Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Question for you...

Man, lots of bits and pieces to share today.

1. Cool new instructional just came out from a Roger Gracie brownbelt in the UK... check it..

2. Awesome comp class tonight.. takedown wars for me were still full of epic flail but I landed a few and wasn't stuck on my old standby hiza guruma. My shots have improved and my sprawls are just plain epic. If you're not ready to have your nose broken on the mat, don't shoot on me.

3. Questions for you...

-- should women be allowed to fight men in tournaments? (assuming size and experience levels are comparable) Would your answer change if there were no matches for the woman unless she got put into mens' divisions?

-- is a man who grapples a woman in a tournament in a no-win situation?

Please discuss and explain your answers.


Anonymous said...

On the mat, a fighter is a fighter. The only desparities that should be noted are size and skill. Off the mat, you better treat me like a lady!
However, I do like competing against women. But, if there were no women available, I would compete in the men's division.

cy said...

I have (and would again) compete against men.

I recently missed out on competing in a small grappling comp because there were no other female entrants. And let's face it, at a lot of comps there are only a few women and with combining weight divisions, it's not unusual to fight someone two divisions up. So either way, you fight outside your proper bracket.

So yes, I am for women competing in men's divisions when there are no separate divisions available.

It's all down to attributes. Weight and strength are attributes, but so are flexibility, speed and skills. While there is little doubt that at the same weight, guys are generally stronger and usually more aggressive, it's not all stacked against the girls. I've heard that in the past girls were given a weight advantage in mixed comps. That may be useful.

As for the no-win for the guys... Well, if ego really was out of the equation, and the guys are used to training with (and hence tap and get tapped by) the girls, then why should it be a no win situation? The better fighter on the mat wins. End of story. I personally think that guys who have issues tapping to girls need to grow up a little. Actually, a lot.

Su Ling said...

I think women should be allowed to fight men in tournaments ONLY in the event that there were no matches (or just 1-2) for the woman. It doesn't make sense if the division is well stacked and there is an absolute later on. She'll get at least a good 2-3 matches then. Matches are very important to me as there are no local tournaments in my country so I have to travel out of here to compete. Flying out 500 miles out just to have one match is a real bummer. I'd like to at least be able to fight 2-3 matches. (I can at least be guaranteed of 4 if I enter Weight and Absolute, Gi and No-Gi).

Dev said...

That's a tougher question than it sounds. My initial take, though, is that, as mentioned, a fighter is a fighter. I absolutely understand a female wanting to just get a fight. If that's in the male division, same weight, then so be it. And let's be fair - I've had my ass handed to me on the mat by several girls. Quite honestly, I'd be scared to fight a girl in a tournament. Girls are meaner than boys. :)

At second glance, I still have no issue with it. I think your question about "no-win" for the guy is appropriate, but for me - and I speak for no one else here - it's about the challenge and the experience, less about "winning." So I lost to a girl. Yeah, but she had a killer triangle setup. So I beat a girl. Yeah, but she completely stifled my go-to half guard pass. We both learn something regardless.

I tend to think most people are doing this sport as part of a family. We're here to make each other better, and part of that is getting time on the mat. Who that's against is way down the list in terms of priorities.

Just my .02.

Anonymous said...

If we acknowledge that women can learn and use Jiujitsu effectively, then there is no reason why women shouldn't compete with men.
It's only a no win situation if there's ego involved.

frank said...

It's her money, let her compete with whoever she wants. If a girl wanted to compete in my division, good for her. I'll fight her the same way I'd fight a guy. If I win, good more me, if she wins, good for her. I've trained with tough girls and gotten smashed by them plenty of times. I think it might be fairer to allow a woman to fight in a weight class down though, since a 150 pound girl probably isn't as strong as a 150 pound guy.

If I was a woman and paid 100 bucks to enter a tournament and had no one to fight, I'd be pissed, so I don't think this should even be a question.

The Part Time Grappler said...

yes. if they want to, but why would they? we're icky.

Anonymous said...

My logic:

1. All competitors are allowed to fight "up" a weight class within their gender.

2. Very small men face similar issues in that there are so few of them that often they will have no opponents in their divisions.

3. I do not believe it is possible to allow women to fight in a men's division if you do not ALSO allow small men to fight in the women's division if they choose. Otherwise, it's a double-standard.

5. Instead of allowing "cross over", why not just have a separate mixed division?

My personal preference:
I competed against men twice at the white belt and blue belt levels, both times seriously regretting it. Even at higher belt levels, you just cannot expect the ego factor to be eliminated. In fact, it's compounded in many instances.

JCC-CSV said...

I've seen it in submission tournaments. I didn't know they couldn't in BJJ. It's not a no-win as long as I am treated like a lady off the mat.

Anonymous said...

