Gi review: Shoyoroll Comp Lite XII

Overall impression and fabric

Had a good experience with Shoyoroll Count but as many gis, it ended up shrinking so I decided to try the A3S Comp Lite instead. The gi was huge when I tried it on, but as I new from previous experience (my Ouano with rip stop pants shrank a whole size), it has already shrank substantially so I can wear it to training (I am 5.11 or 182 cm). The positive thing is that it will be competition legal for a long time.

There are basically three new SYR Comp lite gis available (black/yellow, white/red and the blue/red Uniblue). The problem in getting one (outside Ebay) is that they are, as normal, sold out and only 100 were made of colour scheme. However, I anticipate that the Shoyoroll light fabric will be used in future gis as well, making this review worth while.

Being a competition gi, the jacket is very light. There are no exact details revealed on the fabric but the weight can not be more than 450gr (or even less). It seems to be a pearl weave. The jacket is super soft but sturdy compared to most light weight jackets I've tried on. I am now training in hot weather and the gi feels great and doesn't crack open my skin. This in turn helps against skin infections etc.

The pants are rip stop pants, which in my opinion is a shame because SYR cotton pants are perhaps the best gi pants out there. Of course, rip stops are slightly lighter. For rip stops, these ones are pretty good though, as they don't have the "shine" of Atama mundials and some other rip stops
The fit and sizing

The gi has probably the longest pants I've ever owned. Fortunately they shrink quite a bit, and the process is still on-going. As you can see, the A3S is designed for tall lanky guy but I can make it my size by washing in hot weather and actually have a longer life for that than an A2 (being 5.11 and 184 pounds) Another option would be to get an A3 and hope the wideness will shrink. So, please not that A3S is longer than A3.

Measurements of my own gi (please notice that these were taken after 5 washes)

Key issues with fit

- The pants are super slim and long. If you're like that, they are one the best options out there
- The jacket is very slim fit. It resebles and A3 Keiko Raca with longer sleeves (at least for now)

For consistency, I compare the fit to Gameness Pearl again. Both gis are size A3 (SYR being a slim). The sleeves are much longer but still slimmer and have a narrower cuff. They are roughly as wide from the gut..

The pants really have a lot less room around the behind and thigh areas. Again, not for people who have really strong legs or short legs. The pant legs are clearly longer than in the Gameness A3. The pant width is similar


The jacket has good stiching, but there clearly are issues with the pants..

The collar is slightly thicker than Gameness. Although it is thicker, it feels softer and easier to twist.

The sleeve cuff length is 17,2 cm. This is super narrow for a gi this size. Only other gis that compare are the Atama ones..

The pant chord is pretty much the same as the Ouano Competition gi and other SYRs have. It is the bungee cord style but really doesn't come undone.


+ Jacket fabric is really comfortable and light

+ Slim size is a nice touch but it has really long pant legs

+ Nice colour scheme
- Rip stop pants have stiching issues

- Lack of new design apart from side patches

Overall grade 9-/10

Training with Robson Moura yesterday

Yesterday, we had Robson Moura visiting our academy. There were people from many academies attending. I noticed at least Royce Gracie, Brazilian Power Team and Reinaldo Ribeiro team present. What was also great is that there were 7 black belts on the mat.

The training consisted of:
- warm up with mostly hip movement and inverting drills
- technique section covering 4 techniques from spider guard with a collar grip
- a question and answer section at the end

I did the techniques with a local brown belt and the techniques suited me great. I play a lot of open guard and like to invert etc. but rarely spider guard (bicep control) which we covered now. What is usually bugging me with pure spider guard is the lack of distance control with out a collar grip, De La Riva hook etc. This was not a problem this time as the version we went through used a spider control on one side and a same side collar grip on the other side (leg free). We went through an arm bar, a triangle from oma plate type control, a sweep from failed triangle and a spin under sweep when the opponent posts up his far leg

I like the fact that he showed all the techniques from one guard position. This enables the student to really start experimenting the guard because he/she has a complete system to start with.

