4 Tips for Extending the Life of Your Gi


When you started out in Jiu-Jitsu you most likely got a starter gi.  It didn’t cost much and it was a beginning point.  Now you have been doing BJJ for a year or more and have picked up one or two more expensive gis.  These cost you in the neighborhood of $100 to $250.  Its a little bit more of a investment in the art and sport you love.  Then one day you notice your gi is starting to show signs of deterioration.  AAAAHHHH!  What can I do to get the most wear out of my gi for the money I paid.  Here are a few tips I’ve come up with.  Please feel free to comment on the post and share your own.

  1. Stitch up loose ends.  Like in the picture, I stitched up the one on the left.  The red tie is a example of a good quality gi that comes with it already done.
  2. Don’t bleach.  Bleach is just acid after all.  It breaks down the fibers of your gi faster.  Try something else to whiten your gi that won’t destroy it.
  3. Drip dry.  I don’t throw my gi in the dryer.  Not just because it will shrink it over time but because it is stiff and the tumbling action creates friction which causes more wear and tear.
  4. Rotate gis.  Buy 2 or more and rotate wearing them.  Share the love.

I hope you find these things that I do useful.  Share your gi-saver tips with me.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

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Gi Cross Choke from Closed Guard

Gi Cross Choke from Closed Guard

I edited this video and it didn’t come out very good.  It had some talking that wasn’t part of the technique.  It still gives enough detail you can figure out what to do.  This was taught by Chris in the advance class on Monday.  I found with some repetition you can really whip this one on quickly.  Everyone knows you are going to try something when you pull the gi out.  I don’t know if I would try and pull the gi out.  During a roll it will come out it self.  When you pull the guy down as Chris shows there is a moment where he feels safe against you and doesn’t realize you are going to loop the gi over his head.  I am going to try focusing their attention on you grapping the collar.  You grab the lose gi at the same time.  Then you pull them down to loop the gi over for the submission.  All this with your guard still closed.  I like this better then the traditional cross choke.  It isn’t as easy to get both hands into a defended collar.  They also see it coming as you try and work both hands in.  This is a bit sneaker way of getting the same choke.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Broken Toes, Mangled Knuckles and BJJ


Last nights class was good as always but it wasn’t without its mishaps.  Josh, while doing a umpa broke his smallest toe.  Yes, that is a picture of his foot, courtesy of Mark.  The smallest toe doesn’t look broken.  Maybe a little swollen but Josh said it was bending in all the wrong places.  It seemed to be a very clean snap and didn’t hurt much according to him.  I imagine today it is a different story.  Mark taped it up and Josh went back to rolling.

So what do you do for a broken toe?  I couldn’t think of anything but taping and basic First Aid,  R.I.C.E. – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.  I figure some of you out there might have done a toe or two and have some advice I can share with Josh.  Any suggestions or things to look out for?

What about knuckles?  I had a hold of a gi lapel and my opponent yanked it away.  My middle finger made a sickening pop, that didn’t hurt much, and we went on.  After my finger was sore and has developed a knot on the side.  When I showed it to my doctor he checked to make sure my tendons were intact but that was about it.  Any one have a similar injury and know what’s going on with my finger?

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

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Sushi Day and The Jiu-Jitsu Roll!

Tona's Awesome Sushi

Its sushi day!  I don’t go all that often as my usual tab is $40 just for myself.  So it is a special treat, sushi day.  If ever you are in Utah and want the best sushi to be found come to Tona’s Sushi Bar in Ogden.  I’ve traveled near and far.  They have been the best sushi I’ve ever eaten and remain so.  Especially the maki nigiri.  Tell Tony or Tina, the owners, I sent you. 

I asked Tony of Tona’s today to make me the Jiu-Jitsu roll!  "I have never heard of a Jiu-Jitsu Roll" you say.  Its because I made it up with the help of Tony just today.  As I sat eating my maki nigiri we talked about what the ingredients should be.  I decided because Jiu-Jitsu is powerful it should have something that really stands out.  We decided that ingredient should be spicy tuna.  But it also should show the smoothness of the technique so I decided it should be topped with salmon (maki). It needed one more ingredient.  I asked Tony what he thought and he said "something crunchy".  I thought "Ya to give it that tap or snap feeling!"  Tony recited off a list of things we might try when he said "mango" the light went on.  Mango to represent Brazil in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Here is what it looked like.  The lighting wasn’t so great for a picture but the roll was!  It was spicy sweet.  Give me your ideas for a roll!  Like what would be the ingredients for the arm bar roll?

Jiu-Jitsu Roll

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu


What’s With The Socks!

Grayson-Pink-Gi-Arm-Bar Yesterday I posted "Do You Wear Socks During BJJ Practice?".  I got the most hits for a post and the most hits in a day for my site.  I got the most comments on a post I’ve ever had.  I wasn’t talking about BJJ secrets or advanced techniques.  I didn’t give some great knowledge or insight.  I just said why I wear socks and what some alternatives were.  So what is it with socks in BJJ that stirs everyone up so?  What’s with the socks!  Is it the Grapple Socks that catches everyone’s attention?  I got less comments when I talked about a fellow student wearing a pink gi for shock value at a tournament.  He did win his division too (That is him in the picture finishing a match with a arm bar).  If you lost a match to a guy wearing socks or a guy wearing a pink gi, which would be worse?  I’m inclined to say from the responses that it would be socks.  What is unmanly about socks?  I guess there doesn’t have to be rhyme or reason to it.  It is what it is.  I think those of us who wear socks should take Liam’s approach and get a picture of it.  How about it Liam?  Send me a picture of you with the GoGo-plata on and your socks just like in your comment.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Do You Wear Socks During BJJ Practice?


