Monday, 28 January 2013

Montreal Grappling Jan 26th 2013 Tournament Review

This past weekend, four of us made the long road trip down the 401 for the first Grappling Industries event of 2013.  We left Burlington around 12pm Friday afternoon, and were back home in Hamilton by 11:59PM Saturday night. This is how we generally do our trips to Montreal to save money and not spend the entire weekend away. The drive home is always a bit rough, but we get Sunday to recover and get ready for the new week.

This time around, it was Jon, Alasdair, and Ken, and myself.  I might as well mention the results now, so I don't forget. Jon went 2-2, earning his first 2 wins at blue belt. Both of his wins were with chokes, but at least this time there was a variety. Ken went 4-0, winning his division! He won 3 by submission, and one on points score late in the fight. Ken is a competing machine lately and it's great to see how much he has improved the last little while. This was Alasdair's first competition as a purple belt and he made it look like he was a seasoned purple. He went 4-0 in the round robin,  with 3 subs, and a win by points (against a BROWN belt). He then fought a tough opponent in the final, losing on points. A great start to what will likely be a very successful run as a purple belt, and a great warm up for the pro trials in 2 weeks.

So, a bit more about the trip up. We hit some snow in east Toronto/Oshawa and missed an insane 80 car pileup by about 1/2 hour or so. I'm glad we left when we did, other people coming from the GTA spent up to 10 or 11 hours getting to Montreal!  Some people turned around after sitting in traffic for 4 hours.

We stopped at a service center to get a bite to eat and get some gas. Jon and Ken both got 20-packs of timbits, and both of them were missing timbits! Jon only got 16, and Ken got 18. Now, it's probably better for them, because that is a disgusting amount of carbs and sugar to be consumed, but 16 instead of 20? That is losing 20%! Ridiculous. So be aware of that if you're buying timbits along the 401. Count them before you leave the counter and don't get ripped off! I stuck to my paleo diet, and got a grilled chicken burger, on a lettuce bun from A&W.  They charged me the full price, which was fine. Interestingly, on the way home, we stopped for gas/food, and I ordered it again and this time it was like 1/2 the price, and they gave me two pieces of chicken! Oh well, it was tasty chicken so I don't really care.

Our hotel was... different. It's always an adventure when we travel to Montreal, because I tend to book hotels through Hotwire, Priceline, or deals I find on Wagjag, Groupon, Livingsocial, Dealfind, or whatever.  You never really know what you're going to get until you're there. This hotel I booked through a Teambuy deal. It was only 70 bucks plus 10 bucks per person over double occupancy. The location wasn't the most convenient, or inconvenient, not really close to food. We walked about a km to find some, and it was tasty. The hotel used to be a post office, it had really tall ceilings, and looked cool on the outside. The inside was a little rough around the edges, but was functional. Our room was cozy, but quite nice. They are in the process of renovating all the rooms, so we had a fresh room. We are staying there again in two weeks for the Pro Trials, hopefully we get an equally nice room.

I suppose I should talk about the tournament itself.  It was a typical Grappling Industries tournament. Ran smooth, started on time, decent refereeing (if I do say so myself) and a few trips to California for the absolute winners. My friend Sissi, from BTT Canada, in Montreal, won the ladies' trip in a decisive manor, she looked very impressive on Saturday! I'm looking forward to a chance to compete with her again sometime this year. The men's purple and up trip went to Amir, from Toronto. Amir is an absolute BEAST and he should do well at Pans. I don't know the guy, but Derek Boase, who won the men's blue belt trip, won the final with a nice armbar so that's a good sign.

Grappling Industries has adopted the IBJJF weight classes, which is an important step for them,  they have more weight classes at their tournaments now then they used to as well.  I don't think they use all of the weight classes in Montreal though, which is understandable, because the market is so much smaller. They are all about giving competitors experience, and when you're alone in a weight class, there is no experience to be gained, just a shiny medal. In Toronto, I think they will use all the weight classes for adult men, a subset for masters men, and 2 weight classes for the ladies.

