My confession: fashion is the reason I started doing nogi. Prior to buying my first pair of spats from Pony Club Grappling Gear, I avoided nogi. Hated it. It’s sweaty, gross, slippery, and there are no grips! Gah!
First, the Yang appeared – my sweet, cute ponies. All of a sudden nogi didn’t seem like a bad choice. But I had to stop wearing fight shorts. I MUST show off my ponies!
Then, the magical unicorn spats arrived. These cannot be hidden under a gi. Unicorns need to be FREE. So I started going to class on Wednesdays, our nogi days. No longer avoiding it, but seeking it out.
Finally, the Kenka spats arrived. I actually wore these at work after lunch. Thankfully I work in a kindergarten, so my babies have no clue about concepts like “matching.” They instead said “Teacher, silly legs!” Yes, yes, my babies, they are silly legs.
Similarly, I have a lot of gis. I’m certainly not the Imelda Marcos of BJJ gis, but I have a lot. When I look through my closet, I think “You’ve got to get on the mats more.” It pushes me to class because I want to justify the purchases I’ve made.
There was a comment a long time ago that someone left on my Love/Hate Relationship with BJJHQ, in which they poopooed the idea of having fancy gear. That it wasn’t in the spirit of “budo” or whatever martial arts element this guy felt was integral to Jiu Jitsu.
I’ve been vocal in my beliefs that people shouldn’t be so judgmental toward one another about their reasons for going on the mats, and instead should look at hours logged on the mats. And if buying a new gi or new spats helps me log more hours, then that’s awesome.
In addition to logging more hours, by putting money down to purchase things I like, I’m making a strong statement to the company, which is: I WILL BUY YOUR CRAP, SO MAKE MORE OF IT! THE MARKET EXISTS! Think about this: if Pony Club Grappling Gear put out their new rash guard and everyone tweeted and facebooked the links, but no one bought it – how long do you think they would continue making things like it? It helps artists like Meerkatsu get paid, helps support companies, and creates a demand.
BJJ fashion rocks. My goal is to do jiu jitsu for the rest of my life, and realistically, motivation sometimes wanes, frustration can sometimes get the best of you, and if you need a push from a pair of unicorns, I support you.
Fess up: What purchases have driven you to log more hours on the mat? Which purchases have you made recently that you’re really excited to show off? Link pics or post them here!