0 Cart
Added to Cart
    You have items in your cart
    You have 1 item in your cart

      Fighter — top_cat

      Wrestling for BJJ and Why You Should Do It

      Wrestling for BJJ and Why You Should Do It

      Let's face it, if you're going to compete in jiu jitsu, you're going to have to start on your feet. If you attend a gym or academy in which every sparring session starts sitting down - either due to crowded mats or concerns over injuries - and you intend on competing sometime in the near or far future, you're doing yourself a grave disservice if you don't work on your standup game. 

      Yeah, of course you can immediately pull guard, but guard pulling is an art itself. If you don't practice it from standing, your guard pull in competition will be easily thwarted and you'll quickly find yourself in a very, very terrible situation (... and you don't want to have to tell people you "pulled mount", do you?). What about judo, you ask? Yes, judo is an excellent addition to your game, and I'll elaborate on why in a later post.

      However, one of the best standup styles to integrate into your BJJ game is wrestling, and here are some reasons why: 

      An Easy Two

      In an IBJJF-ruled tournament, if you face a guard puller, there's an easy two points there just ripe for the picking... and you wouldn't know - or have built the reflexes to catch it - if you haven't practiced your wrestling. Just the slightest touch on your opponent's leg when he/she goes to pull guard, is most likely going to earn you that "easy two". Who wouldn't want to start a match a whole two points ahead?? That way your opponent is going to be concerned about trying to recoup those two points, and in doing so, will most likely make mistakes that you can capitalize on to advance your position or sink a submission. 

      The Sprawl Factor

      If you face a wrestler, especially a takedown artist, you're going to want to know how to sprawl... otherwise you risk giving your opponent an easy two. Even if you aren't the greatest at taking someone down yourself, knowing how to sprawl - and sprawl hard - is going to make your opponent think twice about trying to take you down. Additionally, knowing how to sprawl - and developing that specific timing associated with great sprawling - is going to help you throughout your jiu jitsu. For example, if your opponent is on his/her back and is trying to reverse the position, knowing how to drop your hips and make yourself as heavy as possible is going to help you thwart your opponent's attempts, keeping you on top and in a better position to dictate the pace of the game. 

      Confidence on Your Feet

      Probably the most amazing gift wrestling will give you is confidence on your feet. Between learning how to effectively and efficiently take someone down and knowing how to sprawl on a moment's notice, you're going to develop an incredible sense of comfort on your feet. Even if you have no intention of taking your opponent down, that sense of confidence will be apparent, and it'll weigh on his/her mind when he/she is facing you on the competition mat. Maybe there will be a slight hesitation in his/her guard pull, or he/she will think twice about taking you down. That kind of psychological warfare is invaluable.

      It's Freaking Fun! 

      For those who have never taken a wrestling class, or have only taken a couple of classes, wrestling can seem hard and intimidating. Yeah, the first few sessions will definitely kick your butt and have you seriously questioning the status of your cardio, but once you get enough under your belt to become just a little more proficient... wrestling is freaking fun! Exploring the angles you need to offset your opponent's balance and being able to effectively duck under his/her arms to reach the legs presents a delightful new puzzle. And you'll never forget that delicious feeling of elation that first time you execute a perfectly-timed and technically correct takedown on someone who isn't just letting you do it. 

      Even if you never execute a beautiful highlight-reel-worthy suplex takedown in competition... or ever in your life... you will never regret adding a bit of wrestling into your jiu jitsu game. 

      Train on... and take 'em down. Oss.

      What Are the Best Gi Brands?

      What Are the Best Gi Brands?

      The ultimate question for the jiu jitsu beginner embarking on his/her first gi buying journey: what is the best gi brand? Really, this blog is just for that person, because anyone who has been in jiu jitsu long enough will know that 1) there are many great gi brands all claiming to be the "best", and 2) "best" is really relative on someone's personal preferences.

      If everyone had the same exact preferences, there'd be exactly one gi brand. But everyone is wonderfully, magically different... we're left with a ton of different gi brands. And so instead of writing about what I consider the best - because my preferences will likely be different from yours - here are a few awesome gi brands that we here at the Fighters Market warehouse really like: 

      Kingz Kimonos

      You really can't go wrong with a Kingz gi. The brand has been around since 2011 and produces some of the best-constructed gis in the market. Owned and run by jiu jitsu practitioners, they have a vested interest in producing a gi that stands up to rigorous training. Kingz also offers a variety of different models - perfect for every preference and price range. For example, their ultralight weight Kingz Nano 2.0 Jiu Jitsu Gi and lightweight Kingz Balistico 3.0 Jiu Jitsu Gi are both ideal for the competitor worried about making weight on the competition scale. For those practitioners a little strapped for cash, their Kingz The One Jiu Jitsu Gi is probably the best - and sharpest-looking - basic gis that have come through the warehouse. Kingz also has offers kid's and women's cuts for most of their gi models!


      Although Progress is relatively new to the jiu jitsu brand landscape, they've quickly made waves in the industry. Super streamlined with fresh, modern details, Progress made a big entrance onto the competition scene with their sponsorship of debut black belt superstar Kaynan Duarte. What they lack in variety (yet), they more than make up for in quality. Their standard kimono is the Progress M6 Kimono, which is now in it's fourth version, featuring the quote "Without struggle there is no progress". And while the price point is really quite reasonable, their basic model, Progress The Foundation Kimono, is the best bang for your buck you'll spend on a gi. They do offer a women's cut in a few of their models, but no kid's cuts as of yet. Stay tuned...


      Aside from Kingz, Tatami is the other big name gi brand in the market today. Established in 2009 in South Wales, Tatami features one of the widest range of gi and no-gi products in the industry, with collections ranging from simple and streamlined, to wild and "way out there". Tatami definitely has every other gi brand beat when it comes to the number of gi models they offer, so there is plenty to choose from. By far their most popular gi model - particularly for competitors - is the Tatami Estilo Gi, now in its sixth edition, with a variety of different color schemes to choose from. Looking for something more lightweight? Their Tatami Zero G is one of the lightest in the market. If you like the fun and funky, Tatami also has a whole slew of more artsy, collectible gis, including the Tatami Japan Series Samurai Gi and the Tatami Gorilla Smash Gi

      If you're just starting BJJ, you might have to buy and try a bunch of different gis before you actually have a preference. There's no getting around that. And few gi brands have actual storefronts where you can go in and try a bunch of different gis on. If you can't get to the Fighters Market store in San Diego or visit the Fighters Market booth at a major IBJJF event, odds are you'll find a great gi from among these three awesome gi brands. 

      Train on... comfortably. Oss. 

      How to Wash Your BJJ Gi

      How to Wash Your BJJ Gi

      There's nothing more frustrating than buying a perfectly-fitting gi, and then finding that it no longer fits right after you wash it for the first time. Arg!

      Your first instinct may be to blame the gi company for producing a shotty gi... but before you send off that angry email to customer service (who, by the way, work their tails off and don't deserve your passive aggressive attitude, ya schmuck), you might want to make sure you're washing your gi correctly and the fault isn't your own

      Here are some tips to keep your gi clean, shrink-free and long-lasting: 


      From the second you pull your brand spanking-new gi out of the bag, you'll need to consider what your first few washes will look like. Does your gi fit loose? Do you like it more fitted? Then wash your gi on hot the first time, try it on again and decide if you need to shrink it a bit more. There's no scientific calculation for the amount shrink you can expect. This is mostly due to the fact that different gi companies use different weaves and fabric weights for their gis. In fact, some companies have numerous gi models that all differ in their construction. The quality of the cotton fibers can also play a role in the amount of shrinkage you can expect, and this is a factor that's controlled at the very beginning of the manufacturing process. 

      However, as a rule of thumb, you can a lighter weight, looser weave to shrink more than a heavier, tighter weave. Ripstop pants tend to shrink very minimally, if at all. 


      Again, consider if you need to shrink your gi to make it fit more snug. If you do, then you can pop it into the dryer the first time you wash it. Because almost all gis are made from cotton - at least the jacket, anyway - anytime you dry your gi, it will shrink. The reason for this is that cotton is a natural fiber made of cellulose. When the cellulose fibers are exposed to heat, they constrict, which, compounded over the entire length of the fabric, causes your gi to shrink. It also breaks down the fibers, which weakens the fabric over the long-term and leaves your gi prone to tearing. 

      Once you've achieved the desirable size for your gi, the best option is to air dry it from then on. If you live in a warm, dry climate, you can dry it outside on a line. However, if the climate is not favorable, or if it happens to be raining on washing day, you can opt to dry it indoors, either on a line or hanging on your bathroom shower rod. 

      Post-Training Care

      It shouldn't have to be said, but you don't want to just leave your sweaty, un-washed gi in the trunk of your car or in your laundry basket for days on end. While you might think you can just wash that funk out - and gi funk is some serious funk - it's easier said than done. The source of that funk is bacteria - both your body's naturally-occurring ba bcteria as well as the bacteria that may or may not be thriving on the mats - which eat the fatty compounds found in sweat and produce malodorous compounds. These compounds then cling to the natural fibers in your gi, and the longer you leave your gi to "ferment", the harder it is to wash those pesky compounds out, especially if you're washing in cold water to preserve the size and longevity of your gi. 

      If you can't wash your gi immediately after a training session, there are some ways you can try to "defunk" your gi. These include: adding Borax or color-safe bleach to your laundry, spraying your gi with diluted peroxide (white gis only, as peroxide can bleach certain colors), soaking your gi in a vinegar solution prior to washing, or using a detergent specifically made for gis. 

      Hopefully these tips will help you keep your gi in tip top shape for your next training session. Just remember the most important tip of all: don't wear a stinky gi to class. You won't make any friends that way. 


      Train on... fresh. Oss.

      Guide: Nutrition Basics for the BJJ Athlete

      Guide: Nutrition Basics for the BJJ Athlete

      You've probably heard it before... something along the lines of "I train so that I can eat whatever I want," or "The only reason I'm not [insert hypothetical weight here] pounds is because of jiu jitsu." Or you may have heard one of a thousand stories from people who have lost an incredible amount of weight just by training BJJ. 

      Yes, jiu jitsu is amazing, and for the average practitioner, it does have some incredible benefits. However, for the majority of BJJ athletes, jiu jitsu alone isn't going to cut it when you're trying to maintain peak condition and hit the podium time and time again. In addition to high-level jiu jitsu instruction and training, a BJJ athlete also typically needs a proper nutritional program, in order allow him/her to endure long, hard training sessions, recover quickly and efficiently, and maintain a healthy weight. 

      What does that look like, you ask? Read on...

      Proper Hydration

      Staying hydrated is probably the single-most important thing any athlete - of any sort, not just BJJ - should be doing. However, research shows that most athletes are only drinking half of what they need. According to a University of Michigan sports dietician, proper hydration helps to "delay fatigue, maintain mental focus, regulate body temperature (especially in hot environments), satisfy thirst and to improve the ability to recover from training and competition." Think about it... if you're only half-hydrated, you've impaired all of those factors affecting your ability to perform on the mat.

      So how much water should you be drinking? Well, that depends on your own bodily needs, as well as how long and intense your training session is. It's important to "listen to your body" in order to gauge what optimal hydration is for you. However, it's important for a BJJ athlete to know that proper hydration begins long before your training session. It's suggested that an athlete drink 7-12 ounces of fluid 15-30 minutes before a workout or training session, then 4-8 ounces during a workout every 15-20 minutes, with added carbohydrates and electrolytes during longer training sessions.  

      Sufficient Protein Intake

      It's no secret that athlete's need more protein than the average person. But why? And how much? When you train, not only do your muscles use up glycogen (the sugars that your body stores in your muscles as a source of energy for your cells), but some of the proteins in your muscles also get broken down or damaged. Consuming protein within a couple hours of training provides your body with the amino acids ("building blocks of proteins") it needs to repair, rebuild and grow new muscle proteins. 

      Some nutrition guides suggest that protein be consumed within 45 minutes after a workout, others within two hours, in order to maximize its effect on muscle repair and growth. Especially if you're not able to eat a meal within that time frame, keeping a high-quality protein powder supplement in your gear bag is always a great idea. How much protein should you be eating? Many sources suggest athletes consume between 1.2 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight; approximately 80 to 135 grams for a 150 pound athlete. 

      Nutrient Dense Foods

      Nutritionists don't all agree on what constitutes the "perfect diet" for an athlete... some suggest a high-fat diet, others a high-carb diet. However, almost all will agree about one thing: avoiding "empty calories." These are foods that lack the micronutrients - vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytochemicals and antioxidants - the cells in your body use to "function, to repair, to build, to maintain, to produce, to clean up, to metabolize, to transport, and to communicate." Fried foods, processed foods, sugary drinks, energy drinks... all of these add to your calorie count without contributing much - or any - nutritional benefit to your body. Particularly if you're preparing for a tournament, these aren't foods that will help you fuel your body for hard training sessions or help it to recovery efficiently afterward. 

      Not everyone's nutritional program will look alike. Every individual will have his/her own needs and bodily demands. But as long as your program considers these three general guidelines, you'll know you're on the right track. 

      Train... and eat... on. Oss. 

      Guide: Getting Your Kid Started in BJJ

      Guide: Getting Your Kid Started in BJJ

      I'm of the firm opinion that every child should be involved in some sort of physical activity. It teaches them coordination, resilience, how to listen and learn, and how to cooperate and communicate with others, particularly with their peers. 

      And I might be biased, but I think there's no better activity to get your little girl or boy involved in than Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Here are some tips for getting your kid started in BJJ:

      Getting Them to Try It

      Unless they already have a little jiu jitsu friend whose been telling them all about how awesome it is, it may be a little difficult to get your child to step on the mat for the first time. It's kind of like going to a new school where he/she doesn't know anyone... it's scary! The best way to get your child interested in the first place is to go with your child to visit a local jiu jitsu academy during the kid's class. Have him/her meet the professor or coach before the class starts - usually he/she will introduce your little tyke to some of the kids who regularly attend - then have him/her watch some or all of the class. Seeing all the other kids have fun and interact with each other will ease any fears your child might have, and get him/her excited to participate in the fun next time! Plus, having him/her see how the class is run, will allow him/her to be more comfortable participating in the class, as the setting and structure will be more familiar. 

      Finding the Right Academy

      Of course, that's assuming you've already found an academy you like! A lot of kids these days start jiu jitsu because they have a family member - a mom, dad, uncle, aunt, cousin, etc. - who does it. So naturally, they go to their family member's gym. But if that's not your case, you'll want to find the perfect academy for your little guy or girl. As popular as jiu jitsu is becoming, odds are there's a BJJ gym or academy near where you live, work or where your kid goes to school. There are very, very few academies that don't have a kid's class. So that's good news. However, just as you wouldn't go to just any gym yourself, you should also make sure your child's academy will be a good fit for him/her. So do your research... Does the kid's instructor seem friendly and knowledgeable? What do the other parents say about the class? Is there a good number of children around the same size as yours? Do the other kids appear to be respectful toward the coach and do they appear to be learning?

      Getting Them Geared Up

      Once you've found the right spot for your little dude/dudette, you'll have to get all the right gear for him/her. First and foremost... find a nice, durable gi that fits. Many academies have a small selection of kid's gis available for rent or purchase at the academy, but many more do not. Regardless, especially if your child sticks with jiu jitsu for the long term, he/she will need many more gis in the future. Here are a few kid's gis that we like, many of which come with a free white belt (some don't, so make sure before you buy, in case you'll have to buy the belt separate!). But don't just take our word for it. Do your research. Check out the sizing charts on each gi model to see if your child fits better within a certain range. Have your child try on some of the other kids' gis before or after class to check the fit. While the gi might be the most important element, he/she will also need a rash guard and maybe some shorts and/or spats. You might also want to invest in a kid's mouth guard, too. Jiu jitsu doesn't involve any striking, but there's always risk of being hit by an errant elbow or knee. 

      Parental Involvement

      Last, but definitely not least... how involved should you be as a parent? If you already do jiu jitsu, you're ahead of the game. As you progress, you can help your child at home. Just take care that you're not over working your child in a way that makes jiu jitsu a job instead of the fun, totally awesome activity that it is, thereby resulting in "burn out". I've seen this happen far too often. If you don't train, I highly encourage that you step on the mat a few times at least, just to experience a little bit of what your child might be going through. Why? Because too many parents who don't train try to "coach" their child, usually by yelling at them. If you've never been on the mat before, let their coach do all the coaching... that's what he/she is there for. Otherwise, you're going to risk frustrating your child, putting too much pressure on him/her, and looking like an ass as you do so. Just sit back and watch your child grow. That or go somewhere else. Go run errands, take a nap, whatever. 

      It's almost always a guarantee that your child will absolutely fall in love with jiu jitsu once he/she steps on the mat for the first time. If not, that's okay, too. Jiu jitsu is not for everyone, and there are plenty of activities in the world that he/she will excel at instead. The most important thing is that he/she is involved in something that allows him/her to see the tremendous potential he/she has. 

      Train on... Oss.