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!


.


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!



.




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.


 




.



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!







.


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.





Book review: Choque: The Untold story of Jiu-Jitsu in Brazil 1856-1949


Summary
Writer Roberto Pedreira delves into Brazilian newspaper archives in a quest to uncover as much verifiable information about the origin of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Along the way, he uncovers some uncomfortable truths that may alter your perception over who did what, where and when between 1856 and 1949.  At 744 pages, it is a weighty volume and much of it consists of lists of names, fights and other accounts of raw data culled from newspaper reports and adverts. 240 pages are dedicated as an appendix and this includes numerous photographs and press clippings. It all adds up to an essential read for any self respecting BJJ enthusiast and sets the scene for an eagerly anticipated Volume 2.



Information
Available from: Amazon in paperback or digital format
Pages: 744 (240 pages of which form the appendix)
Price: £10.68 book, £6.19 Kindle
Language: English
Print version weight:  1.2kg



XTAL Clothing is a new BJJ and surfing influenced lifestyle brand based in Manchester, UK. I spoke with owner Tim Fong about the vision behind his brand.



Summary
Strike issue the sequel to their first Crowd Control gi - a gi that was in part designed through popular voting by online followers. I found my sample to be made from the usual good quality standard and value for money price point that Strike is known for. I wasn't too keen on the quality of the drawstring, but apart from that, it's a great lightweight and stylish general rolling BJJ uniform.

Information
Strike Fightwear Crowd Control 2.0
Available from the Strike Fightwear website
Size range: A0 to A4 including A1L and A2L mid sizes.
Price: £75

Disclosures
I have done freelance design work for Strike Fightwear in the past. I have no involvement with this product. All views expressed in this report are my own.



Following the success of my white tiger design and continuing the Chinese four seasons project for Kenka is this design - the black tortoise. In Chinese traditional paintings and sculptures, the black tortoise is often shown entwined with a snake.

You can buy it here on the Kenka website.

Some more photos:-




Summary
Short 55 minute journey examining jiu jitsu techniques from a conceptual viewpoint. The DVD features two renowned instructors, Kit Dale and Nicolas Gregoriades, who alternate on the video teaching concepts that help with improving all areas of ones jiu jitsu game. Although there are techniques shown, these are used merely to illustrate the concept being discussed. The theory being, that understanding concepts will allow the student to apply these to a much wider array of techniques.

Available
In DVD format ($59.99) or digital download ($49.99) at: http://www.gobeyondtechnique.com/
Length: 55 mins 44 seconds

Disclosures
I have trained with Nic Gregoriades and known Kit Dale online for past few years. I have had no personal involvement with this project. This review is based solely on my own opinions.



Quick summer discount code - SUMMER15 - (caps lock on). Runs from 2nd August until 4th August 2014.

Have fun!


.


Summary
Generously sized soap bars and liquid soap bottle with strong yet attractive aromas. The products lasted a long time, arguably way longer than previous soaps aimed at MMA/grappling audience. I enjoyed using the soap bars but did not like the liquid soap.



Andre Galvao is one of the titans in the sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (read about him here.) The fightwear brand Kingz asked me to design the rashguard he would wear for the forthcoming Metamoris 4 event. As you can imagine, I jumped at the chance!

The story behind this concept began when Bruno, owner of Kingz, gave me an open brief. He told me to just design anything that would stand out. Heh, that's absolutely my perfect brief. Well, Galvao and his Atos branding is very openly religious so for me, the lion seemed to be an obvious choice for so many symbolic reasons. And not just religious, but historical and culturally, the lion fits in so well.

Early concept sketch


Hopefully you can see in the final product my intention to create a fierce intensity with the facial expression.

Bruno tells me that a retail version of this design will also be available for everyone to buy. It will feature the same lion but minus the sponsor logos. I'll post about it here and on my social media sites as soon as I know more. Below, Andre wearing the koi I designed for Kingz.



Metamoris 4 is on August 9th and the livestream tickets can be bought here.
.


All week on my Facebook page I have been releasing these cool BJJ diet friendly recipe cards put together by the excellent Grappler Gourmet, aka, MacKenzie Arrington from New York.

I first met MacKenzie when he sent me an email in response to a competition prize thing I was running and I was intrigued by one of his emails in which he described what he did for a living. Fast forward to today and I came up with the idea of recipe cards for MacKenzie to show off his culinary expertise within a BJJ athlete friendly context. And here they are!

[At the end of the series of cards is a short interview with MacKenzie]



I had the pleasure of training and learning from some of the greats of the sport today at Roger Gracie Academy in London. Igor Gracie, Gregor Gracie and Andre Monteiro [<--click on their names to read about achievements.]



I designed some MMA or nogi style fight shorts with an evil bat drawing on them. I call them the Morcegão Fight Shorts. You can buy them here from my store.



You can read more about how I put together the artwork and design over on my art blog here.


I decided to design something that would appeal to my younger audience hence these sparring kittens. They are available through my store only - click here.

Here are more photos and information:-




Summary
Two different gi models from a Brazilian based brand. The 'BJJ Style' offers a sturdy mid-weight pearlweave with super comfortable pants, while the 'Sensei' is an ultra light pearl. Both are decorated with slightly garish skull graphics that may or may not be to your taste.

Information
KVRA Website
Cost: R 389 (BJJ Style)  R$ 299 (Sensei).
Roughly equivalent to: £103 and £79 respectively. Shipping cost not known.
For orders in the UK, the KVRA store will ship internationally. My contact in the UK is Luiz Riberio who runs London Fight Factory. He can be contacted here.

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



Summary
World Champion Lucas Lepri presents 24 guard passing techniques. These techniques apply to many popular guard positions such as the de la Riva guard, X-guard, spider guard and deep half guard. The production of this set is adequate though the slow-motion replays are tedious and the music annoying. Overall however, a very fine set of techniques from a master guard passer. The very specific nature of this set and the lack of conceptual explanation would mean this is of more use by intermediate to advanced players.


Information
Available from Digitsu website
Cost: $69.95
Length: 180 minutes over two discs
Techniques: 24 (12 per disc)
Language: English
Region code: all regions


Disclosures
I have no business or personal connection with this company.