"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.