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Monday, January 24, 2011

Man vs. Woman

-- Jonna B.

While I was away in the mountains last weekend, my fellow Filipina BJJ blue belt Maybelline Masuda beat a guy in a local tournament at the Copa Manila.  We are not from the same team, but I have respect for her just the same -- because she has excellent progress in BJJ, she fights with her heart, and she has made the Filipinos proud by taking home the gold in the Mundials in 2009.

I don't have any information on what happened during the competition, but I have seen the video of her first match:

Personally, getting on the mat and facing your competitor is already something.  Facing a guy competitor who is naturally stronger and has the capability to hurt you, requires even more guts.  I salute her for displaying pure skills in winning over the guy.

Here are some of her photos that I took during different tournaments:

And this is my favorite, only because I captured her femininity while on the mat, fighting!

And because I was in the mountains and away from all the BJJ action, I just want to share what kind of beauty my eyes feasted on after a four-hour hike to the summit:

Mt. Pico de Loro, Cavite, Philippines


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thongs, Anyone?

-- Jonna B.

Location:  Dojo Dressing Area

As I was getting ready to leave the dojo after BJJ, a teammate who just got back on the mat told me:

N:  Hey Jonna, could you excuse me?  I just need to get my thongs.

Jonna:  Uhm, what?!

N:  My thongs...

Dumbfounded that someone wears thongs to BJJ (and a BIG guy at that!), I gave him room to move.  He went straight to the shoe shelf.  And...picked up his Havaianas!  I laughed hard when I realized that he's an Aussie, and they call their slippers/flipflops/sandals/Havs as THONGS.

In my part of the world, however, this is what thongs are:

New Year, New Gi

-- Jonna B.

What's a good way to start another year on the mat right?  Get a pretty bad-ass gi!

When I say pretty, I mean this:

Atama Leticia Ribeiro Limited Edition Gi
Gi Top Size:  F2
Pant Size: F2

Out of all the other gis I own (Atama, Koral, Vulkan, Keiko Raca, Jansport, unbranded Korean), my favorite is my blue Atama which I got in 2006 (still alive after rolling with me for 4 great BJJ years!).  For a 5'1" short Asian girl with a small body frame, Atama's top is clearly built for a woman, hugging our body in all the right places.  The pants may be a bit baggy, but it's okay.  I'm not in BJJ to show-off a curvy butt.

So, the Atama Leticia Ribeiro Limited Edition gi comes with dainty purple embroideries of stars and butterflies.  As the website notes, the weave is similar to Mundial 9.  The gi is a bit big and loose when I first wore it straight from the packaging.  The sleeves run up to an inch beyond my wrist, and quite baggy on the shoulders and armpit.  The pants were a bit long and wide, too.  

After a trip to the washer and dryer, it has shrunk beautifully.  The tag says that shrinkage is up to 5%, and it seems accurate.  The sleeves are now right on my wrist and the shoulders are slimmer (but not tight).  And the pants are now a perfect fit!  On the average, the gi has shrunk about an inch on the right places (length and width of the sleeves, shoulders, body and pants).

Because I train in two dojos with different mats (one with tatami and the other with blue rubber mats), I swore not to wear this pretty white thing on the blue rubber mats as the color tends to rub on our gis.  Other than that "consideration," I find it a great gi both for training and competition.  I just hope it's as tough as my 4-year-old blue Atama.

Oh, and one more thing: I got a lot of oooohs and aaaahs from my teammates when I wore it, mostly from guys.  They're simply jealous of the design, they want one for themselves!  I guess it's a real headturner :)

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