I've had my share of frustrations lately. The whole box and dice of thinking I suck. Seeing guys who started later than I doing 'better' than I. Being stuck in a 99% defensive game. Wondering if I'll ever improve. Scratching my head about the need/want to compete. Generally questioning at times whether I 'have it', it being the necessary drive, agression, pushiness to ever develop any sort of successful game.
It's been good to talk to a few other women lately. A lot of what goes around my head is echoed by others. I absolutely see the need to train with other women if I want to compete.
If my goal is to roll at the school and generally improve, it doesn't matter. Though this will continue to emphasise the development of my defensive part of my BJJ skillset. At the very least, I have several male training partners who are close to my weight, which is a bonus. Another bonus are the senior guys who freely share their experiences and help me get better. I love rolling 'at home', and the guys are like family. Every one of them, no matter the experience, size or type of game they play, is good value hand helps me become a better grappler.
On the other hand, to do well in competition, I need to do two things: train with women and compete more. Competing more isn't so difficult, we now have several decent comps in Melbourne every year, and nothing stops me from travelling further for more. Regular training with women is another story. It is simply too difficult and time consuming (considering my job, uni and the farm) to travel to Melbourne a lot. I'm very fortunate that I've met Jess, Jody and several of the other ladies who train in Melbourne. I wish I could train with them weekly, but that's not going to happen.
On the same subject, there is a decent thread on Sherdog, titled strength in womens grappling. It is (so far) devoid of the usual meathead remarks which wreck most open discussions involving women in any grappling sport. Hillary Williams has contributed some lengthy posts which are quite interesting. Several others are discussing mental and physical aspects of grappling in an intelligent and interesting way. Quite useful.