How To Pick Your First Gi or Kimono

A while ago I posted Top 10 Gi or Kimono Rankings.  I have to say my rankings were based on empirical data from the three gis I owned and what I had observed as the most valued by those around me and in videos.  Since then I have found a much more scientific approach at  He posted  Ranking Gis from Best to Worst.  The data is based off of a far larger sample size of readers to his blog.  Oh and his comes with cool graphs!  I have done some gi reviews.  They are:

  1. Koral MKM vs  HSU Kodokan
  2. Atama Mundial #5 vs Koral MKM

But neither of my reviews compares to the one done by Meerkatsu entitled "Great British Gi Review".  I know they are British makers.  I know we are all not in Britain.  But the quality of the review is a standard to look for in other reviews.  Lets not forget the ladies when we talk about reviews for gis.  If you want superb gi reviews for women check out Georgette’s World.  She did one not so long ago entitled Women’s Gi Review: Fenom Gi, A1.

So you are out shopping for your first gi and you don’t want to put down your hard won cash for trash.  These links should help you start figuring out what you want and why.

Diversify Your Jiu Jitsu Arsenal with Leg Locks

Sambo Leg Lock or Calf Cutter

I could be wrong but I bet everyone watches videos.  They are well done and free on  I stumbled upon the "Sambo" Leg Lock while researching leg locks.  My instructor, Mark, talked some time ago in class about attacking at different levels.  If you are in mount and can’t get a choke or arm bar then you should focus else where.  Switch up your attack.  Hit different areas.  In order to do that you need to diversify your arsenal.  Leg Locks are a important lower body attack or submission.  They are more difficult in my opinion to master.  But if you do, think of the expanded possibilities during a roll.  If nothing is going on up top attack the bottom.  This "Sambo" Leg Lock looks really great.  I can’t wait to try it out.  I thing you could do it easily from grape vines.  If you don’t succeed then it has a fail over of the calf cutter.  Its like a plan "B".  The truth be told, with the injury to my knee last year, if I was caught in this I’d tap before the calf cutter.  I can also see some one heavier then me sitting on my hip and making it impossible to roll into the calf cutter.  Tell me if you try it and what your experience was like.

Change is Hard on The Orthodox

I don’t usually like to repost things I see on other sites.  I like to stay original.  But now and again I see something I just can’t leave out of my site.  This was posted by Roy Dean and then by, where I saw it.  The kid has really got it going.  He stuns his wrestling opponents with Jiu-Jitsu, Sambo, and Judo moves.  It starts right off with him doing what looks like a flying arm bar that he just lets go of.  It gets better as he does Judo takedowns.  The wrestlers just don’t know what to do with him.  They are to used to orthodox methods of wrestling.  One kid has just had to much and faints.  I think he might have been taken down a few times hard.  None of them know how to land like they teach in Judo.  They take the full brunt of the takedowns.  He drags them back from the edges as they try to get away.  At about the 3:14 one kid gets angry and stands up like he wants to fight.  I think he was so surprised by the side control he loses it.  I even think I see him take a punch before standing up.  I understand that the kids coach didn’t want him to learn BJJ.  Time to change coaches I think.

Jet Mice and Barking Spider Jiu Jitsu

No I’m not talking about some strange fusion of a martial art animal style with Jiu Jitsu.  I am talking about what happens sooner or later to everyone caught in a stack or other pressure intensive position.  Yes, breaking wind while rolling.  We all know it will happen to us no matter what precautions we take.  But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t.  So what can you do about it beside avoiding that magical fruit, the bean?  Let me introduce you to a old friend of mine who has served me well over the year.  Say hello to BeanoBeano - Helps Stop Gass Before It Starts.Oh you’re laughing now but when you let it rip on your training partner you won’t be.  Red faced and shunned by your school you will wish you had taken my advice and had a little tasteless food grade mold, a.k.a. Beano, before your favorite dish.  You want people to fear you for your BJJ technique not your toxic fumes.  So when the barking spiders start crawling through the ranks and the jet mice come rocketing across the mat don’t you be one of the offenders.  Have some Beano and peace of mind, we will all be better for it.  Mark, I started this post before class tonight. 🙂

Getting Knotty With the Kimura Knot

How do you tie your belt?  I’ll bet its the standard square knot that we all learn.  If you haven’t got your blue belt or don’t care you may use the famous granny knot.  I got to thinking about all the varieties of gis / kimonos.  But no one ever uses different knots to tie their belt.  So I began looking through a knot book and after fooling around for a while created what I’m calling the "Kimura Knot".  Its just like the triangle created with your arms when you are get a Kimura submission.  Here are the step to create one:

Step 1. Loop your belt around like you would for a square knot.

Step 1 Kimura Knot

Step 2: Bring one side under the belt forming a loop.

Step 2 Kimura Knot

Step 3: Bring the end down through the loop you have made in step 2.

Step 3 Kimura Knot

Step 4: Take the other end and place it under the belt forming a loop.

Step 4 Kimura Knot

Step 5: Bring it down through the loop and tighten both ends.

Step 5 Kimura Knot

There you have it!  The Kimura Knot.  Here it is on my Submission Master Grappling Dummy.

Dummy with Kimura Knot

Looks just like the triangle that you make when getting a Kimura Submission in my opinion.  For your next class tie your belt in a Kimura Knot and tell your buddies you learned it on  You may not be able to buy the coolest gi but you can be the only one who know a cool belt knot.


The Many Faces of Jiu Jitsu

bang-you-dead-face  smelly-feet-face class-pictures

I’ve been noticing that every BJJ book or DVD I have has a Jiu Jitsu face some where on it or in it.  What’s a Jiu Jitsu face you ask?  Its the face that is intended to show action, pain, struggle, intensity, power, or just how tough you are.  Unfortunately most of them make me laugh.  From left to right I have named these "Bang You Dead Face", "Smelly Feet Face", and "Bed Head Face".  Can it get any better then this?

I couldn’t be left out!  All the greats have a Jiu Jitsu face.  Its not my fault I don’t have a DVD or book to put it on.  So I took my trusty iPhone and captured my Jiu Jitsu face.

My-Jiu-Jitsu-Face Rigan-Machado-Me-Mad

As you compare me with Rigan Machado when it comes to Jiu Jitsu faces, really who are you going to be scared of?  Me!  Rigan just looks mildly annoyed.  I look like, like, like . . . your head is going to come off in my Rear Naked Choke.  Of course I’ll have to practice my face a little more but wait until I reveal it in class next week.  I’ll get my opponent to tap even if its because he can’t stop laughing.

Send me your Jiu Jitsu face or a favorite from a book or DVD.  I have create a "Faces of Jiu Jitsu" page.


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Book Review of Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu By Dave Camarillo with Erich Krauss

51-RDib6VsL._SL160_ There are some books that should just be standard in every BJJ practitioners library.  They should be well known throughout the community.  For example: Jiu-Jitsu University by Saulo Ribeiro.  So how did I miss Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu: Revolutionizing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by Dave Camarillo with Erich Krauss.  The answer is simple.  I judged the book by its cover.  You know they tell you never to, but I did.  It was named "Guerrilla" and had a bullet hole between the words "Jiu Jitsu".  It didn’t say anything about all the super throws and takedowns in it.  A friend of mine convinced me to look at it and I was astounded.  Where Judo for Mixed Martial Arts: Advanced Throws, Takedowns, and Ground Fighting Techniques shows you no-gi throws and takedowns, Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu shows you gi and more!  Here was the book I had really been looking for.  It even had the Ashi-Barai takedown that I had just learned and was looking for the name of.  This is a Judo for BJJ book like no other.  I went on to see all kinds of flying takedowns.  So some would poo-poo this as just flash.  I say what a great way to catch your opponent off balance.  No one expects a flying attack.  Get a partner, put in the repetitions, and catch them with their pants down.  Judo has superior takedown and throwing technique while BJJ has superior ground fighting technique.  Anyone who wants to excel in BJJ needs to have more then a ground game.  Guerilla Jiu-Jitsu has excellent color photos and good descriptions with each technique.  I am now looking into getting the DVD’s (which once again look silly) Position: Impossible "Guerrilla Jiu Jitsu".  Please a guy in a gi with a pistol?  Dave Camarillo has got the moves just not the marketing skills.  In the mean while I have picked out a few throws to start practicing at class.  My love of the Balloon Sweep should translate nicely into the Tomoe-Nage Armlock that Dave shows in his book.  I’ll have to do a post on it after I prefect it.