The topic of this review is the infamous and colorful Scramble “Rainbow Spats” Grappling tights. Yes, you heard correct, I did say Rainbow Spats. Some call them tights, grappling tights, compression pants, nogi extreme wear, call them what you want except fashionable. I personally train the majority of my time with a gi but always wear some type of compression pants or tights under my gi for several reasons.
The popularity of the Japanese sensation, Shinya Aoki, submitting people wearing Scramble tights in Japan, lead to a mad rush to find gear that could possibly make your game as good as the athlete wearing it. But we all know that grappling tights have been around a very long time. I just came across a video from my 1993 high school wrestling days where one of the competitors had tights on.
Bull Terrier Co has been providing high quality fight gear in Japan since 2002. If you’re like me when you hear Bull Terrier you think of premium Japanese gis with a lot of bling. While they are still producing premium gis they now have several models that are more understated and will appeal to all tastes. One of these, the Super Gold, is the subject of this review. Bull Terrier also has a full line of rash guards, spats, shorts, clothing and other fight gear.
The Super Gold has a gold weave jacket with 12 oz pants and is currently available in black and blue. This gi features the high-quality construction that has become the standard for premium gis and is ornamented with high quality embroidery and a few patches. After reviewing this gi I can say that Bull Terrier's reputation for quality and durability is not overstated and is well-deserved.
In the words of the man himself, “Modern Jiu Jitsu, as my DVD illustrates, isn’t new jiu jitsu just a better way to do the things we have always been doing. We aren’t reinventing the wheel, we are using better application of technique to make the wheel better.” Caio Terra
Caio Terra’s Modern Jiu Jitsu series was released earlier this year to almost universal praise, also here. The set contains 4 discs and covers: closed guard, mount, turtle, back control, butterfly guard, standing passes, takedowns, side control, north-south and half-guard. The full set comes in at just over 5 hours and there are iTunes apps for the Closed Guard, Mount, Turtle and Back. Apps covering the other positions are in production with a release date sometime before Christmas of this year.
One of the first instructionals that I ever watched was Ryan Hall’s The Triangle. This DVD set was recommended to me by pretty much everyone I knew and after watching I can understand why. Ryan goes over the Triangle as not only a submission but also as a position from which to work on sweeps and other ways of finishing your opponent. To give you an idea of depth that Ryan goes into while covering this topic, the set contains 3 DVDs and has over 4 hours of instruction. This level of detail can be found in all of Ryan’s DVDs is something that you’re not likely to come across while watching other instructionals. I’m not going to get too in-depth on the review as there are numerous ones out there such as here and here but I do want to share a bird-eye view of what you can find in the set and tell you that this DVD set will help anyone at any level.
The maps (flowcharts) below are intended as a study aid and will never replace the DVDs or hands on instruction. They're just my way of taking notes and IMO look pretty cool too :-)
What do you do when not only are you and your brother avid BJJ players but are also involved in the family business of fabric and fashion design? Easy, peezy start a new gi company of course. Kaden of Mueawear has promised to deliver simple and functional gis that will continue to be pleasing to both the eye and the body. Founded earlier this year in Seoul Korea, Muae currently offers only a single limited edition gi, the Oniwakamaru, but plans are in place for more gis as well as a full line of fightwear and clothing.
The Oniwakamaru features stunning interior artwork that is printed directly on the inside of the gi. This kimono comes with all the features you’d expect from a high-end gi and few you may not have seen before such as ripstop lining in the lower half of the gi. High-quality construction and excellent customer service combine to make this an attractive gi.
Roots Kimonos is a new gi manufacturer out of San Diego, CA. Their first gi, the Crimson Tide, has created quite a buzz in the online BJJ community and we’re lucky enough to be the first to review it. Roots has committed to provide the highest quality gis possible while never charging their customers more than $144.99. These kimonos are intended to provide you with a premium gi, with a host of features while staying affordable. The gi in this review is an A4 and the Tide is offered in sizes from A1 to A4.
“Roots started because I was tired designing gis for other companies and wanted to do my own thing. I started with the logo and went from there. I used the name because no matter where you train, the journey of jiu jitsu has many roots. Always learning from everyone you see do jiu jitsu. And they have got their roots from many people as well. Jiu Jitsu itself is a root system that has grown a tree of many schools and tournament series. I wanted to bring something to the BJJ world that was an awesome product and had meaning to it. The Tide is the first major release for Roots but there are many more kimonos in development as well as rash guards and apparel.” Mike founder of Roots Kimono
Tatami Fightwear was founded in the United Kingdom in 2009 and in three short years have become one of the premier brands for Brazilian jiu jitsu gis and submission grappling gear. Tatami has a reputation for putting out quality products at reasonable prices and are continually expanding their product line as the needs of their customers evolve.
