Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gyms all over the world are universally proud to display their group team photos. A good team photo is a front window to the wider world. But the presentation can vary quite a lot so I thought I'd take a look at the different approaches gyms take when it comes to the group photo and offer some of my own commentary on the topic:



This amazing film about Roger Gracie has been over ten years in the making.

You can buy it (video on demand) here - http://www.bantamfilms.com/tradition/

Film maker Daren Bartlett is a true artist. Tradition is beautifully edited and produced. It captures a truly golden period in sport BJJ. The intimacy he depicted made me feel I was literally right there seeing, feeling, hearing, sensing every moment. It is wonderful stuff. Please watch it!



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I just participated in the 2017 Bristol Grapplethon run by Can Sonmez, owner of Artemis BJJ at MyGym in Bristol. This year our efforts were focused on raising funds for SARSAS (Somerset & Avon Rape and Sexual Abuse Support).

Can has run these Grapplethons since 2012 and I've been a keen supporter, contributor and participant for each of these events. Follow on for some photos and commentary about my experiences this year...


Two new rashguard designs have just landed in my store!
Twilight Omoplata & Red's Revenge
They both come in unisex cuts but also there is a very small stock of women's cut sizes for the Red's Revenge model.
Buy them here: www.meerkatsu.com -> store -> rashguards.

See more photos:




I'm very pleased to announce the publication of my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Animal themed colouring in book.

You can buy it here on Blurb (UK link but check the top right corner for your own territory).
I have priced it at £9.99 UK pounds plus postage and packing. The best thing is to first select your country or language option (top right corner on blurb.com) and then search for 'Meerkatsu'

It is print on demand, so it takes around a week to arrive. If you are new to Blurb, sometimes they offer a discount for your first order. Check the Blurb landing page for details.

Read more about this project:

28 Mar 2017

Review: JiuJitsu.Net



Summary
Jiujitsu.net is the online subscription learning site owned by black belt Dan Lukehart. It currently comprises over 600 videos with around 20-30 added monthly. Lukehart teaches most of the techniques but there are also a small number of guest instructors, such as Paulo and Joao Miyao.

There are two major selling points with jiujitsu.net: narrated competition footage analysis and the flow chart style open ended learning system.

Lukehart is possibly among the best at analyzing competition footage. His teaching style is also highly concept driven and much of the content on jiujitsu.net places emphasis on positions, transitions and flow with very little emphasis on submissions. If you enjoy both those facets to learning BJJ, then this site is well worth your time.


UPDATE!
This auction is now finished and the final winning bid went for a staggering total of £1560!!!
Many thanks to the winning bidder. The print is currently winging its way to you.


This is a signed, one-off edition art print, of my Graceful Kimura illustration. It measures 80x60cm and is printed onto 240gsm natural white archive quality paper. The highest bidder on Ebay will have the print delivered to them via post in a roll tube (ie the auction does not include framing). All profits from this item will be donated to the 2017 Bristol Grapplethon, which this year will be raising funds for sarsas.org.uk.

You can bid for the print on Ebay here from 17th March 2017. The auction will last 7 days.

[I only auction these prints once a year, read about previous year's charity art print auctions: 2016, 2015,  2014 and 2013].







15th April 2017 we're set to embark on our next annual Bristol Grapplethon where we roll over a 24 hour period and raise funds for charity. It's a great event and so much fun meeting fellow jiujitsu enthusiasts from clubs all over the UK. This year we're raising funds for sarsas a charity dedicated to assisting and supporting survivors of rape and sexual abuse. Fund raisers who raise a certain amount will become eligible for this limited edition t-shirt designed by me.


Read more about how to join the fundraising team and how to pop in for a friendly roll here at the Artemis website.

Come join us for a roll or twenty!



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28 Jan 2017

Review: Roll Out Mats



Summary
Roll out mats are the perfect solution for people like me, instructors who require mats for part time use that are easy to transport, store and set up. I have been using these mats for over 7 months and they are perfect for my current needs. The most impressive aspect, aside from their portability, has been their durability and ability to withstand and absorb breakfalls and other high impact activity. There are of course some compromises and niggling little aspects to using these mats but the cons are more than outweighed by the pros. Read on for my full and detailed report.



Summary
Beyond Technique 2 is the sequel to the popular first volume of BJJ concepts by Nic Gregoriades and Kit Dale. This follow up alters the structure by adding many more examples of the concepts as applied to BJJ techniques compared with the previous volume. The usual high production values and easy to understand delivery from the two black belts ensures this set is a valuable addition to students regardless of level.


