Training with Transgender in BJJ

There have been articles in the past on transgender and their concerns in competitions such as Fallon Fox in MMA.


BJJ even had its own transgender come out, Alaina Hardie.


The core concern many argue is male to female and the advantage of strength and power in competition.

Today we are taking a more personal look. How do you and your academy feel about training with transgender? This was a question that I posted to the subreddit community r/bjj. Knowing Brazilian culture, many know the machoness and religiousness that comes with it.

I have seen Vice’s gaycation and have been told how the acceptance of gay and transgender in Brazil is difficult and not widely accepted.  Would this transfer onto BJJ?

The r/bjj community is mostly in support of training with transgender. Redditor quinda’s (Origin BJJ Newcastle) quote best summed up the question that was posed.

“As long as they wash their gi, trim their nails and put flip flops on before they go to the bathroom (and we only have one bathroom at the gym so there’s no potential ‘conflict’ there), I don’t care what the person I’m training with identifies as.”

As Rocky Balboa said, “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows”

There were some warnings and concerns for a transgender person searching for a gym in a new area on a reddit post by TH3_N1GHTMAN.

“So I recently came out as transgender (male to female) and am about to move to a new city, kind of as a new beginning. Anyway, grappling is in my heart– it’s what I care about most, and I wanna continue doing it; however, I am a bit scared of what it’ll be like to be at a BJJ or MMA gym being who I am.”

A response to the question at hand,

“Stay away from Brazilian run gyms. The kind of people who do BJJ and post on reddit are generally very open towards transgender people, but on the whole, people who do BJJ are not. In fact, some of them may get violent with you. Be careful, going into the wrong place could get you jumped.”

Would you agree with this response?

This does NOT represent all Brazilians and it is not EXCLUSIVE to them. There are also overly macho and testosterone driven MMA gyms that would most likely not be so inviting. Or the overly conservative person who doesn’t want to share a bathroom with a transgender person. Is BJJ as accepting in real life like our online posters? When social media constantly encourages, “BJJ is for everyone.” Do they really mean it?

What side do you feel you and your school would lean towards? Let us know.


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