Friday, September 11, 2015

ADCC 2015 "Some" Highlights

Well ADCC 2015 was nothing short of incredibly fun to watch.  Not every match was amazing but there were some excellent match-ups.  I applaud ADCC for setting up the brackets such that a lot of teammates where pitted against each other in the opening rounds.  In case you didn't know the gentleman's handshake "close-out" is not allowed at ADCC.  So maybe we didn't get the ideal #1 vs #2 in the finals but I feel that is really exciting to set it up in that manner.  To me I felt like every match was very competitive and it made the competitors step up their A game early on in the competition.  

I feel like ADCC is really exciting in nogi competition as the competitors are allowed to use heel hooks, "reaps" on the knees, and even slam out of submissions.  It forces grapplers to wrestle and punishes those who choose to pull guard.  
I honestly didn't get to watch every match but I made a few quick HL's of some that stood out to me. 

I selected certain matches where I felt there was an exciting submission or at the very least an excellent opportunity that may have ended up in a crazy transition of sorts.  There are some very high level entries to leg locks in a lot of these videos so pay close attention and see if you can work it into your game.  

Hoping to put something more substantial together in the future. Hopefully they don't get taken down but enjoy while they are up.  In no particular order...

If you are interested in watching the event in its entirety it is still available through Budovideos until September 15th.

Eddie Cummings x Asadulaev Surkhay 

Neiman Gracie x Ezra Lenon 

Michelle Nicolini x McKenzie Dern (Final...and it's a long HL) This was my favorite match of the event.

Rodolfo Vieira x Benson Henderson (failed shot) Open Weight Class 

Ruben Charles "Cobrinha" x Tezekbaev Rasul

Vinny Magalhães x Joao Rocha 

Gary Tonon x Dillon Danis


Monday, September 7, 2015

Submission FC Mania Gi Review

Submission Fight Company has recently released a new offering to their line-up of grappling gear: The Mania Gi.  This is my first time working with any of their products.  The offer everything from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gi’s, ranked rash guards, gi pants, belts, patches, t-shirts, and replacement drawstrings.  The company was originally based in California (most recently Frisco, TX) and has been in business since 2010. 


The jacket and pants have a very clean and attractive look.  The model I received for this review is the black “Mania” with orange and grey contrast colors.  The Mania gi features embroidery throughout with very few sewn on patches.  The quality of the embroidery seems to be very good with no runners.  The embroidery on the jacket appears on the shoulders and lapel.  There is a small embroidered logo for on the skirt (front).  The back of the jacket only sports “Mania” and the company logo along the bottom of the skirt leaving plenty of room for affiliation patches, sponsors, etc.  The bottom of the jacket has seam taping with the Submission FC/Mania print as does the sleeve cuffs.  The pants also have the same seam taping in the cuffs of the pants.  The pants only have “Mania” embroidered just below the loop enclosures and a small, sewn on patch with accompanied size. 


The jacket is advertised as a 450GSM pearl weave and it is remarkably lightweight.  In addition to being lightweight both the jacket and pants are incredibly comfortable.  After a few trips through the washing machine I found jacket and pants to have a relaxed feel as opposed to a gi that can stand up on it’s own after air drying.   The jacket offers the typical reinforced armpit, single piece (no seam) back on the jacket.  The collar has a nice, thick feel to it giving some overall sturdiness. 

The pants are constructed from 100% 10 ounce cotton which also have a lightweight feel.  These pants remind me how I prefer the feel of natural cotton over cotton/polyester blends (rip-stop material).  The drawstring is the popular paracord material.  I did find the length to be too long but that is typical for most gi manufacturers.  This is easily fixed with scissors and a lighter to customize the drawstring to your desired length.  The only complaint I have about the pants is the loops provided for the drawstring.  The pants feature double loops near the hips and a single loop in the middle much like the Bull Terrier gi I reviewed some time ago.  It’s not a deal breaker but I feel would be better served with another pair of double loops just off center. The pants have reinforcement in the knees that begins at the middle of the thigh and extends down halfway to the shin. 