Availability
This video is only available as a digital download, see the JJB Store.
Cost: £40GBP (about $50USD)
Length: 1hr 15mins


The folks at London based company Full Guard Gear kindly sent me their latest product - soap and skin lotion. Here is a bit more information along with photos:


28 Dec 2016

Colliding Dragons


I have just released a new rashguard and spats design - Colliding Dragons! 
Inspired by vintage costumes worn by Chinese emperors and also a little influenced by Bruce Lee's yellow outfit in Game of Death. I spent a good amount of time drawing the dragons, trying to ensure it looked as authentic as possible while still maintaining my own style. 

You can buy it here.

More photos...


Have a great season's festivities and a fantastic New Year everyone! For more information about how I created this image, click here.

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The fifth installment of the popular submission only contest, TUFF, was held on Saturday 19th November. The Circus Tavern in Purfleet appears to be its permanent home, and it's a decent sized venue, large enough to accomodate the big stage and the audience around it but not so large that it becomes cavernous.

TUFF 5 was bigger and even better than the previous TUFF contests (TUFF 3 report, TUFF 4 report), with over 18 fights. There was added prestige too as the event was streamed live over on Flograppling.com. It was also nice of the organisers to invite my brand, Meerkatsu, among the list of official sponsors.

Here are some action photos taken by me:

18 Nov 2016

Raspberry Ape Podcast


Daniel Strauss is a busy man. Teaching nogi classes four or five times a week, competing at international events (he recently was on EBI) and recording episodes for his Raspberry Ape podcast.

A couple weeks back I was invited onto the show and we spent an enjoyable couple hours talking about a lot of BJJ related stuff. In amongst the banter and small talk, I cover my story on how I began BJJ, how I began my brand and on many issues in general.

You can grab is here on soundcloud or here on iTunes.

Enjoy!


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4th Degree black belt Vicente Junior was in town today and I jumped at the chance to learn some of his specialist moves from the de la Riva guard.



Introduction
Paul Schreiner is an American BJJ black belt under Claudio Franca and currently one of the main instructors at Marcelo Garcia Academy in New York. Schreiner is one of those names you come across often by way of his reputation as an amazing instructor. He's often cited on forums for example and Ryan Hall mentions him often across his many BJJ instructionals. Based on his reputation, I was keen to find out for myself how well he would translate across through the medium of video instruction.


30 Oct 2016

Polaris Pro 4


I spent an exciting evening photographing the fights at Polaris Pro 4. To read the results - see the BJJ Heroes website. Here are some of my photographic highlights...


Summary
Excellent value underwear designed with grapplers (and other sports) in mind. The mesh fabric offers a good breathable surface that allows sweat to wick away while the structure of the panels and waist band ensures a snug fit.


Summary
Yoga for BJJ is an online yoga instructional website taught by BJJ brown belt black belt Sebastian Brosche. I decided to try the course out having never had any yoga experience before. This is my day by day diary of the first few weeks.

*NOTE: This report has been updated following six months of use. See end of article for updates.



I have a lovely new gi out, it comes pretty plain, or plainly pretty, depending on how you wish to use the included four patches. We also found a way to sell it at a wallet friendlier price: £64.99 GBP.

You can buy it here: http://meerkatsu.com/Tranquility-Kimono_p_81.html

Here is a nice video showing both my new gi models:





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I have a new gi released under my own brand Meerkatsu. It is the black version of my blue orchid dragon kimono. We've tweaked a few bits on this version, mainly the cuff tape and the inner hem, so it's a more comfortable material.

You can purchase this gi here: http://meerkatsu.com/Black-Orchid-Dragon_p_82.html

Some photos:-





Summary
Mike Bidwell offers his vision of a flowing, transition based jiu-jitsu gameplan which all stems from an initial hip bump kimura sweep. It is a set that will most benefit intermediate level players who are looking to move beyond a singular focus when sparring and competing.

Details
Available as a digital download from Jiu Jitsu Brotherhood website.
Price $49.95 / £38GBP
Length 1 hour

I viewed a digital download version. I'm not sure if a physical DVD is available.



It seems in the world of jiu jitsu, MMA and grappling, we do love our artisan soaps. Whisky Wolf is a UK based company. They sent me their Okami Kit Tin Can package, which contains their red label soap bar, soap tag, skin balm and stickers.