On October 27, 2023, an Article entitled “EXCLUSIVE: Women Abandon Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Tournament After Being Forced To Fight Males” was published on the Reduxx website. This article focused on NAGA but in turn used instances that took place at another tournament that was not promoted by NAGA.
The article has quotes from two athletes who competed against transgender competitors, these matches did not take place at a NAGA tournament. Maybe that organization “forced” these two competitors to go with a transgender competitor, we don’t know. The only thing related to NAGA in that whole section of the article was that a Cordelia did compete in our tournament. We reached out to the author to ask that they edit or retract these statements. They edited a photo to say it was from the other event, and edited a reference to NAGA. We feel the article still implies that these situations took place at NAGA and asked that they be edited or retracted. The editor has, at this time, declined to do so.
A Jayden A. was mentioned as dropping out from the NAGA Georgia tournament due to concerns of males being in the division. She competed in the tournament, against females, and took second place. She may have been speaking of joining the absolute division (open weight). No one reached out to us to say there were transgender competitors in the division. It is not their (the competitors) responsibility to police our events, but if they had contacted us, we would have implemented our policy and made the transgender competitors compete with the men or gave them a refund.
Danielle L. who was mentioned, is a woman competitor who did go against at least one of the transgender competitors. She brought it to our attention after a match. We took care of her and believe she found our resolution satisfactory. The two transgender competitors then competed against each other in multiple matches.
NAGA’s policy concerning transgender female competitors is:
Division for Biological Females:
We will have divisions for only biological females. Transgender females will not be entered into these divisions.
Division Options for Transgender Females:
Transgender females must compete in the men’s division. We hope that the simplicity of this revised policy will help to avoid any future occurrences where transgender females enter women divisions. If NAGA staff is informed that a transgender female is in a women’s division, they will be given the choice to go to the men’s division or given a refund.
Prior to this revision, transgender females were not allowed into the women’s division, but an option for biological women competitors to decide to compete with a transgender competitor was an option. This option will continue to be evaluated. If transgender competitors of the same weight, skill, and age are interested in competing against one another, NAGA would accommodate the creation of this division.
In a statement given by NAGA President, Kipp Kollar (which can be found on our Instagram page), he stated that the main problem is identifying transgender competitors ahead of time, and provided information about NAGA’s process in identifying transgender competitors.
We feel that much of this article, in a sensationalized manner, attributes multiple issues that happened at other tournaments as had happened at NAGA. We believe they should clarify this in the article but they have yet to do so.