31 Dec 2013



My little world in 2013 has been more busy and fun filled than ever before. Here is a little breakdown of my highlights of the year.


1. Art and design
As the above cover image shows, I've managed to create a lot of images this year - over 100 individual artworks that have gone to print! Plus there have been hundreds more unseen sketches, concepts and roughs. I'm proud of all my designs and I am very thankful for all the support from my followers, customers, clients and friends.

2. Meerkatsu brand
As regular followers will know, I began my clothing store last year. But actually my online store took on a change of partnership in February 2013 so I see the beginning of this year as a revamp of sorts. It has been hard work but so far we have successfully managed to produce new rashguards, grappling tights, t-shirts and a hoodie.

3. Good causes
This year I have been honoured to be involved in supporting several major fundraising campaigns. Here is a summary of the causes and the money that we all manged to raise:
Typhoon Haiyan - $21,000 for UNICEF and DEC Typhoon Haiyan campaigns
Heavenly Footlock - $10,000 for RAINN and Rape Crisis
Grapplethon UK - £8,600 for Rape Crisis
Black Friday Grapplethon - $6,100 for Tap Cancer Out
BETA Grapplethon - $10,000 for Network for Victim Recovery in DC
Give a Gift of a Gi - successful seminar and gi donation program
Gravity BJJ Rollathon - $5,000CND for Prostate Cancer Research

4. Reviews
Despite an increasingly hectic agenda, I kept up the product reviews. I see these still as an important platform for general BJJ practitioners to find out more information (in a reasonably unbiased fashion) before they can make a purchasing decision.

My current gi rotation
5. Media
This year I have had written articles published and have had articles written about me.
A full list of interviews I have given can be seen on the About section of the main Meerkatsu website. But here is a nice recent interview I gave on the Breaking Muscle website.

For articles I have written, I have been privileged to have had my content published in both Jiu Jitsy Style Magazine and Jiu Jitsu Magazine - something I will hopefully be maintaining for next year.

6. Training
Life as a newbie BJJ brown belt has been good so far. I have enjoyed exploring the world of foot and leg attacks (and defending them!) as well as just trying to maintain a consistent pattern of general class attendance. To supplement my growth, I have been taking private instruction with my black belt instructor Chris Hearn who has given me lots of tips for improvement.

7. BJJ World
The BJJ world in general is growing at a fast rate. There is now an incredibly packed calendar of local and international events occurring and in the retail world, an ever expanding roster of new fightwear startups. I like to keep a keen eye on all the events that happen.

8. MMA
No this is not my pathetic attempt to pretend I know what I am talking about and jabber on about mixed martial arts - but I just wanted to state that for the first time ever I can now watch MMA events live on my TV thanks to having finally acquired cable. Like it or not, BJJ and MMA share lineage and most BJJ practitioners enjoy discussing MMA so I felt I should finally join in. I've just signed up to Virgin Media and have recently gorged myself on live Cage Warriors, UFC and many other fight events so I'm a bit dizzy from the brain saturation of fight sports action!

That's all from me for now. Stay tuned for a New Year's Day giveaway I'm doing where one lucky winner can win a gi and whatever other goodies I can find in my stash of spare stuff. Happy New Year everyone!

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Review of 2013

My little world in 2013 has been more busy and fun filled than ever before. Here is a little breakdown of my highlights of the year. ...

28 Dec 2013



Summary
Ryan Hall's famously plain speaking, constructive method of teaching, allows anyone to learn techniques using the inverted guard position. It takes the length of almost two whole discs however to get to actual techniques involving the inverted guard - the preceding two discs ensures that the viewer has a firm grasp of the cross grip and a position Ryan calls the Tilt Position or Roleta Position.


Further Information
Triple disc DVD box set available from GroundFighter priced $124.99 plus shipping
(I bought mine as part of a Black Friday 50% off promotion).

Disclosures: I have no personal or business relations with Ryan or the publishers World Martial Arts. I am a BJJ brown belt but I have rarely attempted to use inverted guard in normal training apart from my attempts to land the tornado guard sweep that I learned Cyborg's seminar.

