Showing posts with label review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label review. Show all posts

November 28, 2014

Insights Training Center Review

One may ask why we are discussing a gun based training course on a martial arts blog?  Well I am of the humble opinion that a a true martial artist is well rounded and has at the very least a base working knowledge of all forms of combat be it via a wristlock, or how to handle a pistol.  I will not jump on my political soapbox here, but I have a firm belief that if every child was raised with the knowledge, respect, and honor of a responsible gun owner (as are most gun owners) then we would witness far fewer gun deaths on both sides of the badge. 

Last month my student and I decided to take the Multi State Concealed Carry Course, at Insights Training Canter in Everett, WA. as an opportunity to gain knowledge about the law and legalities of concealed carry throughout the United States.  A 4.5 hour course designed to give the participant and better understanding of the responsibilities and legalities of carrying a concealed weapon.  One of the best things about this course was the constant reminder of the toll, both financial and emotional/psychological, that choosing to engage someone with your weapon will take. 

The instructor Alan Hines was nothing short of excellent.  A solid combination of experience, honestly, and humor to make the 4.5 hour class fly by.  Alan answered questions quickly and honestly, and presented us with challenging situations in various scenarios.  Even with 15 minutes to think and discuss, we couldn't come up with a definitive answer as to what to do.  Alan chimed in with a stark reminder, "You would have to react in about 2 seconds to be effective." 

Overall the learning atmosphere and overall experience with Insights is certainly something I would suggest for anyone interested in furthering there martial knowledge base.  They offer a bevy of courses including self defense, first aid, as well as a full array of LEO based classes.  And if you sign up today only for any scheduled class you will receive 20% off!  Call Jenna 1-888-958-0884 right now!

My one and only criticism of Insights is that many of the courses are quite cost prohibitive to your average Joe and Jane.  Standard course fee's are $400-500 which is not bade, but when coupled with the need for 1000 rounds of ammo, that can quickly become a $1200 weekend!  I hope perhaps in the future they will take into consideration how costly such training is and make it more accessible to middle to low income families that could still benefit from such professional training. 

August 17, 2014

Soul Roll Alpha Gi & Rashguard Review

Soul Roll Jiu Jitsu rolled out their new Alpha Gi and rashguard earlier this year, and for the past few months I have been wearing and tearing through this gi.  First impression of the blue Alpha gi is just how bright and brilliant the colors and contrasts are on the gi.  A blue gi with a myriad of patches encompassing every major color in the spectrum embodies one of the lightest kimono's on the market.  I first looked at it and thought, "Man, this looks like a big A4." 

Before we talk about the wear, lets address the tear, of which there is none to speak of.  The Alpha gi has held up very nicely over the past few months with no signs of ripping, fading, pilling, nor loose threads.  I wash and dry all my kimono's in machines and often the color fades and the gi shrinks moderately at best.  Again no sign of damage and honestly I wish the gi would shrink more as it has barely tightened up after dozens of washes.

The Alpha kimono top is a 350 gram pearl weave that is super soft and breathes decently.  Triple stitching accompanies every seam, and stress points have been reinforced all of which again hearken to the durability I have experienced wearing Soul Roll's gi.  The patches and embroidery all are tightly stitched and have not ripped nor pilled.  As you can see the patches are everywhere and can be a bit hard to read if you are unfamiliar with the brand.  I am typically a fan of patches but even this gi is a bit much.  I do believe technically all the patchwork is IBJJF legal, but if you plan on wearing it in competition I would highly suggest taking a backup as I have seen ref's disallow perfectly legal gi's such as the Alpha because they "thought" it was illegal.  You have no time nor recourse to argue with the ref (especially if you are not Brazilian) so better safe than sorry.

Soul Roll's ripstop pants feature a drawstring with no fewer then six loops as well as double fabric covering the knees.  The cuff's are double stitched and have worn well.  The ripstop material make this kimono overall pretty light.  A tighter fit with less fabric would most likely assist in a few ounces and this kimono really retains water, so be forewarned.

In regards to wear this kimono actually misses the entire mark.  The A4 I received is extremely baggy throughout making for an uncomfortable fit and bunching at the armpits.  When asking $190 dollars that puts Soul Roll into the upper middle echelon in terms of gi prices, and when paying those prices one expects a tighter, more grappling friendly fit.

The Alpha Gi can be ordered by clicking here!

My experience with the Soul Roll rashie is much the same as the gi.  A very durable and strong rashguard that shows no signs of wear nor tear.  Sublimated graphics ensure no peeling and crap on the dojo's mat.  Triple stitched seams embody the rash guard and a tight fit make this damn near unrippable.  But the XL rashie is a bit too tight and fits one like a hot dog casing.  Though it breathes well the restrictive nature make it rather uncomfortable to wear.  I am guessing the design team in Asia did not compensate for the larger North American build.

Retailing at $59.99 you can order the Soul Roll Rashguard by clicking here. 

May 29, 2014

93 Brand Choking Hazard Rash Guard Review

Now that summer is in full swing you are going to want to ensure you grab some new rashies to keep you cool and cootie free.  The limited release collaboration between 93 Brand and Meerkatsu has resulted in the "Choking Hazard" short sleeve rash guard from Roll More dot com.  Dare I say this might be the perfect summer rash guard.

The 85% polyester / 15% spandex weave has just the right amount of compression maintaining comfortability while providing the cooling and wicking one expects from a grappling rash guard.  I have worn the Choking Hazard for the past couple of months and the reinforced stitching shows zero wear and tear in terms of pilling, pulling at the seems, nor loose threads.

This is a 100% sublimated rash guard, with even the tag sublimated into the collar (small things like the absence of an annoying tag rubbing on your neck are what make the Choking Hazard a winner), maintains the faux prescription bottle theme perfectly.  A cute breakdown of uses, active ingredients, colourings, directions, and warnings adorn the back complimented by a giant "Choking Hazard" sign on the ventral surface.  The short sleeve version is offered in the sharp orange and black color scheme that is good looking without being obnoxious featuring a design from artist Meerkatsu.

Honestly this blend and quality of design are one of the most comfortable rash guards I have come across in a while, and the only negative aspect I can find is it is manufactured in Pakistan.  Comfort coupled with a great design and affordable price ($59.99 msrp), should put the Choking Hazard rash guard on top of your wish list for summer grappling clothing.

You can order your size rashie from the Roll More martial arts website by clicking here. 

April 29, 2014

RCJ Machado "United We Conquer" Limited Edition Gi Review

All photo's courtesy of Elton Pinto
One of the best things about RCJ Machado and the entire Machado family is that they are a restless bunch.  Never growing moss and always with 3-4 irons in the fire, the latest offering is the "United We Conquer" limited edition pearl weave gi.  I must be honest here I was not sure what to expect, but was plenty surprised to find a well thought out design and excellently executed fit that is affordable to the average Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner. 

This 100% cotton kimono is pre-shrunk with rip stop pants and a pearl weave top.  Quite honestly it is one of the most comfortable washed cotton weaves I have ever come across.  The ripstop pants, lapel, and actual kimono cloth breathe really comfortably and disperse heat well adding to the comfort factor.  Though it is advertised as weighing 6 pounds, my A-4 weighed in at just barely 5.1, but overall the gi wears and feels like a middleweight kimono, certainly more sturdy and durable then a light weight, but much more comfortable and fluid then a heavyweight.

The embroidered logo's and pre-sewn patches are great and not too overboard, though I do believe the RCJ logo on the right calf may be illegal in the eyes of the IBJJF (if such rules and regulations apply to your competition repertoire).    The contrasting yellow and green on black is eye catching and sharp, a homage to the national colors of Brazil without being overly nationalistic.  The RCJ logo has been and will always be a basic rendering of a triangle choke on a standing opponent.  A simple symbol that represents the depth of BJJ to the learned, mirroring the approach the Machado brothers take to their training and teaching.

I love the drawstring cord and the cut of the gi is damn near as precise as I could ask without being custom tailored.  Now keep in mind I am a tall, lanky heavyweight coming in at 215#'s and standing 6'4".  So for my more stout heavyweights you may find the UWC kimono a bit loose.  I suppose you could dry the hell out of it in an attempt to shrink her up a bit but as mentioned earlier it is a pre-shrunk gi and has held it's size pretty darn well.  

