Fuji has been manufacturing martial arts uniforms for decades longer than most of the competition. The company was founded in the 1960s by Frank Hatashita, known in the Canadian Black Belt Hall of Fame as “The Father of Canadian Judo”. A judoka since 1927, Hatashita received his black belt in 1934 and went on to act as a driving force behind introducing judo to the 1967 Pan Am Games and the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, in which he coached Canadian judoka Doug Rogers to a silver medal.
Hatashita/Fuji Sports was founded in the 1960s, expanded into the United States in the 1980s, and has continued to evolve through partnerships with judo, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and mixed martial arts athletes and organizations including Jimmy Pedro, Gracie Humaita, Ronda Rousey, Jeff Curran, and the Abu Dhabi Combat Club. This company has roots.
Fuji sent BJJ Legends one of their newest products for testing, the IBJJF-approved Kassen II Brazilian jiu-jitsu gi. It’s light, comfortable, no-nonsense, and may just have elbowed its way to the top of my kimono pile.
Intro: I train and compete in the Midwest, specifically in St Louis. I’ve been fortunate enough to compete fairly frequently and it was at one of these competitions, the IBJJF Chicago International Open, that I saw my first Quantum Kimono. I saw about half a dozen that day, many of them with Comprido/BRASA patches. The gis fit the athletes very well, especially the long and lanky ones. I’d never head of this brand before and was curious what they were about. A friend of mine is a brown belt under Comprido so with the help of a little Facebook stalking and I was able to track them down and beg them for their Comp gi to review.
"We started our gi company because it was so hard and expensive to the get the kimonos that we wanted. We decided to make our well-built gi at a reasonable price.” Quantum Kimonos
I would like to start this by telling you this is my first gi review. I'm really happy to have been provided the chance to review this gi, it is an awesome choice in training and for tournament competition. There are three prime characteristics I want in my gi. I want a durable gi with a close fit that meets all standards for competition in the federations I compete. I want the gi to be light weight and easy to clean. It also wouldn't hurt my feelings to find a gi which looks good.
As I judge the Estilo Premier 4.0 by that criteria I find it quickly became my absolute favorite gi. The combination of prime functional improvements and simple aestetics has made it my #1 choice for tournament or training day.
bI was first introduced to 1-Leg X-Guard by Emily Kwok in her How To Defeat Bigger, Stronger Opponents DVD set. I played around with it and even though I pulled mount more often than not I didn’t give up. I kept working on it, asked questions and researched on my own. Fast forward almost a year and this is my go to attack when my opponents stands or posts his leg.
A few months ago we were approached by MGinACTION about collaborating and this article is the result. What you’ll find below is a downloadable PDF (and graphics file) that shows you my notes on all the instructional videos in MGinACTION that cover the 1-leg X-Guard. What you’ll also find is an interactive map that has links directly to the videos in MGinACTION so that you can watch the videos that were just mapped out.
Conca “Our goal is to provide the best quality gi possible at the lowest cost. We strongly believe that everyone should be able to acquire the best quality gi to represent themselves and their schools while on the mat.”
The Joker Lightweight Gi by Conca
Style The Conca Joker is a white gi with colorful, what I like to think of as Mardi Gras colors. My teammate referred to the gi as my Miami Dolphins gi. Truth be told the color scheme was inspired by DC Comic’s Joker.
Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida is a Multi-Time BJJ World Champion, known best for his domination of open weight divisions, his battle with Roger Gracie, and his amazing leg lock and sweep game. Grab some of Buchecha's best techniques for Free here - and learn more about his DVD.
My "combing" of the BJJ world has been tending more and more towards some of the athletes who I feel have really "Rocked the Boat" in competitive Jiu Jitsu in the past year or so. Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida came up QUICK with his amazing win against Rodolfo Viera, and his World Championship and Absolute Division victories.
So when "Buchecha" came out with a DVD set - it was mine preeeetty much as soon as I could get my hands on it - and I wanted to show some sample clips of some of the techniques that Buchecha has online - and also talk particularly about what I think are some of the major virtues of his game. I don't really have the authority to go taking his DVDs and putting them online, but I wanted to share whatever was already online (I'm not a "pirate" of this stuff) and give some cool perspective and stuff you guys can use. Check out these killer clips!
Founded in summer 2010, Poland-based Ground Game Fightwear makes a line of Brazilian jiu-jitsu/grappling/MMA martial arts gear and apparel including gis, shorts, rashguards, belts, and gloves. In their own words: "Our products are extensively tested to the highest standard with the help from our sponsored fighters. Designs are made by people who, like us, are passionate about martial arts. We train, compete and are a part of the martial arts community and that is the reason why we value the relationship with our customers so much. We deliver products that we ourselves wear with pride everyday."
The Titan Energy gi is one of Ground Game's newest offerings and they were kind enough to send one to BJJ Legends for our perusal. The short-term diagnosis? Sturdy construction, nice embroidery, understated colours, and a comfortable fit.