Here is my breakdown of the content of the discs - all opinions written are my own. I have tried some of the techniques in regular class during sparring and I offer a few comments based on this experience.

(Note: for brevity, throughout my report I use the term 'he' instead of 'he or she' to describe the actions of the opponent.)


Instructional review: Ryan Hall - Inverted Guard

Summary Ryan Hall's famously plain speaking, constructive method of teaching, allows anyone to learn techniques using the inverte...

24 Dec 2013


Happy Christmas to everyone. I drew the above fighting peacocks for fun, perhaps it would make a colourful smartphone wallpaper.

Here's something else that is cool - poem by Christian Hipsky:-


Ooh and here's a card I drew for Tatami Fightwear:




Hope you all enjoy a great season's holidays. I'll be back here with an end of year report and news of upcoming ventures. Peace!



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Merry Christmas

Happy Christmas to everyone. I drew the above fighting peacocks for fun, perhaps it would make a colourful smartphone wallpaper. Here&#...

20 Dec 2013



Summary
An excellent lightweight gi priced at a very affordable level. The HG13 is Strike Fightwear's homage to the late Grandmaster Helio Gracie.

Information
Available for £68 at the Strike Fightwear website.

Disclosures
I have previously worked on a freelance basis for Strike Fightwear. I have no personal or current business relations with the brand.



Gi Review: Strike Fightwear HG13

Summary An excellent lightweight gi priced at a very affordable level. The HG13 is Strike Fightwear's homage to the late Grandmaster...

7 Dec 2013

If I had my way, this Xmas gift guide would be pretty short. It would simply say go buy the amazing products I sell over at my store: www.meerkatsu.com!

But of course, that would be terribly biased of me and a tad limiting - especially when you consider the sheer surplus of amazing goodies out there in the fightgear retail world. So here is my pick of the bunch based on having received the samples myself, and just the general niceness of the items I can see via photos and description:-

(all prices correct as of 7th December 2013)

BJJ Xmas Gift Guide 2013

If I had my way, this Xmas gift guide would be pretty short. It would simply say go buy the amazing products I sell over at my store: www.me...

1 Dec 2013


I've been talking a lot recently with Sub Guards, they are a UK based company that specialise in custom designed small print run rashguards, shorts, tights and patches. They printed the rashguards for several of my client designs.

Review: Sub Guards Custom Printed Fightwear

I've been talking a lot recently with Sub Guards , they are a UK based company that specialise in custom designed small print run ras...

30 Nov 2013


Getting into the spirit of the American retail tradition of offering a discount over the Thanksgiving weekend - known as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, I'm offering 15% off all products except gift vouchers until 2nd December 2013.

www.meerkatsu.com

Speaking of gift vouchers, check out the new addition to the store.


When you buy the gift certificate it asks you for an email address of the recipient. They will then receive a unique code which can be redeemed at checkout when they decide to purchase something at a later date.

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Meerkatsu Store Discount

Getting into the spirit of the American retail tradition of offering a discount over the Thanksgiving weekend - known as Black Friday and...

28 Nov 2013


BJJ fans will more than likely have come across a great regular podcast called Open Mat Radio. The show is broadcast weekly and has featured a number of high profile guests including Mauricio Gomes, Kurt Osiander, Henry Akins and many many others. It's a great way to become immersed in the words and thoughts of so many of the people notable in our sport. I chatted to Open Mat Radio's founder Paul Moran: -


Interview: Paul Moran, Open Mat Radio

BJJ fans will more than likely have come across a great regular podcast called Open Mat Radio . The show is broadcast weekly and has feat...

24 Nov 2013



Just spent a day photographing fights at the English BJJ Open over at the National Judo Centre in Dartford. As usual, it was a terrifically well run event with lots of insanely good action. The added bonus for me was to pick up the t-shirt I designed, test out my new camera and to watch my friends compete.

