Sunday, 15 November 2009

6 Deuce clothing

Check out this interview with MMA clothing company Six Deuce. Not your usual 'in your face I beat people up’ kind of prints, but much more subtle and, in my opinion, wearable. I first came across this brand when we were in Thailand training at Tiger Muay Thai around 16 months ago and it was nice to see a Mixed Martial Arts T shirt that didn’t have ‘blood stains’ or barbed wire on it. Not that there is anyting wrong with barbed wire, but sometimes it would be nice to wear something that doesn’t scream Affliction! Here is a recent interview below:

Not only was Craig over at Six Deuce nice enough to give us losers a bunch of free t-shirts, he also let me ask him a bunch of asinine questions. This is one of my favorite interviews yet so be sure and give it a look.

Craig, give us some info on Six Deuce Gear and what it is all about.

Six Deuce … a movement without boundaries. A lifestyle without restrictions. An attitude that defines combat.

Just kidding! We hate the quasi-mysterious company descriptions as much as you do. We’re a t-shirt company that sells MMA t-shirts disguised as non-MMA t-shirts. I’ve been around the sport since UFC 2, my high school days. I went to college at Iowa State University, graduated from the graphic design program, and did nothing with the degree for a few years, like most starving artists.

I’ve been a member of the UG ( for a long time too, and that’s where the company got started. KTFO (remember them?) had some shirts that were really basic when they first came on the scene, so I messed around with their logo on my lunch break and posted it on the UG. Some people liked it, and a few other companies contacted me to do design work for them. After a couple of months I decided to venture out on my own, with no business experience and not much start-up money. I saw an opportunity in the market for more “subtle” shirt designs, because the market had a lot of intense, EXTREME!, and over the top MMA shirts. Not very many hid the fact that you not only had a pitbull, tribal tattoos, and killed people in the cage, but you wore it on your shirt as well! I tried to tone it down a bit.

You have our new shirts set to come out the end of this month, you want to tell us about them?

Fedor Sweater Logo Tee: Obviously Fedor has been a HUGE influence in some of my designs. It has been an absolute joy to watch his career become what it is today. I’ve never seen a better role model…he embodies so many positive characteristics, both in the ring/cage and out. Combat Sambo is one of our favorite martial arts, and I hope that if people like our Sambo shirts, it might introduce more people to the sport. Plus, if Fedor’s sweater is truly lucky, maybe it’s power is found in the color combination of the stripes?

Tiger Muay Thai Tee: These guys are great and awesome to work with. Tiger Muay Thai is one of the best Muay Thai training camps in the world, and head Tiger MMA trainer Ray Elbe has always been a great friend to our company. We’re putting a high quality Tiger MT shirt on the market for fans and former trainees of the camp. If you’re looking for an amazing training experience with all the amenities, look no further. Check them out at

Sambo Crest Tee: Our 3rd and most recent Sambo t-shirt. Igor Karaev, (@TSGIGOR) an individual who is very close to Fedor and his group has
been very helpful with all of our new Russian-themed shirts. The translated text reads (top line) “Sixty Two” and (bottom line) “Samozashchita Bez Oruzhiya”, of which SAMBO is an acronym, and means “Self Defense without a weapon”.

Russian Wolf Tee: The phrase (in Russian) on the shirts is: “Volkov boyat’sa – v les ne khodit’” which means, “Don’t go into the woods if you’re afraid of the wolves”. The phrase is perfect for our sport and works in so many ways.

Just Bleed Tee: The shirt is a tribute to the “Just Bleed” guy, a legend in his own right. During an earlier UFC, he summed up the testosterone (and alcohol) fueled fighting rage of every young male in one brief moment on camera. Just Bleed guy, we salute you!

Six Deuce does a lot of shirts that only the hardcore MMA fans will get, why is that?

It’s not intentional! I’d like for our company to be more mainstream, so I could go to the club and make it rain 100 dollar bills. Sigh…I guess I’m doing something wrong. Seriously though, we have the loyalty of a lot of the hardcore fans of the sport, and that’s very important to me. You can wear a lot of our stuff and the general public won’t know it’s an MMA shirt, but people who actively follow the sport will appreciate it.

