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.
Intro: “In my opinion there was no BJJ brand that represented the beauty and elegance we all experience when participating in the gentle art. I was looking to create a brand that had meaning, that word that came to me was ORIGIN.” Pete Roberts
Origin BJJ has been getting a lot of press lately because of their move to have all of their gi manufacturing at their Maine headquarters. Origin is the product of Pete Roberts and his desire to get out of the corporate word and to pursue his passion for BJJ as a career (for a little more on Pete check here). Their products are designed from his experience as a student, competitor and teacher. To that end Origin’s products include gis, nogi apparel and training accessories. With a reputation for service and quality I was very excited to use Origin spats for my initiation into the world of spats.
In this part of our series exploring and charting Caio Terra’s Modern Jiu Jitsu series we will be focusing on his instruction regarding the Butterfly guard, standing passes and takedowns. These sections are available as Apps (Butterfly guard and Guard Pass/Takedowns) directly from ITunes for all your Apple devices. This information is also contained in the 3rd DVD in the Modern Jiu Jitsu set. If you haven’t already seen them please take a few minutes to check out our breakdowns for the Closed Guard, the Mount and Turtle/Back series.
I won’t go into too much detail on the quality of instruction (excellent), the audience (white/blue belts) or production value (excellent) because those aspects of the set have been covered in our previous reviews. So, straight to the meat of it…
It wasn’t that long ago when a new fightwear company burst onto the martial arts market scene placing itself in the endless superhuman race to demonstrate its strength to service the BJJ community with their products.
Soaring high off the successful release of its debut kimono The Assassin, Jotunn Fightwear’s phenomenal introduction has already established themselves as a rising standout company looking in constructing its own lane toward greatness.
Picking up where they left off from the stealth like approach they formulated with The Assassin Gi model, the second edition to the kimono series “The Samurai “ offers not only a clean look for the serious jiu-jitsu athlete but also displays Jotunn’s daring in being innovative, versatile, and different with the creation of all its products.
Taking the gi out of the artistically designed Netted bag you will notice clearly that the Jotunn Samurai kimono goes in a totally different direction than the crystal-weave classic-like concept the Assassin gi offered customers.
Intro: Apollo FG is the product of Mark Finlay and his desire to make a gi that will actually fit thinner/leaner athletes. As anyone that’s read my reviews knows I’m a tall and lean guy myself and the reason I started to really get interested in gis is because it was so hard to find out that actually fit me. The Omega series is a heavy-duty 550g gold weave jacket with 9.5 oz ripstop fabric. The Omega is available in white, black and blue. The gi has regular and slim sizes and most important of all you can have it for $120 (which includes shipping).
A few weeks ago I was in Orlando and was fortunate enough to have a little free time to train. It didn’t take me long to realize that Bruno Malfacine had a school in the area and I immediately knew where I wanted to go. I hope that most of you have seen some of his highlights but if you haven’t do yourself a favor and check them out. Bruno has a highly energetic and aggressive style that can best be described as a whirling dervish of passes, sweeps and submission attempts.
"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. The initial DVD in the set covers: closed guard, butterfly guard and De la Riva Guard. The DLR material is the bulk of the instruction and all of the techniques are heavily dependent on your opponent wearing a gi.
I had the fortune to attend the Gracie Nationals on Saturday, Gi Day. Thanks Rose Gracie for hooking BJJ Legends Magazine up with press passes to the event. Rose smart, woman that she is, ran the matches in belt order so the black belts were in and done first thing in the morning and the white belts were the last to go later that evening.
The longest match in Gracie Nationals history went to Adult Men 146-155 pound purple belts Adrian Montemayor and Michael Ledesma who rolled for 80 minutes. Ledesma victorious. Montemayors wife also had a long match, read here.
Gracie National 2013 sponsors included One Coconut water (http://www.onedrinks.com/) and Undergi (http://undergi.com/). Through generous contributions, Gracie Nationals was able to donate $300 to Child Hope International (http://childhope.org/). Child Hope International is an organization to help orphaned children in Haiti.
Congratulations to Melissa Davis on her women’s blue belt win after a long 30 minute match against Stephany Pulido. Although, it would be her last competition as blue belt, she was promoted to purple last Saturday.
Novel and well thought out was the kids “mats.” This area was two cordoned off mats where the kids could either run around (area 1) or do crafts (area 2).
Fame, fortune and celebrity in attendance included January 12 Strikeforce winner Josh Barnett, world champion Ranato Laranja, and Pat "Hawk" Hardy.
Now on to the LA FitExpo. If you don’t know already the Gracie Nationals takes place inside of the Los Angeles Fitness Expo at the LA Convention Center downtown. The FitExpo is attended by tens of thousands of people into all of types of fitness. Walking around never fails to entertain.
Intro: Roots Kimonos came onto the gi manufacturer’s scene a few months ago with their Tide kimono. Mike is starting 2013 with a new batch of gis and the first to be released is the Carnivale. The Carnivale is a white gi, available in tall sizes and available for $144.99. The Carnivale will be shipping out to customers in early February. I was lucky enough to get a prototype in December and am glad to see that the Roots has made another high-quality gi at a reasonable price. Something that I was particularly excited to see is the inclusion of tall sizes (A1L and A3L) for us lanky guys. If you're familiar with Roots' other gis the design will be familiar with some aesthetic changes (color palette mosty) and some cuts to the cut as well.
Intro: Sprawl has been around forever. They’re one of the oldest names in fight shorts that I can remember and introduced their first pair over 10 years ago. Since then Sprawl’s line has expanded to include rashguards, clothing and most recently gi pants. Sprawls original Gi-Flex pants were released about 2 years ago and just last month the Gi-Flex 2 pants were released.
If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if your fight shorts were 2 feet longer, look no further than the Gi-Flex 2 pants. The waist and upper portion of the pants are almost identical to a pair of high-end fight shorts and instead of ending at your knees the ripstop material extends down to your ankles.
Gracie Barra has updated their Fundamentals Curriculum to the new version 2.0. This 16 week program was designed by GB black belts, Ricardo Almeida and Marcio Feitosa and the philosophy of Master Carlos Gracie Jr. The lessons are broken down into 16 weeks of training that is repeated through out the year. The techniques are a combination of self defense, sport jiu-jitsu and MMA. 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 series of articles we’ll be breaking down the full curriculum of Gracie Barra Fundamentals 2.0. 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.
It is that time of year where some of you will either have broken your New Year’s resolution or your pushing forward with your goal. Either way what better way to start the year than getting yourself some new gear. We all know that great looking gear makes your game at least 1% better. At the end of the day there is only two options; you either win, or you learn so why not do it in style.
NOGI Industries is a brand that has been making quality grappling gear since 2003. They pride themselves in making quality gear for people that train, by people that train. In this review we will first be discussing the NOGI Industries Volt 2.0 Gray Trunks and NOGI Industries Long Sleeve Jet Rash Guard.
The NOGI Industries Volt 2.0 gray shorts are made of 100% polyester and come with a four way stretch crotch that makes them super tough (In the pictures above you can see the crotch section from thigh to thigh is black and is stretch fabric), color accented piping, embroidered logos throughout and a pretty sick PVC logo on the waist strap. The material is light and airy and made with 100% polyester for increased durability. They are available in waist sizes 28 all the way thru 42. The logos on the front and back are embroidered and give the shorts a sense of style without being over done.
Intro: X-Guard Brand gis came to my attention about a year ago. I was looked for a new gi and during my research I kept seeing references to X-Guard and their kimonos. No one had a bad word to say about their service or their gis. The only thing that stopped me from buying one of their gis that day was that they were out of stock. Clearly, I wasn’t the only one that wanted to give these guys a closer look. In December I finally got my hands on an X-Guard gi, the XG5 Element Series Sandstorm. The Element series gis are also available in black and blue to round out the color choices. The Sandstorm is value priced gi (it’s $134.00 which includes shipping) and consists of a pearl weave jacket and 12oz canvas pants.
“At X-Guard Brand Fight Wear, we believe that fashion, quality, and performance go hand-in-hand. Our premium jiu jitsu kimonos, IBJJF approved rash guards, and fight shorts have been mat tested and are cage approved. We listen to our customers, read reviews, and participate in the sport which helps us continually push our Jiu-Jitsu / MMA fight wear to the next level.”
“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
In part three of our series exploring and charting Caio Terra’s Modern Jiu Jitsu series we will be focusing on his instruction regarding the Turtle and back control positions. This section is available as an App directly from ITunes for all your Apple devices. This information is also contained in the second half of the 2nd DVD in the Modern Jiu Jitsu set. If you haven’t already seen them please take a few minutes to check out our breakdowns for the Closed Guard and the Mount.
I won’t go into too much detail on the quality of instruction (excellent), the audience (white/blue belts) or production value (excellent) because those aspects of the set have been covered in our previous review. So, straight to the meat of it…
The Grappler’s Manifesto is a 347 page treatise on nogi grappling for MMA written by Lance Freimuth with the help of some of the biggest names in mixed martial arts. The book is intended for fighters and includes techniques from luminaries such as: Big Nog, Dave Camarillo, Jon Fitch, Forrest Griffin, Greg Jackson, Randy Couture and Neil Melanson. The book is divided into 10 sections covering the major positions from the top and the bottom. The book is also unique because it gives a sample gameplan based on the fighter’s strength: striker, wrestler, jiu-jitsu or generalist. The pictures look great, the explanations of the techniques are in sufficient detail, and you’ve find a wide range of techniques covered.