Women’s Self-Defense

Professor Ben first started to train when we were stationed in Anchorage Alaska in 2004. He found a Gracie Barra (pronounced Ba-ha) school on the opposite side of the city. He began training and that was all he would talk about. Growing up, I trained Wah-Lum and Shaolin Kung fu, so martial arts have always had a special place in my heart. So the day he asked me to join Gracie Barra, I didn’t object. I had absolutely no clue what Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was, so I decided to go check it out. On a cold Alaskan evening, I walked in Gracie Barra and see about 8 sweaty men rolling on the mat in pairs, no girls.  A pair of guys stopped grappling (rolling), discussed the moves and started again. Before they began, one of them lays on his back, opens his legs and tells the other “come here”. The other guy kneels between his partner’s legs, while the guy laying down on the mat, wraps his legs around his waist. (this is what you call the guard position) From there they proceeded roll with each other or grapple…did I mention they were sweaty? At that moment I thought to myself “there’s absolutely NO WAY I will try this with a bunch of sweaty and stinky guys!” I did a 360 and went back out the door. Ben continued to practice BJJ, and eventually earned his purple belt. We moved to Wichita Falls Texas in 2009, and he began to teach on base. After a year, of hard work, we decided to open a school off-base, so in Feb 2011, we opened Red River BJJ. During that time, I deployed and had to attend 30 days of training at Ft Dix, New Jersey. One of the prerequisites was to complete an Army Combatives class. Every girl in my class was as apprehensive as I was years ago. The army obviously gave us no choice and after a grueling Army style “warm-up”, they showed us a few basic positions, chokes, and how to defend them. The army instructors made it a point to pair males with females, since they believe that if a female is attacked, more than likely it would be a by a man. One of the girls had a nervous breakdown (she had been attacked before) and at that moment I realized how important Jiu-Jitsu can be for a woman. If being attacked, what position does the man want to get to? In her guard (see the picture)


If the woman is a BJJ expert, what position does she want him to get to? In her guard! Why?  Well, in BJJ there are a handful of positions that are the dominant positions.  The guard is one of them.  From the guard, you can control the person with your legs, arms, hands and from there, many submissions (attacks) are possible.  In RRBJJ we drill self-defense techniques that include compromising positions during a struggle like the guard, mount, what to do if you are stuck on the bottom, if somebody takes your back, etc. Many of these positions might be uncomfortable at first, but are very crucial to a woman’s (or anybody’s) self-defense. Plus, drilling them will become second nature. Recently, a female navy sailor proved this by defending herself from an attacker during a deployment using Jiu-Jitsu. Click on the link below to read more about it.


If you or a loved one would like to learn more on self-defense, call us now to schedule your free intro class!


Vanessa Lozano