The one criticism I have is the above average number of loose threads and sloppy clean up on the stitches.  All seams are solid and completely sewn, but loose threads adorn many of the end threads.  I have worn this gi for over a month now and ha

ve seen no abnormal, nor expedited, wear and tear on the kimono.  Time will tell but as of today no threads are unraveling.  I have had the heavyweights at the dojo pulling and grabbing the hell out of the gi and it has held up stellar.

Available in both white and black gi's with slightly different designs, the $139.99 price tag makes this a steal of a deal.  This is a perfect "everyday at the gym" gi, in that it will hold up to the abuse of training day in and day out all the while being affordable enough to prevent you from having to hold up a bank to afford one.

Click here to be re-directed to the RCJ Online Shop where you can purchase a UWC gi or any number of other items. 

September 26, 2013

On The Mat's Biohazard Rash Guard Review

Readers of the Ground Never Misses know that we have a special place in our hearts for Scotty Nelson over at On The Mat.  Amazing customer service coupled with a time tested product line equates to nothing but success when it comes to producing quality grappling apparel.  One of the nicer additions this year is the Biohazard rash guard.

Long sleeves along with 3 extra inches at the skirt make this the perfect rashie for long lanky fighters.  She breathes really well and the flatlock seems have held up to some serious abuse over the past couple months since I have been wearing the rash guard.  Sublimated graphics are reminiscent of HR Giger's dark futuristic work (those of you unfamiliar... he was the artist for the original Alien from the movie "Alien"), which is highlighted via a bright yellow biohazard symbol with OTM in the center.

This 6oz lycra rash guard is also made in the USA which is another selling point for me.  With our economy circling the porcelain pagoda, where my grappling products are made certainly factors into my purchase decision.  Retailing at $64.99 you can purchase the Biohazard rash guard by clicking here! 

As with all of OTM products Scotty and his crew stand behind it 100%, so if you have yet to order anything from OTM click here and head on over to their pro shop! 
All photos courtesy of Elton Pinto

January 17, 2013

Fuji Sakana Rash Guard: Product Review

Photo's Courtesy of Terry Neil
It has been my limited experience that grapplers either prefer a rash guard, or don't.  I don't seem to find many folks who sometimes wear one, sometimes don't.  If you are of the former then their are essentially three things you are going to look for in a rash guard; does it wick moisture / does it help me thermo-regulate / does it look nice.  Outside of these three area's their is little to consider other then aesthetics, which is obviously the crown jewel in the case of the "Sakana" rash guard.     

Price wise most rashies fall in the $40-70 range with short sleeves being a bit cheaper then long sleeve versions.  Fuji's "Sakana" design is a long sleeve rash guard that falls into the higher range price wise for rash guards, but so far has hit the mark for me with a very comfortable smooth interior that does not bunch or chafe. 

Weighing just over 8 ounces, the Sakana has proven to be one of the more comfortable rash guards I have ever owned.  A great fit at XL for me it has not shrunk a bit (I tend not to dry my rashies), and wicks away sweat while maintaining a nice even core temp.  The compression is not too restrictive yet tight enough to not roll up the stomach nor forearms. 

Now as far as aesthetics go I think Fuji's Sakana is the hottest design on the market!  A beautiful black and white mosaic of a samurai sparring with waves along with the ever present Koi fish, and demon amongst the mist of the breaking waves.  A homage to several common themes found in Japanese art.  Brush marked kanji for "Budo" (martial way) adorn both the body and the sleeve, with scales bordering the cuff.  The artwork is sublimated so rest assured it will not come off, and so far no fading what-so-ever.  I love the detail and simplicity with black and white really catching the eye, while simultaneously representing yin & yang. 

If you are in the market for a solid rash guard, that is also a wearable piece of art, hit up our friend Aaron Rubin over at Martial Art Supplies dot com.  The Fuji long sleeve Sakana is retailing for $64.99 at and you can be redirected via hyperlink by clicking here