Athletes at the highest levels have access to the latest technology as they strive for peak performance. They and their coaches are monitoring multiple stimuli, both external and internal, to determine what training loads achieve the perfect balance between improvement and recovery. As we all know without adequate recovery you’re not going to be able to train effectively and your chances of injury increase. Recent innovations and products have opened the door so that even recreational athletes can utilize products that just a few years ago were cost prohibitive to all but well-funded athletic programs.
Heart rate variability (HRV) monitoring can be used to quantify your baseline level of fitness, track you daily recovery, develop a personal strategy for peaking, and identify trends from changes in your training regimen. HRV based program have been developed for professional athletes of all sports, including the UFC, and may represent the next step in individualized training programs.
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.
"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.
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%?
When I first started playing organized sports about thirty years ago we were all told that water was all you needed after and during practice (it wasn’t called training in those dark ages). Next came Gatorade. Gatorade has been around since the late 1960’s and really took off in the 80s when the formula was purchased from the University of Florida. Everyone was drinking Gatorade to “Be Like Mike” or whatever spokesman was popular at the time. Fast forward another decade and someone figured out that adding amino acids (protein) to these drinks may be an even better option after training. As you can see, this is not a new topic by any stretch of the imagination but I’m hoping that I’ll be able to give you a basic and practical guideline on what you need after training, why you need it and how to use it in your training.
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.
Have you ever wanted to pick the brain of someone that has been competing in the Worlds since the very first one? Maybe you'd like to talk to a 4th degree black belt that's trained with luminaries such as Ze Mario, Ricardo Liboria and Murila Bustamante? Are your interests more aligned with MMA and you'd like to know how world-class wrestllers such as Randy Couture, Dan Henderson and Urijah Faber adapted to BJJ for MMA? What if you could get insight into all of these aspects of the sport that we love just by talking to one person? Enter Cassio Werneck. Cassio has a school in Sacremento where he trains himself, his students and a who's who's of MMA athletes in the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Cassio was kind enough to answer a few questions for us and share his insight into the evolution of BJJ.
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…
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).