Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Flow Jitsu by Mike Bidwell and the Jiu Jitsu Brotherhood

Mike Bidwell is a US black belt known for his very creative expressions of Jiu Jitsu on his BJJ After 40 Facebook page and on his Blog, https://bjjafter40blog.wordpress.com.

Mike flies the flag for the over forties and I am a big fan of his and his story of his BJJ career is one that everyone should read about, as he spent thirteen years as a brown belt, undergoing ups and downs that would have finished off lesser athletes.

I viewed this as a digital download and runs for one hour, starting with a quick introduction to Mike from Nic and an explanation on why Mike calls his teaching 'Flow Jitsu.' The production of the video is first class and to be expected from the Jiu Jitsu Brotherhood, well light and with crisp, clear sound throughout.

The video is divided into 'modules' and are well explained by Mike, repeating the moves at least three times, as well as showing No Gi options, which is a cool additional bonus. 

The modules are as follows:-

Outside kimura sweep
Inside kimura sweep
Kimura sweep counters
Chaining sweeps and set ups
Americana set ups
Americana to peek a boo
Seatbelt counters
Mount set up
Guard lapel attacks

My favourite module has to be the guard lapel attacks, as Mike claims that this is the first time some of these moves have been put to film; he demonstrates using the lapels of his opponent and his own, including the awesome Seppuku Choke, which is being drilled in class all this week!

Overall, this is a very clear and easy to follow video, with concepts clearly explained and some very neat flowing techniques which can be included into anyone's game. It is available as digital download, I don't think there is a DVD and is available from https://jjbgear.com/collections/bjj-books-and-videos/products/flow-jitsu-digital-download?variant=24244961031 and is priced at $49.95.

Are you shrimping properly?!

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Gumby speaks out!

My good friend from across the pond, Alan Marques, AKA Gumby, writes an article that I agree with 100%!


Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Five Europeans to sign for UFC Manchester




Last night's class

Once again, another busy Summer class, even with over half a dozen absent due to work or holidays; keeping up the momentum, preparing for the Brighton Open at the end of the month, there was plenty of hard work and lots of sweat left on the mats, just how it should be.

We had one happy student, our Portuguese friend Artur, who helped brighten up the team photo with his country's flag.  Many countries and religions are represented every week at the club and that's how it will always be at Checkmat Wimbledon.

We are one.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Last night's class

Had the pleasure of a visitor from Hungary last night, who shared the mats and joined in the fun with the rest of the team.

Welcome Suzy :)


Footlock Mastery with Oli Geddes

Footlock Mastery is now out! Thank you so much to everyone who has lent their support to help make this happen!

This instructional is a detailed and in depth analysis of the straight footlock that not only provides a lot of information for those who are pursuing finishing options but also gives a framework of interconnected positions that provide different methods of control and sweeping options. 

It is suitable not only for someone with no footlock experience at all but also a more advanced competitor looking to slot a new approach into their game and tweak some existing techniques. Finally, everything in the instructional is IBJJF legal at white belt, so you don't have to worry about it not being relevant in competition - everything here is relevant.

Please like & reshare! I will be announcing a giveaway contest for those who reshare in the next hour or so, so if you do share, share this post specifically!

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Interview with Harj Bains - BAIN

When did you get the idea to create BAIN?   

So, I've been working in animation and design for about 6 years, and doing bjj for about 5. In  that time I've done various commissions for gyms and coaches, things  likes patches, rash guards, tees. But, I've also had a lot of ideas for  my own bjj clothing, and for various reasons I never really pursued  it, but this year a lot of things came together and it felt like the  right time to make my own platform to share my work.  
Are you a one man band or do you work with others?    

Technically right now it's just me, but I wouldn't get far without my girlfriend haha,  she's always there to help me and advise me. I've also been really  humbled by the amount of help my friends have given me, a lot of  people have given up their time to help out on photo shoots, or help  promotion or a million other things. I knew my friends would support  the idea, but the amount of effort people have put in has really blown  me away, and I think it's something I'll remember probably forever.

Have you encountered setbacks and letdowns and how did you deal with them? 

Haha loads! I'm an animator/designer first and foremost,  managing a career as a freelancer is one thing, but learning to manage  and grow a brand is something very different! Also figuring out how to  manage a business from Berlin whilst producing in the UK was a  challenge. I'm constantly learning about how garment production works  and how I can make exciting clothes in the future, that's all new to  me as a predominantly digital artist.   

