Life, the Martial Challenges, and Everything.

Month: January, 2014

Review: BCKimono’s Comp V2

I was fortunate enough to win a gi from BCKimonos, their white Comp V2.  They held a draw on Facebook, and I am familiar with them as they sponsor local athletes like Kabir Bath, “Super” Dave Rothwell, and Stu Deleurme, and they also helped supply newly-formed Pacific Top Team with their gis.

The draw and announcement couldn’t have come at a better time as I was in a rough slump when it came to getting my hands on the gis I wanted.

So let’s get down to the details!

I was so stoked when it arrived, I tried it on immediately, and took pictures.  Many … many pictures.

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The sleeve length gave me enough room to have it shrink the typical amount after the first few washes, and the length of the jacket long enough to show off the brand patches and leave me room for my own.  I would not classify the jacket width as wide, but it is certainly generous for the two front sections and their overlap.  Even with that, it is still a nice fit for my slim-ish frame.  The pants fit extremely well, and will the epitome of a perfect fit after my next wash.

The entire Gi has grey contrast stitching, which makes for a nice subtle look for a white Gi.  All of the embroidery and patches stand out, as they are typically black or grey in colour.  All of the patches I will be adding will stand out, though I’ll have to make sure I coordinate colours properly.  (Never thought I’d utter or type that phrase)

Features I like:

  • long stretchy grey drawstring: the stretch helps me tie my pants to my desired comfort, and helps keep it there.  I double-knot my loops, and then tuck the entire thing behind the waist to keep it even more secure.  I have never had my pants fall down on me since doing so, and this style of drawstring is simply the best
  • four loops for the drawstring, placed evenly between both hips.  This also helps the aforementioned keeping-your-pants-on thing.  Four loops is ideal for me, more secure than two loops, and less annoying thank five or six loops
  • the embroidery: the logo on the back of the left pant leg isn’t brand-new, but it’s newer to me, and certainly the first Gi I’ve owned with said logo placement.  With all of the hoopla about patches on the jackets, I like seeing the logo in a more unusual place that is still visible and completely legal in IBJJF tournaments (before you ask, yes there are some Gis that look really sharp, but will probably fail an IBJJF inspection)

Features I’m unsold on:

  • white.  Okay, so it’s not a “feature”, but blue has been my thing for several years.  It tends to be my favourite colour.   However, a white Gi and a blue belt contrast so nicely that is sways my opinion
  • width of the front jacket sections: having not tried it in competition yet, I can’t say for certain if I’ll like it or not.  I feel as though I’ll be swayed in favour of it without much ado

Features I dislike:

  • blood.  Also not a “feature”, but you sure do notice it quickly.  Two training sessions, and I’ve already been bled upon.  Most of the spots I managed to take care of (or rather, my girlfriend took care of), but I missed one, and it dried.  Well, they may be covered with patches soon enough

All in all, I like the Gi, and I really appreciate BCKimonos doing a draw out of their own generosity.  Give their website a browse, and pick up one of their Gis, you won’t regret it!

–Kiyoshi “The Prototype”
Your #1 Canadian eh?

Flesh kneading

I swear I’m trying to come up with awkward horrible titles …

But!  Massages.

They are nice.  I like them.

The end.

Nah, just kidding.  Well, I do like them, that’s not a lie.  Training and competing in a martial art like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu means I come home with a few knots or tight muscle groups.  You can also throw in the tension in the neck and shoulders that develops from studying and completing assignments for school.  All of that simply means that a massage feels wonderful.  Very wonderful.

The neck, shoulders, and back are the typical areas I get massaged, followed by my hands, my scalp, or my legs.  I get my feet massaged every once in a while, and when I do, it also feels fantastic.  There’s something about the unknown factor of how the masseuse will work out the knots and tension spots that makes it superior.  Sure, when you work out your own knots you know exactly where they are and how much pressure to use, but it’s not the same.

I’m not the only one getting massages, I also give.  There’s something about finding a trouble spot and working it out, listening to the appreciative noises of the person getting the massage.

A couple of weeks ago I was chatting with a friend about the lower back and tension it can develop, heated seats, and reflexology.  Then we came to the point that Costco will occasionally have a proper folding massage table on sale.  A massage is great, but being on a proper table with a place for your head is even better, and not making your masseuse stay in awkward positions is a really big bonus.

–Kiyoshi “The Prototype”
Your #1 Canadian eh?

And in case you can’t tell, I kind of threw this together mostly spur-of-the-moment.

Goals goals goals

Yes, we enter the year 2014, year of the Horse.

The beginning of a new year in the Gregorian calendar seems like a good time to go back and look at the goals I set during 2013, and potentially revise them for 2014 and add new ones.