Grab & Pull, out of Brighton UK, is the child of Gus Oliviera and has become one of the most recognizable BJJ Apparel Company in the UK. Grab & Pull is also very active in the European BJJ community. Recently, they’ve helped to bring Grappler’s Quest to Europe and will also be streaming the upcoming Copa Podio tournament. G&P is crossing the big pond soon and were kind enough to send their Premium Version 2 gi for a review. If the gi that I was sent is any indication of their products they will be just as big in the US in no time. Their current line of products include: tees, gis, belts, rashguards, and fight shorts. Now, let’s jump into the review for the Grab & Pull Premium Version 2 in White (A2)!
"Inverted Gear was founded in February of 2012. We had grown tired of the current trend of high price pre-order limited edition gis, which meant months of waiting and small window of purchase. We strive to bring a high quality product at an affordable price… We are not for the tough guys, our logo is a clear indication of what we are about. We are for the guys and girls that want to be on the mat… Be part of the Panda Nation”
I was introduced to Inverted Gear about a year ago. I was competing in my first IBJJF tournament and kept seeing these gis with upside down pandas on them. They were everywhere, seemed to fit well and the panda logo is pretty cool. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I was able to finally get my hands on one of these gis and see what all the fuss was about. BTW, Inverted Gear has the nicest gi bag that I’ve ever seen. My oldest daughter fell in love with it instantly and has claimed it as her own.
Overview 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 in early 2012 to almost universal praise (also here). The set is available as 4 DVDs or 8 apps from iTunes and is available at Mobile Black Belt. This set has already gained the reputation as a go to instructional for beginner to intermediate practitioners. The combination of stunning visuals, first-rate audio and expert instruction ensures that this set will stand the test of time. In this article, I’ll be covering the entire set. Included will be my easy to follow mindmaps (flow charts) that can be downloaded from a link at the end of the article.
“BreakpointFC was founded out of our love for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. We understand the difficulty of finding quality Gis with good fit. Our brand values quality and customer service. We constantly try to refine our products to respond to the demands of the Jiu Jitsu community. Where other premium Gi companies products skyrocket in price while declining in quality, Break Point offers premium Gis at competitive prices with excellent design, fit and quality. One roll and you will know the difference.” Breakpoint FC
Break Point’s new series of ranked rashguards are available in short sleeves. The rashguards are IBJJF legal, available in traditional ranks, kid’s ranks, pink and red. The rashguards feature fully sublimated graphics and are available for $49.95 from Breakpoint.
I wear rashguards every time that I train. Gi or nogi, it doesn’t matter. I wear half a dozen rashguards every week and I’m pretty rough on them. My typical rashguards last about 4 to 6 months before a seam pops or begins to unravel. Sadly, some have only made it a few sessions before going into the pile of unusable gear. Finding one that’s affordable, comfortable and budget friendly is very important to me and probably to you as well. In this review I’ll be looking at Apollo Fight Gear’s rashguard. It’s fully sublimated, has extra torso length, comes in long-sleeve or short-sleeve and is only $30.
"Lucas Lepri is one of the most dynamic and creative competitors in action today his techniques are smooth and easy to learn I strongly recommend his DVDs to anyone interested in learning the real jiu jitsu." - Master Romero "Jacare" Cavalcanti
Lucas Lepri has been one of the top lightweights in the world since 2007. In that time the Alliance black belt has won numerous World & Pan Am titles while teaching at Alliance Atlanta. Lucas’ newest DVD release focuses solely on passed the guard and spends a lot of time on the De la Riva guard and other open guards. With the rise of the Berimbolo and successful open guard players this DVD set comes at an auspicious time. Lucas Lepri’s DVD set consists of 2 DVDs and covers ~3 hours of instruction in total. In this article you’ll find mindmaps for both DVDs and some commonalities that I noticed as I broke down the instruction.
Manto has been around for quite a while and is considered by most to be one of the “big boys” of BJJ and MMA gear. Their current line of products include: clothes, kimonos, rashguards and fight gear. As athletes are getting bigger and stronger Manto has created a gi created specifically for competitors and those that need to keep the weight of their gi as low as possible. I was sent a Manto “X” Pro Ultra-light A3 a few months ago and have been using it regularly ever since. The gi is very light (the A3 weighs just less than 2 kg) and has a very slim cut. From the time I opened the package I knew that this might turn into one of my favorite gis to train in.
Dan Fagella, of The Science of Skill, has recently begun to offer what he calls Micro BJJ videos and articles. If you're not familiar with Dan he's a brown belt in the Rooster/under 130lb division. Dan has been competing at the highest levels most recently winning the NoGi Pans as a brown belt in 2011. Outside of BJJ he is working on his PhD at Univ of Penn with a focus in psychology.
In the MicroBJJ series Dan takes a fairly specific technique or situation and breaks it down to a very high level of detail. Many of these articles and videos focus on leg locks, an area of intense interest to him. Dan was kind enough to provide a copy of his Heel Hook Secrets video and as part of the review I'll be breaking it down into a handy-dandy map for your easy reference.
