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Interview with Vince of Shoyoroll

I know we have already done this, but tell FightTrends readers a bit about your BJJ background and how Shoyoroll came to be.

I have been a jiu-jitsu geek for the last 10 years.   I started jiu-jitsu at the Gracie Academy Torrance back in 1999 and have been hooked since.   We started a clothing brand and called it Shoyoroll not too long after.  In the good old days the brand first started with only a few t-shirts and stickers.  Today Shoyoroll is known for our Kimonos and also our urban art design style of other types of apparel.

 We are now recognized for our kimonos in recent times.  We have been studying the kimono for the last 10 years and watching the evolution since the late 90’s.  I am familiar with many of the kimono brands out there from Lucky, Koral, Atama, Gameness, Vulkun, HCK, Lucky, OTM, Fuji, Torah, KF, Kieko, Machado, Ouano, Etc…

When creating our kimonos, we took all the best elements of each kimono brand and along with some of our own innovations to create our kimono.   For the longest time the kimono industry was stuck using the same standards of kimono manufacturing design from 100 years ago, and using the same templates with not very much change or innovation.   I think in the last 5 years us along with other companies have been pushing the boundaries of making a better and more innovative kimono for the consumer.  This is a key reason we release our kimonos in batches (Example: Batch #6), because we learn something new with every edition we release.   We can always get better and we always have an open ear to our consumers to provide them with better products each and every time.

Tell us about Batch #6 and what went in to creating it.

Well Batch #6 is one of our limited edition releases that landed about a week ago and is about 70% sold out, and sold out in most of the popular sizes.

The Batch #6 design was another version of our lightweight 450gram kimonos.  We released it in a White model with rip stop pants and a blue model with lightweight pants.  We had to release another version of our lightweight 450 series since our previous Batch#5 model was such a success.

Our biggest goal in designing batch #6 was to make a lightweight kimono that was strong, lightweight, and a good weave.  I have been studying lightweight kimonos that are on the market and many of them would either get too messy while training due to the type of weave used or the cuts were made too baggy.

This is why we used a tight knitted 450gram pearl weave fabric.  This is not only a lightweight fabric but also a standard and strong weave fabric that feels good while training.  There are some lightweight fabrics that are used on lapel tops that feel like you are wearing a sheet.   So that is what lead us to designing a solid lightweight kimono both for training and competition.  In batch #6 we also added lightweight rip stop pants to our white model.   We also added another cool feature which was an IPOD/ID pocket inside the jacket for warm ups and to hold your ID during CBJJ Events.  In Batch#6 we added a more and improved firm yet comfortable collar.

These are some of the stand out changes we did from our previous batch to make our kimonos better.   Be on the lookout for our next batch #7.

What BJJ stars can we expect to see rockin the Batch #6?

We will be having a solid team in 2010.  We are locking down people as we speak.  Nothing is yet official but look for a big presence of Shoyoroll at Pan-Ams and Worlds this year! 

So, I am sure everyone is wondering what I have been wondering, whats up with Batch #7?  Any ideas for it and when can we expect to see it?  I know Batch #6 was just released, but your gis are like crack, can’t help myself.

Bud we are working on Batch #7 and Batch #8 as we speak.   We are going back and forth with R&D and sampling some new things.   We will be releasing a few limited editions each quarter.   The design and batch details are not yet finalized.  When we get closer we will be sure to let FightTrends break the news!!!!  But know that we will be making some cool looking gi’s and apparel for 2010 for all our loyal customers and supporters of the movement!!!

I know you talked about looking for a Shoyoroll design studio, any luck with that?

We are close to locking down a lease for the design studio.   We are reviewing it and if all goes well look for our design studio to be in business sometime late next month.  It will be less than 10 minutes away from “The Pyramid” where the world championships is held every year and it will have a bunch of cool little areas.   We will be sure to get you all the details when we get the space.  You gotta check us out!

What new products will Shoyoroll be dropping next?  Some backpacks or gi bags would be sweet.

We will drop a full line in 2010!  Bags, Sweaters, Hats, Shorts, Spandex, Stickers, Sweats, Accessories, Kimonos, Etc….  We are working hard to band out as many new products as possible.

What else do you have to tell us Vince?

