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...

Michelle Nicolini vs Angelica Galvao
Photo by Jiu Jitsu Style Magazine


Summary
Last weekend saw the inaugural staging of the Polaris Professional Jiu-Jitsu Invitational, or just Polaris Pro, at Cardiff St David’s Hall in Wales. It featured eight grappling matches between 16 high level competitors and was available to view via a pay-per-view livestream or as a spectator at the event itself. Each match brought its own drama and exciting action with four matches ending in a submission. The live stream functioned admirably and the event itself proceeded smoothly.




Summary
The deep half guard is a bottom game position that places you directly beneath the opponent's centre of gravity. By securing your body to one of his legs, it creates a deep instability in his position that will allow you to sweep the opponent with, in theory, a high percentage of success. To novices, it seems counterintuitive to place ones body position in such a seemingly prone manner, but this instruction set quickly reveals the strengths and advantages to using deep half guard.

Ryan Hall explains each chapter with an incredible amount of detail. The entire first disc covers entries to the deep half (which he suggests is not covered as adequately in other instructionals). Disc two covers the actual deep half position in further detail along with sweeps and passes. Disc three continues disc two with somewhat more advanced situations, especially when under pressure.  Throughout, Ryan's familiar high verbal output (ie he talks a lot) will arm the viewer with a firm understanding of the concepts behind an effective deep half position which should ultimately lead to a higher percentage success rate. I enjoyed this set a lot and it helped me overcome my own deep half guard phobias.

Information
Available to purchase from the Ground Fighter website.
Cost - $124.99
Length -  (disc one 1hr 30min / disc two 1hr 51 / disc three 1hr 23mins)

Disclosures
I have no business or personal connection to the producers of this product. I bought this DVD box set directly from the ground fighter website.

Photo by Olivier Martinez

Amber Stautzenberger is an 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:




2014 has turned out to be a fantastic year for all things Meerkatsu. My own brand fightwear and clothing line-up included a number of major releases which were thankfully very successfully received. I still managed to complete several big freelance design assignments and I even found time to review some gear too. BJJ training has been reasonably consistent - with my work and family commitments, I'm never going to be one of those guys who can train every day but after 11 years of training BJJ, I still love every session.

Here's my year round-up in more detail:




I'm very proud to present the Dragon Fly v2 rashguard that I designed for Tatami Fightwear.

It is available here.

You can read more about how I created the design over here, on my art blog.


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Win this unique collection of Meerkatsu stickers, art-cards, leaflets, keyring and an original sketch (the grinning sasquatch, top left).

All you have to do is show me how much of a Meerkatsu nerd you really are.

Send me a photo of you with your collection - big or small - of Meerkatsu designed clothing/apparel/prints...anything that I have with my artwork on.

The only caveat is, you grant me permission to post the photo of you with your Meerkatsu gear on my Facebook page.

I will pick one winner at random.

Contest ends Monday 15th December 9am UK time.

Email your photos to me here:



Usual rules apply:
No cash prize alternative
Some prizes include items that are unique and one-off
Winner will be notified by email and must respond within 48 hours or another winner picked
I will not use your email address for any other purposes nor will I pass it on to third parties
You agree that I can use your photograph to appear on my social media

Good luck!




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It is that time of year again!
Here are my top picks for gifts you can and should buy - either for yourself or for that special grappler close to you. I chose them simply because I think they look cool or I have sampled them myself and can highly recommend.


Check out my store - www.meerkatsu.com - for my latest designs. They all feature my Chinese tiger artworks and are available as a rashguard, fight shorts and grappling tights.



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Black Friday weekend seems now to be an established part of the retail sector...so here's my little bit to tempt the consumer.

HEAVENLY20 will get you 20% off everything at www.meerkatsu.com

Valid all weekend and Monday too. Doesn't include shipping.

Happy shopping!


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Summary
Big name brand carrying big name expectations. I found that the Contest did indeed live up to the Adidas high quality. I also liked the very eye-catching three stripe branding down the sleeves (though some observers hated it) and the fit was pretty decent for an A1, if erring slightly towards the baggy side.



Halloween has got to be one of the best time for artists to get creative. In addition to the above Thai Boxing Jack O Lanterns I created, I have also been busy drawing tons of horror related works over on my Instagram account - check it out by searching @meerkatsu.

You can buy the Smashing Pumpkins artwork as prints, posters and postcards over on my RedBubble poster site here: http://www.redbubble.com/people/meerkatsu/works/12916360-smashing-pumpkins

Here are some from my IG postings:





Stay scary people!



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I designed a gi for the US company 93 Brand. It is called The Zodiac and features a 350gsm pearlweave gi top, 10oz ripstop pants, interior yoke panel plus customers get to choose from any of the twelve circular zodiac patches. The patches will be sewn onto the gi in a position of the customer's choosing.