I asked a question during Q&A about how to defend when opponen underhooks you while you're playing deep half guard. I've tried the reptilian sweep numerous times (from Glover's dvd) but I usually get stuck. He said that I should try not to let him isolate the arm by holding on to pants if I can while going for his sleeve with my hand that is hugging his leg. Once I get a sleeve grip on his underhooking arm, I can push it to the outside (over his trapped leg) to off-balance him severely.

Note to self: I really have 2 good little techniques that I've picked up during past 2 months that I should film. They are a mounted triangle escape and a way to counter posture defense against a triangle attempt


Robson Moura seminar next week

Robson Moura is coming from Florida to teach in Portugal next week. Definetly worth popping by if you're in Cascais or the Lisbon area. After all, there aren't that many 7 time world champions out there. I will be attending and will report how it went.

I've seen some of Robson's instructionals produced by groundfighter and they had really interesting techniques:


Just recently before hearing about the seminar, I have watched his tough nogi matches over and over against one of my idols Jeff Glover (the other probably being Bill Cooper and Terere). In ADCC 2011 Jeff was able to submit Robson with a guillotine after a tight match where he had to use innovative half guard escapes. However, here is an older match between the 2.



Useful Portuguese for BJJ

As I am struggling to sometimes understand what the teacher or other people say in class when they speak Portuguese, my training partner wrote me a vocabulary on most useful words for BJJ training in Portugal or Brazil for that matter. He did a nice handout with pictures too but I can't scan it. Hope these will help you on your training trips etc...

Basic movements:


Puxar=pull (Puxe is often heard, might get confusing because sound like "Push" in English)





Raspar=to sweep (raspagem=a sweep)


Pegar as costas=back control

Ponte sobre o ombro ou barrigada=bridge

Cem quilos/kilos=side mount

Passa a guarda=pass the guard




Vira de 4=turtle

Fuga de quadril=hip escape/shrimp

Baiana=double leg


Joelho na barriga=knee on belly

Body parts:


I found these words to be amongst the most useful while training in Portugal (I guess in Brazil they would be the same)


Gi review: Ouano Premium Competition gi

Overall impression and fabric

Decided to do a review on the Ouano Premium Competition Light Gi this time. I heard of Ouano the first time approx 5 years ago when Demian Maia was wearing one in his seminar. It had the old design of a green bodybuilder man with a circle "O" on the sleeve. Looked really cool. Here is what the old logo looked like

After that Ouano made the 99 gi and after that the started experimenting with new designs such as the Premium Competition Gi. The gi comes in three different colour schemes and I am reviewing the black gi with green stiching (others being the white gi with orange stiching and blue gi with yellow stiching)

As the name suggests, this gi is clearly designed for competition, it has a fairly light and tight fitting top and very light rip stop pants. The fabric of the jacket is a 450 gram pearl weave, so the weight corresponds to for example most Shoyoroll's and roughly the Gameness feather gi at 475 grams. The collar is made of EVA foam and is covered with rip stop fabric. The gi has a nice Ouano patch on the chest. When I say nice, I mean I didn't tear it off.

Although the jacket fabric is similar to for example SYR Count in weight, it is much coarser after washing than the SYR, Gameness or Atama single weave for that matter. Although I don't like course fabric (who likes a Krugans rubbing against the skin?) the Ouano jacket is at least rock sold and I don't see it breaking down.

The pants are rip stop pants, and probably the thinnest and lightest rip stops I've ever encountered. The pants have some enbroidery low on the pant leg but it is totally competition legal.

The fit and sizing
I found Ouano's sizing chart to be very exact. However, I think the gi and the pants shrank a lot although their website says different. Anyways, I don't mind the gi shrinking because at the end the sizing was spot on.

Measurements of my own gi (please notice that these were taken after many many washes)

Key issues with fit
- The pants are made quite slim and remind me a bit of Shoyoroll A3S rip stop pants. If you have thick legs, these are not the pants for you

- The jacket is of fairly slim fit design as well. Even the sleeves are narrow but quite long for an A3 gi.

