Saturday, May 25, 2013

Shark Girl is Back . . . In Her Newest Gi Ever


Yes, Shark Girl is back and ready to talk about her newest gi—the Tatami Ladies Estilo 3.0 Premier. My initial reaction upon taking it out of the box was this.

I’m not usually a fan of patches or blue gis, but something about this patchy, blue gi is charming.

I like putting on this gi. I don’t feel like I’m wearing some baggy, potato sack or ill-fitting “boyfriend” jean. I feel like it was made for a woman’s body. I don’t want to say that it hugs my curves, although it does. I don’t want to say that I feel like a woman in this gi, although I do. To say those things, unfortunately, implies a sexiness in our culture that is not there in this gi. It’s actually a womanly power that I feel—that my body is not hidden away, but it is also not on display. This gi makes me feel like a female super hero without the gigantic breast handicap. Is this a feminist gi? Is Tatami rocking a radical, grrrl power? My first guess was no, because what martial arts company wants to do that? Usually they are objectifying our asses. But then I saw that they supported the Slideyfoot’s GrappleThon for the benefit of Rape Crisis (England & Wales) and I was impressed.

Here’s what I like about this gi:
 

Pros:
  • styling and fit
  • low-slung pants sit below the hip so I don’t feel like I’m wearing granny pants
  • close collar—my teammates hate this collar. They complain it’s hard to grab. Yay!
  • durable. I’ve been wearing and washing it for three seasons now and no problems.
  • stay-tied drawstring

Now I don't have to stop my roll to preserve my modesty! This baby stays tied.

Con:
I wouldn’t mind a slightly longer skirt. It comes out of my belt too often for my liking.

Yes, those are wine blotches. Don't judge.



Conclusion
I was pleasantly surprised by this gi. I think Tatami did a great job of tailoring it for a woman’s body and not just taking a man’s gi and making it pink. Way to go!
Look! It comes with this cool satchel!

Thanks to Martial Arts Supplies for giving me the opportunity to try out this gi.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Shark Girls Family is Expanding!

Tomorrow I am becoming a foster mother. To two kittens. Shark Girl's family is volunteering with our local no-kill animal shelter to open our home to homeless cats awaiting adoption. And tomorrow we get our first ones.

Every mother dreams of sharing her hobbies with her children. Yesterday I saw this video and thought, "Just maybe! Maybe our new little bundles of joy will have my same nose, oddly-placed fur, cuddly qualities, and a love for wrestling!"


If so, it will be hard to say goodbye when they do find a loving home!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

It's About Time for a Gi Review . . .


So, I was rolling the other day in my “new” gi, and I realized, “I really like this gi. I think it’s my favorite. Maybe it’s time to write my review?”
Did you hear that? I was rolling. I. Me. Shark Girl. Rolling. On the mat. Doing jiu jitsu. Again. After three months. If you think three months is a long time to wait for jiu jitsu satisfaction, think about poor Martial Art Supplies, who sent me this gi in good faith last summer and has been patiently awaiting a, some, any review. Babies have been born, governments have toppled, terrorists have plotted and fallen, and yes, Shark Girl was injured and . . . recovered? I surely hope so.
            Doc gave me the go-ahead—unexpectedly!—and I wasted no time, running off to BJJ class and hitting the street to get my running legs back. Will I be able to do that half-marathon this fall? Can I actually pretend that this injury never happened? I’d like to.
            During my time off, I didn’t troll the Internet watching video clips or DVDs on BJJ technique. I didn’t read up or otherwise edify my atrophying practice. But I did learn a lot and I’ll share it with you here:

1)      I will not turn into Jabba the Hut after three months. While I definitely gained a little fat, I am happy to still fit into all my pants, albeit a little more snugly.
No, that's me . . . in the bikini!
 2)      Muscles weaken rapidly. While favoring my knee, my hips and quads lost strength and then my IT band got tight which tweaked everything. It takes months to gain back the strength and flexibility lost in only a few weeks!

3)      I learned some great and terrifying strength exercises that will serve me, and my guard, well. My legs were on fire for days afterward, but the exercises targeted my weakest muscles. The burning was a reminder of how much strength I had really lost.

4)      Walking rocks. A good bout of walking in Europe over cobblestoned streets really challenged my muscles and stability, and put me on the path to recovery.

5)      I love espresso. This has nothing to do with my recovery, but being overseas reminded me that it’s time to replace that broken espresso machine I threw out last year. Any suggestions? 

6)      All PTs are not equal. They will bounce you from one to another like they are. Find one that understands that you want to do more than watch TV, or you’ll be stuck doing crappy exercises that prepare you to lift bland, mushy food to your lips while watching “Matlock” reruns. Lucky me—I had a session with a woman who was learning our unique jiu jitsu moves—like omaplatas—and how she could strengthen us gradually to do them again with confidence. What a woman! (She’s the one who kicked my ass with the exercises in #3.) 


7)      Jiu jitsu takes up a lot of my time. I’m writing this from Oldest Son’s tae kwon do class. In the past I would have found a way to get around this so I could do jiu jitsu. But after three-months off, what’s one more class? For an exercise-addicted, married, workaholic-outside-the-home, mother of two, that’s a profoundly healthier way to look at class. 

8)      IT band stretches suck. No other words needed.

Well, now I’ve rambled far too long to review this gi, so Martial Art Supplies, and gentle readers, you will have to wait until next post but here’s a preview of what’s to come. I’ve taken some sniuppets from my review, rearranged them, and come up with an interesting sentence:

 Pleasantly surprised, my curves can attest to grab some baggy potato sack hidden away 
out of the box—sexiness in a man’s gi.

 gigantic breast

  (That last part I just added for prurience.)

What does it all mean? Is it a message from ancient astronauts? Whatever it is, I hope it entices you to tune in next time. (Or maybe you’ll share your own "review sentence scramble"?)

Shark Girl Faces a Change

It is a turning point for Shark Girl. I haven’t written in a while. When I was a white belt, everything was new and curious. And being ...