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Co-Ed Training Benefits In BJJ
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Co-Ed Training Benefits In BJJ

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Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is historically a male dominated sport, and while it continues to be, there is a recent surge of female participation and acceptance in the community.

It is becoming more common to see women rolling on the mats and they are starting to draw just as much attention on the professional level. As gyms welcome more women into their families, there are a few things for both genders to keep in mind. Men and women both bring different aspects to the sport and rolling with a variety of people will enable everyone to practice multiple applications and styles. There are a few key points that are most different for the two genders: 

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Strength- This is a big debate for a lot of people. BJJ is often touted as being a sport where strength doesn’t matter, so a smaller person has just as good of a chance as the larger one; This is true to a degree. If you are the smaller of the two competitors and have a higher skillset, or more precise technique application, then yes you are at an even playing field even though the other person is ahead of you in strength. However, if two people are equal in all other aspects besides strength, the stronger will win. From the weaker persons perspective, this means you’ll have to develop your other grappling “senses” more efficiently, from the stronger side you should try not to let your strength be a crutch and expand your game to more than smashing. 

Flexibility- Women, in general, are more flexible than men. Shoulder locks in particular seem to be a key area where this comes into play. Natural bone structure definitely has a role in this; women’s arms are often more flexible than men’s due to the difference in musculature. When rolling with a woman it is necessary to approach your submissions differently, or at least take into account the types of submissions you use. The opposite is also true, if you are a woman rolling with a man you have to take into consideration what submissions are easiest to 

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achieve a tap with, as well as which they are most likely to try on you and become proficient in defensive moves for those. 

The differences between men and women shouldn’t be a reason anyone decides not to practice the sport, or avoid rolling partners; it should be used as a training advantage for everyone involved. Whether you are a male looking to improve a technique that is female dominated, or you are a female that wants to learn more strength related approaches, using everyone at your gym as equal training partners will allow you to improve your jiu jitsu at a much faster rate. For example, a big reason many women become involved in martial arts is self defense; becoming used to having someone that is stronger trying to submit you will help you keep as calm as possible and develop muscle memory on techniques that work against them. The same can be said for men, as you are unlikely to always be approached by someone that is your size and of equal strength, if you are used to using muscle to win against someone else then you lose the precision and technique you need to submit when you are the weaker player. For both genders, competition will highlight this as well, since you are placed in divisions of people similar in stature and weight to you. Unless you are competing in absolutes, the more technically efficient grappler has a greater advantage against one that is simply using their strength to maneuver their opponent. 

Luckily, women in combat sports are becoming more and more popular, allowing everyone to train with various body types and expanding the benefits of Jiu Jitsu. This is 

especially good news for kids classes, as younger boys and girls will become accustomed to the presence of both genders in class. Not only will this aid with physical differences, but will also help develop social skills and respect for everyone. Young girls now have the opportunity to have a woman role model in the jiu jitsu world, and young boys will also be able to observe the interaction of mixed gender adults and learn from them for the future. 

What do you think some of the biggest benefits of coed training are? Is there anything you would like your gym to improve upon? 

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