Why Men Should Grapple Women (and Smaller Men)

Here’s a very interesting email from a female reader that I thought I’d pass along…

Hi Stephan,

I just read through the article called “Why Should Women Grapple?

There are many good reasons listed and arguments made in that article, so I decided to take a different spin and offer a different perspective on the topic… That’s why I wrote up a quick article about why men should grapple women.

Why Men Should Grapple Women (and Smaller Men)

There are many reasons why women should grapple. It provides us with self defense techniques, it trains us to deal with pressure, and it is great exercise and stress relief.

But there are also many reasons why men should grapple women. It’s not just a one sided relationship.

When you’re first learning a sweep, it’s easier to practice on a smaller person. We’re usually the smallest on the mat. You can work out the bugs and refine your technique, just don’t launch us 10 feet into the air. Try practicing the move very slowly, smoothly, and with as little effort as possible. If you start with the biggest guy in class you’ll probably rush/brute force your way through the technique and miss many of the details.

Rolling with women will also tighten up your game. We tend to be flexible and can squirm and slip our way through spaces you didn’t know you had. Just because you’re using all your weight to pin us to the mat doesn’t mean we can’t put you back into the guard.

Women move well. We can’t pin you, so we compensate by developing the ability to transition in order to keep dominate position. If we’re good, you won’t be able to muscle us off. You’ll need to use proper escapes.

If a woman has grappled for any length of time she has probably developed good technique, timing, and the ability to relax. All are necessary for survival, since we can’t use size and strength. These skills minimize injury and make grappling fun. Let’s face it, we’d be crazy to stick with it if we spent 100% of the time on the bottom getting flattened into a pancake. If you have questions, just ask. If we know the answer, we’d be happy to share it with you. If we don’t, we are always willing to learn and find out more.

If you have an ego you won’t progress very far in BJJ. You won’t put yourself in a position where you can make mistakes, and therefore you won’t learn. You really need to let go of your ego if you roll with a woman using only technique. It’s OK to tap. We tap all the time.

I once had a guy tell me that I taught him how not to be a brute. He said that his game really improved because of that. That made my day. I’ve learned so much from the guys I grapple with, and I like the thought that I can give back.

About the Author: Kara is a black belt in Washin-Ryu karate, and has been training at Buffalo BJJ for four years, currently holding the rank of blue belt.

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