I decided to compare the gi to the Gameness Pearl because they are both competition gis with rip stop pants although the Gameness is slightly heavier. Comparing the jackets we see that the Gameness has shorter but wider sleeves. The helm of the Gameness is also longer

The pants really have a lot less room around the behind and thigh areas. Again, not for people who have really strong legs or short legs. The pant legs are clearly longer than in the Gameness A3

Details First of all, the stiching on the gi is pretty much immaculate. No loose strings or crooked lines anywhere.

The collar thickness is similar to most rip stop collars I've seen. But because the fabric is harder, the collar might be slightly more difficult to manipulate than the Gameness rip stop collar

The sleeve cuff length is 17,3 cm which is on the narrower side of sleeves. Very fitting for a competition gi

The pant chord was pretty ridiculous when I got the gi. Had to cut like a meter of it. This would be ok, but the chord might start to come undone if I didn't put a big knot on it. It kinda reminds me of a bungee cord, but stays tied pretty well actually.

+ The gi is light and slim which means it kinda delivers what it promises

+ High quality stiching

- Material a bit too coarse for my liking. Might work better with people who wear rash guards under the gi

- Weird pant chord

- Had to shrink the gi first

I'd maybe go for SYR with rip stop pants. On the other hand, the stiching quality on the SYRs might be worse depending on the batch. Also, if you need a gi now..

If you think this gi is cool (which it kinda is), just watch me lose in the mundial wearing this gi which takes a bit of the coolness away :). Might save you some money

Overall grade 8+/10


Kimura mouse trap

 Been focusing on take downs and escapes lately, but as I've been recently caught a few times by the kimura/straight armbar with hands combination, I decided to just take one more look at this basic submission series. Here it is, explained by Lloyd Irvin.


Portugal Grand Slam 2012 BJJ tournament

I really wanted to get some more competitions in after the worlds. I guess it is difficult training sometimes without a clear target such as a competition.

Now it seems by prayers have been answered and there is going to be a nice competition just a few train stops from my house in Oieras on June 30th. There are both individual series (including Masters and juveniles) and team series. The competition is organised by the Portuguese Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation and also foreigners are allowed to compete.

More information and how to sign up at: http://www.fpjjb.com/index.php

Mendes brothers raw chocolate shake

Just saw this recipe on the Mendes brothers that they say they use when cutting weight for tournaments. It utilises the old trick of using non-sugar cacao powder so that you might think you're eating something unhealthy when in fact it is very good for you. It is also rich in antioxidants

Raw Chocolate Banana Shake

makes 2 shakes

2 cups frozen ripe bananas, chopped before freezing

2 heaping spoonfuls of raw cacao powder

2-3 Tbsp raw salted almond butter

1 1/2cups raw almond milk

Dash cinnamon

1/4 cup crushed ice
Blend. Serve!

note: if you don’t have “frozen” bananas, you can still make this shake — but add in another scoop of ice and expect to have more of a smoothie consistency, rather than a frozen shake

Here is another good recipe that puts in a little honey or syrup. I guess this is the beginner version

Chocolate shake beginner version

1 frozen banana

2 tablespoons of cacao powder
1 avocado

Few tablespoons of honey or maple syrup

Dash of sea salt

add Ice and put in a blender


Trip to California part 4: Quick visit to San Francisco and training at Bay jiu jitsu

After spending a few days driving up the coast from Long Beach I finally arrived in San Francisco. The city was actually super nice and imo probably one of the best if not the best city for an urban holiday. A lot of nice views, restaurants and bars (and of course the wine country). No car needed..

I only did one training session in SF and that was at Bay Jiu Jitsu. Would have wanted to do 2 there but a wine tour to Napa Valley got into way. Also would have liked to see what Kurt Osiander's place looked like but it was quite far from where I was staying.

Bay Jiu Jitsu website

I wish I had been to Bay Jiu Jitsu one month later because they will be hosting a game changer seminar in the beginning of July with Jeff Glover, Lucas Leite and Buchecha. That is one absolute world champ and probably 2 out of 3 top half guards in the world with Glover and Leite (imo Caio Terra is the 3rd)

The training went pretty smooth despite a lot of travelling. We did  a bried but efficient warm up, which also included chin ups. Now, I've been to 2 academies here in the US where they do this, and I really like it instead of just the basic push ups. The techniques of the day were mounted collar choke set ups and the arm lock. It felt like the instructor had read my mind because I really wanted to train basics and defense.

