In a video posted on Sunday, Jiu-Jitsu competitor Ansleigh Wilk described what it was like competing against a transgender athlete in a July competition. That athlete did not disclose that he was male beforehand.
“So I’m sure you’ve seen the tweets or the article about trans athletes competing against women in Jiu-Jitsu. And as one of those females I wanted to come on here and kind of share my experience about what happened to me in July,” Wilkd began.
FULL VIDEOS OF ME TAPPING TRANS ATHLETE 2x. Second video you can see the full tantrum thrown after the Loss.While I won the match, this was completely undisclosed I was fighting a trans athlete and completely unfair for me to not have a choice or any preparation to prepare for… pic.twitter.com/qlVlW48zFA
— Ansleigh Wilk (@Ansleigh_mma) November 2, 2023
Wilk had signed up for the Submission Challenge, a tournament held in Marietta, Georgia on July 8, “and I wasn’t fully expecting to get a match because I was a purple belt at the time and there was no purple belt signed up other than me, but sometimes a blue belt will step up to fight a purple belt.”
Wilk said she was “grateful” to have a match, “until I found out later in the day, that I am indeed fighting a biological male.”
Describing the match, Wilk said “as soon as I clinched up, I knew something was different. They felt so strong. I was like, oh my god, this is a very strong old lady. What?”
“So initially, I am in total panic mode, I feel their strength and I’m like, ‘Oh, I can’t take them down, better pull guard.” The match continued, with Wilk pulling “guard,” or a defensive technique used to pull the opponent to the ground, and eventually taking the top position.
“And then eventually, you know, like maybe 30-40 seconds later I get the tap with the Ezekiel Choke. And I get off the mat and I know I still have a second match with this person because it’s the best two out of three bracket, we were the only two people in it, so we have to fight two to three times.”
Please take some time to listen to my experience of fighting a trans athlete in July. This was never just about it effecting me or boasting a win. This was always for the anyone else like @JaydenScrappy this traumatized; for them to have a voice and the confidence to speak out… pic.twitter.com/XmuRtP10A1
— Ansleigh Wilk (@Ansleigh_mma) October 30, 2023
In the second match, Wilk said she took a different approach “because I know now that this is a very strong individual,” eventually getting a “Paper Cutter Choke.”
The referee stopped the match, telling the transgender athlete that they saw a “tap,” meaning the athlete surrendered, but the transgender athlete argued that they didn’t tap. Wilk was named as the winner of that match, winning the bracket.
“When I originally posted this on TikTok I received a lot of hate. And this was never about me winning or beating a trans opponent. This was about me giving a voice to other girls like Jayden and Adella, who were scared in their matches. And I can’t believe people actually think this is okay,” Wilk said.
The athlete is 41-year-old blue belt Cordelia Gregory, who has recorded eight competition wins, according to stats on Smoothcomp.
At the same Submission Challenge tournament, Gregory lost in the no gi blue belt female absolute bracket, a bracket with no weight classes, and lost to 22-year-old Jayden Alexander and 23-year-old Adella Carver, who Wilk referenced in her video.
This comes after female Jiu-Jitsu athletes have dropped out of recent competitions after seeing how many biological males were signed up for the female division.
Alexander told Anna Slatz for Reduxx, “There was not just one, but two trans-identified males who were signed up in a bracket that me and several other women should have been able to sign up for but couldn’t because we didn’t want to go against the men. And for a man to be able to come in and sign up in the women’s bracket and discourage us from even being able to compete at all is absolutely heartbreaking and honestly scary.”
Wilk told the outlet that women were scared to speak out on the issue, and affirmed Alexander’s comments.
“The majority of the women feel scared to even speak out about this matter. They don’t want to be labeled a bigot or transphobic,” Wilk said. “There’s so many girls just not signing up now because they are allowing this. Women’s sports will cease to exist if this keeps up. Medals, belts, records, and money are going to be stripped right away from women.”