Here are some more photos:


Tournament: English BJJ Open 2013

Just spent a day photographing fights at the English BJJ Open over at the National Judo Centre in Dartford. As usual, it was a terrifica...

23 Nov 2013



PRESS RELEASE:

BJJ Community Help Raise over $20,000 for Filipino Victims of Typhoon Haiyan


22nd November 2013
. Braver & Stronger, a t-shirt designed by three artists to raise money for the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan in the Philippines, has raised over £12,200 ($20,000).

Typhoon Haiyan was one of the deadliest storms recorded. Several thousand people lost their lives and over 13 million people were displaced.* Artist Bong Abad, originally born in the Philippines, collaborated with fellow fightwear artists Seymour Yang (Meerkatsu) and Matt Benyon (Scramble) to design the Braver & Stronger t-shirt. It went on sale over the 16-18 November 2013 via
www.gawakoto.co.uk store and BJJHQ.com. All profits would be donated to relief aid organisation Disasters Emergency Committee and UNICEF.

During the short three-day pre-order period, over 1,500 t-shirts were ordered by people from all over the world raising over £12,200 ($20,000) in profit.

Bong says: "Typhoon Haiyan has sparked the "bayanihan" spirit (spirit of communal unity) with donations and fundraisers from people worldwide. We are truly grateful to everyone who supported our 'Braver and Stronger' tee project. Our efforts may just be a drop in the ocean, but we hope it will make a difference.”


The devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan will take many years to repair. Donations can still be made to organisations including the Red Cross, UNICEF, Save the Children and many others. 



*Source: United Nations



UPDATE 1st Dec 2013
The full totals are as follows:
Donation via Gawakoto: £5,502 (approx $8,873 from 542 t-shirts) - donated to the DEC Typhoon Haiyan Appeal
Sales via BJJHQ: $12,120 (1,017 t-shirts) - donated to UNICEF Typhoon Haiyan Appeal




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BJJ community raise over $20,000 for victims of Typhoon Haiyan

PRESS RELEASE: BJJ Community Help Raise over $20,000 for Filipino Victims of Typhoon Haiyan 22nd November 2013 . Braver & ...

17 Nov 2013


'Stronger & Bravier' the Typhoon Haiyan Benefit T-shirt is available here on pre-order until midnight Monday 18th November - http://store.gawakotoclothing.co.uk/Pre-Order-Fundraising-Shirt-Stronger-Braver_p_45.html

We received a bunch of emails and comments asking how much of the t-shirt money will be donated to the emergency relief fund. I wrote the passage below to explain how much we expect to raise and how the sums are split:

Typhoon Haiyan Appeal T-shirt - How much goes to the relief fund?

'Stronger & Bravier' the Typhoon Haiyan Benefit T-shirt is available here on pre-order until midnight Monday 18th November - ...

14 Nov 2013




The Typhoon Haiyan Disaster Fundraising T-shirt

Gawakoto, Scramble and Meerkatsu have joined forces to produce this t-shirt which will raise funds in support of the relief effort currently underway in the Philippines.

It is available to purchase as a pre-order immediately here: Gawakoto
Price is £15 plus shipping.

The pre-order will run from now...all through the weekend...and end on Monday 18th November (midnight UK time).

Our tee printers are on standby and ready. All pre-ordered tees will ship in roughly two weeks after the deadline.


Typhoon Haiyan Disaster Appeal T-shirt

The Typhoon Haiyan Disaster Fundraising T-shirt Gawakoto, Scramble and Meerkatsu have joined forces to produce this t-shirt which wil...

11 Nov 2013


My latest rashguard design features a Japanese lady defeating a demon using a nikyo wristlock. It is available from my store here.

Some more photos and information...

Meerkatsu Art: Heavenly Wristlock Rashguard

My latest rashguard design features a Japanese lady defeating a demon using a nikyo wristlock. It is available from my store here . So...

