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).
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.
"Lucas Lepri is one of the most dynamic and creative competitors in action today his techniques are smooth and easy to learn I strongly recommend his DVDs to anyone interested in learning the real jiu jitsu." - Master Romero "Jacare" Cavalcanti
Lucas Lepri has been one of the top lightweights in the world since 2007. In that time the Alliance black belt has won numerous World & Pan Am titles while teaching at Alliance Atlanta. Lucas’ newest DVD release focuses solely on passed the guard and spends a lot of time on the De la Riva guard and other open guards. With the rise of the Berimbolo and successful open guard players this DVD set comes at an auspicious time.
Lucas Lepri’s DVD set consists of 2 DVDs and covers ~3 hours of instruction in total. The initial DVD in the set covers: closed guard, butterfly guard and De la Riva Guard. The DLR material is the bulk of the instruction and all of the techniques are heavily dependent on your opponent wearing a gi.
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.
Intro: Sprawl has been around forever. They’re one of the oldest names in fight shorts that I can remember and introduced their first pair over 10 years ago. Since then Sprawl’s line has expanded to include rashguards, clothing and most recently gi pants. Sprawls original Gi-Flex pants were released about 2 years ago and just last month the Gi-Flex 2 pants were released.
If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if your fight shorts were 2 feet longer, look no further than the Gi-Flex 2 pants. The waist and upper portion of the pants are almost identical to a pair of high-end fight shorts and instead of ending at your knees the ripstop material extends down to your ankles.
Intro: X-Guard Brand gis came to my attention about a year ago. I was looked for a new gi and during my research I kept seeing references to X-Guard and their kimonos. No one had a bad word to say about their service or their gis. The only thing that stopped me from buying one of their gis that day was that they were out of stock. Clearly, I wasn’t the only one that wanted to give these guys a closer look. In December I finally got my hands on an X-Guard gi, the XG5 Element Series Sandstorm. The Element series gis are also available in black and blue to round out the color choices. The Sandstorm is value priced gi (it’s $134.00 which includes shipping) and consists of a pearl weave jacket and 12oz canvas pants.
“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.”
“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.
The Grappler’s Manifesto is a 347 page treatise on nogi grappling for MMA written by Lance Freimuth with the help of some of the biggest names in mixed martial arts. The book is intended for fighters and includes techniques from luminaries such as: Big Nog, Dave Camarillo, Jon Fitch, Forrest Griffin, Greg Jackson, Randy Couture and Neil Melanson. The book is divided into 10 sections covering the major positions from the top and the bottom. The book is also unique because it gives a sample gameplan based on the fighter’s strength: striker, wrestler, jiu-jitsu or generalist. The pictures look great, the explanations of the techniques are in sufficient detail, and you’ve find a wide range of techniques covered.
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.