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Phenomenal Woman - Jiu Jitsu for Her

December 18, 2017 Written by: Diana Trang

While the intention of this post is aimed at why women should be training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, I do also want to clarify that I believe it to be valuable to any person - man, woman, or child. There are far too many benefits to list here, but here were a quick few that came to my mind as I was creating a description for a new evening Women's Class that I'm teaching in the new year. Writing it made me reflect upon the body of experience and blessings that Jiu Jitsu has gifted me with since the start of my journey in 2001, which of course, made me want to share.

I chose to put this video shared by Grappling Pro Championships (spoken word by Maya Angelou) on here because the words, feelings, and experiences connected to everything this video depicts is so familiar, and really strikes a chord in me. The words are poetry that feeds the spirit and essence of a woman; seeing and listening to this is such a testament to how far women have come in this sport, and how perfect it is for the female body, mind, and spirit.

For one reason or another, you've come across this post to read about how Jiu Jitsu can benefit women. I hope that - at the very least - one of these reasons resonates with you and gives you that little nudge to take the step for either yourself - or to share it with others you think would benefit. Jiu Jitsu has played a huge role in my life, in addition to so many others I know (and don't know). As such, I can say - without-a-doubt - for all of us who train and teach, that it is beyond humbling to have the opportunity to share it with others and to simply pay-it-forward.


Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) is a grappling art that predominately takes place on the ground with an element of stand-up/throws/take-downs. It is a very practical martial art which utilizes natural body leverage and technique to obtain control of an opponent or attacker. When practiced with proper technique, BJJ can allow a smaller person to defeat a larger person. Whether you are looking to improve fitness, achieve better health, learn a self defense, or compete at an amateur or professional level, BJJ can help you to reach your goals.

WHY SHOULD WOMEN TRAIN? One of the most common reasons why BJJ is suggested for women is the self-defense and protection aspect of learning a martial art. While there is an immense amount of truth to this, there are also a myriad of other amazing benefits to learning BJJ for a woman. Here are some examples: ACCEPTANCE - Accepting your body for what is it and learning a whole new way to appreciate what the body can be capable of. Beauty isn't just what's on the "outside" - it's about unleashing that inner beauty and potential too. EMPOWERMENT - BJJ truly caters to the "smaller" person. Due to the way BJJ has been developed, it's shown time-and-time again that technique can conquer "brute strength". The vast majority of BJJ practitioners are male, but the rise in women training in BJJ is growing more-and-more each day. To have this skill is very empowering, and it breaks the stereotype of what "strength" should look like. FRIENDSHIP - More often than not, we end up seeing our BJJ family more than our own biological family at times. The kind of bonding that happens as a result becomes like a sisterhood, a comradery; and especially due to women being the minority of BJJ practitioners, we tend to gravitate closer to one another. The friendships that are formed are absolutely priceless. FITNESS - It is an amazing way to get into shape! The techniques, trainings, and drills that a BJJ practice offers really improves-and-builds on strength, conditioning, endurance, skill-refinement, body-awareness, mobility, flexibility, etc, etc... the list could go on. Weight-loss, maintaining, or achieving fitness goals then follows naturally. Not saying it's going to be easy - you still need to put in the work and show up; but if you commit to creating that healthier version of you - the results will follow. MENTAL HEALTH - Many people attribute the practice as a form of meditation. Beyond the physical, BJJ offers a means of stress release, mind/brain exercise - or simple put - just a way to "get out of one's head". It's a practice in building mental resiliency and improving on the mental habits that we utilize in other aspects of daily life as well. ROLE-MODELLING - Setting a powerful example for young girls and other women, and modelling for them what is possible when we set goals and follow-through. Inner beauty is the more valuable asset that our society should be more focused on, and what better way than to lead by example. With the rise of anxiety and depression, this proves that there is a healthy way to deal with everyday life and the stress that can come along with it.

#METOO - We strongly believe in the fundamental right that every human has to be able to say no - both physically and verbally - when it comes to abuse or assault. With the recent hashtag which has swept over social media, we believe that the conversation needs to be continued, and we need to offer more solution-based ideas on how we can improve. By building this confidence (which comes in all shapes and forms) - one-by-one - we start creating this ripple effect that has the potential to change and save lives. TRAUMA - There is no doubt that everyone has experienced some form of trauma in their lives, whether it be emotional or physical. The level of trauma and how it's impacted each of us will vary. Removing the stigma around talking about it is what needs to happen first. Then we begin to create action and allow for BJJ to offer a means of healing, a way to set personal goals for that healing to take place - in the form of physical and mental work. Bullying, sexual assault, incident-induced anxiety are just a few examples of some of the forms of trauma that people face everyday. Take a chance. For you. You're worth it.

For more information on Women's Only Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Calgary, feel free to reach out here or read more on available classes in Calgary and Okotoks.

Phenomenal Woman


Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.

I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size

But when I start to tell them,

They think I’m telling lies.

I say,

It’s in the reach of my arms,

The span of my hips,

The stride of my step,

The curl of my lips.

I’m a woman


Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

I walk into a room

Just as cool as you please,

And to a man,

The fellows stand or

Fall down on their knees.

Then they swarm around me,

A hive of honey bees.

I say,

It’s the fire in my eyes,

And the flash of my teeth,

The swing in my waist,

And the joy in my feet.

I’m a woman


Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered

What they see in me.

They try so much

But they can’t touch

My inner mystery.

When I try to show them,

They say they still can’t see.

I say,

It’s in the arch of my back,

The sun of my smile,

The ride of my breasts,

The grace of my style.

I’m a woman


Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

Now you understand

Just why my head’s not bowed.

I don’t shout or jump about

Or have to talk real loud.

When you see me passing,

It ought to make you proud.

I say,

It’s in the click of my heels,

The bend of my hair,

the palm of my hand,

The need for my care.

’Cause I’m a woman


Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

Maya Angelou, “Phenomenal Woman” from And Still I Rise.

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