Jiu Jitsu Podcast #2

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Hey guys, check out our second podcast. The quality is much improved, and the cast is pretty lively in this episode. We discuss everything from Rickson Gracie to why Benjamin Franklin was histories ultimate “baller”. See what our thoughts were on the most recent Lloyd Irvin video, and much more. Also, you won’t want to miss Phil’s stories from working at the casino. Unfortunately, David Adiv was unable to join us again this week, but we expect to have him on again soon.

"It's Science" Videos

It's Science: Rafael Lovato Jr.

Welcome to another episode of “It’s Science”. We are going to continue our 2013 season with a quick look at Rafael Lovato Jr.
Abstract: All matches observed of Rafael Lovato Junior used in this small sample occurred at IBJJF events, in his weight division, and between 2009-2013. Only techniques, occurrences, and outcomes that were recorded are displayed in the data below (i.e. if no butterfly sweeps occurred, there will not be a representation of that in the sample data). Matches were selected at random based on available matches via YouTube – selected using a random generator from 20 total available IBJJF matches matches between 2009-2013. This is a limited sample – but given the estimated amount of matches in this time period – it is well above the percentage necessary to create a scientifically validated trend sampling.
So what did we learn?: Rafael Lovato Jr. is a tale of two different approaches. One trend that we have noticed when doing these “It’s Science” studies is that most players have a very defined game. There are usually a small set of techniques that tend to crop up over and over again. In the case of Lovato, he both reinforces and bucks that trend. From his guard,  Rafael Lovato showed greater variance in techniques that were executed than any other player we’ve seen. He applied multiple types of guards and sweeps successfully. He never stuck with a particular guard that wasn’t yielding positive results very long before he would switch to another variation. However, when passing the guard he executed the direct opposite strategy. All of his passes in this small sample occurred from the half guard, and from the half-guard only 2 different passes were used. The other real difference we noticed in Lovato’s game – from others – was his lack of attention to first points. His opponents pulled guard on him in over 2/3 of his matches, and often he was not the first to score (only scored first in 60% of matches won). This did not largely effect his results. As out studies have shown over and over again, most of the time scoring first directly correlates with winning (Kron Gracie was the only outlier). Rafael Lovato seems to be heading in the same direction. It will be interesting to see how this trend develops.

Notable Stats:

  • 6 of 10 sweeps observed came from different positions
  • He submitted his opponent in 40% of his wins
  • 100% of his submissions occurred from mount
  • His opponent pulled guard on him in 69% of matches
  • 57% of his passes ended in mount, rather than side-control
  • His average match length was 8.50 minutes
  • Scored first in 60% of matches
Top Competitor **Rafael Lovato Jr.**
Successes Guard Versatility
Avoided… Pulling Guard
Top Technique 1 Half-Guard Pass To Mount
Top Technique 2 Collar Chokes From Mount
Number of Matches Observed 13
Submits Opponent 4
Wins by Points 6
Minutes of footage watched 113
Scores First 6
Total Wins 10
Total Loses 3
Sweeps (Position)
De la Riva Sweeps 1
Spider Sweeps 2
Closed Guard 2
X-Guard 3
Butterfly 1
Sit-up Guard 1
Sweeps (Type)
X-Guard 3
Tomanagi 2
Scissor 1
Sit-up and overtake opponent 1
Omoplata sweep 2
Collar Drag/Arm Drag 1
Total Sweeps 10
Passes (Position)
Half-Guard 7
Passes (Type)
knee through 3
knee up, from hg to mount 4
Total Passes 7
Taking the Back
Guard 1
Total Back-Takes 1
Submissions (Position)
Mount 4
Submissions (Type)
collar choke  top 2
neck choke (Guilitine, Brabo, etc.) 1
triangle 1
Total Subs 4
Start of Match
Pulls guard 2
Executes A Throw 1
Pulled on by opponent 9
Taken down 1
Live Technique and Perspective Videos