I refereed for the day, and it was a pretty good time. We had 5 referees for 4 mats, so were able to have some breaks throughout the day.   The interesting thing about refereeing for Grappling Industries is that their uniform is a bit different from most other tournaments.  We wore tuxedo shirts and bow-ties.  I admit, I felt quite silly at first, but it sure does look good in the videos and pictures. It adds a nice touch of professionalism I think. It would have been better if both of my black socks had made it to Montreal, but instead I had to borrow a pair of socks from Ken, who thankfully brought an extra pair. 

So, that's that,  in two weeks we do it all over again for the Pro Trials.  I will just be playing chauffeur, but it'll be a good time. 

On a side note, my concussion was getting a lot better, but I think the mental strain of driving 6 hours, not sleeping great, reffing all day, then driving back set me back a bit. I'll likely try to train a bit later in the week, but am resting for the early half of the week. This weekend Jon and I are having a mini vacation in Toronto, going to see a Marlies/Bulldogs hockey game, and watch the Second City comedy show.  Should be a nice break.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Ascension 2013 Tournament Report (Jan 19th and 20th)

This past weekend was the 8th annual Ascension tournament. It's the unofficial kick-off to the BJJ season in Ontario, and it's always a good time. Omar Salvosa and his wife Beverly, along with the OJA crew, do a great job with this tournament.

The Ascension tournament is always a bit different from the rest of the OJA tournaments,   It's got a bit of a friendlier feel,  it's got a good vibe.  That sounds really cliche, but it's true.  They take their time to make first time competitors feel welcome and appreciated.  They give a shout out to the masters who take time away from their work, and family to support the event.   They appreciate everyone who comes out to play.   Omar also gives out a bunch of unique awards at his event.   There are trophies for great sportsmanship, fighting spirit, and technical excellence.   These are nominated by the referees and table workers.  Myself, I nominated at least 5 or 6 kids and adults for the awards, I think a few of them were chosen,  Sorry other mats, I may have used them all up lol.

The OJA introduced new rules for subs for kids, which were partially implemented at the Ascension event. Arm bars are allowed a bit sooner, and a selection of chokes.  Safety is always paramount, and the referees were instructed to stop the fights before arms were fully extended and whatnot.   I think this is a great way to get kids familiar with submission, without unnecessarily risking injury.

The tournament started almost on time,  and stayed on schedule all weekend. Both Saturday and Sunday were over around 5pm.  I think this was partially due to a slightly lower then in the past attendance, but was also due to the table workers, runners, referees, and all the tournament staff doing everything they could to keep the matches flowing.   Weigh-ins are always the hold up, and it will always be this way when doing weigh-ins right before a division starts.

There were plenty of prizes for division and absolute winners,  t-shirts, rashguards, shorts, and gis.  The sponsors of the event were very generous with their prizes.  There wasn't any really big prizes, like trips to worlds, but I don't think that was necessarily a bad thing.  I don't think every tournament needs to have that, and Ascension has a different atmosphere.  It's a fun tournament, that is great for beginners, and also a great way to kick of the season, and try new things.  I'm not saying that if they had some bigger ticket prizes it would be bad, but that kind of thing ups the intensity of the competition, and I think might take away from the chilled out vibe of the event.

The medical staff were competent, friendly, and quick to respond to the referees calls for them. Sometimes even coming over before they were called.   They treated everyone with respect and seemed very reasonable in their recommendations of who could, and could not keep fighting.

On Saturday, there was a surplus of referees!  It was great, in a way, but also not so great.  Since, at this event, the OJA introduced a new way of paying us.  Now, instead of a flat fee for the day, we are payed hourly, based on time spent actually refereeing.  This is, I think, quite fair most of the time, because someone who refs nonstop 9am until 6pm deserves more then someone who shows up in the morning, but leaves at lunch.   Unfortunately,  some of us wanted to ref more then we were allowed because there was too many refs.  I was only able to referee for 4 hours, and that was including being part of a 3 ref team for the absolute matches at the end of the day.   So, I think this system is great, but needs some tweaking, which I will be talking to Tony and the OJA peeps about.  Either way,  we don't get paid a ridiculous amount, and we aren't really doing it for the money, so it's not a big deal at all; more of an observation than a complaint really.   On Sunday I refereed nonstop from the first match of the day, until the very last match of the day and it was great.   We had a lot less referees, and some went home early so I didn't have to take any breaks :)  So, I talked with Fernando, and apparantly this isn't the standard, they all pay their refs how they like, so some are flat rate, some are hourly.   Hopefully that is something that will be communicated to us before each event :)

