23 Dec 2011


Tengu is a Japanese mythological creature usually attributed with shape shifting abilities and general trickery/ I thought it would be a lovely creature to draw with all the feathers flying around and supernatural whizz effects I could add to it.

The  artwork began life as a random pen sketch in my notebook. I just wanted to test out my new pigment fineliners to see how thin I could draw the barbs in the feathers:


I asked Matt over at Scramble, who designs all sorts of cool Japanese themed apparel, for some words in kanji, and voila, lots of inking up with pens, a bit of Photoshop trickery and there you have it, Tengu!


From next year, I've decided to separate my art based posts onto a new blog - Meerkatsu Art - and my more BJJ focused posts on this one. I'll still drop in copious design-based entries on the main Meerkatsu blog and there may even be a lot of repetition. As long as it is strongly connected to BJJ, eg a logo, or t-shirt with that theme, it will go on here, and all art posts go on the Meerkatsu art blog. Confused? so am I. We'll see how it pans out.


:)

Meerkatsu Art: Tengu Wallpaper

Tengu is a Japanese mythological creature usually attributed with shape shifting abilities and general trickery/ I thought it would be ...

22 Dec 2011



I've always believed that the budget BJJ gi is vitally important. At this end of the market, you attract newcomers just starting out in the sport, or grab established players who are less affluent than those who are addicted to buying expensive imported gis. Budget uniforms are also a handy extra when a student requires a second gi to compliment their main uniform. I've looked around and here is a list of current gi models that sell for less than £60 in the UK, and less than $100 in the US. I've included links to other people's reviews where possible. The list is not exhaustive and I have only personally reviewed a couple of them. Prices correct at time of writing (26th Dec 2011):

Sub £60 Gis available in the UK:
Tatami Fightwear Nova Basic - rrp £49.99 - website
Black Eagle Basico - sale price £49.99 - website, review
TUFF Fightwear lightweight - rrp £42.99 - website, review
Strike Fightwear Tatico Gi - sale price £29.99 - website, review
Blitz Lutador Kimono - rrp £59.99 - website
Grab & Pull ripstop - sale price £58.91 - website, review

Sub $100 Gis available in the USA:
Subculture (various models at $99) - website, review
Gorilla Fightgear - Hitman Feather Light - rrp $88 - website, review
Padilla & sons Ultra Light white - rrp $100 - website, review
Redstar Clean - rrp $100 - website
Fuji BJJ Uniform in white - sale price $69 - website,
Fenom Lotus Gi - rrp $75 - website, review
Razorback Jiu Jitsu goldweave - sale price $65 - website
Live Love Fight Gi Black Diamond - rrp $89 - website, review
Mojo Superlite - rrp $99 - website
Submission FC - White goldweave - rrp $85, website

Some bargains to be had in there I reckon!


.


Gi Roundup: Sub £60 gis, sub $100 gis

I've always believed that the budget BJJ gi is vitally important. At this end of the market, you attract newcomers just starting out...

19 Dec 2011

Top BJJ blogger Aesopian has spent countless hours collecting data using his detailed survey asking BJJers their opinion on gis and brands. The first wave of results are out.


Wow! Fushida straight in at number one, who'd have thunk it? (Read my Fushida Komodo review.) When I reviewed the Fushida, I loved the customer service, I loved the outstanding quality of the gi but after a while of wearing it, I found it was a tad too long for me in all areas. The trousers were definitely too long, but Christo the owner sent me a smaller pair, which were better but in the end, I gave my Fushida away as it just wasn't perfect for me. Since my review, they've come out with a couple of new models and it seems that and their brilliant service have helped them top the list. Well done Fushida. Nice to also see Tatami Fightwear in the Top 10. A year ago, I think most Americans (the biggest gi market by far) would not have heard of TFW, but with non-stop pushing, the brand have leapt into the Top 10 so well done to them, nice to see a British brand hit the big time. My only other comment is that is is also reassuring in a way to see Japanese brands - who I guess should know a thing or two about gi making - dominating the charts with Mizuno, Isami and Bull Terrier representing!

Aesopian is at pains to point out, the difference between the top 10, or even the top 20 brands is teeny weeny weeny. There's very little to separate them. What is MORE interesting, is to see why brands like Shoyoroll (last survey's outright winner) have dramatically lost their top billing and why is the Gracie Barra standard uniform so low scoring?

