Guys Rolling With Girls

There seem to be tons of debates about coed grappling, so I thought I'd add my two cents.

For the guys... (based on issues discussed on the interwebs)

1) Don't assume that because I'm a girl, I'm taking BJJ for self defense. I'm not. Like many guys, I'm doing it because it's good exercise and it's fun rolling around like tiger cubs on crack.

2) If I'm training with a guy my size, he should be training exactly the same as he would with any guy his own height, weight and experience level. If I'm working with a much bigger or more experienced guy (which is usually the case), he should roll the same as he would with any guy my size and level (ie. don't just spazz and squash but do work your technique). If something hurts, I'll tap, end of story.

3) I do not care if you grab or push on the boobs (ie. harness grip) or other "questionable" areas. Don't be afraid to get in there and use your weight. This is BJJ, shit happens and is often necessary to finish a move. I'm not going to be all oh fuck u perv! any more than you would flip out on another guy for using the same techniques. I couldn't care less where your hands go while rolling or drilling. It's a close contact sport. If I was uncomfortable with having big sweaty guys all over me, I'd be doing tennis or something, and so would you. It's only awkward if you make it.

4) Please, for your sake and for those around you, wear a freakin cup. A really good one.

5) Don't be afraid to sub me and don't let me win just to make me feel good. If it's a friendly roll and you want to go lighter because you've got more experience and you think I'll learn from it, that's great. But don't give me special treatment or hesitate to apply submissions just because I'm a girl. If your technique won out, then I deserve to tap. That said, don't be THAT GUY who feels the need to go super hard and treat every roll like a competition, or who starts to spaz and use excessive strength just because you don't want to tap to a girl.

6) Men who refuse to train with women are douchebags who must be crushed. To those with religious reasons I ask, is it then entirely appropriate for you to be rolling around in those positions with anyone, including men? Probably not. So don't grapple in the first place. To those with jealous girlfriends...your relationship is that insecure? To those who worry about sexual issues: do you run into that problem with male partners? If not, then stop focusing so much on the anatomical differences and cultural taboos and fucking work your game. Also, get out of your parents' basement from time to time, then it won't seem like such a big deal when you get up close with a real live girl. To those who think it's not challenging enough or that they won't get anything out of it, your technique must be absolutely brilliant if you don't need to practice a bit more instead of powering through shit all the time. Besides, experienced female grapplers can probably kick your ass...sure you can't learn something from that? Lastly, to those with the momma said I can never hurt a girl attitude, grow up. If a girl has a problem being submitted, she shouldn't be grappling in the first place. If she's there to train like eveyone else, be respectful enough to train with her properly. Let go of the archaic attitudes and choke the hell out of her till she taps. No one who seriously trains BJJ is made of glass, so don't act like they are.


For the girls (inspired by talk with MMA instructor friend on recent disasters)...

1) This is grappling. Grappling. You are going to get grabbed in weird places and you will end up in awkward positions, and you'll probably also inhale your fair share of leg hair. If you're bothered by this sort of thing, then don't fucking grapple. Setting down rules about what male partners can and can't do with you as opposed to how they train with everyone else isn't fair. Unless you're getting hurt, you have no business complaining and if that's a problem, you have no business being there in the first place.

2) The gym is not where one goes to look for a date. They have bars and websites for that. Not that it can't happen but that shouldn't be why you're there. Don't go out of your way to be the center of attention. It's inappropriate, not cute, and it's also rude to the majority of your training partners who are probably already in relationships and are not looking to be hit on during their exercise time.

3) Wear clothes that are sensible for training. Don't come in sporting skin-tight mini shorts and a freakin' bra with bunnies on it. MMA / board shorts and a t-shirt or rashguard are appropriate. Definitely wear stretch shorts or leggings as well because those babies will ride up and you don't want to start flashing tan lines.

4) Girls often walk into these types of gyms with more to prove, as do smaller men, but don't overcompensate by being a "badass" bitch. Be aggressive, absolutely, but don't do it in a dickish, loudmouth, over-the-top way because you're still going to get crushed and then you're just going to look like you totally deserved it. Chill out, enjoy yourself, learn and have fun.


  1. "Questionable areas". Too funny. I can't see anyone in sports treating you like a girly girl. You are a TIGER!

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  2. lol well it's great with some of the smaller guys; I'm not doing badly with them at all but the really big ones? Aggression only goes so far. Some of these dudes are tall, broad and all muscle. So especially being a newbie, I can't give them the same kind of workout they get with each other but I damn sure try my best. I know they can't go all out with me because if they did some of the moves they do on each other full force, I'd be coming out with broken bones. But as long as they're not going too easy or letting me win just because momma said never sub a girl, it's all good. I just need to work on building up my own strength and skills in order to give them a better fight. Hopefully the more I practice, the longer it'll take them to tap me out and maybe farther (much farther) down the line, I'll start getting in some of my own submissions once in a while. In the meantime, it's just a lot of fun and a hell of a workout.

  3. Spot on, Reese! I've met a few men on the mat who wouldn't want to roll with me, or who would obviously be uncomfortable if they do so. It's also quite annoying when sometimes you don't get a partner just because they get someone who has balls. So yeah, it's an everyday struggle on the mat, but I still love BJJ! :)

  4. Ugh, that does suck. Like I said, I don't speak from personal experience because I haven't run into any of the above problems at my own gym. It's very much a tight knit check-your-ego-at-the-fucking-door kind of place, so I don't think that gender issues would fly there if they did come up. Everyone's very laid back and supportive...I often have guys I've never met randomly walking over to help me work on my technique, both for BJJ and kickboxing. Everyone's very supportive of everyone else, and it doesn't seem like they'd tolerate that sort of nonsense. But I have heard a lot of gender-related BS while reading through other people's blogs, forums, youtube videos, etc. and it's really sad to hear that women elsewhere are often made to feel uncomfortable or less important than the guys they train with. I'm thrilled that my own experience so far has been nothing but positive. I wish other girls out there could find a great place that works for them too.

    1. Reese, you are really great, do I have any chance to see you in real life?:-)

  5. Dear A(nother) girl,

    Some of the points that you made here indeed are very good. HOWEVER, I must say that your rudeness and disrespect towards us guys who do not feel comfortable training with girls upsets me.

    1.Different people feel different levels of discomfort in different situations. Some people, like myself, just simply DON'T FEEL COMFORTABLE ROLLING WITH GIRLS.
    For me, it has nothing to do with religion, "mom said so", disrespecting of women's abilities/skills or anything like that, it has to do with a damn simple fact that I feel UNCOMFORTABLE DOING IT and I expect people to respect my choice just like they respect anyone else's choice.

    2.You mentioned, that you do not want guys to go easy on you during sparring because you are a girl, however, if they use their natural advantages such as strength excessively, you regard them as "THAT GUY" and you think it's bad. You must understand that BJJ or any other sport isn't a food restaurant where you can fine-tune your order in a very delicate way. So that means that you should not try to fine-tune the way other people will train with you, just as you yourself have even mentioned here - "Setting down rules about what male partners can and can't do with you as opposed to how they train with everyone else isn't fair".
    So I find that part particularly self-contradicting.
    I personally understand that gyms where girls and guys spar together are not for me and I'm not trying to change them, I just simply look for other gyms, or at least politely ask the owner/trainer if they allow for exlusive sparring divisions at their gym or if they would tolerate my choice.

    3.You seem to be someone who is a proponent of philosophies such as: anti-prejudice, anti-discrimination, open mindness, gender equality, freedom of speech and freedom of choice, and that's beautiful, or at least it would be if you TRULY followed those principles. However this statament of yours "Men who refuse to train with women are douchebags who must be crushed" directly destroys any connection that you may have with those principles.

    I don't dislike you, I don't want to blame you too much, it's ok, we all make mistakes and write thoughtless stuff here and there, but please, next time, before you post an offensive content like this one, make sure to think a bit more about things and be understanding and open minded in it's true sense.