I had a few firsts as a referee this weekend.  I had 2 people go out on a choke, one from a standing guillotine, which I was a bit slow to notice. Because of the way they were moving around, it looked to me that he was still ok. The second was in the teens division, from a standing cross choke, that turned into a take down. I was right on top of this one though, so it was stopped quick. In that kids next fight he got another cross choke, and I stopped in before he had a chance to go to sleep, since I saw how effective they were in the last match.

I also had to call my first slam. It was in the adult white belt division and the guy stood up in an arm bar and slammed the guy. It was pretty blatant, but of course the slammer said he just lost his balance, but there was a clear lift and downward motion. Mike (Bryers) was watching from the mat beside me and agreed with my decision. I felt bad for the guy, because it was early in his first match, but we have to call that stuff.   

Oh, that reminds me, in the kids divisions, they did round robin for them, so they all got more then 1 fight, whether they won or lost.  Also, divisions of 6 were split into 2 pools, so almost every kid got to go home with a medal.  I think for the kids, that is a great thing.  For the "youth" divisions, they still did round robin for extra fights, but the pools were combined at the end so there was only 1 division.

I was really impressed with the level of skill displayed in the kids and teen divisions. These kids are going to be MONSTERS when they grow up.  It's insane to see the take downs, transitions and techniques they are pulling off.    I'm so jealous of them, and how young they are starting jiu jitsu.   The next generation of fighters will destroy the current generation.  Kids with grey, or yellow belts are doing stuff that a few years ago you would see in blue belt adult matches.   It's crazy to watch and see how the sport is progressing.  

We can't talk about Ascension without talking about the food!  It ran out on Saturday.  :( I wasn't able to get any of the delicious jerk chicken, but there was plenty of other options, just none that were paleo.  My fault for having a picky diet. Sunday I made sure to send someone to get me lunch early so I could have some chicken.  It was soooo good.  Spicy, very spicy, but not in a horrible face burning way.  They had some very tasty looking pasta salads, brownies, and plenty of fruit as well.   I think the food situation is often overlooked at many tournaments and venues.   It sucks when you're hungry at a tournament and all you can get is a gatorade.

I briefly mentioned using the three ref system on Saturday and wanted to touch on this some more.  I think it's something that should be utilized as much as possible, especially for finals, semi finals, and absolutes and most especially when there are prizes on the line.  We, as refs, are human, and can make mistakes.  We try hard not to, and don't make a lot, but it sucks as a competitor to lose an important match because of it.  Having 3 refs per match (one in the middle, two on the opposite corners).    If the side refs both disagree with the middle ref, the call will be changed.  If only 1 does, it is not changed. Majority rules and all that.  I think this is a great system, Judo has used it forever and it really helps, it's also a great tool for training new referees.  If you have 1 new referee work in with 2 experienced referees, they won't be able to ruin someones day and will learn the ropes quickly in the hands on environment. I hope that, eventually, the day will come where we can have 3 refs per mat area at all events, all day.  I think it would be a great milestone for the sport. Currently there just isn't enough referees in Ontario to pull it off. 

I got a new OJA referee shirt this weekend to, which is nice, because at Provincials in November, they only had XL left, and it was like wearing a tent.  I'm not the fanciest dresser by far, I don't generally give a crap about stuff like that, but I gotta say, I look pretty silly in some of the pictures.  A well fitting shirt adds a nice level of professionalism I think.  Now, I just need to find a new pair of dress pants that fit a bit better, having to constantly pull them up was a bit awkward and annoying.  Also, apparently they need belt loops, because a belt is part of the uniform.  I should ask Tony if there are specifications on the belts, I think my fruit belt would be quite nice.

I got to do a bit of coaching this weekend too. We had a very small team out for this event,  unfortunately, a big chunk of our competitors are on the sidelines with injuries, and with Gui being at the gym all week, a lot of people were focusing on that instead of competing.   