What does BAIN offer as a store and as a brand?
    For me I want to make clothes that the everyday bjj grappler can wear either to the gym or  wherever else, but it's not about screaming out to everyone about bjj,  or even martial arts. My main goal is to make awesome designs and  clothing, but also have a bjj/athlete theme, if you look a little closer.    For example, my launch design is called ​ 'More than rage + muscle' ​ .  It's inspired from a song lyric, but to me it reminds of the struggle  of the grappler, so I built a design around that theme using the wolf.  Now, nowhere on that design does it say bjj or anything like that, but  I feel like bjj people can relate to the concept, and wear it knowing  that it represents their values. For me, that's what BAIN is. Awesome  clothes with an athlete twist.    

What are you plans for the future for BAIN?

So right now I'm working on the next designs, and looking to get rash guards made,   I've only just launched so I still feel like I'm riding that momentum, and  people are reaching out with what they would like to see me doing  which is really cool. I have a lot of fun designs I think the  community will love, right now my main focus is just letting everyone  know that BAIN has launched.    

Will you be adding to the products on sale anytime soon? 
Aww yeah, I'm super excited about the next couple of designs, the great part of this  company is that it's really let me explore the parts of bjj/fitness  that I love, and challenged me to make them into designs that I hope  will be real conversation starters. I'm also looking into patches, be  great to see people repping BAIN on the mats.    

How can people get their hands on the BAIN stickers?

They're free with every purchase haha, they're also dotted around a few gyms in Berlin.   

When did you move to Berlin and why?
     So, I love London, and I could see many years ahead for myself there. But then I thought, try  somewhere else, and London will always be there if I choose to go  back. Berlin is a much cheaper and relaxed city, it lets me train  more, focus on the business, and be much more selective about the  animation work I do. I really love it here and the tempo of life is  something that really opened my eyes to what life can be like outside  of that London grind.  

Are you training in Berlin?

F**k yeah! The BJJ  scene here is great, It's smaller than London, the gyms share open mats on different  days and everyone from any gym is welcome. That was a real surprise,  and I have to say, it works well. It raises the game of Berlin and  brings a lot of great people together. I train out of Ringside Gym Berlin  which is a Checkmat affiliate, the team is smaller than where I was in  London but no less dedicated. There are less comps compared to the UK,  but with time I think that will change.    

You recently finished a photoshoot I believe?

Yep, I organized a shoot over here in Berlin, it went amazingly well, I prepped for it over  about 2 months, and everyone who was involved really did an amazing  job, the clothes look great and I think it really solidifies what the  brand is about. I really wanted to show off the clothes, but also how  beautiful Berlin is, using the Berlin Strength gym was amazing, you  just don't get to see those places often, and I wanted to share that  with people everywhere.  

How can people connect with BAIN? 

www.bainstore.com​, Facebook.com/Bainstore  Instagram: Bainstore   Twitter: @bainstore.  
Do you still find time to compete? 

Never enough! Things have been  crazy with the launch and I think my focus really needs to be the  business, I'm on weight so maybe if something comes up I'll jump in, I  did do the Pans and the American cup which was a really great  experience this year.  

You've recently returned from an extended travelling trip? Was this  for work, Jiu Jitsu or both?     

Let's say both, I spent about 5  months around the USA and Canada and a stint in London on either side.  For me the goal was to train as much as possible and get the business  ready. It was a real bjj bucket list trip, I met people like Marcelo  Garcia, Renzo, Ralph Gracie, John Danaher and spent 2 months over at  Kurt Osiander’s in San Fran. That experience really changed my  perspective about what I want from bjj, my life, and what It looks  like to live the bjj lifestyle. I could go on for days about it haha.  It wasn't all big names, some of the smaller gyms were equally  awesome and wherever I went I always learnt something and made a  couple of friends. I hope to revisit all those places again soon, I'm  so grateful to have bjj in my life, I don't know how else I could have  met so many amazing people as a tourist.  

You also recently managed to catch up with everyone at London Fight  Factory. Any shout outs to the LFF posse?    

Na not really, haha just joking, much love to all the team, I always love to see them  competing, the training there was truly world class. Luiz is doing  amazing things, to me it's my home in London. They've also really  gotten behind what I'm trying to create here, so to all those early  supporters, from LFF and elsewhere, all I can say is that I'm truly grateful.    

