Sunday, December 25, 2011

Cousin of Shark Girl Reviews Scramble Bushido Athletics Shorts

When Shark Girl received the Scramble Bushido Athletic Shorts from BJJhq.com, they were cartoonishly large. “I can’t review these!” I thought. “If I can’t find someone else to review them, I’ll have to send them back.” I did some recon and found this description of the shorts at the Scramble website:

“Scramble shorts are here to pimp up the lower half of your body! Featuring side split seams and a spandex crotch panel for Muay Thai / guard players and the well endowed.”

Whom did Shark Girl know that was interested in pimping up the lower half of his body? It was obvious: Cousin of Shark Girl. You have read about Cousin of Shark Girl before here and here.
Actually, Cousin of Shark Girl is quite modest and I didn’t think he’d want to pimp up his body at all. Nor does he do Muay Thai. But he is a guard player and I’m pretty sure he is in favor of spandex crotch panels. As for well-endowed—chill out, he’s my cousin, already! This along with the fact that Cousin of Shark Girl is the only BJJer who knows Shark Girl’s real identity made him the perfect candidate. The only candidate.
            Cousin of Shark Girl accepted the challenge and has been wearing the Scramble shorts tirelessly. Dear readers, I introduce to you my very first Guest Blogger: Cousin of Shark Girl.

***

While visiting my cousin, Shark Girl, she let me try out a pair of grappling shorts, the Bushido by Scramble. These shorts came to my cousin via BJJhq.com, a great site that keeps me up late at night, refreshing my browser, looking for deals on grappling gear. BJJhq.com is very popular where I train so I’m happy to help them out with a review.

The shorts are purple with bright yellow lettering. I must admit that I was a little concerned when she first showed them to me. I’m the kind of guy who does not like to stand out in a crowd.  
My greatest fear
The yellow lettering includes some Japanese kanji symbols for the word “Bushido” which roughly translates to “the way of the Samurai.” Thanks, Wikipedia.


The shorts are a size Small and Shark Girl said they were way too big for her. I have a 32” waist and when I put them on, they were snug around the waist but not constricting due to the fact that they have an elastic waistband. Once I cinched the Velcro strap and drawstring, I actually thought they fit very nicely.



I’m about 5’9” and they do show a little more leg than my other grappling shorts, but I actually liked that.
Shark Girl says, "Ooh la la!"

I have a few other pairs of grappling shorts that are longer, baggier, and clumsier looking in my opinion. The Bushido shorts also have a small slit along the outside of the thigh that helps with leg mobility. In addition, they’re 100% polyester which makes them slick and light.

Sure, they felt great while I was prancing around my living room, but the true test would be how they held up going full speed at the gym. They are light and thin and my biggest concern was that they wouldn’t last too many tough grappling sessions. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I’ve worn them dozens of times and not a stitch is out of place. And they are so light that I feel like I’ve gained a step on my training partners—if I can only convince them that that’s the case. One last comment: I actually received a handful of compliments on how the shorts looked. I’m still not a fan of the colors, but they are currently my favorite grappling shorts as far as performance and feel are concerned.

Pros:
  • Super light and thin
  • Durable
  • Snug but comfortable fit. I’m 5’9” and 175 lbs. and the Small fit me just fine. (If you’re concerned they might be too small, you should obviously go with a larger size.)
Con:
  • The colors−purple shorts with yellow lettering. If you don’t mind standing out a bit at the gym, these colors are for you.

I hope you found this review helpful. That's all for now folks!

Respectfully Yours,
Cousin of Shark Girl

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Escaping Side

Sometimes people write to me, “Shark Girl, you never talk about technique. Are you even ever actually on the mat?” It’s funny you should ask. Yes, I am on the mat, as much as possible. But every time I start to write about technique, it goes nowhere. I stop, start, I shift focus. I can’t sustain it. Tonight, just for you, I’m going to talk about technique. Here goes. [deep inhalation] I can do this, I know I can.

I titled this “Escaping Side” not because I am going to tell you how awesome I am at side escapes. I am not going to give you my foolproof method to get out of it. If you came to this page looking for answers, I apologize. I’m the one who needs answers.
I can’t escape side—or mount or scarf, for that matter— to save my life. Basically, I can’t escape. I spend most of my time trying not to be on the bottom. And when I am on the bottom, forget it. I might as well tap immediately.

Tonight we drilled side escapes. I’ve practiced them many times. I still can’t figure them out. Sure, the drilling goes fine, but in practice, I can’t make ‘em happen. Here is a typical roll with Shark Girl:

  • Shark Girl and Opponent do the Tap of Cordiality
  • Shark Girl and Opponent shift around on knees until, usually, Opponent takes Shark Girl down
  • Shark Girl gets guard; Opponent tries to pass guard
  • Shark Girl opens guard; opponent is ensnared
  • Opponent tries to pass guard; Shark Girl reguards
  • Opponent tries to pass guard; Shark Girl reguards
  • Shark Girl tries to sweep, fails, reguards
  • Opponent tries to choke, Shark Girl scrunches chin down
  • Opponent gives up on choke, tries to pass guard
  • Shark girl reguards
  • Opponent goes for something crazy, Shark Girl seizes opportunity to get on top
  • Shark Girl floats around on top for a while, looking for something to attack
  • Opponent sweeps Shark Girl, finally passes guard
  • Shark Girl flails arms and legs like a dying cockroach
  • Opponent grabs an Americana.
  • Ouch. Shark Girl taps (which she hates to do)

If you close your eyes and picture yourself as Opponent, you’ve just had a virtual roll with Shark Girl. Hope it was good for you. It sucked for me.
 
I recognize that usually I am with a bigger, stronger, and mostly more experienced opponent. When I am matched with someone less skilled and my size or smaller I can usually jerry-rig some kind of escape. It may not look pretty, but as long as no one’s filming, I’m okay with that. 

Here’s where I need your help. Can you let me know at what point in your jiu jitsu career you started to master your side and mount escapes? Or is the point, as a weaker, smaller opponent, to avoid that position as best you can? I’m starting to get a complex about this.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Shark Girl’s Top Ten: What to Get Your Jiu Jitsu Girlfriend for Christmas, Hanukkah, or Any Other Gift-Giving Occasion Coming Up in the Next Few Weeks

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! But if you don’t get your Jiu Jitsu Girlfriend (Lover, Spouse, etc.) the right gift, you’ll pay for it in armbars. Here are some suggestions from Shark Girl’s list this year.

1.   A new gi.
Hers is getting stinky. (When in doubt, buy the smaller size. Trust me.)

 2.  Frilly Underwear.
For her and you. Do not get her “sexy lingerie” unless she is under 30. To a 20-something, sexy lingerie says, “He wants me!” To anyone older it says, “We don’t do it enough,” and is really a criticism. Besides, the work required to put on some of those contraptions and all the effort they demand post-donning will make her run to the nearest women’s-only relaxation room. (See #3 below.)

3.   Gift Certificate for a Massage.
Her muscles are tired from all that jiu jitsu! Usually there’s a relaxation room, so she can recover if you did not listen to Shark Girl’s advice in #2.
Please don't do the home version. You're not that good, and she knows what you expect afterward!
 4.  Jiu-Jitsu University by Saulo Ribeiro.
I can’t believe she doesn’t have this yet. But she doesn’t, and who doesn’t love Saulo?
 
5.  A Snarky Jiu Jitsu T-Shirt.
She’ll never buy it for herself, but secretly wants to wear one. Get her a Ladies’ size. Men’s (or “unisex”) makes her look frumpy. Shark Girl is extra small, by the way.

6.   A new sports bra.
You are probably thinking, “Nothing says I love you like a new sports bra? WTF, SG?” First of all, stop talking in texting, you are not 13. (Unless you are 13. But then you should find a different list for your girlfriend. This one is for mature audiences only.) Second of all, she needs one and will be glad that you are thinking of her breasts not in that way. Plus, a sports bra beats the potholders Husband got me a few Christmases ago. (Unfortunately, Shark Girl is also extra small here, but when in doubt, buy the bigger size.)

7.   A great nail clipper.
A jiu jitsu girl has to keep her nails trimmed constantly, and if she bought a cheap clipper like I did, she’s tired of putting it back together after every use. (Stocking Stuffer only.)

8. Gift Certificate to Her Favorite Hair Salon.
She needs a cute, short-do so she doesn’t have to tap for pulled hair. Shark Girl’s salon bill has tripled since she had to add “dye job” to the construction list. Looking this great takes cashola, baby.

She's got jiu jitsu arms!
9.   A babysitter.
Then take her out to a bitchin’ dinner. All that jiu jitsu makes her hungry. If you couple this with #2 and some wine, there’s no telling what could happen. Just bring the babysitter home first.

10.   A portable mat.
So she can practice on you at home without your complaints that she’s hurting you because there’s no mat. Man up, or pony up, bro!

Ladies, please add your suggestions. Gift Buyers, if you choose something from the list, keep Shark Girl posted on how it goes!