29 Sep 2010

The judges have chosen! Head on over to the Tatami Fightwear Facebook group and vote for your favourite gi design. You have until 23:59 EST 12th OCTOBER to do so. The entry with the most 'likes' in each of the three categories will become the winner.



Thanks to all our judges for the tough task of whittling nearly 400 entries down to just 19. The judges were:
Bill Thomas - BJJ Weekly
David Webb - Kombat Clinic
Romeo Pagulayan - MMAGearGuide
Gareth and Lee - Tatami Fightwear
Georgette Oden - Georgette's blog
Steve Zacher - Steve BJJ
Liam and Nadine Wandi - Part Time Grappler
Adam Adshead - Factory BJJ
Seymour Yang - Meerkatsu

Good luck to everyone!


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Gi Design Finalists Announced!

The judges have chosen! Head on over to the Tatami Fightwear Facebook group and vote for your favourite gi design. You have until 23:59 EST...

27 Sep 2010


Summary
I review eight leading British brands of BJJ belt and see how they fare against my hand made, custom embroidered Kataaro belt - which I have dubbed the world's most expensive BJJ belt (see my old post about the Kataaro here).


The Great British BJJ Belt Review

Summary I review eight leading British brands of BJJ belt and see how they fare against my hand made, custom embroidered Kataaro belt - wh...

24 Sep 2010


I'm well in to my memes. The whole Crazy-ass design a gi contest was created ostensibly to see how far one could go by creating a meme. Speaking of which, the contest is over for entries but the judges are still deliberating on the final 15. then the public get to choose their favourite winners.

The crazy gi meme was deliberate. But the Terere photo you see here was not. As you may recall, I went along to meet Terere, interview him and take photos of him conducting his seminar. The light coming in through the skylights above was nice and I'm really proud of the photos I took so I posted them on Facebook - as I normally do with my photos. Then it kinda exploded...

Terere teaching photo meme

I'm well in to my memes. The whole Crazy-ass design a gi contest was created ostensibly to see how far one could go by creating a meme...

22 Sep 2010


If you are anything like me, then I hazard a guess that anything other than grappling classes are not really high on the personal agenda. Strength and conditioning (s&c) classes have been offered as part of our academy timetable for a long time but I avoided them. I considered s&c part of the same world where gym fitness junkies inhabit sweaty rooms stuffed with vein popping muscley folk - who do things like push benches, squat lifts or pumping, or whatever they call stuff like that. I, on the other hand, was a jiu-jitsu purist - for me, the purity of technique was all that was needed. S&c, or so I thought, was for meat heads.

But I was ignoring the obvious that was staring, no wheezing at me in the face. I was getting lazy - lazy in my jiu-jitsu. I would spar, hold guard, play with lapels and spin around a bit, but I was not probing, exploring, experimenting. Why? Because I was, I am, completely unfit. And it was killing my game.

That's right folks, the painful truth: BJJ does not get you fit. My fitter, stronger peers were passing me by. I did not want to turn up at another comp only to tap because I was gassing. And so, tentatively, last week, I arrived at my first ever S&C class. And this is what happened...

A bit of S and C

If you are anything like me, then I hazard a guess that anything other than grappling classes are not really high on the personal agenda. S...

20 Sep 2010



Summary
A no-frills light weight competition uniform that blends understated style with a contoured fit and rugged ‘on the mat’ toughness. The A1 jacket fitted me superbly but trouser sizing issues necessitated the need to go one size up.

Gi Review: Faixa Rua Leve

Summary A no-frills light weight competition uniform that blends understated style with a contoured fit and rugged ‘on the mat’ toughness...

16 Sep 2010

Daniel Strauss is purple belt under Roger Gracie and Nick Brooks. He is a super talented young grappler who is greatly admired throughout the UK scene for his immense skill and big personality. Read his testimonials from other respected members of the UK BJJ scene in Part One.

Fresh from a string of very impressive victories this year, people of the world watch out, for I bring you the very excellent, Daniel Strauss:

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Serious, for a second

Fighter Profile: Part Two - Daniel Strauss, the interview

Daniel Strauss is purple belt under Roger Gracie and Nick Brooks. He is a super talented young grappler who is greatly admired throughout th...

