We at Scramble sent Meerkatsu a gi to review before the sale goes live on Friday.

Why? Because we want you to have a third party opinion on something you are potentially going to spend a lot of money on.

The results are good… check out his review here!

 

Seymour Yang AKA the Meerkat asked me some questions about my Grappling Dummy videos.

Check it out!

Meerkatsu has written up a great interview with one of Scramble’s sponsored grapplers, Dan Strauss. It’s a funny and interesting interview.

Daniel Strauss: I’m off to university next month but I hope to continue to train hard and compete regularly, especially internationally. My main goals are to win the gi and nogi World Championships.

Apart from that, I want to medal at the Finnish air guitaring champions and defeat a small bear in a hand-to-paw confrontation.

It’s funny, I didn’t realise Dan was an expert in Fwaf Kun Do, but that may explain his fearsome abilities in the art of combat.

This competition has been literally setting the internet on fire. I just checked the home page and smelled something burning then looked up to find my eyebrows had been singed practically completely off. It’s that hot.

The Meerkatsu / Part Time Grappler / Tatami Fightwear “Crazy Ass” Gi Competition!

Basically you download a template, draw your dream gi, and send it off. I would enter but the 3.7 minutes of spare time I have a day are currently filled up with sniping fictional North Korean’s faces off in Crysis.

Enjoy!

Scorpion!

Scorpion!

The day after the competition last week, I was pumped to go to training.

That hasn’t happened for a while! It was a good feeling. And when I got to training, I saw a load of the people who had been competing the day before were also there in the middle of warming up. Also good!

Nothing else to report for training, other than we are all aiming for the Grab and Pull Brighton competition in August, and looking forward to it.

There has been loads of great content around from the various BJJ blogs at the moment. This week, I have been mostly readin’ :

Meerkatsu’s amazing “So you think you can run a tournament” articles / interviews. These may make you think twice before you moan about things not being organised or not running on time – competitions are run by real human beings, just like you and me, and they are doing their best.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

And an interview with the Meerkat himself here.

Georgette Oden has been churning out some genuinely great content and at a hell of a pace! Loads of great stuff to read here.

I’m loving Steve from Steve BJJ’s adventures in gi-dying. Check em out!

Sponsored Scrambler Oli Geddes put his 2010 BJJ Mundials videos on his website. Check em out here!

And, Fedor lost on Saturday. Finally, it happened. But Fedor handled it amazingly well, never for a minute losing sight of the bigger picture. I am starting to think he may have been lobotomised as a child; does the man ever show any emotion?

He is still the greatest of all times, for me. He chomped up everyone who has been put in front of him, since the first time he stepped in the ring. End of story. And in a sport where anything can happen, to survive so long without a blemish on your record, you need to be truly amazing.

Fedor was the first fighter I could say was my “favourite”, along with Sakuraba. When I started following MMA all those years ago, most people I knew were into football or one of its derivatives. They could easily say who their favourite team or player was. Once I found out about Fedor, I could say who my favourite fighter was. I went to Pride’s 2005 Middleweight GP opening round in Osaka. The first thing I did at the merchandise stall was buy Fedor gear. I had a little pair of red and yellow rubber eagle wings with FE on them, that I hung from my mobile phone. I also bought a pair of blue Pride gloves on a keychain which were seriously sweet, but they literally fell apart after a few months. Wish I still had them.

I also managed to spot Esther from AllElbows in the ring after Fedor vs. Werdum, which was fun! You can see her awesome pics here.

Lastly, after a number of pre-orders over the weekend, I finalised the numbers for the brand new, full colour Scramble Newaza Hoody! Stock is now set, meaning they’ll be sold out soon. Grab one while you can. Don’t be one of the people emailing me in two weeks asking when I am going to make more! Reserve yours here now.

Osu!

I look like I’ve had a punch-up with a cheese grater. Two big, red raw holes on my middle finger knuckles (or “minguckles” as I like to call them.)

Sweet!

I finally put the gi on, realising that it had been about a month, maybe more since the last time (and over three months since I did a proper class). I have been doing no gi with A and Ben, helping Ben prepare for his interclub MMA fight (that he won with a RNC! Congrats Ben!).

It was a revelation.

Training with the gi is the single hardest athletic endeavour I have ever done. You forget very easily, but it is just exhausting.

