Last week I took my family on holiday in south Devon and used the opportunity to also attend BJJ training sessions at the Hybrid MMA Gym in Plymouth. Black belt Kenny Baker is the jiu jitsu instructor - with gi and nogi classes running five days a week.
25 Jul 2015
Choque, The Untold Story of Jiu-Jitsu in Brazil Volume 2, 1950-1960 By Roberto Pedreira
Available from Amazon UK £14.53 paperback (£6.49 Kindle Edition) Amazon USA: $22.20 ($9.95 Kindle)
Writer Roberto Pedreira continues his Choque series of books with volume two, covering the history of jiu jitsu in Brazil between 1950 and 1960. As with volume one of Choque (1856-1949), Pedreira charts the events, names, places, incidents and stories via exhaustive research through Brazilian newspaper and magazine archives.
Ronda Rousey does not do humblebragging. She, plus her sister Maria, who is credited as co-author, writes it plain and straight. And in My Fight Your Fight, it's clear she certainly had a LOT of things that she wanted to get off her chest. We are taken on a roller coaster journey from young judo prodigy to the most dominant female MMA athlete in UFC history. It’s quite some story and whether you are a Ronda fan or not, there's enough here of interest to keep you entertained throughout.
Goldweave jacket decorated with Japanese influenced graphics this gi designed by BJJ black belt Mike Fowler is quite simply the most beautiful kimono ever to have come into existence. Gorgeously comfortable to wear, sturdy yet still lightweight, if I could pick just one fault it would have to be the tendency for the goldweave to shrink more than pearlweaves. My sample ended up being too short in the sleeves for my long arms.
Available direct from Tatami Fightwear website (from Friday 17th July) cost £110.
Also available worldwide through various Tatami resellers.
I have worked as a freelance designer on a number of Tatami Fightwear projects. I have had no involvement with the Mike Fowler gi. All views expressed are my own.
7 Jul 2015
Art therapy colouring books for adults seem to be all the rage right now. Pop in to any bookshop and you'll see dozens of books dedicated to passing the time by nothing more simple than colouring in pre-drawn artwork. Here is an example of one popular book - Secret Garden - by Johanna Basford has sold over a million copies!
I figured I would try my hand at creating line art for folk to colour in. If you click on the image above, it will bring up a super high resolution image that will be good to print at A4 size on your printer. Have a go at colouring it in and hopefully you too will feel the relaxing waves of calm washing over you as you fill in all the lines.
Please note, all rights reserved. The artwork here is copyright to me, but obviously, given the purpose and nature of the subject, I'm happy for people to print it off and share their coloured versions for personal use.
3 Jul 2015
My online store - www.meerkatsu.com - is having a weekend sale of 20% if you apply the code birthday20 at checkout.
Two black belts under Roger Gracie - Nic Gregoriades and Oli Geddes combine to offer this 'greatest hits' package of assorted BJJ techniques designed to offer in depth tips that have personally helped the instructors themselves during their BJJ careers. Production quality and technical instruction is excellent and the set will offer help to beginners and advanced students alike.
Available to purchase as a digital download from the Jiu Jitsu Brotherhood webstore.
21 Jun 2015
17 Jun 2015
Excellent fitting, super light gi with stylish touches and barely any shrinkage. I noted a few areas where the material started to fray, but did not worsen over time. Overall, a fantastic gi.
This Suparaito was sent to me from the US Fuji store - it is priced at $134.00
Thanks also to Alfredo in Peru, who runs the El Jiujitero store
I have no business or personal connection with Fuji. All views expressed in this report are my own.
Anyway, hope you enjoy the footage. I hope to be filming more content showing the variety of classes and activities that one can train in at Roger Gracie Mill Hill.
5 Jun 2015
Available from www.rollmore.com priced $29.99 for one pair or $49.99 for two pair pack.
Plain, no frills but excellent value grappling tights from 93 Brand.
I have worked on numerous fightwear design projects for 93 Brand. I have had no involvement with this product. All views expressed are my own.
20 May 2015
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)
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.
Available to buy from the Gawakoto Store for £100 plus shipping.
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...
30 Apr 2015
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.
29 Apr 2015
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.
19 Apr 2015
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
25 Feb 2015
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.
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