Crown Rash Guards
When I started training jiu-jitsu in San Diego, the gym I went to asked students to shower and change before every class they attended. This was to prevent any infections between training partners.
I was a college student on summer vacation at the time, so I was training all day. This forced me to buy three rash guards to keep up with how much I was using them, despite doing laundry every single day.
That was expensive...
I made a post on a few jiu-jitsu forums asking people if they would be interested in an affordable, but well-made rash guard. Here's the picture I first posted:
After a lot of positive feedback and a few design suggestions, I ended up with a mockup I called 'V1.0 Design'.
It had a colored sleeve to indicate the rank of the practitioner wearing it, and a minimalist design:
I reached out to a few potential manufacturers to create a prototype including the folks who make rash guards for Hayabusa, Tatami, and other famous rash guard companies. I then narrowed it down to one factory that was able to create exactly what I wanted.
The prototype was almost perfect, but there kept appearing these unavoidable white spots in the stitching that the black ink couldn't cover. So alongside the manufacturer, I decided to keep the stitching white and unpainted for a more professional and finished look.
We started with the White Belt rash guard (white colored sleeve) then created all ranked colors. Most recently, we've added short-sleeved rash guards to our product line too.
The support so far has been incredible, and we are excited to bring our customers incredible training gear!
Why No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu?
There are two kinds of jiu-jitsu. The first is gi jiu-jitsu, in which you and your training partner wear a 'gi' or kimono. The second is no-gi jiu-jitsu, in which you don't wear the gi. Gi jiu-jitsu is more popular because it's more traditional.
There are benefits to training in the gi. Because of the ability to grip your opponent's gi as well as your own, the pace of the roll, or training is much slower. Maintaining and breaking these grips also increases amount you engage your muscles in training, leading to increased strength. Some people say that training in a gi is unrealistic for self-defense since people aren't normally in a gi. I disagree with that actually, since shirts and jackets resemble the gi. Most of the techniques involving the gi will work on regular clothing. Another benefit to training in the gi is that it acts as a bit more of a barrier between you and your training partner's sweat, which some people worry about. Lastly, the traditional gi uniform is tied with a colored belt. This is a handy way of indicating the rank of the practitioner.
There are also big disadvantages to training in a gi. The biggest one is that the reliance on strong grips causes severe arthritis in the knuckles. You can mitigate the pain using special tape that you can wrap around the knuckles of your fingers, but the long-term result is painful arthritis. On the subject of pain and injuries, fabric burns from the friction of the gi will occur very often. In terms of practicality, you have to wash your training attire between every class. This is non-negotiable, as it stops the spread of staph and other infections between training partners. The gi is heavy, bulky, and cumbersome to wash, especially if you're training is frequent. It's also expensive to buy. And although it does protect you from the sweat of your training partners, it does this at a cost. Training in the gi feels very hot.
The alternative is no-gi jiu-jitsu. Because there isn't anything to grip, no-gi jiu-jitsu is a lot faster in pace. This gives you a huge cardiovascular advantage due to the increased work rate. I used to believe that the lack of grips also makes a practitioner's defensive ability worse. This is because you get used to slipping out of submission holds and unfavorable positions, which would be more difficult if you transitioned to gi jiu-jitsu. I don't believe it's true anymore. Your defense becomes lazy in both uniforms, only in a different way. When training in the gi, you'll frequently grab your own uniform to prevent your training partner from applying a submission hold. This creates a vulnerability in your defense, since you won't have this option in no-gi jiu-jitsu. If you train jiu-jitsu for self-defense, you may end up incorporating striking into your training later on. This becomes MMA training, for which no-gi is much more applicable.
Although traditional gi jiu-jitsu is more well-known to the majority of people, among the jiu-jitsu community the opposite is true, and by a large margin. The biggest competition in jiu-jitsu known as 'ADCC' is dominated by no-gi practitioners. The search data from Google Trends indicates that the popularity of the entire sport of jiu-jitsu can be attributed to a single group of no-gi practitioners. They're called the Danaher Death Squad. Trained by the legendary John Danaher, this group of young men from New York took the ADCC competition by storm in the last couple of years, effortlessly defeating incumbent champions. To put into perspective how shocking this was, the Danaher Death Squad was handily beating legends of jiu-jitsu who had been black belts for longer than members of the Squad had even been practicing the sport. John Danaher's system of training has begun to permeate through the sport, producing promising champions like Craig Jones, who is widely believed to be the best no-gi practitioner in the world, second only to Danaher's star student Gordon Ryan. The sport of jiu-jitsu is clearly trending towards no-gi.
With all of this said, training without the gi doesn't mean you should wear any clothing you like. A regular cotton t-shirt, for example, absorbs your sweat and turns your training into a waterboarding session for your partners. Because of this, no-gi is practiced in a tight fitting rash guard. Ours feature a minimalist design and a single colored sleeve to indicate belt rank.