Marcelo Garcia, the man, the myth, the legend.

I’m a huuuuuge Marcelo Garcia fan. His humility, sportsmanship, kindness, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu skills make him the perfect representative of our art. He is, to me, the greatest BJJ practitioner we’ve ever had. Most people would tend to agree, and although there are plenty of worthy candidates, none of them of accomplished so much with such a large weight disparity, which represents just how special Marcelo’s technique is.

When I was a white belt I found myself naturally getting into Single Leg X-guard (Forever here on out known known as SLX as far as my blog is concerned) and one day asking my instructor what I could do from there. That’s when he showed me the basic SLX sweep and I’ve been bringing people down with it ever since. If my life was on the line and someone said “Dan, you have to hit one sweep to live, what position do you want?” it would be SLX. I cannot recall a time someone was able to stop it once I was in the position. It’s a giant killer, it’s a small guy killer and to me is vastly UNDER UTILIZED. The power of this position comes from the fact that you have THREE limbs isolating ONE limb. It also acts very similar to the Butterfly Position but is much harder for an opponent to retreat from.

I’m going to show you some entries, the basic sweep, some counters to counters and a beautiful situp variation all with GIFs of Marcelo Garcia in Action (pun intended).

Let’s do this.

Here’s Marcelo slapping the SLX on. Any time you have one leg behind your opponent between his legs, and the other leg in a butterfly leg position between his legs you are able to get to this position. The HEEL of your foot goes on the hip, being careful to not reap. Generally you also need to control the opposite side arm to stop them from bumping your knee down and sliding into mount. Getting into SLX is even easier to enter against a standing opponent just by butt scooting forward. There are two main grips he uses on the leg, the overhook and the underhook. Marcelo teaches the overhook as his preferred position but after analyzing his video it seemed the underhook was a little more versatile. Generally speaking, an easy way to get into SLX is via sitting in the butterfly position, scooting in and flairing one foot up, to bring your opponents leg up, then you kick your leg behind and over. If you’re reading this though breakdown though, I recommend you already have a good understand of the entries.

In this GIF, Marcelo gets the underhook on the leg, it’s his preferred arm position for doing the situp sweep as it makes it even easier, but it’s not necessary.

Entry1

Notice the clench with his arm below. If Marcelo doesn’t get the underhook immediately he will clench their leg to his body using the inside of his arm and try to re-position from there.

singlelegxentry

entry2

 

The Basic SLX Sweep:

Here’s the basic sweep. Not only does he have the strong underhook, but both knees are clenching his opponents leg. Notice how Marcelo comes up with the sweep. There’s a drill people sometimes do at the beginning of class where they do standups like that. Marcelo does it ALL THE TIME. If his opponent falls, Marcelo is going to come up using the momentum. (I cannot for the life of me think of the name of this standup drill, someone help!)

basicsweep

Sometimes Marcelo’s opponents will lean over the top of Marcelo to prevent him from pushing them backwards, that’s no problem for Marcelo. He’ll just take them over the top.

overthetop

 

Marcelo’s SLX Situp Sweep:

It was watching this video below that made me realize something about Marcelo’s situp sweeps. They use the exact same principle as his butterfly sweeps, block the arm post, and raise the opposite side leg while turning the corner as some would say. This is the only video I could find of Marcelo doing this sweep with an overhook on the leg, but he does it no problem.

overhooksitupsinglelegxsweep

You’ll see below that sometimes his opponents will squat very low to try and stop the basic SLX sweep. This actually makes it even easier for Marcelo to do the Situp sweep because his opponents can’t get their foot out from under themselves and up quick enough to post on. So when he turns the corner his opponents knee acts as the rotating point and he doesn’t even have to stand up all the way.

situpsweep

Same thing, but his opponent is already committed way too far to the side Marcelo wants to take him. Notice how Marcelo extends his butterfly hook even though it’s not on the leg he’s raising. He does this to push his opponents hips away from his opponents leg post. It is typically the only post his opponent will have and once his hips are on the opposite side of the post, gravity does the rest.

situpsweepeasy

Same thing, different angle. Marcelo’s preferred grip is right above the knee on the thigh, but he likes to keep his bicep under the calf so his opponent can’t put their foot down. It works on all sizes.