8 Nov 2013

HOW TO GET A BJJ SPONSORSHIP


[This article was first published in Jiu Jitsu Magazine]


By Seymour Yang


Sponsorship by a major brand might seem to be the pinnacle of BJJ lifestyle achievements. Sponsored athletes get a ton of free gear, appear in magazine advertising, videos and all sorts of cool publicity and some even get paid to travel the world and compete. Trying to earn that coveted spot as a sponsored athlete is not easy however but surprisingly, it’s not necessarily all about how many gold medals won and you don’t even have to be a black belt. Seymour Yang uncovers the dos and don’ts of how to get sponsorship in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.


The relationship between brand owner and athlete seems simple enough; brand owner wants exposure and the athlete who competes a lot can offer that exposure. The quest to become a sponsored athlete may not be an easy one but with the right approach, it is possible at least for a brand owner to take notice. Despite this, companies receive dozens and dozens of inept, badly written and even worse, wrongly addressed sponsorship requests every day. Let’s take a close look at the best approach to getting noticed by gear companies:


Article: How Best To Get A BJJ Sponsorship

HOW TO GET A BJJ SPONSORSHIP [This article was first published in Jiu Jitsu Magazine ] By Seymour Yang Sponsorship by a major...

4 Nov 2013


My new t-shirt is inspired by and pays homage to both the car workshop manual and the BJJ instructional book.

It is available from my store here.

Some more photos:

Meerkatsu Art: The Manual T-shirt

My new t-shirt is inspired by and pays homage to both the car workshop manual and the BJJ instructional book. It is available from my s...

2 Nov 2013



Summary
Graphic novel inspired BJJ gi features the original artwork of David Mack. The gi itself was refreshingly light and comfortable to wear with a great slim fit in A1. The sleeves were perfect for my longish arms too.

Disclosure
I am friends with Gawakoto owner Bong Abad and we have collaborated in several past t-shirt designs. I have had no involvement with this product. The views expressed here are my own.

Information
Available to purchase in the UK here.
Also from MMA Warehouse in the USA.
Cost: £120
Made in: Pakistan


Gi Review: Gawakoto x David Mack Kabuki Kimo-noh

Summary Graphic novel inspired BJJ gi features the original artwork of David Mack. The gi itself was refreshingly light and comfortable...

31 Oct 2013


Kat Gibson is a blue belt grappler under Carlson Gracie Team in London. She recently won double gold (gi and nogi) at the IBJJF London Open and gold at the British NoGi Open. A long time follower of my design work, Kat has kindly agreed to represent my brand. I spoke with her about juggling training with a busy academic career at Oxford University...

(Photograph by Dave Shu Photography)

Meerkatsu sponsors: Kat Gibson

Kat Gibson is a blue belt grappler under Carlson Gracie Team in London. She recently won double gold (gi and nogi) at the IBJJF London Op...

30 Oct 2013





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Meerkatsu Art: Halloween themed desktop wallpaper

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23 Oct 2013


ADCC this year was held in Beijing, China, over the weekend. Tatami Fightwear had several of their sponsored athletes attending the event and asked me (at the last minute!) to design a special rashguard just for the fighters to use in Beijing. The result was this angry panda pictured above. Some of you may recognise the design from an earlier incarnation...

Meerkatsu Art: ADCC 2013 Angry Panda

ADCC this year was held in Beijing, China, over the weekend. Tatami Fightwear had several of their sponsored athletes attending the event...

21 Oct 2013


Summary
Super tough, thick and ultra heavy kimono built to last. The sleeves were sadly super short, much shorter than any other A1 gi I have reviewed. The weight was just too much for my personal preference however there were some quality touches to this gi model.

Disclosures
I have no personal or business relations with Rei gi. Roger Gracie himself is my own instructor's instructor and visits my academy to oversee gradings.

Information
Website - http://www.rei-gi.com/
Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rei-Gicom/164671700217148?fref=ts
Cost of gi - £90


Gi Review: Rei gi Roger Gracie Edition Kimono

Summary Super tough, thick and ultra heavy kimono built to last. The sleeves were sadly super short, much shorter than any other A1 gi I...

