Posts Tagged ‘UFC’

Gi Soap

Intro

When I reached out to my fellow BJJ players at Gi Soap, looking to write a review on some of their products, I was more interested in just getting some free stuff and maybe a cool patch.  To be honest, my plan succeeded.  I got them to send me some free product to review and a cool patch.  I didn’t necessarily expect to be impressed.  I figured, “soap is soap”.  You don’t really think that any one soap or body wash will be different from any other.  Sure, some smell nicer than others.  Maybe you notice one lathers a little bit more, or maybe, one rinses a little easier.  But rarely, do you say, “Wow!  That’s some GOOD soap!”

Well, today was that day, my friend.  I got me some DAMN GOOD SOAP!   Gi Soap has recently released a new body wash line to complement their bar soap production.  It’s all quality stuff.

Oddly enough, I suddenly found myself reliving scene from Fight Club.  Instead of selling soap to glamorized, size 0, twenty-something’s who just had liposuction I was trying to pawn off this great product on meat-heads with cauliflower ear.  Hollywood ALMOST got it right…

The Science:

There’s a little bit of education involved here.  You have to have some personal revelations about yourself and your body before you become willing to drop $9.00 on a bottle of soap.  If you think about it you’ll probably come to the same realizations that I had.

First, traditional body wash that is chemically made is not good for you.  It “cleans” you by stripping away the natural oils of your body.  Sure, it also strips away all that nasty dirt, sweat and grime but you’re not cleaning your body the way nature intended.  We, as animals, produce and secrete our own natural oil as natural barrier and protection for our skin.  We are programed to defend ourselves against bacteria, dirt, sweat, grime and anything else we can try to find to roll around in.

By stripping our own natural oils we’re no longer protecting ourselves.  Conversely, we’re making ourselves more susceptible and vulnerable to infection and disease.  In fact, we’re more likely increasing our chances of catching ring worm, athlete’s foot, or some other god forsaken bacteria that will keep us off the mats and away from the gym.  This is also why you should never shower BEFORE going to the dojo.

That’s where Gi Soap steps in.  The oil’s they use in their body wash and soap bars protects us, naturally, in conjunction with our body’s own oil secretion.  Tea Tree Oil, for example, has been shown to treat and cure athlete’s foot, has the ability to cure fungus infections of the nails, and helps clear up mild and moderate acne.  Regular body wash doesn’t do that.  And that’s only one of their ingredients!’

"Real products tested on real fighters!!! Ringworm gone in a few days with our bars of soap just by washing the area few times a day and then letting it air dry!!"

“Real products tested on real fighters!!! Ringworm gone in a few days with our bars of soap just by washing the area few times a day and then letting it air dry!!”

 

Packaging:

It’s not the prettiest bottle of body wash but who cares?  It has the Gi Soap logo, the list of ingredients and a cap.  What else do you really need?

Smell / Feel:

It doesn’t smell musky, or male, or like a man without his shirt on riding backwards on a horse on the beach.  It smells natural.  It smells like a peppermint plant.  Not the peppermint candy that you get from grandma’s candy bowl in the secretary’s office, but the real plant.

Its texture is an oil base.  I feel very Roman when I shower with it.  Like I’m pouring perfumed oil over my head.  It’s a little different from what you might be used to because it doesn’t lather excessively.  Rather, it coats the skin.  You may have to use a little bit more than your normal body wash to coat your entire body.

Post Wash:

After washing with Gi Soap you’ll feel a little bit oilier than what you may be used to.  I know I did.  However, it’s not a greasy feeling.  It’s a smoothing feel.  Almost like you’ve treated your body to a massage and it has that post-oil feel.  It’s nice.  After using it for a week I can definitely tell my skin is healthier and happier.

Pros:

At the end of the day my skin doesn’t feel dry.  I don’t feel the need to put lotion on because of cheap soap.  I’ve noticed my skin has a healthier appearance and feel.  It kills bacteria.  It works WITH your body, naturally.  You’re supporting a small business, for a community you love.

Cons:

It’s a little bit expensive.  You have to use more than expected so it doesn’t last as long as your normal bottle of soap.  Your wife or girlfriend will steal it because IT’S THAT GOOD!

Conclusion:

Gi soap works with your body, not against it.  You’ll feel healthier.  Your skin will look better after a week.  It’s a great preventative measure to make sure you don’t get any kind of skin infection to begin with.

