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...

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.