Great class on Sunday. Coach gave me a gi that a friend at the school has asked me to dye for him. He wants it purple. I’m not sure how it’s going to turn out, but I ordered a pretty dark purple and intend to use a little extra dye than it calls for, as though I’m dying a black gi. I also, after reading Georgette’s Chocolate Love woes, where her dark brown gi rubbed off a little on another person’s white gi, picked up an additional dye fixative.
The process for dying a gi isn’t all that difficult. Typically, you wash the gi so that it’s clean and there are no oils in it. I usually use the commercial stuff that Dharma Trading sells. Then you use a buttload of non-iodized salt, easily purchased for next to nothing at Costco, and mix that into the appropriate amount of water. I use a big 20 gallon tub also easily found. I got mine at Fred Meyer’s for about $5. After the salt is completely absorbed into the water, you mix in the appropriate amount of dye. It’s a good idea to mix is completely in a small amount of water so you don’t end up with lumpy dye. That would be bad news. And finally, you drop in the gi. Well, place it gently in so you don’t splash.
Then… you find a kid between the ages of 10 and 13 and say, “Hey, bud. You busy? Wanna help me dye a gi? It’s really cool!” When they say yes, you give them a stick and have them swirl the gi around for 30 minutes. It’s… well, it’s not actually very cool at all, but they don’t realize it until about 15 minutes in. Hopefully, though, they’re committed, because the next step is soda ash. This is actually the part that makes the dye permanent in most cases. And this part takes like an hour. This is where that kid you found will really start to realize that he or she got really screwed.
Usually, this is pretty much it. As I said, I’m adding the additional step of using a commercial dye fixative for the purple gi, then wash it a few times to make sure that any excess dye is gone and that’s it.
Now, as for actual Jiu Jitsu, I had a good class. We worked on the flower sweep and a variation, did some positional sparring from guard (one person sweeps, the other tries to pass). After which Coach seemed a little irritated that some people were reluctant to open their guard. I was drilling with Scott, a pretty big white belt, and really worked on opening up my guard, trying to get the de la riva hook in. My guard got passed a few times, but I’m not too worried about it.
Sparring was good. I had a ring, so I got plenty of matches. Scott, a technical purple belt, showed me some tips for de la riva guard, as well as a really interesting thing I’d never heard before. He said that whenever someone moves to a combat base position, with on knee up, or even standing sometimes, he’ll actually move up and sit on that foot, working his de la riva hook and his grips from there. I tried it a few times after and, while it seems weird and counterintuitive, it kind of jams up any guard pass attempts, and also gives me a lot of options for sweeps. I’m going to mess around with that for a while and see what I can do.
Next class should be Wednesday.