Numerous female martial artists have gone to media outlets to say that male athletes who claim to be women or “transgender” have taken over the women's side of a major grappling association. This has created many concerns over safety, reports Reduxx.
A man named Corissa Griffith was bestowed with four gold women's medals during just one tournament in Georgia on Oct. 21, according to the outlet.
The North American Grappling Association (NAGA) has categories for women and men in its competition, but apparently is now allowing trans-identified males to fight women.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu athlete Taelor Moore, who participates in NAGA events, posted a video on her Instagram account of her grappling with a man with the caption, “I weighed in at 135 … and she was over 200!”
One user commented, “Far from a she, that’s a grown-ass man using his size and weight against you. Congratulations on the win but you ladies need to stand together and not compete against men with makeup. You ladies are the key, this is not okay.”
“Shout out to all the REAL women competitors out there. That other dude should be ashamed of himself,” said another.
NAGA put out a statement about its policies after Moore's clip had gone viral.
“NAGA does not require biological women to compete against transgender women,” it said. “Instead, we give the choice to the biological women and if they decline, they compete in a division only with other biological women.”
Despite this claim by NAGA, Reduxx reports that many have said that it continues to pin women against trans-identified men regardless, often doing so without the women's college or consent and giving no chance for her to opt out.
“I honestly never thought this would actually happen in a contact sport, especially not MY contact sport,” professional female martial artist Jayden Alexander told Reduxx. “When I saw him, I was so shocked I didn’t know how to respond.”
Ansleigh Wilk, another professional fighter, said that she was given no heads-up about being paired against a man for a July tournament until it was too late.
“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,” she said.
“I realized very quickly I couldn’t muscle them like most girls,” explained Wilk, who is both a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu coach and brown belt. “Well obviously, because it wasn’t a girl! Then not long after, I had to do a second match of which Cordelia threw a tantrum saying [he] ‘didn’t tap [out].’ I was sincerely scared [he] was going to punch me when I stuck my hand out to shake [his].”
“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 of her experience going against a male fighter. “After my match with Cordelia, I sat mat-side and cried as my teammates massaged out my cramping forearms.”
Watchdogs have reported that no enforcement of NAGA's policy that supposedly protects women has taken place, according to Reduxx.
“I have now spoken to four women who have all fought male fighters in the combat sport of Jiu Jitsu. They are extremely upset. They are self-excluding. They are emailing federation leadership and being dismissed,” said Marshi Smith, who co-founded the Independent Council on Women’s Sports (ICONS).
“These organizations and teams that are encouraging this dangerous display of violence against women need to be publicly shamed into doing what is right for women or reap the outrage that comes with cowardice.”