Is Gi Soap worth the cost?  Yes!  Absolutely.  After doing a little bit of research and finding out more about the soaps that I’ve been using and what they’re doing to my body, I almost have no choice.  Once you see the sin you’re committing, you have to confess and you have to mitigate it.  I’m no longer using lotion, either, which helps to offset the cost of Gi Soap as well.

After learning what Gi Soap is doing for my body and the positive results that I’ve personally seen, I don’t think I can ever stop using it.

4/5 stars.  Go pick up a bottle (or bar) and try it out.  It’s worth it and you won’t regret it.

See you on the mats!

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Roll.Adapt.Win  recently put out a picture that spoke to the heart of the White Belt.  But, it also spoke to the heart of all Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu players.  Several folks did their own take on it.  So in honor of Roll.Adapt.Win’s great influence (and in homage to the point they made), I’m offering up 10 Things Every White Belt Should Know!

We all start training for different reasons, but many of us show up to class because in the back of our minds we all want to be able to take down the UFC superstars.  Yeah, sure, you say you just want to learn to be able to defend yourself in a street fight.  I say BULL$%!*!  You want to try and tap out Dos Santos!  This leads us to:

# 10:  The highest percentage of submission finishes in the UFC are fundamental, white-to-blue curriculum, techniques.  In 2009, the most successful submission in the UFC was the Guillotine, followed by the Rear Naked Choke.  My point?  Don’t worry about trying to learn that cool thing you saw one of Eddie Bravo’s Black Belt’s doing on YouTube.  LEARN THE FUNDAMENTALS!

Okay, so let’s say you didn’t join the dojo to beat up on UFC fighters.  Maybe you don’t care that you can tap out Chael Sonnen.  Maybe you just want to get fit?  Maybe build a little muscle and cut a little fat?  Well, that’s great, but don’t stop hitting the gym because you found this great, new anaerobic exercise!

#9.  When all things are equal, strength and agility will be the deciding factor.  Look, there’s a reason fighters cut 20 lbs before a match.  It’s so they can be bigger, stronger, and faster than their opponent.  If you take two BJJ practitioners, both of whom have been training for 2 days a week, for 2 years, under the same instructor with the same sparring partners, the stronger, faster one is going to get the tap 8 times out of 10.

But you can’t just work out and do BJJ and expect to be the best.  You have to eat right, too.

#8.  You are a machine.  You need fuel and lube to function properly.  EAT RIGHT AND TAKE SUPPLEMENTS!  Don’t wait till you’re 50 to start popping fish oil pills.  Do it now.  Food is your fuel.  Don’t eat for now, eat for tomorrow.  What’s going to supply the power and energy your body needs for later?  I know that greasy cheeseburger looks great, but the grilled chicken salad is going to help build muscle and promote good digestion.

I had a football coach who told me I talked too much in the locker room.  I didn’t know what that meant until 10 years later and I was in a dojo listening to white belts talk too much in the locker room.  If you wear a white belt, you talk too much.  You’re talking too much online.  You’re talking too much in the locker room.  If you’re reading this quietly to yourself, not even out load but in your brain, you’re talking too much.  I still talk too much.

#7.  Shut up.  Listen.  Observe.  Use your eyeballs and mimic that awesome purple belt you admire.  Watch the black belts.  You’ll see even the friendly, outgoing ones don’t talk that much about BJJ off the mats.  You’re not an expert.  Be a student.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is great.  It’s a complete, all around martial art.  I’ll be the first to admit that there’s not a single martial art that’s better than BJJ.  However, like supplementing your BJJ with strength and conditioning workouts, you should consider supplementing your training with another martial art as well.  Many BJJ black belts are also black belts in Judo, Aikido, or some other form of martial art.

#6.  If your BJJ dojo offers more than one martial art, sign up for it!  Expand your horizon and become a multi-martial arts practitioner.  Taking Judo 1 day a week will significantly increase your BJJ in the long run.  This includes arts like Yoga and Tae Chi.  I practice yoga every now and again with my wife and just the small increases in flexibility and balance have done wonders for my game.

So let’s say you took up yoga.  Great!  But being on the mats isn’t the time to work on your Zen either.  Be aggressive in what you want to do.

#5.  ATTACK!  Now, I’m not saying flail around like a suffocating fish on the sea pier.  Don’t be wild.  But, force your game onto your opponent.  Don’t sit in someone’s guard and let them dictate where the match is headed.  And don’t lay on your back and watch them pass your guard, either.

Have a game plan.  If you’re still new, and haven’t even started developing a game plan, have a move.  Have 1 move for each position (that’s 8 moves, give or take) and repeat each move.  He’s in your guard?  Keep trying that same sweep until you learn another.  If it fails and he passes?  Oh well!  Try that side mount escape.  Did it fail?  Good.

#4.  Fail often.  Fail again.  Ask any world champion what they learned after they won a fight and they won’t have a good answer.  Sure, they had some questions answered.  But what did they learn?  Ask any world champion what they learned after they lost a fight, and they’ll tell you a lot.  What they learned about themselves, about what did or didn’t really work, how to revamp their training, etc., etc.  The list is endless.  We learn more in failure than success.

You know what the other great thing about failing at a technique is?  You learn what works best for you.  Repetition and drills are great, they build mechanics, but failure builds technique.

#3.  Learn the variation that works for you.  Eddie Bravo’s rubber guard isn’t for everybody, but it’s for somebody.  And the person that can execute it successfully can give people a good run for their money.  So maybe the standard straight arm-lock isn’t hitting for you, but maybe the reversal is.  Learn to set up the reverse from failing the standard variation.

You have to know the moves, though.  You can’t do anything if you don’t have the knowledge.  Spend 20 minutes a day, even day’s you’re not training, studying.

#2.  Hit the books.  Watch YouTube.  Subscribe to Gracie University.  Buy Gracie Barra fundamentals on DVD.  Get your subscription to Jiu-Jitsu Magazine.  Buy one of Kid Peligro’s books.  Look, keeping it fresh in your mind and studying the material will make you a better grappler by 5%.  It’s a fact, trust me.  Especially if you grab another white belt and say, “Hey, I just saw this cool technique, can we walk through it a few times?”

All of this being said, you’re still going to lose.  However, there’s good news!

#1.  …Drum roll…  There is no losing.  Ah, see how I got all Buddhist monk right there!  You’re going to lose but there is no losing!  Okay, seriously though, you’re sparring.  You’re rolling around on the ground with your friends, trying to perform a specific technique.  This isn’t a MMA fight.  This isn’t a street match.  There’s the old adage, tap early and tap often.  That comes into play here.  Knowing when you’re in a bad spot is important, and attempting to get out of it is important, but not at the cost of your ACL or tearing a shoulder.

Hopefully, I helped out at least one white belt.  Now shut up and roll!

There’s an old quote that says, “Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.”  I say bring it on!  2011 was a great year for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and we’re counting down the top 10 events that helped shape the year!

10.  BJJHQ – Offering you one great deal a day, BJJHQ is probably one of the hottest deals going for Jiu-Jitsu gear.  However, their significance isn’t their gimmick – it’s their representation of the market that’s important.  We’re talking about a website whose sole purpose is to make money selling Jiu-Jitsu related products.  Not a website who is selling you techniques or is a representation of a specific breed of Jiu-Jitsu, but a third-party sales company who is making money by simply selling merchandise.  If a company can make money only selling Jiu-Jitsu gear then it’s definitely a major mile-stone for our sport and is a great sign of things to come!

9.  Jiu-Jitsu Delivered to Your Door – Jiu-Jitsu Magazine, a publication coming out of California, is making its mark in the states.  Due to the development and recent acceptance of the iPad, NOOK, Kindle and other e-readers the magazine and newspaper markets have taken a hit.  Again, it says a lot about where our sport is for a publication to make it in today’s economy.  Grab a subscription to this and expand your game!

8.  The UFC in Brazil – In 1993 the Gracie’s created the UFC in an effort to show the world that they had created the best defensive combat system in the world.  In 2011 the UFC went to the Gracie’s home country for the first time in history!  MMA is probably going to be the first truly international sport because people all over the world love to watch other people from all over the world getting their arms broken.  And the UFC is going to deliver!

7.  Earn Your Degree Online with Gracie University – The Gracie family has done marvels with growing the sport and the science of Jiu-Jitsu online.  Love them or hate them, odds are, you’re watching their videos.  They’ve also inspired others to create their own online training programs.  The difference between the Gracie’s and everybody else is that they are willing to promote you based on video evaluation.  Not only can you put on your Blue Belt at home, you can add a stripe to it!

6.  The Honey Badger Don’t Care – Fellow blogger, jitz roller, and artist Meerkatsu may have had his biggest break out in 2011 with the introduction of his Honey Badger rash guard.  It’s taken off like wildfire (so much so that I can’t even get my hands on one to review, hint hint…).  It’s turned into the “hot” item for BJJ all across the internet and developed itself into a brand, Honey Badger Fightwear.  He did it right, too, by pushing through a noted and professional company like Tatami.  I expect to see Honey Badgers on gi’s in the near future.  Personally, I think an Octopus could take a Honey Badger any day…

5.  Attack of the App – With the invention of the Android, iPhone, iPad and every other mobile device there has come more apps than one can count.  Thrown in that mix are some pretty impressive Jiu-Jitsu apps.  I’m a big fan of the Mobile Black Belt series by Gracie Barra Black Belt “Bill” Aparecido Faria.  Quick, easy techniques to watch if you’ve got 5 minutes to kill.  Another favorite is access to my Gracie University account via their mobile site.  You can make fun of those who learn watching YouTube, or you can add those tools to your toolbox.  Me?  I have more than one Black Belt in my pocket.

4.  The Match that Never Happened – Supposedly going to be the Superfight of the Decade, the Eddie Bravo vs. Royler Gracie rematch caused more stirs, murmurs and rumors than a hooker in the White House.  Set for ADCC 2011, the always cost conscious Gracie managed to put this one to bed by refusing to roll for riches.  Cash up front had to be provided or the event was to never happen.  And it didn’t.  Bloody Elbow does a good break down of events here.

3.  Grandmaster Dr. Pedro Valente Sr. – Anytime you get a new Red Belt thrown in the mix, especially in Jiu-Jitsu where it’s incredibly hard to get promoted anyway, it’s worth pointing out.  It took Pedro Sr. 58 years to put Red around his waist.  That’s a lot of time shrimping on the mats.

2.  Doing the Twist in the UFC – The Korean Zombie Chan Sung Jung hit the first Twister in UFC history!  That’s sick!  There are a lot of haters of Jiu-Jitsu in the MMA market but every time Chael Sonnen gets tapped out or somebody does something like the Twister on national and international television it blows the doors off of BJJ schools everywhere!  This technique was so smooth and so sick that it got breakdowns from Eddie Bravo and the Gracie brothers.

And the winner is…

1.  André Galvão Wins… Again! – Black Belt Galvão won his weight class and the absolute at the ADCC 2011.  That’s pretty impressive.  If you didn’t know who André Galvão was from his many other championship wins, you better take note and figure it out now.  Anyone who can defeat Pablo Popovitch and Rousimar Palhares on the big stage is worth watching down the road. The ADCC rematch between Eddie and Royler didn’t play out, but Galvao gave us plenty to watch and be thankful for.

I’ve been kind of absent here lately.  It’s not as if there is a shortage of things for me to write about.  I could easily talk about all the UFC events out there.  Like how Mayhem Miller was a complete disappointment in his fight against Bisbing.  I love the BJJ guys that come out to MMA fights and try and pull guard.  Or get knocked on their asses and lay there with their legs open hoping that the opponent will jump into their guard.  Shame on you, Mayhem.  I could also tout about how great Jiu-Jitsu is when used effectively in an MMA event like Mir did against Big Nog, destroying his arm.  He knows better, too.  Still trying to figure out why he didn’t tap sooner. 

I could also rant about all the great products to hit the market lately.  Jiu-Jitsu as a market is growing incredibly fast!  New kimono companies are popping up left and right.  Rash-guards, shorts, supplements, training programs, exercise equipment – all related directly to the sport – are thriving.  There’s even a magazine market out there that’s growing in a time where publishing companies are struggling to get people to buy their product.  I’m surprised the New York Times didn’t crumble to be completely honest.

I could talk to you about the recent diet kick I’ve been on.  Or that I’m adding Yoga into the mix.  But, I’m not going to.  I don’t think you want to hear about that.  So here’s the deal.

You tell me what you want.  What should I write about next?  What Jiu-Jitsu subject has intrigued you but you haven’t had the time or energy to think about or research?  History (i.e. the difference between light blue and dark blue belts)?  The future of BJJ?  The international growth of the sport in the U.K.?  A specific gi you’d like to see reviewed?  A book?  WHAT DO YOU WANT, PEOPLE?!?!

In the meantime, I’m going to go roll.  See you on the mats.

Brazilian and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu may have had an explosion of followers after the introduction of the Ultimate Fighting Championship to the United States but it hasn’t been until recently that we’ve seen the market grow.  This might be in part to the fact that the UFC fell out of the main market with sanctioning issues and had to evolve in order to become legally accepted as a sport making a recent comeback a few years ago.  With their return also came the MMA market.

Mixed Martial Arts has also evolved into an accepted workout for gym-junkies with hybrids of CrossFit and Kettle-Jitsu.  We even have it penetrating our military forces as the modern form of hand-to-hand combat training.  The Army has adopted a Combatives program and the Marine Corps has developed their own, calling it the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP).  With the evolution and acceptance of MMA and its growing popularity comes the demand for a supply of training gear and apparel, which has carried over with the same demand for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training gear and apparel.

We all know the brands who play in the Majors; Tatami, Scramble, MMA Warehouse – just to name a few.  However, what we may not be aware of are the ones who provide the gimmick that makes them unique in this environment.  MMAHQ and BJJHQ, Sixth Minute, BJJ Life are only a couple that have made themselves relevant lately with their ideas and concepts.

MMAHQ and BJJHQ are unique in what they offer – one great deal a day!  With the product explosion that’s happening (and the fact that you have to triple stich a pair of shorts that are going to constantly be pulled on by some ape in a raspberry t-shirt) product prices are never on the low end.  That’s where MMAHQ and BJJHQ come in.  Need a pair of shorts or a new rashguard or even a pretty sweet gi?  Odds are if you stalk their website for a few days you’re going to get exactly what you need (and want!!).  Join their Facebook page and receive updates on their sales in real time!

The Sixth Minute is a little bit different from MMAHQ and BJJHQ in that they offer incredible deals but not every day.  You sign up with them and you’ll get an email with their latest deal when it’s available, usually about every other week.  The real difference however, is the magnitude of the deal.  They partner with companies for two-day events where everything on their site is %50 off.  Right now they offer their sales with up-and-coming production companies but once the larger industry Mongols get on board their sales are going to be AMAZING!  Check Sixth Minute out on Facebook!

BJJLIFE’s gimmick is all its own!  They’re not reselling a different brand in their own way, but producing their own.  Not only that, they’re building themselves as a Legion – the BJJ Legion!  It’s a genius concept in that you complete missions in order to get sponsored.  The missions are pretty easy and straight forward, like changing your Facebook image or recruiting a friend.  As you complete the missions you gain rank, going all the way up to General.  By joining the Legion and completing missions you can get tournaments paid for, gym dues paid, a %15 discount in their store, free gear and whatever else they feel like throwing out there.  BJJLIFE’s gear is pretty sweet, too.  I wouldn’t say there’s really anything unique about the build or material but they produce some custom designed stuff that is pretty awesome; like tuxedo rashguards and BJJ belts for your jeans.  I haven’t met anyone with the balls big enough to wear a white belt around their Levi’s but I definitely like the idea of it!  And, of course, you can follow the Legion on Facebook.

So, what’s the deal?  Head over to BJJHQ, Sixth Minute, and BJJLIFE and find out for yourself!

Picking up where issue two left off, issue three of Jiu-Jitsu Magazine’s main feature this month is 8X World Champ Andre Galvao!  Last time he showed us a few drills to practice giving us the smallest hint of what was to come.  This time he gives us 20 different drills and techniques throughout the magazine.  TWENTY!!  What makes it even better?  Next issue promises us even more Andre!  Holy brown cow!

“So what”, you ask?  Look – Jiu-Jitsu Magazine isn’t just sending us a few random techniques here and there and then moving on to the next professor they can find.  They’re building on each issue with each piece of instruction featuring the same instructor who can provide you with a base line on which to build from.  Oh sure, this is a one-time thing, you say.  Nope!  Takedowns with Marcelo Carvalho.  This guy was in here last time too!  I do wish the Gracie Academy had made a return, though (hint hint).

The building and stacking isn’t limited to techniques and instructors, either.  Stretching, strength, conditioning, strategizing, injury prevention, muscle recovery and dieting are all reoccurring themes.  And, I like it.  The simple stuff makes the difference.  The scientific shorts are my favorite.  Like the bit about getting yourself a brown cow – which won’t make any sense unless you go out and get the magazine!

So what’s new?  How about 7 half-guard techniques with Lucas Leite?  Lucas Leite!!  If you don’t know who he is you better find yourself some Google!  As always, the opinion pieces are spot on.

If that wasn’t enough, this magazine isn’t a market whore.  There are only a few ads in here so you’re not staring at 6-million different versions of the same t-shirt, trying to find some kind of content in the midst of mind-boggling commercialism (I’m talking to you, UFC Magazine).

If you spend 15 minutes a training session practicing 1 or 2 of the drills provided in this magazine you’ll be the better player.  Bottom line, if you haven’t subscribed yet, you’re wrong.  Go get you some!

Check Jiu-Jitsu Magazine out on Facebook.  You can read my review of Issue #2 here.