In Jiu Jitsu, women frequently stop hating their bodies for the shape they have and start loving them for the things they are capable of doing. When they already love themselves, then the desired shape comes as a surprise.
This increase in self-esteem is only one of the side effects of the addiction Jiu Jitsu normally becomes in the lives of thousands of girls who train on our mats. There are still many others! The well-being brought by the regular practice of physical activity, the insertion in a new culture, the glorious post-training talk that has the power to create new friendships; the frequency with which we have to rely on these new friends not to break our joints or, factually strangling us, strengthen and tighten these bonds of friendship on a daily basis. As if all this were not enough, our girls also tell us of the relief brought by the feeling of knowing how to defend themselves, should the need arise.
Perhaps you are thinking of other benefits that could be added to this list, and if you are a woman, you can surely add to it.
But it's not all roses. As you consider your experience in Jiu Jitsu, you will inevitably be reminded of the thorns as well:
"Let me go with her. I need a rest round!" Or, "I went easy on you. I didn't push you at all," says the man with his arms stiff from all the pushing he did. There is also the "She only got me because I let her, you know? These pearls most often come from fellow students, but what about when the teacher fires off his own too? "Yo, pretty boy! Are you going to fight like a little girl? Fix that girlie grip there, boy!" As if that weren't enough, our female practitioners often report that they don't find support even among their training partners, but I won't comment on this issue because I have no way of experiencing such a situation.
In a sport where men are the vast majority and with so many inconveniences, like the ones mentioned above, and possibly several others, is it really worth it for women to practice Jiu Jitsu?
Yes, very much so!
Sexual violence is perhaps the greatest aggression that can be committed against a human being, and unfortunately a frequent consideration in every woman's life. Jiu Jitsu equips them to definitely survive, but also to avoid or defend themselves from such a monstrosity, should it ever happen.
Jiu Jitsu saves lives!
If this were the only benefit of this wonderful art, I believe it would be enough. But Jiu Jitsu offers much more. There are countless testimonials from women who have been released from the psychological prison of past traumas, had their self-esteem restored, were cured of depression, and so many other things through Jiu Jitsu.
Problems, of course, still occur, but the latest news is encouraging. The cultural problems mentioned above are reduced in proportion to the professionalism of your school. In other words, the more professional the martial arts school, the fewer of these problems will be encountered, because there is a mindset of cultivating an environment where everyone, men and women, can flourish.
When you already enjoy the great benefits of the art and know its potential in women's lives, inviting them to a trial class or encouraging your female training partners frequently becomes a moral obligation as well as a great delight.
So, have you invited a friend to class today? If not, what are you waiting for? Invite them! If you have, it is time to invite another one.
Tell us: What benefits has Jiu Jitsu brought into your life?