How Co-Ed are the Martial Arts Classes… and Other Questions Women Think About

By June 9, 2014Articles, Blog, FAQ

How Co-Ed are the Classes?

Our Kids martial arts classes are fifty-fifty; half boys and half girls.

Adult classes are approximately 15% female to 85% male. Our adult student base is actually 25% female but men tend to attend more classes which makes the actual attendance about 15% women instead of 25%. Teen classes are split the same way.

Women don’t have to worry about being the “only girl” in the class.  We really try to steer away from the meat-market macho atmosphere that pervades most MMA gyms so both genders can feel comfortable training.


Do Women need to Be Physically Fit, Have Experience, or a Certain Age in order to Train at Crazy 88?


The majority of Crazy 88 students, men and women, begin with ZERO martial arts experience.

In regards to age, we have women age 18 to mid-forties training regularly with us (in both the fitness classes as well as the martial arts).

Our clients also very greatly in terms of their physical fitness level when they start.  Our program is designed so you can push yourself whether you are a fitness newbie or an experienced athlete.


Is there a glass ceiling in the martial arts?

Our female students have reached an extremely high level. We have high-ranking females in both Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai kickboxing. Our competition team always has females involved in both grappling and striking styles.  We treat our girls with the same amount of respect that we treat our men and expect the same level of achievement.


What martial arts do women like to do? What classes should women do?

Most women start with Muay Thai Kickboxing for two reasons:

First, they often feel slightly apprehensive about the close range of Jiu-Jitsu or No Gi (which are more like wrestling).

Secondly, beginners often prefer learning Muay Thai kickboxing which makes intuitive sense vs. learning grappling martial arts like Jiu-Jitsu which are very complex and ‘doesn’t make sense’ for the first few months. Think track & field vs. baseball.

Over time, however, women tend to stick with Jiu-Jitsu longer. After all, BJJ promotes the concept that a smaller person can successfully defend against a bigger, stronger assailant by using proper technique, leverage, and most notably, taking the fight to the ground, and then applying joint-locks and chokeholds to defeat the other person. Once women discover the power of Jiu Jitsu (leverage v. size) it often becomes an obsession for them.

We try our absolute hardest to provide both men and women with a fun effective training environment.  Call us now at (443) 283-1450 to schedule a visit so you can see the benefits for yourself!



How Co-Ed Are the Classes?

Vannessa: It depends on the class. Earlier classes like 11:30s are usually mostly men. And later classes like the basics are pretty co-ed, the advanced are pretty co-ed, but later classes like Comp Team, and 10:30, it’s all guys.

Jen: In the afternoon, there’s a lot of females that do come, but it doesn’t really matter whether they do show up or they don’t show up because the guys are great, they help out a lot, and the 5:00 classes and the 7:00 classes, there have been times where there’s more females than me. But like I said, whether there’re males or females, it doesn’t seem to matter. Everybody’s great.

Aubrey: You can go to a co-ed class, or you can go to a class like the 6:30 AM classes or even some of the 4:00 PM classes have gone to- sometimes I’m the only woman there, and I have just as much fun and learn just as much as I do in the all-men’s classes. And I never feel weird about it. It’s never been an issue regardless of what types of people are in my classes.

What Martial Art Should I Start with?

Aubrey: You know I go back and forth on which one I like better, Muay Thai or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Right now, I think I like Muay Thai better because it’s fast-paced and you have to think quickly and move around quickly on your feet and dodge punches, but sometimes I really love Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, because when I come in, I know I’m going to learn something, I know I’m going to be presented with problems and I have to figure out how to get myself out of them.

Michelle: I really like Jiu-Jitsu and I think every woman should do it, but getting started, I initially did Muay Thai and it was definitely a good way to get mixed in with the guys and be acclimated to the atmosphere in my mind, so I’d recommend Muay Thai, but doing both at the same time is awesome.

Vannessa: I would recommend for women to try them both to see what they like. I prefer Jiu-Jitsu just because I like the grappling more, but I feel like Muay Thai is probably better if you’re nervous about training with just guys, but if a woman is new, I say try them both, see what you like most, see if you can find a friend in either of the classes and see what you like the best.

