Training with women provides many men in the BJJ community with a perceived problem. Everyone is there to train hard and get better, but differences in strength and size among men and women can lead to feelings of discomfort or even injury. While many articles and videos have been created on the subject, world champion black belt Mikey Musumeci has shared his detailed perspective and advice in an Instagram post the other day.
“WOMENS JIU JITSU // Something I would like to talk about that many people don’t is women’s jiu jitsu. Since I was a little kid, my main training partner that would beat me up and push me everyday has been my sister Tammi, who is current world champion in the black belt female division. She is still one of my hardest and best training partners today, and I always tell people, which is true, she is tougher training for me than most of the guys I even compete with! I feel many guys get annoyed training with girls or even don’t really show them as much respect as the guys get on the mat, and I think this is completely wrong. Girls actually provide some of the best training opportunities! Why? Because unlike guys who rely most of the time, without them even knowing, on using strength, girls can’t depend on strength, so they have to depend more on technique. It is how you train with the girls! I have seen two popular different approaches guys use when training with girls: 1) they either go super super hard, using full strength, afraid to lose in training to a girl, which not only can hurt the girl, but makes it that both the guy and the girl don’t get good training, or 2) they go super light, out of fear that they will hurt the girl, or that they are so afraid to lose to a girl, due to ego they literally don’t try and play dead which again causes both the guy and the girl to get horrible training. The way to train with girls is how you should train with everyone, and it is to go hard technically, not trying to overpower, but going technique for technique. You will be amazed by how great training you get, and how much you can improve technically. Like I said before, my sister is honestly tougher training for me than most of the guys I fight and train with, and I really have a lot of respect for women’s jiu jitsu! 🙏🏻❤️👍🏻 @shoyoroll //🇧🇷PORTUGUÊS ABAIXO”
Mikey breaks down bad male vs female rolls into two mindsets.
- Men going too hard so as to not lose to a woman out of embarrassment and potentially cause injuries.
- Men going way too easy out of fear for hurting the woman.
Mikey also suggests that those who continually let girls win out of ego results in bad training for everyone.
Having grown up with a sibling who not only does BJJ, but is one of the most dominant female competitors alive, Mikey credits his sister Tammi for providing him with some of the most challenging rolls of his life. “She is still one of my hardest and best training partners today, and I always tell people, which is true, she is tougher training for me than most of the guys I even compete with!” Mikey said.
He then posits that because of the average strength difference between men and women, women depend on their technique more often and end up with better habits as a result. When you roll with someone whose priorities are different than your own, it can lead to improvements in areas you might be neglecting. Mikey comes to the conclusion that many before have reached, that the way to roll with women ore really anyone significantly smaller/weaker than you is to fight their technique with better technique and not overwhelming force.
Here at JJT, we’ve covered several stories that highlight women using BJJ or MMA training to overpower male attackers in violent confrontations. There’s plenty of precedent for women being able to handle a tough roll, but no one wants to be hurt from training. Be smart, hespect your opponent, and listen to whatever Mikey says.
(Having taken a Mikey Musumeci seminar, I can assure you the guy is about as sweet and kindhearted as he looks. That being said, he terrifies me to my very core so I’m inclined to implicitly agree with anything he says).