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
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|
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.
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.
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!