Today we’ll answer the question: How to roll with girls in BJJ?
BJJ is often advertised to be for everyone. Girls train with the boys. It’s supposed to be normalized in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
But no Gym I have been to actually talks about how to roll with women. BJJ involves physical confrontation, and you’ll be close with your rolling partner.
I know some have a heavy resistance to rolling with girls and try to avoid rolling with them. It’s mostly because of fear of doing something wrong or being awkward.
It can be awkward at first, but you’ll get used to it. From my experience, at least.
Let’s explore how you should roll with girls when practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Why You Need To Know How To Roll With Girls in BJJ
I have not been to a BJJ Gym where there are no women. And that’s good. BJJ is for everyone and is especially good for women to get into.
BJJ is less dangerous and an effective martial art to learn when you are smaller and less muscular.
So it’s inevitable that you’ll roll against women eventually. I didn’t have any guidance in the beginning and made some mistakes. I’ll let it be awkward sometimes, and I still cringe when looking back at it.
This topic is often avoided but should be addressed to prepare you for what is coming.
8 Things You Should Know When Rolling With Girls
So, you need to be aware of a couple of things to be prepared when rolling with women. Let’s go over every one of them:
1. Physical Advantage
You’ll most likely have the physical advantage over women. Be aware of that. So, it doesn’t mean you are good if you win against a higher-belt-level woman.
Be aware that you’ll weigh more than them and most likely have more muscle than them. So you should go into that roll with the same mindset of rolling against somebody in a lower-weight class.
I know that BJJ is supposed to be a martial art where weight doesn’t matter anymore because it’s so technical. But the truth is, strength does matter in BJJ.
2. Physical Touch
In BJJ, you are close to each other and will end up in awkward positions. Some of us could be afraid they made the women uncomfortable by touching them. Unless you’re a total creep, you shouldn’t worry about that.
Know that there’s a lot of physical touch involved. Don’t shy away from that. The physical touch was also weird for me with other guys.
You touch the guys also during the rolls. It’s the same with women. Don’t overthink it. Just try to do Jiu-Jitsu, and it’ll be fine
3. Try To Win With Technique
You most likely will be physically stronger than the women. So, you need to make it a point to use your technique. Rolling with women can be a great opportunity to leave all the force and strength out.
Try to gain an advantage by using Jiu-Jitsu techniques. Don’t try to win by smothering them. Force is not the right place for these rolls.
Don’t just push them off of you when they mount you. That’s the wrong technique. Try to use effective mount techniques that would work against everyone.
Whenever I roll with females, I’m very experimental. I take many risks because I’m more confident I can get out of difficult positions.
That not only makes the roll fun, but it also makes my Jiu-Jitsu better.
4. Give Resistance
This one is important. Don’t be too nice. Don’t lay there and let them mount you. You need to give resistance.
If you’re too nice, neither you nor her will learn. She needs to know what works and what doesn’t work against a bigger opponent.
So even though you should use less strength, be engaged. There is nothing worse than a training partner who doesn’t take you seriously.
5. Don’t Let Anyobdy Win Easily
This goes hand in hand with giving them resistance. Don’t let anybody win just because they are women. Make them work for an advantageous position. Put them in bad positions. With the right technique, of course.
Don’t be afraid of mounting them, reversing their position, sweeping them, etc. The best thing you can do is to show your training partners where they need to improve. No matter the gender.
6. It’s Okay To Use Submissions
If you’re using the right technique, don’t use too much force, and get to an advantageous position, it’s okay to go for the submission.
Of course, don’t force it; don’t go for the kill at all costs. But if you are flowing and have back control, mount, or close guard, don’t be afraid to put them in bad spots.
I learned the most about being submitted. Everybody should get submitted. Don’t treat women differently in that regard.
7. Don’t Overapologize
I have both received accidental knees and elbows and given unintentional blows. BJJ is physical. Accidents happen.
So, there’s a possibility that you accidentally hurt your training partner. And that might be a woman. Of course, you should apologize when that happens but don’t overdo it.
Don’t apologize for every little thing. Don’t be too careful. You need to find a balance between not being too rough and clumsy and being too cautious.
That sounds hard to implement, but it’ll get easier over time.
8. Don’t Worry About Hand Placement Too Much
For this one, I actually talked with women about it. Sometimes, in the scramble, you’ll touch their chest or other body parts you normally wouldn’t touch.
And from what they told me, they don’t think about it too much when a guy does that. They understand that touching is part of the game. Hand Placements on these parts do happen, guys and girls.
So also here, don’t overthink it. You are rolling; there’s nothing sexual about that. It’ll only get awkward if you make it. Focus on the roll, focus on your techniques, and not about hand placement.
So how to roll with girls in BJJ?
The best advice I can give you is to treat women like a male who is lighter than you. If you are 200 pounds and roll against a 140-pound male, how do you roll with them?
There, you should also use less strength and more technique. You shouldn’t focus on smothering. But you should give them resistance—the same with women. Treat them the same.
We men make it awkward by overthinking it. I did, at least. Once I treated a roll with women like rolling with a male who weighs less than me, things got much easier.
I have seen that women like to roll with higher-belt males more because they know how to use technique over strength. White belts are more clumsy and less technical.
So the bottom line is, don’t be overprotective and don’t be too rough, and you’ll be fine. Most of the difficulties come from overthinking.
Focus on doing Jiu-Jitsu, and you’ll be fine.