Getting comfortable training jiu jitsu as a women can be intimidating. The first 6-months are hard to navigate as you begin a sport that is likely different from anything you've done. Here are some tips to help you enjoy training to the fullest, while building skills and confidence on the mats!
#1- Find other women
Find other women who have already been training for some time! When finding a school, make sure to shop around and find the environment is best suited to you. See if there are gyms around that have women's classes or a consistent group of women who train. Training frequently with other women can help you feel more comfortable in the early days of training. If there are no schools around with this available, try joining Facebook groups (such as "Women's Grappling Network"), and looking for women's only open mats. There may even be women's events in your area! These events can be a great place to network and connect with others. Lastly, try out some open mats at different schools to find other women who train in the area!
#2- Learn To Say "No"
It's easy to feel pressured to say yes to every person who wants to roll. An important lesson to learn is that you don't have to train with someone if you don't want to! Especially for safety- you always have the right to deny a partner who makes you feel nervous or unsafe. This will save you from injuries from spazzy white belts, uncoordinated larger opponents, and make you feel more comfortable in the gym. You are there to learn and have fun while protecting yourself!
#3 -Ask For Help
Never be afraid to ask questions! Nine times out of ten people are more than willing to share their knowledge. Maybe don't ask the black belt who just came out of a tough round and is laying on the mat gasping for air... but asking respectfully almost always receives positive feedback! The best thing you can do is absorb information from the upper ranks and delve into the why/how of each position.
Keep it fun!
Always remember that jiu jitsu is fun! However, it can also be frustrating and difficult at times. Don't be too hard on yourself. There's always more to learn, and always room to improve. Don't let the pressure of progress ruin the journey!
That's it.... go train!