Saturday, August 22, 2009

Casual Friday .... the martial arts apparel blog entry!

Hmmmnnn, adventures in washing your gi. So, I have sprawled across three chairs, three stinky gis. I have to get washed, and haven't. I know it's bad. I only have one Gi left that is clean and hanging in my closet, and it's my competition blue gi. I just used my competition white gi Thursday night.

And yet again, everytime, I break out my white gi, I get blood on them. It was funny, one of my friends, Ferdinand, told me, I never see you in your white gi. Well, for good reason. It usually gets blood on it. I don't know why, it just is. Anyways, it's usually minor and not that much, mostly from random cuts on fingers, nose, or lip. Usually we stop and say yeah someone's bleeding. And tape it up, use distilled bleach or peroxide for clean up and call it good. I usually don't get blood on my blue gis.

So, looking into my martial arts closet, I have 2 white gis (1 double weave for competition, 1 single weave for dojo use only), 2 blue gis (1 double weave for competiton -shrunk to fit/within regulation, and 1 double weave that needs to shrink some more) and 1 ASA Kurtka for sambo. I use my Kurtka now and again. It's great for training in the summer as it is a lighter weight and the best thing is wearing shorts with them. Of course with all this stuff comes compression shorts and rash guards to round out the equation and my very valuable mouthguard. Which I tend to misplace during times when I most likely and definitely need them, such as practice involving dozens and dozens of throws in a night, or my last competition, where my mouthguard went MIA just before the fight.

And of course gis cost roughly a hundred bucks or so (and I'm rather cheap, some gis cost 200 and really high end tailored one cost 300 bucks.) I get mine at Hatashita Sports You can talk to the lady on the phone, size you up. You can order half sizes and have a split order of pants and gi tops. The split sizes are cool, my last order was a 5 top with a 4.5 bottom. I think I can move down to 4.5 top and a 4.0 bottom. I have the Fuji Double Weave. It's cheaper than Mizuno, fits me okay, and for my purposes suits me well. For the Sambo Kurtka I got mine from the American Sambo Association (ASA). They are pretty cool and I heard they are getting some new kurtkas from Bulgaria.

Now the funny thing about the gi pants is that they usually end up too long. I don't know what universe the gi pant model is from, but the majority of people practicing this sport are fairly stout and usually on most occassions don't have a runner's build. I need to shrink it down in the dryer on high heat several times to get it down to size. Then again, I could just go to a seamstress and get it rehemmed. Also, those annoying gi pants waiststring, how the center migrates or how you can sometimes lose one end of the string. Those gi pants waiststring never seems to stay put, and heaven forbid you lose one end into the pants, trying to fish that out is a royal pain.

For the other stuff, I just get my rash guards and compression shorts from Under Armour although pricey, gets the job done.

But grappling is an affordable sport. You just invest in some good gis and you can use it for a couple of years. Besides, you just end up building your gi collection little by little and it's more of a necessity really. I plan on training at least 2 days a week, at most 5 days, and usually hit it 3-4 times a week. Getting your gi washed/dried and ready for the next day takes time, as it takes around 2 hours to get a gi dry, usually have to run it twice in the dryer on high heat twice. And of course washing machines/dryers don't usually like gis as they are fairly heavy, and amazingly heavy when wet. So if you are quite busy, you'll end up running through 2-3 gis a week.

I started with a generic single weave white gi, and I still have that that I break out on occassion for dojo use. This one is good, and is lightweight enough that you can use it for most martial arts. It's sometimes fun to try out some other martial arts, and just having a white gi with your white belt allows you to do that. Oh and that is why, it's good to have one with no patches. We don't need no stinkin' patches! That way you can fit in and use it for other things....

And for training camps.. well thats when you need to bring some more gis as the last thing you want to do is to roll with someone with a stinky gi. And of course, that is one cardinal rule about grappling. BE CLEAN. If I had a hard sweaty day at work, I shower before I practice. My old roommate always puzzled about this. She said, "You're going to work out and you are taking a shower before?" I replied, "Why yes, I'd like to be clean for working out and I'm sure my training partners are doing the same thing. " She said, "so is it like a date?" I said, "no, it's just in practice you end up with close body to body contact.... ." She said, "Well it is like dating then... good dates end with body to body contact..." I said, "Only if it's a good date..."

Oh and I went to practice twice this week. Once at Seattle Jujutsu Monday and Thursday at the Budokan. It was good. I forget what I did. It was sooo busy this week. I'm tired. I actually fell asleep at 7PM on a friday night, hence the reason I'm awake at 1 in the morning. Practice was more of the same. I was noticing that my endurance is slowly getting better. My left ankle still bothers me. And that there was a funny post workout incident involving dancing...


Bonnie said...

Our TKD uniforms are all cut for tall, thin men. I am not tall, thin, or a man. I have to shorten the pants by about 6 inches and the rest of it just fits me poorly.

Ice said...

Yeah, even top-notch competitors have their gi custom tailored.

I don't really think that a lot of gis are ill fitting.

I can't afford tailoring at least for the Top. Hemming shouldn't be too expensive, but I found that I can ultimately shrink my pants using the dryer, and it's not too long. It could use some hemming by 2-3 inches.