Female martial artists are refusing to compete in a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Tournament because men who claim to be “transgender women” have “completely overtaken the women’s categories” of The North American Grappling Association (NAGA).
NAGA is the largest submission grappling association in the world and hosts tournaments for several types of martial arts.
Since the association was formed in 1995, there had always been separate categories for women and men — until recently.
According to a report on women refusing to compete, Reduxx noted that Corissa Griffith, a biological male, took home four gold medals in the women’s category during a tournament in Georgia on October 21.
After a clip of Griffith fighting went viral, NAGA claimed in a statement that it “does not require biological women to compete against transgender women. Instead, we give the choice to the biological women and if they decline, they compete in a division only with other biological women.”
However, Reduxx reports that “despite claiming to have had a policy in place that required female athletes to be informed, many are coming forward to reveal that NAGA has continued to pair women against trans-identified males without their knowledge and depriving them of the opportunity to opt-out in many instances.”
The outlet spoke to two female fighters who said that they would not be competing any longer until the policies changed.
Fighter Ansleigh Wilk competed against Cordelia Gregory of Temporal Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy, a biological male, and explained that they were not informed that he was not a woman.
“I hadn’t been notified. The only thing that brought it to my attention was my teammates. They kept asking me ‘are you fighting a man’ and I was honestly too focused on coaching the rest of the crew to really pay attention to my opponent,” Wilk said.
“The fact of the matter is that he had a man’s strength. I train with men and women and the difference is massive,” Alexander said. “After my match with Cordelia, I sat mat-side and cried as my teammates massaged out my cramping forearms.”
Wilk warned that women are afraid to speak out, and it is causing them to avoid signing up to compete at all.
“The majority of the women feel scared to even speak out about this matter. They don’t want to be labeled a bigot or transphobic,” Wilk said. “There’s so many girls just not signing up now because they are allowing this. Women’s sports will cease to exist if this keeps up. Medals, belts, records, and money are going to be stripped right away from women.”