Posts Tagged ‘guard’

I’ve been grappling in my Manto Tap Cancer Out rash guard for a while now and it’s great!  Initially writing this, I stumbled upon the fact that this will be a joint review.  First, this is a Manto rash guard with design input from a charity.  So if there’s a design flaw or a feature that I didn’t enjoy, who takes the hit for it?  Manto or TapCancerOut?  Who get’s the praise if there’s a feature that I love?  There are, obviously, many dilemmas with this.

Also, I have to point out my bias.  Cancer has taken both of my grandmothers from my family and I.  I feel very deeply for TapCanerOut’s mission:  “Tap Cancer Out is a jiu-jitsu based nonprofit (pending 501(c)(3) status) that raises awareness and funds for cancer fighting organizations on behalf of the grappling community.”  I almost feel as if I must provide a positive contribution to this organization.  However, I also have a personal, ethical responsibility to myself to be completely honest.  How fair would it be for me to lie to myself?  Would that help TCO?  In the long run, Karma’s a bitch and would most likely burn the shrine I’m trying to build.

Style and Design

Front view. I totally dig the red paneling down the sides. It gives the wearer a trim, fit look ~ even if you’re a fatty like me!

TapCancerOut and Manto have done a fantastic job in designing this rash guard.  The simple look of red and black is excellent.  It’s clean and simple.  I especially enjoy the red paneling that runs under the arms and down the sides of the torso, creating that superhero, masculine, framed look.  I’m also pleased that TCO kept it simple by just using the large logo on the chest and the fist and ribbon logo on the back.

Back view. Check out the simple look of the logo.

Build

Manto is known for their high quality products.  There’s essentially no worry when you buy from them.  You know, with little doubt or worry, you’re getting a piece of gear that is going to last.  They use triple-stitching throughout the rash guard, except around the neck, where Manto opted to use double-stitching.  After wearing and washing the rash guard multiple times I have been unable to find any loose threads or places where the stitching had run off the seam.

The rash guard is a fully dye-sublimated print.  What this means is that the molecules are locked into the fabric.  Unlike the old-school rash guards which are screen printed and have a tendency to crack, peel and/or fade, TCO’s rash guards will not.  They’ll hold up much longer than screen printed rash guards and retain their original colors much longer.

Fit

The Manto TCO rash guard is probably my favorite fitting rash guard.  At 6′ and 195 lbs I typically wear a size XL.  With most long sleeve rash guards the arms run a bit long and bunch up around the wrist.  Manto’s did not do this which was pleasantly surprising.

Another plus was that the crew neck cut wasn’t choking me.  Sometimes rash guards can be so tight that they create a claustrophobic feeling when you wear them.  This wasn’t the case.  Instead of being up around my throat the cut of the neck sat lower and flatter to my chest and clavicle bones.  The rash guards torso is plenty long, as well, so there’s no fear of it riding up and coming un-tucked from your shorts or gi pants.

A con for this rash guard is where the stitching comes together on the back of the shoulder blades.  The material pulls and stretches and looks as if it’s going to eventually rip at the merge point.  I can’t tell you if it will affect the longevity of the rash guard but if you have a large back or big deltoids you may want to go up an extra size.

You can see where the three seams meet. May be a consideration if you pump a lot of iron and have huge deltoids.

Performance

The TCO Manto rash guard does exactly what it advertises.  It breathes well and helps wick away sweat.  The rash guard is 89% polyester and 11% spandex, allowing it to stretch.  When it stretches you can almost see through the material making it like a second skin, which means you’re not going to overheat in it.

There’s no chaffing anywhere.  I’ve had rash guards that run up under the arm pits and actually cause a rash.  I’ve had some that roll up around the waste and cut into the body.  The TCO rash guard doesn’t do any of that.  I love it!

Summary

At the end of the day, this is a great rash guard for the money!  It comes in a short or long sleeve variation, fits great, is non-abrasive and supports a great cause!  At $50 it’s right around the average price of rash guards on the market today.  It might actually be slightly less than the average, actually.  However, instead of the profits going into the pockets of some greedy corporation, they’re going towards fighting that horrific disease of cancer!  BUY YOURS TODAY!

4.5 out of 5.

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I was fortunate enough to catch up with one of the greatest minds in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Kid Peligro, at a Team Hopkins seminar. Any time you have the opportunity to chat with a Black Belt that’s under Royler Gracie, who just happens to be the author of pretty much every Gracie Jiu-Jitsu book on the market, you have to jump on it!  The seminar was excellent and we covered a ton of material.  Here’s just a taste:

Bump from Head Clinch to Double Leg (setup drill)

Butterfly Sweep (drill and technique)

Butterfly Guard Pass (opponent sitting up) to Cross Body Position

Butterfly Guard Pass (opponent on back) to Double-Leg Lock; to Cross Body Position

Take the Back (drill)

Take the Back (technique)

Shrimp (drills)

Escape from Cross Body with Shrimp

Counter to Scarf Hold (side headlock)

Counter Arm lock to Counter Arm Lock

BJ Penn Arm and/or Shoulder Lock from Seated Open Guard or Butterfly Guard

I wish I had taken more notes…  We covered more material than I can remember.  After the seminar I chatted him up.  He’s releasing another app and ebook which are going to work hand in hand.  I’m looking forward to that.  This man is a genius!!  He was also kind enough to show us a new technique off of his upcoming app, Counter to the Omoplata.

I did the Omoplata wrong.  If you’re going to screw something up, be like me and make sure you get it on camera, in front of your peers, while practicing with a Gracie Jiu-Jitsu master.  Go big or go home, right?!  Dammit…  Here’s the interview.  Check it out on my YouTube page.

LUTA Short Sleeve Laser-Tech MMA Rash Guard

This review is brought to you by the good people at BJJHQ, MMAHQ, and MAS.  Go check them out.  Buy something.  End shameless plug…

Company Background: LUTA
I totally dig the cause and back story of LUTA. A small boxing club was formed on the streets of Brazil, named Luta Pela Paz. It’s Portuguese for “Fight for Peace”. In a community that was wrecked by violence, drugs and poverty; here is a glimmer of light. A place where the community’s youth can escape too, rehabilitate their lives and find something to focus their energy on. That small boxing club has transformed into a multi-combative sport club, that’s transgressed into an athletic wear company, that now has a 50% profit share with their own NGO, Fight for Peace. You can check out LUTA’s page discussing their heritage here.

Initial Impressions

When I first received the LUTA rash guard, I was pleasantly surprised.  It’s material was soft and smooth.  It’s bold white and black design allows it to pair well with almost any gi or shorts in my closet.  I wasn’t really excited about the heat bonded logo on the front.  I did like the placement of the LUTA logo on the top-center of the upper back.  I wasn’t sure about the paneling down the sides.  I was concerned they would cause irritation on the skin in and around the armpit area.

Wear and Comfort

The rash guard wears well enough.  The collar is a bit on the tight side.  When I first wore it I felt as if I was getting choked.  The good news is that you get used to it so it’s not a down side.  The polyester and elastane knitted fabric is very comfortable against the skin.  Again, it’s soft and smooth!  The rash guard also breathes extremely well.  It has kept me the coolest of any rash guard I’ve worn to date.  I usually wear long-sleeve rash guards so the short sleeve feel was a bit different to me.  It actually started to grow on me, especially for wear under my gi.  I still prefer to wear a long sleeve rash guard when playing no-gi for hygienic reasons.

One personal downside, and we’ll chalk this up under “comfort”, is that at the end of a rolling session I look like a fat kid who entered a wet t-shirt contest.  You can see my nipples and the outline of gut and belly-button.  I’m not exactly the thin kid in class so I’m a bit conscious about the way I look.  I want to look cool, damn it, not fat!  If you’re thin or in shape or shaped like Superman, this is a non-factor.  However, if you’re not, this might be a reason to buy the black and yellow version.

The rash guard wicks sweat and heat away from the body.  The paneling does not cause irritation, nor does the double-welded seaming.

Construction

This rash guard is really, really soft.  Why?  First, because of the polyester and elastane fabric.  Second, the build.  LUTA’s 6-panel construction using double-welded seams keeps the stitching on the skin to a minimum.  So smooth.  The incorporation of the vented panels down the side are really nice, too.  They breathe well and do an excellent job of venting heat away from the body.

Durability

Unfortunately, this rash guard hasn’t held up too well on the mat.  The stitching around the bottom has begun to unravel and the material has unfolded.

Also, the heat bonded chest logo, which isn’t supposed to peel, is beginning to peel.  It’s not a lot of peeling, but it’s enough that I know it’s only going to get worse the more I wear and wash it.

In LUTA’s defense, I have not contacted them about a replacement, but I’m sure their customer service department would replace the rash guard at no cost.  If not, then shame on them.

Summary

Overall, I really like the LUTA short sleeve rash guard.  I enjoy the wear and feel of the rash guard, especially under a gi.  I like the welded seeming and underarm panels.  I also really relate to the company profile.  However, there are a few hiccups that would prevent me from purchasing this rash guard, especially at $99.  I don’t like the fact that it makes me look as fat as I am, that the stitching is unraveling and that the chest logo is peeling.  For $99, LUTA can afford sublimated graphics.  3 Out of 5 Stars for this one guys, sorry.  😦

Looking back, it’s been a great year for me!  I earned my Blue Belt, started this blog and I feel like my game has really grown and matured.  One of the best parts from all of this is that I get a good deal of free gear to review.  Well, it’s not really free.  I have to wear it, test it, stretch its limits and try to find its weaknesses and strengths all while doing what I love.  Oh, darn.  So in keeping with this months theme of looking back I’m going to give away a free rash guard, provided by the wonderful folks at MAS – the Tatami Gen X Red & Black (size XL)!  Why Tatami’s Gen X, you say?  Simple – it was the best rash guard I got to roll in last year, that’s why!

So what do you have to do?  Simply like my Facebook page and share this link on your Facebook page and I’ll pick one random winner on Feb 10th, 2012!  If you already like my site, just share the love!

Check out my original review of the Tatami Gen X Rash guard here.

*(1) NEW, UNOPENED Red & Black Gen X Rash guard, size XL