24 Sep 2012



We did it! Over the past weekend, 30-40 of us at Gracie Barra Bristol managed to roll over a 24 hour period and in the process, raised funds for Meningitis UK.


Grapplethon Completed - Rolling BJJ over 24 hours!

We did it! Over the past weekend, 30-40 of us at Gracie Barra Bristol managed to roll over a 24 hour period and in the process, raised f...

19 Sep 2012



It's finally here - my very own e-store. After several months of planning and tedious production, web building, domain name hassling and working out payment and shipping complexities for both myself and my partners, the Meerkatsu Store is finally here.

http://store.meerkatsu.com

So let's have a look at what my launch offerings are...


Meerkatsu Store

It's finally here - my very own e-store. After several months of planning and tedious production, web building, domain name hassling...

16 Sep 2012


Summary
Outstanding sub $100 BJJ gi offers great value for money and then some. The attention paid to the details that matter - quality materials and copious reinforcements as well as good cut and fit - ensure that this is a great gi for everyday use.

Disclosures
I have no personal or business relations with Fuji, this review represents my own opinion.


Introduction
Ever since I first began reviewing gis a few years ago, the one brand that has kept cropping up in forums and comments is the Fuji gi. I have to be honest, I did not really take much notice of the chorus of over-enthusiastic supporters. My feeling was that such a plain gi pitched at the bottom end of the market could not be as amazing as their wearers would seem to suggest. When I was approached by Hatashita Sports asking which of their gi range I would like to review, I saw this as my chance to test out their most basic model to see if all the hype was true.


Measurements and other details

Size data for an A1 gi in centimetres brand new versus x3 washes at 40 degrees:
A: 162 / 160
B: 74 / 73
C: 53 / 53
D: 16 / 15.5
E: 53 / 51
F: 96 / 94
G: 21 / 21

Weight data in Kg:
Jacket: 1.2
Trousers: 0.5

Materials: singleweave jacket, cotton drill trousers, comes with free patches.

Manufactured in: Pakistan

Price: $89 from Hatashita Sports and other MMA/Fightwear stores.

Size discussion
Sleeve length on this gi is at the upper end of of the A1 spectrum. At 160cm long in wingspan it is equivalent to other longish brands such as the Tatami Estilo and the Ronin Brand Insignia. Other brands can have much shorter wingspans, the bottom end of the scale for example would include the Atama Mundial (150cm). Most brands tend to fall somewhere in the middle.

Jacket length and width fits in with most other gi brands while the trouser length, at 94cm long, would appear to be in the median of most brands (some A1 trousers reach as long as 100cm, others can be as short as 85cm)

Weighing 1.7Kg in total, this would be considered a tad heavier than most A1 gis.

Shrinkage would be expected on this fabric (singleweave) but the measurements show a surprisingly minimal degree of shrinkage after three warm washes.


Jacket
The Fuji All Around gi jacket is a basic judo-style single weave fabric. Unlike other single weaves I have reviewed in the past, it didn't shrink as much as I thought it would. The first noticeable aspect when one wears this gi is that it feels very soft and comfortable to wear, a good start.


The collar thickness is good but it does feel less stiff than other gi brands. Some folk prefer collars/lapels that are very stiff, others prefer a more pliable collar. The Fuji is very pliable.

The Fuji carries minimal decoration, a simple logo embroidered on the left sleeve and one at the top of the back, just under the neckline. Fuji supplies extra gi patches (not photographed).


Reinforcement on this gi is outstanding. The cuffs for example are taped with a strip of twill cotton and triple stitched into position. The softness of the material avoids the scratchy effect that some woven cuff tape can produce.


The interior of the gi jacket features reinforcing twill tape that covers each seam. This is something most other gi models omit.


More reinforcing tape is applied to the side vents and base jacket hem.



Trousers
The trousers are made from fairly stiff 'karate' style drill cotton. The fabric reminds me a lot of the recently reviewed pants from the Scramble Wave gi.


The Fuji trousers are held up with a basic flat cotton tie. I found these really annoying to tie together and annoying to pull apart since the cord tended to get stuck within its hem, doubly so once it got wet with sweat. However, once tied, they stayed tied. I do prefer rope string however. Just two belt loops would seem sparse compared to a lot of other BJJ gi models, however it did not seem to present any problems during rolling.


The pants feature a double layer covering the knee and extending all the way to the ankle. This in my opinion is ideal. Many brands have a double layer that stops just below the knee. Fine when the person is standing up but useless when down on the ground and actually on their knees. The Fuji coverage ensures the knees have a double layer covering them in any position.


The ankle base is simply tucked over and triple stitched.


The interior gusset panel features little triangular patches of cotton fabric acting as reinforcements over the weak zones. This would seem to be the minimum required to ensure durability however I wonder if more manufacturers might want to add tape to cover the main seams down the trouser length - much like  as found in the Scramble Wave gi.


Rolling performance, fit and comfort.
I rolled in this gi over a four week period. The single weave fabric is very soft and comfortable so it feels great the moment I put it on. This contrasts with many pearlweave fabric gis, that start off pretty stiff and only soften over time. One of the other immediate aspects that I really liked about this gi is the fit. I'm a short and light person (170cm tall, 58Kg) but I have long arms for my weight/height so many A1 gis end up being too small for me and yet A2 is too big a leap in size. The Fuji All Around gi fits me perfectly in all areas.


