30 Aug 2012



Summary
After the overwhelming success of the Ichiban comes that 'difficult second album' syndrome. Scramble's customers need not worry, the Wave is destined to become a classic BJJ uniform. However it is worth noting the slightly larger degree of shrinkage in the sleeves and trousers, plus the fact that wearing a rashguard lined jacket might make you feel hotter compared to a regular non-lined gi of similar weight. It is also priced at the higher end of the gi market.

Disclosures
I have been commissioned in the past by Scramble to produce artwork. I have had no contribution to this design. This and the following report will be my own personal opinion and remain as objective and unbiased as I can.


Gi Review: Scramble 'Wave' Kimono

Summary After the overwhelming success of the Ichiban comes that 'difficult second album' syndrome. Scramble's customers ne...

25 Aug 2012



I just discovered this really great podcast dedicated to BJJ and grappling - it's called the Open Mat Radio and you can find their shows here: http://www.openmatradio.com/

I was brought to their attention when their guest, Jon Thomas from Tap Cancer Out gave me a shout out in his interview. You can listen to this episode here - where Jon describes how his non-profit got started and all the difficulties involved. Especially illuminating was the story behind his unique fund raising tournament format, in which he raised an incredible $21,000!!

I spoke briefly to co-host Paul Moran to find out more about Open Mat Radio. He explains:

"Myself, Richard Heinrich and Rafael Penha) debuted OpenMatRadio.com in January of this year. We cover the jiu jitsu/grappling lifestyle in various ways on our site. Our main draw is our weekly podcast (http://www.openmatradio.com/category/podcasts/).
We've interviewed BJ Penn, Shaolin, Eddie Bravo, Xande, Ryan Hall, John Danaher and many more. Our goal is to create a better discourse for the jiu jitsu/grappling community. Another goal is to expose our community to valuable history that might otherwise not be reported on.
In addition to our podcast we film a series called Expert's Corner. In this series we ask top level blackbelts/fighters/coaches the same set of questions. We ask the same questions so our viewers can compare how Marcelo, Saulo and Erik Paulson answer. 
We also post classic fights, diet/nutrition tips and a style guide we call the Grappler's Closet. The Grappler's Closet features up and coming grassroots brands.
I think what sets us apart from other sites is that we try to cover the overall culture and not just the sport side of jiu jitsu. We've done interviews with Scotty from OTM, Lauren Park who works in Abu Dhabi with the Royal family and of course our interview with Jon for TCO. We also try to report on any charity work being done. We auctioned off a shirt autographed by a ton of all-stars that were at the San Diego World Pro Trials. The money went to support Seanna Rossi in her fight against cancer.

We do our best to cover the major tournaments around the US. We have worked with Ultimate Absolute in NYC and currently work with ADCC North America. Last, we do a lot of contests and give-a-ways with up and coming brands."

Sounds really cool, I'll be tuning in each week from now on.


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Open Mat Radio

I just discovered this really great podcast dedicated to BJJ and grappling - it's called the Open Mat Radio and you can find their ...


Summary
This extremely lightweight gi with comfy pearlweave jacket and wonderful ripstop trousers is perfect for weight cutting tournament use or hot weather training. The sleeve length and rough taping was not to my liking but the design elements in my opinion are beautifully put together.

Disclosures
I have been commissioned in the past by Arte Suave to produce artwork. I have had no contribution to this design. This and the following report will be my own personal opinion and remain as objective and unbiased as I can.

Introduction
Arte Suave is a clothing brand based in Hawaii. They have been operating for a couple years turning out clean, intelligently designed t-shirts. I first came across owner Scot on Facebook during discussions about fightwear design which led to him kindly hiring me to design a t-shirt for his clothing store. I was aware of his debut BJJ gi as he showed me early stage layouts of the design. I was impressed with the lovely use of various weights of Helvetica font and small graphics placed over the gi design. It has taken some time for that diagram layout to turn into reality, but it is now here. I took the gi for a spin over the course of a couple weeks, here is my report...

Gi Review: Arte Suave - Premium Lightweight

Summary This extremely lightweight gi with comfy pearlweave jacket and wonderful ripstop trousers is perfect for weight cutting tournam...

21 Aug 2012

Apologies for the short notice but the design above is going on sale at BJJHQ.com at 11pm Eastern Time 20th August 2012 - that's later tonight as I am writing it and if you are a European reader, that's like really really early in the morning!