Heather had a great fight, but unfortunately, her good knee suffered an injury late in the fight when she was ahead, hopefully not a bad one, and she ended up losing on points.   I think I made a coaching error in this fight, encouraging her to go for an arm bar, when she was up on points and in a pretty stable position.  Maybe she should have stayed where she was, and eeked out a points victory.  This would have been the safer route, there wasn't that much time left.  Maybe then her knee would still be fine :(.  

Dave the Barber had an insanely close first fight, he scored an advantage for an almost pass, but then got 2 stalling penalties so ended up losing b/c the score was tied 1-1 advantages and he had a penalty. I may be biased, but I don't think he deserved the stalling penalties. I can see how it may have seemed like he was stalling on the top of 1/2 guard, but in reality, he was working his hardest to pass that guard unsuccessfully. I think this is something that isn't uncommon for referees to mistake. An unsuccessful attack isn't the same as stalling. An inability to get the under hook doesn't mean he isn't trying his hardest to get it. Anyway, Dave got to have another fight for third place, and won that one on points. We've got some things to fix so we don't get stalling penalties again but was a pretty good day for Dave.

Ken won his division handily. He has improved so much over the last few months!   He's a lot more patient when he is fighting, waiting to get his points before moving on to improve his position and go for subs.  Just that has made his game much more stable, and keeps him out of trouble.  He won his first fight with a bow and arrow choke, and the 2nd by arm bar.  I was really impressed!

Jon had a bit of a rough day, but that is to be expected as a new blue belt.  He worked some of the concepts Gui talked about this past week and was decently successful with them.  But in the end his grips for the choke were not quite right, and he ended up in a bad position and got choked.   He did well for his second match as a blue belt and I think he'll have a good day on Saturday in Montreal.

I think I've rambled on enough about this event.   Next up is Montreal Grappling Jan 26th. I'll be refereeing and supporting 3 teammates at this one.

Two weeks later is the Pro Trials, back in Montreal. I was planning on competing, and winning at this event, but that plan was derailed at Grappler's Quest.  I've still got a hotel room booked, so I'll probably go anyway. I think one or two guys from Pura want to compete.

After that is Toronto Grappling. I'll be refereeing again, and I imagine we will have a decent group out to compete. If you're looking for a good event to try out competing this is the one to go to.

See you on the mats!

Monday, 14 January 2013

Gui Mendes Seminar Sat Jan 12th 2013

I think I've mentioned this seminar in about 10 blog posts over the last few months. Man, was I excited to train with Gui for 3 hours. Too bad I couldn't because of my stupid head. Anyway... The seminar was AMAZING from the sidelines, I can only imagine how excellent it was to actually drill the techniques and have a master like Gui helping you fix them.

The pace of the seminar was great; it was 3 hours, so pace is important. No precious time was wasted on warm ups, which I think surprised a lot of people, but was appreciated. People didn't go to the seminar to run around the mats and shrimp. The flow of the techniques was good too, they progressed nicely.

The first half was bottom stuff, all starting from De La Riva guard, well, pulling DLR, then starting from there. Apparently there is a lot more to pulling guard then just sitting on your butt and hoping for the best! Who knew? One of the most important concepts that was reiterated over and over, for pretty much every technique was controlling the distance.

So, they did...
1. Pulling De La Riva
2. Switching from regular DLR to inverted DLR
3. DLR sweep
4. Berimbolo
5. 2 back takes from DLR
6. double under / stack pass and back take (starting from inverted dlr)
7. I think I’m missing something else.
Having been to the Art of Jiu Jitsu, and with Pura being a Mendes affiliate already, I had seen a lot of the DLR sweeps and back takes already. But there is always a detail or 10 to pick up, and tweaks that they have made over time to make them better. An example: for the berimbolo posting your foot on the mat to help you spin faster was a detail that I had forgotten.

The double unders/stack pass stuff was brand new for me. Not that I've never done a double under pass before, but the way Gui is doing it now, man oh man, completely different, and ridiculously effective. I cannot wait to try to remember it, drill it, and crush people’s dreams using it. I'm not going to get into the details of it, I would explain it all wrong anyway, but the most interesting part was that he kept a grip on 2 collars. There is probably video of it on their online training site. If not, go do a seminar and learn it from them. I really can't explain it.