Jiu Jitsu Triangle: Training Journal

One of the best ways to study a move is to watch top-level competitors execute it in competition. You can see all the work and detail that go into finishing that move against another top competitor. Unfortunately, it’s hard to string enough of these together to truly study a move in detail, so we’ve done it for you. This is the first in a series of training journals that takes 20-30 examples of a move executed in competition and strings them back-to-back for film study.
In every other highly competitive sport in the world film study is ingrained in a teams preparation. This has been slow to catch on in jiu jitsu because often players don’t know how or what to study. This certainly isn’t the only way to study film, but it certainly takes a page out of American football’s book. Often when preparing for an opponent a team will watch their competitor run one specific play over and over again to prepare against it. This means a coach somewhere cut the film up and put all of those plays back-to-back. This is our idea with the training journal. Take one move, and play it back-to-back for efficient study. We hope you enjoy.

BishopBjj News

Fuji Gi Review

Comparing the 2013 Fuji Kassen and Fuji Summerweight Kimono’s

By: Tyler and Jena Bishop
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Our Approach:

We try to take a scientific approach in everything we do. So we will try our best to maintain those same ideals when evaluating gi’s. Unfortunately, part of reviewing a gi is evaluating personal feel, touch, and preference. Between the two of us, we have probably owned 30+ gi’s including just about every popular brand you could imagine, so we will do our best to pass along both our empirical and preferential attitudes as we review these two fine kimonos.

The Run-Down (Prior Experiences and Personal Perspectives)

Having both owned and experienced Fuji Sports gi’s in the past (Our association RGDA – RoylerGracie/David Adiv uses them as their official kimono), we both came into this review with a wealth of experience and positive impressions of Fuji kimono’s. Why, you might ask? Over the course of the last 7 years we have watched the technology, fit, style, and comfort of gi’s improve significantly every year. This is likely due to the tremendous growth of the sport, and the growing field of gi companies in the United States. Unfortunately, we have also watched an equal correlation persist with the life expectancy of these gi’s during this same time period. Over the past 4 years, there is only one gi that we have owned that didn’t have to go into the “repair shop” after at least one year of use. That is the Fuji gi.
We both average two jiu jitsu training sessions a day, so most of our gi’s take a pretty serious beating. Not just on the mats, but in the washing machine. We have always maintained a very positive outlook on the Fuji products durability and long-term viability in training and competition. Practically speaking, this is one of the most important elements to us in a kimono to begin with. No matter how perfect a gi might fit, feel, and look, if it tears or is ruined within a year it has been a poor investment for us overall. This is why we generally have a very strong and positive outlook of Fuji Sports Jiu Jitsu products.
Intro To Both Gi’s

Kassen (2013 Edition): The Kassen is Fuji Sport’s premium heavy duty pearl weave gi. It retails for $139.00. Our first impression of the gi was that it was built to last. It was a tad heavier than most of our other gi’s, but incredibly soft (more on this later). The gi has a strong but flexible collar, and contains obviously strong reinforcements in all the delicate areas. It is the kind of gi you would love to wear in competition if you can spare the weight. Why? Strong gi’s with added support are harder to maintain grips on, and the lack of “give” in the sleeves make spider-guard and leg-lasso techniques harder to apply. As tough as this gi looks and feels on the outside, it feels like a luxury vehicle on the inside. It is very form fitting, and allows for flexible movement. It combines a lot of the best of both worlds in terms of durability and “wearability”.
Summerweight (2013 Edition): The Summerweight is Fuji Sport’s premium light weight gi. It retails for $109.00-119.00 (depending on color). The rise of the light weight gi has been pretty rapid in the last few years – as competitors race to save every ounce of weight for IBJJF tournaments. Fuji brings this gi to the market in a very responsible way. It is not the lightest of light weight gi’s – it weighs approximately 3lbs 5 oz. -but this is ultimately why it is one of the best on the market. Where most lightweight gi’s fall short is there ability to keep a fitting style and practical functionality to their design. Often gi’s that are light weight feature a flimsy collar that will have opponents licking their collar-choking chops. In the case of the Fuji Summerweight gi, that is certainly not the case. It features a very strong – yet flexible – collar, and a beautifully textured and soft pair of pants. The gi fit us both like a glove, and was very comfortable to roll in. Our first impression was that it provides everything we look for in a competition gi.


