Pippa Granger
Portrait by James Oluoch-Olunya of www.combat-bjj.com
The UK has its first homegrown female referee of BJJ competition, Pippa Granger. Granger, as readers may know, is one of the UK’s keenest female competitors, having fought in upwards of 50 BJJ tournaments. Her interest in competition has led Pippa to qualify as a referee and twice she’s followed the official course run by Alvaro Mansor at the European Championships; while she was the only woman in attendance in ’09, she reports 5 other women joined the ’10 clinic. To date, Granger has refereed at October’s North West Open. So far, so good:

I was honestly expecting at least one person to have a problem with me being a woman but I haven’t had any so far. I was mainly refing white belts and a few blue belt matches. I think it was the first comp for a lot of the white belts so they didn’t see anything out of the ordinary by having a female ref, they just accepted it as the norm.

While the UK has many tough and passionate competitors, female practitioners can be under-represented at British-competitions. Granger’s involvement as a ref is a noteworthy milestone in the growth of women in BJJ in Britain.

A full list UK-based BJJ referees is being compiled by Carl Fisher, aka the Fighting Photographer.