The other cool thing with when Gui (and Rafa) do seminars and classes is they like to roll with as many people as they can. On Saturday Gui did 6 rounds straight. This is after flying over night, dealing with flight delays, driving from Toronto to Hamilton and arriving with 20 min to spare. Then teaching for 3 hours straight. What a machine. I'd be like "Nope, I'm going to bed now". It was really neat watching Gui execute a lot of the exact techniques that were shown in the hours previous. I'll be honest it was pretty entertaining watching my team mates fighting valiantly if not effectively.

Gui also spent a good amount of time answering peoples questions. They didn't have to have anything to do with the techniques that were worked on, or even things that he is known for using. People asked questions about defending the leg drag position, baseball bats, and a bunch of other things, that I forget. The Q/A sections helped pace the seminar nicely. It gave people breaks to rest a bit and catch their breath. Working DLR and all the getting up and down that goes with it can be pretty tiring.

I'm not sure I'm going to survive the week on the sidelines. It's so fucking depressing to not be training with such a great coach/Sensei. The worst thing is I'm totally not a visual learner. I can't even visualize things when someone is trying to explain it to me. Ask Jon, he gets so frustrated with me when he tries to explain something he wants to try, or something that he did. It's annoying, but it’s just the way I'm wired I guess. Even worse, my short (and medium, and long) -term memory seems to have been affected by the concussion and I'm finding myself not even being able to remember the techniques that are shown an hour or two after a class. I'll be honest, my memory has been not excellent for a while, but it seems like since December it's gotten a lot worse.

Anyway.... There are still plenty of opportunities for you to train with Gui this week...

Tonight: 7:30 PM
Tuesday 6pm
Wednesday 12:30PM and 7:30PM
Thurs 6pm
Fri 12:30PM

If you can get to any of these, you will NOT regret it. $70 is a steal for such a great opportunity.

Oh, I forgot.  Here's my facebook album of pictures from the seminar:

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Upcoming Tournaments and Events

So, 2013 is starting out with a plethora of tournaments and events and just because my brain is too fucked up to fight doesn't mean you shouldn't be out there checking these tournaments and seminars out.  Starting off with 3 seminars.  I'd recommend going to both, if you can teleport.

Egor Radzik is doing a No Gi / MMA Submission Seminar in London, Ontario this Saturday the 12th.   Egor has crazy Sambo leg locks, and a brown belt in BJJ.  If you like leg locks, you should be there.  It's only 40 bucks, and all participants get $30 off their next Redstar gi order. So, if you’re in the market for a new gi, it's an even better deal!

Gui Mendes will be at Pura BJJ for a 3 hours seminar this Saturday the 12th from 11am till 2pm.   There are still a couple spots available so contact PJ, or Joe to save your spot.   Gui is going to be at Open Mat on Sunday the 13th for a 3 hour seminar as well.   I don't know if there is space available still, check out that Facebook event for who to contact and whatnot.

Gui will be teaching classes at Pura all week from the 14th till the 18th as well.   They are open to anyone for $70 per class.   You can see the schedule for these on the "Pura BJJ Schedule" link on the left. 

Finally, Also on Saturday, Mestre Sylvio Behring will be doing a seminar in Brampton.  He's kind of a big deal, so if you’re in the area, you might want to check it out.

So you Grappling Goons, you have no excuse to not doing lots of jiu jitsu on Saturday. 3 great opportunities right there.

First up in the tournament category is Ascension. (Jan 19th 20th) This will be the tournament’s 8th year and they've come along way. Ascension is an OJA tournament so comes with the usual quality that comes with them. Pre-registration, quality refs, decent organization, and friendly people! Ascension is unique in the vibe it has. Omar brings the Rasta vibe. Last year had the most amazing rendition of O Canada. Good times. They also have the BEST food for a tournament ever. Mmmm. Jerk chicken, brownies, salad. Amazing.