Tyler is a 5’11 175 lb male competitor: The A3 fit me perfectly. I fluctuate between an A2 and A3 depending on the brand. Very few gi’s fit me correctly. The Kassen fit me very comfortably, and provided the fitted look I enjoy. The sleeve and pant length are exactly how I like them and the gi top is long enough to cover my  pant draw strings (surprisingly, one of the hardest things for me to find in a gi).
Jena is a 5’4 130 lb female competitor: The A1 fit me very well. As all women know, finding a gi that fits the right way can be difficult. At first the gi was a little big, but after 2 trips into the dryer it fit me in all the right ways. The sleeve and pant lengths are right on point. I was surprised to find an A1 that fit me the way this gi did.
Tyler is a 5’11 175 lb male competitor: After washing it once, this gi had a nice fitted look, perfect sleeve length, and trim pants with enough room to move around in. The A3 Fuji gi is obviously a perfect size for someone of my stature.
Jena is a 5’4 130 lb female competitor: Again, after a few washes I found this to fit as well as any other companies A1. I was really happy with the sleeve length being perfect for my arms. Having a lightweight gi that fits my frame is hard to find, and Fuji hit a home run with this gi.
Overall: Both gi’s fit our frames very well. When they come out of the box they feel a little big, but the plus side is that they shrink up into a very nice modern fit.

Rolling performance, fit, and comfort.

Kassen: When rolling in the Kassen you tend to get a very strong feeling. The gi will not be manipulated easily. It maintains it’s form and structure throughout even the most intense rolling sessions. Fortunately, it remains almost unbelievably comfortable throughout its use. It’s very hard to come by such a strong gi that is this comfortable. Many gi’s with this kind of structure and support feel heavy and uncomfortable to roll in. The Kassen has the added benefit of allowing a full range of motion, and would be a great gi to train and compete in. In fact, Tyler competed in the Kassen at the World Pro Trials, and was very happy with the performance.
Summerweight: It cannot be stressed enough how well this gi has blended functionality with a lightweight design. It is truly a perfect hybrid design. We have come to strongly dislike many of the typical lightweight gi’s due to the ease at which they can be manipulated. The Summerweight does not sacrifice the design in the creation of this lightweight gi, and the competitor benefits by receiving a very comfortable, lightweight, and durable product. The downside of this is that it will not win a lightest gi contest. In fact, it’s actual weight is almost 1lb heavier than many other lightweight gi’s. The benefit of this design is it’s fitted style and traditional build. To us, this is about as perfect as a competition gi could be designed. Light enough to keep you from tipping the scales, and designed and built well enough to keep you from having an opponent hanging off you for the entire match.


Both gi’s are among the very best available at any price point, but with both being under $150 they provide a unique value that is nearly unparalleled.  So which is best for you? Our impressions were that both could actually be great competition gi’s depending on your specifications. If you fear the scale, then there is no doubt the Summerweight is probably your best bet. If you would like a gi that will help you tire the grips of your opponent, and don’t mind a little added weight, we would recommend the Kassen.  The Kassen will also likely become the most durable gi in your portfolio, so if your looking for a gi that can last a very long time the Kassen is probably a good fit. However, if you live in a warm climate, then the feel and weight of the Summerweight might prove to be a better investment.
Honestly you can’t go wrong with either gi. Your best bet is to examine which one fits your goals and specifications the best, as outlined above, and go from there. The Fuji Sports website always sells the gi’s for a fair price, but other stores online often have sales and special offers you may want to take advantage of. We hope this review helps. Any other questions about the gi’s can be directed at [email protected].

"It's Science" Videos

Romulo Barral Jiu Jitsu Stats, Info, & Matches


Romulo Barral Breakdown

Welcome to our second season of “It’s Science”. We are going to kick off  with a quick look at Romulo Barral. The recently “retired” Barral is one of the most accomplished competitors of all time. Let’s dive deep into what makes him so successful.

