The rise of older BJJ women
2018 was labeled the year of Masters BJJ Women, it was the year we saw hundreds of women between the ages of 30 and 70 step up to show the world that older BJJ women deserve a space to compete, that they fight hard and put on a great show. It was very exciting and emotional to watch and it’s left me wondering what 2019 holds for older women in BJJ.
So what is a BJJ Master anyway?
Masters is the category for athletes who are aged 30+, this division is then also split into 5-year age brackets. Master 1 is for ages 30-35, Master 2 for ages 36-40 and so on. So Master 7 is for athletes aged 61 or older.
Sparking change for BJJ girls across the world
It all began when Karen Peters and her coach Carlos from Gilroy BJJ in California petitioned to get International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) to add Master 2-7 age categories to the Pan American Championships.
As a result of her tireless campaigning and the solidarity of tight-knit women’s BJJ community in 2018 over 200 women registered for the Pan American Championship Master’s 2+ which also included the first-ever Masters 7 competitors.
Jolie Boyle, who is a BJJ Brown Belt and prominent BJJ competitor gives her personal account of the whole experience on the UKBJJA’s website, you can read the article here. Read the article.
Training as an older BJJ woman
I’m seeing a rise in female and masters female attendance at clubs, especially in my own club that I attend. I’m always so grateful when I see new women walk through the doors because we all know it can be a really daunting experience.
Older BJJ women may find they have a multitude of different obstacles to overcome as far as training, routine, fitness and even motivation are concerned.
As we get older our life balance changes. What once kept us driven may no longer have the same effect, what made us happy no longer gives us fulfillment. It might be that you are busier with your career now your in your 30s or just don’t bounce back as quickly from a tough workout now you’re over 40.
Advice for older BJJ women
Cut yourself some slack
Sometimes you’re the hammer, sometimes you’re the nail. In life and BJJ so whatever you didn’t get today, just get it next time round.
Be kind to yourself
Actively take care of yourself. Back to back training, poor diet, long days, this will all burn you out. Invest in what your body needs to survive and recover from the Jiujitsu training.
Don’t underestimate the energy you will need for jiujitsu, as well as just how much energy you will burn. If you don’t look after your nutrition you wont last.
On a personal note, this is a lesson hard learned. I personally get an adrenaline rush post training and this affects sleep patterns. Your sleep is so important to your recovery from a hard training session.
Come and watch or join in and learn something new. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose
Just go for it! Everyone is so helpful and it’s the most fun I’ve had in any type of sport!
Very recently there was a new Jiujitsu Woman video commissioned by the UKBJJA. This will be release in the spring and the UKBJJA Women’s committee are very excited to shining the light on this part of our BJJ community.
For now you can always view the existing Jiujitsu woman video here. Watch the video.
To discuss any collaboration, partnership or event for masters BJJ women please get in touch.