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Jiu Jitsu for Women - Is BJJ the Best Women’s Self Defense?

Updated: Apr 3, 2023

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, by its very design, makes it a perfect martial art in regards to self defense for anyone. That being said, it was created to solve a problem - fighting against larger opponents and winning. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for women may be the best possible martial art for self defense as a result. Learning how to fight off a larger opponent when they have the advantage. Often women's Jiu Jitsu classes are specifically designed to not only defend yourself in a real-world situation, but also to learn how to be competitive on the mat.

What You Will Learn in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Women's Classes

When Helio Gracie and his brother Carlos, Gastao Jr, George and Oswaldo adapted several Japanese martial arts such as Jodu into Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, they did so out of necessity due to having a smaller stature.

Brazil is a rough place, even more so back when Helio was growing up. So developing a fighting system that would give him an advantage against larger opponents was a must.

This in turn makes Jiu Jitsu for women the ideal choice for self defense training. Having the ability to overcome an attacker that is larger and stronger is likely the most important art in self defense for women. Jiu Jitsu training will teach you how to recover from a disadvantaged position using leverage, position and most of all, your mind - not strength or size.

Womens Jiu Jitsu Gi vs No Gi

When it comes to womens jiu jitsu, Gi vs no Gi - the same as with men - will bring different skills to your martial arts training table.

Women's Gi Brazilian Jiu Jitsu will teach you how to use the opponents articles of clothing against them. Having the ability to grab your attackers jacket and use it as either leverage to get out from under them - get out of the situation - or to set up a possible night ending submission is a definite advantage.

In no Gi Jiu Jitsu, women, just like men, will need to learn how to get out from the attack without that advantage. This is a great opportunity to hone your skills and be ready for anything that might come your way in the real world.

An attacker won't always be wearing something you can use to your advantage. So knowing how to operate without that in your mind during a situation is key.

Jiu Jitsu for Girls - When to Start Your Daughter in Girls Jiu Jitsu

If you are considering starting your daughter in girls Jiu Jitsu classes, you are probably wondering when the right time is to do so. The truth is, Jiu Jitsu for girls is pretty much the same as it is for boys.

If you aren’t a BJJ practitioner, it’s a good idea to enroll in classes yourself first and get a feel for the martial art. This will also give the opportunity to see what gym you think is the right one for her to train in Jiu Jitsu. Girl power can be taught quite young if you are the one that is first showing them in the home.

Play is an important part of introducing kids to martial arts so they aren’t afraid when they enter their first class. You want them to be excited when they get to their class so they will want to be a martial artist for life.

Protect Yourself with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu - Women in BJJ

There have been a ton of incredible stars in mixed martial arts over the last 30 years that utilize Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Women catapulted to the top of the ratings with the rise of female MMA.

Though it realistically started with Gina Carano who was a well known kickboxer, it was a Judo practitioner with a knack for the BJJ arm bar who would bring women’s MMA to superstardom.

Ronda Rousey was a spectacle to watch during her prime. It seemed like no one could escape once she had them in position. She took every opponent's arm home with her like a trophy.

This is the power of the arm bar. It’s one of the first submissions you will learn for BJJ Womens Self Defense. An attacker will almost certainly be using their arms to control you if you are on the ground. So understanding how to get control of an arm is paramount for you to escape from the position.

One thing about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is if they have never trained it, they will never see it coming. Learning the fundamentals of BJJ and having a few submissions in your tote bag gives you a much better chance of evading a potential attacker.

Best Moves in BJJ for Women - Self Defense Tips

It’s a dangerous world and knowing how to protect yourself has never been more important than now. In terms of self defense, the most important position in BJJ for women is going to be working off of your back with an opponent in your guard.

This is the most common position an attacker will try to get into during an attempted sexual assault. So knowing how to work off your back and especially practicing your escapes is crucial to getting out of this bad situation.

Understanding where to position yourself, how to control one or both arms as well as knowing when to explode out of the position and when not to is important.

You don’t want to tire yourself out trying to escape from the wrong position or at the wrong time. Waiting for the right moment while setting up your escape is imperative to your successful escape.

Tips and Tricks in Martial Arts - Women's Self Defense

If you really want to be prepared for a real world situation, then you probably want to roll with both men and women that are quite a bit larger than you. So joining co-ed classes is recommended for martial arts. Women’s self defense classes that are female only won't necessarily prepare you for an attack from a larger male in the streets.

Incorporating striking into your BJJ routine is also important as it gives you the chance to possibly stun your attacker. If you can stun your attacker, even just for a split second, you have a better chance at successfully escaping.

You should train in both Gi and no Gi in BJJ. Womens Self Defense training in BJJ is one of the most effective methods in martial arts and understanding both styles will only help you in the long run.

Learning the fundamentals of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu will not only help you physically, but also strengthen your mindset. Self confidence is often an effective deterrent since attackers typically prey on fear as a measure of control.

We hope this blog has answered your questions about BJJ, womens self defense and martial arts in general. If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your friends and make sure to check back for more content!



Is Jiu-Jitsu hard for women?

Jiu Jitsu for women is much the same as it is for men. Like any martial art, you may find it difficult in the beginning. But, as you train it becomes much easier. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is based on leverage, positioning and timing among other factors. So size is less of an issue, making Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for women a very practical martial art to practice.

Why should women train Jiu Jitsu?

There are a number of reasons why women can benefit from training in BJJ. Women's self defense may be chief among them. Because the nature of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu begins with gaining the advantage against a larger, stronger opponent - BJJ suits itself perfectly as women’s self defense martial art. The benefits of Jiu Jitsu for women are too numerous to name.

What should a girl wear to her first Jiu Jitsu class?

When you first attend Brazilian Jiu Jitsu women's classes it's best to wear something comfortable that is also correctly fitted. You don’t want to wear loose clothing as it may hinder your ability to move correctly during class. Athletic pants or shorts are recommended.

Is Jiu-Jitsu good self-defense for women?

One of the benefits of Jiu Jitsu for women is its adaptability as a self defense system. The Gracies created the martial art due to their smaller stature in order to defend themselves against stronger and larger opponents. Utilizing positioning, leverage and timing among other techniques lends itself perfectly to women’s self defense.

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