause events all over the US, Mexico and Colombia. If you would like to go to a roll-a-thon, an open mat or a seminar, please check out the locations (Denver, Austin, San Diego, Lakeland, Chandler, Edmond, Monterrey,) that are participating in the fundraiser on December 13-14.