15 Sep 2010

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Daniel Strauss - What others say:

This week I’m going to release an interview with my team mate Daniel Strauss. It’s been a personal mission of mine to interview him for a long time but somehow it was harder to do because as a team mate, instructor and friend, I found it harder to write objectively - I guess you can be too close to your subject sometimes. But now, the time seems right. Instead of me spouting off about how brilliant he is, I’m going to preface the interview with what others say about Daniel:


Nick Brooks, BJJ Black belt, head instructor Mill Hill BJJ Club
What makes Daniel Special: His.....Attention to Detail,Passion & Dedication for BJJ, Understanding of body mechanics, Wise head on young shoulders, Egoless, Always excited to step on the mat to fight, Always looking for the next challenge, Always looking to finish the fight, In time this is what will make him stand out from the rest.


David Onuma, BJJ Black Belt and founder of Combined Fighting Systems (CFS):
'Dan is a real talent but one who combines that talent with a serious work ethic and drive to succeed. Whilst I am currently helping him with improving his BJJ and his MMA, I personally gain from all the time we spend together and his no-gi game in my opinion is already at 'Black Belt' level'


Dickie Martin, BJJ Black Belt, Carlson Gracie London
Daniel always has a smile on his face and is such a nice guy you can’t help but like him. His jiu-jitsu just keeps getting better and better and better. Faixa Rua are proud to have him as one of their sponsored fighters.


Simon Hayes, BJJ Black Belt, Carlson Gracie London
Daniel Strauss embodies what BJJ should be, which is to have friendly upbeat attitude off the mat, but once he’s on the mat, he wants to tear people apart.


Andrew Marshall, strength and conditioning coach, Mill Hill Combat & Conditioning Centre
“Daniel obviously has great BJJ skills, but from my point of view he is also one of the most dedicated and talented athletes I have worked with. He understands the importance of strength & conditioning, and works his ass off when he's with me. I honestly think you would be very hard pushed to find a 19 year old 75kg guy anywhere who can do what Dan does. Also he's a funny dude, and alot of fun to work with. If we are not training we are pretty much laughing all day, well, or eating! That boy can eat!!“



Darren Jones, head of Force MMA in Hertfordshire:
“Having been involved in martial arts for over 27 years and MMA and grappling the last 11 years, I have trained with some of the worlds great fighters; Royce Gracie, Vitor Belfort, Mark Kerr, Marco Ruas, Chuck Liddell, Ernesto Hoost, Jerome le Banner, Hasdel, Roger Brooking, all at London Shoot, Sol Gilbert, Mark Bucanan.
All the guys above have one thing in common..vision - a natural clarity when they fight. Daniel Strauss is one of the most gifted, natural athletes I have ever met, and at 19 he is going to be a phenom around the world. He is already seen as the UK's No 1 grappler in his division. His list of competition wins speaks for itself, including being the UK's first ever World No Gi Champion.
Bringing Daniel on board at Force MMA was an easy decision. I wanted someone who wanted to be part of the club, who loved what they do, someone who would inspire and motivate both as an instructor as well as a current fighter or competitor. This was an important decision for me as most of the guys at Force MMA are competeing, or will be soon, so giving them the chance to learn and develop their skills from someone who is at the top of their game, is a great opportunity for any fighter.
Daniel’s love for his game is apparent in his teaching and fighting. His quirky attitude when he fights is cocky but not arrogant..just someone who has amazing ability. His teaching style is relaxed and informal however he is detailed in the application and explanation of techniques and spends the time with each of the guys as well as a group. He inspires the people he teaches..but does all this in a very simple effective way that everyone at all levels and capabilities take it in and can understand. He has helped our fighters change their game. He is also part of the fight prep & corner team which is a massive boost for the guys to have him there.
The future is bright..The future is Daniel Strauss.. he will be a legend in this game trust me!!