I rocked up with my buddy Al (Hobo) at the brand spanking new Mill Hill Combat and Conditioning Academy. Very impressive new facility run by Nick Brooks, world champion at brown belt.

Got changed, admiring the greenhouse decor that seems to be a feature of all Roger Gracie schools and very cleverly heats the room up to skin blistering temperatures in a matter of seconds, just great for rolling about in a room full of sweaty oiks!

After a light warmup we started slowly killing each other.

Crunch! Hurt! Tear! Twist! Snortle! Gronk!

Crunch! Hurt! Tear! Twist! Snortle! Gronk!

Jadon of Tapping Like Riverdance was there, as was Seymour of Meerkatsu fame.

I had a spar with Jadon, which was a lot of fun and a rough and ready reintroduction between me and the gi.

I love the gi, and I hate it. I love the technicality of it, the pace of it (the pace changes, quickens and slows, sometimes to a halt, sometimes lightning fast), the grips and the traction. But I hate it. Hate the heaviness, the slowness, the suffocating weight of someone with a gi pressing down on you.

It was a good roll with Jadon. I can’t remember any highlights, I don’t think we subbed each other but we exchanged positions and sweeps.

Next up, I rolled with a guy called Roland who I may or may not have seen at Roger Gracie HQ last time I was there. He apologised in advance for having a stinky gi, playing the “no access to a washing machine” card. Now, last time I was in Tokyo, I walked two hours to find a laundromat to wash my gi in out of courtesy to my fellow mat rats. I’m pretty sure this guy could have washed his gi before the open day, but still, it seemed that instead of washing his gi, he spent all his time training in it because he was damn good (and damn stinky).

Me and stinky.

Me and stinky.

He subbed me a couple of times and generally controlled me, and made me hate the (stinky) gi even more. That was tough, but still fun.

After that I rolled with Nick Brooks, the instructor. Nick is seriously good, but I don’t think he lets many of the lower belts see it. He rolls calmly and slowly, but like all good jiu jitsu players, you can feel it in reserve. Nick is not a big guy, but he is solid. Me trying to break his grips became almost a comedy, and he calmly shut down everything I tried to do. The good thing that I got from rolling with Nick is his desire to help you learn rather than turning it into a fight. He stopped and explained a couple of very useful things to me about regaining guard from a closed-down hook guard, and spinning to avoid the armbar/collar choke attack from back mount.

Me and Nick

Me and Nick

A roll with my buddy Al was next, where he shamelessly took advantage of my tiredness and his improved skill and triangled my face off. I had to concentrate after that in order to regain my honour (not really.) We had a fun roll. Al is coming along very fast!

Then Roger and Nick flapped their gums for a bit, giving out belts and stripes. The facility was built by Nick and some of his students, which is incredible and admirable, and will make their training sessions all the more valuable. I felt priviliged to be there that day.

Two very tough people gum flapping.

Two very tough people gum flapping.

I sought out Seymour, as I wanted to roll with him. Not because he is 10 kilos lighter than me or anything. Honestly. I have rolled with Seymour before and it was a lot of fun, he has a game that gels with mine and creates all kind of fun opportunities. We scrambled around and grunted and groaned and pulled funny faces, it was great.

Loopy loopy sneaky sneaky!

Loopy loopy sneaky sneaky!

I presented Roger with the issue of Gong Kakutougi that has my interview of him in, and he seemed very happy with it. I also gave Nick a present (Submission Spirits 4 magazine and DVD) for all his help setting up the interview, and he seemed over the moon. I just hope he has a chance to watch it with his busy schedule now!

It was nice to be able to see Roger and have him acknowledge me and kind of know who I was. But actually, he is such an easy-going guy, you pretty quickly lose any kind of starstruckness (new word.)

The day was also monumental in that the world’s most greatest fantasticest ever bloggers united in an awesome explosion of jiu jitsu-flavoured, blog-goo. Also I have a fat belly that protrudes.

Hobes, Meerkatsu, Fat Belly Martial Farts, Tapping Like Riverdance, A Guy with a Nice Gi

Hobes, Meerkatsu, Fat Belly Martial Farts, Tapping Like Riverdance, A Guy with a Nice Gi

All in all, a fantastic day, and it feels great to be blogging about regular old BJJ again.

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