These and many other questions will be explored by Aesopian in coming blog posts, so make sure you catch them on his website.

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The Best Gi Brand of 2011

Top BJJ blogger Aesopian has spent countless hours collecting data using his detailed survey asking BJJers their opinion on gis and brands....

I was lucky enough to be commissioned by Oss! Clothing to design a signature t-shirt for the Miyao Brothers. Paulo Henrique and João Ricardo Miyao are two of the hottest, most talked about BJJ prodigies in town right now. Don't believe me? Check out the highlight reel below produced by my friends from BJJHacks...




Crazy, right? I can't even begin to describe the headspinning technique of these guys. Mesmerising!

I didn't really have a brief. Oss just said, hey wanna do something for the Miyao Bros? I said sure, so I watched all their videos, figured they were cool cats and since I love Japanese Lucky Cats, I drew two of them mirrored against each other. I'm pretty sure these cats will mess you up if you ever fought them on the mats!

T-shirts will be available from Oss! in a couple of weeks. Check their Facebook page for updates on colours, prices and availability.

Oss!



:)

Meerkatsu Art: Miyao

I was lucky enough to be commissioned by Oss! Clothing to design a signature t-shirt for the Miyao Brothers. Paulo Henrique and João Rica...

11 Dec 2011

Here's part two of my BJJ Xmas gift suggestions. No discount codes here, instead I've chosen stuff that is brand new, cool and perhaps hard to get hold of, so it should stir the passions of that 'hard to please' BJJ enthusiast. Happy shopping!


Xmas Present Ideas - Part Two

Here's part two of my BJJ Xmas gift suggestions. No discount codes here, instead I've chosen stuff that is brand new, cool and perha...

10 Dec 2011


Huge well done to my friend, instructor and all round cool guy, Oli Geddes who received his black belt promotion today from Mestre Maurição Motta Gomes and Roger Gracie.

I've known Oli pretty much most of my BJJ career over the years and we meet and speak often. He's a regular instructor at my academy plus he's always been there to guide and support me at the many tournaments over the years. To see someone as accomplished and dedicated as Oli achieve such an honoured rank makes me personally feel very proud. Well done Oli, but that's not all the good news ...

Head Instructor of Roger Gracie Academy Buckinghamshire, Kevin Capel, who I have also known for several years, was awarded his black belt too. Kev pops down to Mill Hill often and I've visited his former academy base. I've always enjoyed learning from and rolling with Kevin as he is not a big guy (can fight under 64Kg) but possesses immense strength and great technique. Again, I'm very pleased to see his well deserved promotion.

Kev (4th from left)
Head Instructor of the Yeo Dojo, Simon Yeo was awarded his BJJ black belt today. I met Simon a while ago when I was researching an article. He is more well known in traditional martial art circles as a master of Bujinkan Ninjutsu, but he's been training BJJ for years and years. He's probably been doing BJJ longer than most people in the UK so it's a long deserved promotion.


Another prominent UK BJJer, Tom Barlow, from Gracie Barra Plymouth received his black belt today from Braulio Estima. Eagle eyed readers may recall Tom as the recipient of some unsavoury showboating at this year's ADCC from Jeff Glover. But Tom handled it coolly and put on a great display. It's a great achievement, well done Tom.

Finally, I want to say a massive congratulations to Peter Griffiths who, at 73 years young, received his purple belt this weekend from Nic Gregoriades and Kev Capel. I first met Pete several years ago at the Essex BJJ Open. We had a good fight and Pete showed what tremendous fitness and technique he had. We've kept in touch ever since and I think he is an inspiration for everyone. Enjoy this video:



British BJJ Promotion News

Huge well done to my friend, instructor and all round cool guy, Oli Geddes who received his black belt promotion today from Mestre Mauri...

6 Dec 2011

On Sunday I competed at the Hereford BJJ Open - an event widely regarded as one of the best run tournaments in the UK. Hereford has been running a number of years and for the tenth incarnation, I was asked by head coach Dave Coles to design some mascots, posters and t-shirts. I was chuffed to be asked of course and I saw it as a good excuse to dust the cobwebs away and get back to competing, having not done so for a year.



Read on to find out how I did...