Do you think Fedor will like your new Sweater Sambo shirt?

hope so, I really do. I’m going to send him one so that if he ever ruins his lucky sweater in the dryer, we’ve got him covered.

What else would you like to say to FightTrends readers?

FRAT! Thanks for taking the time to read our interview, and watch for our new shirts to be released the day after Thanksgiving!

Thanks to Six Deuce for the interview and giveaway. Let us know who you would like to see us interview and we will do our best to get it done. Be sure and give Six Deuce a follow on Twitter. Also, don’t forget to check out the new Six Deuce T-Shirts that will be available the day after Thanksgiving.

De La Riva Sweep 5

1: Boca decides to try and pass the guard by cross-sliding his right knee over De La Riva’s right leg

2: De la Riva places his hooking foot on the ground, grabs his other leg by the knee to support his leg and pivots the foot under Boca’s far thigh.

3: He kicks his right leg up and lifts his hips to raise Boca’s leg…

4: … and now switches legs, placing his left foot under Boca’s thigh, grabbing the leg and sleeve, and sweeps Boca to his right

5: He follows Boca and gains cross side.

De La Riva Sweep 4

1: Boca attempts to escape De la Riva’s guard by standing up

2: De la Riva counters by sitting up using his hooking leg and …

3: …traps Boca’s right arm and leg.

4: He places his left hand on the ground and sit up into Boca causing him to fall backwards.

5: He now comes to the top, clears the guard and achieves cross side position.

De La Riva Sweep 3

1: Boca is back in de la Riva’s open guard.

2: Boca removes de la Riva’s hook by pointing his knee to the outside.

3: De La Riva reacts by swinging his other leg over Boca’s arm and hooking his foot under Boca’s thigh.

4: De la Riva places his other foot on the ground and shifts his hip away from Boca and kicks his hook straight up to sweep him.

5: De la Riva pulls his sweeping leg free and comes to the top position

De La Riva Sweep 2

Part two in the sweep series continues below;

1: De la Riva starts the sweep by controlling Boca’s sleeves and inserting his hook behind Boca’s knee.

2: He proceeds by shifting his hip away from the hooking leg and switching his right hand from the sleeve to the lapel

3: He starts the sweep by pulling Boca towards him…

4: …and then rolling him to his left, immediately working to pass Boca’s guard.

Alternate Finish, Photo 1: if Boca resists by backing out, de la Riva will place his left hand behind him on the ground and sit up…

Alternate Finish, Photo 2: …sweeping Boca backwards, passing his legs as before

De La Riva Sweep 1

I have decided I want to continue to work on my deep half guard, as if I can get it to a competitive level in a school where deep half guard is the speciality, then it will be pretty hard to beat against people who have only come across it a couple times. So thats what I 'should' do. But I am going to do what I want to do and also work on the de la riva! These two positions seem to go hand in hand quite well and I think I should be able to drill them together quite nicely. Here are a few cool sweeps I found courtisy of


1: De la Riva has Boca in the open guard with both feet on his hips controlling both his sleeves with his hands.

2: De la Riva shifts his hips over to one side to hook his foot behind Boca’s knee on the inside of the thigh.

3: He places his other foot on Boca’s knee and grabs his far sleeve with both hands…

4: …straightens his hooking leg, pushes on Boca’s knee with the other foot and pulls on his sleeve to get the sweep.

5: De la Riva swims under Boca’s armpit with his far arm and switches his hip to disengage his legs…

6: …and slides his hip out to gain cross side

Thursday, 12 November 2009


Serious blog neglect going on over the past few weeks! Hopefully that will change starting today. Life has been pretty hectic since I left the UK and arrived in sunny Bahrain!

Life has changed quite a bit over the last few months. I got a job doing public relations for the Bahrain International Circuit, hosts of the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix, which is turning out to be quite enjoyable. It’s a fast paced and hectic atmosphere but I seem to work well under pressure and with deadlines so its all good. The down side is that by the time I finish work at 5pm (8am start), I am usually pretty tired and it is quite an effort to complete the 20 minute drive to pick up Rach and 15 minute drive to the academy, straight from work. But I am slowly getting back to training 5+ times a week! The first two weeks was very frustrating as I wanted to continue with my old training schedule but just couldn’t hack it. But over the last week or two, things have got a lot better as I have found a new routine and tried to make my day as accommodating as possible for evening training. This means making sure I get to sleep by 11pm at the absolute latest, as otherwise by the time 5pm rolls around I only have energy to fall asleep! I also try to keep a bunch of healthy snacks at my desk – stuff like nuts, fruit, alpine bars, etc (hopefully will be adding protein shakes to this once I get paid). One thing that was really letting me down in the first couple weeks was my liquid intake, or lack of. Sitting at a desk all day seems to convince my brain that I don’t need to hydrate! So lots of tea and water through out the day also helps me feel good to go come training time. This week things have come together a bit more and training has been a bit better, and I think next week it will be pretty much back to normal.

Training at RMAC is going pretty good! Brazilian black belt Rodrigo Mangabeira is teaching the class at the moment so I am picking up some great moves. In terms of personal development I have not been focusing on anything in particular for the last month, but due to a majority of the guys pulling guard, I have found my top and passing game is coming along quite nicely. This I should probably save for another post, but I am feeling a bit lost in terms of game plans at the moment. I mean, I still know what I am doing, but I don’t seem to be pushing my game plan on my opponents, and am instead responding to their game. I think this is probably due to life being so hectic and not having time to think up my own little plan for class – before working, I would always have time to know exactly what I wanted to practice during sparring.

Logically, since my take downs are not great, I should focus my game on sweeping from bottom and then implement my new found passing skills to eventually transition to North/ South, where I feel very comfortable. So for the next few weeks I will be focusing on sweeps. Great that’s decided then. But sweeps from what position? Half guard? Closed guard? Open guard? Decisions, decisions….

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Io Sto Con Forme!

A bit of blog neglect over the past few weeks! Things have been busy around here with lots going on, both in jiujitsu and in normal life. I finally got a job, which will mean a slight change to my training routine. I am a bit relieved to actually start working as the last few weeks have been without any sort of regular routine and it will be nice to have a bit of a structured day again. It does mean I won't be able to take advantage of the newly introduced morning BJJ classes, but at least I will be able to afford some new gis and rash guards! It also means daily life is going to get a bit hectic with work starting at 8am and finishing at 5pm and then training from 7-9pm. And repeat. 5 days a week.

Training is going good at the moment! The academy recently became an affiliate of the Alliance Team and therefore will get regular black belts coming over, including yearly seminars from Fabio Gurgel! Also, ANOTHER black belt will be arriving around mid November because of this affiliation, bringing the total black belt count per BJJ class to three! Currently, the new flavour brought to the class by Rodrigo Mangabeira has been great, with some great moves being demonstrated. We have been working on a combination of closed guard and guarda arangia sweeps/ submissions. Training time has also changed and has increased from 90 minutes to two hours!

Bit of a dramatic week at RMAC, with an aggressive blue belt going too hard on a new white belt and dislocating his elbow with a triangle/ arm bar lock. It is a shame as this person was just starting out and very keen on his training, which will now be delayed by a minimum of at least a few months! I think higher belts have a responsibility to help new students out and not just use them as 'fresh meat'. I personally don't see any benefit to me when if I was to go hard with a new person. And it is usually the case, with higher belts providing tips and insight to those with less ability. I had my own little scare this week too when I got arm-barred but couldn't tap and heard my elbow make a very scary 'tearing' noise. Maybe my own jiujitsu karma was out of whack. Whatever. Thankfully, after a few days of not being able to straighten it or completely bend it, I have been able to train on it and it wasn't too bad. I think I probably hyper extended it quite badly and, with a bit of rest, it will be ok in a week or two. Need to watch out for those arm bars!

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Bahrain BJJ

For anyone looking to start or continue training Brazilian Jiujitsu while in Bahrain, they should check out Reza's Martial Arts Center. The school teaches Brazilian Jiujitsu, Thai Boxing, Mixed Martial Arts, Capoeira and has its own gym facilities. Classes are taught by Reza Monfaradi, a BJJ black belt under Roy Harris of the Joe Moreira lineage, and have regular guest black belt instructors coming over from Brazil to add a different flavour to the class. The Thai Boxing is taught by a professional Thai fighter brought over from Thailand and is a very good class too. Capoeria, starting in October, will be taught by a Brazilian, again coming over from Brazil.

The Brazilian Jiujitsu class is at the core of the academy program. The class has a good variety of students with many purple and blue belts regularly attending. Training is aimed at increasing all areas of BJJ, from fitness and technique to live sparring. The school attends as many tournaments as it can, venturing as far as the USA and Thailand to compete. With Abu Dhabi so close by, the BJJ Asian Super Cup and the Professional Cup are also attended every year. Starting in October, Rodrigo Mangabeira, black belt from Nova Geracao team in Brazil, will be co-instructing the class along with Reza Monfaradi.

Brazilian Jiujitsu classes run everyday apart from Fridays, and are from 7 to 830pm. However, starting in mid October, there will be 2-3 BJJ classes everyday! While the class is BJJ, there are variation classes throughout the week:

Sundays and Wednesdays are no gi BJJ

Mondays are 'circuit training' and involve king of the hill style rolling

Thursdays are similar to open mat but vary from 5 minutes, 10 minutes and unlimited time rounds

Sunday, 27 September 2009

This and That

This week we are working deep half guard sweeps and have learned some very interesting and unique twists that Reza has personally added on to several moves. Competition training has now begun in preparation for the Asian Super Cup and involves much more cardio and strength exercises. Classes are getting tough! It seems the usual setup is 30 minutes fitness training, 30 minutes technique and then 30 minutes sparring. Thursday are similar to open mat in that after a warm up we roll for 1 hour - either no time limit or the usual 5 minute time periods. Mondays are 'circuit days' which usually involve some sort of 'king of the hill' style rolling for 1 hour. This week it was sweeps and guard submissions while the other person had to pass the guard. Sundays and Wednesdays are no gi. After only doing gi for almost a year, its a very nice change of pace to switch things up a little bit and try out those arm triangles again!

Also, I have a feeling that regular rolling with a particular, almost 16 years old, green belt will really up my game in the next few months! Ali got a bronze medal at the previous World Jiujitsu Cup in the blue belt division and has a very impressive game (but we won't tell him that as he is already too cocky for his own good :).

In other news, Reza is bringing over a Brazilian BJJ black belt to add a bit of a different flavour to the class! How cool is that? Two black belts teaching in one class? Yes thats right! So that will be very fun and interesting. Who knows, we might even learn some protuguese! His name is Rodrigo Afonso Alves, nickname 'Mangabeira'. He fights out of the New Generation team or 'Nova Geracao' ... see my portugues is improving already!

Thursday, 24 September 2009


Seems that life is very busy at the moment! Still getting settled in Bahrain as well as trying to see what my job options are. Also I am running around saying hi to all the family and trying to spend time with everyone. Did I mention I do Brazilian Jiujitsu too? :) Seriously, its a bit hectic right now but hopefully I will find my groove soon.

If I wrote this entry right after training it would have been a bit miserable, but seeing as I went out and ate 30+ pieces of sushi afterwards, I am in a substantially better mood. Every now and again I can expect to have an off day, but when you do actually have an off day it sucks. Nothing went particularly wrong today but I didn't feel as energetic as usual and could not implement my game as much as I wanted to. When my current game plan doesn't work, I start to question what direction I need to take it in to make it better. I think I need to remember the whole reason I started using half guard: sweeping people. It seems that I am spending a large percentage of the roll on bottom trying to go for submissions, instead of focusing on the sweep and then imposing my top game. Its not a huge change, but I feel this may be the direction I need to get my game moving again. Reza said that he will be going over some deep half guard sweeps, which will be good to refresh my memory and learn some cool new ones, as well as some tricks to make it all easier! A few hours ago I felt quite crap about tonights session, but even while writing this I can't wait for the next session to try going straight for sweeps again.

The level of BJJ is very high at Reza's, but I think this will only push my game further as for it to work against some of the guys who train here, it will have to be good!

Congratulations to Isaac Perez from BTT Slough who won gold at the blue belt pluma weight at the Europeans! Also well done to everyone else from Slough as I know you guys brought alot of medals back.Well done guys! Here is the video of the final:

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Jits in Bahrain

First post from sunny Bahrain! I have been here for 4 days now and am still settling in but its nice to see all my family, friends and old training partners again. However, I can't help myself from wondering what the guys in Eastbourne are drilling or what technique is 'move of the day' at the moment. I keep finding myself thinking about what move I might be able to pull off, only to realise I now traing at a completely different school and need to adapt my game to exploit the weakneses in a whole new group of people. That being said, after having a few training sessions I don't think I will be making any big unplanned changes to my game. What worked before still seems to work now and if anything I seem to be much clearer on which submissions I am aiming for when we spar. Usually I will take the first few minutes of the roll to mess around or try a new move out before going to my bread and butter, but now I know exactly what I want to do before the time starts. I am not sure what changed - it might be training with strangers, or having a new belt, but something definitely happened thats upped my game!

Ramadan has just finished in Bahrain and it is now the Eid holidays for three days, which unfortunately means no training. However, on a positive note, starting Wednesday training will be aimed at competing at the Asian Super Cup tournament in around three months. This entails much more conditioning, sparring and competition specific training which will hopefully allow me to work on my weaknesses. Right now I feel I need to work on several areas, including improving my knee on belly and top half guard game. But this shouldn't be a problem as training is 6 days a week! For the short term future I will not be working just yet as I need to see what jobs are available and which are best suited for me, but this means more time to train.

Speaking of complimentary training, me and Rach bought a large swiss ball today to work on core strength, balance and flexability. They have several of these at Reza's academy and the other night I worked up a sweat trying to balance on one of the balls of around 30 minutes. Hopefully it will look something like this in a few short weeks:

and not like this...

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Blue Belt!

This week was the first BJJ grading for BTT Eastbourne! Ze Marcello came down from Milton Keynes to oversee things and present new belts to the deserving. Oh and also hip toss the crap out of everyone...

Its been a full year since the class started and it has grown so much! It has gone from 5-6 of us in a class to regularly having over 20 people on the mats. At the grading there was barely enough space to warm up with over 30 people showing up! We all ran around for a bit and then went over some really great half guard passes and submissions from on top. Definitely going to try and incorporate some of these moves into my game! After around 45 minutes of technique we all paired up and sparred for another hour, but because there were so many of us, we would roll one round and sit out a few to give everyone a chance at some mat time. Ze rolled with all the guys who were up for their blue belts and was doing all sorts of crazy stuff! I couldn't help grinning as he helicopter arm bared me into next week haha! At the end Ze spoke about how jiujitsu goes beyond training and being on the mat. He reminded everyone that jiujitsu was about creating a family of friends and being there for each other, not about who can tap who. Eventually he called out each person up for their blue belt, presented them with their new belt and certificate, and then proceeded to hip toss them! Thankfully T's back is injured and he couldn't hip toss all of us as hard as I know he wanted to, but I am sure he will make up for it when he is better. In the spirit of what Ze spoke about, a bunch of us decided to go out in the evening for some celbritory drinks, which swiftly devolved from intellectual conversation to drunken jiujitsu in a great display of debauchery at its best!

It a weird feeling getting my blue belt. I guess its been my goal for the past year and so much time has gone towards achieving it, now that I actually have it, I don't know what to do with myself anymore! Guess am just going to have to keep on plodding along and train even harder! Congratulations to all the guys who got stripes, with a special mention to Pete, Ruben, Ian, Adam, Rach, Sophie and Oli who all got their blue belts. Its going to be interesting to actually have a few ranks in the class now haha! So whats next? I don't know really ...

