When I was living in Germany as a child, the locals had a hard time pronouncing the name “Gina”, because German doesn’t have a hard “G” sound. Instead, they would say it with a soft G, like in gi. So, it sounded like gi-na. I would like everyone to please start pronouncing it that way whenever I am wearing a gi. I guess during those rare occasions when I don’t have a gi on, you can call me Nogi-na.

My last two grappling competitions were both no gi, and I’m really glad to be competing in gi this time. I always feel more comfortable and confident when I am wearing one. I practice in gi about 80% of the time, so that is where my skills are the strongest. One thing that I have also been trying to incorporate into my already strong guard game is spider guard, and it’s not good for no gi, so maybe I will get to try it out for the first time in this tournament.

There are just so many reasons that I love the gi. I can easily throw someone who is wearing a gi, instead of resorting to leg takedowns or jumping guard like I do in no gi. It is also much easier to control someone when you can grab onto their clothing or belt. Most of all, I think I prefer gis because I love me some choking! The possibilities to choke someone with their gi (or mine) make it extra appealing to me. If I could pull off a bow and arrow in competition, my life would be complete.

Me in Conan's body triangle

“My gi and me 
don’t want to be like the rest,
So don’t make us.
My gi and me we’re so crazy,
No one can take us”.

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