I have a lovely new gi out, it comes pretty plain, or plainly pretty, depending on how you wish to use the included four patches. We also found a way to sell it at a wallet friendlier price: £64.99 GBP.

You can buy it here: http://meerkatsu.com/Tranquility-Kimono_p_81.html

Here is a nice video showing both my new gi models:





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I have a new gi released under my own brand Meerkatsu. It is the black version of my blue orchid dragon kimono. We've tweaked a few bits on this version, mainly the cuff tape and the inner hem, so it's a more comfortable material.

You can purchase this gi here: http://meerkatsu.com/Black-Orchid-Dragon_p_82.html

Some photos:-





Summary
Mike Bidwell offers his vision of a flowing, transition based jiu-jitsu gameplan which all stems from an initial hip bump kimura sweep. It is a set that will most benefit intermediate level players who are looking to move beyond a singular focus when sparring and competing.

Details
Available as a digital download from Jiu Jitsu Brotherhood website.
Price $49.95 / £38GBP
Length 1 hour

I viewed a digital download version. I'm not sure if a physical DVD is available.



It seems in the world of jiu jitsu, MMA and grappling, we do love our artisan soaps. Whisky Wolf is a UK based company. They sent me their Okami Kit Tin Can package, which contains their red label soap bar, soap tag, skin balm and stickers.

Above: First appearance of our hero, Matt


Mat Life is a comic strip I created for publication in Jiu Jitsu Style Magazine. The character, Matt, is a complete novice and each episode followed his progression as an early beginner who makes all the mistakes that everyone else makes. The strip was also an excuse for me to attempt sequential art, something I had previously never tried before.

The first appearance wasn't an official episode 1, it was merely a two panel sequence to illustrate a written article. The next issue of the magazine expanded the format to a four panel story. Editor Callum then wanted the strip to fill the whole page, hence a six panel format appeared. I discovered that a six panel set was much more of a challenge. Telling the story without too much 'filler' material or repetition is a real art. I admire comic artists who can deftly add story, action, humour, drama and dialogue, all within the space of one page. 

It was a great exercise for me. Sadly, I have decided to end the strip, the final episode appears in Issue 33 of Jiu Jitsu Style Magazine. 



Summary
Oli Geddes is a prolific competitor amassing over 600 tournament matches. Many of his submissions have come via straight ankle lock. Here in this one hour instructional, Oli presents a game plan based around the straight ankle lock. It is an easy to follow system where the straight ankle is not only a submission finish, but a starting point with which to transition to numerous other techniques and positions. This video set is based strictly on IBJJF legal techniques from white belt and above. For beginners, it's a very good, detailed look at an often neglected submission technique. More advanced players will enjoy the positions Oli shows - including the 50/50, outside hook ankle lock and the overhook x-guard.

Available from:
https://footlock-mastery.myshopify.com
Price £24.99



Following the success of the TUFF 3 Invitational submission only tournament earlier in the year, I was happy to cover photography for the next installment of this event. The fights did not disappoint, with the best of UK talent on display, fighters from teams all over the UK displayed plenty of skill, heart and spirit.


Summary
North South Jiu Jitsu Underwear sent me a couple of pairs of their mens pants to try out. They offer a number of helpful additional improvements over regular underwear.

Information
North South Underwear website
Facebook page
Cost: $35



I have a few new T-shirt designs over on the Meerkatsu store. Check them out!




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Summary
Lucas Lepri explains his knee on belly techniques. It is a position, he states, that he arrives at often after passing his opponent's guard. From knee on belly, Lepri showcases the large array of attacking options available, especially once you have succeeded in making the opponent extremely uncomfortable with your position.

Available: Digitsu website and app store.

19 May 2016

Review: BJJ Rings


BJJ Rings sent me a sample pack of their silicone training rings. These items are intended to be used for people who can’t wear their wedding (or other decorative metal) ring on their fingers while training in a sports activity yet still wish to wear a ring.

Available to purchase:  http://bjjrings.com
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/bjjrings/



Today I had a great time teaching the very first session at my new club, Borehamwood Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I taught a kids class for the first half hour and then an adults beginner's class for the next hour.

For me, it was an excellent opportunity to showcase Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to fresh eyes and open minds. For the kids session my focus was directed mainly at movement drills so much of the class was based around animal walking drills. I then introduced the kids to the most important animal in all of jiu jitsu...the shrimp! (to much confusion and laughter). We then of course covered the idea of shrimping. Following that, I got the kids to pair up and play with a couple of the games from the Gracie games Bullyproof program. We finished off with a vigorous and fun bout of Bulldog!

For the adult class, I covered technical stand-up, shrimping, bridging and escapes from the mount. I also made sure to emphasise the connection that BJJ has as a sport/martial art and as a means of self defence. This topic alone is worthy of a lengthy write-up some day, but suffice to say, with the seminar I conducted today, I hope I was able to communicate the basic concept of BJJ as an intelligent fighting art. I concluded the session with a brief demonstration roll with my team mate and fellow black belt, Chris Hearn - video below:

video






Thanks to all the newcomers who took that first step onto the mat and huge thanks to my BJJ friends who came along to support! I look forward to seeing how the new club will grow and develop.


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David Onuma is a second degree black belt under Ricardo de la Riva and head of his own team known as CFS (Combined Fighting Systems). His mantra is: 'Intelligent Combat' which promotes a more cerebral approach to learning martial art techniques. I have attended many of David's past seminars and I find his approach very good at looking at familiar things in a new light. Today's session on the mount position was no different.