Jen: My experience was in the very beginning. I’ve been here a year and three months as of yesterday, and in the very beginning, I asked everybody, “What should I do first?” I had no idea. I had no idea doing martial arts whatsoever, and everybody said, “Either try Jiu-Jitsu or try Muay Thai.” Very few people said try both of them, and I decided to try both. And I liked it, I liked both of them and in the beginning, I liked Muay Thai a lot because it was a lot of pad work, it wasn’t the close proximity, but as time went on, I really started to get Jiu-Jitsu. I really liked it more because a lot of thought process, a lot of thinking went into it. It wasn’t just physical.

And then when I started sparring Muay Thai and I got hit in the nose a few times, I was like, “Okay, well, let’s do more Jiu-Jitsu.” But I still like them both, but I think in the beginning I liked Muay Thai a little bit more because it’s less close contact.

What Are Women Worried About Before They Begin Training?

Jen: I think though, that the term MMA itself is what maybe makes women, maybe nervous, because you hear MMA and it’s all this time, it’s been mainly male dominant that you see on TV. So maybe they think MMA gym, this is going to be a bunch of guys, I’m going to get hurt, I’m not ready for this. If anything, they’re going to be expected to repeat, but it’s nothing like that, you know.

Michelle: Just in my mind, the atmosphere, you think you’re walking into a martial arts gym; it’s kind of macho and everything so.

Aubrey: I think some women might be hesitant to come into classes, especially co-ed ones. If maybe they’re a little self conscious about their fitness levels, maybe they don’t feel like they’re fit enough to make it through their class, or they’re afraid to go take a break and get a drink of water if they need to.

Aleana: My main challenge when I just started, especially being a petite female, I was afraid that I wasn’t going to be able to keep up with the guys, but now I’m finding that some of them are having trouble keeping up with me.

Are Women Treated “Differently”?  If So, In What Way?

Jen: I don’t feel like I’m being treated any differently. Every once and a while, when I’m rolling with a guy, they probably do, I’m sure, go easier on me than they would on one of the stronger guys, which is fine with me, but I don’t feel like I’m being treated differently. I don’t feel like I’m being different because I’m a female or that they’re putting kid gloves in one with me, they’re just going a little lighter.

Aleana: Oh, it’s a really relaxed environment. We don’t have any macho guys here, we have a few really big guys, usually football, but they’re usually kind of the more timid ones in the class, especially when we’re rolling, which is actually interesting. But I don’t think that- I’ve never seen any big macho guys come and say, “Oh, I’m going to tear everybody down!” except at tournaments.

Michelle: It’s good balance, I don’t see any favoritism. I mean, the guys are going to hold back just a little for females, because that’s just courtesy I guess…

Do You Need Martial Experience or To Be Physically Fit To Start?

Michelle: Before I started, I never did any sports in high-school outside, I was very unathletic and my friend told me about Muay Thai class and she dragged me in there. It’s a good way to start, having a friend go with you, but I really didn’t have any experience. I played boss with my friends outside and I watched UFC fights and all of that, but just knowing a little bit will help, but you don’t need to know anything. Just come in, and the instructors are really good, and all the people are friendly enough to help you out.

But you don’t to be in shape. They’ll get you in shape. You won’t realize that after two weeks you’ll be keeping up. It’s pretty fast-paced so.

Aubrey: We have people coming in everyday that maybe they’re using Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or they’re using Muay Thai to help get them back in shape. And we also have the women’s boot camp classes which are a great way to help get back in shape, too.

Aleana: Okay, women that’s- they come in and say, “Oh, I wonder if I can do Jiu-Jitsu, or I wonder if I can do MMA or if I can do kick-boxing.” Yeah, you can do it. I didn’t do any sports- well, I did track in high-school, but I mean, that’s high-school track. But you can do whatever you set your mind to.


About Julius Park

Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt. I've produced World Champions from Blue Belt up to Brown Belt. My next goal is to get a student to the Black Belt World Champion level and into the UFC. I have an English Bulldog, Ghostface, who has so far resisted all training methods.

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