Any shout outs in general?     

For sure, thanks again to all my friends,  family and training partners, Lauren​ as always, Nina and ​Berlin Strength​, Pounds­and­ounces.com​, Ringside Gym Berlin​ .    Also BAIN is a proud sponsor of the podcast ​ In Bed with Aaron and Helene​ ,  they just did a great episode with Jackson Sousa so check it out! And of course, thank you Carl for the interview! 

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Cauliflower Culture - 2 years old today!


Last night's class

A great session last night, with two members of the Armed Forces sharing the mats with the gang :)


Monday, 4 July 2016

Happy 4th of July!

To all my friends on the otherside of the pond - Happy 4th of July!!


TUFF Invitational - results

Friday, 1 July 2016

Interview with Melchor Manibusan - Cauliflower Culture

Melchor; why were you in the UK and what were you doing and who were you seeing?

We hit up the UK for a couple reasons, to visit our friends and do some brand  awareness. We hit up a bunch of awesome gyms, Stone Bridge Boxing , London Fight Factory, Roger Gracie Academy and Fight City gym. Basically we want to be a part of the European movement in this culture. I also went to see our ground guy there Raj! He’s our CC head for Europe. With Rugby a big part of this culture, we went to the Rugby 7’s at Twickenham and it was fuckin awesome! Definitely look out for CC Rugby soon in UK. 

When was Cauliflower Culture created and launched and what were your influences behind the brand?

I started CC in Guam 2014. It was initially supposed to be a wrestling line at first but a month later after making a few posts on Instagram and Twitter,  UFC FAN EXPO hit me up and asked me to launch with them . I really thought it was a joke so I didn’t respond. A few days later they sent me a full blown invitation and application saying I should launch with them! I looked at it and figured its actually not a bad idea… So I signed up and had to get right into production, I only had 2 months to get ready. 

We made it and it was an awesome launch, within four hours of opening someone came up to me and asked to buy my brand, I told him it was my first day of business and I haven’t really started to do what I had planned with the brand. He thought I was bullshitting him!! I told him in a straight face I’m not for sale yet and yes I made my first dollar at 9:30am. He was shocked and so was I.  Right then… I knew I had a brand! 

We want to be a brand that caters to this combat culture from the youth to the masters. We are a Lifestyle brand on and off competition. 

Where are you and your company based?

We are Guam based and now have an office in UK. Soon we will have an office in Japan and Australia. 

Do you help support grappling events and if so, which ones?

Yes !! We did the World Jiu Jitsu expo in Long Beach - Gracie worlds in Las Vegas - 2 EBI in Los Angeles - In 8 months of business we as a brand held the UAE World Pro Jiu Jitsu qualifiers on Guam, this was the first for a brand to host, usually its suppose to be a federation or an organization. We also threw the first submission only event in Guam SUBMIT INTL. www.submitintl.com

It's your company's second birthday on July 5th, do you have anything special planned?

YES but we won’t be doing anything crazy.. I will be in Japan for my family vacation. But we are sure to be very very busy this next chapter! 

Do you train the Arte Suave yourself?

Not so much.. I’m a brown belt under Nova Uniao. At the moment I’m focussing on the business part. It’s been a long time since I hit the mat. I actually have a broken neck, I need to get my C4 & C5 fixed. 

What can customers expect from Cauliflower Culture in terms of branding and merchandise?

We are very particular when it comes to our products. 90% of our products are cut and sewn. We pay special attention to the details and will never sell a product that is not tagged or misprinted in any way. We are still a new company with a whole lot to learn about the different culture in the different sports in different countries. We are currently working on some really cool collaborations so stay tuned !!

Are you a BJJ geek?

I used to be .. I was in ADCC 1999. That's all I did was train train train… I love it!! Jiu Jitsu teaches you so much about yourself.

What are you long term plans and goals?

We want to be in every country that has a sport of our culture. This will take time but I’ll take one day at a time. We are too to be releasing our Rugby collection and Rugby team in Japan. This is a 10 year project. With the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, CC Rugby has plans to be a big part of that. 

BJJ or No Gi?

I prefer NO Gi. I like the speed and the dynamics of No Gi. Plus I’m a wrestler as well so No Gi !!!

Thanks for the time Melchor and best of luck with the brand.

Thanks for the interview Carl and for everyone reading this, check out www.cauliflowerculture.com