10 Oct 2013



These Chinese White Tiger rashguards were designed by me on commission from Swedish fightwear company Kenka. As part of my deal with Kenka, I have been allocated a small batch of them for sale on my store - www.meerkatsu.com. They will go live 10th October 2013 at 9am.

Here are more photos and a little background about the concept:


Meerkatsu Art: White Tiger Rashguard

These Chinese White Tiger rashguards were designed by me on commission from Swedish fightwear company Kenka. As part of my deal with Ken...

8 Oct 2013

I've been honoured recently to contribute artwork to help promote a series of fund raising good causes. Here is a run down of the events, I hope you can support at least one of them. Thanks!



BETA ACADEMY 12 HOUR GRAPPLETHON
Date: 19th October 2013
Location: BETA Academy, Washington DC
T-shirt? Yes
Who for? The Network for Victim Recovery of DC
Web details: Facebook page, Donation page




BLACK FRIDAY 24 HOUR GRAPPLETHON
Date: 29th November 2013
Location: Finney's Hit Squad, Granite City, IL
T-shirt? Yes
Who for? Tap Cancer Out
Web details: Facebook page, Donation page




GIVE THE GIFT OF A GI KIDS SEMINAR
Date: 26th October 2013
Location: Foster BJJ, Kent, WA
T-shirt? Yes
Who for? Carly Stowell Foundation and Jammin BJJ
Web details: Website




MOVEMBER 24 HOUR ROLLATHON
Date: 23rd November
Location: Gravity BJJ Academy, Canada
T-shirt? Yes
Who for? Prostate cancer research
Web details: Facebook page, donation page



I would like to wish all the above events the very best of luck with their fund raising.


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Good Causes

I've been honoured recently to contribute artwork to help promote a series of fund raising good causes. Here is a run down of the events...

3 Oct 2013



My friend Tanya recently entered a grueling grappling contest in Germany called the German Kumite. She had to fight all the ladies in the event one after another, gi and nogi. The winner would be the person who won the most fights. Tanya fought seven other women and scored a full house of seven wins - all by submission, including an epic hour-long encounter. It's a quite staggering achievement given that Tanya only received her blue belt back in December 2012!

I spoke with Tanya who wanted to say a few words about her experiences at the Kumite event...


Fighter update: Tanya Tansiri wins the German Kumite

My friend Tanya recently entered a grueling grappling contest in Germany called the German Kumite. She had to fight all the ladies in t...

28 Sep 2013


Raijin Fightwear are a new UK based fightwear brand run by two chaps (LOZ and Gully) that have been heavily promoting themselves via social media and stickers. Yes, stickers. They're very passionate about this, as you'll find out in this exclusive interview with the founders...


New brand: Raijin Fightwear

Raijin Fightwear are a new UK based fightwear brand run by two chaps (LOZ and Gully) that have been heavily promoting themselves via soci...

24 Sep 2013


Tatami Fightwear recently released the next installment of my series of honey badger inspired BJJ gis. I love wearing it as it fits perfectly for me (size A1) but then I knew it would because it is based on the same cut as the Estilo and the Zero G gis from the Tatami Fightwear range. Here are some photos:

Gi Showcase: Honey Badger V2.0 by Tatami Fightwear

Tatami Fightwear recently released the next installment of my series of honey badger inspired BJJ gis. I love wearing it as it fits perfe...

22 Sep 2013



Summary
A sumptuously well thought out and well-fitting gi, the Secret Weapon features a number of lovely stylistic touches and was a joy to wear. And gasp! Here was an A1 gi that had sleeve lengths that were actually perfect (read: long) for me!

Available from:
Website: http://www.gripsathletics.com/
Facebook page

Disclosures
I have no business or personal relations with Grips Athletics. This gi was sent to me on the understanding that my report will be based on my own experiences and opinions.


