Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Abby's 10 tips for female grapplers

Found the following on and considering we had a female enquire about training the other night I thought i'd post it as it's pretty common sense stuff.

1. Don’t be afraid of stronger bigger training partners. If you can sub them you can sub a 110 lb girl.

2. Wear headgear and a mouth guard. You really don’t want cauliflower ear. If you have no idea what I’m talking about just look at the higher ranks at the gym who don’t wear it.

3. Don’t be afraid to tell your training partner he is rolling too hard or light with you. At competitions female grapplers are out for blood. This was a huge shock for me the first time I competed. Having a partner who is afraid to touch you won’t prepare you for competitions, but having a partner who injures you or just smashes you won’t help either. Tell the guys you are rolling with the amount of resistance you want. It’s also a good idea to roll with higher ranks. They usually have better control and won’t injure you.

4. Be prepared to see chunks of your hair on the mat. You can’t really help this. All you can do is tie it back. Headbands won’t work either. They just fall off. You also need to remove any jewelry or earrings you’re wearing. I’ve seen earrings get ripped out. It’s not pretty. It’s also a good idea to cut your nails. If they are too long they will get bent back which is very painful.

5. Avoid grappling with ringworm guy, the smelly guy who never washes his gi, the MMA guy who wants to kill anything he encounters, and the creepy guy. The creepy guy is usually the guy who is overly enthusiastic you joined and constantly asks you to be his drilling partner. He usually outweighs you by 30lbs and still insists on drilling with you even though there are smaller people closer to your size you could drill with. It’s a good rule of thumb that if everyone avoids a certain person it is usually best to do the same.

6. Some guys may refuse to roll with you. Just accept it. They may just feel uncomfortable rolling with a female or there wife or girlfriend may have issues with it. You’re not training to break up a relationship so it shouldn’t matter if they do or don’t. For every guy who is like this, there are fifty guys who are more than willing to roll with you.

7. Don’t use the gym as a hunting ground. If you’re going to date one guy from the gym that fine, but when you try to sleep with the entire team it’s a problem. This not only gives you a bad reputation, but it’s promoting a horrible stereotype about female grapplers. It makes it extremely hard for girls who are there to actually train to be taken seriously.

8. Buy a female specific gi. It will fit a lot better than a male gi and be a lot less baggy. It’s also good idea to wear a rash guard and shorts under your gi too. The rash guard will stay tight to your skin and won’t ride up or absorb excessive amounts of sweat. CatFight Gear makes custom female gis that come is very amazing colors. They are just releasing a new line of rash guards and shorts too. I’ve heard Atama makes a good female gi, but I haven’t tried it yet. Fight Chix another clothing company makes a wicked clothing line dedicated to empowering women and female fighters. They have the coolest designs I have ever seen and sell a few rash guards and shorts as well.

9. Be aware you will never just blend in. Every new guy who comes in will facebook you and know your name. This isn’t that bad because you get a lot of extra help and your bad techniques will be corrected faster. Your can’t really change this unless you chop off your hair and change your name to Ron ;)

10. Grappling will seem really awkward at first, but after a while you will get used to it. If you stick with it you’re going to get into the best shape of your life. Your team is going to become like a second family to you and you’re going to have 30+ older brothers watching your back.


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