Friday, May 20, 2011

Am I worthy of this gi?

I was talking to my best photografriend today about people and the gear they buy for photography. Basically, some photographers buy expensive cameras, lenses and filters and believe it's a replacement for actual ability.

It really made me think how, after ordering my Vulkan Pro Light, I still have a nagging feeling that I'm not "worthy" of a gi that costs much more than $100. Now hold on. I KNOW that a gi means nothing, and you don't earn your way to an expensive gi and a gi doesn't have any effect on your abilities...but still, since day 1, I've never wanted to be "that white belt with the crazy nice gi".

I did the same thing in salsa. Part of it was related to commitment...I wasn't going to buy $150 shoes if I weren't sure I wanted to keep dancing, but I also didn't want to be one of the beginners with the super flashy shoes. To me it just screamed "they're in this for the short term".

I'm going to be doing this as long as I can, but still, I paused just a little before clicking that purchase button. 


Anonymous said...

I totally understand your feeling. You don't want to be seen as the "flashy" person. At the same time, you are improving your ability and are committed to BJJ, which differs from the photographers who deep down in their heart believe that this gear makes them a better photographer.

I think the inherent respect that exists for martial arts versus photography differs. Many people do not respect photography because they truly think it is pressing a button. Not a single person would say BJJ is just doing an armbar.

Photography is unique in that it is one of the only professions or hobbies (as it can be either or both) where some people genuinely feel the tool makes them qualified. No one thinks a scalpel makes a surgeon qualified, a laptop makes a writer qualified or chalk makes a teacher qualified. Because of the widespread cultural acceptance of photography, its value at times gets muted.

I think you can be the person with the nice gi as you don't believe a gi makes you better at BJJ and you are committed to BJJ. Thus, most people who would see you in that gi would not get the vibe of you being an ass about it. LOL.

Good post.

AbbyBJJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AbbyBJJ said...

To be honest, you don't have to worry about being flashy in a vulcan pro light. My first gi was one of the older version of the pro light. If you went out and bought a Lucky gi then you may have to worry a bit. Every time i see a white belt wearing a Lucky i have to wonder what they are trying to compensate for. Respect in bjj comes from proving yourself on the mat, not by what you are wearing. When i compete, i feel more nervous competing against someone with a worn belt rather than a fancy gi or a new belt loaded with stripes. I know that there belt is a decent representation of how much mat time they have had not what type of gi they are wearing.

Megan said...

lol@Trudy...I never made that distinction, but that's a good point. Even flashy BJJ guys I know don't think the gi makes them better. MAYBE the belt...maybe. Never met anyone like that, but I imagine they exist.

@Abby...yeah...Lucky's and Hayabusas have so much doodling on them...and not even like they're colorful...there's just a lot of print 'n' stuff going on.

I remember one white belt at my school got one and got teased. I didn't get it at the time,but now I see what was going on.

Mos def@tattered belts.

SkinnyD said...

I used to feel that way...then one day I figured, what the heck, I know I'm in it for the long haul, and that's all that matters, right?

Georgette said...

As long as the gi is comfortable and enables you to do your job well, it doesn't matter how many patches are (or aren't) on it... the color (or lack thereof)... how much you paid (or didn't) for it. I used to be snarky about whitebelts in Lucky gis, too, until I as a whitebelt found a barely-used Lucky on ebay for $67. And dang if it wasn't one of the most comfortable gis I'd ever worn (though at that point my experience was rather limited.)