Matt Benyon, Scramble clothing
Scramble is proud to be associated with Dan. He takes his training very seriously, and the results show in competition. But he also manages to keep a good sense of humour which I think is essential in people who make a living from bashing people up.


I hope the testimonials above paint some sort of picture of Daniel’s ability both as an athlete and as an instructor as described by people around him. Now, for part two where you’ll get to hear from the horse’s mouth. Daniel talks about his training and competitive experiences, his rivals, his goofing around and his plans for future world domination!

Coming up next...Daniel Strauss speaks...




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Fighter Profile - Part One: Daniel Strauss, Unmasked

Daniel Strauss - What others say: This week I’m going to release an interview with my team mate Daniel Strauss. It’s been a personal mis...

13 Sep 2010

Esther Lin is a busy girl. I've been bugging her for months and months and finally, she found time to access her amazing archive of photographs and send me her personal favourites. I'm absolutely thrilled! I think you can see why Esther is one of the world's foremost MMA photographers. Esther puts her heart and soul into every frame. She somehow captures the raw beauty and beautiful rawness of the sport. Every single shot seems to tell a unique story - and she's happy to share them with you on her official website and her blog All Elbows.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the personal favourite photos taken by Ms Esther Lin:



1. Gina Carano vs Cris Cyborg



This is hands down my favorite photo that I have ever taken. It was made better by my going back and watching Showtime's "All Access" site to the event. The site allowed me to watch every single camera angle, whether it was on the broadcast or not. This meant I got to see both fighters, waiting in the tunnel before walking out. Cristiane was dancing, happy. Gina was breathing heavily, face serious, trying to keep herself calm.

I remember this moment in the fight well if not only for my visual registration of fear in Gina's eyes. I knew at that moment, though the fight continued for another few minutes, I knew then it was over.



2. Shinya Aoki turnbuckle surfing.



This was the first show I ever shot in Japan. I've only shot three. But I was excited for this picture. I am really bummed I shot this kind of low-res -- I wish I'd had this lens attached to my 5D and I wish I had more memory cards. Only because I'd want this blown up, 20x30 at least. It was a fun moment for me, I loved all the fans cheering and chanting. And really, it's the beginning of the new era of my career.


3. Clay Guida choked by Kenny Florian



To me, this photo embodies everything critics hate about the sport but everything I love about photography. It was so bloody. So violent. But so beautiful. I studied film -- wanted to make documentaries and be a cinematographer but I honestly wasn't good. But the still image, is a poem to a novel, for me. This photo is exactly how the fight went, in one image. My favorite thing about this photo is simply that it's in motion. You can tell what direction their bodies are moving. Florian is dragging Guida to the canvas. And Guida's hair flying, motion blurred, not the "perfect" razor sharp image but perfect in its purpose.

Every time I see that image, I feel and see that entire fight in my head.


4. Chael Sonnen vs Anderson Silva



Well, this is the most recent. I really just added it because people keep telling me this is a perfect image. I do love it very much. I think again, because you can feel the motion. This is everything MMA is in one photo. A submission in the final seconds after a brutal, mostly one-sided war. Anderson Silva's scream, Sonnen's desperate pull away. Everything is moving and I look at this and hear the crowd, deafeningly loud, I hear exclamations in all directions around me, my own heart is beating but I am still, shooting, knowing I have this. Every once in a while, I'll glance at my LCD screen between fights to check I'm not screwing things up monumentally but never during fights. I always know when I get a shot and when I don't. You feel it between the sound of the shutter and what your eye is seeing through that viewfinder. I know when I get the impact, I know when I don't.

I knew I had this when I shot it and could not wait. I packed up all my gear and ran to the press room to upload it.

Until I had done so, I just heard the crowd screaming in my head.


My Favourite Photos - By Esther Lin

Esther Lin is a busy girl. I've been bugging her for months and months and finally, she found time to access her amazing archive of phot...

