Review of women’s BJJ open mat at Dartford BJJ

London BJJ Women's Open Mat

London BJJ Women's Open Mat

Today, I hosted a Women’s Open Mat for female BJJ players; Coach kindly offered Dartford BJJ free for our use. We had a great time, and I’m hopeful other female players will organise similar events at their clubs. Younger and older, more and less experienced women came together for an informal day’s training, with one practitioner making the trek from Eastbourne with her mum, who has never trained before, in tow. One of the participants was kind enough to lead us through a warm-up of running and line drills, followed by a stretch. We then took turns demonstrating techniques we enjoyed/had success with/were working on, and drilled these for five minutes; we rotated partners for each drill. We finished the day with sparring for five minute rounds, again switching partners every time. It was a real pleasure to work with other women in what I felt was a very relaxed, non-competitive environment; a nice change from seeing these ladies only at competition. I was interested in the groups’ slightly different approaches to familiar techniques and really enjoyed sparring with a group of ladies. No one was trying to mash each other, just working their stuff, and their games were all very technical, tight on the defence and chilled out. Ironically, a ladies-only event impressed upon me the importance of diversity in the dojo; in a very broad way, men’s and women’s games are different. I believe working with these different energies and approaches, which mobilise men’s and women’s different gendered and innate physical and cultural characteristics, helps folk develop the most well-rounded and robust games. As in nature, where a more heterogeneous mix creates the healthiest individuals, so in life, on and off the mats.

7 Responses to “Review of women’s BJJ open mat at Dartford BJJ”

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  1. Meerkat says:

    Check out Rachael's day-glo Catfight gi, she wasn't kidding when she told everyone she bought one!
    Well done on the success of the women only sessions.

  2. Husna says:

    Great fun and very chilled out atmosphere. It would be great to have more opportunities for the ladies to train together.

  3. MMA says:

    It's really good to see how the womens BJJ scene is growing so rapidly

  4. Meg Smitley says:

    Thanks, Meerkat. It was a good day and I think folk left with a desire to host events of their own. The Catfight gi was hot and I'm even more keen to get one after finally seeing one in the flesh. :)

  5. Meg Smitley says:

    Husna, it was great to have you there and is such a shame we didn't get you in the pic! Look forward to your schedule changing to allow you more mat time, my skills would certainly be sharper if we were able to drill as we used to!

  6. Meg Smitley says:

    Hi MMA, it certainly is an exciting time for women in BJJ! We are starting to get a critical mass here in the UK, and in the next few years there's going to be quite a few purples about the place! These events are nice for us, as many of us rarely get a chance to work with other women in our own clubs, and so usually only meet under competition conditions.

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  1. [...] our humble beginnings at our first BJJ Women’s Open Mat in July ’09, our women’s rolling initiative has gone from strength to strength. From [...]



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