What would it take to get more women on the mat? That is the name of a project that I started a few months ago. The purpose of the project is to spark some interest into market research aimed at getting more women on the mats training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Phase one of the project was a simple open ended questionaire and below are the results of questions three and four.
Questions # 3 & 4 – Do you have a significant other? If you do have a significant other, how do they feel about you training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?
I have to give credit where credit is due, and a lot of the credit goes to the guys. When I was writing this survey, I mentally tallied what I thought the results would be. I was soooo wrong. I assumed that most of the women who train in BJJ would be single like me. Like I said, I was wrong. Of the twenty women who answered the survey, thirteen have significant others. That’s more than half. Of that thirteen, eight train with their significant other. A total of eleven significant others were reported as being supportive of BJJ, with three of them expressing minor concerns. Only two significant others were reported to have an issue with BJJ, and that was more to do with the time commitment.
What’s interesting about these two questions, is that it pin points a strong common denominator. Most of the women who answered the survey have a strong support system in their significant other. I’ve got to give the guys major props on this one. Not only are they supportive, but many of guys love the idea of having a life partner who is also a training partner. HMM, living with a living breathing grappling dummy… I’m down right jealous. 😉
So, if you are an instructor, and you want to build a strong women’s BJJ program, look no further than your own school. Pick a day and have the guys drag in their significant others for open mat. While the guys are doing their open mat thing, have the girls partner up and show them some basic positions and do some positional drilling. Toss in the standard, “If you’re being attacked, you can do this (insert self-defense move here).” Oh, one more thing, don’t delegate the task to an underling. If you do, the women may see it as, “He doesn’t even consider us to be worth his time.” Before you know it, you will have women rolling in every class.
- SavageKitsune – No. N/A.
- Anonymous #1 – Yes. Yes, he loves it and is the reason I started training.
- Shakia Harris – Yep, I met my bf through bjj. He loves it, and frequently will use me as his grappling dummy at home. He’s a blue belt and neither of us ever complain about one or the other training but he has expressed concern about me facing men at tournaments. He think’s they’re too rough.
- Jen – Yes. Love it, we train together.
- Julia Johansen – Nope! N/A.
- Meg – Married. Fully supportive.
- Katie – Yes. We met through jiu jitsu, so he better be ok with it.
- Allie – Indeed! My wonderful husband JJ. At first, he only tolerated it. We did fight about it occasionally. But now he actively encourages me in bjj and is very supportive.
- Anonymous #2 – No. N/A.
- Stephanie – Yes. Married almost 9 years. He isn’t a huge fan of it, but his problem with BJJ is actually not BJJ related. It’s difficult to explain in a few sentences. =)
- Kim – Husband of 10 years. He’s so thrilled I finally gave in and started training with him.
- Shark Girl – Yes. He’s supportive and proud.
- Anonymous #3 – N/A to both questions.
- Anonymous #4 – No to both questions.
- Sanya – Yes. He loves it. He trains with me.
- Liz – Yes. He likes it, he also trains.
- Leslie – N/A to both questions.
- Anonymous #5 – Yes, I’m married. Hahaha. Well, as they say, if I were “balanced” about it, they’d be fine with it. I’m not, so they’re not. I want to train all the time. I train 7 days a week and they’d rather I didn’t. They’re sick to death of hearing nothing but BJJ, BJJ, and BJJ.
- Lontra – No to both questions.
- bjjJunkie – Yes. Married. He’s just as addicted. I think he’s jealous I train more, but he is very supportive. We don’t have to worry about not getting any family time because we are all on the mats.