Self-defense for women is less treated as a special topic, but it is still interesting to look at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu from this point of view. Basically, no specifics exist in terms of self-defense for women, as Gracie Jiu Jitsu is equally suitable for men, women, teenagers and children.
From the beginning, self-defense for women was associated with Jiu Jitsu. Women have always been the ones who stayed at home to take care of the household in addition to raising children. However, in Japan, women were also samurai fighters. After all, they were supposed to be able to defend their families and themselves when their husbands were on the battlefield.
The culture of Jiu Jitsu as well as self-defense for women are not separate aspects, but were intertwined from the very beginning. There was even a special term for this called Safra Jitsu. This represented the movement of women’s rights and the right to self-defense for women.
The desire to defend oneself and one’s children is in almost every woman. With a lioness able to defend her cubs with her life, this urge for self-defense can be well compared. BJJ is by no means merely masculine, but just as feminine.
Grandmaster Hélio Gracie, who trained women and men, claimed that women learn Jiu Jitsu faster and better than men. As a result, Jiu Jitsu is one of the best, so-called equalizers, which balances the stereotypical differences between the sexes.
Defending oneself is an art. Those who learn it always have this knowledge with them. Moreover, in the event of an attack, no one can rely on the police being in the immediate vicinity to help.
Unfortunately, many women are still afraid of the physical superiority of men. Jiu Jitsu therefore acts as a perfect equalizer, as this martial art proves to women that men are by no means superior. Even the founding father of Judo, Jigoro Kano, taught Judo to his wife. He thus supported self-defense for women.
In Gracie Jiu Jitsu, self-defense for women has always played a role. Grandmaster Hélio Gracie even preferred this aspect instead of training for competitions for women, because in his opinion, women in Jiu Jitsu training, would then focus much more on the competitions, rather than on self-defense for women.
Military women and police women participate in BJJ training. For them, the techniques of self-defense work just as well as for men. However, there is a lack of credibility in this regard from time to time, as some followers from MMA claim that women simply have no chance to defend themselves or win a fight because they are physically inferior to women and to men.
However, MMA does not have the same goal as self-defense for women. In case of an attack, it is important for the woman to return home unharmed instead of ending up in the hospital. This is the goal that self-defense pursues.
A BJJ student was once brutally attacked at the airport by a man who was physically superior to her. But thanks to her several years of BJJ training, she was able to successfully defend herself against the attacker. This is because the techniques were second nature to her. They were a reflex. It didn’t matter how superior the attacker was. The woman sensed the attacker, rather made a physical contact with her. For mindfulness is just as important aspect of self-defense for women. In BJJ training, students thus learn much more than just techniques.
Because the woman was not distracted by headphones or the smartphone, she was able to successfully defend herself. Moreover, she went against human nature. The majority of people just don’t want to fall down in case of an attack – and if it happens anyway, everyone wants to get up immediately. The woman, however, because of her many years of BJJ training, was not afraid to fall down, to land on her back, and yet to send the attacker fleeing. She was in the supine position and used her legs confidently, quickly and in reflex. With this reaction, she signaled to the attacker that he could only lose this fight. Instead of landing on the floor, calling for help and lying paralyzed, she fought back. She knocked the attacker into flight without making any physical contact. Instead, he fled.
However, self-defense for women does not work overnight. Instead, a longer-term training, which takes place several times a week, is necessary. Only then self-defense becomes a reflex, which a woman who regularly trains BJJ always has with her.
In the event of an attack, attacked people basically have two options: First, they remain standing as if paralyzed, second, they defend themselves and beat the attacker into flight. The woman who was attacked was certainly not fearless at that moment. But she showed courage. The ability to defend oneself can be life-saving in some situations.
The defensive response in the event of an attack is based on 100% muscle memory. In this case, the autopilot of self-defense acts. If the attacker feels comfortable, he will continue his attack, but if he feels uncomfortable, he will stop and make his escape. This occurrence can also be compared to the animal world. Predators continue their attack only when they feel comfortable.
Prejudices regarding self-defense for women have always existed. But Brazilian Jiu Jitsu proves the exact opposite. Women can also defend themselves and fight. The prejudice that women cannot defend themselves is obviously based on the assumption of men who are insecure. This is because they do not want to come to terms with the idea that women can fight too.
Self-defense is less about triangles and chokes and more about being able to fight back in an emergency. In regular training, women and men learn how to defend themselves. This is the difference to a classical competition training. Of course, a person who prepares for competitions can defend himself just as well in the event of an attack as a person who trains nothing.
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