Tournament: Hereford BJJ Open 10

On Sunday I competed at the Hereford BJJ Open - an event widely regarded as one of the best run tournaments in the UK. Hereford has been run...

28 Nov 2011

In the run up to Christmas, online stores face their biggest sales of the year. Imagine, so many lovely fightwear goodies are up for grabs - either long lusted after items or spur of the moment impulse buys, big or small, Xmas is the time for getting your hands on BJJ gear.

Here are my suggestions, based purely on the fact that I have personally owned or reviewed the item and liked the item a lot. I guess it's biased towards UK readers but all the products featured here are shipped internationally or available through other retail outlets around the world.

Also, look out for the discount codes below. In no particular order:


Xmas Present Ideas - Part One

In the run up to Christmas, online stores face their biggest sales of the year. Imagine, so many lovely fightwear goodies are up for grabs -...

25 Nov 2011



Summary
A hyper luxurious premium gi, built largely from the popular Estilo model, but designed and endorsed by legendary BJJ player Fernando "Tererê" Augusto da SilvaThis signature model gi is bright and bold with in built rashguard and novel decorative features, it will appeal to fans of the star and those who simply wish to wear a design that stands out from the pack.

Disclosure
I have been commissioned in the past by Tatami Fightwear to produce design work for various products. I have had no contribution to this model gi. This report will be my own personal opinion and remain as objective and unbiased as I can.


Purchase Information
The Terere Signature gi can be purchased directly from Tatami Fightwear's website or via their specific site here:  www.tereresignaturegi.com which lists all the distributor contacts around the world.
Price - tbc
Available: Early December 2011

Gi Review: Tererê Signature Gi by Tatami Fightwear

Summary A hyper luxurious premium gi, built largely from the popular Estilo model, but designed and endorsed by legendary BJJ player Fe...

22 Nov 2011



Picture the scene - a work opportunity takes you to China, arguably the birthplace of martial arts as we know it. You think to yourself, what a great chance to open up a BJJ club too and spread the awesomeness that is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to a massive untapped reserve of willing new students. But things don't go according to plan. Language barriers, bureaucracy, closed doors, corruption and downright bad luck throw obstacles at every opportunity. And yet...and yet somehow, you make it work. Curious bright eyed and eager young students walk in through to door, they have somehow heard that this ground fighting thing is good for MMA. Word quickly spreads, TV and newspapers arrive - who is this gweilo asking us to grapple on our hands and knees??!!

The answer people, is Fred Greenall. You can read the full dramatic story about his move from the UK to China and the story of how his first few months trying to establish a BJJ club in Nanjing.

http://liketwofight.com/article/fred-greenall-blog-part-1/

Guan Yu
Anyway, long story short, Fred approach me a few months ago, prior to his leaving the UK and we talked about a ton of stuff. I liked his story and vibe so I sent him a honey badger rashie to endorse. I also designed his logo for his club, Frontier Asia BJJ. The red faced character is Guan Yu - Chinese General and popular deity. I based my version on the Chinese Opera mask (of which there are many styles). I thought being the de facto God of War, it would be a cool character to use for a fight club logo:



I'm really pleased to see Fred establish himself in China, it can't be easy when so many things stand in your way, but a pure love of jiu jitsu is what drives him...what drives all of us and I hope you'll join me in wishing him the very best of luck!







:)

Starting a BJJ Club in China

Picture the scene - a work opportunity takes you to China, arguably the birthplace of martial arts as we know it. You think to yourself,...

18 Nov 2011



Summary
A super stylish BJJ gi with some neat touches let down slightly in my pre-production sample by sleeve shrinkage. Final production models will have longer sleeve and trouser lengths according to Scramble. This report outlines sizing issues in more detail and how the gi performed during rolling. See part one for more details on styling and design.


Gi Review: 1Chiban by Scramble - Part Two

Summary A super stylish BJJ gi with some neat touches let down slightly in my pre-production sample by sleeve shrinkage. Final productio...

9 Nov 2011



Summary
UK fightwear and leisure wear company Scramble present their very first BJJ uniform – the 1chiban. This report (Part 1) offers a first impressions look at the pre-production gi. My next report (Part 2) will reveal data on shrink tests, comfort, fit and rolling thoughts.