Gi Review: Grips Athletics, Secret Weapon 2.0

Summary A sumptuously well thought out and well-fitting gi, the Secret Weapon features a number of lovely stylistic touches and was a j...

18 Sep 2013


A new BJJ magazine arrived through my doorstep today. It's called Gi Freak and seeks to offer something a little different to the other jiu jitsu magazines currently on the market.

Although thin, it's actually jam packed with cool articles and photos.  I like reading blogs but I generally have to make a conscious effort to sit down and plough through the blog list. Give me a choice between reading something on my computer or a hard copy magazine and I'll go for the mag every time.

Gi Freak is a bit like a blog - only one that has the very best bits on display - and in print media form! I am very impressed with the excellent design, photo editing and generally classy effort shown. Sorry tablet fans, but I just don't warm to digital only e-publications.

I wanted to find out more behind the scenes of Gi Freak so I chatted to the owner, Megan Williams:


Gi Freak Magazine

A new BJJ magazine arrived through my doorstep today. It's called Gi Freak and seeks to offer something a little different to the ot...

9 Sep 2013


Now that the summer is over here in the UK, I thought it was a good time to release a new hooded top design. Here it is! The Chimp and Cross Chokes.

The design is based on my cartoon interpretation of a chimpanzee. The chimp's arms are crossed in the vague formation of a cross choke (a popular and easy fundamental jiu jitsu gi submission). His hands also form that universal BJJ hand sign, the shaka.

It is available now from my Meerkatsu store.

Meerkatsu Art: Chimp & Cross Chokes Hooded Top

Now that the summer is over here in the UK, I thought it was a good time to release a new hooded top design. Here it is! The Chimp and Cr...

7 Sep 2013


Summary
Cruz Combat are a US company that specialise in short-run custom fightwear. They are able to print any design using dye sublimation onto rashguards, fight shorts, vale tudo shorts and patches. I sampled their rashguard service using my own illustration of a 'Hell Sloth' (inspired by my instructor, who is nick-named the 'Sloth').


Review: Cruz Combat Custom Rashguard

Summary Cruz Combat are a US company that specialise in short-run custom fightwear. They are able to print any design using dye sublimat...

1 Sep 2013


I recently noticed that the gi brand Killer Bee Kimonos offers a custom design and fit service on their website. This seems like the perfect option for people like me who are constantly moaning about ill-fitting off the shelf gis. The option of custom embroidered patches was the icing on the cake that I was not able to not resist. The website ordering process was a marvel too...


Killer Bee Custom Gi Ordering - Part 1

I recently noticed that the gi brand Killer Bee Kimonos offers a custom design and fit service on their website. This seems like the per...

29 Aug 2013


Womens BJJ superstar Kyra Gracie made a bit of a splash last week when a photo from her latest magazine photoshoot was posted online (source unknown). The photo showed her with a gi top on and no trousers. Reaction from the majority of people online was predictably laddish - for example the many as can be found on this Reddit/BJJ thread.

My team mate and instructor - UK brown belt champ Daniel Strauss - decided it was time to send up the image with his own hilarious take on the same photo.

Fellow blogger Julia has her views on the Kyra-as-sex-object discussion, you can read it here.

Not enough assery? Here are more photos of Daniel #kyra-ing. Photographs by Sophie Walters who is the actual one that owns the purple gi with the yellow Meerkatsu patch. Enjoy!






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Kyra Gracie and her bottom

Womens BJJ superstar Kyra Gracie made a bit of a splash last week when a photo from her latest magazine photoshoot was posted online (sou...

28 Aug 2013


The photo here shows my new rashguard design for the www.meerkatsu.com store. Modeled by UK BJJ fighter Dominic Heydon, it is actually my very first own brand rashguard, so I'm a little nervous how well it will go down.

Here are more details about the rashie...

Meerkatsu Art: Gentle Ape orangutan themed rashguard

The photo here shows my new rashguard design for the www.meerkatsu.com store. Modeled by UK BJJ fighter Dominic Heydon, it is actually m...