Hold on, whats that? Can't you see it? All the way in the distance, right on the horizon? That smudge of colour that you can just make out if you screw up your eyes and squint hard enough? Well I'll be...looks like a purple belt to me! :P

Funny Jits

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Last Week Training In Eastbourne

Only one week left till I get on a plane and fly to Bahrain! Its a bitter sweet moment as I am looking forward to seeing all my family and being at home again, but at the same time I am going to miss all the guys from BTT Eastbourne. It has been a kick ass year in terms of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and I have learnt so much, and made many friends! We have gone from that very first class at Canton Martial Arts where there were just 4-6 people, to having regularly over 20 people on the mats and it has been great to be part of all of it. Seeing these guys day after day on the mats has made many of them much more than training partners and I feel I have found some very good friends over the past year. While I won't be around as, I know I will always have a team to train with whenever I find myself in the UK. Thanks guys you know who you are!

Personally, I feel I have gone from knowing a few moves and not really understanding the rules of BJJ, to having my own solid game plan and a good understanding of what this whole world is about. I have had a good taste of competition and am beginning to really enjoy both the mental as well as the physical side of jiujitsu.

Luckily, I will be able to continue training once I get to Bahrain, under Joe Moriera lineage black belt Reza Monfaradi. This is another amazing team with a very high level of jijitsu, and I can't wait to spend another year training with more top tier guys!

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Tatami Gi Review

I Ordered a BBJ Competition gi from Tatami fightwear in black A2. The website says it is made from a single piece of gold weave competition standard material. Was pleasantly surprised how quick it got here - just two days! Initial impressions? This thing is huge! The trousers fit pretty good and were a bit on the baggy side but that was to be expected, but the jacket was crazy big! The sleeves were a bit long and the skirt of the jacket was longer than any of my other gis. However I didn't despair as I knew I could shrink it down to size (probably what the company expects its customers to do :P).

I started off by soaking it in a cold bath of water for a couple hours to get rid of any extra dye. Some people suggested adding some white vinegar to the bath water to help set the colour but, as usual, I didn't have any on hand. I am not sure if this works or not but it can't hurt to try. After the bath the gi went on a 90 minute cotton wash at 40 degrees Celsius. I was tempted to put it on a higher temperature but figured I still needed to dry it over a couple hot cycles in the dryer and didn't want to risk over shrinking it. Once this was done I stuck the gi into the dryer, checking it every 10 minutes to see how it the size was. The trousers needed around 15 minutes before they fit well, while the jacket needed 25 minutes. Was very relieved when I realised that it was going to fit me and not be way too big as I initially thought.

After the gi had been washed and tumble dried to fit, I tried it back on. The sleeves fit quite well, reaching just short of my wrists when my arms were outstretched. The shoulder area was a bit big when compared to my Koral or Feral gis, but fit much better than before I shrunk it. The one thing I don't like about the Tatami gi is that the skirt of the jacket is very long! I didn't risk shrinking the gi anymore as the sleeves would have been too short, but I would have liked to get the bottom part of the jacket shorter. I left the gi slightly on a the big side just in case it will shrink anymore after a few more washes.

The gi has some nice patches running down the front of the jacket and across the shoulder area. Also there is a nice Brazilian flag patch located on the back of the jacket. On the rear of the skirt area of the jacket there is another Tatami fightwear patch. I think that with a 'competitor' patch and a club patch, the back of this gi will look pimped!

Overall, this is a nice gi at a very low price. It seems to be made of a high quality material and looks pretty slick. However, I think anyone shorter than 175cm and A2 would find it very long in the jacket/ skirt length. The shoulder area was quite large on me, even after shrinking, It seems to be made for taller, mesomorph type bodies. Apart from this, a very good gi!

Rach is going to do her own Tatami fightwear gi review very soon so keep an eye on her blog to read a bit more about this brand: