Sunday, December 9, 2012

Shark Girl’s Top Ten: Biggest Jiu Jitsu Mysteries

It's the beating of his hideous heart!

No, it's just Shark Girl with her newest Top Ten . Some things about jiu jitsu are just . . . inexplicable.

1.  The Never-Drying Gi Collar.
You have taken the time to wash and air-dry your gi like you are supposed to. Yet when you go to put it on, that darn rubberized collar has somehow retained moisture. Sure, you can tell everyone, “No, it’s cool—I just washed it,” but you know they think you’re a sweaty mess.

2.  The Untieable Belt.
You just got a new belt and the damn thing won’t stay tied. Don’t worry; it will break in just in time for you to move up to your next belt rank.

3. Blood of Unknown Provenance.
You’re rolling with a partner and he spots fresh blood on your gi. Everyone checks to see if they are cut, but no one is.

4.  The Errant Hair.
Much like #3, everyone wonders where it came from, but most times it’s best not to find out.
5.  Backward Roll Stage Fright.
If you are like Shark Girl, you can (now) pull off your backward rolls. That is, except when everyone’s watching.

6.  Video Exertion Distortion.
You were just videotaped in the fight of your life. Sweat was pouring off of you, and you were all over the mat, giving your opponent hell. You can’t wait to see the video and show your friends how exciting, demanding, and strenuous jiu jitsu is. When you fire it up on YouTube, you and your partner look like you are dancing to classical music. During-Roll Perceived Exertion Level? 100%. Video-Distorted Exertion Level? 13%. The camera may add ten pounds, but it really does make jiu jitsu look easy.

7.  The Disappearing Dude (or Damsel).
He showed up to every class for three weeks straight. He bought some expensive gear and a dojo sweatshirt. Then . . . poof! He disappeared. No one knows why he didn’t come back, but he’s still on the Facebook fan page.

8.  The Time Warp.
You are sure your instructor said they were three-minute rounds, but it feels like you just slapped hands when the buzzer rings. Conversely, if a Big Dude is sitting on your chest, those three minutes seems like eternity.

9.  Magical Potions
Or Wolfman Jack?
One of your gym mates drinks a strange-colored liquid before and after class. He swears it’s a protein and electrolyte replacer, but you can’t help but wonder: Is he really a lycanthrope? He’s certainly hairy enough.

10.  The Magnetic Mat.
You started out rolling all the way across the mat from your classmates. Before you know it, you are butting heads with them. What makes us gravitate toward each other on the open mat? Is it some sinister magnetic force? Or are we like heat-seeking leeches?
Ew! Gross!!!!


  1. 6 & 7 definitely my favorites. We have seen many disappearing Dudes & Damsels in our four years of training.


You Can't Fight City Hall

In the mid-90s, while alt-rock raged across the airwaves, twenty-something Shark Girl used to visit two elderly Italian sisters who lived ...