Let us review my accomplishments in 2013 from my goal-setting post:

  • earned my blue belt in July (bonus: earned my first stripe in December)
  • found a wonderful woman to be in a relationship with (bonus: her parents and my parents have met, with my aunt and uncle in tow. Double bonus: she has started BJJ)

Now let’s review my accomplishments that weren’t in my post:

  • started post secondary and did quite smashingly well
  • found an area to potentially major in
  • became a sponsored athlete

It’s nice to cross things off the “To Do” list, and it’s really nice to add things to the list and cross them off immediately.
Now let’s see about some new goals to supplement the older ones.  These are both short- and long-term goals

  • compete internationally in BJJ
  • create a first draft/rough draft compilation video for potential sponsors
  • create a “cover letter” for potential sponsors
  • gain a second sponsor
  • earn my purple belt in BJJ
  • figure out my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree

Like before, I’m sure unwritten goals will be accomplished alongside the written goals.
The unfortunate thing: I’ve misled myself to where the Pan-Ams are.  There are the games that travel from city to city each time, which is where I thought the BJJ part was held.  Turns out there are separate Pan-Ams (commonly referred to as “Pans”) in California for BJJ alone.  As previously mentioned, they are ranked just below Mundials (which I spelled incorrectly last time) in terms of prestige.
In terms of BJJ tournaments, 2014 is my last year in the “adult” category.  I turn 30 in October, and thus enter the “Master’s” division, but I’m sure I’ll “sneak” into the adult division in local tournaments here and there.

Well there we have it, new heights to reach.
What goals do you have set?  I’d love to hear them.

–Kiyoshi “The Prototype”
Your #1 Canadian eh?

2013’s Year of the Snake: In Review


Technically an unlucky number in North American culture.
Year of the Snake … which I’m maybe a little surprised no one has tried a half-assed Slytherin reference.
Another funny quip that I don’t actually have.

And still lots of Jiu-Jitsu.

Here is another year of important notes, days, and highlights in my year.

-January: Newly-created “Senshu” stable wins 4-large in the 15-day tournament.  A decent spread considering how little we pay attention to the Sumo action on-screen some days.  Also, convinced by friends, I signed up for Lavalife, because “what do I have to lose?”.

-February: Right as the month changes, my friends Jordan and Susie gave birth to baby girl Teja Marie Simnovec, at 4:38PM MST February 1st, weighing 6 pounds 13 ounces.  I interrupt myself and my coworkers with a victorious yell.  On February 23rd, I competed at the CBJJF Okanagan Winter Classic tournament, in the White belt Middleweight Gi division, taking Silver.  The CBJJF goes out of their way to create some awesome looking medals, each tournament has a unique design, and so far they’ve never repeated themselves.

-March: Rallying forward for another victory, Team Senshu wrestles forth, but earns only 1-large.  Injuries and too much singing may have played a part in their lack of decisiveness.  I was also convinced to work the Sunday of the Tiger Balms, a local long-running martial arts tournament.  It was pretty much a waste of my time to be there.  Sumo hosts extraordinaire would host a “Samurai Night Fever” costume party, and I would finally get to use my Kamikaze Europa gi that I had purchased years ago.  I also had a first date with a wonderful, beautiful woman whom I would find out shares many of the same passions as I.  Our first date would not be our last.

-April: Easter weekend would prove to be a monumental event for me, having a first that I had never had before.  I would also take over another round of teaching so Christiaan, his wife, and their baby girl Audrey could go on vacation.  The Chilliwack UFV rec centre would find out that I can dance to Gangam Style in the pool for the entire song.  That is tough ab work right there.  Finally, I would join Genesis Martial Arts + Fitness under BJJ brown belt Jason Gagnon.  Under his employ were my former wrestling coach Jordan Galaugher and West Coast teammates Devon MacIntyre and Jason Rueck.

-May: I would embark on my first company-paid trip to Quebec City to man a booth an the ITF Taekwon-do National-level tournament and showcase new Adidas uniforms that the company would be carrying soon.  I was looking forward to seeing ITF in action, but the booths were set up in the cafeteria and separated from the action.  I estimate at least half of the participants and spectators didn’t know we were there.  But I did get to practice my French, which made me realize just how rusty it is.  There was yet another West Coast seminar hosted by Budo MMA and Scott Boudreau, where friend and teammate Michael Hurley would finally receive his blue belt.  Finally, I would compete in the CBJJF Western Canadians, but lose first round via triangle choke.  My opponent burst quite a few capillaries and blood vessels around my eyes.

-June: Quite a whirlwind month with the birth of Alexis Wilson to Mark and Becca on the 5th; I was the Best Man at their wedding last year.  Keri and I attended WarPath 10 on the 21st, Amateur MMA fights where Infinity teammates Cody Livingstone and Lewis Hart would fight.  Both would lose first round, Cody via TKO (Knees) and Lewis via Submission (Triangle).  They were both warriors for going out there and putting it on the line like that.  The 27th would see the long-anticipated arrival of my nephew Ledger Beverly Perkins, born to Koji and Jana, weighing 7 pounds 4 ounces.  I would compete in and take bronze at the Roots BJJ Challenge in Richmond on the 29th.  As usual, I competed in the Middleweight Gi division.

