8 Oct 2011
Rashguard designed by me to test the services of custom fightwear company Armourtech Clothing. This product is now available for pre-order until October 31st.
This product was designed by me and I receive royalties from the sale of each one.
So what's with the whole honey badger thing? First of all, these small and rather unattractive little creatures are often cited as officially the world's most fearless animal (Guinness World Records). That's pretty much enough of a reason to inspire awesomeness in my book. But wait, there's more...
Honey Badgers have somehow acquired mythic status as fearless warriors that will use any means necessary to defend their bit. There are stories on the internet of how honey badgers, cornered by hungry lions, will attack without hesitation aiming at the testicles. There are reports of honey badgers shrugging off the effects of deadly snake venom, or merrily delving into bee hives and not even noticing the effects of a thousand angry stinging bees. They also look mean too, with their low slung body profile and small piercing eyes, they just have that air of ground fightery menace that us grapplers so love! And then there is THAT video. Yes Sirree, the question isn't why I chose the honey badger to be my rash guard icon of choice, it should be how come it took so long for the fight community to wake up and realise the brilliance that is the Honey Badger!!
Armourtech are a new custom design fightwear clothing company owned by established UK company Tatami Fightwear. Actually Armourtech isn't officially open for business just yet, this honey badger design was one of the first samples sent to the company to test out their services and quality.
I originally drew a sketch of the honey badger for fun ages ago and placed it on my Facebook page. The lads at Tatami loved it and asked if I could adapt it for a rash guard design, and this is the result. The production process took around 5-6 weeks.
Sizing, fit, construction and comfort
I tested this product out the minute I received it from Armourtech - I literally wore it all day in the office, at home and then off to training and I must admit, apart from two washes (it dries really quickly) I've rarely parted company from it!
Here's a size chart based on the samples they sent me:
The feedback so far from my small sample of testers seems to be that Armourtech rashguards are almost a whole size up from the average rashie on the market. I found this to be true as I normally wear a size Medium but instead the Small in this case fitted me the best.
The label states that this rashie is made from 80% polyester and 20% spandex. My experience is that it is very thin and stretchy - which makes it great to wear under the gi and during hot nogi training sessions. All the seams are triple stitched. The arms are quite long and the torso is deliberately long also - to prevent the body from riding up - which I found to be true when road testing, however the mid torso does wrinkle and bunch up a bit - obscuring the awesome design a little.
Onto the fun bit! I already explained the reason behind choosing the honey badger, but I wanted to create something more than just a cartoon of the animal. I wanted to weave together the honey badger along with some cobras and my personal signature stamp (that's not kanji by the way, the letters are Chinese and refer to the name I was given at birth). I played around with flipping the imagery, mirroring it and finding some near-symmetry until I was happy with the outcome.
The photos in this review/plug are based on the prototype samples that Armourtech sent me and I'm glad they did it this way because I have since made a number of small design changes - see later.
The overall effect is definitely not for the shy. It is a crazy (but I hope vividly pleasing) palette of purples, greys, oranges, blacks and whites. I intentionally made it vibrant because that is what I personally like and also to really push the dye sub printing technique used by the supplier. I think it came out pretty good!
Marketing and promotions
This particular project is interesting for me because I've allowed myself to get involved with the frontline push to get the design noticed. You'll hopefully soon see a number of give-away contests, a viral video, independent gear reviews, announcements of 'sponsored' fighters and I've even splashed out on a bit of advertising. If you recall, my previous big design project (Raptor kimono) I was hesitant about coming forward with my involvement. But with this little baby, it is all guns blazing.
You can catch up with all the news and gossip on my HONEY BADGER FIGHTWEAR FACEBOOK PAGE.
Buying the Honey Badger rashguard
It takes Armourtech about 4-5 weeks to make the rash guard. Because it is a custom design service and because we simply do not know how many to make, we decided to make it available in pre-order form. This way we know exactly how many to make and ensure they all get delivered long before the Christmas rush. I mean we could have just made a couple hundred and placed them on the website without resorting to a pre-order but it would still mean waiting until mid November anyway.
In the UK, the Honey Badger rash guard costs £35 plus shipping. You can buy it here on the Tatami Fightwear website. (from Monday 10th October.)
For USA customers, Budovideos will be handling the preorder - here.
Europe - Germany you can ore-order it here, Finland from here, Sweden from here.
For Japan - click here.
There will be a choice between kids sizes and adults sizes from XS - all the way up to XXL. I also designed a short sleeve option. As you can see in the promo below, I fiddled around a little with the design - mainly by adding a Tatami Fightwear logo (customised by me!)
The campaign finishes on Monday 31st and all orders will take around 4-5 weeks after the closing date.
Canada, Japan, Sweden, Germany and other countries who have official distributors of Tatami Fightwear products - you guys will also get direct access to the pre-order. I will update both this blog post AND the honey badger facebook page as and when I hear exact details.
So if you are at all inspired by my design, then feel free to pull the trigger. All proceeds from the sale of this item will go towards even more outrageous fightwear apparel designs from me....that is a promise :DD