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.
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.
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: “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).
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).
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.
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.