Also coming up is Montreal Grappling on January 26th . I love these tournaments. They have come a long way since their first event and are constantly improving. They've implemented IBJJF weight classes, masters divisions and another mat area in the last couple events. They are also giving away a few trips to Pans, which is huge. The referees at the events are also constantly improving.  I’ll admit, they were not the greatest at first, but they have since taken the IBJJF course and have gained a lot of experience.

Next up, also in Montreal, is the Abu Dhabi Pro Trials on Saturday Feb 9th and 10th.  This is not an event for noobs, it is not for people with fresh belts, and it is not a good choice for someone’s first competition.  That being said, It's generally a very well-run tournament, and I am very disappointed that I won't be competing.  This year they have added a LOT of ladies divisions, and changed it up a bit. For purple and up, there are a bunch of weight classes and 2 absolutes, if you medal in your weight class, you get to play in the absolute.  Previously, it was only 2 weight classes, and the winner wins. I think this way will get more ladies out and will have an overall more enjoyable experience. This tournament is a qualifier for the Abu Dhabi World Pro tournament, in Abu Dhabi UAE.  Winners of certain absolutes and divisions will get an all expense paid trip there.

Heading back to the GTA next for Grappling Industries second visit to Toronto.  On Feb 16th  They Bring their unique format back to the GTA with trips to the Mundials on the line.   This is a great tournament for beginners and experienced competitors alike.   If your a noob, and you get smashed in the first round it's OK, you've still got 3 more fights in the round robin to get more experience.   The staff at grappling industries has promised a lot of improvements from their last event (which was a raging success in my opinion), so I am really looking forward to this event.

Last, but not least, for this blog post anyway, on Feb 23rd the OJA brings the first SUB ONLY tournament to Ontario! There isn't a ton of information out about this yet, but it should be a lot of fun.  Keep your eyes open in the OJA and Ontario BJJ Tournament Facebook groups for more info. Here are the rules, for you to look at while we wait for more information.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Fighter Fashion... or lack there of.

So I was watching Invicta 4 the other day, talking to my friend Tee, and we noticed the wide variety of apparel the fighters were wearing.  We talked about what we wore / would wear in a mma fight, and what works for jiu jitsu.  She mentioned off hand that I should blog about it, and so that's what I'm going to do!

Women's MMA has a wide range of apparel that seems to be allowed. You see girls fighting in jersey style shirts and board shorts to shorts that barely cover their butt cheeks and small sports bras, and everything in between!  It's interesting to see the variety and creativity that goes into everyone's outfits but I've got to wonder how they decide sometimes. Men's MMA has pretty strict rules about what's allowed,  board shorts or vale tudo shorts.  Wrestling "shorts" were allowed... until the Dennis Hallman fiasco.

Now, some people are probably going to be insulted by the rest of this post, if you are one of the girls who wears very little to fight, you probably don't want to read anymore haha. You'll probably call me a prude and be all "I can wear whatever I want that I'm comfortable fighting in" and that's fine.

Now, at Invicta, there was 3 wardrobe malfunctions. There was ass crack, a thong, and a nipslip. Two of those in one fight! From the same fighter! You would think that wearing leggings to fight in would be fairly safe, but they seemed to be a bit loose or something b/c they rode a little low and we saw a bit of bum. Leslie's sports bra also had some trouble, I don't think anything got on camera, but the people in the live show definitely saw more than they expected!  The thong incident belongs to Alexis, her fight shorts seemed to have a similar problem as Leslie's and we all got a peek at her lovely black thong, I suppose it's good she was wearing something underneath!

So, why do these kinds of things happen? Do the fighters not get their fight outfits until a few hours before the fight or something? I guess with having to get sponsors printed and everything they don't get to test them out, but man, I would be talking with my providers after malfunctions like that!

So what is the ideal outfit for fighting? It’s one which allows the fighters to have proper mobility and not be restricted by their outfits and also show off their ridiculously sculpted bodies - which they have every right to, they work their asses off and they should be flaunting it.

Shayna's outfit allowed for a lot of movement and didn't move at all. No idea what's different from her shorts and Alexis and Leslies. Her sports bra/top definitely had more coverage then a lot of other fighters and was tight enough to stay in place, but didn't seem to cause any restrictions or anything either. Seems like the best of both worlds.