We started with positional sparring from mount and it went ok, except that one time while escaping, I got caught in the same half guard kimura as in the wordls. Definetly a weakness for me it seems.

Today, I'll be heading back to Portugal. Feel like I've eaten way too much on this trip..Luckily I also did some jiu jitsu and weight training


Trip to California part 3: Drilling spider guard passing at Paragon Ventura

2 days before the worlds I was getting really tired but wanted to train so I decided to head to Ventura to train at another Paragon jiu jitsu location. The training sessions are usually taught by Ricardo "Franjinha" Miller but my particular session was supervised by black belt roosterweight competitor Milton Bastos.

We did a pretty normal warm up and then drilled different types of passes for spider guard. One in particular stuck with me because it seemed like a really good way to pass the leg lasso (other foot on the biceps version).

It went something like this (should film this probably once I find the time in Portugal):

1. Grip opponent's pants under his ankle on the side of the bicep spider control
2. Circle to the direction of the bicep control leg (other way you'll get swept) and push arm trapped in lasso straight so you are able to rotate your wrist out and grab the pants from the outside
3. Using the ankle pant grip, walk and push your opponent's (straight) leg completely to the mat on the other side. This should turn your opponent's hips away from you. Rest your own hip on top of his looking towards his feet
4. Change the pant grip to your other hand (usually from left to right hand)
5. Go for head or under arm control with your now free arm

Milton had a good performance in the worlds, losing in the quarterfinals on a judge's decision with points and advantages being even. There were so many ref's decisions in the worlds this year it is becoming boring...

One of Milton's old matches


Picked up an extra Shoyoroll comp lite XII black

Shoyoroll made an in-person only release of Comp Lite in the Worlds yesterday. There were 100 of these made for the worlds, and I decided to wait in line for a ridiculous amount of time to get access to them. I guess this is the rarest Shoyoroll gi made. They were sold one per person but I happened to have my girlfriend in the line as well. I got an A3S (would like to maybe keep it myself) and an A2 (almost an A3 in other brands).

The gi is black with grey and yellow details. Basically a yellow seventh son theme. The pants are rip stop but feel sturdier than previous rip stops I've seen.

I will most likely put one on eBay today or tomorrow, unless someone I know etc. is interested. You can contact me at miika.rannikko@gmail.com.


Worlds 2012: Bucheca beats Rodolfo Video

Here it is..

Training trip to California part 2: Tried to wrestle :)

On Monday, I did my best to train as much as possible. Did a midday gi class and a five o'clock nogi class

The gi class consisted of arm bar setups and details from closed guard. Although the techniques were somewhat basic, the armbar from bottom has recently been neglected by me. I actually remember having a phase approx. 2 years ago when I caught people with it. Must have been because I was actually going for it and keeping it tight instead of thinking about going for it.

Despite my knowledge that many Americans have high school or college wrestling experience, I decided to also join the 5 o'clock nogi class run by Sean. We did some takedowns from 2-on-1 control and arm-in guillotines from closed guard. I have to say this might be the best instruction I have received on nogi takedowns. For the first time ever, I was figuring how to react to combinations of stances (your's and your opponent's) when you have the 2-on-1. To understand what I am trying to explain here is a quick verbal breakdown.

Control: Grab cross wrist and grab elbow with same side hand. Keep your head pressing on his shoulder, high enough so that it won't be pushed down. Keep your leg in front on the side on which you have the control. Move in a circular manner towards his back, which forces him to constantly square up with you.

1. If opponent insist on keeping stance so that his leg on the control is the front leg, do a kata guruma (fireman's wheel) on his front leg by getting your head under his arm.

2. If opponent starts to square up with you by stepping his back leg aggressively towards you and squaring his stance, you can go for a double so that your head goes to his far side. This must be executed during the step forward.

3. If opponent completely switches the stance, go for a sweeping single leg on the far leg

Training trip to California part 1: first days

Flew to California on Saturday afternoon and I stayed first in sunny Santa Barbara. Travel did not go without the basic hassles and for some reason my credit card stopped working for a while at Hertz at the airport. Luckily for everyone, the malfunction only lasted a few minutes and I got my Chevy. For some reason I didn't get California plates, but instead ended up with Wisconsin ones (go Dairy State!).

