You may find yourself fighting off members of the opposite sex who are in love with your BJJ Globtrotters rash guard.
When I was asked to review the first release rash guard from BJJ GLOBETROTTERS I was excited to say the least. I have been following Christian Graugart and his brand on social media ever since reading his book, not long after I started my own journey into Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The BJJ Globetrotter has been around a fair while now and was born with a once in a lifetime trip around the world training at as many gyms along the way. They have an awesome set of common values that clearly resonates through the ever growing fan base attached to them.
Here is a little something they put on the site that really shows the brand is about:
BJJ Globetrotters offers an alternative to traditional affiliation within Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Membership of the community is open for anyone (both individuals and gyms), and there are basically no requirements to join, other than to spread—and agree with—the message :)
The members don’t represent a specific person, academy, instructor or lineage. They are merely a world-wide community of people, who share a common set of values:
We don’t pay each other any affiliation fees
We wear any patches we like on our gis
We are free to represent any (or no) team in competition
We encourage training with anyone regardless of affiliation
We are willing to promote anyone who deserves it—members or not
We arrange camps, seminars and visit each other for training and fun
We believe everyone is equal both on and off the mats
We strive to enjoy life, people and the world through Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
One thing I must say about this Christian and his brand it the fact he is willing to give back to the Travelling Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community by providing sponsorships to build their foundations and achieve the trip of a life time that allowed him to start the brand.
Let’s get to the review.
WHAT YOU’RE GETTING
BJJ Globetrotter Rash guard – First Release Rash guard
I will be reviewing the XL Rash guard
I am 92 kgs and 184cm tall, or 202llbs and 6’1
a. The artwork combines bright colours with a beachside backdrop and an old VW with a surfboard on top; one can’t help but see the casakickapoo theme that features heavily in the Globetrotter camps (annual summer camp).
b. The artwork is 100% sublimated and will not crack, peel or fade even after heavy and prolonged usage.
c. The fabric is high quality and reinforced with flat lock stitching for comfort. There are no seams in the underarms and the tags are also 100% sublimated for maximum comfort.
80% Polyester and 20% Spandex
Machine wash cold
Do not iron or dry clean
Have the possibility to shrink a little depending on wash method.
FIRST LOOK IMPRESSIONS:
As soon as I open the parcel that was sent the rash guard was a stand out in terms of artwork and quality. The rash guard is smooth and has yellow stitching to add that little extra pop to the already bright design. I can’t wait to be able to train in these products. The feel of the rash guard without even trying it on are amongst the softest I have felt. All the products seem to have been prewashed so there are no remnants of chemicals, which means, I am going to train in this right now! A + for the first impressions.
FIRST WORKOUT AND ROLL:
The fit and feel of the rash guard is amazing, just as soft as I had imagined while holding them straight out of the package. The rash guard has a strip around the bottom of the rash guard which will lock onto a pair of spats or if worn without spats will lock under your fight shorts. This is something that was appreciated by not just me, but everyone else on the mat. My belly isn’t on any wonder of the world lists, people won’t travel across the world to see it slip out mid roll that is certain.
The other cool thing about both the rash guard was the fact that I stayed warm during training. I can almost guarantee anyone who has trained No Gi once or twice knows that feeling once you start cooling down the rash guard can sometimes make you feel cold however I did not experience that at all. Between rolls with the next training partner I stayed warm and did not experience the “cooling off” effect. The rash guard stood up during the hard training and after one hour of rolling I was still warm (not to hot) and I was completely rash and cut free which is always a bonus. Rating: A+ for my first workout and roll impressions.
FIRST WASH AND FIT:
After the first wash I was still impressed as ever with both the rash guard I actually trained again a second time the following day with the rash guard under the Gi. I accidentally left it in the washer on the second wash and my wife threw them into the dryer. Like an honest man on a winter’s day minimal shrinkage was noticed however IT STILL FIT! I would not recommend doing that often due to possibly of shortening the life of the rash guard but I was amazed that it held up and still looked as good as the day I received them. The fit was still amazing and I use it almost daily. Not only for BJJ this rash guard would look great out amongst the waves however the middle of winter in Australia and I am a wimp when it comes to cold water so no surfing for me.