situpsweepbigguy

His opponent tries to counter by bringing his free hand across to take the place of his missing arm post that Marcelo has taken from him, it only prolongs the inevitable. Notice how when Marcelo comes up he stiffens his left leg out on the ground? This gives him a nice post to drive from and stops his opponent from driving back into Marcelo when he begins his rotation.

situpsweepcountercounter

This sweep was actually a few minutes in the making. Which made me feel as if Marcelo is one extremely patient man. Cobrinha is basing out hard to the sweeping side, keeping his hand away and rotating his leg inward to prevent the basic SLX sweep and SLX situp sweep. It seemed to me in watching the video that Marcelo was waiting for that one simple shift in Cobrinha’s hips that opened up a weak plain to Cobrinha’s back. Cobrinha intelligently pulls guard conceding the sweep. Pushing the SLX foot off is one of the counters, but since you have to reach back and twist your body to do it, it exposes you. Making sure to straighten your back ALSO stops their leg from being able to come over your head. So back straight and head up!

cobrinhasweep

 Notes:

  • Marcelo doesn’t always have the far arm control, sometimes he starts these sweeps when his opponent actually has HIS sleeve. Right when he starts the sweep or in mid-sweep Marcelo will counter grip just in case his opponent let’s go.
  • Passing on your knees while in SLX exposes you to the Situp variant, the Basic sweep is possible, but not as likely.
  • Passing while standing exposes you to the Basic SLX sweep, the Situp variant is possible with a far side sleeve grip and underhook on the leg.
  • Marcelo executes beautiful posture when coming up for the Situp sweep.
  • For the Situp sweep Marcelo ALWAYS extends his Butterfly hook but doesn’t kick it straight up, he kicks it to the side or a 45 degree angle to force his opponents hips over their posting leg.
  • Your butterfly hook, heel on the hip and control of the far side arm are the three main factors stopping your opponent from coming to mount. Do not let them bump your knee between their legs, keep it angled upwards.
  • Beware of an opponent trying to force you to reap their knee, if they are reaching and trying to do so, they will expose the Situp sweep or Situp sweep to the back, so just kick your leg off and go for it.

Leg gripping options (Underhook is preferred variant for all sweeps):

  • Underhook NOGI:  Hand on the thigh right above the knee, bicep on the calf
  • Underhook GI: Same as NOGI or you can grip the pants right above the knee instead of just palming it
  • Overhook NOGI: Grip as if doing an ankle lock, but slightly higher up
  • Overhook Gi: Same as NOGI or you can grip your collar for extra tightness

Arm gripping options:

  • GI: Any far side arm sleeve grip
  • NOGI: Behind the far side arm elbow grip

 

Marcelo Garcia has been a huge source of inspiration for me and many BJJ practitioners, I hope my breakdown and analysis did him even a small amount of justice. I definitely recommend subscribing to his MG in Action website! I also have to give a huge shout out to BJJ Scout who I’ve talked to constantly about breakdowns and he gave me the vote of confidence and inspiration I needed to start what I’m currently doing.  Feel free to comment and discuss the article below!

Here’s an awesome sweep courtesy of Andre Galvao from the Arte Suave documentary. You may notice he’s a brown belt in this segment! And so is his opponent, Cobrinha himself!

This is a Lasso guard sweep where one foot is lasso’d and the other is on the hip of your opponent. There’s even a nice counter to a counter in there!

galvaosweep

Non-Hemp Sensation by Submission FC

Turns out, the GI and Submission FCs “hemp” rashguards have ZERO Hemp in them according to third party testing done on them:

hempsensation

Overview:

I really liked the way the Gi felt. It was very soft and I thought it fit well. It’s a very plain Gi (not necessarily a bad thing) but to be honest though, I felt like the construction quality of the Gi was overall very poor. The stitching on the seams and stress points looked very cheap and the Embroidery on the shoulders for the “Submission FC” logo were crooked and didn’t match.

Based on what we’ve seen in this Gi, we can’t recommend it to our fellow Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practioners simply because we feel there are better quality options out there in the same price range, although that isn’t limited to hemp gi’s. I don’t think this is the worst Gi in existence, but it’s definitely not in the price range it should be in. If this was a sub $100 Gi than it wouldn’t be a bad deal to jump on, but it’s not, so it isn’t. If you like the way it looks and want a semi-hemp GiI don’t think it’s going to literally fall apart on you (Please see update #1 below, I stand corrected), but the strings coming undone, stitching quality and embroidery quality definitely leave much to be desired.

