At certain points in history an idea comes of age, and in the history of women in BJJ the open mat has matured. The second anniversary gathering of Girls in Gis in Texas got me thinking about the development of women in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu over the past couple years. Proud to write that my Coach and I founded the London BJJ Women’s Open Mat in July 2009 and since then, our community has grown and consolidated as we rotate our quarterly events around different women’s clubs. BJJ women around the world are organising themselves with the support of their clubs and of brands dedicated to women in the art, such as Fenom Kimonos, to make time and space for women to come together and train. This is a valuable opportunity for women in BJJ as many of us don’t have the opportunity to train with other women as part of our regular training and the support network, friendships and skill-sharing of open mats helps to encourage and cultivate women’s practice. This is a ‘good thing’. As I argue in my piece on women in BJJ for Jiu Jitsu Style:
Ultimately, BJJ is a cooperative enterprise undertaken by a team of people, male and female, and the more varied that team’s skills, attributes and attitudes the stronger each individual’s game.
So, where can you find BJJ women’s open mats? Here’s a wee list of open mat events which have run within the last 2 years, though some may or may not still be going. Can’t find something near you? Want to reinvigorate a local group? Get in touch to find out how you could organise events in your own area.
- Central California Women’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu | firstname.lastname@example.org
- East Coast BJJ Women’s Open Mat
- Girls in Gis, Texas
- Inspire Open Mat, Arizona
- ISO Health Weekly Women’s Only Open Mat, Adelaide
- London BJJ Women’s Open Mat
- New Jersey Women’s Open Mat
- New York City Women’s Open Mat, NY | Clockwork BJJ | Jessica Nelson, Karen Miller
- Portuguese BJJ Women’s Open Mat
- SoCal Women’s BJJ Open Mat, California
Has your group been left out? Please comment below or on Facebook to add to the list.