BJJ for Women
Recently, there has been a massive increase in girls and women that train BJJ. They come for many reasons: they want to learn self-defence, they have already trained another martial art and want to learn more, they enjoy training and fighting, they have friends that train BJJ, and some come just to see what it is like. At ROOTS BJJ we have a long history of women training with our team. One of our instructors, Phillipa Katonivualiku, started training with us in 2002 and she is currently Australia's highest female BJJ black belt, and she is also a world champion. There are lots of girls and women now training BJJ in Australia and overseas, and we have seen a huge increase in women competing, but where did it all begin?
History of Women in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
While martial arts have been around for thousands of years, women have not had a strong presence in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu until more recently. There were a few women that were in self-defence videos in the 1930s and 1940s, but Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was not a career for women. There is, however, a longer history of women in Europe doing Japanese Jiu-Jitsu. The suffragettes even had a poster encouraging women to fight. In 1970, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu became a recognised competitive sport, and 15 years later Yvone Duarte became the first female competitor. In 1990, Yvone was the first woman to be awarded with a black belt. However, she was also the person that through her sheer determination got a female division in the sport. Yvone convinced the Rio de Janeiro federation (FJJERJ) to open the first female division. In 1985, the first competition was held, and it was won by Yvone.
ROOTS BJJ Girls TOday
Today, we have a strong team of girls and women doing BJJ. We also have a lot of competitors that compete in local, state, national and international competitions. At ROOTS BJJ, we have a strong focus on self-defence. Through doing BJJ, our team not become part of our community, but they also build their confidence, develop their strength, and make some awesome friends.