Ronin Brand contacted me in July to do a review of their John Small’s designed 5 Borough Gi (blue A3L). Since then I’ve worn it at least 20 times, washing and drying it each time. In short, I’ve beaten it up as much as possible over the last 90 days. The gi is available in white, blue and black. Ronin also has sizing for long/slim folks. This limited run gi is simply designed with an illustration by John Smalls printed on the inside of the 5 Boroughs of New York, hence the name. [Editor’s Note: All pictures were taken after the gi was used for 90 days].
Johns Smalls, if you’re not familiar with him, is an avid BJJ practitioner and professional artist who lives in NYC. John’s artwork can be found on/in gis, rashguards, shorts, prints, canvas, etc… In our little corner of the world John has worked with Ronin, Shoyoroll, NoGi and Modern Flow to name a few. To Ronin’s credit they recognized the skills and value of bringing a professional artist into the design process (their Samurai gi was in collaboration with Meerkatsu) and continue to offer well designed gis (check out the Legacy gi). Now to the review.
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.”
Sprained a finger? Use a ponytail holder for extra support.
One of the guys at my academy showed me this little trick.
You've sprained your finger. You've iced, medicated and elevated. Now you want to train. Start by taping the finger to provide a compression. Don't tape too tightly. Next use a hair tie to support the injured finger. Sandwich the hurt finger to the neighbor finger using a hairband instead of tape. Its quick and when it falls off, as the tape inevitably does, just retie the hair tie.
Remember to tie the fingers two-by-two so that there isn't a finger left with out a supporting finger. For example tape the ring finger to the pinky and the index finger to the pointer. If you tape the ring finger to the index finger that leave the pinky finger vulnerable.
As the sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu continues to evolve, there are always new ways grapplers can learn to enhance their skill set. The growth of the sport—much in part to the rapid rise of Mixed Martial Arts—has thus welcomed athletes from all walks of life to give the art of grappling a try.
Long past are the days where the sport was BJJ specific. In that sense, I mean that I have had wrestlers, boxers, football players, track stars and average Joe’s all hop on the mat to learn the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Due to this influx of talent, the sport is ever changing and each sport-specific competitor offers a new challenge for many traditional grapplers.
Recently, the legendary Judoka, Jimmy Pedro, announced a product launch that will help benefit the BJJ players out there that are struggling with specific types of grapplers.
After his new book “BJJ Techniques to Defeat Bigger, Stronger Opponents” hit #1 under the entire category of “Martial Arts” at Amazon.com, BJJ Legends writer Daniel Faggella sat down with us to talk about the book’s success, and his personal journey of putting the book together. Dan is a No Gi Pan Am Champion, expert division champion many times over, and one of the most prolific writers and interviewers in the BJJ world, having conducted dozens of interviews with world champions, and producing three books on combat sports skill development.
BJJ Legends: Dan, you’ve done a LOT of writing about beating bigger opponents in BJJ over the last number of years, why did you decide this year to finally put together the book?
Dan Faggella: Believe it or not, I like to say that this book has taken me four years to write. It was four years ago that I conducted some of my early interviews with Justin Rader, Ben Askren, Draculino, and many of my heroes in the world of grappling, and I’ve kept up the interview habit ever since. Over the past year, after teaching a ton of seminars and writing a lot of articles on this similar topic, I decided that I finally had a clean way to explain the core message.
BJJL: What was that core message for you, Dan?
DF: The message of this book is pretty simple. Statistically speaking, the game of beating bigger, stronger opponents is different from the “normal” game of winning at your own weight class. The sweeps, submissions, and positioning strategies that the best little-guys use to beat the best bigger grapplers are unique, and it’s a skill and strategy that’s teachable.
The Brazilian Jiu-jitsu community has had its share of exciting moments, striking possibilities, and trends that have revolutionized the sport into what we see it as today. Continuing with the ever growing cycle, over a month ago tournament creator and BJJ Black Belt Michael Proctor issued an open invite calling out all finishers to compete in the Pacific Northwest's first Premiere Submission Only tournament known as the "Chess on the mat Championship".
Bring a new flare to the grappling scene in Washington the tournament's unique submission only rule system along with its prestigious prizes for the winners set up the platform for an experience all participants will remember and benefit from.
The buzz of Proctor's submission games extended throughout the region which got the attention of grappling competitors in Oregon, Idaho, California, and even across the border lines inside Canada all eager in putting their skills to the test on the competition mat.
An event shaping itself into another monumental moment for Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, the overwhelming response of over 500 foreseen competitors could not be firmly contained at a High School venue on October 5th. Due to this minor dilemma the "Chess on the Mat Championships" has been rescheduled to January 18th in 2014 at the famous Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington.
In an exclusive Press Release Statement Michael Proctor issued this announcement to all competitors, teams and coaches involved in the tournament.
Renato Migliaccio is a BJJ Pan American Champion, European Champion, and Brazilian National Champion. His new course called "Invicible Basics" is designed to give students mastery over BJJ's fundamental positions, transitions, and submissions, and it is not available online with his FREE Video series. [ Get Renato's "Invincible Basics" and Free Video Series Here! ]
Conceptual understanding in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a science. Conceptual understanding is the idea that a certain part of a technique will hold through in multiple other areas of the sport. A great example of this is the idea of initial snugness. If you can lock on your submission attempt as snug and tight to the person as possible, the more likely you will get your finish. If you attempt an armbar you are more likely to get the tap the tighter your hips are onto their shoulder. If you attempt a rear naked choke you are more likely to get the tap if you shoot your choking arm in with no space to give. Recently I was able to interview Renato Migliaccio and we talked conceptually about the essence of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
The worst thing that can happen to any athlete is an injury. No matter how severe the injury may or may not be, it can prove to be a major setback for the athlete. Some guys tweak an ankle and are perfectly fine, others may suffer devastating ligament tears.
Injuries are prevalent, they will happen! However, it’s all about how well you treat your body and how much damage you can take. For instance, NFL icon Peyton Manning—a living legend who is still playing to this day—had a major neck surgery a few years back. With an amazing streak of games started, Manning would miss an entire season!
He soon left his team at the time, the Indianapolis Colts, and joined the Denver Broncos. The result since returning from a neck surgery? Manning has kept his name in the top quarterback discussion and has transformed Denver into arguably the best team in the NFL!
The sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a tricky beast to tame. For an art form that has been around for decades, it never seems to stay in the same place for too long. Every year there is always a new technique, a new training method, a new grappler, etc. coming onto the scene, causing the BJJ world to take notice.
A progressive sport, it’s hard to truly stay on top of your Jiu Jitsu game on a monthly basis unless you are totaling some serious mat time throughout your week. Missing even just one night at the gym can cause you to take a step back, while your teammates take a large bounding leap forward.
The importance of mat time can never be understated. It’s where you sharpen your craft, and become better no matter how you look at it. As a coach myself, I urge all of my students to make it to the gym every night they are scheduled too. While it doesn’t happen with everyone, we do have a solid core group of guys that will make it to the gym no matter what.
Granted, by no means am I throwing dirt on those who can’t make it; things happen, and take you away from the mat, it’s understandable. But for those nights—and we all have them—where making it to the gym isn’t practical, there is always a solution; solo drilling.
As we get older, we’re told what we can’t do, or how we just aren’t physically able to perform like we used to during our younger years. While it’s true to an extent, it’s not a death sentence so to speak. Being able to compete into an older age—40’s and beyond—calls for fantastic discipline, both physically and mentally.