Do you wear socks in class?  What about wrestling shoes?  Have you heard of Grapple Socks?  Have you seen someone at your school wearing them?  Why would you were anything?

I wear your typical white cotton socks. I wear them because when I get home I see what the mat has done to them instead of my feet.  I wear them because I don’t want to have them in some one’s face even if I just showered before I came.  I wear them because I don’t want to pick up ringworm.  The mats are cleaned regularly but walking around in bear feet after a few practices is a invitation for trouble in my opinion.  So why cotton socks?  Why not Grapple Socks or wrestling shoes?  I decided not to use wrestling shoes because they give to much grip and I don’t want to turn a ankle.  I also have had a few nasty tears on my feet because of someone using wrestling shoes stepping on my feet during take downs.  So what about Grapple Socks?  Some of the new styles look good.  We have a guy at our school that wears them and likes them.  He gets teased for it but it hasn’t stopped him.  It has in fact made him stand out because he laughs and doesn’t take it personal.  They seem to have less grip then the wrestler shoes and more then my cotton socks.  I guess I need to try a set.  As for why I wear cotton socks, well they are in my sock drawer in abundance.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Can Opener Double Arm Bar Defense

Can Opener Double Arm Bar Defense Part 1 – JiuJitsuMap.com


Can Opener Double Arm Bar Defense Part 2 – JiuJitsuMap.com

We went over the Double Arm Bar in class last week.  For a guy like me with long legs it really was a eye opener.  I think I’ll have to try it more often.  KillerJ made a comment on my post, BJJ Technique Can Opener Defense, that shows a Arm Bar being used as a defense.  He said he had a hard time getting the hip movement needed for the Arm Bar.  The Double Arm Bar does require flexibility but not the hip movement of the Arm Bar.  Thank you Pat and Chris for demonstrating it.  I liked the Double Arm Bar a little better because it uses your whole body against his arms.  I also noticed that when you squeeze your leg it cuts into the sides of the opponents arms.  This calls his attention away as you grasp the arms and apply the Double Arm Bar.  It looks like it is easy to wiggle out of.  Trust me it isn’t.  Learn both of these arm bars and if one doesn’t work switch to the other.  I don’t think I’ll ever let someone get the Can Opener on me again.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

BJJ Technique – Can Opener Defense

Can Opener Arm Bar Defense

One of the first times I really got hurt in BJJ was when I under estimated the Can Opener Submission, a neck crank.  I didn’t think I was in trouble.  I figured I could bend inward enough that it couldn’t be effective.  When my neck started popping it was to late.  I then had to put up with weeks of trying to heal.  There is nothing worse then a neck strain headache too.  The basic defense I learned to combat the Can Opener was to push with both hands on the guys chin to one side.  When you push his head away and to a side they can’t get the leverage to apply the neck crank.  That worked for me but you are still providing a lot of resistance with your neck.  My neck has become very tender as of late, as has my back.  So I was very pleased to get this instruction from Pat.  I don’t want to just stop them from neck cranking me.  I want them to PAY for neck cranking me.  I don’t know why I didn’t see this.  It makes perfect sense to trap the arms and Arm Bar someone who is trying the Can Opener on you.  They won’t do it again after they tap out.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Turtle Side Control Sweep and More on the “Giant Johnson”

Turtle to Side Control Sweep
Giant Johnson Variation 1
Giant Johnson Variation 2

Its amazing the technology we have these days.  My iPhone is my favorite tool.  I can do about anything it seems with it.  In class the other day I captured some variations on the "Giant Johnson".  I posted about it the other day, BJJ Technique The "Giant Johnson".  I have since learned a few other names for it.  They are Arm Triangle, Howdy, and Pillow Choke.  These variations put, should we say, a "twist" to it.  You not only apply the choke but you twist the body or spine at the same time.

The Turtle to Side Control video was taken at our advanced class.  It is sweet to watch.  Josh, one of our white belts, mastered it in no time.  He makes it look smooth and simple.  It is fancy to watch.  I wonder what would happen if during the turn the guy didn’t stay in the turtle position.  I guess I’ll have to get with Josh and try it out.  If anyone has a name for the Turtle to Side Control Sweep in the video please let me know.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Development Milestone – Tap Out Pat

By way of a journal entry.  I tapped out Pat Monday for the first time.  No, small accomplishment in my book. I was 1-4 against him that night.  I still have Chris, Miles, and Grayson to go and then Mark.  But one tap out at a time.

Pat was in a gi and the Ezekiel I got on him wouldn’t fly in no-gi but that’s the point of a gi isn’t it.  It was the first time I had seen Pat in a gi, as a matter of fact.

I’m not trying to brag.  Its just that others who have been training longer then you have are always progressing too.  They remain a step ahead of you.  To make a small leap and catch up for a bit is exciting.  I see it in the white belts eyes after I tap them out.  They are thinking just what I’m thinking about those better then me.  "When will I ever tap this guy you!".  "Will he always be better then me?"  I want to tell them to hang in there.  I try to tell them but I wonder if they believe me.  When they move up in rank they will still be in the same situation.  Over coming discouragement is part of learning.  Learning takes time and effort.  But I’m human and I often think "I give myself very good advice but I seldom listen" – Alice.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu