Finger tape for grappling – review (e.g., BJJ, Judo, Wrestling)

Finger tape are basically sports/athletic tapes designed to save people the trouble of separating a normal roll of sports tape into different width.

One important thing to consider is rather the adhesiveness of the tape could withstand training sessions and competitions. Another reason many people considered designated finger tape is that they are tired of their tape coming off during a 1-2 hours session. So all finger tapes try to sell these two ‘convenience’ to us when we are purchasing finger tape.
1. Width of tape is suitable for taping fingers (0.2-0.3 inches).
2. Sticky enough to withstand a training session or competition

Four brands of finger tape

Collection of finger tape. Top: Tape & Roll, Tape Armor; Grip Roll
Bottom: Monkey Tape

Sports tape tear at different width

Sports tape tear at different width

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BJJ Rash Guards: How are they different?

Some common things we want to know about purchasing rash guards for BJJ:

  1. Qualities and features to look out for when purchasing a rash guard for BJJ.
  2. Are there differences (if any) between BJJ rash guards and rash guards made for other activities?
  3. What are cheaper alternatives to those $50 colorful rash guards with inverted pandas and flying dragons?

But first, why wear a rash guard instead of good old t-shirts or going old school topless (for males)?

  • Unlike a normal t-shirt, which will absorb the sweat and feels like a wet towel after the first roll, rash guards are made of materials that will wicks moisture (sweat) away from you.
  • The same material also helps block moisture (partner’s sweat) getting on to you.
  • Maybe you don’t sweat a lot and don’t mind people’s sweat on you, but still, do it for your partner, it is a bit less crappy to be stuck under an armpit/belly of someone wearing a rash guard than one that doesn’t 😀
BJJ rash guards

Komainu rash guard $49 (left), Baleaf ‘compression base layer shirt’ $12 (right).

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Ruck Plates Comparison: Goruck, SHplates, and DIYing

Ruck plates for Goruck or rucking, what are the options?

After using bricks, sand or whatever cheaper options for our ruck weights, maybe we finally want to invest in a more compact option: ruck plates. In short, these are the most common options:

  1. Buy ruck plates from companies (e.g., Goruck, SHplates, Sprouse Metal Craft).
  2. Buy/obtain a piece of steel that fits in a ruck (e.g., OnlineMetal.com).
Ruck plates comparison between SHplates, online-metal plate, and Goruck

Ruck plates comparison: SHplates, online-metal plate, and Goruck (10lb, 11lb, 20lb and 20lb).

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Goruck Bullet Ruck (10L) vs. Goruck GR0 (GR1 21L) for EDC

Goruck probably needs no introduction to the awesome packs they make. However, they make packs of difference sizes, which one is best for me as an average built, 5’5 female? My first go-to was the Goruck GR0 (now the GR1 21L), which was recommended for those under 6 feet. It was my daily EDC pack for about half a year. I didn’t plan on switching to a new pack anytime soon. When ‘Christmas-in-July” sale happened at Goruck, I bought the Goruck Bullet Ruck (10L) as my weekend pack. After using the GR0 for half a year, and recently switching to the Bullet, I think I’ve found my perfect EDC pack 😀

Goruck GR0 and Goruck Bullet side by side

Goruck GR0 and Goruck Bullet side by side

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Goruck Light Packing list and what I would change next time

My Goruck Light Packing list and Principle of Organization

This past weekend, I completed my first Goruck Light Challenge, where we carried a weighted backpack for 6.5 hours, rucked (a.k.a. walking with a weighted pack) for 7-10 miles,did PT (physical training), and had a lot of fun with our whole team. I think packed right for a first-timer, but I also learned a few things that I would do different. So I’ll share my packing list and setup, and what I would do different next.

How I pack turns out to work really well for the event. The two improvements I would do is to (1) pack another bladder, and (2) pack another pair of shoes (light weight is fine). The following picture shows everything I brought to the challenge.

Goruck Light packing list

Top row: weight, ruck, bladder. Bottom row: dry sack (sock + shirt), pelican case with food, pelican case with personal items + batteries, head lamp, gloves

I’ll go over how I actually setup my ruck in the following section. The key thing is, I did not overpack. It is not a week-long camping trip. Bring the essentials, and have some spares for the essentials 🙂
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Meaning of Stripes in BJJ – Being accountable to my training

So I got two stripes on my white belt a month ago. I was happy that my coach thinks I’ve improved. 6 months is a short time in acquiring a new skill, but it already feels like night and day compare to when I had zero ground experience.

IMG_20150929_185246579_HDR-01

Stripes on the belt to keep tab on students’ progress.

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How to sell the things I don’t need anymore?

Determine whether an item should be sold:

My rule is if I haven’t used something for 6 months or more, it should go to someone else that will make good use of it. I am constantly trying new things, and sometimes that means acquiring “stuff”. So getting rid of of “old stuff” has to keep up with my acquisition.

Where to sell all these things?

It always helps to cross-list in multiple places, you just never know where the right audience may be hunting for a good deal. I usually cross-list my items on Auction Sites, Local Classified Websites/AppsForums, and through personal network (if I happen to know someone would be interested). Certain category of items work better on one platform or another. And there are category-specific avenue to sell certain items (e.g., musical instrument, sporting gear).

onlineselling

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[Explore] Goruck Challenge, starting from Light

Last week, a friend and I signed up for a GORUCK Light. A rucking/team-based challenge. Neither of us have ever done it before. Actually, neither of us have ever participated in any similar type of “race” or “event”.

It will be something new, which is in alignment with what I’m trying to do: to explore novel things!

  • In 2014, I tried navigation, got certified for first aid and wilderness first aid, and started doing Krav Maga.
  • In 2015, I began my BJJ journey, which I have thoroughly enjoyed so far, and helped me in improving the ground-aspect of Krav Maga.

It is passed mid-year now, so I’m up for something new again 🙂

Although I’m physically pretty fit (not ripped, but I can run a half-marathon and I exercise regularly through different martial arts), rucking seems to utilize a very different set of muscles and skill set. Specifically, load-bearing muscles and endurance. The more I thought about it, I realize this is actually a good chance for me to reach another level of fitness, which will in turn better my martial arts training.

So we signed up, not 1, but for 2 events. Figured we might as well go for it and do one in another city as well.

In the coming months, I will document my training and also see how this type of training helps my more long-term activity (i.e., BJJ, Krav Maga, kung fu, fitness in general).

Female groin cup for combative sports

Where can one find a good female groin cup?

A lot of female combative sports practitioners opt to go without groin protection due to (1) lack of good product availability (i.e., groin cups that don’t fit the female body well), (2) sense of security (i.e., don’t have organ hanging between our legs), and (3) maybe they just haven’t gotten seriously attacked around that area…yet. In my quest to find a good female groin cup for myself, I tried four different groin protection, two made for females, two made for males. Two that fits inside a compression short, and two that is self-sustainable (same brand).

Groin protections

Top row (made for male) left to right: RDX gel groin cup, Lo-Bloo Thai Cup 2.0. Bottom row (made for female) left to right: Shock Doctor Pelvic Protector, Lo-Bloo Aero Slim Female..

I think the Lo-Bloo Thai Cup 2.0 is my go-to if I’m sparring, and I am keeping the Lo-Bloo Aero Slim Female for Krav Maga everyday training. Both of them (1) provide good protection, (2) stay in place, and (3) don’t impede my movements. I’ll give an overview for each of these groin protector, and the reason I opt for the Lo-Bloo despite the slightly higher price tag (although if you include the cost of a compression short for the other two, the prices are actually similar).  Read More …