Unfortunately for me, the USA has been in a few wars throughout the years and apparently they celebrate something called Memorial Day. This meant the Paragon gym was closed on Sunday and morning classes were cancelled on Monday. Luckily there would be training at 6 in the evening on Monday.

Luckily, Santa Barbara is a really cool town with beaches and the weather is sunny and warm so I did some strolling around and swimming for fitness. Also, bought a pair of Sanuk's to replace the pair the high tide took last week while surfing at Guincho beach. Stuff is surprisingly affordable here, especially surf boards and wet suits are way cheaper than in Portugal

Also, Gracie Barra gym right at the main street. Don't they know that BJJ gyms are supposed to be on shady back alleys...

The Monday training was an open mat with a good number of participants. Training was supervised by black belt Sean Apperson. I sparred with a few blue belts, a purple heading to worlds in the same division as me and Sean. Really nice rolls and I felt my poor cardio being pushed. Also, I haven't felt as helpless as I did with Sean in a long time. He was able to win the grip fights (judo experience helps) and my guard pulls went to hell due to his superior grips. One good note he gave is to never pull guard when the opponent has a 2-on-1 control or other dominant grips on your arm, because he will be able to pull and go to your side.

Cool sunset training..


Pulled side mount in the mundials today, other Finns did slightly better

As I am currently driving up and down the west coast of California, I also decided to train at locations on my way and yes, compete in the mundials as well. I spent some time training in Santa Barbara at Paragon, which was great (wanted to go to Cobrinha's too but didn't want to stay in L.A) and I will tell how it went in the next few days. However, today was my first big event ever.

To be honest, I didn't really have time to prepare for mundials because I was moving and it took me couple of weeks to get settled. Anyways, I was just what the hell and signed up.

My division was scheduled to start at 15.30 and I went there at around 2 o'clock. I had just enought time to sit down for a few matches and start warming up. Getting to the mats was hell as you had to wait quite some time in crowded competitors areas. I was also going to compete in my comfortable Shoyoroll but the guy checking the gis turned it down for some reason. A lot of people were turned down for belt colour details and gi sizes etc. I was given only 5 minutes to change the gi and luckily made it back in time after stripping in the audience.

The previous fight on my mat had Christiane Cyborg competing in the finals of womens' purple belt heavyweight, which meant there was a lot of attention on that mat and I started to feel some pressure. The Finnish girl she was up against was able to defend well enough to not let Cybort submit her, which is feat in itself in my book.

Then my fight began, and I was up against a Lloyd Irvin competitor.I had a plan of playing butterfly because he didn't look too big. I managed to time my guard pull really poorly and basically pulled side mount. This is very ironic, because just this week I've been told that pulling guard from standing and the grip fight should be trained more (and I did for a bit). I just timed it really poorly (could have probably pulled closed).

He was there on top of me and immediately tried to kimura me, but I managed to hid my arm. To my own surprise, I remained fiarly calm although I was 3 points down.´He tried to reach for my far arm but I started pushing on his tricep during his attempt to try to get back to guard. This didn't fully work but got a chance to turtle up. He was there and I noticed he posted his leg up so I rolled and got to his back side where he turned to my butterfly guard.

I started looking for a hook sweep but he did a crazy move and tried to jump into mount. I stopped it and thought this is my chance and went for x-guard but he quickly did another one and landed in my half guard. This is where he was able to secure the kimura mouse trap (unfortunately I already hurt my left shoulder on Tuesday) and I tried to put my arm straight and fight against the arm bar attempt by sweeping him over with the hook and pant grip. Didn't happen this time and he got the tap. In my defense, he did the exact same kimura thing to his next opponent. Glad I went for the experience and I will be back next year..

Here is the match in question

Some Finnish fighters, including Esa Rintala of Takado and Hannu Karjalainen of BJJ Center managed to place in their division (blue heavy bronze and purple heavy silver) which is a huge achievement!