Intro: As most of you have realized by now I have an obsession with gear: shorts, shirts, kimonos, pants, supplements, anything at all. You name it and I’ve tried it or know someone who has. Shortly after I was introduced to the Ranger gi by Modern Flow I realized that they also have a cool new backpack. As an owner of Origin’s Mundial backpack I wanted to give this one a try and see how they compared.
A very cursory look is all that’s needed to see that this backpack is built to take abuse. If you’re familiar with packs used in hiking or high-end messenger bags you’ll recognize a lot of the same features. There are compression straps all over the place, an extra side compartment and extra red webbing. The pack has padded shoulder straps, a sternum strap and padded waist straps all to make it more comfortable with heavy loads.
Over the last year X-Guard Brand has made a name for itself by producing high-quality gis at affordable prices (<$140 with shipping included). Something that doesn’t get as much attention is their offering of customized rashguards. X-Guard sublimates all of there own rashguards in house and were kind enough to send me one of their “Save 2nd Base” breast cancer awareness rashguards early last month. I liked the rashguard so much that I purchased another one shortly thereafter with my school logos on it. X-guard’s customized gear includes rashguards, board shorts and patches.
Per X-Guard Brand:
“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.”
Intro: Lucky Gi was founded by Scotty Nelson who also brought us On The Mat (OTM) way back in the Stone Age of BJJ. Scotty’s obsession with gis began in the 90’s while training in Brazil and has been growing ever since. After years of traveling, training and researching he decided to make his own gis and to break with tradition by using factories in China, instead of Pakistan, and to experiment with other fabrics, notably bamboo.
Lucky’s gis have included the bamboo Fleur-De-Lis and signature fighter gis such as the Raphael Lovato Jr, Jeff Glover and currently the Diaz Brothers gi (also in black). For this review we’ll be looking at the Diaz Bros gi. The gi has a 550gm pearl weave top, 12oz bull denim pants, sizing options for everyone (tall & husky sizes are available and you can mix & match the jacket to pants) and comes with a travel bag.
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. 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.
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 and are available from iTunes. If you’re using the on-demand feature the instruction is broken down by week and is available for $2.99 each with unlimited viewing for the year. Each article will cover 2 weeks of the curriculum. The mindmap is available to download as a PDF just below the tags section of the post.
Early last month we reviewed the Hyperfly gi by DOorDie. Since that review was posted Xande Ribeiro, one of the faces of DOorDie, has been terrorizing competitors in competition winning gold at weight and absolute at the No-Gi Worlds last month. While slicing thru his competition Xande was sporting DOorDIE’s new fightshorts. The fightshorts are intended for stand-up and ground work. For the last two months I’ve been using and abusing them during training.
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 great thing about mindmaps is that they provide an easy-to-follow visual reminder of the techniques and positions covered. For most this is quicker to review and easier to assimilate than text notes. You’re also able to get a birds-eye view of how everything is connected and (hopefully) improve your understanding those intricacies.
The downside is that without the source material (DVD, book, magazine, etc) they’re usefulness is greatly limited. Don’t get me wrong, they’re cool to look at but how much are you really getting out of it? So what can be done about that?
"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.