From the site:

First Hemp (Lies!) Gi made with style!

  • – Hemp Fabric Gi Top (Lies!)
  • – White with Green Contrast Stitching
  • – Pre-Shrunk
  • – Light 10oz Hemp Blend Pants
  • – New Embroidered Designs
  • – Heavily Reinforced Stress Points
  • – Green Rope Draw String
  • – 5 Draw String Loops

 Price per Unit (piece): $159.95

I could list off a bunch of positive aspects of Hemp, but it wouldn’t apply to this Gi since it’s made of  a Polyester and Cotton blend with zero Hemp.

gireviews-size-chart2

A. 6.25

B. 31

C. 21.5

D. 24

E. 23

F. 13

G. 9.25

H. 43.25

Length from crotch to ankle: 29.5

The top:

Beyond the before mentioned quality issues, the Gi looks decent enough. I love green on white and the fit was nice and tailored.

The skirt was a tad on the longer side but overall I don’t have any real complaints about the top.

Like I said previously however, the Gi suffers from quality issues. Stitches seem to end randomly and it just looks very cheaply done.

If the Gi was a painting it would be a Monet, from far away it looks great, but up-close it’s a bunch of messiness. (Thank you Clueless for providing me with that invaluable metaphor).

The pants:

Although it looks more professional straight stitching itself doesn’t really relate to the durability of a Gi specifically IF the stitching is thorough and is ended correctly.

With that being said, there’s probably a lot of Gi’s I have that have minor stitching errors that I have never noticed, simply because they are minor and not noticeable.

With the Hemp Sensation they’re everywhere, I noticed right away how crooked all of the stitching on the back of the Gi was and the pants have stitching that is coming right out.

The pants are also some of the baggiest pants I have ever worn (size A3). They were very easy for my opponents to get a firm grip on with a lot of slack.

The belt system was basic, but worked. It did have a fifth belt loop in the front of the pants, which doesn’t bother me at all, you just tie the rope drawstrings around it.

 Additional:

I could never support this company after conning so many of it’s customers like this. They were warned by Datsusara’s owner over a year ago that their products didn’t have hemp, and they still marketed them as such. Disgraceful.

The Gi does not come with a Gi bag, another knock for the price range. But does come with a clever mini gi that you could hang from your car mirror.

Update #1 11/17/2012

The Gi seems to be unraveling quite a bit as these pictures show:

And here’s another example of the constant back stitching that is prominent throughout the gi:

Eddie Bravo vs Royler Gracie 2, 11 Years in the Making

The much anticipated rematch of Eddie Bravo and Royler Gracie ends in dramatic controversial fashion, a draw. I don’t know how anyone could have watched this match without their hearts racing. While I don’t think it illustrates if the match back at ADCC  2003 was a fluke or not, it does show positives and negatives to both grapplers styles and put on one hell of a show.

Let’s start at the beginning:

The match makes its way to the ground via a half-guard pull by Eddie Bravo. In the gif below, you’ll notice he does three major things during the pull to establish a strong half-guard.

1. He blocks the far hand so Royler cannot cross face him immediately and put him flat on his back.

2. He brings his half-guard side elbow to the inside and close to his body, to prevent Royler from getting the underhook.

3. He makes sure he is on his side when he lands.

Things Eddie could have done better with the guard pull:

1. Making sure Royler did not get his knee through initially.

pullinghalfguard

From here, Royler takes a ranged knee slide approach. Ranged meaning that since he doesn’t immediately have the underhook, he tries to keep his distance to stop Eddie from getting underneath of him, which is what Eddie wants. They continuously fight for the underhook, and when Eddie reaches under to grab under Roylers far side leg, Royler does a few different things to prevent Eddie from going to full blown deep halfguard, he flattens his own hips out, steps his leg back  and/or cross faces Eddie in an attempt to create distance, put pressure on Eddies body to turn it away and make Eddie unable to get that underhook on his leg.