I just want thank Cody at FightTrends for finally giving the MMA/Grappling community a cool up to date website on cool and trendy products on the market!   Also be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for all your up to date news on Shoyoroll.   Look for big things in 2010 from our brand.  Thank you to each and every customer who has purchased a gi.  Awesome customers are what make companies so great and without their support and feedback, SYR would not be where it is at today!  Thank You all for your continuous support for the SHOYROLLL Movement!  Please visit us at

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FightTrends Interview With Hayabusa

I know it’s been way too long since we have had an interview around here, so I decided to get you all a good one.  With the recent success of the Hayabusa Mizuchi line I thougt Hayabusa would make for a great interview, let me know if I was wrong.

So here we go!

Could you give us some background on Hayabusa and how it all got started?

Hayabusa came to be with a realization that the fight products that were available in the market did not meet the true needs of MMA fighters. Performance is critical in the fighting world and what was missing was a line that would be 100% dedicated to helping fighters maximize their full athletic potential. There was a serious need for advanced equipment and apparel designed specifically for intense combat. With that in mind, steps were taken to ensure that the very best quality and most functional products could be taken from ideation, to blue prints, to prototyping and testing into top notch development with only the finest materials and manufacturing processes. In a nutshell, that is what inspired the Hayabusa ideal.

Your Mizuchi line has really taken off, can you tell us about the line and what has made it such a success?

The Mizuchi line became an instant success at launch because it was developed based on a combination of customer feedback and in depth analysis. We listened to what the loyal supporters of Hayabusa were saying, what they wanted and we delivered. We released the Mizuchi line with strong conviction since we knew the products would surpass expectations based on all elements, design, function and look!

You just released the Red Label line which is a limited run and made exclusively for MMAWarehouse. Can we expect to see any other limited edition lines from Hayabusa in the near future? I know of at least 3 people who would buy a FightTrends limited edition line. What do ya say?

There is a very good chance you will see more limited edition lines and designs from Hayabusa. I would even recommend that people put forward ideas on what they would like to see from us and I assure you that the feedback will be taken to heart and reviewed by our product development team. As for a limited edition FightTrends line… I’ll get our team looking into that right away, but I wouldn’t hold your breath 😉

What is next for Hayabusa, any new products or big plans in the works?

There is some really exciting stuff coming down the pipeline. Some big innovations are in the works and I wish I could go into details now but all I can say at this time is that you’ll just need to wait and see. One thing for sure is expect even bigger things from Hayabusa in the near future.

Anything else you would like to say?

Thanks FightTrends for the interview and thanks to everyone who supports Hayabusa and to the fighters that make MMA such an amazing sport.

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FightTrends Interview With Daniel Muirhead of WARHEAD Headwear

What’s up FightTrends fans? Since my bald head has been freezing this week I thought I’d interview someone who could give me a hand with that. Enter Daniel Muirhead from WARHEAD Headwear.

Daniel, what exactly is WARHEAD Headwear?

DM: WARHEAD is the first MMA-inspired headwear brand to tap into the rapidly rising MMA apparel niche. Our products are a combination of premium materials and top quality construction. Our team is dedicated to bringing MMA fans the best range of headwear possible. The inaugural collection focuses on core headwear styles including stretch-fitted baseball caps, military styles and truckers. The Spring 2010 assortment offers something for everyone, regardless what your personal style is.

Besides keeping soon-to-be bald guys like myself warm in the winter, what was the reason and inspiration for starting WARHEAD? Do you have a background in the apparel industry?

DM: Our team’s background is a combination of both fashion and mixed martial arts industry experience. Each member brings something unique to the table, which complements the group as a whole. To top things off, we’re all fanatics for headwear and combat sports – always have been, always will be. Bottom line, we’re truly into streetwear fashion and MMA. WARHEAD is the direct result of this combined interest in both industries.

It seems like you have 3 additional models dropping soon. Any timeframe on those?

DM: The Slugger Massive style is currently our core model that’s been making waves as of late. We’ve just released a limited edition batch of Slugger Massive caps at select retailers, including, in time for the Holidays. The other three core styles? The Cage Trucker, Militant and Slugger will be available in early Spring 2010. Feedback thus far has been phenomenal on the entire range.

Do you have any other products in the works?

DM: Our core focus for the meantime is on Headwear. This is what we specialize in, so we’re dedicated to designing and delivering the best product possible for fight fans. We also have some special projects in the works for the new year and beyond, so stay tuned.

What does it mean to you to see fighters in the UFC wearing WARHEAD?

DM: It means a lot to us. We’ve been huge fight fans for a very long time, so to see some of our favorite fighters wearing WARHEAD is definitely a dream come true. WARHEAD has been linked to a number of great UFC fighters recently including Jon Jones, Matt Hamill, Pat Barry, Eric Schafer and Pat Cote. We believe in building relationships with athletes who are proud to wear the brand, inside and outside of the cage. We’ve worked hard to get to where we’re at, so to finally see our efforts come to fruition is exciting.

WARHEAD seems to be growing super fast, why do you believe that is?

DM: We have a strong network of talented people in and around the industry, who’ve helped us get to where we’re at. Were truly grateful for our supporters, including fighters and fans of the product. Most importantly, we’re true fans of the sport and believe in the growth of the industry as a whole. Pure passion for something is was separates the real from the fake.

Thanks for speaking with us today Daniel. Is there anything else you would like to add?

DM: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, it’s greatly appreciated. Be on the lookout for WARHEAD in the new year on some of the best fighters out there. Feel free to check out the new Spring 2010 collection at

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FightTrends Interview With Ryan Loco of Jaco Clothing

So today is a very special day for FightTrends, we have below Z-list internet celebrity Ryan Loco of Jaco Clothing here with us. 

Thanks for being with us Ryan.  I will try to keep this interview professional, but I just watched The Loco Life 15 and I think it rubbed off on me so it’s going to be a challenge. 

First off, can you give us some info on Jaco and how it all started? 

We are the new kid on the block…the Donnie Wahlberg if you will. Jaco is an action sports lifestyle brand…we try to bring high quality, functional clothing and training equipment to the MMA world. Each character n the “Jaco” logo represents a brand element. Respect, Strength, Courage, and the most notable, our logo, Tenacity.

Jaco has taken off quicker than most other fight brands that I have seen, what do you think has made that possible? 

Well, we’ve had incredible support from athletes and trainers in the industry. Once they try the Resurgence fight short or the Guardian protective cup, they realize they are putting something special on. Plenty of athletes have told us that they won’t wear anything else now. We have been fortunate that some of MMA’s elite truly believe in the product, such as the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto Machida, Brandon Vera, and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. You factor that in, along with a strong internet and marketing presence and a recognizable logo, and here we are.

So I just watched the Loco Life 15 and I thought it was ridiculous that you had to fly all of the way to Atlanta, and then to Kansas City, just to drop off 2 pairs of fight shorts.  I couldn’t believe how ridiculous that was, and then I saw the Fight Magazine tattoo on your arm….I assume Whiskey is the culprit in this decision? 

First off, thanks for watching, Feel free to tell everyone you know…and tell them twice. Back in the day, bourbon used to be the main culprit in every thing I did. However, now I don’t drink, and I’ve just started the Paleo Diet, so I don’t really eat either. Friggin’ cavemen.  But in all seriousness, I live for the adventure. When Gabe at Jaco told me they needed fight shorts delivered that night to Kansas City, I jumped at the chance. There are people who wake up every day, walk into an office they hate, and sit and stare at a monitor for 9 hours, waiting for that clock hand to hit 5pm. There’s no way I would pass up the chance to be able to film myself flying across country for Jaco. Plus, Cavalcante wouldn’t have had any shorts for the fight, so it had to be done. We can’t have our boy fighting in underwear. We save that for downtime here in the office.

You originally worked for Triumph*United, and now with Jaco Clothing.  How did you get involved in the industry? 

Everyrthing can be blamed on Evan Shoman of He would go drop his drawings off to fighters, and since he didn’t want to drive alone, I would go along with him. Since I am both handsome and charming, I became friends with a lot of the athletes. Met my hetero lifemate Mayhem Miller at Joe Rogan’s comedy show in La Jolla one night, and the rest was history. MMA is a giant industry, but it’s also really small. Luckily, I found my own niche and ran with it. What that niche is, I have no idea. I still haven’t figured out what I do, really. I feel bad for my mother when people ask her what her first born son does. I think she just tells people I’m in the Coast Guard and lost at sea.

Do any Jaco fighters have fights coming up soon? 

Here is where I would plug fights, but I know how MMA and injuries work…the minute I do, a fight gets changed. So I’ll just say this; show some love to our Jaco boys. Lyoto Machida, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Brandon Vera, Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante. Plus, all the local guys at local shows, supporting Jaco. We are thankful for each and every one of them. We have a couple big stars that we have our eyes on that should definitely turn some more heads. We’ve only just begun, I cant wait.

Any new gear or clothing in the works over at Jaco? 

We have new tees coming out, we’ve added a variety of colors. Too often all you see is just black and white. I petitioned for us to do a paisley Jaco tee, but it got shot down. Despite that, I’m excited for the new colorways. In fact, I’m wearing one right now, and I’ve already been complimented on it. Sure, it was someone that works for Jaco, but a compliment is a compliment. Also, we are working on some new training equipment that is going to be bananas. That’s right, bananas. I’ve seen some samples come in and they had to call security to keep me from grabbing them. We will keep everyone updated on the Jaco Clothing website,, so make sure to bookmark it…tweet about it…blog about it…do what ya gotta do.

Since I am sure you are tired of my lame quips at your quasi-celebrity (or is it pseudo?) status, I’ll turn it over to you.  Anything you would like to say? 

Man, I’ve heard every lame quip there possibly is, you haven’t even scratched the surface. You gotta step your game up! Just wanna say thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to interview me. Check out and for all your Ryan Loco and Loco Life needs. A big thank you to Jaco Clothing. They keep a roof over my head, and allow me to make stupid videos and travel across the country at the drop of a hat. I truly live a blessed life, I don’t have a single complaint.  Thank you Jaco, Evan Shoman, and Pat Benatar…love truly is a battlefield. Thank you for your insight.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to meet with us Ryan, good luck with the future tattoo removal.  Feel free to stop by and make fun of my soon-to-be baldness anytime. 

All right FightTrends readers, be sure to head over to and catch up on the Loco Life and also catch Ryan Loco on, and on TapouT Radio every Monday and Thursday at 6PST.  Big thanks to Ryan for making this such a fun interview and having fun with my stupid jokes!

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FightTrends Interview with Egor of Redstar BJJ Fightwear

Well fight fashion enthusiasts, today we have Egor, founder and CEO of Redstar Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Fighgear. Redstar is a newer company specializing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gis that has really taken off. He has stupidly agreed to let me pick his brain and annoy him for a while so here goes.

Egor, why don’t you give us the sob story of how Redstar got started and what it is all about.

Redstar BJJ and Fightwear is a child of my passion to the sport of Brazilian jiu jitsu and mma born and raised in Toronto, Canada. I have done a few different styles of martial arts since I was 12 years old including sambo, judo, boxing, krav maga; but when I started practicing BJJ it changed…well, not my life…but a lot in my life. I fell in love with the sport, with its uniqueness, with its complexity, with its history. I do remember watching a VHS tape rented at Blockbuster with some skinny dude from Brazil wearing a full kimono going against a giant guy, and I did bet $20 against him – we all know now, it was a bad move by me. That night stuck in my head for years to come. Years later I started training BJJ and never stopped.

I’ve always had passion for something new, something that makes me get up in the morning and go to work, and something that makes me tick. I’ve been in the creative and marketing business for many years, and one day after evening BJJ practice, about 3 years ago, I got home and told my wife that I want to start Kimura Fightwear (yes, Jeff, true story). Her response was – yeah sure, with your 2 other businesses you have ”enough” time. But I thought why not. I love the sport and I want to be part of the community. The sport is still relatively young, especially in Canada, and why do the most popular brands have to come from Brazil and not North America? I blindly thought – how hard can it be? Come up with a cool name, design a cool logo, get some manufacturer from Pakistan or China, copy someone else’s kimono and there ya go. Well, I could not be more wrong!

And how wrong I was. Oh my…. It was crazy, dozens of samples from different manufacturers, hundreds and hundreds of dollars spent on what I called later – short sleeve pajamas. So, I quit the whole idea and decided to start from scratch, from my house. I bought a sewing machine and started making my own patterns. You should have seen it – it was comedy. First versions were just terrible. But with time, and with great help from my wife the 1st real prototype was born. It took “only” about 14 months. Good thing about it is that it went across the world to the 1st Abu Dhabi Pro World Cup worn by a good friend of mine, world silver medalist, the winner of Canadian Abu Dhabi qualifiers Louie Cerqua. Great guy, great friend and most importantly he gave me great reviews of the gi.

From that moment I knew that there is no way back and I really want to continue this.

Where did Redstars name come from?

