Summary
Stylish and super practical backpack designed to carry a full gi and nogi set along with accessories and all the accoutrement necessary for a day out travelling to training or a competition. The bag was very comfortable to carry even when loaded with heavy items, I found however, the material was a bit too plasticky compared to my usual backpack (Datsusara Battlepack Mini) and the lack of a water bottle holder to be a major omission. Overall however, great value for money and thoughtfully designed backpack.

Available to buy from the Tatami Fightwear website here.
Price £39.50 (roughly $62USD)



Summary
An attractively designed, soft fabric uniform with a great feel and overall fit, except for shrinkage along the sleeves - typical for goldweave fabrics - which resulted in a gi with arms too short for my personal dimensions.

Information
Available to buy from the Gawakoto Store for £100 plus shipping.

Disclosures
I have worked with Bong Abad, owner of Gawakoto, on a number of collaborative projects in the past. I have had no involvement with this product. All views expressed in this review are my own and represent what I feel is a fair and unbiased opinion of the product.




Super15 is a brand new event based on the now popular submission only grappling super fight format ala Metamoris, Polaris etc. For this event, the '15' represents the maximum number of minutes for each fight. A win could only be called when one opponent submits another. I was asked by the organisers and Jiu Jitsu Style magazine to take photographs. Here are a few gems from the night...




The Red Panda I drew for Tatami Fightwear is available now from their store, or a week later throught their worldwide sellers.

This design is the sequel to the Beijing Pandas I created for them back in 2013.

The Chinese wording (xiao xiong mao) simply says 'small panda' which is what the red panda is called in China. I wonder why not 'hong xiong mao?' Perhaps a wise Chinese studies expert can comment here to educate me?

Anyway, if you would like to read more on how I drew these critters, head on over to my art blog.

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Following on from the success of my mandrill themed t-shirt, rashguard and gi designs for 93 Brand, I have now created spats, with all new artwork.

They can be purchased on the 30th April at 11pm Eastern time over on BJJHQ.com.

If there are any left, I imagine they'll also be available on their sister site Rollmore.com and the brand new soon to open Rollmore Superstore.

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Summary
Basic, lightweight, no-frills BJJ uniform aimed at the beginner's market, this gi was comfortable, well fitting and reasonably durable, although a few cosmetic stitching issues marred an otherwise good value for money product.

Information
This gi is available from BJJ Warehouse priced at $89.99
The product comes with a free white belt.
Shipping is free within the US.
It is also available in white.

Disclosures
I have no personal connection with BJJ Warehouse. The company does stock some of my Meerkatsu products. All views expressed in this review are my own personal opinions.


3 Apr 2015

Meerkatsu Art


I created a stained glass window style piece of artwork showing Jesus fighting Satan.

You can buy this as a poster or art print on my Redbubble page here.

You can read more about the background to this piece here over on my art blog.

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Summary
Novel and innovative multimedia facets add extra value to this digital book covering the crucifix hold-down and submission. More than just a step by step guide, this book is also a convincing argument for viewing the position as an entire submission gameplan.

Website: http://artechokemedia.com/mastering-the-crucifix/
Price: $39.95 (Chapter two available as a free sample)
Formats: Available to read directly via the website, or as an interactive PDF.

Disclosures - I have no business or personal connection with the authors. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.



I created some artwork of the legendary Japanese female warrior known as Tomoe Gozen. I based my interpretation closely on an original print created between 1808-1880 by the artist Shuntei Katsukawa. You can see a photograph of the original print here.

The t-shirt was created for a fundraising Grapplethon in Bristol hosted by Artemis BJJ in aid of Equality Now.

I have a one-off, sized A2 print in full colour and one t-shirt (size Medium or Large) available on Ebay. All profits from the auction will be donated to the Grapplethon fundraising account.

The print is made with archival Ultrachrome inks on Hahnemuehle German Etching heavyweight art paper.

Bid now HERE!

Here are more photographs:



I was asked by France-based fightwear brand Pride or Die to create a t-shirt for their company. The result is the Inner Demons t-shirt and features a 7-colour screenprint based on a twist to vintage Japanese samurai art.

You can buy it on the Pride or Die website here.




Summary
I test out the rashguard printing service offered by FightgearUK.com a British company that will make custom printed fightwear in small numbers.

Disclosures - I have no personal or business connection with Fightgear UK. All views expressed in this report are my own.