An example:

stoppingthedeephalf

Eddie eventually gives up the under hook to Royler, and Royler gives him the Shoulder of Justice:

shoulderofjustice

But, getting the underhook would actually be Royler’s undoing… well, as far as electric chair sweeps are concerned. In this sequence Eddie gets the underhook back, but far far more importantly get’s Royler’s knee back to the ground between his legs a la traditional half guard. Up until this point Royler’s knee had already been cut through with only his foot stuck between Eddie’s legs which made it impossible for Eddie to put the Lockdown on Roylers leg. Let us take a look at how Eddie gets to the Lockdown.

lockdowncontrolandunderhook

In essence, the Lockdown can be a great tool for bringing your opponents hips over you, which can set up Electric Chairs, which Eddie hits for the first real action in the match, albeit almost 7 minutes into the match:

firstelectricchair

This puts Royler into the Electric Chair submission, it’s something one of my instructors does quite a bit and if you’re flexible it’s not too difficult to bear. Royler defends by grabbing the back of Eddie’s head. Eddie eventually tries to use the Lockdown/Electric Chair combo to sweep, get’s rolled back over and then once again comes up on top.

electricchairsweep

Royler becomes frustrated from not being able to escape Eddies top control (visibly throwing his hands up) and Eddie capitalizes by passing to side control.

pass-to-side-control

 

Once in side-control Eddie sets up a pretty slick rolling backtakethingymajigneckcrankmaybeiddontfingknow (I’m going to name it Gandalf’s Pipe, since a teammate made that name up):

oilcheckbacktackthingy

Well it’s not that complicated, but still, it’s a rolling back take that Eddie slaps a reverse Lockdown on whilst going for what Jeff Glover called a Neck Crank but looks more like a Spinal Lock/twist (like a Twister) from a RNC grip on his opposite arm.  Royler eventually gets out by shrugging Eddie off the top of him.

Note: This writer does not approve of Oil Checks. No sir.

From here, we end back in a familiar place, half guard, with Royler on top.

Eddie eventually hits the same sweep as Royler does not seem to know how to deal with the Lockdown:

sweep2

 

Eddie eventually comes up on top, but Royler reverses it with a sweep of his own…back to….you guessed it…half guard.

Roylersweep

 

Eddie hits his third and fourth electric chair sweeps in the following gif, but with one minor variation. When Royler tries to counter the fourth (second in the gif) electric chair he brings his leg over Eddies head, but does so without bringing his weight to the same side, which allows Eddie to counter by bringing Royler back the way he came, and in a much worse position then he had been in previously.

eddiethirdsweep

From here, they tried to restart in the center of the ring as they were super close to falling out of bounds. A little drama ensued where Royler refused to put his legs back in the correct place, but to be fair, it did appear as if Eddie layed down as if he thought he was in guard anyway. A little grumbling from both of them and the ref  (Scotty from OTM, Lucky Gis, etc) got a video as evidence and restarted them properly.

restartconfusion

Eddie pulls off a rolling calf slicer he calls the “Vaporizer” from the position they restart in. Although it appears painful, Royler doesn’t tap and the time runs out with them sitting in the same position for a few minutes:

endofmatch

Below is not a gif but rather a screenshot of the final position again. Both men seemed to realize that this is where they would end the match at. For a calf slicer, you want to be able to bring someones calf as close to their hamstring as humanely possible, one issue with the way Eddie tried to finish this move is that Eddie’s own body stops this from happening. Also, paired with a high pain tolerance, great flexibility and the mental fortitude of a reinforced concrete wall, Royler wasn’t going to tap.

vlcsnap-2014-04-02-21h46m28s135

 

What this match means in regards to their ADCC match:

Nothing.

Why “nothing” you ask? Because these men have been training 11 years since their match in 2003. Whether Eddie Bravos submission win over Royler Gracie then was a fluke or not will never be known, people change, perhaps Eddie has been training harder in those 11 years. We will never know.

However, there are some things we DO know now about the two grapplers:

These are my personal thoughts, and I assume many will agree and disagree, please feel free to comment on your take of things!

  • Royler did not have any answer whatsoever for Eddie’s Lockdown game. Eddie was able to sweep Royler with the Electric Chair sweep 4/4 times he tried. Although I’m sure Royler prepared for Eddie, I’d question whether he trained with people who know and can implement Eddie’s specific style. There are many counters to the Lockdown and I didn’t see Royler employ any. Perhaps his game hasn’t evolved as much as it should to at least counter new threats.
  • Although many would argue Eddie bested Royler in this match (and I would agree as far sweeps and submission attempts go) I have to point out that staying in bottom half-guard being crushed on for literally over half a 20 minute match does not speak well to the positional dominance of Eddie’s style. He didn’t seem to have an answer for Royler until he was able to finally get to the Lockdown. Which makes me question Eddie’s comments about 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu being better for MMA.  Bottom half guard is not a place you want to be for 10+ minutes. Although it being a grappling match, it could just very well be that Eddie knew his strongest aspect of his game was his halfguard when he specifically obtained the Lockdown and implemented his game as such.
  • I didn’t view any of the submission attempts Eddie applied as “legit” submissions except the “Vaporizer’ calf slicer near the end. Not as far as Royler Gracie is concerned. Kind of like how I didn’t view Clarks omoplata attempt on Rafa as a legit submission, it wasn’t close and it wasn’t going to happen. (Do people even remember that he tried?)
  • Royler and Eddie represent two extremes in BJJ to me. Royler represents the old age grinding “stick with what you know” BJJ. Eddie represents the new age grappler who is too caught up in the future to remember to master the past. I think this was represented well in their match. Royler focused on positional dominance but had no answers for Eddie’s newer style. Eddie’s threw out submission attempts that I would view as low percentage and generally reckless. There’s good to be had from both men FOR SURE. And I think the best grapplers are somewhere in the middle of the Eddie/Royler scale of grappling extremes.
  • I was pretty bothered by the fact that both men couldn’t agree on equal NOGI rules, but I understand where both were coming from.
  • I forgive them for their heightened tensions during the match, this was one for the ages and both men felt that they had a lot on the line. Royler his legacy, and Eddie vindicating himself.
  • I would have preferred they be in the same weight bracket.
  • Scotty’s beard is manly as hell.
  • Relek should not be allowed near a microphone or a backpack.
  • This was my favorite Metamoris by far despite only having two finishes. My heart literally exploded BJJ feels all over my computer monitor during the Bravo vs Gracie match.
  • I liked both guys speeches, but was a little sad Royler didn’t give more props to Eddie.
  • Eddie is a legitimate BJJ Black Belt under Jean Jacques Machado. He also has been and always will be. But it’s pretty evident that the Lockdown has lot’s of potential situationally. It’s something I used to use a lot when I was first starting out, and will have to spend some time investigating some more.
  • The match doesn’t show how effective 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu is as a system, but it does show that using new techniques can best those who are unfamiliar.
  • Royler really really likes the knee slide pass. When he already had his knee through I kept asking myself why he wasn’t switching to a reverse knee cut or going to mount. Maybe he felt something I didn’t, but it seemed readily available.
  • The commentary team of Jeff Glover and Kenny Florian was AWESOME and very FAIR to all competitors.

 

Overall 10/10 would have a BJJ heart attack to again.

 

 

On March 1, 2012 an Indiegogo page was setup for “Gi Drive” whose mission was to “Help us send over 100 BJJ Gis to the people who need them most!”. The fundraiser ended on April 30, 2012 according to Indiegogo. Link: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/gi-drive

Gi Drive Indiegogo Main

According to the page, during that time $2,907 was raised of a $4,250 goal with the intention of paying for the Gis that were collected to be sent to Brazil, specifically, Drive In Jiu Jitsu which was highlighted in Christian Graugarts blog here: http://www.bjjglobetrotter.com/?p=2271 this is likely to not include a non-disclosed amount that may have been collected in person or through other means.

Many BJJ companies including MMAstop.com, Meerkatsu, SubCulture USA, Gawakoto, Scramble, Ronin Brand , MMAoutlet.com and MAS contributed to “Perks” that people could buy and know the money was going to the cause. Several Chicago BJJ instructors also lended their time and resources to the project, Andre “Maneco” Leite, Mark Vives, Jeff Serafin, Misho Ceko, Adem Redzovic and Jay Valko.

The “Gi Drive” was organized by GiReviews.net’s Brendan Hufford. Brendan also owns a BJJ brand called Ok! Kimonos which focuses on childrens Gis but also makes adult gis. As stated on Ok! Kimonos webpage under their Gi Exchange Program link: “Supporting Drive-In BJJ Academy in Rio de Janeiro is the reason that I started Gi Drive and Ok Kimonos. Drive-In is located in a semi-favela part of Rio and I am vehemently passionate about the work that is being done there.”

OkKimonos Gi Exchange Program Page

He makes those same claims in an interview he did with Sally Arsenault for the online magazine BreakingMuscle.com (in August of 2013) and more recently even GiCritic (March 2014) mentions it.

Breakingmuscle article

gicritic

A large group of the BJJ community came together to support this great cause.

Almost 2 years have passed since the indiegogo campaign ended and I hadn’t seen a single picture, post or article done on the success of the campaign and the kids wearing any of their “new” gis.  This, based on Brendan Huffords marketing prowess, left me concerned. Brendan surely knows how to market things he is doing, so why not post anything in regards to Drive In Jiu Jitsu.

Because I couldn’t find any contact info for Paulo at Drive In Jiu Jitsu I searched the indiegogo Gi Drive page for anyone else associated with the page who would be able to verify it’s success. I noticed on the “Updates” tab it mentioned Dennis Asche from Connection Rio here:

E-mailed back and forth with Dennis Asche from

Connection Rio about getting the gis out to those who need them”

Gi Drive Indiegogo Updates

So I contacted Dennis Asche who emailed me saying he had no knowledge of what became of the Gi Drive and surely didn’t assist in them arriving in Brazil, so if they did arrive, they came from another avenue. I emailed him back asking if he knew how to contact Paulo at Drive In but have yet to receive a response.

Dennis Asche

I then contacted Christian Graugart on his facebook page asking if he knew how to get a hold of Paulo and he did, which was via a Facebook page which I had been unable to find previously.
On February 21st, 2014, almost two years after the Gi Drive ended,  I sent my first message to Paulo Cezar Drive-In via his facebook page:

Hello Professor, Did you ever receive the Gis that Brendan Hufford collected money and Gis for with this fundraiser? There was a lot of money and Gis collected and I don’t believe he had them sent to you and that he kept the money for himself. http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/gi-drive I’m sorry I don’t speak Portuguese but I will try and translate: Olá Professor, Alguma vez você receber o Gis que Brendan Hufford arrecadou dinheiro e Gis para com este fundraiser? Havia um monte de dinheiro e Gis coletados e eu não acredito que ele havia lhes enviado a você e que ele ficou com o dinheiro para si mesmo. http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/gi-drive Me desculpe, eu não falo Português, mas vou tentar traduzir:

Gi Drive

http://www.indiegogo.com”

I received a response within an hour from the page:

Hi Dan my name is Gina Dos Santos and I’m wife of Lucio Sergio friend of Drive in who is currently staying at our house in the Uk, where we have organised legitimate events to raise money for him and the children in Brazil.”

We are very shocked to learn that this person (who I befriended in Facebook) raised money on his behalf and I can assure you that he never received neither the his (gis) or the money he mentioned on the video”

“Yes we are very concerned that this has been done”

I asked if Gina knew if Paulo had ever heard of this Gi Drive before or Ok! Kimonos (who also claims to send Gis to Drive In) and she responded “He says he just found out about this when you sent the message!!”

Obviously, Gina and Paulo are very concerned with their reputation and that someone could use their good cause to make a profit:

“this ruins Paulo’s reputation and good will, and all the hard work we tried to do. He thanks in messages every time he receives a donation or gets invited to seminars, and my husband and my self have done videos after a seminar thanking people for attending and explaining were the money goes. This is terrible”

Paulo

So, almost two years later there is a large amount of Gis that were donated and a large amount of money donated to a cause that was unaware of the campaign even going on who never received a single Gi, nor a single cent. I know a lot of the donated Gis were adult gis and Brendan claims were sent to a project in California (I am unaware of to where exactly though). Regardless, it’s a disgusting thing to promote your brand as going charity work you DON’T ACTUALLY DO. I’m sure he’s just holding onto the money in his bank account or paypal account for a rainy day to randomly decide to finally send it to them.

That amount of money could easily outfit an entire academy for a very long time with brand new gis if the money alone had been used to order Gis from a factory or a generous company in Brazil who would discount a bulk order.

The fact that he has never supported Drive-in has not stopped Brendan Hufford from allowing people to say he does in online articles about his company. Which at the very least is dishonest and lacks integrity.

If you were a part of the Gi Drive, I’m pretty sure you’d like to know what happened to everything. At the very least, maybe this article will actually help get that money to where it was supposed to go by forcing Brendan to act.

Signed,

Dan

Edit: So after I contacted Paulo initially, he contacted Brendan and confronted him about the Gi Drive scandal. Brendan is now shipping Paulo some Gis (supposedly boxing them up tomorrow). I’ll update when I hear more. I guess Paulo talking to him was a nice motivator. I’m just glad a bunch of kids in Brazil are getting the Gis they need. (Hopefully anyway). When asked what Paulo’s sentiment was he said “Busted…now coming clean”.

Edit: According to a screen shot provided by Brendan, Brendan actually messaged Paulo in August of 2013, 1.5 years after the Gi Drive ended, and told him his intention of bringing Gis to Brazil during a personal trip (Which makes me wonder if he was using the charity funds to get fly him down there…). I am assuming Paulo simply gets a lot of traffic from people wanting to donate and that he forgot about Brendans post. Brendan never mentioned the Gi Drive, just that he collected used Gis and would be giving new ones. Which still leaves a ton of questions and still proves Drive In had no idea their name for the charity. For instance, Brendan admits that he had 100% control of the funds, but Nick Mitria (his original Gi Drive partner) ended up with all of the Gis. So what Gis are being sent to Rio? Did Brendan use the funds to make Ok! Kimonos gis to send to Rio, with the intention of claiming he donated them?

Edit: (3.25.2014)

Originally posted by Robert Kipness on the MMAunderground forum, he received a statement from Nick Mitria (from SubCulture, Brendans original partner for the Gi Drive).

I asked Nick about this whole situation, if he sent the gi’s to CIA Paulista and his involvement in it. He responded back to me with this.

This is the direct email I got from him, word for word. Take it for what you want.

– “First, I want to say that it is not my job to drag anyone’s name through the mud, and I did not plan on getting involved in this discussion unless my name was brought up and my involvement came into question.

My role was to run the facebook page and website, and get bodies to the Gi Drive Open Mat event, as I was tied into the Jiu Jitsu community and Brendan was a relatively unknown person.

It was Brendan’s responsibility to handle all funds and the logistics of where the gis were going.

After discovering the expense of shipping all of the gis collected to Brazil, an alternative option was required. At this point the gis were supposed to go to Cia Paulista for an outreach project for the youth in California. Very few of the gis collected were actually youth gis.

On October 5th, 2012, Brendan sent me $312 via his personal PayPal account to cover UPS shipping fees to send the gis to California. After speaking to one of the head instructors at Cia Paulista, we discovered that adult gis were not needed and they were specifically looking to collect youth gis. (We had collected maybe 6 youth gis?)

I had my falling out with Brendan after a phone conversation I had with him regarding the funds, which he controlled. He suggested to me that we split the money that was raised for the charity and go our separate ways. I told him that was not our money for splitting, but he felt that he was owed a fee for running around and administrative work. I told him it was donated for a cause and it should be used for just that. I then made it very clear I no longer wanted anything to do with him, and that was the last time I spoke to Brendan Hufford over the phone.

None the gis were shipped to California, the $312 dollars was used to pay for storage of the gis, the remainder of the cost was out of pocket. I had to seek out a new project to donate all of the gis to. I found that former instructor and friend Andre Negao had a project out of Brazil 021 to collect and donate gis in Brazil, so all gis collected through the Gi Drive were sent to Andre Negao. You can see in the attached document that 67 gis were received by them. (There are still a dozen or two in storage, for the project’s next trip down.)

If anything is unclear, feel free to ask me any questions, but I have no interest in going on with “he said, she said” garbage.”

Manila Kimonos

Posted: December 22, 2013 in Gi Review

Manila-Kimonos-BJJ-Gi

Manila Kimonos Gi Review

by Daniel ‘I’d rather be Starscream than Megatron’ Halpin

Manila Kimonos Overview

The Manila Kimonos Gi is a Gi that really hits a homerun in regards to its execution. With beautiful embroidery and seam tape the Gi stands out without going overboard.

It’s comfortable AND classy.

 

Be weary however, as the A3 is a little longer in the pants and the skirt than even I (at the bottom of the A3 spectrum and used to oversized Gis) am used to.

I’d say the perfect height after shrinkage is 6’0″ or 6’1″.

Although the chest/shoulder/arm girth did fit my frame of 195lbs very nicely.

Purchase of the Manila Kimono includes: 1 x top. 1 x bottom.

I am unsure if this was a full on production model but no Gi bag came with the Gi.

