Fightergirls just loves the concept of “Girls in Gis” and would love to take a road trip to Texas to get our roll on! If you don’t know about them yet, you will! “Girls in Gis” is a group of women and girls that get together once a month throughout Texas to train in a fun, friendly, noncompetitive environment. Women are coming together from all different schools to train, learn, and grow the sport together. True Fightergirls! FG got a chance to speak with “Girls in Gis” founder, Ashley Nguyen.
FG: “Girls in Gis” is such a great concept and when I read the ‘About’ page of your site, you are spot on with how rolling with women is different and it is important to have women training partners. How and who developed this concept?
AN: I (Ashley Nguyen) developed the concept out of a leadership program that my husband and I participate in. I had realized from doing tournaments that girls train and feel differently than guys and why should we only get to do that at tournaments. I had seen that the girls on the East Coast were having open mats and the turn out was usually pretty good, but I noticed that they were usually affiliated with a particular school so you could only go if your instructor liked their instructor or whatever jiu-jitsu politics there are. I didn’t think there were enough women training to have to worry about politics so I wanted to start an organization that wouldn’t be affiliated with a school. By not having any school affiliation, this has allowed more girls to come together and train in a fun, friendly, non-competitive and politically free environment.
FG: It looks like all of your upcoming events are in Texas. Do you plan for “Girls in Gis” to go National? I love this idea and would love to see it grow throughout the country. If you don’t mind, share your vision for the next 5 or 10 years.
AN: We are working on structuring Girls in Gis to have events in other states. In 5 to 10 years I would like to see events all across the country. Girls in Gis means so much to the girls in Texas and has really brought together the community in a positive way. I’d love for the benefits of Girls in Gis to reach further and bring together more women and girls in the jiu-jitsu community throughout the country.
FG: When girls are coming to roll from all different schools, is there ever a sense of animosity? Do you ever feel like women use these events to ‘feel out the competition’ or prove themselves?
AN: One thing at all the events that we are very up front about is that we aren’t here to compete and if that’s what you are here for then this isn’t the place for you to come train. Majority of the girls understand this concept and those that don’t usually don’t stick around. Over the past two years we’ve really developed a sold core group of girls that simply enjoy sharing their passion for jiu-jitsu and who guinienly have a mutual respect for each other. Everyone understands that Girls in Gis is not the place to “test” ourselves against each other or try to prove anything. Girls in Gis is about coming together to support, encourage and build friendships with each other in order to strengthen our presence in the sport/martial art.
Thank you, Ashley! The next “Girls in Gis” event is this Sunday (see our Events page for more info). Good luck with everything and we hope to see “Girls in Gis” grow and ‘coming soon’ to Irvine! 🙂