Monthly Archives: November 2010

Killer Apps – Chokes, Armbars and Sweeps

I got a copy of these three apps two of which were given free (armbars and chokes) one of which (sweeps) is currently free on the apps store with the aim of reviewing them as I have done with some others out there on the market. I am reviewing on an iPhone 4 running IOS 4.2.1 (8C148).

This is a fledgling market and really only the Machado Brothers, Stephen Kesting, Darculino and Roy Dean have embraced it fully, with only Roy and Draculino going for a full course offering.

As with all new apps and technologies there are bound to be teething problems and issues so I have taken this into account in this review. It is not the same as reviewing DVD’s, Gi’s or belts as these are all established and should be at that point of perfection, or at least nearing it.

Overview

This is a review of the app suite that killer apps offer in conjunction with Bradon Quick and his online training site.

Before I go any further I am aware that there has been some controversy surrounding Brandon in the past but this is nothing to do with this review I am purely looking at the apps.

There a standard disclaimer at the start of the app, about the risk of the sport and the fact that you take this on yourself and should always be aware but it does need to show you a down arrow or something to suggest how to navigate away from it.

The initial loading and screen is well branded if a little slow to load through some of the screens but this may be down to the need to push sales to keep price low.

Menus

The menu system is functional in each app offering a by the position breakdown

The Armbars app for example offers

Guard
Butterfly
Back
Mount
Knee on Belly

Then a task bar menu with
Home – News – Contact – Library – More

These do what they suggest with the more tab pushing me to sponsors and links to the app on facebook which sadly just would not load when I tried to use it.

There is no branding on this screen just a sparse menu but this is something which could easily be added as the app is updated.

The menus then take you straight to a set of videos with small icon previews which when clicked on first, load a rate our app screen which can become a little tiring as it happens each time you click a video and you may not be ready to rate the app for some time till you have been through it.

Video Content

The videos themselves however are good quality visually. The sound as with any BJJ video, DVD or App I have seen is a bit hollow but that comes from filming in a large matted room.

Where the chokes and armbar (no gi) apps do fall down a little compared to some of the others I have reviewed is that at times you only get to see the technique from one angle which does not always give you all you nee. The sweeps application (with gi) does remedy this somewhat but has a lot less content at the moment.

Also the fact that two are no gi and one is a gi application is a little confusing but I guess it is a case of just growing so everything is covered and I know that they are planning to keep expanding.

Details

So what do you get:

Armbars (no gi) £2.39
35 videos each around a minute and a half in length
Neat organised menu and icon based previews

Chokes (no gi) £2.39
31 videos each around a minute and a half in length
The menu system on this one is a little less well organised but still with previews

Sweeps (gi) Free and if it gets 100 ratings they will update again for free
9 half guard videos from a minute and a half to over seven minutes
1 sub menu and icon based previews of videos

Conclusion

If you are looking to see if the iPhone based app versions of BJJ instructional videos are for you then you cannot go wrong with these apps as the price makes them accessible to all and a very good jumping in point. If you are looking for a full traditional BJJ suite of apps which cover the teachings, ethos and a full curriculum they do not offer that and you should look towards Draculino or Roy Dean’s apps which are of course a good deal more expensive.

The overall feel and look could be improved with a few minor updates and as the apps grow and the library of what is offered grows the apps could do with being standardised. All the apps need the same look and feel and probably to state if you are getting a gi or no gi training library. These are all things that can only really be done with the support of the BJJ community and these apps do deserve that because at the price they do offer a good tool.

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Filed under App Store, BJJ, Brandon Quick, Draculino, iPhone, iTunes, no gi, Reviews

John Goldson Interview

Check out my interview with John on the front page of major website http://www.onthemat.com/

My first to hit like this with the Ross Pettifer one going into print soon.

Many many more to come John my thanks.

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Filed under BJJ, forge, John Goldson, Lagarto, mma

Gi Reviews My Take

As my first Gi review should be out by the weekend of the Tatami Estilo I thought I would explain my ethos.

There are a lot of reviews and reviewers out there and of course it is a very subjective thing so why am I throwing my hat into the ring along side this.

Well it is never that wise to take the first opinion about a product as what is great for one person may not be for another and that is one reason for this.

The second is that I will try and take a different approach, I have of course stated that I will be looking at the Gi for the bigger BJJ guy.

This however entails more than just size, I will be looking at the fit and if it is a good fit in one area but far to big in others which can be an issue, secondly how does it stand up to me and my team mates. A Gi may look and seem strong and robust when used by smaller fighters but what happens when a 20st plus roller is hanging from it under another guy that size, all of a sudden it is a different game. Couple that with the fact that when I shrimp, scoot, roll, warm up and move in my Gi it puts a lot of strain on it. Things tend to wear out quicker and tear more easily when used by someone of considerable size and strength.

This then I guess is the difference that I will bring to reviews, this is a case of, how well does it hold up, if it is expensive is it worth it because it will last ages or does it just look good. As you can be pretty sure that if it holds up to my scrutiny and rolling then it will almost certainly do the same for you.

Does it become uncomfortable as certain areas shrink which may not matter to the average build fighter, does the material degrade and twist, I had one Gi on where the weave actually twisted and the Gi then never felt right.

I guess I am your crash test dummy putting the Gi through the ringer and back again and from that it will give a very good idea of the hardiness as Gi’s are expensive and not something you want to be buying too often, unless you become an addict which is all to easy.