1. Will not shrink on you after a wash.
2. Awesome Graphics to set you apart.
3. The artwork is 100% sublimated and will not crack, peel or fade!
4. Great price for what you are getting.
5. No infections or rashes to be seen whilst wearing this product.
6. Will be the best looking guy or girl on the mat on No Gi night.
1. Recommended to hang dry, so do not forget to pull it out of the wash before class so it will dry in time.
2. Sizes run a little small so if you are in-between sizes order up, worst case scenario send it back for a free exchange.
3. It is a little harder to hold submissions due to the slickness of the material although this could be the lack of No Gi training that I do. :) (Typical with any rash guard but it will improve the little technical details.)
4. You have to wait for it to arrive at your house. (Although postage from Denmark to Australia was not exceeding 2 weeks).
5. May have to use your BJJ skills in a real life situation if worn outside the gym. (Fighting off members of the opposite sex who are in love with your item)
6. May run out of room for all your trophies won for “best dressed” at events.
I have purchased a few different items from BJJ Globetrotters and everything has been of great quality. Christian has done a great job building his brand into a worldwide movement with patches and gear popping up all over the place. The rash guard I reviewed was the first release that was made however I can honestly say that the quality of the gear that comes out of Globetrotter HQ is second to none matched by their service sees this rash guard in particular get 4 Gis out of 5.
On the 27th of April 2015 the Western Australian BJJ Community came together to take part in an event that hadn't been done before in Perth. It was an Open Mat hosted at the pristine location of Rockingham Foreshore. The idea was thought of after reading the BJJ Globetrotter by Christian Graugart. The man behind the event, Luke Docherty decided to arrange a free event to not only bring the community together as one in a friendly non-competitive, non-affiliated environment, to meet new people within the community and to promote the art to the general public. Being rather new to the BJJ scene there was obvious trepidation about inter-school rivalries and the like, however the day went off without a hitch. With many comments coming back in about how good the vibe was on the day.
The event began at 10:00 and was started off with 2 pairs on the Mat, A self-proclaimed Mat Rat and blue belt, a 6 year old white belt Elise and Josephine Masiello (Black Belt, IBJJF Masters World Champion 2014). The quietness on the mats didn't last long as everyone started to get into the spirit of the day and started rolling. The highlight of the day for me personally was seeing a young girl 12 years old Yellow Belt (Lexi) approach a Purple belt Johan Schoonbee for a roll neither of the two had met before but the Johan accepted and had a fun roll with Lexi and showed her a few tricks that she later put to good use on this particular white belt. There was a wide variety of people attending with about 8 different gyms from across Perth having a presence. Every belt was well represented with a great amount of knowledge and technical skills on display. With the more technical guys not afraid to show the not so technical guys and girls a few new tricks of the trade.
Not only were the mats full from 10 till 2:30pm but the overall awareness was raised with general public walking by stopping with a coffee for a look, the odd person also asked plenty of questions about what was going on. Over the period of the day it is estimated that upwards of 50 people of all ages took to the mats to roll and enjoy themselves. A professional film crew filming the documentary “Tap Early Tap Often” were on location. The documentary takes a look at a local guy Anthoney Pietroboni a White belt who has been training BJJ after a Spinal Fusion and his journey into BJJ. Plenty of footage was taken and interviews were done with the majority of rollers happy to appear on camera.
Over all the event was a success and Free Rollers Perth will be hosting more events in the near future. If you are traveling to Perth, Western Australia and maybe interested in taking part, head over to our Facebook page for a look at the group and what is happening with our next events. We are hoping to hold these events at least every two months at outdoor locations around Perth.
