My very first and currently only place of active learning is where I train at Pura Atos Hamilton.
Let me tell you how much I respect and love this place. The general vibe in this place is one of family. It feels like I am in a room filled to the brim of big brothers!! It doesn’t matter if you know one or two people or you are a flying solo. You won’t be solo for long as absolutely everyone treats you like you have known each other forever. It is the oddest yet most fulfilling feeling ever.
At first though, I was SCARED TO DEATH to enter this place because of the intimidation factor. You know ….the one where you know there is going to be a room of men, all sparring and well, it’s just plain super intimidating knowing you might be the only woman in the room. Yet giving it just a few short weeks, I am now drilling with the occasional male in the room – and noooooo, they aren’t 3 year olds where I am much bigger than them.
These males are strong enough to throw me over their shoulders and toss me into a garbage can if my levels of bullsh**t warranted it. Instead they are complete gentlemen making sure that I learn without making me want run away as they test out the latest choke hold drill. Want to hear something really nutty??? I actually let them put my head in that hold!! Not because I want them to choke me but because I want to learn how to get out of the choke – without breaking anything or smudging my lipstick, of course!
I still have a lot of anxiety when I climb these stairs…and I never thought that a turning of a simple doorknob could make me so nervous that I want to toss my cookies…perseverance though…and
hopefully one day I’ll be able to hike up the two flights of stairs without huffing and puffing, open the door and walk in with complete confidence that today will be the day that I can actually make someone submit to me.
My online training
I listen to the men in the room and how they talk about watching YouTube clips on the different maneuvers and drills…I decided maybe I should see what it offers. My first search….how to put on my pants and how to tie my belt!! Super duper crazy important videos to watch!! Trust me, I know from experience.
Other searches included whatever I can find on female Jiu Jitsu and just about anything that will explain it to me in general….
Rolling with the Opposite Sex (this actually helped me overcome my intrepedation)
Women’s Self-defense That Actually Works! (Gracie Jiu-Jitsu) (she is SUCH an inspiration!!)
According to Wikipedia: Brazilian jiu-jitsu gi I can wear a patch so long as it is in the designated areas – just not sure if it can be a cancer ribbon or if it must be something directly related to BJJ.
Why is it called a Gi and not a Kimono? – “The word “gi” derives from “keikogi” which means training gear.”
The JiuJitsuBrotherhood web site offers this article to help you choose your next Gi.
A Gi is not cheap – they range anywhere from $100 -$200 depending on the fabric type and the quality of the material. So be sure to take care of your Gi.
A beginners guide is offered by BJJSports. I learned by experience why you need to wear a Gi and/or rash gear – when I ended up with about a 3-inch bruise on my arm.
I have learned that there is a training etiquette – which I see in play on the mat but I didn’t quite understand.
The holy grail!!! I think I have just come across one extremely informative website for White Belts!!