I first came up with this design a year ago. I liked how the words could be read in any one of a number of different ways,
eg TO WIN MAN, DRILL!
or, MAN! DRILL TO WIN!
or, DRILL TO WIN, MAN!
or, MANDRILL TO WIN
...and I'm sure there are a few more variations or play on the order of this phrase. It was inspired loosely on the book by Andre Galvao: Drill To Win.

I chose the mandrill ape mainly because of the wordplay possibilities but also because the male has the most awesomely impressive and colourful face. Oh and an equally impressive rear end, but, um, I'm not going to draw that!

Sorry if these sell out by the time you read this. I hope to get some re-printed and made available in the UK later on.

As a side note, this t-shirt is not a freelance job or a collaboration but printed solely under my own 'Meerkatsu' brand name. I'll be discussing more about this on a later blog post, but suffice to say it's a very exciting development for me.



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Design: Drill to Win Man T-shirt

Apologies for the short notice but the design above is going on sale at BJJHQ.com at 11pm Eastern Time 20th August 2012 - that's late...

17 Aug 2012


Summary
I compare two recently released rashguards that both feature exclusive Japanese style artwork - The Shadows rashguard from Scramble and the Sakana 'koi' rashguard from Fuji Sports.

Information
Shadows is available from Scramble's webstore for £34.99
Sakana koi is available from Hatashita Sports webstore for $64
Both items may be available from other retailers.

Disclosures
I have worked as a freelance designer and illustrator for numerous fightwear companies. I have collaborated with Scramble in the past. I have had no personal involvement with the design of either product.

Rashguard Review: Scramble 'Shadows' vs Fuji 'Sakana'

Summary I compare two recently released rashguards that both feature exclusive Japanese style artwork - The Shadows rashguard from Scram...

14 Aug 2012


For better or worse I've decided to take part in a 24 hour grapplethon organised by my friend Can Somnez (of Slideyfoot blogging fame) to help raise funds for Meningitis UK.

As a parent one of the very first things I am paranoid about whenever one of my children gets mysteriously ill, is to check signs for meningitis. For good reason too as meningitis comes in so many forms and can be deadly. Read more about the disease here - Meningitis UK.

I have decided to lend my support to Can's 24 hour grapplethon in several ways. First, as you can see above, I designed a t-shirt. Tatami Fightwear very kindly offered sponsorship and printed a limited number of these t-shirts which will be given to most of the participants in the grapplethon. I also have a few in my possession which I would love to give away to those who personally sponsor me (I'll pick 5 or 6 at random).




The other way in which I am helping to support the event is to take part myself. I doubt I'll be able to roll for the full 24 hours but I'm aiming to do as much as I can. The grapplethon begins at 9am on Saturday 22nd September and will continue until 9am Sunday morning. Can mentioned that we'll divide into mini teams, each team sharing rolling duties for a set period of time until they flag and then another takes over while the others rest and then we roll again. The process will continue for as long as we can. The whole event will be streamed over the internet in case you are interested in seeing how we fare (especially in the difficult wee hours of the morning!)


Thanks to Gracie Barra Bristol for donating their mat space for the event. If you want to chip in a few quid towards our effort, my ow sponsor donation page is here:


If you are a UK tax payer, please tick the GIFT AID box.

Thank you, and wish me luck!

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Charity: 24 Hour Grapplethon for Meningitis UK

For better or worse I've decided to take part in a 24 hour grapplethon organised by my friend Can Somnez (of Slideyfoot blogging fa...

13 Aug 2012


Summary
Bright and jazzy coloured model to the Estilo range from Tatami Fightwear. This gi carries all the usual high quality aspects of previous Estilo models with the added bonus of limited edition and novel colour.

Gi Review: Tatami Fightwear Purple Estilo

Summary Bright and jazzy coloured model to the Estilo range from Tatami Fightwear . This gi carries all the usual high quality aspects o...

8 Aug 2012


I'm very excited about this! I first saw Roberto Abreu at ADCC in Nottingham last year. I thought he was awesome then and pretty much everyone I have spoke to who knows him has confirmed his awesome credentials.


Let's face it, anyone who's nickname is 'Cyborg' then has it tattooed on his arm, is alright with me.

If you are in London in September, hope to see you there!


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'Cyborg' is coming to town!!

I'm very excited about this! I first saw Roberto Abreu at ADCC in Nottingham last year. I thought he was awesome then and pretty mu...

 

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