Their latest additions include the Flex Rashguard and Atom Series of NoGi board shorts. The Atom shorts are available in Black/Yellow and Black/White with reinforced stitching and fully embroidered logos. The Flex rashguard, currently only in yellow/black but white/black will be available soon, is the same as the one worn recently by Pablo Popovitch (picture above in the short-sleeve version) at the IBJJF NoGi Pans and has features that I’ve never seen before in a rashguard.
Be sure to check out the full review for a 15% off promo code.
"This is a decent gi. It feels like it can withstand the wear and tear of being a daily gi, without feeling like a suit of armor."
This is my second go at this company's gi. Just as before I really like this companie's vision and mission statement. As this is their second gi that I'm reviewing, I can't help but compare the two.
At first unpacking I quickly noticed the color of the gi. With out being loud or obnoxious, it manages to stand out with its own unique shade of blue. There is no mistaking it for any other gi on the market. On their first gi, they had a black logo on a black gi, but no one knew it was there because you couldn't see it. On this edition, the logo stands out without being huge.
“Daddy, that’s what you wear when you wanna be fancy” Lilly Corley, kindergartener and BJJ fashion expert.
There are times when we take ourselves (a little too) seriously and then there are times when we just want to have fun. Hell, there may even be times when an impromptu roll may break out in the middle of a black tie dinner. For those of you that have ever found themselves in either of the latter two situations here’s a rashguard for you, the BJJ Lifestyles’ Tuxedo Rashguard. Conveniently offered in traditional black, blue, powder blue, orange and with or without cumber bun. With so many options surely you can find just the right rashguard for your next formal event (if it’s good enough for Brian Wilson it’s good enough for me).
BJJ Lifestyles is the company that is responsible for the BJJ rank belts that can be worn with jeans as well as a full line of t-shirts, hoodies and other clothing. Be sure to get out the full review for a 15% off coupon code.
Review of the Datsusara HCG-03, the only Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu kimono made of 100% hemp
Intro: Datsusara is a gear company based out of California that specializing in making products out of hemp. They offer kimonos, gi belts, gear bags and clothing all made from 100% hemp. I was fortunate to be able to review their Hemp Combat Gi (HCG-03). There battlepack backpacks have gotten rave reviews from other bloggers such as Brendan at Gi Reviews.net and Seymour "Meerkatsu" Yang (including some awesome pictures of his kids inside the bag).
Datsusara is a Japanese phrase meaning "to leave the salaried/corporate worker's life". Chris K. Odell founded Datsusara in 2007 because, as an avid sports participant (in Mixed Martial Arts), he couldn't find gear that met his needs. Datsusara has a singular goal, to make truly functional, high quality gear. The Datsusara lifestyle means spending more of your time doing the things you love to do, and Datsusara is here to supply the gear.
Right out of the bag I could tell that this gi was something unique. This is the first unbleached gi that I've ever owned and also the first that is not made out of traditional materials (cotton). The impression that I got when picking it up and examining the gi was that of a heavy linen shirt and pants; the pants especially look and feel like linen. The weave of the kimono and pant both highlight the natural fiber characteristics of hemp.
Spending an abundance amount of time practicing Brazilian jiu-jitsu comes with its share of many hurdles throughout the journey. One of the biggest opponents athletes must contend with is a faction of skin diseases consisting of Staph, Ring Worm, and Impetigo that are sure to cause serious damage to those that come in contact with it.
Aspiring to provide a strong defense to this dilemma is the Athletic Natural Care product known as “GI Soap”. Taking his tragic experience of dealing with the issue creator Marcel Oliveira envisioned a product for helping out the grappling community.
“All products are made in small quantities so that we are sure that you will get the highest quality product without having to reach too deep into your pockets,“ Oliveira said. "We want to give back to the community and help out where we can, as well as helping our athletes progress.”
The products come in the form of a 5oz Soap Bar and 8 oz Body Wash all created with mixing ingredients of tea trea oils, Olive oils, Coconuts oils and other elements to form an all-natural product capable keeping one healthy and most importantly staying in consistent action on the mat.
Beaches, piers, harbors, and watersports these are some of the things that come to mind when you think of Oceanside, California. A city that promotes a healthy and active lifestyle there never seems to be a dull moment living in this town. Hoping to bring a little more excitement to the melting pot the sport of Brazilian jiu-jitsu has invaded this city thanks in part to the contributions of Ribeiro Association Affiliate school Oceanside Jiu-jitsu.
Established in 2009 Oceanside Jiu-Jitsu offers the best instruction in Southern California. At this great academy one will learn the core fundamental techniques that will aid them in developing a strong game capable of competing at the world class level and becoming a complete well-rounded practitioner offensively and defensively.