The event would have been a lot harder to arrange if it was not for the help of several people including Helen Sarcich, Kingi Turnbull, Anthoney Pietroboni, Aaron Cadd for the use of their mats to help accommodate the numbers on the day, Nicole Docherty and Jac Qui Photography for capturing the day on film. Josephine Masiello for supporting me in hosting the event when I started to doubt the idea and spreading the word to her extensive network within the BJJ community.
Jennifer Perez returned home last week after a year traveling the world and training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. She visited 10 countries and 45 academies. Fresh off her travels Kostas Fantaousakis asks her about her year abroad.
Kostas: Jenifer, how long have you been training in BJJ.
Jennifer: I have been training since February 2012. I started Training BJJ as a way to rebuild my self-esteem and strength that had been drained from a bad relationship of 9 years.
Kostas: What is your belt rank and who is your instructor(s) in BJJ? Do you train in other sports too or just BJJ?
Jennifer: I was promoted to blue belt in June of 2013 under Amal Easton. I trained kickboxing and Muay Thai 2 years prior to starting BJJ. I had a 1 year break between the time I stopped MT and started BJJ
Kostas: How did you get this idea to travel around the world and visit so many academies?
Jennifer: Japan was always a place I wanted to visit so after my breakup I took some savings and booked my trip to Japan. Fast-forward, on my flight back I couldn’t help but be sad knowing that the high from my trip would soon subside. There was a Fidelity commercial that came on and at the end of it it said "Save Today to Live Tomorrow"...that was the moment I realized I had to quit what was making me unhappy and dedicate at least one year to myself. To try and discover my intended purpose. I read BJJ globetrotter by Christian Graugart and immediately knew I had to do that.
Kostas: Can you name some of the countries you visited? How long did it take to visit 45 academies?
Jennifer: I’ve visited about 50 academies in total this year and visited some amazing places like South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Mexico, Portugal, Singapore, Panamá, Puerto Rico and a few more. I started Jan 15th of 2014 & in Jan 2015 I visited my 50th academy AlleyCat Fitness Foundation in Casco Viejo Panama.
Kostas: Did you travel all by yourself or did you have other athletes with you?
Jennifer: For the most part I was alone but our Jiu-Jitsu community is so amazing that once I connected with at least one person from the academy I was treated like family instantly!
I met up with many friends along the way that stayed and globetrotted with me for weeks at a time. Like Vivian Velez from Puerto Rico and Talita Alencar from Rio. It was great to have full time partners who also enjoyed visiting other academies as much as I did.
Kostas: How do you decide which school to visit? Do you use the internet to get information first and then contact the school or do you ask friends and fellow athletes where to go?
Jennifer: I primarily relied on referrals from my professor teammates and other members of the globetrotting community that made suggestions on where to train. I did google a few places out on a remote island in Lombok but that’s because I was itching to train & no one there seemed to know what Jiu-Jitsu was.
Kostas: There seems to be a recent trend in BJJ to combine traveling and training. After visiting so many countries could you give travelers a few tips on what to look for and what to avoid when visiting schools abroad?
Jennifer: I can’t say I've had a bad experience because I truly haven’t. Everyone was always so welcoming. What I do recommend is if you are traveling on a budget make sure to call ahead and confirm the cost of the drop in fee. Also, as a female I was nervous at first meeting so many new people and telling people my story and the fact that I was traveling alone, it was scary but the complete opposite happened. It’s like I had big brothers in every country I visited!
Tip: Train with respect and you will always be welcomed back! It’s that simple. Our community may seem big but it’s quite small and if you are a good person with good intention the door to any academy will always be open but being disrespectful and rude will spread like wild fire and soon the doors will start to shut on you. Stay positive and happy always.
Also, I always had gear from my sponsor Newaza Apparel or from Easton BJJ and I gave them out to the professors as thank you gifts for allowing me to train there. Nice gestures are always appreciated.