Fit

gireviews size chart

Washer Warm – Cold, 2nd Rinse

Dryer, 60 minutes normal heat

Pre and Post wash measurements:
22 inch armpit to wrist 21
67 inch wingspan to 66
C – 22 inch armpit to skirt 21 3/4
32 3/4 top to skirt 32 1/2
D – 25 inch bottom of skirt across 24 1/2
E – 23 1/2 waist to 21 1/2
H – 42 long to 39 1/2
30 1/2 crotch to pant bottom 29
F – 12 inch pant width top to 11 1/2
G – 9 1/2 pant width bottom 9

No Shrinkage in the chest.
A – No Shrinkage in the wrist.

Jacket

Manila-Kimonos-Jacket

As I mentioned previously, the Gi is cut for someone with a longer torso. The slits on side of the Gi are very large but, unlike the Ezekiel “Jiu Jitsu” Gi, I can see these slits being larger making sense. As the jacket itself is longer the slits allow for greater mobility and are designed as to not restrict your legs.

Manila-Kimonos-embroidery

I really like the Lotus flower design you can find on both arms and the back of this Gi. Good care was taken in the embroidery of the flower. The writing above the flower however of “Manila” could use some work as the border around the inner text doesn’t always sit nicely on the letters.

Manila-Kimonos-collar-2

I also really enjoyed the seam tape on the otuside of the sleeves and the bottom of the skirt. A nice amount of flare without becoming too overpowering. The orange contrast stitching really does well to make this Gi “pop”.

Manila-Kimonos-seam-tape

I had no issues with a flimsy collar or any scratching from the interior of the Gi. The collar is wrapped in ripstop. After three washes the Gi still maintained its deep black color, however the ripstop coated collar had begun to fade a small bit. It’s not a summer time light Gi by any means, but definitely not that heavy either. I would put it right in the middle of all the Gi’s I own. A nice year round choice.

Manila-Kimonos-Collar

Trousers

Manila-Kimonos-Pants

The pants are made of ripstop and have the same Manila seam tape as the rest of the gi at the bottom of the pant legs. The islands of the Philippines are beautifully embroidered on the left pant leg. Unfortunately due to my stubby legs the A3 pants were too long for me, on the bright side for the people that these DO fit, the crotch area is not saggy, which is something I can’t stand.

Manila-Kimonos-manila

The pants are held up by one loop on each side of the waist using a twill string.

Manila-Kimonos-pants-2

As with most ripstop pants they aren’t very breathable once they get soaked. If rip stops you’re flavor though, that’s nothing new to you. I also would have preferred a large area of coverage for the knee reinforcements.

Wife Approval

“Oh my god! That’s sooo nice!”

My Filipino Friend Omar’s first impression

“Oh my god dude! I want that Gi!”

Conclusion

I must say that after reviewing quite a few Gis now that it seems that all of the Gis I have tested are always of good quality in terms of construction.

This really is good news for BJJ practioners everywhere as it means competitiveness in the market is at an all time high.

I’m seeing new brands pop up virtually every week some great new innovations to add to the industry.

It’s a great time to be buying a Gi.

With construction quality being something less to worry about it seems the main purpose of reviewing Gis is to point out the Gi cut, the materials used and the aesthetics of the Gi.

As those are typically the deciding factor for people when purchasing a Gi outside of construction quality. It says a lot for the industry when start up and major Gi brands alike have similar construction quality.

Getting a Gi that is cut wrong or too oversized/undersized can be a huge hassle and waste a lot of time/money sending a Gi back for another.

Hopefully I can convey to the reader enough information to help them in their Gi selection process. That is always my goal.

Comme Des Grappler Fall

Posted: December 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

Comme Des Grappler (CDG) Fall T-shirt release

CDG Tees

I really like streetwear. To me, streetwear was skateboarding companies back in the late 90s and early 2000s doing things different. Companies like eS, Lakai, Baker, Enjoi, Fallen and even big power house names like DC, Etnies and Vans contributed to the streetwear scene. Big, loud, in your face designs that mainly consisted of their own logo, but in a fashionable, clean, way……

 

Because of my like for skateboarding brands and streetwear, I have taken a severe liking to all things CDG. Their designs are super clean and provide a fresh new face for the BJJ scene.

There isn’t much I can say about t-shirts in general that can inspire someone to pick one up, but here’s all you need to know: They look awesome, they feel awesome and the print is of excellent quality.

Moar pictures!

This is probably my second favorite T-shirt by CDG, next to their Arabic T.

CDG Tee 1

CDG Tee 2

cdg tag