Well, I wanted it to be something simple and unique; and make sure it represented something significant from my life. I grew up in the country where we saw red stars everywhere. It represented many things. Not the propaganda crap which I grew up with, and believe me I grew up in the world where Rambo movies were blacklisted, and where a daily drill on how to avoid nuclear blast by jumping under the school desk were normal….give me a break. To me it represented strength, honor, respect, blood and discipline. There are lots of different stars around the world, around the world of brands and teams – for me it was REDSTAR.

What sets Redstar apart from other BJJ kimono companies out there?

Commitment to quality and true satisfaction of our clients. Men and women whom wear our product and use it on daily basis. These are “2+2”s in any business. If your customer is not satisfied, your business is going to fail, guaranteed. I am here not for a quick buck. Redstar is here to stay for years to come. To make sure it happens we have to make sure, you, the readers of this are happy, which will make us happy. I also try to be a big part of community.

We try sponsoring young and upcoming athletes who believe in the sport, try hard to make sport grow, try to compete and win. You don’t have to be world champion black belt to be on our team. Show us that you care, show us that you serious and we’ll help you out with gear as much as we can. People that know me well will tell you that that’s exactly what I do.

We try to make sure that our gis fit you perfectly. We do our best at custom tailoring sleeves and pants for all our customers.

For such a new company, what is it that has made Redstar gain traction so quickly?

Again… I’d say quality of product and our commitment to be part of the community. And remember it wasn’t such short period of time. From the start to the first batch of 400+ gis sold and given for free, mostly in Canada, took almost 2 years of hard work, thousands of dollars, research, testing and production.

So, that’s pretty much it – the balance between hard work, quality and pricing. And believe me it’s not easy to maintain the quality and our pricing. I promise we’ll do our best to make sure our customers are happy.

Oh yeah…I guess the design had to do something with success too… haha.

What is in the works for Redstar? Any plans to expand beyond just Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gis?

Yes absolutely. I am working very hard on all no-gi gear. Shorts, rashguards – long and short sleeve, and IBJJF approved rashguards are coming soon. Like gis, I am not taking an easy road I am investing my time and money into it, and my sponsored fighters, friends and me are testing the prototypes. They’re giving me their feedback and based on that I try to improve the product. So far I went through 3 rounds of shorts and 4 rounds of rashguards. We’re very close.

A new model of the gi is coming out soon as well. It’s going to be called … stay tuned for this. Light and improved pearl weave fabric with light but strong pants. Improved fit and design, like no others.

We’re also working on tshirts. Unique styles for our tshirts are a must. Anyone these days can draw couple of skulls and barbwire and print a shirt. We really try to communicate a true spirit of Redstar in our designs – unique designs reflecting soviet ideology in a non propaganda way. Strength, pride, respect – that’s’ what the Redstar is all about. We want to stay away from the skull-othon mainstream and give our customers something unique and stylish.

Anything else you would like to mention?

Well, I would like to express special thanks to my wife for the enormous support and help during the start of Redstar. Without her it would never have happened.

I would like to thank everyone who supported me in the beginning. Special thanks go to Nova Uniao Budokan BJJ team and my instructor Cesar Rezek; Mark Stables and MECCA gym; Alaina Hardie and of course Fight Planet Canada.

If you want to talk to me, order product or any other inquiries email me at Or join us on Facebook, just search for Redstar BJJ.

Thanks everyone,


Big ups to Egor for wasting his time speaking with me.  Be on the lookout for a new website from Egor as well.  Let us know who you would like to see interviewed and we will do our best to make that happen. 

Posted on 6 Comments Interview with Six Deuce Clothing

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.

Posted on 2 Comments Interview with Ted of Tri-Coasta

I was recently able to hook up with Ted over at Tri-Coasta and pick his brain about their new line of clothing and get some more info on what Tri-Coasta is all about and where they are going. Here is what he had to say:

So what’s the story with Tri-Coasta, how did it all get started and what does it mean?

From the literal beginning, all three of us were very successful in private labeling and consulting for premium brands. In March of 2009, the three of us met to discuss launching a new brand we could call our own. A brand in which integrity, passion and originality would not be compromised.

So we first prepared the collection by offering very sophisticated designs, basically fine art oriented. The immediate response from the public was that they liked it, and that it kind of reminded them of Affliction. Now, I have nothing against Tom and the great products he’s putting out, but we didn’t want that response AT ALL. So we scrapped the entire collection and started from scratch (literally every single dot and line is drawn by hand via WACOM tablets).

So we got back at it and came up with 3 themes that no other brand really locked in. I can’t share just yet what they are, but it’s pretty easy to figure out when you look at the common themes in the new collection. A hint is to think “urban renaissance”.

Beyond that we love everything about what we do, and feel blessed that we have been welcomed with open arms into MMA. I want to give a special thanks to: Mika Casey, John Pomykala, Joe Lauzon and Noah Thomas for going out of their way to make sure we found success from day one. There are so many more people to thank, but I don’t want to make a mistake and leave someone out by accident. Either way those people know who they are, they will forever have my gratitude.

You have a ton of new shirts coming out. Tell us a bit about that.

Well, consider this version 2.5 of our series. The point of this series is to offer a full range of elements that draws individual fans to the sport. For the longest time I’ve been seeing nothing but skulls, brass knuckles and bloody fists. Now, I don’t know about everyone else, but what in the blazing hell do those things have to do with MMA or fighting spirit? In my opinion it’s a slap in the face to genuine fans who are looking for something that represents what they love about the sport.

I believe we accomplished this with the new series.

Any plans to start making more than just shirts?

We have already finished developing long-sleeves and hoodies. Still on-going are shorts, rash-guards and other accessories. I don’t have a release date on the latter, we’re pacing ourselves.

Whoever designs your shirts has some crazy talent, what is the design process like?

Other than the fact that everything is hand drawn, I can’t really say anything.

Whats the next step for Tri-Coasta?

Going premium, and expanding our Tri-Coasta Classic private label program. That’s what we’re good at, and that’s where we are headed.

Anything you want say to all the Tri-Coasta fans out there?

Of course. Our message to them would be that we appreciate their support, and thank them for allowing us to do what we love every day. We promise to repay you all by giving back to the sport, and continuously putting out even better quality and designs with every series. We <3 MMA. Thanks for meeting with us today Ted and good luck with your new line. Keep an eye open for the new Tri-Coasta website comming soon.

You can purchase Tri-Coasta t-shirts at

Posted on 2 Comments Interview with Dave of Nogi Industries 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 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 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

Posted on 7 Comments

Shoyoroll Interview

Hey all, this is Cody with and I am going to be talking with Vince Quitugua, owner and founder of Shoyoroll.

Cody: Tell me a bit about yourself and Shoyoroll.

Vince: Shoyoroll started back in 2000. It started as a hobby with myself and a bunch of friends. We were all fans of the UFC in the 90’s. Royce Gracie got us inspired to learn jiu-jitsu after we watched the Rickson Gracie choke video and old school Gracie Torrance challenge matches. We then began training jiu-jitsu in the late 90’s. We were a bunch of friends from the islands, Guam to be exact, learning armbars and triangles. After you learn a few moves, you get inspired real quick and you get hooked on the lifestyle. That is how we got linked to the sport.

Cody: There must not have been too many places to train Jiu-Jitsu in Guam back then right?

Vince: No. Guam only had 1 or 2 schools back in the 90’s. A Purebred gym and a Relson Gracie affiliate school. It was not until I moved to Los Angeles in ’99 that I really got to train and experience Jiu-Jitsu to the fullest.

Our roots are in surfing. So we got inspired by that industry since surfing and skating sets the standard for apparel in extreme sports. I’m a normal Jiu-Jitsu geek that loves the sport and MMA. I’m a normal dude like most people, just enjoying both sports grow and evolve. I feel blessed that I’m able to be a part of the industry.

Cody: Give me a little more background on Shoyoroll and how it started.

Vince: Shoyoroll Brand started as a very small company. We started with 5-10 iron on t-shirts printed from my friends HP printer. No real demand… just a cool name and I always wanted to start a clothing company. Coming out of high school, you never know what you’re really doing. So we gave it a shot and started very slow. We were inspired by Jiu-Jitsu and that is where the word Shoyoroll originated from, get on the mat and SHOw YOur ROLL.

For the longest time we made zero money. To be honest, we struggled for probably the first 6 years to try to even break even on our investment. We had stuff out there, but it was never enough to keep the brand going and it was only known in certain areas where friends could push and promote the product. We were kids that knew nothing about business and were just trying our best to understand it. All we knew is we liked the sport and we were not going to give up on our label and our movement.

Cody: And now you have one of the most popular gis out there. I even heard of people buying them on Ebay for close to $300. What is it about the Shoyoroll gis that people go crazy for?