The gi is released 1pm EST on 23rd October only at www.rollmore.com

Here I write more about the background to this gi concept and offer a closer look in detail at the gi itself...



Strike Fightwear asked me to revive the 'katanapus' artwork I created for them for this, their latesat gi design. It's not out yet, but I believe they will be putting up a pre-order within the next few days. Final details regarding weight, materials, prices etc should be released soon on their Facebook page and other social media outlets.

***UPDATE: information released by Strike Fightwear about how to obtain this gi:
The Katanapus gi will be available via pre - sale next week via our website for the awesome price of just £80! The gis are already being manufactured and are expected to arrive in 3 weeks time. Sizes are limited to what has been produced already so first come first served. Exact date coming later today as well as a chance to win yourself one

In the meantime, enjoy these photos of the sample product I have in my posession:-



Following from the success of my Heavenly Kimono in black earlier this year, I am please to launch the white version gi. It features all the same beautiful construction and detail as the previous version...apart from a few subtle twists.

The Heavenly Kimono in white will be available on the 10th October 2014 at 2pm UK time (9am EDT, 6am PDT). From www.meerkatsu.com for £100 plus shipping.

It is also available from other retailers if you prefer.

Here is more information about the gi:-




I first came across É Nóis Clothing (website: http://enoisclothing.com/) on Facebook when I saw photographs of their unique looking t-shirts. In a refreshing departure from the many many type-led BJJ designs, or crazy animal art led (ahem, I'm guilty!) here was a set of designs that took a totally different path from the rest of the market. I spoke with brand owner David Telfer about his vision and his goals for the brand.


My new gi drops at the www.meerkatsu.com store this Friday 10th October.

Here is a quick little trailer video made my Hannah Jell.


 




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WIN A UNIQUE ONE-OFF CUSTOM RASHGUARD JUST FOR YOU! 

Yes folks your very own personal one-off unique Meerkatsu rashguard in conjunction with the highly awesome CRUZ CMBT (read more about CRUZ CMBT in my review here.)

Here’s the prize: 
You pick a piece of artwork I have drawn in the past (some designs are restricted, and sorry, I can’t offer any new artwork) and I will place that artwork onto your rashguard template. I can also add your name and academy logos, a slogan...any text you want to make it more personal to you. I can even play around with colour options. Once you approve the final design, I will send it off to my good friends at CRUZ CMBT who will make up the one-off item and ship it out to you.

Check out their website for size guide. Have a look at my own image galleries for an idea of past artworks - Flickr, Redbubble, Facebook

You can even mix and match, you may for example want my Heavenly Footlock on the front and the Bow and Arrow on the back of one rashguard. Or you may want my Dueling Apes artwork on the front while the sleeves have the Gentle Ape. Have a browse, think over what you want and let me know!


How to enter: 
**ENTRIES ARE NOW CLOSED**

Suggest a past design/s of mine you that would love to have on your very own custom Meerkatsu/ CRUZ CMBT rashguard.

Write your name, address, rashguard size


Subject heading: CRUZ CMBT x Meerkatsu Rashguard Entry

Competition ends: 10pm GMT Sunday 28th September

I will pick one winner at random and notify them by email. Winner announced on Facebook and here on this blog.

***UPDATE: A RUNNER UP PRIZE WILL BE DRAWN AT RANDOM TO WIN A RASHGUARD FROM MY STORE ****

Full Rules: 

  • One entry per person 
  • I can only offer artwork from my back catalogue, some designs are restricted and unavailable – I will advise which ones are available. 
  • Sorry, this prize does not extend to the creation of new artwork. 
  • I can however offer limited design and layout options on the final product – I will advise how much is feasible. 
  • Rashguard can be short or long sleeved. 
  • CRUZ CMBT and Meerkatsu logos must appear on the final product. 
  • No cash or other product alternative 
  • Due to the unique nature of the prize, it cannot be returned or exchanged
  • CRUZ CMBT will do their best to get the right size for you, but check their website fully before deciding 
  • CRUZ CMBT will manufacture the final prize up to four weeks from receipt of the final design. 
  • Once the design is accepted, no alterations can be made. 
  • Winner has 48 hours to respond – failure to respond will result in another winner being picked.
  • Both Meerkatsu and CRUZ CMBT overwrite all production and shipping costs except any import/customs charges when you receive the item (from outside the USA). 
  • Wear your unique prize with pride and joy!







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Summary
I was sent frozen acai pulp by post from a company called Acaiteria who are based in Bournemouth, UK. The package arrived via next day delivery, contents were still semi frozen.