There is something worth noting that I found odd with the Mania was found during the vinegar soak process prior to the first wash.  I always pre-soak my gi’s (yes even the white ones) in vinegar for about 30 minutes.  Some ask “why would you pre-soak a white gi?”  Well it’s really simple.  Sometimes the tags and patches will bleed during a wash and a few bucks on vinegar are well worth the prevention of staining a brand new, $150-200 gi.  Therefore, I pre-soaked this gi and when I pulled it out I noticed there was a lot of black coloration left behind in the vinegar bath.  I imagine this gi would have suffered some fading if I had not pre-treated it so I highly recommend using vinegar or a product like Retayne.  All that said the gi didn’t seem to suffer any significant fading after many trips through the washer.  I would definitely plan to wash this gi with no other clothing the first couple of times to prevent any sort of bleeding onto other garments. 

Clean embroidery


Here’s where things were a bit tricky.  I am 5’7” in height and weigh about 150lbs.  I typically wear an A-1 in most gi’s but have found there are quite a few brands where I fall in low end of an A-2.  In previous experiences when I’ve gone with an A-2 size I end up with a very baggy gi both through the torso, long sleeves, and baggy, long pants.  Because of this I usually won’t even try certain brands when I find myself falling in that range of sizing charts.  I was sent an A-1 which is recommended for 5’2-5’5” & 110-145lbs.  I opened the gi up and knew immediately this one wasn’t going to work.  It was borderline competition legal without a single trip through the washing machine.  I was sent an A-2 replacement and my first impressions were also not optimistic.  I was swimming in the A-2 upon trying it on.  My biggest concern was that the gi is advertised as “pre-shrunk” but I had to try and make this one work. 

After a couple hot washes, low spin, and dried on high heat I was amazed that this gi actually fit me incredibly well.  The jacket has a very tailored/tapered feel and looks like it was custom made for my body type.  The sleeve length is now perfect and the skirt length is a bit long.  Many times A-1 sized gi’s that fit me perfectly still leave me a bit short on the skirt which can be annoying trying to keep it tucked in properly and when utilizing the lapel ends for chokes.  This one almost feels a bit too long but I think it’s really the proper length and I’m just accustomed to short skirts on my jackets.  The length of the pants is also just how I like it.  There is plenty of room in the pants without leaving me with an overly baggy feeling.  My only complaint about the fit/feel of this gi is the seam taping in the cuffs of both the jacket and pants has a bit of a scratchy, unpolished feel to it.  It’s not a deal breaker but worth noting. 
Sturdy lapel

Reinforcement in the knees

Cuff of pant sleeve

Rolling Impressions

My first few rolling impressions were average due to getting the gi dialed in for size.  Initially the sleeves were a bit long which was problematic during rolling sessions but it has dramatically improved since shrinking the gi down in size to where I like it.  The gi would pass even the most, strict IBJJF inspectors with flying colors and I would not hesitate to compete in this gi…and I am very picky about what gi’s I will use for competition.  I own far more gi’s I will only train in than I’m willing to compete in.  The gi feels very durable after many training sessions.  The sleeves have little to no stretch in them.  The lightweight feel of the gi definitely stands out while training.  During the hot Texas summer I tend to shy away from the heavier gi’s in my collection and this one is welcomed during this time of year. 


The sizing available for the Mania gi has a very broad range for the smallest to biggest of grapplers.  Based on my experience I would say that the gi’s both A-1 & A-2 are pretty accurate to the sizing chart below.  Of course this also allows for intentional shrinking if needed so keep that in mind when reading the gi is “pre-shrunk.”  Clearly there is some give in this area. 

Size Chart
Height                                   Weight (lbs)                                       Size
4’10”-5’2”                            90-110                                                  A-0
5’2”-5’5”                              110-145                                                A-1
5’5”-5’9”                              145-175                                                A-2
5’9”-6’0”                              175-210                                                A-3
6’0”-6’4”                              210-260                                                A-4
6’3”-6’6”                              260-290                                                A-5

*Note that all measurements were taken after shrinking the gi down for my review.