26 Aug 2013


Some of my artwork features on products at new start-up fightwear brand Primate Revolution.

Meerkatsu Art: Primate Revolution Brand

Some of my artwork features on products at new start-up fightwear brand Primate Revolution .

25 Aug 2013


Here's a round up of my BJJ activities recently...

Catch up - BJJ stuff I've been doing recently

Here's a round up of my BJJ activities recently...

1 Aug 2013


Following the incredible popularity of my previous post on this topic (see part one of the Gross Things That Happen in BJJ) I asked forum members to list more examples of gross scenarios they have experienced. After compiling the anecdotes (here and here)I have chosen ten more for this Part 2.  Actually there is an 11th that I didn't put on the photo, mainly because it's more than gross, it is downright physical assault and surely an arrestable offence!

1. Gum shield dribble - gumshields are fantastic for minimising jaw and brain damage in contact sports. They are sadly rubbish at siphoning off saliva. Time a swallow wongly and looking at your partner can cause a volumous amount of dribble to gush towards your partner's face. Delightful!

2. Loose finger tape - finger tape can be pretty strong but some of the cheaper brands or, worse, using basic Elastoplast can mean they come off easily. As they fling off your finger or toe carrying their pus or blood filled stains, they are prone to ending up in someone's face or brrrr, their mouth!

3. Man rug - being sqaushed under side control is bad enough but the sensation is further worsened if your opponent's gi is wide open and his 'manly' chest rug scrapes across your jawline.

4. Pube in mouth - this was sort of covered in Part one of my list with random mat dust and debris but many many people cited the short and curley's being found in the mouth for no known reason. Ewww!

5. Toe clipping in mouth - as with (4) above, this is really quite odd. Someone actually went to the trouble to clip/cut/bite or otherwise remove their own tow nail and, rather than dispose of it sensibly, they simply threw it out into the mat. One person described something entering his mouth that had the texture of a popcorn kernel. When he spat it out, it revealed the unmistakable appearance of a tow clipping. Bleugh!

6. Gas choke - another very popular citation from forum members. This is usually effected when the opponent embarks on a very tight triangle choke and then emits eggy stench aka a fart. The recipient has no choice but to tap.

7. Sneezy handshake - the grappling arts involves much use of the hands. In a way, it shares a commonality with bodily functions like sneezing, bogey picking, snot wiping and any other manner of mucous removal.

8. Burp in face - this is self explanatory and really only unpleasant when the burper has eaten too closely to his training time and the food consisted of strongly flavoured foodstuffs. Not to be confused with...

9. Vom breath - you REALLY don't want to inhale vomit breath. But how did the person vomit, it's just training, right? Well, the video below shows one way it could happen...




10. Acne pus - zits, not just the sole preserve of spotty teenagers, grown men and women get it too. Every now and again, a close abrasive skin to skin contact with your partner could elicit one of the more ripe zits to burst - oozing pale liquid pus all over you.


11. The oil check
I had to ask about this one as I wasn't familiar with the practise. It's known more in wrestling circles where one fighter will insert a finger digit into the anus of his fellow grappler to cause a reaction. The mind surely boggles!

LATE ADDITION!
12. The loan gi - this is the gi hanging up in the academy that is loaned out to that first timer. This gi has never been washed yet it is always damp. This gi is neither white, black or blue. Instead it is a murky yellow colour. This gi is either too big or too small and it has an odour in a class of its own. Pity the poor newbie.



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Ten More Gross Things That Happen in BJJ

Following the incredible popularity of my previous post on this topic (see part one of the Gross Things That Happen in BJJ ) I asked foru...

29 Jul 2013


Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a wonderful sport full of lovely people and lovely techniques to learn. But some aspects are, how can I put this delicately...some aspects could do with a bit of cleaning up. Here is a list of all the gross things that a typical BJJer will experience at some point in their training. Enjoy! Or not.


