A while back I did a post entitled “Where Do You Wear Your Gi?” I came to the realization I was not ashamed to be seen in public in my gi. I had confidence in my BJJ. Yesterday I received this comment on my post:
“You people can make whatever justification that makes you feel better, but this is just you wanting to show off. It’s cocky and stupid. I can certainly understand having to stop somewhere after and not having time to change, but I fail to understand why you would keep the jacket on… No doubt, if all you have on is underwear on your pants you of course keep them on, but keeping the jacket it on is pure cock. Like you seriously have no shirt… lol you just made excuses for yourself, total unchecked pride. " – [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Mr. Whatever was more then willing to express his opinion from the safety of anonymity. At first I thought of just clicking the “trash” for this comment like I do for the spam that gets through the filters. But the more I thought about it the more I saw it as how I might have reacted before building confidence in the art I love so much. I could see his reaction being applied to anything that was outside my comfort zone. The first thing I would do was rationalize a way to dismiss what was causing me discomfort. Saying that wearing a gi in public was “cocky and stupid”, “pure cock”, along with “total unchecked pride” seemed overkill. Mr. Whatever could dismiss something that was so lacking in good sense and humility when he labeled it so.
I came to the conclusion that Mr. Whatever hasn’t built his confidence in BJJ yet. He might be a Nogi guy with a chip on his shoulder about the gi. He might say the same about military personnel in uniform off base. What ever the case I am well pleased with my Jiu-Jitsu and my gi. I am also a member of BJJ Gi Addicts Anonymous. So whether it be red, white, or blue no matter the hue, I’ll have my gi on and hope you do too!
I’m proud to announce that MMAOutlet.com has decided to sponsor JiuJitsuMap! You will notice the logo on the site, a new sponsor page and link section. I’ll be doing reviews of different items sold by MMAOutlet.com. To start it off I will be doing a review of the Vulkan Pro Light Gi. As it is getting hotter at classes I’m especially excited to try a lighter gi.
I’d like some suggestions on other items I should review. Check out what they have at MMA Outlet and let me know what you would like to see reviewed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A few days ago I blogged about "Donate a Gi and Change a Life". Thank you to all you who responded and sent Mark a gi to help in this worthy effort. He has posted about the progress in his post "Kindness and Selfless Acts". I have included a picture from one of the classes. You may notice they have colored belts. Its only because that is what was donated. They are all white belts with what ever could be found to make do. The class size varies but is usually around 30 individuals. I’m sure some of the ladies reading this may notice in the first picture that the gi’s are a bit large on the girls in the class. I am sure they can sympathize with the difficulties of getting a good fit. Its time for hot water and tumble try to shrink them up some.
In another year I’m sure we will be bringing large numbers to the local tournaments. I’m looking forward to seeing West Side represented by these young energetic students who are putting forth the effort and time to learn BJJ.
We all love Jiu-Jitsu. We all know how it has changed our lives for the better. Of course we want others to have that same chance. That is why Mark, my instructor at West Side, has started a after school, free-of-charge, Jiu-Jitsu class for high school students. Most of these students don’t have the cash to pay for classes. They don’t have the cash to buy a gi. But they do have time on their hands. Time that can be used constructively in learning Jiu-Jitsu or wasted and potential lost. Mark posted his plea for help in getting gi’s for the kids in Donate A Gi. It gives instructions on how to send your old or new gi to the program he has started.
I will start by donating three new gis to his effort. I’d much rather see a young life become a student of Jiu-Jitsu then a student of the streets. I’m thinking I will added my patch to the gis too (if I can get one in time). What a good way to introduce them to the online Jiu-Jitsu community. This might also be a good opportunity for a vendor of gis. Something like for every so many bought to help the program they will donate one. Just an idea.
Even the best black belts get gi burns. The neck is the usual place to find them. A good cross choke always seems to leave me a beauty or two. They don’t cause a lot of pain, just discomfort. Especially because they aren’t confined to the neck. Lets just say you never know where you might end up with one after a intense roll. I have posted a story in BJJ Freak Injuries about my instructor getting one under his eye lid. You know how some times a paper cut can hurt worse then a deep cut? That is how gi burns bother me. I had to find a way to speed there healing. Especially the ones where clothing might rub, like the collar of your shirt. I experimented around, with different burns and over the counter creams. I had a ample supply of gi burns and tried a number of remedies for them over time. When all was said and done I found that Hydrocortisone worked the best for me. In most cases, when used the night before, I would wake up to find most of the redness gone and no discomfort when it was brushed or something came in contact with it. It has become my Gi-Burn-Be-Gone. I hope it helps you too.
A while ago I posted Top 10 Gi or Kimono Rankings. I have to say my rankings were based on empirical data from the three gis I owned and what I had observed as the most valued by those around me and in videos. Since then I have found a much more scientific approach at Aesopian.com. He posted Ranking Gis from Best to Worst. The data is based off of a far larger sample size of readers to his blog. Oh and his comes with cool graphs! I have done some gi reviews. They are:
But neither of my reviews compares to the one done by Meerkatsu entitled "Great British Gi Review". I know they are British makers. I know we are all not in Britain. But the quality of the review is a standard to look for in other reviews. Lets not forget the ladies when we talk about reviews for gis. If you want superb gi reviews for women check out Georgette’s World. She did one not so long ago entitled Women’s Gi Review: Fenom Gi, A1.
So you are out shopping for your first gi and you don’t want to put down your hard won cash for trash. These links should help you start figuring out what you want and why.
How do you tie your belt? I’ll bet its the standard square knot that we all learn. If you haven’t got your blue belt or don’t care you may use the famous granny knot. I got to thinking about all the varieties of gis / kimonos. But no one ever uses different knots to tie their belt. So I began looking through a knot book and after fooling around for a while created what I’m calling the "Kimura Knot". Its just like the triangle created with your arms when you are get a Kimura submission. Here are the step to create one:
Step 1. Loop your belt around like you would for a square knot.
Step 2: Bring one side under the belt forming a loop.
Step 3: Bring the end down through the loop you have made in step 2.
Step 4: Take the other end and place it under the belt forming a loop.
Step 5: Bring it down through the loop and tighten both ends.
Looks just like the triangle that you make when getting a Kimura Submission in my opinion. For your next class tie your belt in a Kimura Knot and tell your buddies you learned it on JiuJitsuMap.com. You may not be able to buy the coolest gi but you can be the only one who know a cool belt knot.