-July: You thought June was a whirlwind, well July just kept on rolling!  Genesis held their official grand opening on the 14th, and it was two hours of BJJ with regulars, old friends, and guests.  At the end of it we went through some striping and promotions, some long overdue.  I myself received my blue belt and went through a very large gauntlet afterwards.  Six days later I competed in the CBJJF’s Okanagan Summer Classic tournament in Kelowna as a fresh blue belt.  I stayed with my cousin Mike, and enjoyed the 9AM start time for blue belts.  I won gold in my Middleweight Gi division, but was eliminated first round in the Absolute Open.  My adopted coach Sterling and Mike coerced me into the No-Gi division, where I sloppily took bronze.  Up until then, I hadn’t competed or trained in No-Gi since May of 2012.  Finally, my parents were in town, so Keri and I did a slightly seat-of-the-pants meet-up with: her parents, my parents, my aunt and uncle.  I feel as though she and I were the only ones nervous about it, and all for nothing.  Everyone had a great time, and great Greek food (with extremely large portions).


CBJJF Okanagan Summer Classic Gold Medal

CBJJF Okanagan Summer Classic Gold Medal


-August: Compared to June and July, August sounds lacklustre, but was still quite fun.  I did take a trip home to Alberta for the first time in over two years, and Keri came with me.  I showed her some of the sights and sounds of Edmonton – West Edmonton Mall included, and while staying with my parents, I chopped about 100 cubic feet of birch for them to burn in the winter … when the wood dries out that is.

-September: Starting on a whole new adventure, I enrol in the General Studies program at Douglas College (David Lam campus), signing up for Sport and Exercise Psychology, Conditioning for Sports and Physical Activity, and Bio-mechanics.  Battlefield 25 would take place at the River Rock Casino in Richmond, with friends and training partners Christiaan Allaart, Jeremy Kennedy, and Micah Brakefield fighting.  Unfortunately, Jeremy’s opponent would not be allowed to cross the Canada/USA border.  Christiaan would lose 1st round via triangle, but Micah would win via submission.  Finally, I would commission “Team White Chocolate Bear” for the fall sumo tournament.

-October: I would spend the first major holiday with my girlfriend as a couple: Thanksgiving dinner with her family, and some extended family.  Having met some of them previously, the affair – while large in scale – wasn’t overwhelming.  The food was fantastic, and she and I provided over an hour of entertainment for a toddler with some pretty awesome toys.  The dogs helped as well.  I would also receive my sponsorship package from Fight Soap: three different soap bars designed for the person getting dirty in the everyday life (like a martial arts practitioner, or soldier), a sticker, a Gi patch, a hat, a discount coupon, and early access to limited edition soaps.

-November: a whirlwind of Jiu-Jitsu but really, who’s surprised at this point?  November 2nd saw me at the Vancouver BJJ Championships where I would take Silver in the Blue belt Middleweight division.  Two weeks later I would compete in the CBJJF B.C. Provincial Championships, but would be eliminated first round.  My cousin Mike and my adopted coach Sterling would travel to Las Vegas to compete in Grappler’s Quest and win some prestige in their divisions, including at least one title belt.IMG_2643IMG_7310-722x1024-20131105-075526 IMAG1427

-December: Finals, fights, and food.  World Series of Fighting came to town at the PNE Agrodome on the 7th, their 7th card.  Teammates/training partners/friends Micah Brakefield and Shawn Albrecht fought on the undercard, and unfortunately both lost.  Micah via corner stoppage/TKO, and Shawn by decision.  I attended courtesy of MMA Madhouse, in the media section.  Great seats.  The card was unfortunately on the same night as Battlefield 26, where teammate/friend Christiaan Allaart fought and lost via Guillotine choke, and Stu Deleurme lost via TKO.  However, WSOF had some great main card events, including “Notorious” Nick Newell upping his record to 11-0 with a first round Guillotine choke over local Sabah Fadai (I am no fan of his), and Team Alpha Male member Lance Palmer fighting for the Featherweight belt.  Unfortunately, Lance would lose via submission in the fourth round, but made for a great fight until then.  I did manage to snag a photo with Team Alpha Male head coach Duane “BANG” Ludwig.
I would finally get my final marks back from my professors, earning an A- in Sport Psychology and a B+ in Conditioning for Sport and Exercise.  Definitely happy with those, first finals in a long time.  At the end of classes, I sat down with my Psych professor to inquire about becoming a Sport Psychologist, and now have pencilled an outline of what I need to do in the next couple of years.
Professor Cobrinha came to town from the 13th to the 15th, and held a seminar at Genesis on the weekend.  The Friday night, he ran class like he would in L.A., and then he and my Professor Jason handed out stripes and promotions.  I earned my first stripe on my blue belt.  The weekend seminar was taking the back and applying a choke, and a couple of variations on getting the back and keeping it.  Nice and simple, and well drilled.
Finally we get to all of the foods.  My friend/former coworker hosted a Christmas potluck on the 21st, filled with delicious foods and deserts.  I definitely gained a few pounds.  On the 24th I made chili for Keri with my mom’s recipe, and it turned out decently well.  Just a few tweaks to make for next time.  Christmas day we had dinner at my Aunt and Uncle’s, and Boxing day we had dinner at her parent’s.  So much delicious Christmas food, leftovers, and treats.
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Well, there we have 2013 all wrapped up!  Quite a good whirlwind year, so let’s see what 2014 brings!

–Kiyoshi “The Prototype”
Your #1 Canadian eh?