29 Apr 2016

Borehamwood BJJ


I'm opening up my own class to teach BJJ in my home town of Borehamwood, Herts, UK. I will teach each Saturday at the Venue Leisure Centre in the upstairs dance studio. Kids will be from 12:45 until 1:30 then adults from 1:30 until 3pm.

Full details of my class can be seen on the Borehamwood BJJ website.

If my Saturday classes do well and there is demand, I hope to add a mid-week evening class to the schedule.

To kick things off, I have a complete beginner's seminar for the first session, details on the poster below:-



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The third instalment of the submission-only professional grappling tournament known as Polaris Pro took place last night at the Poole Lighthouse in the UK. On display were 5 main card matches and 8 preliminary matches. Heading the bill was the mouth watering prospect of a fight between two leg locking experts in Garry Tonon and Rousimar Palhares. Yours truly here managed to bag a press pass and took some photos.


This weekend I took part in a 24 hour Brazilian Jiu Jitsu 'grapplethon' to help raise money for the charity One25.


Summary
I review five BJJ belts, all quite different from one another. There's the flashy one, the cheap one, the hemp one, the gi material one and the cool one. Which one did I like the best? Find out here!


Quick glance information


CompanyPriceWebsite
Peel Gi - Shinobi19 Euros (£15)+12pppeelgi.com
Keiko Raca £9.99keikoraca.co.uk
Valor - elite belt£15valorfightwear.com
The Green Gi$45 plus $25pp (approx £48)thegreengi.com
Scramble (v2)£17.50scramblestuff.com

Disclosures - all views in this review represent my own opinions. I have no personal or business history with Peel Gi, Keiko Raca, Green Gi or Valor. I have worked for Scramble in the past on freelance design assignments.


Summary
An excellent selection of effective, high percentage leg attack submissions, escapes and counters from two experienced experts in the field. Although the IBJJF rule set disallows knee reaping and heel hooks, many other tournaments do allow them as do most MMA events so a knowledge of all leg attack options is a must for the committed student of grappling. Ideally, this set is best viewed only after watching the Legal Leg Lock instructional (especially if you are reasonably new to grappling) since Roli spends more time explaining key positions and set-ups on the Legal set. That being said, there are many techniques on the Illegal set that can easily be adjusted to suit IBJJF rules.


Details: Available from Digitsu On Demand or via Apple iOS store.
Price: $24.99 ($19.99 current promotion) each part (comes in two parts) or $49.98 for both ($37.98 current promotion)
Chapters: 34


** UPDATE **
In a spectacular last dash bidding spree, my Ebay auction closed at the staggering total amount of £460!!! After seller fee deductions and printing costs, I estimate that means I can donate roughly £400 to charity.




Here is the original post:-

Each year in Bristol, BJJ blogger Can Sonmez organises a fundraising Grapplethon where participants spar in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu over a 24 hour period. This year, the event is being held on the 26th-27th March over at MyGym in Bristol. Money raised will be donated to One25 a Bristol-based charity, specialising in enabling women to break free from street sex-work, addiction and other life-controlling issues and build new, independent lives. Full details on how to take part and/or donate by clicking this link here.


My new rashguard - the War Lion - is available now from my Meerkatsu store.

It features my hand drawn lion head design, printed onto five colour options: white, blue, purple, brown and black, each to represent the major belt colours of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. [There are more belt colours, but I picked the most common ones].




We used a different supplier to the previous Graceful Kimura, Immaculate Toehold and Heavenly Wristlock rashguards. These War Lion rashguards are a slightly tiny but looser cut. But by and large they still follow the same fit guidelines as follows:
Approximate chest size guideline: Small - 34/36" Medium - 38/40" Large - 42/44" X-Large - 46/48"

At the moment, we're only doing them as short sleeved rashguards and from Small to XXL size. If these do well, we'll consider expanding the range of size and sleeve options.




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Last night I was on photography duty capturing the action at the TUFF Invitational event in Purfleet, Essex. This was the third of their regular events and it proved to be an action packed line-up featuring an excellent and diverse array of the UK's grappling talent. The format is simple - a submission only tournament (15 or 20 minutes). If no submission occurs, then it will go to EBI overtime rules (read more here).



Summary
Black belt competitor Gianni Grippo runs through the main entry methods and sweeps available from the single leg x-guard - a position that is among the many specialist guards taught by Gianni's instructor Marcelo Garcia. This instructional is aimed at those who are comfortable with their open guard. The techniques only show entries and sweeps from the single leg x-guard, they do not show the passes that follow. A couple of regular X-guard sweeps are thrown in at the end for good measure. Overall, an excellent short instructional from Gianni and Digitsu, ideal for intermediate to advanced players but beginners may want a more general introduction to the regular X-guard and a grounding in guard passing before tackling the single leg X.

Available from Digitsu as On Demand content, DVD disc or iTunes app.
Cost: on demand $24.99, DVD disc $39.99
Running length: 90 minutes
Chapters: 20



Raven Fightwear are a relatively new fightwear brand originating from Australia. They recently hired me to design a rashguard - The Raven - which you can see in the photo above (and can buy here).

I took the opportunity to speak with Raven owner Adam Smith about the business and where he sees it going in the next few years:


From the people that brought you the Fabulous Gi, now comes the Fabulous rashguard. I've been wearing this in nogi class for a couple of weeks and it feels great.

I'm not sure when or where this will be available to buy as I can't seem to find it on either the Fabulous gi website or the Rios Fightwear website.