I suggest that you read this sort of review from myself along side the excellent reviews at MEERKATSU’s blog and if you still cannot decide then maybe you are creeping towards becoming an addict like Seymour, myself and may others.

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Draculino BJJ Training – A Library of Jiu Jitsu Techniques

I just got a copy of the subscription iPhone App from Draculino which is free to download, I was also given access to the full Training Videos and Structured Curriculum free from his webmaster Justin who has been amazingly helpful.

I am reviewing on an iPhone 4 running IOS 4.1 (8B117).

This is first iPhone app I have seen which uses a subscription basis backed up by a website http://www.draculinobjjtraining.com/

As with all new apps and technologies there are bound to be teething problems and issues so I have taken this into account in this review. It is not the same as reviewing DVD’s, Gi’s or belts as these are all established and should be at that point of perfection, or at least nearing it.

Overview

The App Icon is of course the well known and very strongly positioned Draculino Vampire style bat logo, once you see this you know who it is and the same for the app.

There is no disclaimer at the start of the app, about the risk of the sport and the fact that you take this on yourself and should always be aware but this seems to be something which varies across apps.

When you access the app you get a strong Draculino image and a link to the site which is good strong branding.

The menu like the blue belt app is very well designed showing:

– Closed Guard
– Half Guard
– Side Control
– Mount
– Rear Mount
– Turtle Guard
– Standing
– Spider Guard
– Open Guard
– Knee on Belly
– Back
– Hand on the Collar Guard
– Outside Hook Guard
– Sit-Up Guard
– Other

The main screen also has little images of each technique along with the description which is a nice touch and gives you a good idea of where the technique is carried out from. This is a point which makes the application stand out initially from others.

The whole thing is set out just as I would want it to be done and is very easy to navigate and use, the fact that the videos are streamed means that you are quicker using this on WiFi but 3G is also a very acceptable speed and the videos do not lag at all.

The videos themselves however are of the very best quality as you would expect from someone who has so embraced the technology. The sound is as good as I have heard on one of these apps and works very well through headphones which I think most people will use when viewing a phone application like this.

Each technique is shown, explained, shown again, then issues and adjustments are looked into before finally showing the technique from all angles. One thing carried over from the Blue Belt App is the bullet point breakdown of the technique and how to do it which is a nice touch before each video. As before each section is as good as you would get from a DVD with the added portability that this format offers you. Couple this with excellent scaling to the screen of an iPhone make it an extremely valuable tool for a BJJ practitioner both new and experienced.

Details
Cost for App : Free for which you see 2 videos

Subscription:
Yearly 2 months free
Training Videos – $250/Year (£155)
Training Videos and Structured Curriculum – $400/Year (£248)

Monthly
Training Videos – $25/Month (£16)
Training Videos and Structured Curriculum – $40/Month (£25)

Plus any data costs
UK Prices correct as of 22/11/2010

So what do you get:

– Currently 365 videos which just keeps growing
– Techniques shot using multiple angles
– Over 20 hours of edited footage
– Both gi and nogi techniques classified into 15 different positions
– Text descriptions accompany each technique highlighting important details
– Full access to the training web site with subscription

Conclusion

It may seem like a lot to outlay on an iPhone app but remember you also get full access too http://www.draculinobjjtraining.com/

This is a massive library of techniques from one of the worlds premier BJJ exponents and covers almost any technique you would want as well as giving you the option to feedback via the website on what you want to see next.

With a download subscription app in the works so you do not have to stream the videos as well as a constantly growing library this is a team who really get the new technology. I doubt you could find anything better from a video tutorial app and the price really is justified as the content will just keep growing, a real must for anyone who can get it.

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Filed under App Store, BJJ, Black Belt, Draculino, iPhone, iTunes, Reviews

The times they are a changing

Well few things to happen this week, 3 very cool iPhone app reviews to come plus an exclusive announcement.

Also will come a new theme as my current one has not gone down well, also a logo is on the way.

Remember the comp to suggest a scoring and rating system for reviews is still open so get thinking.

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Gazzy Parman seminar official flyer

Official flyer for Gazzy Parman seminar many thanks to Karl my talented friend.

Click Here

Will insert image when I can my iPhone won’t allow me too yet

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Filed under Black Belt, forge, Gazzy Parman

Gazzy Parman – seminar Dec 4th

I told you I had some awesome news and here it is. In her FIRST seminar in the north of England The Forge Sheffield welcomes the lady rated as one of the greatest female BJJ exponents ever.

December 4th 2010 cost £30 open to all.

Gazzy’s incredible resume includes the following, do not miss this amazing chance.

Gazzy Parman is a black belt Jiu-Jitsu World Champion and Submission Grappler. Amongst her achievements are:

1st Female Grappler Hall of Fame Inductee
1st Female to referee Jiu Jitsu in the UK
1st Female to do a seminar tour in the UK
1st Female in the world to own a Mixed Martial Arts Gym
1st Female American Black Belt Under Team Nova Uniao
1st Female ADCC Match in History
1st and only Female Iranian-American JJ Black Belt
Most experienced female referee in the world
World No-Gi Champion women’s light weight division
2x Pan American Champion
17-time Grapplers Quest Champion
Abu Dhabi Veteran, 4th place in the World
NAGA women’s PRO Champion
Desert Quest Arizona State Champion

This is something not to be missed Dec 4th £30 open to all

www.theforge-ma.co.uk

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Filed under BJJ, Black Belt, Gazzy Parman, Seminar