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.
Intro: Roots Kimonos came onto the gi manufacturer’s scene a few months ago with their Tide kimono. Mike is starting 2013 with a new batch of gis and the first to be released is the Carnivale. The Carnivale is a white gi, available in tall sizes and available for $144.99. The Carnivale will be shipping out to customers in early February. I was lucky enough to get a prototype in December and am glad to see that the Roots has made another high-quality gi at a reasonable price. Something that I was particularly excited to see is the inclusion of tall sizes (A1L and A3L) for us lanky guys. If you're familiar with Roots' other gis the design will be familiar with some aesthetic changes (color palette mosty) and some cuts to the cut as well.
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 and the philosophy of Master Carlos Gracie Jr. 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. Their release video can be found here for those interested.
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. 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.
“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 three of our series exploring and charting Caio Terra’s Modern Jiu Jitsu series we will be focusing on his instruction regarding the Turtle and back control positions. This section is available as an App directly from ITunes for all your Apple devices. This information is also contained in the second half of the 2nd 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 and the Mount.
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 review. So, straight to the meat of it…
If you’ve ever watched an MMA event you’ve probably seen at least half a dozen different Venum shorts and walk out shirts. Just off the top of my head I can name close to 30 different UFC fighters that are sponsored by Venum. Guys like Jose Aldo, Carlos Condit, Wanderlei Silva and Jim Miller all use Venum gear in their fights.
Venum also has a line BJJ gis that include single weave and gold weave models. The good folks over at MAS sent Venum’s Competitor gi to me for a review. The Competitor is a single weave gi is comes in white, blue and black. It is available in the traditional sizes as well as A1.5 and A2.5 and is modeled by none other than Rodolfo Vieira himself.
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.
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?