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UKBJJA's film 'Jiu Jitsu Woman' aims to inspire women to take up martial arts

Press release   •   Feb 15, 2016 18:58 GMT

The UKBJJA's Women's Development Commission tonight released a film entitled 'Jiu Jitsu Woman' designed to promote female involvement and participation in the sport, and encourage more women to take up a martial art which has had such a positive effect on those involved in making the film.

Filmed by Hannah Jell and overseen by CEO Kat Hill and the Women's Development Commission (Jolie Boyle, Gret Zoeller, Ashley Bendle and Helen Darlington), as well as Sound Production by Oscar winner Simon Hayes, the film features athletes of a variety of ages and walks of life training and sparring together. Over twenty women gathered to be filmed for the event, embodying the talent, determination and ambition of women who train BJJ. From juniors like Dali Hopkins and Nia Blackman who both just claimed golds at the IBJJF Kids Pan Ams, through to full time athlete and No Gi world champion Samantha Cook, from young sisters Holly and Lauren Collins who compete regularly in the UK through to European and Worlds medalists such as Leoni Munslow, Hannah Jell, Kat Hill, Jane Kotchkina, and Hayley Carter who work full time jobs as firefighters, film makers and academics, in finance and as personal trainers, the women in this film characterise the female BJJ community. 

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, ‘the gentle at’ or arte suave is a martial art which has its origins in Japanese fighting systems. BJJ focuses on the use of leverage and position to achieved submission holds and chokes, a ‘gentle’ form of combat rather than kenjitsu, rigid arts, using weapons or striking. As such it is obvious benefits for women from a self-defence point of view, whilst also being excellent for fitness. For any woman that thinks they aren't "strong enough", "young enough", or "aren't a "fighter" and so cannot do BJJ, take a look at this video. It has helped many of these women achieve great things on and off the mat. 

'Jiu Jitsu Woman'

Filmed by Hannah Jell

Production Sound Mixer: Simon Hayes

Project Coordinator: Kat Hill

A film developed by the UKBJJA's Women's Development Commission.

Athletes: Ashley Bendle, Nia Blackman, Becky Bursnoll, Hayley Carter, Emma Chamberlain, Rosie Clarke, Samantha Cook, Holly Collins, Lauren Collins, Kat Hill, Kelly Hopkins, Dali Hopkins, Hannah Jell, Jane Kotchkina, Marina Mavrou, Sarah Merriner, Leoni Munslow, Kyra Robinson, Georgina Staley

Voiceover: Bea Corti, Kat Hill, Hannah Jell, Lizzie Knight, Jane Kotchkina, Marina Mavrou, Tova Näslund, Kyra Robinson, Phoebe Robinson

Script: Adapted from a piece written by Vanessa English with genuine thoughts and feelings from the female UK BJJ community.

Music: 'Inpsiring Innovation' by Adi Goldstein.

The UKBJJA ( is a not-for profit organisation which aims to provide a governance structure for the martial art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, that promotes and develops the sport while allowing individual clubs and practitioners the space and freedom to practice the martial art in the way they enjoy. The UKBJJA is currently in the final stages of submitting a full application for assessment to be recognised by Sport England as the governing body for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in the UK. 

The UKBJJA was formed in 2013, and the association’s goal is to foster the development of BJJ at elite, community and grassroots levels, raising the profile of the sport but also providing pathways for development and involvement across communities in the UK. Visit UKBJJA at or follow us on Twitter @ukbjja.