Vince: Wow, that’s a bold statement lol. There are so many kimono companies out there now-a-days.

Cody: A little bold maybe lol.

Vince: Our gi’s are getting popular and are in high demand. I guess it’s because we don’t mass produce kimonos like other companies. Gi’s selling on EBAY for $300 plus…unreal. I just feel blessed that people are liking the product we are putting out.

To answer the question of why people like SYR gi’s and going crazy, I think its a few things…
1. We listen to our customers and welcome feedback. All feedback is taken into consideration, everything is taken to the drawing board.
2. We believe in customer service.
3. We provide the best possible product to the market.
4. We are consistently looking at better ways to improve our product for our consumers.
Those are probably the ones that stand out.

Cody: Do you have plans to release a new run of gis anytime soon?

Vince: We just finalized two new models for the winter season. They will be a limited edition release with a few extra cool features from our previous batch. We are accepting preorders now at

Cody: Can’t wait. Any idea how many will be released in the US? Gotta make sure I buy one quick this time.

Vince: We are looking to up our quantities just a little bit because we know we have missed a ton of people who just can’t get their hands on the product. We are looking to release 300 in the US on our next run. Not finalized yet, but should get the exact number soon. About 50-100 extra per style than our previous batch.

We will also send some GI’s out to people who support our MOVEMENT.

Cody: You want to elaborate on the Shoyoroll Movement?

Vince: Sure. The Shoyoroll MOVEMENT is a group of people who push and promote the brand in one way or another. Anybody who has worn our product at one time or another, they are a form of our movement.

We also have an active team that pushes our MOVEMENT and helps promote our product.
From friends of the brand like Kenny & Keith Florian, JT Torres, Ryan Hall, Bill Cooper, Jeff Glover, Darren U., Abe Ane, Luke Stewert, Chris C., Mendes Bros, Braga Neto, Sim Go, Nohara, Crazy Tim, Drysdale, H-Worth, Jared W., Scully, Kayron Gracie, Popovitch, Rani, Gil Melendez… Just to name a few man. The list goes on and on….. anybody who wears SYR product. We appreciate each and every one of you. One person does not make our brand, It’s our customers and the movement behind it.

Cody: Pretty awesome group of guys in that list. SYR really seems to be taking off.
So what is next for Shoyoroll?

Vince: We are designing a few new products for next year. We are working on some new cool shorts, new concepts on kimonos, new shirt designs and concepts and new bags. Hopefully, a full line in 2010. We are also planning to open our first design studio in Los Angeles County early next year. We want to continue to push the standards of kimonos and also introduce different products for our customers on a regular basis.

Cody: I know everyone is looking forward to your next run of kimonos. You are going to have people beating down the doors when you open your design studio. You better not release that address!

Vince: lol. We try to get to all our customers as fast as possible. We hope our next kimonos will make our existing customers and our new customers happy. We are excited for the new batch coming out. We are releasing belts and stand alone pants, customers have been screaming for these products and we are finally able to meet the demand. We are also introducing another brand new size to the industry

Cody: What size is that?

Vince: A2H (Husky) for guys around 5’6-5’10 / 210-240.

Cody: That should be a popular size. There are a lot of those guys out there for sure.

Vince: Our A3 slim was a success, so we are trying to make one more size that is lacking in the kimono industry. We hope it works for the guys out there that are a bit huskier and not tall. This hopefully prevents them from having to buy an A4 and take it to the tailor because it’s too long

Cody: They can’t wait, I am sure. Thanks for taking the time to talk with us today. Anything you want to say to the Shoyoroll supporters out there?

Vince: Thank you to for offering our industry a site to go and check out all the new cool products on the market. Thank you to all our customers who have purchased our products in the past. We appreciated your support. If you don’t know be sure to check out our products at BUDOVIDEOS.COM , NHBGEAR.COM, AND FIGHTPLANET.CA (EXCLUSIVE CANADA) retailer. Look for Shoyoroll Brand to make a splash in 2010 with some new products. We are also looking to get our product out to Japan, UK, Spain, and Australia in 2010 as well. Be sure to check out our new and improved site at WWW.SHOYOROLL.COM.

Cody: That’s all she wrote fight fans. Keep your head on a swivel for our upcoming interviews with Tri-Coasta and Nogi.

If you enjoyed this interview then please, ReTweet it and let your friends know!