Summary
Tatami Fightwear continue their top of the line range of regular BJJ gis with this, the number 5 incarnation of their popular Estilo range. It offers the same solid, well built characteristics of the previous Estilos with smart new graphics and an added inner yoke liner. There is also a wider side vent, something they refer to as the Y-shaped vent, although I was not wholly convinced of its functional merits.

Disclosures
I have produced a number of designs on a freelance basis for Tatami Fightwear. I have had no involvement with this product. All views expressed are my own.

Information: Available from: www.tatamifightwear.com
Price: £99




Red belt Master Reyson Gracie (9th degree black belt) taught a BJJ self defence seminar today at our academy, Mill Hill BJJ.



I have two new rashguards freshly landed into my store.

Graceful Kimura is the next in my series of Japanese ladies submitting demons using jiu jitsu techniques.

Cerberus was inspired by the mythical beast guarding the gates of hell.

Available from www.meerkatsu.com store and several worldwide retailers.


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I have a new product in the Meerkatsu store - the Kiss of the Dragon hooded top. You can buy it here: http://www.meerkatsu.com/Kiss-of-the-Dragon-Hooded-Top_p_68.html

It features a Chinese dragon, hand drawn by me and applied onto the hoodie with soft water based inks. The front features some hand drawn lettering sewn on as a piece of distressed applique. The top itself is a snug 330gsm cotton - poly mix (80-20).




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Summary
A close examination of jiu jitsu positions and techniques based around the concept of opening the opponent's elbow away from their torso, ie the open elbow. This set includes a detailed breakdown of how the kimura lock and the omoplata, among others, work by focusing on the open elbow. Ryan Hall brings his usual high verbal output to the chapters, informing the viewer with a perhaps more conceptual led instructional set compared to his previous offerings.

DVD Review: The Open Elbow, Ryan Hall
Available from: www.groundfighter.com
Cost: $124.99 for three disc box set (Disc1 1hr 2min, Disc2 1hr 37min, Disc 3 1hr 34min total: 4 hrs 13mins)

Disclosures: I have no connection with either Ryan or the DVD publishers. I bought this DVD set from Groundfighter.com. All views expressed in this report are my own.




Someone asked me how many BJJ gis I have designed or featured my artwork. I had to check back at my archives because I honestly couldn't remember. The first gi I designed was back in 2011, actually two assignments came along at the same time, one for Black Eagle Fightwear to design the Raptor gi and another for Ronin Brand to design a bunch of samurai themed gi colourways. Happy days!

I'm thankful for all the brand owners who entrusted me with artwork design and for the punters who liked them enough to spend their hard earned money. Here's to many more gi designs for the future!






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You'd have to be living under a rock not to notice the riot of colour that is the brand, Newaza Apparel. For just over a year or so they've been rolling out crazy design after crazy design, and the people love them! I have even got onto the Newaza Express too with my own contributions - the Slow Your Roll snails T-shirt and the Season's Beatings Xmas sweater.

Newaza Apparel owner Travis Warner took a few minutes out to chat with me:-




Hey, BJJ guys and girls, I bet most of you have heard many of the following irritating things that other (martial artists) have said about our beloved sport. This is my list, feel free to show it to your non-BJJ friends.



I designed the third installment of the honey badger series of gis for Tatami Fightwear. It goes on sale through their store and trusted resellers on Friday 30th January 2015.

Here are more photos:


I have three new T-shirt designs available at my store - www.meerkatsu.com.

Each was inspired by a different popular culture icon and twisted to give it the jiu jitsu spin. Here is a little more about each product:-



Summary
A stunningly designed gi featuring the artwork of MMA fighter, BJJ black belt and tattoo artist Luke Stewart. Luke owns the tattoo shop Seventh Son, hence the name of this gi. This gi was light, comfortable and, despite the in-built liner, cool to wear. There was a slight issue with the drawstring, but apart from that, the gi performed admirably over 2 months of solid rolling.

Information
This gi was only available as a strictly limited edition kimono. As with most previous Shoyoroll batch releases, these gis sold out within a very short time on release day. I bought my model from UK distributor, Grapplers Delight for £150 incl postage.

Disclosures
I have no personal or business connection with Shoyoroll. All views expressed in this review are my own.


Photo by Esther Lin
Jinh Yu Frey is a Pro MMA athlete based in Texas. She officially reps my Meerkatsu brand so I thought it would be a good opportunity for my readers to find out a little more about her martial art exploits:




Summary
Mike Fowler visited our academy as a guest instructor and taught us a snapshot of his trademark moves that have made him a notable star in the BJJ tournament circuit. Here is my report on the session...