    Sincerely yours,
    -Male white belt

  6. As a (married) newbie I swear I come across a situation every so often where I feel like I'm doing more groping than choking. I suspect that will change as I get more experience and become more effective on the mat. Thank you for your perspective :)

  7. As a (married) newbie I swear I come across a situation every so often where I feel like I'm doing more groping than choking. I suspect that will change as I get more experience and become more effective on the mat. Thank you for your perspective :)

  8. I like some of the advise that you gave for us guys, but I must say a lot of your opinion is total crap. I personally, have a very deep respect for women. And I think any guy who's willing to squeeze a girl's neck is a freakin low life. I mean even if you don't agree with me, you don't have to condemn us guys who feel the RIGHT way about the matter, and lowering it down to "mama said I can't...") or whatever the hell you said is a bunch of nonsense. I've played jujitsu with girls before, but my strength lowers down to like 15% when I do. And if I had a girlfriend (which I don't have atm) I wouldn't play with other girls. Your brain is turned inside out because that type of thinking sucks. So I don't mean to offend you, but seriously you need to show more consideration by not offending us. I respect your opinion, but I ask that you respect the opinions of others like me.

    1. Look, no one can TELL you what to think, but the fact that you believe your archaic way is "right" is complete and utter BS. How about instead of trying to decide what's right for the women around you, you let them decide for themselves? Any girl who's rolling with guys wants to be treated as an equal training partner. So it makes you far more of a dick to "treat her like a girl" than it does to just treat her like any other partner on the mats. And yes, it comes across as sexist crap if you don't. Because it is sexist crap, no matter how to try to justify it.

      EVERYONE has to adjust their strength levels based on who they're rolling with. The big guys can't use as much strength on smaller guys or me as they can on each other. I can't use as much strength on smaller guys and other girls as I do on people who are bigger or stronger. That's just how it is and it has NOTHING (literally, nothing at all) to do with gender. If it doesn't make you a "lowlife" to try to choke out a male partner then I can't for my life understand why it suddenly makes you a lowlife to grapple properly with a female partner. You're just showing your bias because that's a totally unnecessary and insulting point of view ("I can do it to the guys but it's shitty to do it to girls even if they're part of the team and are asking for respectful partners").

      Also, maybe you should ask yourself why you wouldn't want to roll with girls if you had a girlfriend. I mean, that's honestly one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard. If you're turning grappling into a sexual issue, then you've got far more problems to address anyway. If it's not a sexual sport for you, then the gender of your teammate shouldn't matter at all. So instead of mansplaining why you "respect" women so much that you'd treat them in what is obviously a rude and biased fashion on the mats, how about you make an effort to adjust your thinking and recognize that, unless you are incapable of focusing on the sport as opposed to sex while in class, your attitude is completely nonsensical. IMO if my boyfriend actively avoided rolling with women, I'd have far more of an issue with that (because...why? He's getting turned on by it?) than if he treated them the same as any other rolling partner.

      And I appreciate hearing your point of view, but I'm sorry, I don't have to respect it if I feel that it's degrading and out of date. Instead of telling me not to be offended by sexism, I'd ask in all seriousness that you take a good hard look at your views and try to understand why women at the gym would have a problem with them.

  9. Well, I must say that is a very logical point. But all I am trying to say is that girls are special and should not be treated like "another guy" on the mat. Yes, I know many girls don't mind being treated like guys, but think about it: Should they be? HELL NO! Why? CUZ THEY'RE FREAKIN GIRLS!!! (Please! No hard feelings to those who don't agree, in all mutual respect) And I'm not trying to be bias, I'm just using common sense. I mean if a girl wants to be a tomboy GO AHEAD! But they ain't having me for a boyfriend. I also didn't like how it was written "choke the hell out of her till she taps" like whoa that's rough! It's rough for a guy too, but at least it's not a sweet, pretty girl, or even a girl in general. And it's not always a sexual issue. I'll admit, that's a dang good point that u made, but it's just inappropriate for a non-single guy to be rolling around with some strange girl, even if he doesn't get turned on by it. It's like saying, "I'm going to kiss that girl, she's just my friend though," You see what I mean? It's INNAPROPRIATE regardless of your "good" intentions. Sometimes you can't help it turning into a sexual thing too, it just happens through no fault of your own.

    And another thing. What ever happened to chivalry? I'm 18 years old and I'm totally in the culture, but chivalry is NOT out-of-date and will truly never be, believe me. I don't mean to go off on a tanget, but you know what I mean. Aren't we supposed to treat girls a bit more special than guys? Hello? And if a girl wants guys to treat them like bull**** I'm not the 1 to do it. I hope that clears my point up. But I will say you do have a logical point yourself. Sorry for those who feel differently about the matter, but the reading made me a bit upset, so I had to say something about it.