  1. Sweat from training partners - commonly dripping right into your mouth but the eyeball and ear canal are also targets.
  2. Mat crap - any room where sweaty men and women congregate several times a day, every day is going to accumulate a load of dust, fluff, hair and all manner of bleurgh no matter how fastidious the cleaner. That fluff crap will inevitably end up in your mouth at some point. Yuk!
  3. Beeee ooooh - people smell, it is a fact of life. Some smell worse than others. Then, there are the (thankfully) rare individuals who surpass even this. They are the great unwashed. They should not be allowed to pass AT ALL!
  4. Feet - great part of the body for joint locking. Also great for picking up crap from the floor. I once saw a competitor at a tournament stand at the urinal having a pee IN HIS BARE FEET!!! The floor was damp with wee and yes, he then went on to compete on the mat. EWWWW!
  5. Razor sharp nails might be cool if you are Wolverine. Or Edward Scissorhands. But they have no place on the mat. CUT THEM SHORT!!!
  6. Going 'Commando' is really only for hippies. As a grappler, I DO NOT want to know that your 'boys' have been set free and come loose. I have not personally experienced a training partner who has developed a 'stiffy' but someone on Facebook did say this happened to them once.
  7. There are some techniques where it is an inescapable fact that if you showed them to the general non-BJJ public, you would be arrested for lewd behaviour. If you do find yourself with your face on someone's crotch, stay calm, do not panic and think of England.
  8. My wife is a very understanding type. She has to be for many a time I have come home with the unmistakable scars of stubble burn as my grizzled training partners scour their chins across my face. I simply tell her no eye contact was made during the coupling and she's cool with that. Ahem.
  9. I personally have not witnessed this particular stain, but I have it on good authority that it does happen and quite often. I honestly hope it is something else, like, the person is a fan of Belgian chocolate and just so happens to be quite clumsy and frequently drops it on their gi pants. Umm, yeah, that'll be the reason.
  10. I'm sure we've all seen that video. You know, the one where the very large person empties their bowels, seemingly unaware, all in front of an incredulous cameraman. God forbid this should happen to you, either as the excreter or the excretee. 

I'm sure there are a litany of gross things that happen when training. Comment here if you like and let me know of ones that I have missed. I will save the best for a Part Two article!


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The 10 Grossest Things That Happen in BJJ (part 1)

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a wonderful sport full of lovely people and lovely techniques to learn. But some aspects are, how can I put this d...

27 Jul 2013


Summary
An assured third offering from Scramble. It does exactly what its name implies - a lightweight and slim fitting uniform designed for those who need a competition (but still Scramble stylish) gi. My sample contained a couple of small quality control issues and the sleeves, as with previous Scramble gis, shrank down too much for my long arms (size A1).

Information
Available from the UK Scramble store for £100 plus delivery.
Also available in the US here: http://store.scramblestuff.us/

Other colours: blue
Made in Pakistan

Disclosures
I have worked for Scramble on a number of projects in the past - I have had no input with this product.



Gi Review: Scramble Athlete

Summary An assured third offering from Scramble. It does exactly what its name implies - a lightweight and slim fitting uniform designed...

17 Jul 2013




Summary
UK brand throw away conservative past and bring out new all singing all dancing model. The Elite is beautifully designed and constructed with all the trim and detail seen on many other premium brands. The A1 came up small on me compared to some other brands. Overall, an exciting new introduction to the Faixa Rua range.

Information
Faixa Rua website: http://www.faixarua.co.uk
Cost: £94.99
Sizes A0 - A4

Disclosure
I have no business or personal connection with Faixa Rua.

Gi Review: Faixa Rua Elite Navy

Summary UK brand throw away conservative past and bring out new all singing all dancing model. The Elite is beautifully designed and c...

16 Jul 2013




These koi were hand drawn by me and printed onto white t-shirts for nutrition advice company Unorthodox Nutrition. Buy it here.


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Meerkatsu Art: Unorthodox Nutrition Koi Carp

These koi were hand drawn by me and printed onto white t-shirts for nutrition advice company Unorthodox Nutrition. Buy it here . ...

 

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