Abstract of Romulo Barral Jiu Jitsu Study:

All matches observed of Romulo Barral, used in this small sample, occurred at IBJJF events, in his weight division, and between 2011-2013. Only techniques, occurrences and outcomes that were recorded are displayed in the data below (i.e. if no butterfly sweeps occurred, there will not be a representation of that in the sample data). Matches were selected at random based on available matches via YouTube – selected using a random generator from 20 total available IBJJF matches between 2011-2013. This is a limited sample – but given the estimated amount of matches in this time period – it is well above the percentage necessary to create a scientifically validated trend sampling.

So what did we learn?

Romulo Barral has a very defined game. My initial impressions of him were in many cases correct, but there were a few surprises. You will immediately notice in the 13 total matches observed that Romulo Barral limits his arsenal to just a few defined techniques. I have always perceived him as a spider guard player – and perhaps that is true – but one thing that is overwhelmingly obvious is how this game has evolved into a sit-up guard style system from the bottom.
In fact, 70% of Romulo’s sweeps came from the sit-up guard position. From there his passing style of choice is a very heavy half guard style of passing with 66% of his passes coming from half-guard. It was also very obvious that Barral’s end-game involved the mount.
All but one submission occurred from the mount position. So is this style of game successful? In short, yes! In the random matches we observed, he won 12 out of the 13. That’s pretty good.

Notable Stats:

  • Sit-up guard accounts for 70% of sweeps
  • Half guard passes account for 2/3 of all passes
  • 4/5 submissions were cross collar chokes from the top
  • 4/5 submission also occurred from mount
  • Barral scored first in 10/13 matches, and 10/12 that he won
  • His average match length was 7.23 minutes
  • He pulled open guard in over 50% of his matches

The Data

Top Competitor **Romulo Barral**
Successes Sit-up Guard, Half Guard Passes, Mount Chokes
Avoided… De La Riva, ButterFly Guard
Top Submission Utilized Cross Collar Choke
Number of Matches Observed 13
Submits Opponent 5
Wins by Points 7
Minutes of footage watched 94
Scores First 10
Total Wins 12
Total Loses 1
Sweeps (Position)
Spider Sweeps 2
X-Guard 1
Sit-up Guard 7
Sweeps (Type)
Scissor 1
Trips/Off-balancing 3
Sit-up and overtake opponent 3
Collar Drag/Arm Drag 3
Total Sweeps 10
Passes (Position)
On Knees 2
Half-Guard 10
Standing 3
Passes (Type)
leg drag 3
knee through 1
x-pass 1
Knee cut from HG 4
Reverse Sitting HG Pass 4
knee up, from half-guard to mount 2
Total Passes 15
Taking the Back
Guard 2
Standing 1
Total Back-Takes 3
Submissions (Position)
Mount 4
Half-Guard Top 1
Submissions (Type)
Armbar 1
Cross collar top 4
Total Subs 5
Start of Match
Open Guard Pull 7
Tight Guard Pull 1
Opponent Pulled Guard 4
Took Opponents Back 1
Live Technique and Perspective Videos

Jiu Jitsu World Pro Trials Short Film

This is a short film we shot during the 2013 San Antonio Jiu Jitsu Pro Trials. We wanted to practice our skills and abilities in film making in preparation for some of the larger events this year. Let us know what you think. There is some great footage from the event. If you have never been to a pro trial before, this film certainly provides a unique insight into the inner-workings. We hope you enjoy.

BishopBjj News Podcast #1

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Our first podcast was recorded at the World Pro Trials in San Antonio this past weekend. It is not up to snuff in comparison to the quality of material we normally produce, but since this is the first one we expect significant improvement each time we create a podcast. Rather than scrapping this one we choose to release it. The content of the conversations is really funny and interesting good. Also, check out some of the funny stories about crazy training partners at the end!
We mention an interview with David Adiv in the podcast. Unfortunately, we are saving that for episode #2. We are purchasing some new podcast software so that we can improve the quality and production of the podcast, and wanted to save that material until the new stuff was in place. This podcast features Royler Gracie black belt, JW Wright, Abu Dhabi Pro absolute champion, Nick Scrock, 6x World Medalist, Jena Bishop, and Jon Perrine.
We appreciate any feedback, and are looking forward to this process as it improves.