Me? How do I roll with women?
If you’re asking that, there’s one of the few different things it could be a problem for you. Most commonly, someone’s insecure girlfriend gets very upset at the idea that they might roll with a girl. If you spent any amount of time training at all, you know that we’re pretty focused on some fairly difficult tasks and not on picking up women. If you are someone who has concerns about your self control, do not roll with women. Also, it is totally okay to turn down a roll with someone who fails to cover up properly. I purposely put in my rules on the wall that anyone can ask for or politely turn down a roll. This doesn’t warrant a long discussion, just be an adult. If you’re not an adult, we have plenty around for you to learn from.
Secondarily, some people are concerned about strength and frame differences. I usually tell people that I roll with women the same way as I do everybody else. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. I remember the first time I passed a really difficult guard, and the guy told me it really hurt. Shit. I just worked really hard to get that done at all, and now it’s supposed to feel good? I was totally puzzled, but it was a good lesson for me. If I weigh 160 lb and drop sloppily on someone that weighs 300, I can still hurt them. Yes, it’s everybody’s responsibility to learn how to keep themselves safe. But we need to be considerate of the people that we train with every single day. What I learned over time was that the same things I used to be careful rolling with smaller people also allowed me to be more competitive with larger people. There are lots of right and wrong ways to do everything, but this is what I do.
Focus on timing battles and hand fights. Women tend to hand fight extremely well and understand a fast-paced game quickly. This is a good habit for Jiu-Jitsu overall, and size and strength don’t matter much.
Look for places of superior Leverage instead of using strength. Being stronger doesn’t mean not using proper alignment. I think about applying frames on bottom and bodyweight on top. Personally, I try to do this anyway. I have trained with a few women who are stronger than me, strength won’t help anyway.
There are a couple skeletal differences that are worth noting. With men, I can usually drop my weight on the hips fast and hard. For some reason, it doesn’t hurt us. Some women have complained about their hips not having that level of durability depending on having kids or something like that. Be a little more careful. Also, many women complain about rib injuries. Don’t be the guy who caused them. Place your weight carefully yet decisively. I will usually try to submit most people I roll with, but only if it can be done with good control and a clean entry.
In the end, just play your usual game and be conscious of whether or not you could hurt your training partners. You should be doing this anyway. See you on the mats!