Friday, March 1, 2013

Video: How to Get More Women into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu!

Here is my new video "reacting" to all the reaction from certain women concerning my recent blog post.

 My Previous Blog Post that caused all the fuss.

I got a lot of comments from this, a LOT of positives and a LOT of negatives including a couple death threats. Good thing I am pro gun and can defend myself(another reason to hate me)…Check it out if you dare.

My New Video about all the criticism. 



  1. Hi Keith - I wanted to respond and say that I think your video came across much better than your article. I teach non-native English speakers how to write in English, and one thing I make sure to mention to them that "good" writing (again, dealing with extremely subjective topic here) is one where you can see the writer's point of view. If they don't do it, and they write too generally, the reader fills in from their perspective. And I definitely know that that was happening. Like people kept mentioning - you hadn't actually listed details of the day to day, etc. so they (and me) were filling in from our point of view.

    You're better at getting your point across in spoken language - just a different skill set. I was telling someone that just because a person is a black belt does not mean they'll necessarily be a good writer, but on the other hand, someone can be an awesome writer and only be a white belt - belt level does not indicate the awesomeness of their writing or their blog.

    I also wanted to send some positive vibes for not giving knee jerk negative reactions to people's reactions - including mine. It's really easy for people to spew hate on the Internet - and it's easy for me to spew hate on the Internet. My hope is that you did find some value in the discussions you provoked, and I wonder if this has translated at all into your classes.

    I still have to say the part I reacted most negatively to - and still question - was the part where you seemingly contradict yourself and say that you want women in your class, but then you just want to chuck it all and have a men's only class. That's the part I strongly reacted to. Can you understand how that would generate a negative reaction?

    In any case, I wanted to also post a link to an article I wrote - which is funny because you mentioned in your video that articles like this should exist! It's about what women should do if they're on their periods:

    You've also inspired me to start writing an article about how to better write about women in jiu jitsu. For example, how to write about observations without eliciting a knee jerk reaction. However - one thing that I think is important: not all things SHOULD be said. For example, there was an article about women doing weight training, and he wrote a list of "tips" but in this list he said that women often make sex noises when they're lifting heavy, but men don't. Things like this - much much better to think and NOT say. Similarly, if someone thinks their jiu jitsu partner has a kick ass body - go ahead and think it, but don't say it.

    Oh, and congrats to the women in your gym who just got promoted!

  2. Not sure if you saw it in the comments of your last post, but I tried to offer some suggestions to help instructors make their schools a little more female-friendly, which was followed up with advice to women training in a male dominant style. Here are both posts if interested:

  3. I just did. Very Very good blog. You are making a difference!

  4. This was worded better than your original post.

    I still wonder though, if you're not addressing a subordinate issue in women quitting BJJ by focusing on "toughness". Every woman that I know that's decided not to train BJJ has has seen the roughness before even setting foot on a mat and backed off. Women tend to underestimate what we can tolerate physically (the opposite of men). The ones later that leave...I haven't been hearing that the physical difficulty is the problem.

    It seems, to me, that you are addressing the "easy" answer of why women quit as opposed to finding out why women are actually leaving your gym. I say "your gym" because other schools have much better retention rates. You may be better served by finding out why women are actually leaving your gym.

    I don't like questioning intentions that seem to be genuine, but despite your levity, 3 things jumped out at me that made me take a step back...

    1) You suggest that there should be a YouTube channel dedicated to women in the sport. There are MANY blogs and sites dedicated to women training that address the issues you mentioned (and the ones you didn't) on a regular basis. A quick Googling (or even reading of the comments section from your original post) would have revealed the fact that the idea is in no way novel.

    2) There were multiple instances in your comments of people not "calling you names" and asking legitimate, rational questions and giving suggestions. As you pointed out in the beginning of your video, inflammatory tactics are no reason to ignore constructive criticism. Maybe I missed it, but I think you ignored them all from what I can see and instead chose to create a video continuing to focus on your initial assumptions. If those assumptions are valid, cool, but I don't see any evidence presented that they are.

    3) The highest competitor women conduct many seminars, give advice and are tremendously supportive of other women entering the sport. I would ask who you suspect of discouraging this and what evidence you've seen. If none, why assume that people who dedicate their lives to competition would discourage more? Please, please talk to Leticia Ribeiro, Sophia Amarante, Emily Kwok, Felica Oh, just to get started.

    Again, much better worded, but it feels a bit superficial and oblivious (intentional or not), to all the strides that have been and are being made to get, and keep women training.

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  7. To make a cleaner analogy...

    Let's say I'm working to lose 20lbs. I'm a vegetarian, seldom exercise, only eat out twice a month and I LOVE bread and pasta. If an acquaintance comes to me and says "You want to lose weight? I know what you should less fast food! I hear Black people eat way too much McDonald's. My wife is Black and she has that problem."

    Guess what, those may all be true, but it ignores my actual situation and assumes that one individual accurately represents an entire group. If I give up fast food, I'd likely lose no more than a pound. It's not incorrect advice, but it's a minor issue in this situation.

    Still, not only will I not be thankful for the "help" that won't do me much good, I'll likely feel the person trying to help isn't genuinely making any effort to solve the problem since they haven't made much effort to get to know me before offering advice.