With years of experience in the field, head instructors Nat Soli and Brendan Guccione are the perfect mentors any person could ever ask for. Their ability to break down techniques to young children, teenagers, and adults gives the individual clear awareness of what is being taught which helps in their rapid progression in skill level.
Intro: Gorilla fight gear is starting to make a name for themselves by offering a high quality, competition ready gis in so many different sizes that everyone will find something to fit them. I’m reviewing the Slim Cut Apeman crystal weave in A4S. They also have offerings for more traditional sizes and for stockier athletes.
The gi top is made out of a 550gr crystal weave jacket (similar to pearl weave but a little softer and heavier), triple stitching throughout, includes a mouth guard pocket and a thick rubber core lapel. The 12oz twill pants feature 5 loops, a crystal weave gusset and knee reinforcements that go all the way to the cuff.
Piranha Gear’s entry into the tall and lanky gi market is a value priced (~$75) gi that is cut to fit even the tallest and longest jiu-jiteiros in your gym. Their gi is a simple single weave kimono that includes pants with a reinforced knee area and a “karate” style belt. This gi is intended for those just beginning their journey with BJJ. While the collar and material of the gi are much tougher than those in traditional martial arts it is not as stiff as those preferred by many competitors.
A few weeks ago Piranha replied to my request for a gi to review and within a few days I had gi in hand. I didn't have many questions for Bill but each email was responded to promptly and if this feedback is any indication Bill places a high priority on the needs of his customers. The gi came with a very detailed pamphlet on washing and taking care of your new purchase. While this may be redundant for many of you reading this, it's a great addition for this product's target audience, the neophyte grappler.
We enjoy using the same clothing and equipment we sell - that's why we started the company - so we could get good gear at reasonable prices. We were tired of getting stuff that wore out too soon, wasn't comfortable or just cost more than it should.
To date, the Tatami Estilo 3.0 Premier has been a gi that comes close to the top of my list throughout seven years of training. I am an avid an practitioner of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but my no means a gi aficionado or specialist. I’ve never actually owned a Shoyoroll gi or a “designer” gi for that matter and consistently sought “workhorse” gi’s to withstand the rigors of long training. I have since found that the more durable, economically sound kimonos tend to be less aesthetically pleasing than the rest.
Now for my thoughts specifically regarding the Tatami Estilo 3.0. “Balanced” is the first word that comes to mind when I consider this piece of Tatami gear. It seems to rest in right in the middle of the spectrum when it comes to all jiu-jitsu kimonos. It isn’t a thick, iron-clad workhorse gi nor is it a superlight competition gi. It has a desirable standard thickness for everyday training, and while it feels fairly breathable and light it is by no means flimsy. The Estilo is smooth gi, that feels comfortable to wear, but produces enough friction for proper training. In addition, it is a gi that provides for lots of motility. I attribute the movability of the gi to an ergonomic cut, particularly in the gi pants. A generous gusset in the crotch region coupled with the “Shoyoroll-style” elastic rope drawstring has allowed me to play a more dynamic open guard without fear of the dreaded “saggy-pant” sparring session.
This gi is priced right, durable, mis-matchable, giving back, customer serving and well fitting!
Newaza in their own words:
“What is NEWAZA? NEWAZA (ne-waza, nay-wah-zuh) is the Japanese term used to describe groundwork techniques. We are passionate about all types of grappling!
NEWAZA NATION: Our purpose is to connect grapplers with the ultimate grappling gi, and to use this as an opportunity to generate some $$ for a non-profit organization serving our returning service members.
We have chosen to focus all our efforts on doing ONE GI! Our philosopy is to have the gi that WE demand. Working closely with one of the best gi manufacturers in the world, we have designed a gi that is on a whole different level. We are truly passionate about it! Plus, we get to donate a portion of our sales to an non-profit organization that helps combat veteran unemployment, and that's the coolest part!
Never afraid of testing the waters in being innovative the Origin BJJ Corporation has undoubtedly pushed the envelope when it comes to the creation of their BJJ products. Once again displaying their willingness to go outside the box their latest masterpiece "Origin Mundial Technical Backpack” is the ultimate carrier suited for the avid BJJ player.
With a long standing longevity as a member in the BJJ community for over creator Peter Roberts has had his share of many travels around the world as a grappler. Seeking to assist his fellow BJJ players in making their trips less strenuous the Mundial Backpack covers all the essentials to assist a grappler’s expedition to their training or competition destination.
When buying the perfect travel bag three main components must be taken into account which consists of size, construction, and most importantly capabilities. The Origin backpack main functions cover these very important areas.
