FightTrends.com recently caught up with Dave over at Nogi Industries and here is what went down.
Tell me a bit about Nogi and how it all got started.
Grappling it a tough sport and you have to be tough to be able to do it year in and year out. Not surprisingly, most of the gear out there screams out “I’m a badass!” The original idea at Nogi Industries was to make quality grappling gear by people that train and for people that train. I think all of our products perform well in training but are low-key enough to be able to wear outside the gym as well. UFC and Pride fighter Chris Brennan started the brand back in 2003 and through his use and abuse of the gear we’re confident that we have a quality product that will hold up and look good!
Give us some info on your latest line of gear. What makes the Volt and Kingpin shorts stand out from all the rest?
We’ve just recently released two new lines of shorts, the Kingpin and the Volt. For the Volt we decided to go with a bit more of a basic design but still keep a little bit of style to it. We wanted these shorts to not look like fight shorts and make them look good when surfing or just going to the pool. We’ve also made them in a black and silver color scheme that is compliant with IBJJF regulations.
For the Kingpins, we went with a more stylized design. We’re just trying to add a bit more style to an already bland fight short market. So far, our customers have received them well and they’re close to being sold out. These color schemes are also a limited edition run so get them while you can!
Stupid question, but I have always wondered if Nogi will start making Gis?
No plans for a gi. The gi market seems pretty saturated so we’ll leave that to the already established gi companies. Besides, a nogi gi just sounds funny 😉
Do you have plans to release a new line of clothing for the winter?
Yes we do actually. We have really nice sherpa lined zip up hoodie, It’s a custom cut with embroidered logos and an iPod pocket. It’s really nice and really warm. Perfect for doing road work in the winter or keeping yourself warm in the bull pen. Along with that we have a nice reversible beanie and another beanie and pull over hoodie in the works.
Can you run us through the design process a bit? Do you have designers who just throw ideas against the wall to see what sticks or do you come up with the ideas and concepts in house?
We usually know what we want based on our training experience and our fashion sense. Most of the guys here train Jiu Jitsu or some sort of martial art so first and foremost we focus on our needs and functionality of the product. We want to make high quality training gear that looks cool as well. We really don’t want to pigeon hole our brand by calling it fight gear so we avoid using that term and graphic design elements like pit bulls, griffins, chain link fences, etc.. We hope with this approach, the brand will have broader appeal. That being said, our focus right now is providing stylish and functional training gear for grapplers and MMA fighters.
What is next for Nogi? Any big plans in the works?
We’ve always got things in the works and we’ll be releasing a lot of new product in the coming months including; Gear bags, more fight shorts, more rashguard styles, hats and some women’s products as well!
Anything you would like to say to all of the Nogi supporters out there?
First off, thanks for all the support! The brand has a lot of loyal followers and we’re doing our best to continue the tradition of bringing high quality gear to them. We’ll also be sponsoring a lot of NoGi tournaments and fighters in the coming years as well as a handful of guys fighting in ADCC including Jeff Glover, Tom DeBlass, Sayaka Shioda, David Avellan, Enrico Cocco, Hiroshi Nakamura, Jayson Patino, Justin Rader, Hitomi Nakano, Yoshiyuki Yoshida and Daniel Tabera.
I’d also like to mention Glover’s travels. It’s a new web reality show produced by Budovideos.com and sponsored by Nogi industries starring Nogi premier sponsored athlete, Jeff Glover. The concept of the show is Jeff Glover traveling throughout the country to check out all of the best gyms grappling gyms. So far he’s visited Paragon Jiu Jitsu, Absolute BJJ and the Gracie Barra headquarters. The show is available free at www.youtube.com/budovideosdotcom and anyone interested in grappling should love the show!
Hope you all enjoyed the interview. Don’t forget, Nogi will be streaming the 2009 World BJJ Nogi Championships live on November 8th at Nogi.com