“A black belt only covers two inches of your butt. You have to cover the rest.” Royce Gracie
I became a bit obsessed with finding a belt made out of gi material a few months ago. You’d think they’d be everywhere, right? Unfortunately that’s not the case. During my overly involved research I found the Ligustica belt by Killer Bee. This belt is made from the same gi material as their Mark II kimono and available for $19.00. I was familiar with Killer Bee from their recent focus on custom gis and also because several of my training partners wear their gis. Everyone I know had good things to say about Jesse and Killer Bee so I decided to take a closer look at their belts.
Tom Barlow, Braulio Estima blackbelt, decided to work with a strength and conditioning coach to prepare for the 2012 British Open. Enter Will Badenoch of Plymouth Performance Gym. Will designed a strength and conditioning program specifically for Tom that took into account that Tom had other responsibilities outside of BJJ, didn’t want to sacrifice mat time and was coming off a long layoff due to injury. Tom went on to win his division in the British Open and said, “I can honestly say that I’ve never felt in such good shape during a competition.” Will decided to use his work with Tom to create an e-book outlining a 12 week strength and conditioning program for other grapplers. The manual, The Complete Strength and Conditioning Blueprint for Grappling Sports, is a succinct treatise on how to incorporate Will’s program into your training.
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.
Train to push yourself both mentally and physically; Compete to improve yourself, as well as those around you; and Live to be healthy in mind, body and soul. Hylete
You may remember Hylete from our review last year of their Compete 1.0 shorts. Since then I’ve become a regular customer buying their shorts, compression gear and even a shirt for my oldest. In July they added a gear bag to their product list. The bag is a voluminous backpack that can be converted to shoulder strapped equipment bag for extra storage. The bag has: a shoe locker, wet storage area, tablet sleeve, side-pocket cooler, metal buckles and comes with a 2 year warrantee. As a bonus to our readers please use the code: LEGENDS25 to get 25% off this or any Hylete product.
Platinum Jiu Jitsu has a small but deeply loyal following of jiu jiteiros that appreciate the flash of their designs and the quality of their craftsmanship. Each gi is produced in a very small batch, just 25 total gis divided among the 4 sizes, and features a fully sublimated rashguard liner. The rasghuards are based on artwork by Hawaiian artist Katch1. The exterior patching, embroidery and color schemes are all intended to compliment the interior artwork. Sean sent me the Grenada, #5 of 25, in A3 a few months ago and I’ve been putting it thru its paces ever since.
Intro: OSS made its intro into the BJJ clothing scene about a year ago. In that short time they’ve developed a reputation for quality and exception customer service. Their initial line up consisted mostly of BJJ-themed tees but it wasn’t too long before they begun to add kimonos. OSS has two models to choose from, the Original (available in white, blue & black) and the limited edition Wolf. The Wolf, $150, is a beautiful grey gi with accents designed by Seymour Yang, aka Meerkatsu, and the subject of this review.
"The GRIPS™ Kimono has been created with the finest attention to detail. Kimono Secret Weapon uses light, breathable fabric and is designed with a focus on efficiency. The mixed martial artist athlete today needs maximum mobility for athletic precision and performance. That’s why the quality of our Kimono is enforced in all aspects of design: temperature regulation, durability, and comfort.” Grips Athletics
We’ve spent the last few months beating up the Secret Weapon to see if it lives up to its billing as a high-quality gi with innovations that you can’t find anywhere else. Now on to the review for the Grips Secret Weapon 2.0 in White – Size A2!
“At the moment of exhaustion, inspire yourself to take on last step and that is when you have reached the next level. In Korean folktales, dokebi is a mythical being. Dokebi is considered to be harmless but nevertheless mischievous, playing pranks on people or challenging wayward travelers to a grappling match for the right to pass. The Dokebi’s free-spirited attitude reflects what we believe is the essence of the BJJ lifestyle.” Dokebi Bros
The Balance is Dokebi’s first in a line of BJJ gis that are made in Korea. This is the first Korean made gi that I’ve been able to review and to my knowledge one of the very few Korean made BJJ gis on the market.
Fuji Sports has been manufacturing martial arts apparel for close to five decades. They’re best known for their judo and BJJ gis, but they also make MMA/grappling shorts and rashguards.
“In Japan, ancient samurai utilized the base of Mount Fuji as a remote training area to prepare for battle. FUJI, meaning abounding with warriors, has outfitted thousands of professional martial artists since the 60s. Our products have been put to the test during rigorous competitions and training sessions. The result is high-quality products that are built to last and have proven to withstand the ultimate punishment on the athletic battlefield.” – Fuji Sports
Fuji sent BJJ Legends their Sakana rashguard, which they describe as follows: “The Fuji Sports Sakana Rashguard is a true piece of art with traditional Japanese design elements. Koi artwork symbolizes one’s will to succeed no matter what the challenge.”
“Established in 2012, Fight Culture Clothing is a brand that makes athletic wear designed for the warrior that lives among our civilized society. Our brand realizes that all fighters carry certain qualities inside their hearts that separate us from everyone else. We understand that in fight culture we are willing and eager to embrace hardships, whether on the mat, in the ring or inside the cage in order to be the best we can be. Therefore Fight Culture Clothing is committed to providing high quality apparel that will meet our need for intense training and competition. Most of us recognize that we will never be a World Champion or achieve Gold, but as fighters we are all linked by our desire to succeed – in our lives, at our jobs, for our families and to make a difference in the world.”
Some of you may be familiar with Flow Kimonos from my previous review of their hemp gi earlier this year. Flow also has an ultra-light competition gi. The Pro Series 2.0 is made in China, available in black ($144.99) & white ($134.99), has long AND husky sizing and weighs just a little more than 2 iPads. Seriously, this thing weighs nothing. Before this gi my Manto X Pro was the lightest gi I’ve ever had at just under 4.5 pounds. The Pro Series 2.0 is a pound less and for anyone that cuts weight you know just how nice that can be.
Al Kavadlo'sPushing the Limits is a simple, straightforward guide to using bodyweight exercises to achieve full-body fitness without equipment. The book is an in-depth exploration of Kavadlo's three favorite equipment-free floor exercises: push-ups, squats, and inversions (bridges), which BJJ Legends readers will recognize as key movements for passing guard, escaping a mount, maintaining strong posture, creating space when trapped in side control, etc. For those looking for off-the-mat ways to enhance their Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Pushing the Limits will show you how to get stronger, improve your range of motion, and increase your body’s durability without spending a dime on equipment.
"Al Kavadlo is one of New York City’s most passionate and successful personal trainers. A fixture in the ever-changing fitness scene, Al has worked with all types of clients including athletes, models and even an Olympic medalist." – from author bio, Pushing The Limits
Where to begin with this alternative material rash guard...
For one, the cut and fit of the rash guard is wonderful. I'm sure I'm not only grappler annoyed by rash guards that roll up and expose our bellies and get stuck up there. In my opinion submission fc hit the mark with the fit.
I've worn the rash guard as much as I can, both with and without the gi. And so far, the rash guard's construction has held up well. The logos, being sublimated, is there to stay.
Now the aesthetics of the the rash guard are crisp and clean. The only thing I was confused by was the design around the logo. For the longest time I thought that it was the ink bleeding on the rash guard. It wasn't until after a friend reminded me of the rash guards material, the cloud around the logo finally made sense. However, it is a bit of an eyesore. It makes the otherwise great rash guard appear imperfect. Overall, the rash guard is great. It fits well, and other than the ink bleed cloud, looks sharp.