Posts Tagged ‘“Martial Arts”’

DaFirma Black Gold Kimono

Back Story

I remember when there weren’t “BJJ ” gis. You had to train in a judo gi. Then manufacturers started popping up and making a change here or there; more form-fitting, grip-reducing gis became the standard. Then competition guidelines forced more changes in design and fabrication. Certain companies jumped out in front as the industry leaders, other companies followed suit, and today there are so many companies with comparable products it is difficult to tell where to purchase a gi any longer.

I was a die-hard Atama man, but after becoming dissatisfied with their service and quality, I began looking elsewhere. I found some brands I was really impressed with, and I started to see some trends I could actually get behind. And as is the case with our rapid-pace social media driven society, many gi companies began to resemble each other, making it difficult for one to stand out over another. And then I found DaFirma Kimono Company.

DaFrima Kimonos

When I created the moniker of Knight BJJ for use of seminars and such, I started looking not just for a quality gi company, but one that would create me a custom product. I happened upon DaFirma Kimono Company in its relative infancy, and honestly, I didn’t know much about them. After a couple of correspondences via phone and email, I was blown away by the careful consideration and professionalism exhibited by Ricardo Tubbs, the owner of the company. His courtesy alone made me want to give him my business. And then, when I saw the level of detail he put into his work, I knew I had made the right selection.

But I will be honest: because of the smaller scale and newness of DaFirma, the quality, while very good, wasn’t quite on par with the major names in the business. There were little odds and ends that the big boys pulled off a bit better. I mentioned a couple of things to Ricardo, because I saw the potential of his company, and before I even got out any concerns I had, he had already been working on these exact things. These days, anyone would be hard-pressed to find any details that don’t rival or exceed any gi manufacturer out there. Not only this, but the DaFirma line of rash guards and shorts are right up there with the gi quality now as well!

Some of the things that are most note-worthy of the DaFirma Kimonos are as follows:

IMG_3844 (2)100% Preshrunk Cotton
EVA Foam Collar
Contrasting Color Stitching
Reinforced at Every Stress Point
Triple stitched at all Stress Points

Preshrunk Ripstop Pants
6 Point Belt Loop System
Nylon Rope drawstring
Reinforced Stress Points
Triple Stitched Across all Stress Points

New flex panel material for pant crotch

And many more details I haven’t named here.

Each gi is crafted with careful precision to competition guidelines, making sure they are comfortable and fitting. And speaking of fit, check out the sizes offered and let me know anyone else who is this accommodating to the measurements of the customer:

Kimono Shop and Sizing Charts

In conclusion, I didn’t write this because there is anything in it for me. I wrote this to help people searching for a great gi find that great gi. I also wrote this, because I believe that business can be both professional and successful while being polite and courteous. It is a joy for me to see DaFirma Kimono Company grow and thrive without once sacrificing integrity and character. If you haven’t given them a try, you should!

DaFirmaBJJ.com

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A technique I have had a lot of success hitting lately.

Some useful techniques to formulate a linear strategy for butterfly guard. Different options for the most common energies an opponent might give from this position. Butterfly Guard Sweeps and Options

Flow-and-Style-Workshop

 

Sunday, June 1st, 2014 the workshop that I have been wanting to do for years is finally coming to fruition. I can’t guarantee that your jiu-jitsu will rise to another level, but what I am sharing is the collection of what I consider to be the drills, insights and advice that has had the most impact in my jiu-jitsu life. Whether you are just starting out in the art or are a seasoned practitioner, the information in this workshop will benefit you, help you thrive or just get that plateau you might be on.

Date: Sunday, June 1st, 2014
Time: 1:00 – 3:00pm
Cost: $45
Instructor: Eli Knight

Register: Call: 270.519.3160 | Email: eliknight173@gmail.com | Come by Three Rivers Martial Arts Academy

GSP vs Hendricks

It’s been 20 years since MMA has exploded and I personally feel like it is the best and worst thing to have possibly ever happened to martial arts. We now have a showcase for applying martial arts in a limited rules arena, creating an environment to pressure cook fighting techniques for applicability. We have one of the most exciting sports ever invented. We have martial arts being cool and not cheesy now…sort of.

What else did we get with it? Well, there are some serious drawbacks. In the beginning, the fights we real and raw and brutal. Too brutal to sustain it as a mainstay without some overhaul and additional rules. It had some significant growing pains. And with rules you lose some reality. And with repetition and mixing of the arts and studying of tape you lose some of the spontaneity that makes for real fights. The fighters no longer train to fight anyone as much as they train to fight a specific person whom they have ample footage on to inspect.

When the weight classes appeared, a degradation took place as well. No we have 200+ pounders fighting at 170 and nutritionists revolutionizing the weight cutting process. Which is fine. It’s a sport after all.

And that’s what we have now. A sport. And again, that’s all well and good, but now I find myself as one of those folks I argued with for years saying “it’s not real fighting.” It was tantamount to real fighting and it has elements of fighting and very few could argue that a UFC fighter would have a hard time in a street fight against 99% of the population. This isn’t my point. The people that I say this in opposition to now are the ones who scoff at self defense because they don’t see it in the UFC.

The ones I speak of are the ones who “wanna train MMA” without wanting to train martial arts.

MMA = striking, takedowns, grappling & submissions / rules & money

There is a necessity to train these in blended settings but there is also a more important need to focus on the individual arts as well as pay respect to the arts. Too often now guys wanting to earn themselves a belt or be looked at heroically by their peers want to go jump into a cage and play fighter for a night. Insufficient training, lack of respect and humility, and just plain trashy behavior are rampant in the small amateur cage fights put on by shady promoters looking to make a payday.

And then we have the fighters who are essentially the Frankenstein monster of a team of analysts and trainers and doctors and the like who have culminated their efforts and produced a human machine for battle within the cage. Which is an interesting experiment and amazing to see what can be created, but not exactly conducive to a fighter vs fighter atmosphere.

Ultimately, these criticisms or critiques of mine are not to put down MMA. I think it is entertaining and informative and important. I’m simply pointing out the pros and cons and if anything warning about the potential degradation to martial arts as the proliferation of MMA only grows.

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The largest, one of the most destructive storms to hit land ever. That’s what they’re calling Typhoon Haiyan that decimated the Philippines. The images and video are horrific. But it’s so far away, so far from home here in the US. Why help? How?

It’s overwhelming when you see the scope of the destruction. After the Tsunami in Japan and before that Hurricane Katrina, I began to realize that I could do more to help instead of sending whatever I could manage to afford by itself. I began to consider how I could use my immediate sphere of influence to increase the amount of help to the cause.

I believe, regardless of what it is, you can use your vocation, avocation, hobby, passion or influence to bring attention to causes when they arise. As a martial artist my charge was to find out how to use Jiu-Jitsu, and how to relate it, to the cause at hand. So far I have done charity martial arts workshops for breast cancer awareness and research, autism awareness and research, food and clothing donations, anti-bullying campaigns, and domestic violence awareness and resource funding. Sometimes I managed to raise thousands of dollars or hundreds of items while other times I’d only have a few people show and barely raise more than I could have donated alone. But the point was that I got others to pay attention and increased help to the cause.

So if you are a martial artist (and I suspect you are to some capacity if you read my blog), I want to share a couple of ideas about how to help. Maybe you’ve already done something like these or have already considered it. But if you haven’t thought of these or haven’t acted yet, now is the time.

Find an organization with better resources than you have.
The Red Cross is one of my favorites but there are countless others that specialize in disaster relief efforts. But do your homework because you will find unfortunately that there are many organizations that claim to put much more toward help than they actually do and some turn a bit too healthy of a profit while providing too marginal a portion of the money they collect to the effort.

Hold your own event.
Host a seminar, donate a portion or all of proceeds from classes for a month, talk up the cause during classes and lessons. It is not unscrupulous to do something you were already going to,like teaching or running your business, and raise money or help for a cause at the same time. Now, if you use an event to drum up business for yourself while offering no recompense toward the event, that is unscrupulous and you are a D-bag. So don’t do that. Be good. Don’t suck.

Get out your own wallet.
Don’t ask someone to do something you’re not willing to do yourself. The best way to influence people is to be a good example. There have been events I’ve put on where generous others with deeper pockets than my own have out-donated me, but I always pitch in what I can in addition to my time and organization and instruction.

If you are a serious martial artist you begin to realize that it’s more about helping people than hurting people. You recognize the interconnectedness of all of humanity and that what benefits some of us generally benefits us all. I teach because I care. I want to share with others this wonderful art that has changed my life in hopes that someone will be affected as I have been. And no one needs more help than those hit with such unforeseen, horrific tragedy like the Typhoon in the Philippines. These people, old and young, infants and elderly, pregnant women, handicapped and mentally challenged, those who are lost and have lost, all need help. Please do what you can.

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Many refer to Jiu-Jitsu training as therapeutic. The therapy comes from enjoying the moment by being completely involved on the mat. We live in a culture that conditions us to multitasking, pulling our minds in a million directions at once. It is wonderful then to have a place and time that forces you to be completely present in the moment as Jiu-Jitsu does.

Once you get into the roll, you exist outside of your hectic life, focused and immersed into the task at hand. You realize, in that special moment, that nothing exists before or after, and therefore worries and regrets do you no good whatsoever. This is Zen. This is living Jiu-Jitsu.

And as much as it is wonderful to share epiphanies and explain metaphors for life from Jiu-Jitsu, there is no substitute for sweat. The purest benefit comes from the rolling. Drilling, repetition, detail work, instruction are all necessary to training and improving, but the true philosophy of Jiu-Jitsu comes from the mat time, the rolling. That’s where the therapy and wisdom come from.