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Community Guidelines

Welcome to the Misfit community.  Our goal is to create a home where folks from the most marginalized communities (BIPOC, Queer and Trans, differently able bodied, big bodied, and neurodivergent folks, etc.) belong. We strive to create a safe and inclusive space for all individuals, physically, emotionally and mentally. As training partners and members of the community, we are responsible for each other’s safety, health and well-being. The following community agreements show how we care for one another and describe our values and virtues in practice. Our community agreements are inspired by our family members at Radically Fit

Being an Intentional Training Partner

Martial Arts is self-expression through movement.  At Misfit Combat, we celebrate the diversity of all body types. Every Jiu Jitsu practitioner has a unique style of movement and play. As such, working together as training partners gives us the opportunity to learn from all bodies in this space. Building trust requires clear communication and consent within a combat sport. Establishing boundaries and giving our training partners our full attention greatly limits the risks of injury and harm. Therefore, we are mindful of: 

  • Checking with injuries before, during, and after sparring and drilling
  • Size and age difference
  • An individual’s physical ability, such as experience, injury or body limitations
  • Trauma impacting one’s ability to feel safe in certain positions 
  • Practicing communication including verbal and non-verbal cues 

Dismantling Toxic Masculinity

Misfit Combat actively works to dismantle toxic masculinity and create a gym culture that is safe for all genders. We recognize that a majority of martial arts gyms have historically taken part in perpetuating narratives and behaviors of toxic masculinity. We ask all community members to engage in ways that respect and uplift each other, particularly being aware of and considerate towards femme-identified individuals. Everyone should feel free to move their bodies without feeling objectified or shamed. Feedback, communicating our needs and respecting each others’ boundaries is an important and meaningful part of our training; it is a practice that curates a culture of consent, empathy, and joy.

Trans and Gender Non-Conforming (GNC) Inclusivity

We expect all individuals to be respectful and active learners when engaging with our trans and GNC community members. This involves using and respecting correct names and pronouns, and not assuming pronouns or abilities based on appearances. Avoiding gendered language whenever possible and being open to learning and adapting are essential elements of inclusivity, as well as facilitating a sense of belonging for all members.

Accessibility and Disability Inclusion

 Misfit Combat aims to provide an accessible environment for individuals with disabilities. Trainers are mindful of invisible disabilities, avoid ableist language, and offer variations or alternate exercises  that are accessible to all participants. Members have the right to ask for variations or breaks when needed.  Trainers  are expected to proactively communicate with participants to understand their unique needs and provide relevant assistance. Wheelchair-accessible entrances, washrooms, seating and scent-free or scent-reduced environments are available. 

Caring for the Space

The space we share together is an extension of how we take care of one another and ourselves. At Misfit Combat, we practice the same level of cleanliness, intention and care within the gym space as we would within our homes. Sharing the mat means equally sharing the responsibility of cleaning the mat. All community members routinely volunteer to sweep, spray, and mop the mat after every practice, regardless of belt rank.

How We Grow

We recognize that these written values may not fully encompass the needs of all community members, and we welcome and encourage feedback and communication.

  • We commit to continue to grow and learn from everyone within the space, including newcomers and regulars. 
  • Treat others with respect and kindness, and honor their pronouns as a part of our commitment to gender liberation. 
  • Give each other grace and recognize that the work of undoing oppression requires continuous self-reflection and evaluation of our own practices. 
  • Respect and celebrate differences within our community, listening and centering someone who has expressed their preferences or likes. 
  • Avoid shaming or belittling others or oneself. 

Ultimately, our goal is to internalize these values so that our practice extends beyond the mat. What happens here at Misfit Combat is a part of a bigger transformation and change that will carry through to other spaces, and we do this by taking these practices with us.

Restoring Community

We recognize that in every community, there are moments of struggle and disconnect. Misfit Combat commits to stepping into discomfort in order to resolve conflict within our community through a restorative justice lens. Here, you can find our process.

  1. Injury:
    1. Injury prevention is prioritized. Warm-ups, stretching are encouraged.
    2. Submission Tapping. Tap early, and know your body’s limits. Do not push yourself past your limits and take drilling and sparring slowly. New students will be informed of tapping protocol, and gym members will show care when partnering with new students. 
    3. Encourage team members to report any injuries or concerns about their health or well-being. Establish a system for reporting and documenting injuries.
    4. Set up a protocol for addressing and managing injuries, including seeking medical attention if necessary.
      1. Coaches will be proactive in addressing injuries and near-injuries. 
    5. Encourage gym members who have varying size, strength, prior martial arts background, or athletic level to be conscious of ways in which they can injure others.
      1. Tips for adapting to body diversity to avoid injury:
    6. Recovery. For those with injuries: Gym members are encouraged to share any injuries with coaches, training and sparring partners. The gym will also accommodate injured folks with modified exercises, drills, and rolling.