10 Sep 2010

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I’m walking past a Thai supermarket on a main road in Hammersmith, west London and the pungent odours of lemon grass and breadfruit immediately bring back memories of my honeymoon in Thailand seven years ago. Coincidentally, it was seven years ago - almost to the day - that I had my first ever Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu lesson. The place: Carlson Gracie in Royal Oak. I didn’t know it at the time, but that first lesson was to shape my entire life for the next seven years so it was fitting that I now return back to the team for a Meerkatsu dojo visit.

Academy tour - Carlson Gracie west London

I’m walking past a Thai supermarket on a main road in Hammersmith, west London and the pungent odours of lemon grass and breadfruit immedi...

8 Sep 2010

Well there's only one week left before the my Crazy-Ass Design Your Own BJJ Gi Contest ends on the 15th September. So far it's been a huge success. It's been the talk of the town - with designs going up on over 20 blog sites, BJJ news sites, forums, Facebook, the lot! If you haven't already visited the official Crazy-Ass BJJ gi website, please do so now and send me your entries FAST!!!!

And heck even if you can't draw for toffee, then you can at least vote for your favourite entry. I'll announce more details on the Crazy-Ass blogsite and Facebook group nearer the time.

In the meantime, enjoy these tasty efforts:

250. back

243. seizastudio

164.TMUScoripion_Yellow-sm

65. Dom-escape artist


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Design Your Own Gi - ONE WEEK LEFT!

Well there's only one week left before the my Crazy-Ass Design Your Own BJJ Gi Contest ends on the 15th September. So far it's bee...

5 Sep 2010

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Roy Dean Academy custom gi

Summary
A surprisingly lightweight single weave BJJ gi with an extraordinary price tag, the limited edition Roy Dean Academy 'honor' gi with custom embroidered Japanese calligraphy and contrast stitching is a collector's item for dedicated Roy Dean fans and lovers of discrete, traditional and tastefully designed gis.


Gi Review: Roy Dean 'Honor' limited edition BJJ gi

Roy Dean Academy custom gi Summary A surprisingly lightweight single weave BJJ gi with an extraordinary price tag, the limited edition ...

4 Sep 2010

Following on from Omied's interview with dad Dave, here is part two of the father/son interview:


Fighter Profile: Tyrone 'Tyweezy' Elliott

by Omied Khakshour





OK: So Tyweezy, what’s your Age, rank and school?
 
Ty: I’m 15, a Green belt (4 stripe) and I train at Gracie Barra Newcastle


OK: How long have you been training jiu-jitsu and how did you start?


Ty: I’ve been doing BJJ for 11 years now.  I started watching UFC with my dad, and we used to mess around and play fight at home.  My dad has done martial arts for as long as I can remember, so it was natural for me to do the same.

Father & Son Fighter Profile: Dave and Tyrone Elliott - Part Two

Following on from Omied's interview with dad Dave, here is part two of the father/son interview: Fighter Profile: Tyrone 'Tyweezy...

2 Sep 2010

Fighter Profile: Dave 'Speedy' Elliott


by Omied Khakshour



The Wallsend Boys Club is infamous in the North East for producing premiership football legends such as Alan Shearer, Steve Bruce and Peter Beardsley. Amidst the many trophies and footballing memorabilia at this iconic club, tucked away in the upstairs judo room father and son, Dave ‘Speedy’ and Tyrone ‘Tyweezy’ Elliott, are working on a legend of their own. Dave is one of an elite few of Brits who have reached the rank of Black belt, and the first in the North East. Tyrone, at 15, is one of the UKs brightest BJJ prospects and is part of the ‘next generation’ of british Jiu jiteiros that have grown up with the art.

I have spent the last year training with Dave and Tyrone at Gracie Barra Newcastle and seen first hand the dedication and skill this father and son pairing bring to the art of Jiu Jitsu. I caught up with them in my last week at GB Newcastle to find out how they got involved in BJJ, Dave’s philosophy on training leg locks and Tyrone’s aspirations of being world champion. Enjoy.

Father & Son Fighter Profile: Dave and Tyrone Elliott - Part One

Fighter Profile: Dave 'Speedy' Elliott by Omied Khakshour The Wallsend Boys Club is infamous in the North East for producing ...

 

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