Why would any woman want to train Jiu Jitsu? After all, this “wrestling, on the ground, close contact, fighting stuff is for boys and men,” right? Most are scared to death to even try it, especially women in their 30s, 40s and beyond. I hear most women say, “I can’t be that close to someone,” “ I am too claustrophobic,” or “that just is not for me!” The reasons for not trying it are endless and, for most, they are valid concerns and reasons not do it. However, the reasons to do it, or even try it, are well beyond positive for the women who took that first step on the mat.
I could tell you until I am blue in the face the reasons I decided to go for it, why I love it, and why I will continue training jiu jitsu. For me, the biggest reason I decided to go for it was because, well, why not? It was something new. I do not mind challenges. I continue because I can’t explain to you just how much it has impacted my life.
I do not believe I have ever had this amount of confidence in myself. But it’s not the type of confidence where I’m trying to tout and say, “Hey check me out, I am a 40 years (gulp), and I can beat you up.” Rather, it’s a quiet confidence. I feel better about what my body has allowed me to accomplish. I feel better physically and have not been in better shape in my life… truly. At 40 years old, I am in the best shape of my life.
It has allowed me to feel stronger walking down the street with my kids, walking alone in a parking lot, or just being out. I try to tell women that are uncomfortable on the mat, “to get comfortable when it is your choice versus being put in a situation that is not your choice and have no idea what to do.” Put your daughters in jiu jitsu, help them gain the confidence they need to handle themselves, and better yet, help them with the confidence to never have to be put in a situation to have to get out of.
I love the women I train with. I love watching teens and women of all ages grow in this lifestyle and sport. It gives moms who were once athletes the chance to work for something as they earn new belt colors and medals when we compete. I asked a few women who train to describe why they train and the majority told me that it was the confidence it provided them.
I can not stress enough how important this aspect is for all people, but the sort of impact that training has on a woman’s confidence is amazing. One women explained how it has been a great confidence builder for her and a great way to clear her head. Another woman told me that she now walks with her head a little higher since she started training.
As I stated before, confidence comes from learning how to handle yourself and not just physically. You will learn how to handle situations from a different viewpoint. Learn how to fail over and over but know confidently that you will eventually succeed. Here are some other reasons jiu jitsu can benefit women:
I can say that there are several times when stress takes me over as it does for everyone at times. There are times when I don’t want to train. But I can also say that about 99.9% of the time that I choose to train, I feel better physically and mentally because of it. One woman did state that training has helped her tremendously with stress relief and patience (which we could all use a bit more of as mamas).
Weight Loss & Getting In Shape
Training Jiu Jitsu has been extremely beneficial for weight loss and getting healthy for me and the many women who I train with. Some have even confessed to me how they thought they were in great shape, but realized they weren’t until they started training. It has been incredible to watch peoples bodies transform and seeing what their body is capable of while learning a life skill and having fun.
An Activity For The Whole Family
Many of the women I interviewed for this piece are moms and have children that also train (as well as spouses). One mom loved how she was able to share a passion with her daughter. As many sports, parents are on the sidelines, cheering, but unable to get on the field and play in the same respect. My personal experience training with two of my sons is amazing. I know what they are going through. I know the struggles and I know the victories they are facing.
These are truly just the tip of the iceberg as far as how jiu jitsu can benefit women. I could go on all day about stories of women of all ages, and what the sport means to them; stories that will bring tears to your eyes. The amazing people that one meets while training is remarkable. This is a family and community. We struggle together, we fail together, we win together, we grow together, and share in victories that no one will understand until they train themselves.
So get going. Start it. Why not? One step on the mat. We have seen depressed and suicidal people become strong and off of medications. We have seen people with anxiety and PTSD, become relaxed and enjoy an activity and become part of a community. Try it out yourself, your kids, your family and friends. Step on the mat!
For more information you can follow me on IG @jiujitsu_rn_to_np or my personal page is @hv_rn_luvmy3 (just send me a message also so I know who you are). I would love to talk with anyone who is interested and also for anyone struggling with anxiety or depression, I have awesome success stories on our programs. Check out my previous piece about jiu jitsu here!