Purchasing Details
1chiban by Scramble is available on pre-order from 11th November 2011 at 11:11am (UK) and 11:11 (Pacific Time). It is available from both www.scramblestuff.com  and www.budovideos.com for £99 plus shipping and $160 + shipping respectively. Pre-order window unspecified, but due to the limited nature, likely to be very short. Deliveries will take on average 4+ weeks.
Read the Scramble 'Everything you Need to Know' which includes a detailed size guide.

Disclosure
I have been commissioned in the past by Scramble to produce artwork and photography for various Scramble products. I have had no contribution to the 1chiban. This and the following report will be my own personal opinion and remain as objective and unbiased as I can. This report is based on a pre-production model, final model will differ in some aspects of sizing.



Gi Review: 1Chiban by Scramble - Part One

Summary UK fightwear and leisure wear company Scramble present their very first BJJ uniform – the 1chiban . This report (Part 1) offer...

6 Nov 2011


Strike Fightwear are a new UK based fightwear company who commissioned me to design a number of pieces of art for use as t-shirts, rashguards, grappling tights, adverts and many other items. It was a huge project and I'm very pleased to see they've opened up shop and are doing very well already.

It's a bit nervy to be entrusted with quite a bit of responsibility, I mean my designs have to be attractive enough for people to want to buy them and help launch the brand! Thankfully, since the Strike Fightwear website launched earlier last month, the cool kids in the BJJ block have been happily purchasing items.

Here are some more photos and details about the designs I created...

Apparel brand: Strike Fightwear

Strike Fightwear are a new UK based fightwear company who commissioned me to design a number of pieces of art for use as t-shirts, rashg...

1 Nov 2011


Ack! I missed Halloween by one day, foolish moi! Never mind, this painted gi patch was a lot of fun to make. It''s for an 11 year old (called Gil) who loves evil dogs and zombies, perfect!

I used fabric paints onto canvas cotton patch I bought from a department store. See my previous painted gi patch - for my Galo and Pluma design.

UPDATE
February 2012, here is a photo of Gill's backpatch, hoorah!


Meerkatsu Art: Zombie v Werwewolf painted gi patch

Ack! I missed Halloween by one day, foolish moi! Never mind, this painted gi patch was a lot of fun to make. It''s for an 11 year...

29 Oct 2011



Hey guys, awesome new apparel company Strike Fightwear (who recently just opened up their webstore and just so happen to have commissioned a number of art designs from me) are giving away two tickets for UFC 138 and a Strike Fightwear T-shirt!!!

UFC 138 is being held in Birmingham NEC, UK, on Saturday November 5th - that's ONE WEEK AWAY!!! So because of the short notice, this comp is only available to UK residents only. Sorry!

To enter, post a comment on here with your answer to this question:

Who is your favourite UFC fighter?

TERMS:
The contest ends on TUESDAY 6pm BST and a winner will be announced that evening (chosen at random). Please include your email address in the answer so we can contact you asap as we'll need your mailing address to post the tickets to you. I will erase all the comments after 24 hours. Anyone not responding within 24hours of my email will lose their chance and a second choice winner will be picked. No cash prize alternative.

Good luck!


:)

CONTEST: UFC 138 TICKETS

Hey guys, awesome new apparel company Strike Fightwear (who recently just opened up their webstore and just so happen to have commission...

28 Oct 2011



Last night I took the opportunity to visit Nova Forca BJJ in Epsom, Surrey, UK. The academy has just relocated to a studio within the Energie Fitness Centre on the High Street which itself is literally slap bang next to the mainline train station - with frequent trains from both Waterloo and London Victoria.

Nova Forca is run by BJJ black belt Ricardo Da Silva. Originally from Brazil, Ricardo has been teaching BJJ in the UK for over ten years, making him one of the earliest instructors of the sport in this country!

I had a great time training with Ricardo and all the crew. The vibe is friendly and the instruction is solid. Ricardo taught 3 techniques and made the class drill these repeatedly. He is a stickler for perfection and he was keen to ensure each student performed the techniques correctly. It was nogi class on the night that I attended and there were around 25 students on the mats. I was told that gi class can reach up to 45 students!

It was good to catch up with Mark Stephenson, who I fought couple years ago, and good to see him don his freshly awarded brown belt. Tim Radcliffe, one of my honey badger sponsored fighters was there too and I wish him luck on his next MMA fight - bizarrely, located in the Dominican Republic!