Kostas: Every BJJ school is different. Some focus more on self-defense, others in MMA and others on sport Jiu-Jitsu. Did you notice any other differences? How do schools vary from one country to the other?
Jennifer: Yes there were many different styles of BJJ. I remember showing up to No-gi class with Prof. Nico Han at Synergy MMA there were about 10 guys on the mat and I was one of 3 women. I was excited to train, except for the fact that I was getting punched in the ribs when I locked down the guard and in transition to a triangle I was getting tapped in the head by punches from by partner. It was very annoying and I kept losing focus but I believe that was the point and lesson of Prof. Nico -- self-defense first.
Some schools that I enjoyed very much this year were Atos BJJ in San Diego & Mendes Bros in Costa Mesa. Both were very competitive academies with amazing training and tough competitors. Alvarez BJJ in Dallas TX has incorporated wrestling into their training and after being there for a week. I can definitely say there is no question why they have such high level performing athletes. I trained with Lucas Leite and Pati Fontes at Checkmat La Habra and their machine drills are amazing. I still use a lot of them today. I also spent two weeks training Ft. Lee Combatives with Prof Matt Smith, whoa, what a monster of an instructor. Trained with military men every morning at 5:30 am, def no berimbolos were being used here! Prof. Edison Takohara at OverLimit teaches Judo every night as a part of the BJJ curriculum, it was very fun and I learned some pretty cool throws. Every academy was different. I started at Easton BJJ where we had a curriculum and learned step by step, move by move, fundamental, intermediate and advanced. Some academies didn’t offer this. There is one class and that is it, sink or swim. You have to pay attention and learn quickly.
BJJ is a very artistic martial art and each country is painting with the same colors except every painting in the end looks very different from the other.
Kostas: Did you meet any famous instructors/athletes during your travels?
Jennifer: Yes, many amazing talented athletes. From Fernando Terere in Lisboa, to Prof. Rickson Gracie in Torrence, Lucas Leite in la Habra, Miyao Bros In Japan, Mendes Bros in Costa, Nico Han in Bali, Master Cyborg in Miami, Michelle Nicolini, MacKenzie Dern and the list goes on and on... Truly a blessed year.
Kostas: Do you have a favorite quote or piece of advice that was given to you during so many training sessions around the world?
Jennifer: I was in Miami prepping for the worlds and Master Cyborg was running a class and after 3 hours of intense training he said, "I don't care if you win, there will always be more opportunities. The only thing I care about is that you never quit."
Another great moment was in Lisboa, after training, Prof. Terere overhears me talk about my roll with my partner and says to me the best way to win is to believe you've already won!!
Ian Lieberman of Easton BJJ said to me after a really tough roll, Jen you are 5'ft 127 lbs. blue belt he's 6'4 200lb black belt. You did great! Hahaha, I know BJJ isn’t about the size of the person, it is about the size of patience you have with yourself.
Kostas: Did anything surprise you when visiting other countries?
Jennifer: Yes, I was surprised and impressed with the determination of my Brazilian brothers and sisters in Japan that worked 12 sometimes 14 hour shifts. Afterwards go straight to the academy to train at 9:30pm train until midnight, go home only to sleep 4 hours max and be up and doing it again the next day. Now any excuse I hear people make to not train seems petty and inconsiderate!
Kostas: To finish this interview would you say that the BJJ lifestyle is unique in bringing people of different ethnicity and backgrounds together?
Jennifer: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu isn’t just a martial art or a sport it is much more special than that. It unites and brings people from all walks of life to one center point. The mat is full of not just one type but many and that is why it is so beautiful. There is no discrimination, no racism, no politics, no religion... It’s all about the flow of the roll! That's why I love this so much.
[social][/social]Are you as addicted to the travel blog BJJ Globetrotter as I am? I am living vicariously through Christian Graugart posts and photos. What could be better than backpacking and BJJ? Christian is a BJJ brown belt from Copenhagen, Denmark, backpacking around the globe to train and compete in various arts of grappling. Read More >>