I love the way this gi hangs off my body, it just feels right when I wear and, added to the confidence that it is amply reinforced, I'm pretty sure it will last a long time.


Conclusions
I'm seriously impressed with the Fuji All Around gi. At this price range I would expect cost-cutting and inferior materials. The opposite appears to be true. It is made to very high standards, fits great, feels comfy to roll in and the great price makes this an absolute bargain in my opinion. If I'm gonna quibble, then the trousers could do with a rope drawstring instead of the flat tie and the seams running down the inside of the trousers might want reinforcing too, though considering the low price base, it's not something I would consider a deal breaker. At the end of the day, the All Around gi is a fantastic everyday training gi for beginner and pro alike.






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Gi Review: Fuji All-Around BJJ Uniform

Summary Outstanding sub $100 BJJ gi offers great value for money and then some. The attention paid to the details that matter - quality ...

9 Sep 2012

Long time readers of this blog may know that I publish a regular series call My Favourite Photographs. It's a look at some of the photography pros who work the BJJ scene offering powerful visuals for all of us to enjoy.

William Burkhardt is a French photographer living and working in Brazil. His work via BJJPix.com has been lighting up print and web BJJ media for a while now with his stunning imagery.

You can find out more about William in an interview he did for Pulling Guard Zine. He also has a regularly updated Facebook page here.

I love William's strong sense of drama. In many of his images, he makes daring post processing techniques in Photoshop. I say daring because William places a ton of contrast, high pass, vignetting etc in his images, framing each image and adding to the sense of action. It's a bold technique but he pulls it off with aplomb, blurring the lines between photo reportage and artistry.

Here are William's favourite BJJ images he has taken and a little commentary from him about each one. Enjoy!

"On this photo, Rodolfo Vieira was comemorating his absolute title at Worlds 2011. This photo featured in Tatame magazine in a full page."
This is a picture I took at the Abu-Dhabi Trial in Gramado, my first big tournament. I asked Dudu, the journalist at Tatame to get me a credential and he was nice enough to get me one. I didn't have the appropriate gear, I was missing a zoom lens but I managed to get some good shot. I got them up side down and those are the kind of shots I'm waiting for when I shoot. Those are the shots that satisify me.

I took that shot at an event called High Fight Rock, that took place in Goiânia, where I spent my first two years in Brazil.

This photo is from Brasileiro 2012, in Rio de Janeiro. I talked to the girl on the right before her fight and she told me she had entered the heavy weight division even though she is light feather weight. I managed to take that shot where it looks like she actually is throwing down her heavier opponent. She managed to score 3 points from pass but ended up losing her fight on points.

I got this shot at my first MMA event, Shooto 18 in Brasília. I got many good shots like this one. It really got me pumped.

That's a photo of Sérgio Moraes throwing down Nivaldo Oliveira during the final of the Brasileiro 2011. I had this photo framed poster sized at my appartement.
This is another cool photo I took at Jungle Fight recently.

Good luck to William in his BJJ and photographic career.


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My Favourite Photographs: William Burkhardt from BJJPix.com

Long time readers of this blog may know that I publish a regular series call My Favourite Photographs . It's a look at some of the photo...

7 Sep 2012


I drew the above She-Beast character for my friend and former training pal Hannah Gorman. She-Beast is Hannah's nick-name given to her by training colleagues. I'm not sure why exactly but given that she regularly used to beat the crap out of my at sparring, I think I can understand why!

Hannah is sponsored by Scramble so when it was mooted that they were doing rank coloured rashguards for the forthcoming IBJJF European Nogi International, we all came to the same idea that I might be able to add some custom art. And here she is, She-Beast!


I'm not very good at drawing human figures, especially of the comic book kind, but I really wanted to give it a go so I sketched and sketched and carried on until I felt I achieved something that was roughly acceptable (above).

From there I scanned it in and added vector lines. I also used a lot of reference photos, from various comics like Wolverine, Elektra, She Hulk and even then I still needed some posing help so what better than to enlist the services of the best model I could find? Sadly she was't around so I had ot use me instead...


I should mention that the Scramble rank colour rashguards (minus my artwork) will be on sale early October. Best of luck to Hannah and all the competitors at this contest, the first of its kind to be held in London.


Hannah, trying her best She-Beastly impression.

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Meerkatsu Design: She Beast

I drew the above She-Beast character for my friend and former training pal Hannah Gorman. She-Beast is Hannah's nick-name given to he...

1 Sep 2012


Roberto 'Cyborg' Abreu summons us altogether at his London 'Champ Camp' seminar and explains that he expects us to yell YESSIR! and NO SIR! when he asks if we understand a technique. He also commands us to raise our hands and clap loudly to signal the beginning of each practice drill. It's  a unique method that ensures we all pay attention...Cyborg has SO much to teach us and boy! did we need the practice! This was a tornado guard masterclass like no other - simply because here was the man who invented the technique...


Seminar: Roberto 'Cyborg' Abreu

Roberto 'Cyborg' Abreu summons us altogether at his London 'Champ Camp' seminar and explains that he expects us to yell ...

 

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