Thanks to everyone at Nova Forca for making me feel ultra welcome. A full interview and report will be published in the next issue of Jiu Jitsu Style Magazine.


:)


Academy Tour: Nova Forca, Epsom, Surrey

Last night I took the opportunity to visit Nova Forca BJJ in Epsom, Surrey, UK. The academy has just relocated to a studio within the E...

24 Oct 2011


Good people of the world, this is my very last pre-production Honey Badger rashguard. It's a size LARGE. You want it? Do I give a sh*t? Of course I do. So to win this last ever pre-production rashie (final production version is a little different with added logos etc) here are the details:

TO ENTER
The artwork on this rashguard has been subject to intense debate with people either loving it or hating. I want you to play devil's advocate and write - as a comment on this blog entry - the most creatively venomous 'review' of the rashguard as you can. No profanities please, I want clever but naaaasty critique. Make it mean, make it deadly, make me laugh out loud.

Comment here on this blog, not Facebook. Please include your full name and location, but if you want to avoid spambots, then leave out your email address and just keep an eye on here when I announce the winner and you can contact me by email or Facebook with your mailing details.

Entries close on WEDNESDAY 26th October midnight BST - a winner announced the next day.

Judges decision (ie me) is final. Remember the prize is one size LARGE long sleeved rashie.


DON'T FORGET
Pre-order for this baby ends on Monday 31st October (conveniently end of month payday, yay!)
You can buy it through these retailers:

UK - Tatami Fightwear

USA - Budovideos
Germany - Gi Direkt
Sweden - TatamiBJJ SE
Finland - MESH
Japan - BT Fightgear

Good luck!


:)

Contest: Win a Honey Badger Rashguard (size Large)

Good people of the world, this is my very last pre-production Honey Badger rashguard. It's a size LARGE . You want it? Do I give a ...

22 Oct 2011



Grappling or fight socks are a relatively new introduction to the grappler. They straddle the division between full on wrestling shoes and Totes. Guest reviewer James Fairclough kindly wrote a review of his purchase of one brand of fight socks. This is his review...

[Photos c/o 4QS Fightwear]


Review: 4Q2 Fight socks

Grappling or fight socks are a relatively new introduction to the grappler. They straddle the division between full on wrestling shoes a...

18 Oct 2011

So I'm having fun pretending to be a proper brand owner and I even managed to bribe convince a few BJJ friends of mine to represent the brand. It's less of a sponsorship, more of a conceptual gathering - a bit like the Jiu Jitsu Brotherhood. Our motto is, We don't give a sh*t! Blatently lifted off the Randall video I know, but hey, why not run with it, it works perfectly for grappling fighters! Anyone can join Team Honey Badger. The only requirement is that you are badass enough to not give a sh*t what people think - oh and it helps to wear my Honey Badger themed fightwear ;)





...and there will be more members of Team Honey Badger so watch this space!!!


:)

Team Honey Badger

So I'm having fun pretending to be a proper brand owner and I even managed to bribe convince a few BJJ friends of mine to represent the...

12 Oct 2011

bad publicity, just publicity!

I'm not sure who came up with that quote first, but I think it perfectly sums up the response to my Honey Badger Rashguard so far. Check out the awesome comments it has been receiving from the forums...

(btw, this really is exactly the kind of love it or hate it 'Marmite' response I thought might happen and genuinely enjoy the attention the design is getting!):
  • "Did this design team just sit down and decide to make the ugliest expensive rash guard they could think of? If so, kudos! Mission accomplished."
  • "Cool idea but poor execution IMO. Would prefer more honey badger and less...other crap."
  • "this rashguard sucks. there are a lot of cool T-shirt designs with HBs on them."
  • "It's hideous, and the Chinese characters on the sleeve are totally random and unrelated"
  • "Not your best work IMHO mate. I think you've gone overboard with the symmetry on the front."
...and so on. Obviously there have been equally copious amounts of praise but the bad comments are the funniest.

To quote another famous line: ""The only thing worse than being talked about is not..." (Oscar Wilde Google tells me). Haha, so true. And to help matters along, here is some proper publicity I have been involved in helping to get the Honey Badger Fightwear message across:

Raspberry Ape versus The Honey Badger
Last weekend we filmed a short film in the style of a UFC fight trailer. It might seem put together quickly but actually filming too an entire day. My thanks to the Lock and Roll Show team who went to great lengths to make this video.



