Today was the first day I have put on a gi in around 4 months. I split with my gym back in October, and between the holidays, foot dragging, and general avoidance, I just haven’t done any jiu jitsu. My friend and old teammate invited me to a women’s open mat hosted in Leesburg, VA. Women were coming from all over – Virginia, Maryland, and DC, and I made the decision to go. It was 3 hours there, a 3 hour open-mat, and a 3 hour drive back. 9+ hours of my life.

This month’s Free Women’s Open Mat was hosted by The Basics Gracie Jiu Jitsu in Leesburg, VA. The group aims to meet a minimum of once per month. We had around 30 women on the mat, including zero stripe white belts all the way through a black belt. The black belt taught two techniques, and then we rolled.

Women's Open Mat Virginia!

Most women there were friendly, excited and/or nervous. Some had never been to an open mat. Some were nervous about meeting new people, or about sucking, or about how folks would roll. Most everyone was excited to be there and meet other women in our sport.

I love the idea of a “takeaway” – what you took that will help your jiu jitsu the most. One gal said her takeaway was that she really needed to be proactive – about asking folks to roll, and about her training. This is such great advice. We want things handed to us. We want folks to approach us. We want to just take food off the buffet, not make it ourselves. Be proactive. I know I haven’t been – with my training, blog, visiting schools.

I’m glad I went. I got in maybe 5 rolls, I helped out a few white belt women, and I didn’t die! I am terribly tired now, but I can’t wait to go back. I’m thankful to have some movement in my jiu jitsu – and have already planned my next gym visit for Wednesday.

Jiu-Jiu’s Question: Have you attended an all-women’s open mat? What did you think? Do you enjoy them? What have you guys been up to for the past 4 months! I missed you all! Ps. If I met you at the open mat, please say hello and remind me who you are!!!