Intro: Flow Kimonos is a Boston based gear manufacturer that was created last year by Jonathan Leung. I stumbled across Flow Kimonos while searching thru Facebook for new gear manufacturers and after seeing some of their pictures and sizing chart (they have slim/tall cuts) I contacted them about a review. Fast forward 3 months. I’ve been training in their prototype unbleached hemp gi since mid-December and in that time it has become one of my favorite gis and a staple of my training. Flow Kimono’s hemp gi is manufactured in China and they are transitioning their other gis, the Pro Series White & Black, to China as well. The Navy Blue Hemp gi (production version of my prototype) is available for pre-order and should be available in late-April or early May.
Just about every conditioning program out there uses heart rate monitors to some extent. They’re great tools for reviewing, tracking and implementing your training. Is it necessary for everyone? Probably not but if you’re interested in your training and performance a HR monitor is widely considered to be necessary equipment. As a practitioner of a sport that requires an enormous amount of conditioning and fitness you’d think that we’d see HR monitors everyday but we don’t. The main reason is that traditionally a watch has been required to act as the receiver. We can’t wear watches while rolling and therefore we’re not able to monitor our HR during the activity that we’re actually trying to improve. But what if you could? Would you like to see what flow rolling looks like on a HR monitor chart? What about going 100%?
I’ve been participating in some form of sports for most of the last 3 decades. In that time I’ve had to adjust to different types of protective gear. In some cases it was easy, others took a while. One thing that I’ve never been able to use is a mouth guard. My early attempts at using boil & bite guards resulted in frequent gagging until I’d cut it down so much that it barely covered my canines. I broke down and purchased a nano-sized gel mouth guard about a year ago and while it did fit better I couldn’t roll in it at all. I felt like I was choking myself. I spend enough time getting crushed and the last thing I need is to make it harder for me to breath. At this point I gave up. I wasn’t meant to wear a mouth guard and I was OK with that. Then I read a review from Sally Arsenault extolling the virtues of the Bubba Teeth Mouthguard by Damage Control. I’d been tapped several times that week from jaw pressure (while defending chokes) and decided to give it one more shot to see if someone could finally give me a mouth guard that I could wear.
Gracie Barra has updated their Fundamentals Curriculum to the new version 2.0. If you missed it please check our breakdown of weeks 1 thru 4. This program is intended to provide a solid foundation for the beginner as he moves towards obtaining his blue belt. Their release video can be found here for those interested.
In this articles we’ll be breaking down the second App in the series, which covers week 5 thru 8. The content is available from iTunes and on-demand for all mobile devices, tablets and PCs. The Fundamentals set consists of 4 apps, each covering 4 weeks of their fundamentals curriculum for a total of 16 weeks of lessons. The apps range in price from $9.99 to $14.99. If you’re using the on-demand feature the instruction is broken down by the week and is available for $2.99 each with unlimited viewing for the year. Don't forget to download the maps in PDFs for reference, link is at the bottom of the review.
Intro: “Ronin is a subsidiary of Kinji San, a family owned and operated martial arts supplier that has been in business since 1976. As consumers ourselves, we strive to treat our customers as we would like to be treated. It is our sincere desire to provide you with the best quality products at affordable prices. We offer superior service, a knowledgeable staff and quick shipping.”
I first came across Ronin brand gis last year after reading Aesopian’s review of their Fighter model gi (currently on sale for ~$80). After a few emails with Doug at Ronin I was able to get my hands on their newest model, the Samurai. The Samurai is available in white, blue and black. The gi is available in the traditional sizes (A1 thru A5) as well as long (A1L thru A3L) and is priced at $139.95 (white) or $159.95 (black & blue) (which includes free US Shipping).
There is a wide range of personalities you will come across being involved in martial arts. Some individuals leave a bad taste in your mouth raising awareness of ignorance that festers in our community, while others will leave an everlasting impression of the positive people enriching our art and the world today.
Not too long ago I got the opportunity to meet an extraordinary group of individuals who take acts of kindness to a whole another level. Taking a break from Southern California I decided to pack my bags and venture to Denver, Colorado. In an effort to make the best of my experience I decided to compete at a tournament there while also hoping to get some great training at an academy.
Known for its outdoor activities and the famous gold rush Colorado is also known for having some great BJJ teams one of which happens to be the Relson Gracie Jiu-jitsu Academy Colorado run by head Instructor Steve Hordinski.
“The company was founded in 2011 by Kári Gunnarsson, an avid grappling/BJJ practitioner and competitor. Kári has competetive experience in both MMA and Muay Thai. The main goal of the company is to provide MMA/Grappling/BJJ gear of the highest quality, and just as importantly, with crisp/fresh designs.
We don’t feel that the majority of MMA brands out there appeal to us, as we are not attracted to the “in your face” style that most companies seem to cultivate, so we aim to create crisp cool designs (though not necesarily minimalistic). We take our inspiration more from surf clothing than from other MMA brands, and try to incorporate that design feeling into clothing that is meant to withstand MMA/Grappling rather than surfing.” Odin Fightwear
Odin Fightwear’s no gi offerings include rashguards (blue and brown) as well as board shorts. The rashguards are 40€ and board shorts are 45€. This price includes the EU tax. Those outside the EU will pay ~25% LESS (~$30 usd & ~$44 usd respectively). The gear has fully sublimated graphics, distinctive styling and a few features that you don’t typically find in rashguard.