Team Honey Badger
I hand picked a bunch of BJJ friends who have agreed to help me rep the brand, I'll be posting their fighter profiles on here and Facebook in the next few days.



BJJ Weekly
The very excellent e-mail newsletter BJJWeekly (do subscribe if you haven't already) ran a competition to win a Honey Badger rash guard. Their task was to ask all their followers on Facebook to invent a rap in honour of the Honey Badger.

The winner was Paul Ramey from North Carolina and this is his rap:

Eeeeeew, he's NASTY! Skillful and CRAFTY! Honey badger don't care cuz his jitz is so DAFFY! Crazy ankle biter, this beast is a fighter, absolute division just got a little bit tighter. He takes a savage course, he's the king of the scavengers. You better watch yo neck because he's comin' to ravage yours!

BJJ Weekly are also running my button advert in their newsletter for a few weeks.


We'll do two more giveaway contests over the next fortnight. Next up will be one hosted by UK magazine Jiu Jitsu Style so keep an eye on their website and Facebook group for news of this competition.

Finally, a big thank you to everyone who has so far fallen in love with the honey badger design and paid their hard earned money for the pre-order. I'm really honoured you like it enough to buy it. Actually you loved it too much on Monday morning because the volume of traffic when the pre-order window opened actually crashed the Tatami Fightwear website. Thankfully it was soon up and running.


:)

There's No Such Thing As...

bad publicity, just publicity! I'm not sure who came up with that quote first, but I think it perfectly sums up the response to my H...

8 Oct 2011


Summary
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.

Disclosure
This product was designed by me and I receive royalties from the sale of each one.

Introduction
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...


Apparel: Honey Badger Rashguard

Summary Rashguard designed by me to test the services of custom fightwear company Armourtech Clothing. This product is now available for...

3 Oct 2011


Summary
Loose fitting 'rash' guard and ultra light nogi shorts combine to produce a light and comfortable package for nogi or MMA training. The grappling t-shirt was perhaps a little too warm to be worn as an undergi layer but overall, a stylish and functional option for the submission wrestler and mixed martial artist.


Review: GenX Grappling T-shirt & NoGi Shorts

Summary Loose fitting 'rash' guard and ultra light nogi shorts combine to produce a light and comfortable package for nogi or MM...

26 Sep 2011

Braulio Estima - Superfight Champion

I've just back from quite possibly the most awesome jiu-jitsu related couple of days of my life. Those very lovely people at Jiu Jitsu Style Magazine fixed me up with a rare press pass and I spent the whole weekend right by the mats taking snaps of as much jiu jitsu action as I could. ADCC this year was a galactic who's who of grappling superstars and the matches did not disappoint. This post is not a full on report - there was just sooooooo much insane action that it would take me a week just to write it, plus I have over 2,000 snaps I have to edit and go through.

Click here to read a blow by blow analysis of the major fights plus news on all the results.

The Brits who competed can all be proud of themselves. It was great to see so many homegrown fighters on the mat and of course so many UK based Brazilian instructors too. Whenever they fought the crowd support was at times thunderous.

Here are just a couple of fave photos from the weekend - it's gonna take me a week or more to go through them properly. One I do, I'll let you know the photo page where I will store them for viewing.

Kron attempts guillotine on Marcelo Garcia


Leo Vieira v Claudio Calasans

Tetsu Hadairo or is it an alien?

Baret Yoshida inflicts pain on Nicolas Renier

Tom Barlow and Jeff Glover doing, er chickens?

Penny Thomas takes Talita Noegeira's back

Kyra Gracie submits Sara Svennson

Cyborg v ?

Lagarto v Xande

Robson Moura celebrates win against Ryan Hall

Tournament Report: ADCC 2011, Nottingham

Braulio Estima - Superfight Champion I've just back from quite possibly the most awesome jiu-jitsu related couple of days of my lif...

22 Sep 2011

I don't usually get much time to watch online BJJ content but I made sure to catch up on the 'Road to ADCC' series of docuvids made by British BJJ filmmaker Stu Cooper. As the absolute winner from ADCC two years ago, Braulio Estima gets the honour of fighting in a massive superfight against another grappling superstar - Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza


Good luck to Braulio and everyone else competing this weekend. Let's remember this one as the greatest ADCC ever! :)

Braulio Estima Road to the ADCC

I don't usually get much time to watch online BJJ content but I made sure to catch up on the 'Road to ADCC' series of docuvids m...

18 Sep 2011



Chico Mendes (Head of Checkmat Europe), Leo Vieira, Ricardo and me at front
When I was a kid, I sometimes wondered what it would be like to have an older bruv - someone to play with, to beat the crap out of bullies, to train kung fu with (hey, BJJ wasn't around when I was a kid). Instead I had to settle on my sister, who I love, but was not very good at beating me up. Anyway, at the seminar today, the first thing I noticed is the really strong bond the two Vieira brothers have for each other. Leo seems the slightly more serious one, Ricardo the incessant joker of the two - both are easy going and ultra friendly. I can just imagine them as kids, mucking around, trading techniques, both growing in jiu jitsu awesomeness.

Nogi
This was probably the longest seminar I have ever attended: four hours in total, 2 nogi and 2 gi. Leo began the nogi portion with a sequence of takedowns from the clinch leading into a bunch of submissions or back-taking openings. Leo stressed that in nogi, his main priority was to look for the back and to make sure that whatever position he was in, that it was one where he had more options (to attack or defend) than his opponent. It was a very tactical approach to learning. Although I rarely train nogi, I enjoyed this session and took away a number of neat tricks and tips. Leo whizzed through the techniques at a pace though so we probably drilled each one about 6-8 times before moving on. No dilly dallying at a Vieira Brothers seminar!!

Gi
Leo announced before the start of this section that he would present us with a series of open guard options. I love open guard and learning it from one the legends of the game got me really excited! Leo showed us a sequence of options beginning with an open half guard. This soon developed into variations of deep half guard - which took me quite a few attempts to get my head round, but in the end, something went 'ding!' and now, I have to say, I am liking the deep half a lot!!

Beatings
No, not me (although a couple rounds of sparring with my friend Pippa probably constitutes a beating in my case) - I'm talking about the belt whippings at the end of class. We don't really do belt whippings at my academy so to see a vast lineup of folk zealously whipping the newly promoted was funny, and wince inducing at the same time. Notable promotion mention should go to Aaron Naisbett from Dungeon BJJ in the North East. Aaron has been training 11 years and for a large part of those early days, had to rely on instructionals and a bunch of dedicated friends to supplement his trips to Brazil. It was genuinely nice to see the look of surprise on his face when Ricardo announced the black belt award.

Thanks to:
Chico Mendes, head of Checkmat in Europe kindly invited me down to Cheltenham (very posh town in the West of the UK).
Leo Vieira - for being the perfect model and interviewee today (watch out for Leo interview in the next Jiu Jitsu Style Magazine).
Ricardo Vieira - for his helpful tips and, well, just being a legend (nine World titles!)
Pippa Granger - for being an ace training partner.

Good luck to Leo in next weekend's ADCC in Nottingham!!!


:)

Seminar: Leo Vieira, Cheltenham, UK

Chico Mendes (Head of Checkmat Europe), Leo Vieira, Ricardo and me at front When I was a kid, I sometimes wondered what it would be li...

16 Sep 2011

Getting excited, very excited. In fact I'm so excited about ADCC coming to the UK that all conversation about it is banned. But we can look at pretty pictures like, er the ultra cool ADCC program guide that Jiu Jitsu Style are putting together right now. Exclusive - just for Meerkatsu readers, a sneak preview at one of the inside pages. Tom Barlow is one of the three British fighters competing at the event (others are Daniel Strauss and Rosi Sexton).




Tickets for ADCC are still available or, if you can't get to it, you can buy pay  per view for the online screening from Budovideos. I'll be there of course, and reporting back to you with my impressions straight after!

:)

ADCCITING!

Getting excited, very excited. In fact I'm so excited about ADCC coming to the UK that all conversation about it is banned. But we can l...

10 Sep 2011

Been real busy lately with commissions, here are a few recent ones...





Artwork: Cows, Zombies and Koi

Been real busy lately with commissions, here are a few recent ones...

 

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