Would you wear this while you roll?

So the RollTec Rashguard went live on Kickstarter today; “the world’s first wearable technology made for grapplers.” What do you think? For me, I think wearing a rashguard with a sensor in it when I roll would confirm what I already know; I spend waaaay too much time and energy trying to defend myself from under mount and side control!

Screenshot RollTech Rashguard Kickstarter page day 1

But I see how it could prove to be quite the motivator, and maybe even help me out of my long-term-white-belt funk.

I’m not really on the wearable tech-train (I don’t own an Apple watch or a Fitbit) but I DO like using the MyFitnessPal and Runkeeper apps on my iPhone. When I use them consistently they give me that nudge to stay on track with my good eating, or extend my park runs by just a little longer each time.

So, maybe wearing the RollTec Rashguard and seeing my position breakdowns (the four fundamentals) and roll timeline on the accompanying app will motivate me to break out of my usual routine?

Rolltech Rashguard position breakdown example

The app’s “suggested technique” videos are appealing, often I want to change things up on the mat, but am not quite sure what would make sense to try differently.

Some stand out points as I was reading through the Kickstarter info (there are loads of others):

  • A £68+ pledge ($99 USD) gets you the rashguard and sensor (with case) – more than a standard rashguard price but you know, wearable tech
  • The rashguard can be worn whether you train with or without a Gi – that’s good if you’re like me, and don’t do much no-gi training
  • Removable, USB-rechargeable sensor in a protective case – but the padded pouch that you put the sensor in, is attached to the rashguard, so it’s not interchangeable if you don’t happen to like the rashguard or need a fresh one
  • 75%-80% motion detection accuracy
  • Only you have to wear the RollTec Rashguard, your partner doesn’t need to
  • Bluetooth range for the rashguard is about 30 feet – this might be an issue if you don’t keep your smartphone in the room with you when you train?

RollTech Rashguard

Am I going to order a RollTec Rashguard?

Undecided. Part of me is inclined to wait and see, and maybe jump in when they release version 2 which, I’d imagine, would likely have greater accuracy and added functionality. Then again, version 2 won’t happen if version 1 doesn’t, and it would be a shame not to see this ‘smart’ rashguard brought to life.

There are lower amounts you can pledge to show your support without buying the rashguard so, either way I’ll definitely be supporting it.

Watch the video and read about the RollTec Rashguard in full on Kickstarter

Check out the RollTec Grappling website

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*Crunch* “Ow!”

Well, this is one for the awkward and mortified files. 

I may have broken a training partner… her nose, I broke her nose and embarrassingly we weren’t even really truly, properly grappling at the time.

“Light/playful roll?” I’d suggested after class as we were going over the knee ride to far armbar transition we’d just learnt.

Living up to my slow off the mark reputation, she had mount in an instant – and we were laughing as I attempted to wriggle out from under her.

Hips up to buck her off, my head comes forward and… *CRUNCH* “oh my God!”
“Oh crap are you okay? Is it bleeding?!”

It wasn’t – but out came the bag of frozen peas and a mirror to check how crooked her nose was (thankfully it still looked pretty straight to me, just red and starting to swell).

I haven’t seen her since as I’ve had a cold and she has also been away from the gym to let her nose heal, but chatting over Facebook there appears to be no hard feelings. At least I hope there truly aren’t.

Just mortification on my side, and the awful feeling you get knowing you’re responsible for hurting someone.

Have you ever broken a training partner? Did it affect your future interactions/friendship on or off the mats?

Flying Sharks And Lycra Fights

Last weekend, I joined more than 70 ladies at Australian Girls in Gi Camp 2013.

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Photo via Jess Fraser
Held at Dominance MMA in Abbotsford over two days, and organised by the amazing Jess Fraser – BJJ girls from all over Victoria and interstate (even a couple of internationals) got together for some hard work and play… and a terrible sleep on gym mats, seriously.
Next time I won’t internally scoff at the ladies bringing blow up mattresses or a stack of bedding, I’ll be one of them!
This year’s schedule featured…
  • Guard Passing fundamentals with David Hart (“You wanna be soft heavy, like a bean bag full of lead pieces..”)
  • No Gi fundamentals with David Christopher (DC)
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Photo (and most others below) via Jess Fraser
  • Judo with 5x Olympian Maria Pekli (“No giraffe, no Charlie Chaplin, no snowboard” – on the positioning of your feet when setting up a hip throw). She was a real wealth of information on standing technique.
  • Guard fundamentals with Lachlan Giles and Dave Marinarkis
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The guys teaching single x guard
Plus a couple of hours of free rolling/open mat.
There was also a talk on Competition Psychology and Physiology by Tra-ill Dowie, and Sports Psychology with Chris Shen and the lovely Maryanne Mullahy, who I was lucky enough to roll with briefly as well.
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We also had a LOL comp (Loud Offensive Lycra) and super fights.
Many of us were too buggered by the Saturday night to get stuck into rolling in our dress ups.. but we did wear them out to brekkie the next morning!
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I met the best bunch of ladies and learnt so much, some basic techniques I have probably been told and shown previously, but right now they feel fresh and shiny and new – and I really hope they stick!
Things like keeping your posture when in someone’s guard, moving yourself – not your opponent, when you arm drag and go to their back and “never cross the streams” ie. the dangers of reaching diagonally for their opposite collar/sleeve .
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Some points from Tra-ill’s talk that have inspired me to work on where my head’s at when I’m on the mat..
  • Take a few minutes before every class to feel grateful – it will increase your ability to perform well and be a good competitor.
  • There are seven basic systems within the brain; Seeking, Rage, Fear, Panic, Lust, Care, Play. Keep rolls playful in order to stay in a positive and calm frame of mind when under pressure.
  • Fighting in comps motivated by panic, fear and rage will most likely see you flip your lid (lose control mentally). Using seeking and play as your motivation will see you most able to keep your cool.
One of my favourite camp moments was while grappling a blue belt, Kim – who I have rolled with previously at AGIG events and a few Australian Elite Team classes.
After our round she said “You’ve improved so much!” Big yay.
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