Although extremely large in length size which fits for a larger/taller person (I’m 5’6 -135 ponds) The Origin Backpack has the capacity of fitting all of life’s and BJJ necessities in one pack. The main compartment is one of the biggest sectors ever seen from any travel bag. After a brief experiment it was found that the Origin Mundial Technical Backpackis capable of fitting three kimonos and ton of other loose items in one space. This feature not only allows an unlimited amount of storage but also serves as the perfect plane travel item capable of beating those lousy luggage fees dished out by the airlines.
Editor's note: This is a repost of the blog Mapping my BJJ Journey by Matthew Corley. Thank you to Matthew for permission to repost. I hope this helps our lanky lean grapplers, not that they need any help. :)
At 6’4” and 195lb I have a real hard time finding kimonos that fit me correctly. If they’re the right size in the body, the arms and legs are 4 inches too short. When the arms are the right length the rest of the kimono fits like a moomoo. We’re in a sport with weight classes and one that tends to favor those with long limbs and lean athletic builds. So why is it so hard to find a quality gi that fits when you’re tall and lean?
This list is intended at a resource to help you find companies that made kimonos that will (hopefully) fit you better. The methods that I’ve used are straightforward. Using Aesopian’s gi survey as a starting point. I looked at each company website and their sizing charts to determine if they offer kimonos to accommodate those of us that a more lanky than the average person.
I am not including reviews for any gis (other than Aesopian’s excellent survey) at this time because I haven’t used the vast majority of the gis. I’ll be doing reviews for BJJ Legends and they will be included in subsequent posts so keep an eye out for them. I am only including brands that specifically include sizing for the tall and skinny guy. There are several brands that are cut to be more suitable for someone with a slim build but without actually trying a gi on I wouldn’t be able to give good information.
I wanted to talk about the awesomeness of X-Guard. As I said, I’ve been working on creating a patch for my own gi and my buddy Dave introduced me to this company — according to him, they make great kimonos, are fantastic people and do custom patch/rashguard work. So I drew up a design and worked on it painstakingly for a couple of months. Still, it doesn’t look like anything Meerkatsu puts together (and that’s OK with me); it’s a little rough around the edges but it’s what I wanted.
I put my order in for a couple of patches, waited a couple of days and sent an email to make sure things were all received and my gear was getting built. Here’s what I found out: Elmer, the owner of the company, is a REALLY nice guy. He called me personally to make sure I was confident in my order; to talk about the sublimation process; to talk about my experience with another gi company (see my post on Pans if you don’t know what I’m talking about) and to offer his condolences. He did not have an air of superiority; didn’t trash talk a competitor; was very honorable in how he dealt with me and really put my mind at ease.
Submission Fight Co.'s Hemp Sensation has some good, bad, and ugly things about it. First the good: Well it's a 70/30 blend of hemp and cotton. I am a sucker for alternative materials for gis. After my first experience with a 100% hemp gi, I was wondering how SFCo was going to pull it off. The thing of it is, they do. The gi is durable. I put myself and the gi through some tough sessions on and off the mat. I had team mates pulling at from all positions, from the lightest to the heaviest team mates. Off the mats I washed it hot, cold and everything in between. I've even washed it four times in one week. For the most part hemp sensation held up well. I enjoy the cut of the jacket. Now I know that this is a personal preference and it also depends on your body type. I am 5'2" and 145 lbs, and the jacket fit me like a glove. No excessive sleeves for people to take advantage, and not too short to be IBJJF tournament legal. I also liked the look of the embroidery, not too loud and not too thick where it would inhibit my movement. It is a personal gripe of mine to have huge chunks of embroidery on the arms and legs.
I enjoyed the book. When it ended, I missed her dialog, her gym and her training partners. Ms Stowell can write. She beautifully wove together the two worlds, one of loss and grieving and the other of a white belt in an alien land. Her BJJ angle is solid. She's no BJJ interloper. I read, worried I would finish the book without knowing any of the mentioned black belts. (Seven Degrees?) Happily, she gives a nod to OC's Giva "The Arm Collector" Santana. Her story has commonalities with many of the people whom I've been lucky enough to know and train with. I want to hand this book out to everybody.
Leticia Ribeiro, Beatriz Mesquita and Carol Vidal inspired younger generations of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu grapplers at their recent camp.
If you missed the Leticia Ribeiro Women’s Grappling Camp (not to rub it in), but you REALLY missed out. The camp was an eye-opening experience, an inside look into the inner workings of champs, and most of all, it was truly an uplifting experience for women and girls of all ages and skill levels. Sixty women and girls from 26 academies traveled from all across Texas and Oklahoma. One woman traveled from as far away as Puerto Rico to participate in the Leticia Ribeiro Women’s Grappling Camp in Arlington, Texas.