Closing Thoughts

This was my first time working with a Submission Fight Co. product so I didn’t have a lot of expectations good or bad going in.  The biggest concerns I had going into this review was where I fell on the sizing chart.  Clearly the A-1 was way too small and the A-2 was also too big.  Luckily with some patience and careful trips through the washer and dryer I was able to customize this gi and it turned out to be an excellent fit.  On top of being a great fitting gi, the color contrast, quality construction, overall look and feel of this gi makes this a very excellent choice for $140-150 whether it’s used for everyday training or competition.   If you’re in the market for a new gi I would definitely give Submission FC some consideration.


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Get to Know BJJ Revolution's Josh Mancuso

Josh Mancuso is a guy that is not shy to social media and I first encountered his technique videos on  He was posting videos weekly for quite some time and was very open about sharing some of his favorite techniques.  He was gracious enough to make some time to share with me a little about himself earlier this year.

When did you start training?

-October 2006

When did you receive your Black Belt and from whom?

-I was promoted to Black Belt by Tim Credeur and Rodrigo Medeiros in July of 2013.  I was 32 years old.

Name some competitors you either trained with or against coming up in the ranks.

-I have had the opportunity to train with many of the world's top practitioners such as Marcelo Garcia, Ricco Rodriguez, Caio Terra, Dean Lister, Davi Ramos, Andrew Galvao, Samuel Braga, Eddie Bravo, the Mendes Bros, Joel Tudor, Jean Jacques Machado, Leandro Vieira, Felipe Costa, Ricardo De La Riva, I could go on for days.  There are so many high level practitioners from so many different teams that I've had the pleasure of training with that I honestly could be here all day naming them off.  I would like to say that I am lucky to have been in the situations to train with these guys but that's just not true.  I made those situations happened and sacrificed a lot to get those experiences.

Where do you currently teach?

-BJJ Revolution Team BR/UFC Gym Baton Rouge

What should a new student of BJJ focus on?

-A new student should focus on whatever they enjoy.  I feel that people will be more consistent and train harder if they are encouraged to work on the things they find pleasure in.  Some will choose take downs and closed guard; others will only want to do foot lock or berimbolo. All are fine and encouraged by me.  I feel like if a student has holes in their game, eventually those short comings will be exposed and they will need to close those gaps.  The mats will show them where they are lacking.  And I believe in never telling a student to stop working on a skill they enjoy building.

What would you change about how you approached training Jiu-Jitsu if you had to go back and start all over again?

-Not much, when I started I was very lucky to be influenced by a guy (who sadly has since quit training) who was much smaller than me, but dominated me with clean technique.  He always pushed the importance of technique and drilling over everything.  I was very fortunate to have this person show me that technique is the key to everything and that drilling is the way to get there.

How important is competition to development?

-I think it is very important.  It is not just a coincidence that the people who compete regularly get better, faster.  Even if you only compete once or twice, it is important to feel what performing under that type of pressure is like.  It is much different from training at the academy and I think that competing is a great way to face your fears and deal with overcoming self-doubt.  Personally,I feel like I always compete, not because I have any goals of being a world champion, but because I feel like it keeps me honest, driven, and most importantly I like to lead my team from the front and not the rear.

How do you feel about supplementing training with other forms of physical activity such as lifting weights, crossfit, running, swimming, etc?

-I never touched a weight until about halfway through my brown belt.  I felt that if I was focused on getting stronger then that's what my Jiu-Jitsu would be focused around.  I do not regret this decision at all.  My goal in Jiu-Jitsu is to play the same game now at 34 years old as I will when I'm 65.  If my Jiu-Jitsu revolves around physical attributes then this would not be possible.

What are your thoughts on rolling versus drilling?

-Drilling is the key to getting better but rolling is just simply fun!  Both are essential to being your best.  The key is learning how to drill and having the self-control to set aside a certain time a day for it.  I personally can feel my technique slipping if I go too long without drilling.

Do you use supplements?

-How do you stay healthy?  Before Jiu-Jitsu I never ever though about staying healthy.  I don't take any supplements except for BCAA's after training session.  I do however consume a large amount of fruits and veggies.  I make huge fruit/veggie smoothies twice a day i my Vitamix and I honestly wake up every day feeling like a million dollars.  I feel better at 34 than I did at 18.

