LUTA is a unique fight wear company that focuses not only on innovative product design but also on their strong sense of social awareness and responsibility. As a company they share 50% of their profits with Fight for Peace International, an international organization that opens and runs academies combining boxing, martial arts as well as educational and personal development programs. The academies are in areas of the world where there are few opportunities for young people that don’t involve crime and violence. For this review LUTA sent their two most popular products: the MMA Performance rash guard and MMA fight shorts as well as their newest innovation the Laser Tech rash guard. My first introduction to LUTA was at BJJHQ when the MMA Performance rash guard was posted and promptly sold out. Luta offers rashguards, fight shorts, boxing training gear, and clothing.
From the LUTA website: Born in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, Luta is a new fightwear and lifestyle clothing brand that brings together real fight performance, favela street style and a genuine social mission.
LUTA, Portuguese for fight, was founded for three reasons: 1st - There was a need for really advanced performance fightwear and trainingwear. 2nd - I wanted to pay homage to the positive energy in the favelas and the strength I’d witnessed training young champions there since 2000. 3rd - I wanted to support those young champions in communities that suffer from crime and violence, by providing Fight for Peace with a profit share in the company. Luke Dowdney
One last thing before the review. To celebrate LUTA's new US Website we've gotten a 25% off coupon code good for all purchases from the US shop! The code is: BJJVIP and will be valid until December 19th, 2012.
"You cannot stop the wave, but you can learn how to surf.” Onda Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Onda BJJ is a new manufacturer out of the East Coast of the US that manufacturers Brazilian jiu jitsu gis (Kaimu, Recife & Bavaro), belts (blue, purple, brown & black) and clothing such as hats. Their gis have distinctive styling and construction that is intended to please the eye and body. Kaimu is a Hawaiian word for "gathering [at the sea] to watch" and can be used to describe those watching others surf. Kaimu beach was known as Black Sand Beach and served as inspiration for the styling of the gi.
When asking for info on the gi beforehand, Jessy (from Onda) described it to me by saying, “The Kaimu is the equivalent of a euro sports car in the gi world: excellent form and function, lightweight and you just feel good wearing it.” Always ready for a mini mid-life crisis I decided to give this one a shot.
“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 two of our series exploring and charting Caio Terra’s Modern Jiu Jitsu series we will be focusing on his instruction regarding the Mount position. This section is available as an App directly from ITunes for all your Apple devices. This information is also contained in the first half of the 2nd DVD in the Modern Jiu Jitsu set. If you haven’t already seen it please take a few minutes to check out our review and breakdown of the first two Apps in the series that cover the Closed Guard.
Emily Kwok’s How to Defeat Bigger, Stronger Opponents was the first DVD series to focus specifically on what it takes for smaller jiu-jiteiros to not only survive but also to defeat opponents that are physically stronger and bigger than they are. For more on Mrs. Kwok I’d encourage you to check out her school’s website. Briefly, she is Canada’s first female BJJ black belt, a world champion (Mundials 2007), and has competed successfully at the highest levels (2nd place at American Nationals, and 3rd place at the Pan Ams). The mindmaps/flowcharts are meant to be used as a study reference and in conjunction with the DVDs, as well as personal instruction. The full set includes five DVDs but the maps are going to specific to DVD 2: Compensating for Strength, and DVD 3: Top Five Moves.
Modern Flow is a very new gear company that was founded by David Garmo and Saif Askar. David and Saif are both purple belts under Master Caique and train out of Warrior Way and Mash Gym in Michigan. Despite their recent emergence Modern Flow has been hard at work creating new products and already has a comprehensive product line that includes gear such as gis, backpacks and tees.
Modern Flow’s initial foray into the cutthroat world of gi manufacturing is the Ranger. The jacket is constructed of pearl weave, has green trim, contrast stitching and reinforced seams throughout. One look of the Ranger and I really liked it. For one thing the color palette is different than all of my other gis. The use of green, yellow and brown makes the gi stand out without being obnoxious and the embroidery give the gi a very clean look. The quality of construction was also evident with even a quick glance.
Hylete is a company that you may not be familiar with. Primarily marketed as a manufacturer of apparel for CrossFit athletes they offer a full line of products specifically designed for cross-training. These products include: training tees, shorts, compression gear, hoodies and socks. A lot of jiu-jiteiros use CF for their conditioning so why not take a look at some of the cool toys that they have?
Hylete’s Creed: 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.
The vision: continuously create innovative performance cross-training apparel that captures the spirit of the cross-training hybrid athlete.
During my first few months of training BJJ there are only a few things that really stand out in my memory. Getting crushed by absolutely everyone, my instructor weighing in at about 600lbs even though the scale said I outweighed him by 20lb and my friend Eric’s gi. Everyone one else had these simple blue and white gis and were completely forgettable. The gi that really caught my eye was a blue Breakpoint FC Deluxe.
There’s nothing subtle about the Breakpoint FC Deluxe. The previous iterations of the gi have made Meerkatsu’s Top Five Blingin’ BJJ gis list. The tradition of bling continues in the 2012 model and has been redesigned with a slimmer more tailored fit as well. And if you need additional incentive to read this review I’ve included a 30% off coupon code at the end of the review that is good thru Cyber Monday.
Do Or Die has gotten quite a bit of air time lately due to their sponsorship of Xande Ribeiro, arguably the top BJJ player in the world, and also because they are expanding their line to include limited edition gis and clothes for men, women and youth. They’ve billed their Hyperfly gi as the perfect gi. Upcoming limited editions include the California edition and the NYC.
Per Do Or Die: Your battle will be here before you know it. It’s time to get yourself ready for combat and show the world you know what DO OR DIE is all about….YOU CAN’T TEACH HEART
The gi has some notable features (spandex gusset for one), a very clean look and premium construction. But is it really the best gi ever…
Redstar is a Canadian based gi company that has been focused on making high-quality gis for competitors of every size. Their flagship gi, the Stamp, is available in three colors (grey, white and navy blue) and nine different sizes. Redstar was one of the first gi companies to make gis specifically for the taller and leaner athlete and their experience really shows. Egor has recently expanded their lineup to include fight shorts, belts and t-shirts.
The Stamp is a lightweight, competition style gi consisting of a 450g pearl weave jacket and 12oz cotton pants. The collar is EVA foam filled and the “L” models are specially cut for a slimmer build and longer arms.
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.