When I was fighting MMA, I wore compression shorts, with board shorts over top on the bottom and 2 sports bras and a long sleeve rashguard on top. Paranoid much? Big time. I would be mortified if I had a wardrobe malfunction, but I guess that's just me.

The same thing happens, to a lesser extent, in BJJ. Lots of girls wear just a sports bra under their gi, and I got to say, I'm a little jealous of their confidence!  Like in MMA, I wear compression shorts under my gi pants, and a sports bra and long sleeve(or sometimes short sleeve) rashguard under my gi.  Funny thing, did you know in the IBJJF rules it specifies that thongs aren't allowed to be worn under gi pants. I assume they mean as the only thing under your pants, but it's still funny. It's also funny that this rule is only for the women. I guess they haven't had to specify it for the men yet. No commando allowed either.

I do see the appeal of wearing a thong, you know you’re going to get wedgies doing jiu jitsu (and MMA) so why not make it as little fabric as possible?  No one likes a big ol’ wedgie. I find some pairs of shorts, and underwear, cause wedgies a lot worse than others. I haven't quite figured out what the cause is, but I know some of my shorts never ride up, and some do. I wish I could keep them straight.

I did get a sweet pair of capris the other day from Tussle that I'm looking forward to rocking for nogi jiu jitsu. I'm going to be wearing a pair of shorts underneath them though, b/c they are a tad to big and I think if I’m shrimping and stuff they might scrunch down and make me moon everyone!!

For the tops, I don't find wearing a rashguard under my gi to be restricting at all, I like the moisture wicking abilities it provides, and also, the more of my skin that's covered, the less chance of catching something nasty off of the mats.

This all reminds me... where do you girls find good sports bras? I have a hellova time finding decent ones. Tee pointed me to under armors $70 ones, and I’ve got to say, the fact that they have cup and band sizes instead of just small medium large is a big selling point. Just because I've got a medium size rib cage doesn't mean I've got big boobs!!

So, what do you wear? Is there anyone out there as paranoid as I am????

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Modern Flow gear bag review.

So, a few weeks ago....OK, more like 2 months ago, I entered one of those Facebook contests that no one ever actually wins that companies use to promote their brand, or so I thought! A while later I got a message from David Garmo saying I had won a free gear bag! Sweeet! 

I've always been more of a duffle bag fan for a gear bag, I think because I drag so much junk around with me to tournaments, but this bag makes me a fan of backpacks! It's got a billion straps and buckles and is mega adjustable, so no matter how full or empty it is, it can still fit comfortably on you back.

It has this flap thing on the front, which to me seems like a handy place to put a sweaty gi after class so it doesn't stink up the inside of your bag and whatever else is in there. It certainly fits a gi nicely anyway. I could he completely wrong about its purpose I suppose, but it works for me!

The bag has 2 main compartments, one of which has handy dandy laptop or table space, complete with a velcro bit to keep it closed. The rest of that section (which is the back pocket) could easily fit a gi.

The other big section has a mesh zippered pocket you could put mostly flat things in, like an mp3 player, wallet, mouth guard and other necessities. This section could hold 2 of my gis with a bit of room to spare, but would be tight to fit 2 plus rashies, shorts, sports bras and the like. 

Ideally I think I would put my gis and crap on that big section, my street clothes in the back section and my random extras in the front pockets. It's definitely big enough to replace my usual duffle bag and probably be more organized! 

It seems to be made of pretty sturdy stuff. I've been using it lightly, to truck my gi and stuff back and forth for teaching, and it hasn't broken yet, so that's a good sign.

Hopefully I'll be able to give it a good workout for training and cramming crap in and dragging it around a lot when Gui Mendes is in town Jan 12th till 18th. Two classes per day for three of the six days... That'll be a good workout for the bag. I won't be training too hard, my brain still sucks, but I'll be working the techniques hopefully as much as possible. I'll be pretty disappointed if I end up on the side lines completely.

Anyway, pretty sweet bag, and cool cats running the business! See you on the mats, well, maybe, probably the sidelines still... time will tell!

Check out the Mondern Flow Website for the bag, and other cool stuff.