What do you recommend for training preparation?

-Lots of water in your system and a good attitude.

As an instructor, what does your training consist of trying to balance teaching vs training?

-It changes pretty drastically for me, luckily I have assistant instructors to help me carry the load.  I enjoy training so much, that I can't teach all the time.  I try to train twice a day, twice a week, and then once a day for the remainder of the week.  Although I am trying to reduce my training time to gain a little more balance in my life.

Do you continue to study new (modern) Jiu-Jitsu and how do you go about that?  Do you train with other black belts at other gyms, affiliations, etc?

-I love the berimbolo, I also love the scissor sweep, and cross choke.  I just love Jiu-Jitsu!  I also love Sambo and Judo.  I love all grappling martial arts.  As far as cross training goes, yes.  I cross train with other gyms and highly encourage everyone to do it.  You gotta get new looks from other training partners and it is also a great way to network and forge new friendships.  Although at the same time, I am extremely loyal and feel strongly about my instructor and my team.  If my instructor had an issue or beef with another instructor from a different academy, I would not train with that person, even though he wouldn't ask me to do that.  It wouldn't be because I personally have anything against that person, but because that's just how I am.  If you are in my circle, I will have your back no matter what the circumstances.  I've been like that long before Jiu-Jitsu, I am just a loyal friend.

What is the worst injury you have experienced while training?

-Luckily in my time training I have only had a few rib separations, a meniscus surgery, but my absolute worst injury are my fingers.  They hurt all the time.  My wife likes to tell me that I need to invest in Velcro shoes because at this rate I won't be able to tie normal ones.  Other than that, I feel like a million bucks.

Any big goals for 2015, plans for your gym, competitions?

Mostly I am just looking to keep  competing and building my team.  I like stepping out of my comfort zone.

Do you think the current state of competitions are headed in the right direction to benefit the athletes?

- I feel like Jiu-Jitsu will never be a spectator  sport unless you train, bu hopefully we can build Jiu-Jitsu so that we have so many people training, we can support our own. I do think events like EBI are doing some great things for our sport.  And could possibly get us on ESPN 8 "The Ocho" one day.

What is your favorite match you have had in competition and why?

-They are all so special, but probably my first match as a black belt, because when I won I felt like I deserved to wear the belt I had worked so hard to earn.

Name the accomplishment you are most proud of be it BJJ or personal.

-Just the huge transformation my life has undergone since starting in BJJ.  It has completely changed me physically and mentally into a much stronger and happier person.  Also the growth of my team, and successes of my students. To see my students do well and to have our mats packed is really a strong source of happiness for me.  Considering where we were just 5 or 6 years ago.

Is there anything interesting you would like to say about yourself or any opinions you have on the current state of BJJ?

-I think BJJ is doing great and is destined for big things.  The only issue I see isthat we are coming to a point in competitions where we are over regulating and I fear we will take the path of Judo.  II would like to see deregulation of the sport.

Anything else you would like to add people might find interesting about yourself?

-I have a pretty decent comic book collection, I'm a hobby junkie before I started BJJ I was into DJ'ing (with actual 12" vinyl records).  I also participate in the occasional redneck pastime of camping and mud riding my Polaris RZR to spend some time with my family and do a little something besides just BJJ all the time.

Any sponsors you would like to thank or products, services you would like to promote?

-I would like to thank Bear Quitugua for giving me the opportunity to represent Shoyoroll, it really feels good to have what I consider a blue chip company in the BJJ world willing to put their name on me.  I also gotta thank Roach Rodriguez for taking care of me at Shoyoroll and always hooking my gear up in the most awesome ways possible.  Shoyoroll is a truly special company.

I'd like to personally thank Josh for taking the time out of his busy schedule to contribute some info about himself.  He consistently puts a lot of free content on various social media sites.  You can visit his YouTube channel here:  If you're ever in his neck of the wood, Baton Rouge, Louisiana drop in his gym.

Josh Mancuso Facebook Page:

Josh Mancuso YouTube Channel

BJJ Revolution Facebook Page: