IBJJF Lifts Hijab Ban for Women BJJ Fighters

A ban on the use of the Islamic headscarf, or hijab, for Muslim women jiu jitsu fighters was lifted by the IBJJF (International Brazilina Jiu jitsu Federation) on Sunday.


23 February 2014 – A ban on the use of the Islamic headscarf, or hijab, for Muslim women jiu jitsu fighters is finally lifted by the IBJJF (International Brazilina Jiu jitsu Federation).

Muslim female BJJ players from all parts of the world are celebrating the decision by the IBJJF to allow them to compete while wearing the headscarf.

As you may remember, thanks to the ban on veiling, female members of the UAE Jiu Jitsu team, Shamsa Hasan, Shefaa Moosa Muallem Hasan, and Eman Mohammed, have been dismissed from participating in the European Open Jiu Jitsu Championship 2014 which took place in Lisbon, Portugal. Egyptian sisters Yara Helmy and Nancy Helmy are also another example of female BBJ fighters who held strong to their Muslim religious traditions while struggling to achieve their BJJ dreams.

Caroline De Lazzer, former UAE Jiu Jitsu team head coach, has been calling for the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation to lift the ban since 2011 to allow her fighters to compete in international competitions, and finally her efforts have borne fruit.

De Lazzer to ArabsMMA:

I am sooo happy!!!! It’s was a fight that started on 2011, and I started to contact IBJJF regarding to rules against hijab. On 2012, I spoke with Prof. Alvaro Mansor and he said that maybe in the future this could happen. And now, 2014, finally the muslim girls can compete around the world and keep respecting their religion.

ArabsMMA is thrilled to see that there’s one less reason for Muslim women to be prevented from participating in the beautiful game!

About the author

+ posts


Click here to post a comment
  • Conversely, would women be forced to wear a hijab or other head covering in BJJ tournaments held in countries such as Iran or Saudi Arabia?

    • the BJJ tourneys in KSA or Iran are not necessarily organized by IBJJF, and most cities in KSA force all women to wear hijab in public, regardless of whether they are muslim or not or whether they are playing BJJ or not

  • According to Islamic law (Shariah), Muslim authorities are prohibited from forcing non-Muslim women to cover their hair. This is true in KSA as well. However, there are zealots (including some members of the religious police) who defy that ruling.

    They sell small books, even in KSA, detailing rights of non-Muslims. One such book is “The Rights of Non-Muslims in Muslim Lands”

    • Correction – title is “The Rights of Non-Muslims in Islamic Lands” by Saleh Hussain Al-Aayed, English translation available on Amazon.

  • This is fantastic news. Being able to cover my hair and keep it from being pulled will provide a huge tactical advantage. Right now, I braid it and tie the braid in knots, because my hair is long enough to come past my knees. It’s consistently pulled and torn, especially in deep half guard, and when it clumps up at the back of my neck I’ve actually been injured attempting inverted movements. I was actually considering shaving my head again. The only thing holding me back was how weird it would have looked at work, unless I had my hair made into a wig.

    The garment looks as though it will also protect the ears. Definitely this will alter the outcome of the fight in favor of whoever is wearing it. I’m going to start looking around for appropriate material– perhaps cutting up an old rash guard will do the trick.

Latest Articles