As a woman, I would like to be able to fight men in tournaments, but it also makes sense to me to separate the sexes when there are enough female competitiors to do so.

I think the absolute should be open to both men and women.

Georgette said...

@Anonymous #2: I disagree only with letting men compete in the womens' division... now, I realize it will hardly ever happen (as the title would still be something like "Blue Belt Women, Lightweights").. but women are weaker than men, so per pound equivalencies are not quite fair. Just my $.02.

G-Stamp said...

Absolutely. Should be her choice. In fact some mend brackets could use a few more eager competitors. Just like schools with mixed and girls-only classes. An academy wouldn't dare tell a girl she can only train with other girls. But if a gal is not comfortable working with guys, she can choose the gals only class. Also...not much different from giving old guys the option of competing adult divisions. At my (only) tourney there werent enough old guys. I signed up to compete...for the experience. Glad to have the chance to mix it up with the younger, stronger, faster "kids.". Turned out well. Won three matches and took two silvers. Did those kids have a problem losing to an old bald guy? Did they let me win necause they didnt want hurt an elder? Their ego is not my problem.

cy said...

Seems like most of us agree on the ego issue AND that mixed divisions should be available if not enough women enter.

G-Stamp brought up the age issue. Similar deal.

I'm in double trouble... As a female in the senior age bracket, how many fights do you think I get in my division?? Haha!

To me it's all about maximising the opportunities for everyone wishing to compete.

Georgette said...

I'm with you, Cy... I'm 38. HAHAHA we don't even have MASTERS division for women much less SENIORS II... unless I come to Rio this summer...


Anonymous said...

G - I agree with you on #2 that men should not be allowed in the women's divisions - but it IS still a double standard if you do it the other way around.

There is no easy way. We can just encourage more women to join the sport... etc. etc. etc.

Anonymous said...

I think when you're discussing minorities it is not wrong to have a double standard, and at times it is necessary. Is it unfair for women to have a discount and men not have a discount? Is that a double standard? Absolutely. Should we have it? Absolutely. If you want more women to be in this sport it almost necessitates a double standard, otherwise it hedges out opportunities you might have.

A man can ALWAYS find someone to fight if he changes weight brackets. A woman might have no one to fight, even if she goes up or down weight brackets. As such, may decide never to go back and that it was a waste of her time.

Is it a double standard that we have women's only seminars but no men's only? Sure. Do we need it? Absolutely. What do you call a men's only BJJ seminar? A BJJ seminar ;)

If people are serious about wanting more women to join BJJ they need to feel comfortable embracing that "double standard."

But that is not what you asked about. You asked if a man is in a no-win situation if he has to fight a woman in a tournament.

I have a hard time answering that since I am NOT a man and can only answer from the point of view of what it SHOULD be. And what SHOULD be is not always what IS.

I feel like the women who are answering on here are also answering from the point of view of what SHOULD be.

SHOULD men view women as a simple competitor? Of course! SHOULD men feel weird about fighting a woman? Of course not! DO they? I am not a man so I can't really answer that.

But regardless, just because women can join the men's competition ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT mean that the men should be able to join the women's. Men in BJJ already have more opportunities, more prestige, more privilege. They do not have NEED to join the women's competition nor should they be allowed.

If this were the case of a female dominated sport and men started doing it I would say the reverse--that the men should be able to join the female's side but the women shouldn't be able to join the men's. It's all about encouraging more of the minority to be involved and have more opportunity, not about depriving the majority. It's a double standard and it's RIGHT.

Shark Girl said...

Wow. So much here.
First, I've never grappled a woman. I have grappled men, all of them larger than me. I have tapped some of them out. So, I know I can be successful fighting against a man who is my rank and weight.
Most of the men I've grappled have not been offended that I tapped them out. Of course, I know them and they know my training and the effort I put in. A stranger would not and might feel more pressure to dominate an unknown woman. I have noticed that the younger (late teens, early twenties) men I have grappled have had a hard time reconciling when they can't beat me. I wonder if there's an age perspective, an understanding of bjj, or a wisdom thing going on? I'd like to think that someone who truly understands bjj would be as okay with a woman defeating them as they are with a man defeating them. (back to what SHOULD be . . . )
But, it's not a woman's job to make some dude feel good about himself by not competing against him.

Anonymous said...

I think that men and women should be held in the same regard on the mat. Women may not be stronger or use as much brute force but that isnt what bjj is about. Using techniques and taking what they have and usng it to your advantage is what its all about. Saying this i dont believe women are dissadvantaged other than their lack of fights and i do not believe that men would be at an advantage in the same weight class as us women. So the only logical solution is to allow women to fight with men if there is no other females for them to fight with. If guys have a problem with this they need to get their priorities straight because women can provide great fights and open up learning oportunities for them too.