Women’s Only Classes: Necessity or no?


As a female, I have rolled with everyone and I have no preference in who I roll with ( with the exception of the occasional spaz because I don’t want to get injured.) I feel as though many women do not want to join or are almost scared to join a Jiujitsu gym because they are worried about rolling with all the big guys. I can understand that, especially for someone who is new to the sport. It may seem uncomfortable or awkward.

So what do all of you think? Are women’s classes more beneficial or is it totally fine to not offer that type of environment? I personally have mixed opinions on the topic. I feel like rolling with the guys gives me more of a challenge, but rolling with the other females is more realistic for competition purposes. I also have heard guys say they do not roll with girls or are nervous to because they feel like they don’t know how. I always find that interesting.

In a sport that is mainly male dominated, having a women’s only class is a great option for gyms though in general. I feel as though that way if girls want to roll with the guys they can, or if they feel like just rolling with other females that option is also available. This way, all women feel welcomed into their comfort zone. All girls have gone through the struggle of fixing sports bras, or our hair, and for some it may be weird to do it in front of the guys.  Do the majority of you all have a class of this nature offered at your gym? Or is it typically all mixed genders? Guys, how do you feel about rolling with females?

I also believe its a good way for women in their local area to bond and make friendships. Sometimes, women are talked about in a way that we don’t get along with other women.  This may be true for some, but not all. However offering a women’s only class gives ladies a reason to bond and be there with a common goal in mind. As I had mentioned previously, I also think women’s classes are beneficial for competition purposes.  When we compete we aren’t going to be going against huge guys. We are with other females our size so having a class with women our size is more realistic in reference to competing.

Now, I hope everyone understands in no way am I saying women shouldn’t roll with the guys. I am just saying that it would be a great idea for gyms to offer at least one women’s class a week so that new women, experienced women, and everyone in between can train with other women if they’d like. I know in some areas they have women only open mats which is nice as well.

I would love to hear your guys’ opinion on this.



  1. As a female instructor and having a women’s only class for 4 years now, I find that it’s more welcoming to the new student. It’s also great for us to bond together once a week. I also keep an open format to go over anything that they may be having problems with. I also like to go over specific techniques that may work better with the larger guys. There are about 20 women at my school and we look forward to our Wednesday ladies nights.

  2. I am a male instructor so I obviously can only speak from that point of view.But…….I have a wife and and teenage daughter that train so it’s a subject I do think about.
    I think a once a month or so class for just women is a cool idea. Good for bonding, sisters before mister ,girl power etc. However if a woman were to only attend these classes she would be missing out on a wealth of knowledge that could be shared in the general classes. Just by virtue of there being more men in bjj there is a higher probability that a guy could have information about the art that could elevate your game. If you relegated yourself to only attending those classes you are shrinking your potential learning opportunities by shrinking your pool of teachers and peers.
    In my opinion the most important aspect of Bjj and martial arts in general is self defense. Rolling with other women may better prepare you for fighting in your division in a tournament but rolling with a man may better prepare you for dealing with an attacker that seeks to do great harm to you. So like most things I think the answer is, do both.

  3. I have more of a question than a comment. I am new to BJJ (about 2.5 months into it) but it was love at first roll! I really love everything about the sport! However due to religious reasons I feel that rolling with males is not appropriate for me. I started out rolling with everyone, however I have just felt that it isn’t right for me to roll with males. I know that seems weird to most but its my conviction and I will stick with it. So, the problem is now, that my class only has 2 females, me being one of the 2 and the second female is not always able to make the same class times as me! I have looked for other gyms (although I would hate to leave my current gym) and have had no progress in finding classes for all females! I’m pretty bummed about not having more females to practice with, is there anything I can do to help the gym get more females to try the sport? Is there anything I can do to make up for my lack of practice now that I am limited on partners? I don’t want to completely give up on Jiu Jitsu! I have also recently started taking the kick boxing class they have for all women, and I like it, but its just not the same as BJJ. I know this is probably a strange situation for most to hear about, but I have been wanting to ask, and this article is the perfect opportunity for me to put it out there.

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