The Battlepack Core is a 32L 100% hemp canvas backpack loaded with practical features and backed by Datsusara’s famous customer service. A spacious main compartment with full-length zipper, large variety of external/internal pockets, front and side PALS webbing, and comfortable straps means that Datsusara’s middle-size backpack satisfies the needs of Brazilian jiu-jitsu / MMA / judo / muay Thai types, as well as hikers, cyclists, and world travelers.
There are many reasons to like Datsusara—clean designs, practical features, environmentally friendly materials, stellar customer service—but their most unique characteristic is in the name, which is derived from the Japanese phrase “to leave the corporate worker’s life.” Owner Christopher Odell’s distaste for frivolous consumerism is clear. Datsusara doesn’t advertise. Their products have a minimum of logos. While our senses are under constant siege by deceitful and obnoxious advertising by companies whose sole aim is to sell future landfill, Datsusara’s only marketing strategy relies on product quality, customer service, and word of mouth. They even shut down online retail sales during the Black Friday consumer orgy.
Founded in 2011, Cardiff-based Strike Fightwear are part of the UK wave of Brazilian jiu-jitsu gear companies. Strike’s kimonos, shorts, and rashguards all feature high-quality construction and their designs register around the Emerica mark on the BJJ industry scale of Jigoro Kano to NASCAR. This is a review of their recently released GRPPLR gi, size A2.
In the words of Strike Fightwear: “This gi has been in development for over a year and features a new cut & fit as well as high-quality embroidery and styling.”
“We designed this gi to be perfect for both everyday training and competitions. It seems foolhardy to train in a certain gi leading up to a competition, only to wear a different, lighter gi on the day. The GRPPLR is both lightweight and durable, ensuring you can wear it every day without it hindering your Jiu Jitsu.”
Martial arts apparel and gear company Datsusara was founded in 2007 by Christopher Odell, a man with a clear goal: "Datsusara gear is manufactured to be as strong and versatile as military gear, while incorporating the most functional textiles nature has to offer." His life philosophy is also represented by the company name, which is a translation of the Japanese phrase "to leave the salaried/corporate worker's life." Those are some big green checkmarks, but the ultimate test is how the equipment performs in the world and on the mat.
The Datsusara catalogue features a Brazilian jiu-jitsu gi, fight shorts, and an array of backpacks, bags, and accessories. Everything is made of natural, environmentally friendly fibers like hemp and bamboo. Datsusara gear has been gaining lots of attention recently, as evidenced by many of the items being sold out at the time of publishing. This review covers Datsusara’s hemp fight shorts.
Becoming a Supple Leopard: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance by Kelly Starrett and Glen Cordoza is a lifesaver. This book explains how to avoid injuries through correct body mechanics, and is a blueprint to treating injuries that do arise. After my experience I consider it essential reading for anyone, especially those involved in body-brutalizing sports like Brazilian jiu-jitsu and judo.
This spring, the past 25 years of abuse from judo, jiu-jitsu, skateboarding, and sitting at a desk came to a head and my hip / upper glute / lower back went on strike. I was pointed in Kelly Starrett’s direction by Andrew from Dig Deep BJJ and after watching some of the MobilityWOD videos, decided that I needed a copy of his book. The last month of putting these exercises to work has led me to believe that over the course of a lifetime, Supple Leopard will prove to be worth its weight in physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage, and acupuncture receipts.
On November 4, 2012, my Brazilian jiu-jitsu coach, Adam Ryan, took gold in the senior 2 black belt category of the IBJJF 2012 World No-Gi Championships, submitting his opponent with a pretty brutal ankle lock. The Dynamic MMA team were all pretty excited to watch this, and in honour of Adam’s leglock finish, I figured I’d put together a quick compilation of leglock-related articles that I’ve written over the years. These articles were published in different places under different sets of publication guidelines, so there’s some repetition, but they give a good overview. The flow is: introduction, examples of leglocks in action, learning resources, and dealing with knee or ankle injuries.
A technique notebook is one of the most powerful Brazilian jiu-jitsu training aids. I’ve been keeping one on and off since my first judo class and have found that my rate of progression is directly proportional to my diligence with updating my BJJ notebook. Jiu-jitsu isn’t something that’s easy to describe using words alone and a couple of people at my gym have asked to see my notes, so I figured I’d put together an article explaining why and how I do it.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a complex martial art. For every technique – takedowns, sweeps, guard passes, submissions, escapes… – there are multiple counters. And multiple recounters for every counter. Need a visual on that? Check out some BJJ flow charts. How is a person supposed to remember all of this? Keeping a jiu-jitsu notebook helps.